Motor racing: New safety plan for Indianapolis
Saturday 29 May 1999
The event will be the first for the Indy Racing League, the four-year- old rival to the more established CART Indy-car series, since a wheel and suspension parts flew into the grandstand in Concord, North Carolina, on 1 May, killing three fans and injuring eight others. "The story of this race needs to be about racing, not tragedy," said the Dutch-born Arie Luyendyk, a two-time Indy winner who will retire from the cockpit following the chequered flag. In an effort to avoid another fatal wreck, the cars will be fitted with cables designed to keep wheels and suspension parts out of the crowd. "I'm glad the IRL has addressed this situation so quickly, but I'm going to be sure I'm not the first one to test it," said Billy Boat, who will start from the outside of the front row. Tethering wheels could add to the danger for drivers because the tires might rebound into the open cockpit during a crash. But Leo Mehl, executive director of the IRL, believes the new safety system will be better for everyone. "The more we can keep attached to the race car, the better off the driver and the fans are going to be," Mehl said.
Like most of the drivers, Luyendyk shrugged off the added danger. "It's inherent in our business that the driver is always in jeopardy," Luyendyk said.
Although everyone is talking about the safety of fans, once the green flag waves the action on the track probably will produce one of the most compelling races in years. "I really believe there are 15 guys out here who could win the race, including me," said defending champion Eddie Cheever, who aims to become the first driver to win consecutive Indy 500s since Al Unser Sr in 1970-71.
Latest in Sport
Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony: Ewan McGregor launches Unicef charity fundraiser, making £2.5m in one night
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid
Sami Khedira, Isco and Angel di Maria among Real Madrid players up for grabs this summer
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers (and giant cans of Irn Bru) welcome in Glasgow's Games
Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client are a successful software hous...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£45000 - £53000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS DYNAMICS N...