Drivers positive after discussions on safety
25 October 2011 – IndyCar Series officials and drivers met on Monday in order to discuss the future of the sport in terms of safety measures, following the tragic death of Dan Wheldon in the Las Vegas season finale. The 33-year-old was killed when his Sam Schmidt Motorsport car was launched airborne and into catch fencing cockpit-first.
The meetings are being led by Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan – both very close friends of the deceased Wheldon – plus English compatriot Justin Wilson.
“We all got to talk a lot, listen a lot and just look at, going forward, how do we improve things in all areas,” explained Franchitti, whose fourth championship title was confirmed on the day of Wheldon’s death. "I think it was a very positive and productive meeting and that is the first step today.
“There's still a lot of heavy hearts but everybody is very positive and everybody had ideas. We're all on the same page, we're all trying to improve things. It obviously was a massive shock what happened to Dan last week and we saw with MotoGP as well that racing is a dangerous business (with Marco Simoncelli also losing his life in an accident). We're trying to make it as safe as possible - that's always been the goal.”
The meeting also received positive feedback from the aforementioned Kanaan.
“We're heading in the right direction,” said the 2004 Champion. “It’s not something that is being done because something has happened now. We set the standards. We're just trying to make it better. What people have to understand is that we're not going to make motor racing 100 percent safe - that's a fact. We're the lab and hopefully we can make it better, safer, but we'll never make it 100 percent safe.”
Dan Wheldon charity auction