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'Perfect storm' led to Vegas tragedy

"No conduct by Dan Wheldon's driving of car #77 during the course of the race including lap 11 was found to have contributed to the cause of the racing incident or its consequences," the report found. "Furthermore, no conduct by any drivers on lap 11 was found to be inconsistent with expected driving during the race."

As a result of the details of the impact, the report commented that with regard to the make and manufacturer of racing helmets for drivers, "There is no current evidence that one type is preferred and should currently be mandated over another. Even given the known nature of the head injury to Dan, the choice of helmet was specifically found not to change the consequences as to this injury."

The report did not directly address the 'open-wheel' nature of the IndyCars and whether this had been a critical factor. The new DW12 chassis includes new features that have been been criticised by some fans and drivers as "bumpers" to protect the cars from wheel-to-wheel direct contact in 2012 that might have prevented some or all of the multiple-car wreck seen at Vegas.

"IndyCar's commitment to safety was enhanced by Dan Wheldon's testing throughout 2011 of the new car to be used by IndyCar in 2012," said the CEO of IndyCar, Randy Bernard. "We are thankful for his efforts and commitment to racing."

The report concluded:
The accident was significant due to the number of race cars damaged, but more importantly due to the non-survivable injuries to Dan Wheldon. While several factors coincided to produce a 'perfect storm,' none of them can be singled out as the sole cause of the accident. For this reason, it is impossible to determine with certainty that the result would have been any different if one or more of the factors did not exist.

IndyCar is committed to safety. This report is an interim step to IndyCar's on-going efforts to improve motorsports safety. IndyCar will continue its efforts to reduce the risks of racing to all.

The 2012 racing season ushers in an era of a new IndyCar Series race car and the opportunity for unprecedented safety advancements. Dan Wheldon was instrumental in the testing and development of this new car and the safety innovations that it represents.

The thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences of IndyCar and the open wheel racing community go out to Dan's family.
The full report can currently be downloaded from related links on the article on the Indianapolis Star website.




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]
The stage set for the memorial celebration. [Picture Credit: IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon in pit lane at Vegas. [Picture Credit: IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon takes the #77 out on track at Kentucky. [Picture Credit: IndyCar Media]
Brian Barnhart, President of Operations for IndyCar, at the press conference presenting the accident report into events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Randy Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of IndyCar, at the press conference presenting the accident report into events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Randy Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of IndyCar, and Brian Barnhart, President of Operations, at the press conference presenting the accident report into events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits in his pit stand prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand prior to track activity during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on pit lane prior to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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sukhsc - Unregistered

December 16, 2011 9:48 AM

Rubbish...just a huge smoke screen to make us believe that this was a rare event and that IndyCar is safe. They have some big problems over there and wont be surprised if this happens again

walrus909 - Unregistered

December 15, 2011 11:26 PM

That track is like the old Monza bowl. Unlimited grooves, 225 mph, a big field, and unforgiving iron instead of trees. Just a sad sad day. Danny you are one of the ace of aces. Miss you.



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