The Flying Scott

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The Flying Scott

Postby barfle » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:23 pm

What's up with Dario Franchitti, besides the bottom of his car?

He's gone flying two weekends in a row.

It looks like it was Dan Wheldon's fault at Michigan two weeks ago, but at Kentucky last week it sure looks like a lapse on his part. BTW, there's sound on both links.

I hope he doesn't set himself on fire for his next act.
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Postby ScottB » Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:44 pm

When I saw the replay of that first crash my heart stopped. It amazes me that people walk away.
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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:48 am

It is pretty amazing how well constructed those cars are these days. I know it's been a difficult struggle, because the bottom line is winning the race.

I recently acquired the DVD of Grand Prix, the John Frankenheimer film, after having had the laser disc for about 20 years. In one of the extras, Stirling Moss was interviewed and he recalled how Jackie Stewart fought for driver safety, which upset many of the other drivers who didn't seem to care much about pension plans. Moss's reaction was "If it scares you, don't go so fast." But the point is, Stewart clearly succeeded. Franchitti wouldn't be alive if he'd been in a car from the 1960s (although I thought they were a heck of a lot prettier then).
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Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:43 pm

The problem is the car design and the league rules. The IRL requires the teams to run big wings in front so the cars stay stuck. This keeps the competition artificially close. But when there is even the slightest change in the angle of attack, the wings stall and suddenly become lifting bodies. They rate of blow-overs and flying cars from the IRL is unprecedented in the racing world, yet the league stubbornly sticks to the rules in service of the show.

These are the same cars that Paul Tracy called crapwagons. It wasn’t their performance that he was referring to, it was their safety record.

Say no to the crapwagons that injure and kill drivers at a prodigious rate!
Say no to the IRL for its preservation of the show over driver safety!
Say no to the idiot Hulman grandson who presides over a series that is bereft of a vision, and is rapidly shedding all of the goodwill and tradition built up over the prior decades of Indy competition!

Indy 500 is now a joke, the teams and drivers are joke beyond the top three teams. The top drivers are all cognizant of the safety issues and many of the top stars are looking to go elsewhere for next year. Oh my! How that Indy 500 star has dimmed. Not even the chance to win what was once the greatest one-day race event in the world can keep them around.
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Postby barfle » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:11 am

I'm not a fan of all the downforce wings of modern open-wheel cars, although I thought Jim Hall's use of one on the Chapparal in the Can-Am days was pretty cool. Which is why I said that the cars were so much prettier before they showed up.

But driver safety is always improving. Any time you go from 215 to 0 over a distance of 50 feet, you're going to have structural stresses that can't help but result in injuries.

There have always been backmarkers at Indy. Remember Dick Simon? He always had a car or two in the race, and if they ever made the top ten, I don't remember it.

I honestly don't know what open-wheel racing is doing wrong that NASCAR is doing right. Personally, I quit bothering with NASCAR when they lost sight of what the "S" in their name stands for. They are no more stock than Indy cars, but somehow when you stick a Chevy logo on a plastic body over a special-built car with a special-built engine, you get Chevy fans rooting for you. With the engines and tires at Indy all coming from a specific manufacturer, you have to have something else to root for. They still get sell-out crowds at Indy, though.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:51 pm

barfle wrote: I'm not a fan of all the downforce wings of modern open-wheel cars, although I thought Jim Hall's use of one on the Chapparal in the Can-Am days was pretty cool. Which is why I said that the cars were so much prettier before they showed up.

You might be in for a big surprise. Times have changed since Jim Hall built racecars. :) I was talking this over with an engineer from one of the teams the other night. The open wheel cars today develop sufficient mechanical grip that they could remove both wings and still flatfoot it all the way around every big oval but Indy. The IRL is using the big wings as drag sails to slow the cars down. The rear wing is actually generating lift!

barfle wrote: But driver safety is always improving. Any time you go from 215 to 0 over a distance of 50 feet, you're going to have structural stresses that can't help but result in injuries.

Yet the above configuration causes cars to sail into the air. That is disgusting and should be stopped. Tony Renna died in vain if it is not. I suspect that if Mario Andretti had died in his flight at Indy, we would have seen a much quicker change to the configuration and even safer drivers today.

barfle wrote: There have always been backmarkers at Indy. Remember Dick Simon? He always had a car or two in the race, and if they ever made the top ten, I don't remember it.

