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Featured IndyCar new safety improvements in 2016

Discussion in 'IndyCar' started by Paul Jeffrey, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Member Premium Member

    Following a string of high profile serious accidents and the tragic death of Briton's Justin Wilson at Pocono, IndyCar has announced several safety changes for 2016, including tethers for aero components, rear wing flaps and two ECU alterations.

    Firstly, Zylon tethers have been added to key aerodynamic components. While the rear beam wing and rear wheel guards will be tethered for all events on both oval and road course circuits the car's nose will additionally be tethered on Super-Speedways with the front wing having tethers attached for Pocono Raceway Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

    "It is a continual goal to improve safety for all the participants, fans and drivers alike," said Will Phillips, IndyCar VP of technology. "We also need to do this in a fashion that does not create more yellow-flag racing and try to prevent as much debris as possible. We have great support from our partners to improve safety and wish to thank Chevrolet, Honda and Dallara for their participation and efforts in working together to implement change."​

    Aimed at minimising the chances of a car becoming airborne when spinning and running backwards the series has introduced a domed skid plate on the underside of the chassis that plans to work in conjunction with rear wing flaps.

    Additional ECU updates have been included that prevent cars from moving when on pit road with a fuel hose attached by returning the engine to idle and engaging the clutch if the car is not in neutral when the fuel house is plugged in.

    These are all positive improvements to the premier open wheel series in America. With solid on track action last season and some impressive driving talent plying their trade across the seasons 16 events, the Verizon IndyCar Series seems to be on solid ground going forwards.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2015
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  2. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    It's always good to see a series trying to make improvements in safety.

    It's a shame that a tragedy leads onto something like this but at least they are reacting rather than ignoring it.

    I still have concerns about the new style Honda/Chevy aero, the massive increase in downforce caused by all the winglets and extra little aero devices caused such jump in laptime that the speed increase was always a problem for safety. Preferred the cars as they were really. They tended to look a little more pretty then as well! :roflmao:

    The ECU update for refuelling safety is genius though :thumbsup:
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  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree mate, its great to see some sound thinking around safety in this series. I like IndyCar, always have since the Mansell days back in '93 but for me it still seems like its overly dangerous (like how I used overly - oval ;)).

    Really sad about Wilson, he was a good bloke. At least his death will not be in vein if it has prompted the organisers looking more closely at how things like that can be avoided in future.

    Plus those cars are fugly!
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  4. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    IndyCar has always been at the forefront of safety, eclipsing every other series in the world. Why? Because they have to. It's the most dangerous racing there is on earth. The list in endless if you actually follow the sport -- from a dedicated medical car at every track, to mandatory use of the HANS device two years before F1...a device that was invented at Michigan State. They do it because they have to. Otherwise, you end up like F1. In fact, F1 left the Indy oval off the calendar a long time ago because the Indianapolis 500 accounts for the bulk of all deaths in F1. Not to mention running away like little girls after '07.

    Notice how fast IndyCar moved on this too. That would not happen in F1. Too bureaucratic. Death will continue to happen in IndyCar. I don't think you can make 235mph for two hours straight 100% safe.

    Paul, I agree that those rear bumpers are hideous and, I'd argue, dangerous. There was much opposition to them when they were brought in. It's so sad they led to Wilson's death, as many predicted. As always, there is blistering speed, the most diverse and challenging track lineup in the world, and drivers who are not forgotten, but cherished. Now, with turbo whine and RPM's higher than F1 (due to fuel consumption limits); impressive growth in the last years; and a laid-back attitude that does not take itself too seriously in the Paddock, the only thing standing between IndyCar and glory similar to CART of the late 1990's is money and time.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  5. Very happy to hear. It's not been the best year for IndyCar in terms of safety. In the pursuit of speed, they've undone all the good work that the DW12 chassis had done in improving the safety and made the sport more dangerous. Hopefully these changes will make the sport safer than it has been this year.
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