Safety concerns

Cars and number of entrants must be looked at, says Jardine

Last Updated: 17/10/11 12:52pm

Jardine: wants changes after tragedy

Tony Jardine highlighted a number of safety considerations that IndyCar Series must look at in the wake of Dan Wheldon's death.

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"They happen in Nascar, they happen in IndyCar and they're going to continue to happen. I can't see how they can legislate away from that. "

Tony Jardine

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The British driver lost his life following a 15-vehicle crash at Sunday's Las Vegas Indy 300, raising serious questions about the safety procedures in place in the sport.

Every IndyCar chassis is manufactured by Dallara and Sky Sports motor racing expert Jardine said improvements can be made to the structure of those cars.

He also said the number of cars allowed to enter a race is an issue, especially on oval tracks like the one in Las Vegas.

Jardine told Sky Sports News HD: "They will look at the car, first and foremost, and see if they can get more deformable structures, for example the anti-crash areas built in to their own cars manufactured by Dallara. I think that will be very, very urgent.

"I think they will look at how they restart races because there's already been incidents this year.

"They will look at the number of cars on the track on the smaller, shorter ovals such as Las Vegas.

"The Las Vegas 300 had 34 cars. Drivers were already expressing concerns about the jamming on the track and the amount of speed."


NASCAR has recently introduced restrictor plates to try to limit the speed of the vehicles and to stop cars getting airborne - and that's something that could now be considered by IndyCar chiefs.

However, Jardine feels accidents and tragedies are inevitable when motor cars are allowed to build up speeds above 200mph.

"Racers are always going to be racers," he explained.

"You get bumper entry for the Indianapolis 500 every year and there have been lots of fatalities and dreadful accidents, triggered like we saw by multi-car accidents from a high-speed oval.

"They happen in NASCAR, they happen in IndyCar and they're going to continue to happen. I can't see how they can legislate away from that.

"What they've done in the past is put restrictor plates onto NASCAR cars, trying to reduce the speed, they've standardised components to try and reduce the speed and keep the speed down.

"But they're doing 225mph."


The Dallara cars being used on Sunday were nine years old with new models due to be introduced in time for next season.

And Jardine said that a sad irony of Sunday's tragedy was the fact that Wheldon was involved in testing the safety features on the 2012 cars.

"There are lots of things they're going to have to look at," he concluded.

"I believe that IndyCar Series are going to have to make more stringent safety regulations for their own manufacturer Dallara.

"The irony for me is that poor Dan Wheldon was testing the new 2012 Dallara for next season with a whole new raft of safety devices on it, including panels between the wheels that help stop the cars interlocking and one taking off.

"That's the irony."