Race Car Tech Discuss anything related to road racing and auto X.

Tony Renna killed at Indy 10/22

Old 10-23-03, 07:45 AM
  #1  
Lives on the Forum
15 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
DamonB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Dallas
Posts: 9,617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tony Renna killed at Indy 10/22

27 year old IRL driver Tony Renna wsa killed during a tire test at Indy yesterday. Somehow his car got airborne over the concrete wall and went directly into the catch fence in Turn 3. Apparently the entire car and possibly tub broke up, with large pieces completely penetrating the fence and resting well outside the course. Sounds similar to Brack's crash at TMS a couple weeks ago. Tony was announced dead immediately upon arrival at the hospital

RIP Tony.

Story here.

Seems the last few years we've lost quite a few drivers in every form of motorsport. Are we in a period of bad luck or do we need to make some real fundamental changes?
DamonB is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 09:22 AM
  #2  
Coming to a track near u!
iTrader: (5)
 
RacerJason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,855
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
From the start I always said the IRL was going to claim lives and injuries... Very sad. Too young.
RacerJason is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 09:37 AM
  #3  
Lives on the Forum
15 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
DamonB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Dallas
Posts: 9,617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've always been somewhat anti-IRL too (CART fan) but they do race strictly on ovals so any accident tends to be bad. Even allowing that the percentage of IRL injuries seems to be much too high...

From Robin Miller's column here:

"In 87 IRL races during the past eight years, an astounding 76 drivers have suffered concussions or fractures of the skull, neck, back, pelvis, legs, arms, wrists, ankles, feet, hip and shoulder. And that's not counting the four seriously injured drivers in the IRL Infiniti Pro series in 2002 and 2003.

By comparison, Championship Auto Racing Teams has staged 147 races during this same time frame and only 32 drivers suffered similar injuries. But Jeff Krosnoff, Gonzalo Rodriguez and Greg Moore were also killed in CART races, while wrecks at IRL events led to Scott Brayton losing his life at Indianapolis in '96 and Sam Schmidt being paralyzed in an IRL test in 2000."

I had met both Jeff and Greg, Gonzalo I had not. I have met Max Papis numerous times and he told me about losing his friend Greg. It was terrible. My car carries Greg's #99.

Last edited by DamonB; 10-23-03 at 09:39 AM.
DamonB is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 10:18 AM
  #4  
Rotary Freak
5 Year Member
 
cruiser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Slovenia, Europe
Posts: 2,524
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between IRL and CART ?
cruiser is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 10:29 AM
  #5  
Airflow is my life
10 Year Member
 
Rx7carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 6,736
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
RIP. Shame he had to go so young, right after getting his big break too.
Rx7carl is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 10:35 AM
  #6  
Lives on the Forum
15 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
DamonB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Dallas
Posts: 9,617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by cruiser
Excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between IRL and CART ?
Two different open wheel sanctioning bodies. I will leave out the political history and drama and describe the cars:

IRL
Oval tracks only. Open wheeled carbon fiber tubs with NA 3.5L V-8 motors burning methanol. 650+ hp in about 1500 pounds.

CART
Road courses, ovals and street courses. Open wheeled carbon fiber tubs with turboed 2.65L V-8 motors burning methanol. 750+ hp in about 1550 pounds.

The cars look somewhat similar. IMO the IRL cars looks fat and dumpy compared to a CART car. You can easily tell the difference between the two by the IRL car having an air intake over the drivers head and the CART car only the roll hoop.
DamonB is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 12:21 PM
  #7  
Yup, still here
iTrader: (1)
 
Nick86's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 3,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by DamonB
I've always been somewhat anti-IRL too (CART fan) but they do race strictly on ovals so any accident tends to be bad. Even allowing that the percentage of IRL injuries seems to be much too high...
It's not just the tracks - there is a fundamental problem with these cars.

Any disturbance of the airflow over the front of the car seems to cause lift. In no other series does this happen! The aerodynamic properties of an IRL car are flawed, and will continue to produce such accidents until people take a long hard look at these cars and do some redesigning.

