IndyCar will get help with its investigation of the crash that killed two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
IndyCar says Formula One's governing body, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), and the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States, an umbrella organization of auto racing sanctioning bodies in the United States, will assist in a full investigation of the crash.
The series made the announcement Tuesday, saying the safety of our drivers, their crews, IndyCar staff, racetrack staff and spectators is always our paramount concern.
After the tragic death of Wheldon on Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, IndyCar and the Speedway decided to go through with an investigation of the racetrack to see just how safe it was and just how safe it can be.
Wheldon, 33, was killed in a fiery 15-car crash during Sunday's season-ending race, the Las Vegas Indy 300, on turn two of the 11th lap. He was airlifted to Las Vegas' University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Drivers J.R. Hildebrand and Pippa Mann were also injured but only stayed at the hospital overnight before being released. Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy said Wheldon died from blunt trauma to the head.
The Las Vegas Speedway is a mile shorter than the Indy 500 track, meaning that drivers are turning for almost the entire race. The course is also rather narrow, meaning that the drivers were riding three and four abreast. On Sunday, there were 34 cars racing, which was more than were racing at this year's Indy 500, which Wheldon won.
Additionally, the track is often used for NASCAR races, which are generally slower than the open-wheel car races of the Indy series. The Formula 1-style cars reach top speeds of nearly 230 miles per hour, compared to NASCAR's 190 miles per hour. Jimmie Johnson, one of NASCAR's top drivers spoke out recently about safety concerns Indy should have and articulated that racing on ovals should become restricted.
Las Vegas Speedway President Chris Powell defended the run though, after watching the replay.
We as a speedway make sure we provide a venue that they come in and make an assessment when they're ready to race -- and they did that exact thing, Powell said Monday, according to ABC News. Our speedway conforms to every regulation that any sanctioning body has ever held it to, and we're very proud of that.
IndyCar says it hopes to have preliminary findings in the investigation within several weeks.