Former and current drivers have called on IndyCar officials to review safety equipment in place after racer Justin Wilson died Monday from injuries suffered Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Reuters is reporting.
Wilson was struck in the head by debris from a car that crashed ahead of him, driven by Sage Karam. The incident was similar to accidents in other race series with open cockpits; Felipe Massa was hit by debris in Hungary in 2009 and required surgery, James Hinchcliffe was struck in the head in 2014, which caused a concussion. Wilson’s death was the first for IndyCar since Dan Wheldon was killed in 2011.
“Safety is not one of those things that because you have a clear record for a certain amount of time that you stop doing development,” former race driver Eddie Cheever told ESPN.
Justin Wilson died Monday from injuries sustained Sunday, when a piece of another crashed race car struck him. He was 37.
His family released a short statement thanking well-wishers and fans for their support after the crash. Wilson was a native of Sheffield, England and lived in Longmont, Colorado with his wife and two daughters.
“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.”
Wilson was an advocate for track safety, not only for the racers but also for the spectators.
The fine folks over at The Atlantic (yeah, the fancy magazine) have posted a 5-minute short film on the experience that is LeMons. We love it.
(Spot fellow TTAC scribe Murilee Martin in the robe at 1:45.)
For the uninitiated, it’s a expertly captured glimpse at the personalities that make home-grown racing the best kind of racing. For the car nut, the film serves as motivation to get out and work on your race mongrel — now.Read More >
V8 Supercar racer James Courtney was injured when an Australian Navy helicopter fly-over dislodged debris near pitlane, which struck and injured the racer, media in Australia is reporting.
Courtney was transported to a local hospital with relatively minor injuries, but is expected to remain there for several days, effectively ending his race weekend. Courtney is currently fifth in the championship standings with five races to follow this weekend’s Sydney Motorsports Park SuperSprint. Courtney’s missed weekend effectively ends his championship run.
Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah (about 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City) has a new lease on life, Hot Rod is reporting. The racetrack will be purchased by Chinese carmaker Geely and renamed Utah Motorsports Campus. The facility could receive $50 million in upgrades to host more racing events in the future.
The track had been on the ropes after the Miller family, who took over after patriarch Larry H. Miller died in 2009, said they weren’t renewing the lease and walking away from the world-class racetrack. Read More >
Namely, how could tracks be safer and more secure when they’re not operational? And could insurance companies, who already charge a considerable amount of money, eventually sink small town tracks that can’t afford to lockdown tracks completely?
Many tracks are rural parts of the country, and run with skeleton crews — even during race events. That’s because tracks are like golf courses and graveyards, most of their open ground isn’t consistently used and therefore, not always insanely profitable.
Update 2: Connecticut police have sent over a statement.
Update: We’ve received a reply from Lime Rock Park’s Press, PR & Editorial Director, Rick Roso, detailing what happened last night. It is included below.
Police say several teens broke into Lime Rock Park on Wednesday night and crashed go-karts, injuring two teenagers. According to police, a 15-year-old girl was transported to a Hartford children’s hospital via helicopter and a 15-year-old boy was transported to a local hospital, both with non-life threatening injuries. Both teens are in stable condition.
Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife will be reopened next year for manufacturers’ bragging rights after officials announced Tuesday that the track’s speed limits — added after a crash during a race killed a spectator in March — will be lifted, PistonHeads is reporting.
Here’s a little bit of racing trivia you may not have known. In addition to getting a check with a couple of commas in the amount, the winning driver of the Indianapolis 500 is also awarded the pace car for that year’s race. I’m not talking about one of the thousands of replicas they sell at the dealers or even one of the dozens of courtesy cars with pace car graphics that they use at the race. I’m talking about the actual vehicle used to pace the drivers as they come into formation for the flying start and then functions as a safety car when yellow flags are unfurled. That means that racers driving for Roger Penske’s team have won sixteen of those pace cars.
Apparently those drivers’ contracts give the team the right to buy the pace car if they win because Roger owns all sixteen paces cars from the years that his team has won the 500. To celebrate this year’s edition of the massive Woodward Dream Cruise, the Penske organization paraded their collection of authentic Indy 500 pace cars from the Penske Corp’s hospitality tent in Royal Oak all the way up to Pontiac and back, with the spiff that many of the cars were being driven by current and former Penske racers. Read More >
Jenson Button (pictured above) and his new wife (not pictured) were the target of apparent Bond villains last weekend after robbers allegedly knocked the couple and their guests out with gas pumped in through the vents and made away with $465,000 in jewelry, the BBC reported.
The Formula One driver, his wife and their guests, who were all staying in St. Tropez, weren’t injured in the robbery. A spokesman for Button muddled things further (emphasis ours):
“The police have indicated that this has become a growing problem in the region with perpetrators going so far as to gas their proposed victims through the air conditioning units before breaking in.”
So you’re saying this happens a lot? That doesn’t sound right.