All we hear is that Renna was the 67th person killed at IMS, and how the track needs to be safer. Bullshit - the track is safe. Lets look at how a car can launch its self in the air!

Greg Moore and Gonzalo Rodriguez' death were both attributed to a certain amount of track design - and the tracks were subsequently updated. I think it would irresponsable an a disservice to Tony Renna and his family to say that the track was to blame here. If The IRL don't make some fundamental changes to their aero package, we can expect to see more accidents like this.

Kudos to Robin Miller and Nigel Roebuck. They are the only ones who seem to recognize the dangers of the IRL cars - and not just chalk these types of accidents up to "open wheel racing" in general.
Nick86 is offline  
Old 10-23-03, 07:48 PM
  #8  
Eats, Sleeps, Dreams Rotary
10 Year Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Damn shame.

IRL has to do something about this, it's getting out of control! IRL cars run a LOT of downforce so that the corner speeds and straight speeds are very similar. They run in packs sort of like restrictor plate racing in Nascar. As a result the driver's don't have as great an influence over how fast they're going to go as the setup does. Kenny Brack was seriously hurt recently as a result of this. IRL fans love the "wheel to wheel racing", but ultimately I think IRL fans like racing for the thrill like watching bull riding.

Look at the injury rate in CART a few years back when they had a lot of ovals on the schedule. It's not the tracks. CART has traditionally had a relatively large differential between corner and straight speeds. So it's not the inherent danger of driving fast and doing difficult things. People have gotten seriously hurt (Emmo and Blundel being two obvious examles), but overall CART is safer.

Moore's accident would have been pretty difficult to fix, Rodriguez's throttle was stuck. Krosnoff's was the cost of having open wheels.

EDIT: Reading the news on this it doens't sound like it would have mattered what he was driving, the accident was just really bad.

Last edited by Snrub; 10-23-03 at 07:57 PM.
Snrub is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 12:46 AM
  #9  
Coming to a track near u!
iTrader: (5)
 
RacerJason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,855
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Krosnoff (who was a friend of mine) became airborn when Johansson pulled over without checking his mirrors. Jeff knew that it was going ot be a big hit and actually hit the kill switch as he lifted. He was one of the nicest guys I've met in racing.
RacerJason is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 06:59 AM
  #10  
Lives on the Forum
15 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
DamonB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Dallas
Posts: 9,617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I remember Jeff's accident, racerjason. That's why I was immediately scared when Brack went into the fence here at TMS. Once the car started flipping down the fence I thought he would never make it Even after several years I continued to notice bumper stickers about Jeff on the team transporters and teams in the paddock genuinely missing him.

Rodriguez's accident was ugly as was Moore's. Greg wouldn't have survived that if he had been driving a bus.

Blundell hitting the wall when he lost his brakes, wasn't that St. Louis? That one makes me cringe too; it's on the SuperSpeedway dvd. I think I would have died from fright before the car even hit.

Last edited by DamonB; 10-24-03 at 07:01 AM.
DamonB is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 08:00 AM
  #11  
Yup, still here
iTrader: (1)
 
Nick86's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 3,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Snrub
EDIT: Reading the news on this it doens't sound like it would have mattered what he was driving, the accident was just really bad.
The reason that it was a bad accident was because of the car he was driving. Everyone is focussing on the impact and subsequent destruction of the car - but why are we not focussing on the whole mechanism that got him airborne? Because of the high downforce setups, these cars seem to be very unstable when something hurts the aero balance. How can a car that is alone on a track (travelling forward) suddenly shoot 20 feet in the air? That's why the accinent was so big.

I remember watching Kenny Brack in CART get squeezed into the outside wall at Michigan. He and the other driver slid the whole length of the back straight at 200mph. The nose of Kenny's car had no wings or right front wheel - and it was sticking 5 feet into the air. Even then the car stayed on the ground. It's hard to get a champcar airborne - not so with the IRL machine.

