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Accidents dominate Baltimore warm-up

A major accident involving Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves dominated the Sunday morning warm-up practice session on the streets of Baltimore ahead of this afternoon's race.
A spectacular and frightening accident involving Tony Kanaan running into the back and over the top of Helio Castroneves dominated the Sunday morning warm-up final practice session.

Kanaan had arrived at the corner at high speed suffering with brake failure, and came up fast on the back of Castroneves who was having problems of his own getting into the corner.

Unable to stop, Kanaan tried to avoid Castroneves but there was no room and instead made contact with the rear and right hand side of the Penske, and was launched over the top of the #3 and into the air for a significant distance, finally landing and clipping the outside concrete wall before going into - and through - the tyre barrier and run-off area ahead.

A shocked Helio was quickly out of his car to race over to the #82 to check Kanaan was okay. Astonishingly neither driver was injured, but both cars were badly damaged and both drivers face starting from the back if they have to take to a back-up car.

"That was frightening," said Kanaan. "Arriving at 190 mph with no brakes is no fun," he said, angry at the one unforgivable issue in motor racing: "A brake failure in a race car is just something that should not happen."

He pointed out that if Helio hadn't been there to take the initial hit and slow the #82 down into the turn, the accident could have proved to be far more serious and potentially even fatal. "He saved my life today," summarised Kanaan.

"He really flew," said Helio, commenting that he'd had a full view of the undertray of the KV Racing Technology car as it passed overhead. "I was very worried. He landed in a very bad position.

"When I looked he didn't move it all so I ran over to make sure he was okay. It was a very scary accident, but I'm glad he's okay," he added, saying that regardless of the damage to the cars he was happy to have been there to soften Kanaan's final crash before it had got really bad.

After the session resumed, the green flag lasted only a couple of minutes before Ana Beatriz and JR Hildebrand got together in turn 1 and caught up James Jakes who was next to arrive on the scene, blocking the track and forcing another full course caution.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Helio Castroneves copes with the curbs on the streets of Baltimore. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Tony Kanaan on track at Baltimore. [Photo Credit: IndyCar Media]
Detroit IndyCar Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves 2017 Indy 500 practice
James Davison
JR Hildebrand, IndyCar, Ed Carpenter Racing
James Hinchcliffe, Long Beach, IndyCar
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [credit: Chris Owens]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [Credit: IndyCar]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [Credit: Jim Haines/IndyCar]
Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) celebrates pole at Long Beach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Helio Castroneves - Team Penske    [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Helio Castroneves - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
James Hinchcliffe   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Owens]
Helio Castroneves - Team Penske [credit: IndyCar / Chris Owens]
Helio Castroneves - Team Penske [credit: IndyCar / Chris Owens]
Helio Castroneves - Hitachi/Team Penske Chevrolet   [pic credit: Chris Jones/IndyCar Media]

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JOHN - Unregistered

September 06, 2011 2:35 PM

Havent seen the accident but from the reports looks like it was very serious. Just glad he is ok. Brake failure at close to 200mph doesnt even bear thinking about. I think it happened to Mark Blundell years ago in CART, again he got away with it but just shouldnt happen

Owen Hamilton - Unregistered

September 04, 2011 3:13 PM

I just watched the video of this, very scary! In the commentary they mention driving over train tracks, this sounds extremely dangerous to me, if someone gets a puncture from running over the tracks it could be very nasty indeed!

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