Three big crashes in Indianapolis 500 practice this week have raised one big question. Are the new oval aero kits, along with speeds that have topped 230 mph, the cause?
Just a day after Brazil’s Helio Castroneves walked away from a scary crash at the Indianapolis Speedway that saw him flip upside-down, Newgarden suffered an even heavier crash that sparked fears for the drivers’ safety.
The accident happened at the same corner as Castroneves’ accident and saw Newgarden lose control before spearing towards the outside concrete wall. Englishwoman Pippa Mann suffered a crash on Wednesday, although she blamed herself rather than the new aero kit that has been introduced this season.
“I’m still trying to gather my thoughts from it,” said Newgarden, who was checked over at the Indianapolis medical centre before being released. “It definitely surprised me. Just lucky that everything’s good and the Dallara tub held up pretty well.
I don’t know what to think of it. We were just going out there for a run and it was a pretty crazy hit,” Newgarden added. “I don’t think there’s any concern right now but I haven’t even talked to my guys yet, so I’m not sure.”
“I was pretty impressed by the hit, it was a hard hit. I feel fine. I hit my hand a little bit and I think I got a bruise, but other than that, I’m fine. We make these cars as safe as we can … I feel very safe in them. We’re always looking for more, but i think they’re about as safe as we can make them right now.”
Chevrolet are looking into whether the new aero kits are to blame for the recent accidents ahead of Sunday’s qualifying session. The new designs coupled with speeds exceeding 230mph mean that drivers are at high risk whenever their cars appear to spin through 180-degrees, with the wind able to get under the rear-wing and lift the vehicle into the air.