As you guys pointed out - Rodriguez' throttle stuck, but it was widely believed that the configuration of the barriers at the top of the corkscrew had played a role in it being a fatal accident. I was there the previous year, and the following year, and the reconfiguration of the barriers there were extensive. The same could be said about Moore's accident. While noone could have survived that accident - had the infield not been grass, it wouldn't have been a bad accident at all. While I don't pretend to have the same personal relationship with the drivers as some of you guys, I have met most of them. Out of these 4, Greg was the only one I ever spent any time with. For years my father and I were guests of players, and had many meals and laughs with Greg and his Dad. We were at Fontana the previous year, and the following year. We were supposed to go in '99, but didn't end up going.

I believe Blundell accident was in Rio - but I could be wrong. That one makes me cringe as well. There have been so many accidents that people wouldn't have survived 20 years ago, but now walk away from. I'm just afraid that the IRL cars are heading back to the era where accidents such as Renna's and Brack's are commonplace, and we never know if they will survive.

Let's hope that some people realize the dangers, and start the migration back to CART.
Nick86 is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 10:23 AM
  #12  
Lives on the Forum
15 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
DamonB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Dallas
Posts: 9,617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Nick86
While I don't pretend to have the same personal relationship with the drivers as some of you guys, I have met most of them.
I couldn't say any of these drivers know who I am, but each of them was kind enough to spend some time speaking with me. Some of the truly nicest guys of the drivers I have met were Moore, Brack, Papis, Rahal, Moreno and John Force.

The IRL cars are flat bottom, no? If they are flat bottom then once all the downforce from the wings are gone it's quite easy to "fly". All the car has to do is get sideways to take the downforce out of the wings.
DamonB is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 10:31 AM
  #13  
Coming to a track near u!
iTrader: (5)
 
RacerJason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,855
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Nick Nick Nick... I'm not pretending. I am friendly with some of the drivers. Jeff and I hit it off in Cleveland so it was a short lived friendship unfortunately. Do you want me to post pics of my credentials from the last nine years in CART? Or perhaps the dozen or so personally autographed visors I've received from drivers? Anyhow. this is about the tragedy. I'm thinking the sidepods on the IRL cars are HUGE just for billboard purposes. Those cars are pigs and inherently dangerous.
RacerJason is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 10:32 AM
  #14  
Coming to a track near u!
iTrader: (5)
 
RacerJason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,855
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Blundell was in Rio.
RacerJason is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 10:54 AM
  #15  
Yup, still here
iTrader: (1)
 
Nick86's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 3,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by racerjason
Nick Nick Nick... I'm not pretending. I am friendly with some of the drivers. Jeff and I hit it off in Cleveland so it was a short lived friendship unfortunately. Do you want me to post pics of my credentials from the last nine years in CART? Or perhaps the dozen or so personally autographed visors I've received from drivers?
Don't get me wrong Jason - I wasn't questioning anyone here. I guess my wording was wrong. What I was trying to say was that I was just an onlooker compared to you guys. I was trying to convey that I could not say that I was as personally involved as you guys were. Not that you guys were pretending, rather that I would be pretending if I claimed to know the drivers as well as you. Does that make sense?

I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the "Rolling Billboards", or the fact that they are inherantly dangerous. Like DamonB said, as soon as the air gets off the wings, the car just lifts. Andretti's car lost a front wing when it hit Brack's debris, Brack's car lost a wing on Schekter's rear wheel, and I'll bet that Renna's car either dammaged a wing going too low in the corner, or he got sideways and just lost all downforce.

These accidents are closer to Unlimited Hydroplane racing that they are to Car Racing.

DamonB - I met John Force in Joliette Il last year. What a character! What you see on TV is exactly what you get. He was always smiling, and had time for everyone there.
Nick86 is offline  
Old 10-24-03, 06:58 PM
  #16  
Eats, Sleeps, Dreams Rotary
10 Year Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Without seeing the accident it's hard to blame the aero of IRL cars. However, I agree they have aero problems. I didn't realize they were flat bottom, I thought they had an undertray just like CART.

Jason: If this is what it will take to get you to post all of your credentials, I will say it: I don't believe you.
Snrub is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
demetlaw
3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002)
6
10-02-15 06:22 PM
RedBaronII
3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002)
4
09-20-15 11:29 AM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Tony Renna killed at Indy 10/22


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: