This weekend the IndyCar series will be without two of its drivers after a massive practice accident. Nelson Philippe and Will Power had a nasty coming together during practice for this weekends race in Sonoma California. This continues to highlight a rough summer for race drivers as we have suffered 3 racing fatalities and another two that have seen serious injury to competitors.
The accident happened at turn 3A which is a blind hill corner when Ryan Philippe spun for the second time and was then clipped in the nose by E.J. Viso. After Viso spun off track, Will Power then came over the crest and directly T-boned Philippe causing a shower of debris all over the race course. To me the accident had a very Paul Dana feel to it because it seemed as Power had absolutely no idea what was over the crest.
Thankfully both drivers have survived but not without a cost. Power suffered a broken back and Philippe has a fractured leg as result of the contact. Both drivers were reported as unconscious when the medical crews arrived at the disabled machines and both were promptly rushed to the hospital with Power by helicopter and Philippe by ground crew.
The drivers of the IndyCar series have asked that lessons be taken from this accidnet and blame the race course for the incident. The turn 3 area is a very fast corner that goes over a crest which makes part of the corner completely invisible to the driver.
Ryan Briscoe was quoted as saying: “I think we need to look at the safety over here and what can be done differently with spotting or whatever,” Briscoe said. “Turn 3 is a dangerous corner.”
6 Thoughts to “IndyCar – When it Rains it Pours”
I don’t think that its the corner itself that’s the problem, but where the corner workers are placed. There needs to be an additional worker station between T2 and T3 so that drivers have more of an opportunity to slow down.
I’m not sure the flagman could have gotten it out in time. waved it in time for teh drivers to see it and react. That all happened real fast.
I agree ATB…that was a really fast problem…there needs to be something though. You cannot have a car stopped over a blind corner. That could have been really bad.
I just scrutinized the replay. Had Phillipe not kept the brakes locked down at the end of his lazy spin, instead , release the brake and roll backwards off the track, it would have been avoided. The flag man started waving the flag when Viso clipped him. 2 seconds elapsed from the time Phillipe came to a complete stop before Viso clipped him. Will Power arrived 5 seconds after Phillipe stopped. Will had 3 seconds to react at 110 mph over a blind crest. or 1 1/2 football fields in 3 seconds without a line of sight.
The flag waved as soon as Will crested the hill, and he couldn’t slam the brakes mid corner at 110 mph. If he’d of seen the flag when he was climbing the hill, he may of eased up before the corner. The flag man was slow to react. It should have flown while Phillipe was spinning, That was about 6 seconds of warning time for Will that he never got.
X was correct to begin with. It’s tight, but the flagman needs to be on his A game at all times, even A.M. practice.
At the end of the day, it’s racing, there are good days and there will be bad days. Its something Buddy lazier told me before I set out to be an Indycar driver. The bad days are bad.
Good analysis ATB73. Regardless of if the flagman was slow to react though, Will may not have noticed in time to slow down. Sad situation.
It sounds like Will Power had his two front teeth knocked out, which prompted Nelson Phillipe to call him “Willie Bob” when they met with each other in the hospital.
Philippe’s compound fracture in his foot was caused by the brake pedal going through his foot. All told, Nelson will not be able to drive for 2 months as he recovers from his broken foot and leg.
Will Power’s broken back is reportedly similar to Vitor’s and will keep him out of action for at least 4 months.
Will thought that he had killed Nelson. Nelson thought he was lucky that he didnt lose his legs.
All this came from Curt Cavin’s article in the Indy Star today.
I saw that Indy star. Some riveting details. Only in a perfect world could the flag man see, and react quick enough. Ive been a big fan of Will Power and its hard seeing him hurt. Phillipe? ow, the brake pedal went through his foot?! I guess they can call that a minor injury. sounds pretty serious to me. I’m glad they can joke about it, and i’m glad they can race again another day.
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