Right, but there were 22-28 cars that followed the circuit at that time and put in a serious racing effort on their own or on a sponsor’s dime. You didn’t notice the backmarkers as much except for the human interest stories. Now the backmarkers are all supported financially by the IRL and Tony George just to try to keep the field at 18 cars. Take away that support and their would probably only be 8-10 cars to take the green flag.

barfle wrote: I honestly don't know what open-wheel racing is doing wrong that NASCAR is doing right.

It is pretty simple, present a unified front, make sure the NASCAR brand is in front of everyone, keep driver visibility high and driver attitude “aw shucks” and market, market, market. Tony G. thought the big, mean CART teams were going to take the luster off his baby by making it “just anther race” in the series. They wanted to do some financially sane things like reduce the month of May to two weeks, but all the stars would have still come out for the big day. Instead Tony ran scared and decied that the crown jewel could never be diminished vs. other tracks so he took his ball and went home. Divisiveness, ignorance, lack of marketing, and a downright dirty war of track and team stealing is why open wheel has declined to the sad state it is in today and NASCAR has ascended.

barfle wrote: They still get sell-out crowds at Indy, though.

Boy, what rock have you been living under? Indy hasn’t actually sold out in almost a decade and crowd numbers and TV ratings continue to dwindle year after year. It is a shell of its former self. Sad.
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Postby barfle » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:33 pm

BigJon@Work wrote:The open wheel cars today develop sufficient mechanical grip that they could remove both wings and still flatfoot it all the way around every big oval but Indy. The IRL is using the big wings as drag sails to slow the cars down. The rear wing is actually generating lift!

My point was that the styling of the early 1960s cars was much more pleasing to my eye than the wacky dipsydoodly megawinged monsters of today. But I must challenge your assertion that the rear wings generate lift, at least when the car is performing as intended (going forward at a speed over 80mph).

BigJon@Work wrote:Yet the above configuration causes cars to sail into the air. That is disgusting and should be stopped. Tony Renna died in vain if it is not. I suspect that if Mario Andretti had died in his flight at Indy, we would have seen a much quicker change to the configuration and even safer drivers today.

I haven't seen any open wheel cars (Indy, Champ Car, or F1) get airborne even from going backwards. The ones I've seen sail into the air are the ones that have climbed tires. This is a genuine concern, but it is an inherent element of open wheel racing.

BigJon@Work wrote:Right, but there were 22-28 cars that followed the circuit at that time and put in a serious racing effort on their own or on a sponsor’s dime. You didn’t notice the backmarkers as much except for the human interest stories. Now the backmarkers are all supported financially by the IRL and Tony George just to try to keep the field at 18 cars. Take away that support and their would probably only be 8-10 cars to take the green flag.

Anyone remember Salt Walther? Anyone remember John Mahler? Anyone remember Bobby Marshman, Dave MacDonald, Mickey Rupp, Arnie Knepper, Sammy Sessions? These weren't backmarkers, but they rarely were in contention. Whenever you have 33 competitors, you have 32 also-rans.

BigJon@Work wrote:Divisiveness, ignorance, lack of marketing, and a downright dirty war of track and team stealing is why open wheel has declined to the sad state it is in today and NASCAR has ascended.

Here, I think you're probably right. We agree that open wheel racing in the US is not the draw that it could be. Too bad the S in NASCAR is a lie.

BigJon@Work wrote:Boy, what rock have you been living under? Indy hasn’t actually sold out in almost a decade and crowd numbers and TV ratings continue to dwindle year after year. It is a shell of its former self. Sad.

I was there in 2003. It wasn't any easier getting out of town then than it was in 1972. It is still the biggest event in Indiana (and several surrounding states) all year.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:51 am

barfle wrote: My point was that the styling of the early 1960s cars was much more pleasing to my eye than the wacky dipsydoodly megawinged monsters of today.

I agree. The roughly cigar-shaped cars of the 60 are indeed the high point of aesthetically pleasing racing vehicles, especially when raced together in snarling packs. The only era that came close in my mind is the height of the IMSA GTP era, just before the blunt-nosed, high-downforce Riley and Scott Intrepid Chevy GTP cars came into style. Compare
http://www.pbase.com/mwphoto/imsa_1990_sebring_12hour to http://www.pbase.com/mwphoto/93mo to see how quickly the blunt-nose, slab-sides look took over.

barfle wrote: But I must challenge your assertion that the rear wings generate lift, at least when the car is performing as intended (going forward at a speed over 80mph).

Challenge away, but the wing angles are set by the rulebook at Indy and the required angles make the leading edge higher than trailing and generate lift instead of downforce. It’s not significant lift, on the order of 100s of lbs. The rulebook is kept secret by the IRL, so they can change it on a whim like NASCAR, or I would point you to the appropriate link. I got my info from an Indy race engineer’s article and from conversations with others who work in the industry.

barfle wrote:
BigJon@Work wrote:Yet the above configuration causes cars to sail into the air. That is disgusting and should be stopped. Tony Renna died in vain if it is not. I suspect that if Mario Andretti had died in his flight at Indy, we would have seen a much quicker change to the configuration and even safer drivers today.

I haven't seen any open wheel cars (Indy, Champ Car, or F1) get airborne even from going backwards. The ones I've seen sail into the air are the ones that have climbed tires. This is a genuine concern, but it is an inherent element of open wheel racing.

All three styles of open wheel cars have gone flying when sliding sideways. The IRL cars are much more prone to it. Tony Renna’s death was a single-car accident that did not involve any apparent mechanical failure or object to launch the car. He slid, flew, went through the fence and died. Had it been a spectator event, fans would most likely have been casualties as well, because parts went into the grandstands.

barfle wrote: Anyone remember Salt Walther? Anyone remember John Mahler? Anyone remember Bobby Marshman, Dave MacDonald, Mickey Rupp, Arnie Knepper, Sammy Sessions? These weren't backmarkers, but they rarely were in contention. Whenever you have 33 competitors, you have 32 also-rans.

Of course, but how many of those guys were on teams funded by the speedway? One or two, in most years. Now half the field has some sort of full-season support by the league, which if dropped, would prevent them from running the season. That’s sad.

barfle wrote: I was there in 2003. It wasn't any easier getting out of town then than it was in 1972. It is still the biggest event in Indiana (and several surrounding states) all year.

Did you notice how many scalpers there were selling race day tickets at or below face value in 2003? Tickets for 1972 were sold out a year in advance. They traded for two to four times face value, if you could find them at all. Great seats were handed down with-in families. Families with lesser seats would be on years-long waiting lists to upgrade. Today you can walk up to the ticket window on race weekend and buy front-straight tickets. Back then there were also an amazing number of general admission tickets sold to infield-only spectators who came to party and have fun. Normally around 120,000 in addition to the over 250,000 seat tickets sold. GA tickets only number in the thousands sold now. While additional grandstands have been added to the infield, they total only a handful of seats compared to 120,000. So from attendance being within reach of 400,000, to probably just under 200,000 is a pretty major comedown. Just before the split, attendance was still well over 300,000. Your problems exiting were probably more of a result in the cutbacks by the Indianapolis city government in support for the race. They’ve seen the decline in economic impact and they are not expending as many resources as they once did on the race.

Tony George and his advisors effed up and stubbornness and arrogance prevent them from going back and trying to repair the damage and reunite North American open wheel racing.
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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:36 am

BigJon@Work wrote:Compare
http://www.pbase.com/mwphoto/imsa_1990_sebring_12hour to http://www.pbase.com/mwphoto/93mo to see how quickly the blunt-nose, slab-sides look took over.

Great shots. Only three years to have a complete change in IMSA type of style - but then it didn't take very long for rear engines to dominate Indy and NHRA, either. When an innovation works (or a rule requires it), adoption is necessary to stay competitive.

BigJon@Work wrote:Challenge away, but the wing angles are set by the rulebook at Indy and the required angles make the leading edge higher than trailing and generate lift instead of downforce. It’s not significant lift, on the order of 100s of lbs. The rulebook is kept secret by the IRL, so they can change it on a whim like NASCAR, or I would point you to the appropriate link. I got my info from an Indy race engineer’s article and from conversations with others who work in the industry.

I'm not privy to the rulebook, either, but all one has to do is see what the lack of downforce did to Helio's car when his back wing collapsed in Milwaukee to realize that it has a very strong positive effect on traction.

BigJon@Work wrote:Tony Renna’s death was a single-car accident that did not involve any apparent mechanical failure or object to launch the car. He slid, flew, went through the fence and died. Had it been a spectator event, fans would most likely have been casualties as well, because parts went into the grandstands.

All I know about the incident is what I was able to read in various news reports like this one. "Renna's car may have pinched the corner and got into the grass separating the pit lane from the track. That could explain why Renna's car was launched, going from grass to pavement and the air getting under the tub and sending it sailing into the catch fence." and this one. "The report said Renna apparently tried to correct the steering wheel after losing control and the car skipped sideways over the infield grass and became airborne."

BigJon@Work wrote:Of course, but how many of those guys were on teams funded by the speedway? One or two, in most years. Now half the field has some sort of full-season support by the league, which if dropped, would prevent them from running the season. That’s sad.

Auto racing is expensive (I have experience!). It's been a long time since I've seen a major series contendor without plenty of advertising on its side (except for the F1 Hondas, which are doing poorly). I'm not sure what you man by "funded by the speedway" though.

BigJon@Work wrote:Did you notice how many scalpers there were selling race day tickets at or below face value in 2003?

I didn't bother to look, since I had my tickets several months in advance.

BigJon@Work wrote:Tickets for 1972 were sold out a year in advance.

I got mine about two or three months in advance, which I ordered from the speedway. I certainly hadn't planned on going there a year before the race, and I thought I had a decent view of the race (at least turn 4 and the front straight).

BigJon@Work wrote:Tony George and his advisors effed up and stubbornness and arrogance prevent them from going back and trying to repair the damage and reunite North American open wheel racing.

I'm not arguing the overall decline of open wheel racing. I've seen it for decades, even before the split. (Anyone remember Ontario Motor Speedway?).

IMNSHO, it's not necessarily unification that we need (since I really don't see a 30 race season). I have no problem with one set of cars on road courses and another on ovals. I think we need to improve competition by making it easier to pass (most lead changes seem to happen at pit stops and parades are only interesting for five or ten laps), and to make the whole thing cheaper so tickets aren't something you need a mortgage for.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:19 pm

barfle wrote: Great shots.

Yep, he captured some cool scenes.

barfle wrote: NHRA, either.

Speaking of, can you believe how hideous looking the NHRA has permitted the funny cars to become? They have all the grace and proportion of an Alcoa RS3

barfle wrote: I'm not privy to the rulebook, either, but all one has to do is see what the lack of downforce did to Helio's car when his back wing collapsed in Milwaukee to realize that it has a very strong positive effect on traction.

Sorry for the confusion, they only required to run the rear wing leading-edge-up at Indy and Michigan. Everywhere else they are permitted a range of plus or minus 5 degrees.

barfle wrote: All I know about the incident is what I was able to read in various news reports like this one. "Renna's car may have pinched the corner and got into the grass separating the pit lane from the track. That could explain why Renna's car was launched, going from grass to pavement and the air getting under the tub and sending it sailing into the catch fence." and this one. "The report said Renna apparently tried to correct the steering wheel after losing control and the car skipped sideways over the infield grass and became airborne."

And yet hundreds of other design of cars have slid through the grass without getting airborne. There were no dig-in marks. Did you read that a dead bird was found near the scene? It is possible a bird strike distracted or disoriented him before he spun.

barfle wrote: Auto racing is expensive (I have experience!). It's been a long time since I've seen a major series contender without plenty of advertising on its side

Half of the cars in the IRL, (and almost that many in Champ Car) are not getting major sponsorship dollars even if they are running someone’s large banner on their sidepods. Sidepods have become very cheap these days.

barfle wrote: I'm not sure what you man by "funded by the speedway" though.

Literally given cash or equipment by Tony George or companies related to the Hulman George family to start or continue racing. Not loans or leases, gifts, totaling into the millions each year. This does not count the supplements to the track purse that the league provides when ticket sales are low, so that it totals $1 million at each race.

BigJon@Work wrote: (Anyone remember Ontario Motor Speedway?).

Neat place, wish it was still around.

barfle wrote: IMNSHO, it's not necessarily unification that we need (since I really don't see a 30 race season). I have no problem with one set of cars on road courses and another on ovals. I think we need to improve competition by making it easier to pass (most lead changes seem to happen at pit stops and parades are only interesting for five or ten laps), and to make the whole thing cheaper so tickets aren't something you need a mortgage for.

