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Old 08-25-2015, 07:16 AM   #1
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IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies

IndyCar driver Justin Wilson dies | USA TODAY Sports

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Old 08-25-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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We had a discussion about the dangers of open cockpit Indycar racing back in 2011 when Dan Wheldon was killed at Las Vegas.

I said that it was only a matter of time until something happened again and suggested that Indycar could have adopted a more modern prototype configuration at that time and moved the sport into the 21st Century.

I don't understand the refusal to use a windshield and a roof.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
We had a discussion about the dangers of open cockpit Indycar racing back in 2011 when Dan Wheldon was killed at Las Vegas.

I said that it was only a matter of time until something happened again and suggested that Indycar could have adopted a more modern prototype configuration at that time and moved the sport into the 21st Century.

I don't understand the refusal to use a windshield and a roof.
Isn't it easier to escape the cockpit without a roof and windshield in case of a roll-over?
You prevent pilots from being trapped in case of an ugly accident (along with a fire?).
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
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Some of the top fuel teams in NHRA have gone to covers over the cockpits. Soon after Antron Brown was in a crash that his car rolled over and caught on fire. The safety crew was able to get him out quickly. He got minor burns from the fire. But if he didn't have the enclosed cockpit installed he would have been in much worse shape.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMwp1aLcJuY
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:40 PM   #5
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Isn't it easier to escape the cockpit without a roof and windshield in case of a roll-over?
No, not really. A properly designed and built roll cage is specifically designed to maintain the exit areas even after a major wreck. Getting unbuckled, disconnecting radio/etc, and climbing thru the roll cage or squirming out of the tub is still the limiting factor, roof or no roof.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:28 AM   #6
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This really isn't a technical problem, but one of the open wheel (open cockpit ) culture and tradition, which resists turning them into sprint cars or prototypes.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stephen wilson View Post
This really isn't a technical problem, but one of the open wheel (open cockpit ) culture and tradition, which resists turning them into sprint cars or prototypes.
I understand the culture and tradition aspects of racing. But I am questioning whether drivers lives are worth keeping with the tradition - solely for tradition sake?

The bottom line is that it may not matter: Indycar has already lost so many fans that they really don't have to worry about alienating their fan base - essentially there is no fan base left.

So I wonder if this could be the right time to re-invent and re-vitalize the series and maybe a new car configuration (with a windshield and roof) would help in doing so? Maybe, maybe not. Hard to say.

But at the end of the day, if they do nothing and proceed on the current trajectory, they will continue to fade into the background and be forced to close shop in a few years. If it wasn't for the grand spectacle that is the Indy 500, they would already be at the end point.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:22 PM   #8
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I thought it was very nice that almost every series that raced this weekend ran in memory logos on the cars.

Thstone is right about Indy car following I think that Senoma was very poorly attended by the look of the TV coverage.

Did you hear they are talking about the possibility of a Fighter style bubble on the cockpit next year.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:55 AM   #9
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I understand the culture and tradition aspects of racing. But I am questioning whether drivers lives are worth keeping with the tradition - solely for tradition sake?
I don't have the answer to that. IMO, they've already made the cars ugly, so you might as well develop some sort of solution. Though of the recent open cockpit-related deaths, probably nothing would have helped Bianchi or Wheldon, the impacts were just too severe.

I have to say this concept looks badd-ass:
Is this the future of motor racing? Designer reveals supersafe F1 car concepts that would allow racing in any weather | Daily Mail Online

Not a bad option, if fine tuned a bit:
http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/25/9207767/formula-one-indycar-crazy-closed-cockpit-design

There are some technical obstacles like distortion from very narrow curved plexiglass, and controlling cockpit heat, bubble-top prototypes actually require air conditioning.

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