What’s with all the IndyCar crashes?

May 19, 2015

In a span of six days, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has had four heavy car crashes, with the fourth happening on Monday (May 18) and involving Canada’s James Hinchcliffe.

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, hits the wall in the third turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Monday, May 18, 2015.  (Jimmy Dawson/The Indianapolis Star via AP) ORG XMIT: ININS101

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, hits the wall in the third turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Monday, May 18, 2015. (Jimmy Dawson/The Indianapolis Star via AP) ORG XMIT: ININS101

The problem with most of these crashes was that the cars were lifted into the air.

A race car doesn’t normally take flight in crashes. In the case of Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Ed Carpenter recently, flight occurred after the car had crashed and spun backwards.

An IndyCar vehicle moving in forward motion creates enormous amounts of downforce and most of that downforce is generated by the bottom of the race car. It is designed like an upside down airplane wing, so wind flows from the front and out of the back of the car it sucks the car to the race track.

One of the other big problems is that IndyCar didn’t test their new aerodynamic body kits enough before going to Indy – and that’s a major problem.

IndyCar is one of the leaders in driver safety and they’ll be working night and day to sort all of this out before the 500.

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