There would never be a 30 race season. The tracks that are supported by series funds would wither and only the tracks that continue to draw paying customers would remain. In the IRL, that would leave Indy, Texas, and a couple of others where the tracks can actually make money. Most of Champ Car’s permanent-track races make money for their owners. None of the street races except Long Beach do.

If they could only agree on a common car formula so the equipment would be portable between the two series, the rest would take care of itself. They were very close to a common formula the year before CART folded. But Tony and his idiot advisors, some of whom had a financial stake in the status quo, pulled the rug out from under it at the last minute. I hope they are all choking on it now, the rat bastiages.

Have you watched a Champ Car race lately? The new DP01 was designed specifically for permitting passing and close racing. The cars can safely run in each other’s wake without radical understeer and slipstream passing is possible once again. It’s a beautiful sight to see!

As for ticket cost, I don’t think you’ll ever see that rolled back.
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Re: The Flying Scott

Postby barfle » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:58 pm

It's been a while since I've posted here. Open-wheel racing is still my favorite spectator sport, but unfortunately it's not due to the competition - it's the noise and spectacle.

We lost Dan Wheldon last year in a freak accident. I had thought that death was no longer part of the equation, but it seems I was wrong about that. I've never seen a race called on account of a casualty before, and although I found it as tragic as anyone did, racers don't stop racing because someone died.

I reviewed part of this thread before I started writing this, as well as noting how open-wheel racing (IndyCar) is doing in the US. The problem is that the cars are under-powered and over tractioned. Any time you can go flat-out around a track, it's not racing. It might be going fast, but that only takes nerve, not skill. I have yet to see the new cars (still a very restrictive formula, with ONE chassis provider) but I'd be surprised if they put on any better competition than the old ones. What needs to be done with the cars is open up the engine specs, get rid of the wings (front and back) and make the tires about half as wide as they are now. Then the cars will take a DRIVER to race, and we'll see some competition. I've been advocating this for years, and some of the IndyCar drivers agree with me, although maybe not with the total extent of the changes. Dario Franchitti has noted that the cars need to be harder to drive, and the changes I've outlined will certainly do that.

"Terminal velocity" is for Bonneville, not Indianapolis. Please bring back the sport I love!
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Re: The Flying Scott

Postby Trumpetmaster » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:33 am

Barfle,
I have watched racing, but far from any serious knowledge on the sport.
I do know that racing around an oval seems pretty simple compared to Grand Prix
where there are multiple left/right turns involving shifting.... etc....

If you make the modifications to the race car you suggest, does
that slow it down and force the driver to use his skill?
How does that work on an oval track. I think it would be
more skillful if they had a non oval ...

Please help me understand this better as there are times I enjoy watching car racing.
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Re: The Flying Scott

Postby barfle » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:02 pm

Each type of racing has its own requirements. The type of racing I did (dirt track TT) required my car to take tight, slow turns most of the time and accellerate out of them as fast as possible, but we also had stretches where the cars hit high speeds.

As I hear other people complain about oval racing being boring, I must agree. There's very little competition on the track, and even at the major events such as the Indy 500, the outcome is determined by pit and fuel strategy far more than by car and driver qualities. That's because the cars don't take much skill to drive. They take a lot of nerve, which is not the same. The cars achieve a top speed and then drive at that speed until they run low on fuel or the tires wear down.

If you make the cars require more driver skill than just turning the wheel and hanging on, the driver will have to slow down, taking as little time and track length as possible (braking hard) to the appropriate speed for the car and the turn. That will separate the skilled drivers from the simply nervy drivers, and it will lead to a far more exciting show for the fans.

Oval tracks have an advantage for spectators that they can see a larger portion of the track than they can on a road course. Most road courses are only about 10% visible to the eyes in the seats. I remember seeing a race at the old Nurburgring, where I saw the cars for about 20 seconds, then waited 15 minutes for them to show up again. Needless to say, most of the action happened where I couldn't see it. On the other hand, I've been to ovals where I could see virtually the entire track, and even at Indy, where there are large grandstands lining the inside of the main straight, you can see the entire front straight and turns 1 and 4 from almost any seat along there. If you're on the outside of a turn, you can see half the track directly. Some places you can see over half the track.

