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FIA to assist in Wheldon accident probe

Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, has confirmed that it is to play a part in determining the causes of Sunday's fatal crash in Las Vegas.

As the dust settles on the tragic IndyCar finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, motorsport's governing body, the FIA, has revealed that it is to play a part in determining what went wrong on lap eleven of the championship showdown.

While the basic components of the 15-car accident would appear clear to both those who were at the desert oval and those watching online and on television, the IndyCar Series has already confirmed that it will hold a full investigation in to the pile-up which killed 33-year old British driver Dan Wheldon. Now, that enquiry is to be assisted by the FIA, as well as another US organisation, the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS).

Much has been made about the suitability of the venue - which had not held an IndyCar event for eleven years, and even dropped off the Champ Car radar before the series folded - the number of cars on the 1.5-mile track, at 34 more even than the Indianapolis 500, and the relative inexperience of some of those in the field. IndyCar, however, hopes to be able to release early findings shortly.

"We hope to have preliminary findings to report within the next several weeks," an official series statement confirmed, "In the meantime, it would be inappropriate to comment further until the investigative team has had the opportunity to conclude its work."

Las Vegas Speedway president Chris Powell, and IndyCar veteran Paul Tracy have both attempted to play down suggestions that the circuit was to blame for the accident [see story here], but the accident has raised questions about the wisdom of open-wheel cars racing on ovals at all, as well as prompting calls for a full review to be carried out into safety measures at all such circuits, particularly with regard to the use of catch fencing, after this was thought to have contributed to the severity of Wheldon's accident.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2011 season finale. [Picture credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon at the announcement of the GoDaddy.com IndyCar Chellange. [Photo Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
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17.04.2016 - Race, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA
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A return to Las Vegas for F1 is on the cards
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03.04.2016 - Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA
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Messrs Tost, Ryan, Fernley and Williams at the Friday FIA press conference in Bahrain
01.04.2016 - Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
20.03.2016 - (L-R) Garry Connelly and Martin Donelly, FIA Stewards
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Droog - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 5:48 PM

Too late. Someone has already paid the ultimate price for the negligence of the Promoter/Organizer/Track. It does not take a Rocket Scientist to know that these types of Tracks are unsuitable for Open Wheel Racing. Maybe the US Motorsports community will finally adopt the FIA track rating system. There are currently NO FIA Class 1 tracks in the US, and only about 5-6 Class 2 tracks. Something needs to change moving forward.

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