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Suspension over Baltimore 'near catastrophe'

According to some reports, track marshals were already struggling with malfunctioning radio equipment before the race - a common problem on street and road course tracks - and had to switch to a back-up system, but in any case had been told to ignore the activities of the Holmatro Safety Team because race control says that it knows where they are at all times.

The fact that the IndyCar statement says that the truck "was to move to its station between turns 2 and 4" implies that race control was aware of its presence on the course, but the throwing of the green flag suggests that race control may have simply assumed that sufficient time had passed to allow it to complete its transit - but never actually received confirmation or checked that this was the case.

Compounding the problem are other reports that two other safety trucks stationed at the entrance of turn 1 were also still backing into position as cars came down the start/finish straight for the first time at speed, suggesting that more than one member of the Holmatro Safety Team was caught out by the track going green when it did.

"That was crazy," tweeted Graham Rahal. "We 1st took the green [and] a truck was moving end of front straight, then the other truck out of T1!"

That puts the spotlight squarely back on the communications protocols between race control and the various track officials, safety crew team, pit techs and spotters which was so recently the focus of the mis-call to try a late restart at the end of the New Hampshire race that ended in an accident, seemingly because race control was apparently not told of worsening track conditions as rain began to fall.




Related Pictures

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Close-up overhead shot of turn one on the street course at Baltimore at the double-file start, showing the Holmatro Safety Truck narrowly making it off the track before the leading cars arrive head-on. [Photo Credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media.)
Rain drops on a space nose cone for Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay gets a new ride (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay with the winner`s trophy (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (left), driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, talks with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, during qualifying Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Briscoe qualified fourth, Kanaan second and teammate Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his car during a rain delay at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits on pitlane prior to practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay with an early pit stop during the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal on the frontstretch during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal and Will Power spray the champagne on the podium for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay exits Turn 2 during practice for the Chevrolet Dual In Detroit (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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Peter - Unregistered

September 09, 2011 3:54 AM

The question of "why the green flag was issued while the safety truck was still on the track?" is the wrong question. That truck was already off the track in its correct position between turns 2 and 3. At the very moment Race Control called "Green! Green! Green!", the truck jumped out onto the track from its safe and correct position and, with sirens blasting, did a u-turn and headed toward turn 1 driving like a bat out of hell. I know because I was in Grandstand 8 opposite the truck and listening to Race Control on the radio when the truck jumped out onto the track. I believe a more appropriate question is: who authorized the truck to go back out on the track at the very moment the race went green? Any why the sirens? I never heard a safety truck use its sirens before.



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