Watching auto racing is a little different from most sports where there are two competitors (or teams) each attempting to outperform only one opponent. In auto racing, much of the interesting action can take place well back of the leading car. It takes a bit of time to sort out where the interesting battles are taking place, but it makes the event much more rewarding.
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Re: The Flying Scott

Postby BigJon » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:34 pm

You wrote this post just to get me ranting didn't you?
barfle wrote:We lost Dan Wheldon last year in a freak accident.

It was not a freak accident, it was utterly predictable accident. When the conditions were laid out for the Las Vegas race, it was explicitly predicted by several knowledgeable folks.

barfle wrote:I had thought that death was no longer part of the equation, but it seems I was wrong about that.

The devastating flights into the catch fence have been around since the abominable Dallara was introduced. All the fatalities in it have involved cars taking flight. And absolutely nothing was done in the rules to prevent it from happening again. The only think freak about it is that there hasn't been more fatalities following flights into the catch fence. Kenny Breck is lucky to be walking after his career-ending flight. Mario Andretti should probably be dead after his testing flight, except that the car landed on its wheels, going in the same general direction as it started. Did you see how long and high Will Power's car was in the air during Dan's accident? Racecars should never, ever do that. Indycar has blood on its hands. The entire league should be de-certified by the FIA and American open-wheel racing handed over to an organization that cares about the safety of its drivers and spectators. I suggest the ALMS.

barfle wrote:I've never seen a race called on account of a casualty before, and although I found it as tragic as anyone did, racers don't stop racing because someone died.

Yes, that was something unique, but given the understandable concern that it could happen again, given the conditions, I think they made the right call.

barfle wrote:I reviewed part of this thread before I started writing this, as well as noting how open-wheel racing (IndyCar) is doing in the US. The problem is that the cars are under-powered and over tractioned. Any time you can go flat-out around a track, it's not racing. It might be going fast, but that only takes nerve, not skill. I have yet to see the new cars (still a very restrictive formula, with ONE chassis provider) but I'd be surprised if they put on any better competition than the old ones.

Have you read the testing reports? The new car is even slower than the old one. Rumor has it that Dallara never intended for the bodywork to be used on ovals, since there was going to be open competition for bodywork. But now the gang that can't shoot straight at 16th and Georgetown decided to shut that down and the Dallara is a dog in a straight line. Oops.

barfle wrote: What needs to be done with the cars is open up the engine specs, get rid of the wings (front and back) and make the tires about half as wide as they are now. Then the cars will take a DRIVER to race, and we'll see some competition. I've been advocating this for years, and some of the IndyCar drivers agree with me, although maybe not with the total extent of the changes. Dario Franchitti has noted that the cars need to be harder to drive, and the changes I've outlined will certainly do that.

"Terminal velocity" is for Bonneville, not Indianapolis. Please bring back the sport I love!

So you'll kill 'em with straight line speed instead of flight. The modern indycar with no wings and more power would probably top 270 MPH down the front straight at Indy. The CART cars were touching 250 at Fontana with speedway wings. Imagine Racin Gardener or Milka Dunno having to manage that much speed in a pack going into turn one at indy. Carnage! The truth is, modern formula racecar engineering has outpaced anything that can safely be put on at a long or high-banked oval. The only ovals that are still safe for them are wide, flat and short. But the Nascarization of North American racing has made sure that those types of ovals do not exist. Sorry, American open wheel needs to get off of every oval but Milwaukee.

Die, Indy, die. Die, IRL, die. Die every head-up-ass owner and official in indycar. Only when you are all dead can we revive the great sport we once had.
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Re: The Flying Scott

Postby barfle » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:02 pm

What was freaky about Dan's wreck was how the fence pole hit his head. Fifteen cars were in that wreck, and fourteen drivers walked away. Dan's situation was freaky.

The overall wreck wasn't freaky. It seems inevitable, which is why I believe the cars need to be changed so they aren't just running at "terminal velocity" within a tenth of a mile per hour of each other. Pack racing was the danger, not the catch fence.

As I understand it (and circumstances could have changed since I last read any reports) the 2012 cars will have spec body work, but there will be choices for 2013. I still don't believe that's enough freedom for the engineers and mechanics.

As far as straight line speed is concerned, if the cars have to brake for the turns, they will be slower on the straights as well. Particularly if the limiting factor is traction. I'm not in favor of men dying in race cars any more than you are.
--I know what I like--
barfle
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