IndyCar »

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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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]
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
A safety vehicle inspects the track as Indy 500 qualifying is rained out at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday May 16 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Graham Rahal celebrates after the Angie`s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday May 9 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay straps on his helmet prior to practice for the Angie`s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday May 7 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal on opening day at IMS (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay discuss practice at IMS (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate with champagne following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal in action in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal celebrates in victory lane after finishing second in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sits in his Honda machine prior to practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


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.

Maxx - Unregistered

September 09, 2011 5:57 PM

Indy Car always crows about their safety teams, tis is unexcuseable. Shame on Indy Car for not having transponders in the safety trucks, plus, shouldn't they ask for a report from every safety vehicle if they are clear, and the track is clear, before the green? I now feel 100% that Brian Barnhart has to GO NOW. Every race this year has been overshadowed by some problem, and, it's time for someone to pay for it. What is the sense of having one of your best safety team members not be at the next 2 races? Is that in the best interest of the drivers & fans safety? I think not.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.