RIP Paul Dana

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by AndyR, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

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    #1
    For any fans of motorsport on the board I'm sure you heard of the tragic passing of Paul Dana in warm-up for the IRL at Miami yesterday. Paul hit Ed Carpenters spun car at near full speed and was pronounced dead later that day after being airlifted to hospital.

    Being a driver myself I can appriciate the sacrifies he has made to get this far in his career so its such a shame for it all to be taken away even before his first race on the top step of the ladder.

    My condolances go out to his wife Tonya, his family and all of the Rahal-Letterman Team.

    RIP Paul.
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

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    #3
    I don't follow IRL at all, so I'm not familiar with the drivers, but it's always a sad day when this happens. :(

    Hopefully this will lead to the IRL tightening up their safety standards... U.S. single seat racing seems to experience far too many fatalities in it's series. :(
     
  3. AndyR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

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    #4
    I'm quite familar with them as I've been trying to raise the money to go racing in the Pro Series and then Indycar for many years now.

    Safety standards in IRL are exceptionally high, its just that anytime something doing 200mph hits something doing 0mph straight on is not going to be pretty. Seeing the crash on ESPN was one of the most, if not the most horrendus crash I have ever witnessed.

    Those cars are massivly strong and as drivers we know the risks and unfortunatly thats what they are, risks. Paul was chasing his dream but unfortunatly it turned into a nightmare in the blink of an eye. I feel sorry for his family the most, but I'm sure they understand why he was racing and this would be the only comfort they have at this time. He died trying to acheive his dream and I admire the dedication and sacrifice this takes.

    Its just sad it ended this way.
     
  4. iGav macrumors G3

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    #5
    Nice one fella... ;) one of my biggest regrets was never taking up racing. :(

    Hope you achieve it though. :)

    Wowser... I just saw it on the ESPN website... :eek: horrific accident... under really strange circumstances as well... waved yellows???

    Any info as to why he didn't slow down like the others?
     
  5. AndyR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

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    #6
    The team boss Bobby Rahal said there were no communication problems so looks like it just could have been a simple rookie mistake with a tragic outcome. If he was 1st on the scene you could understand it but he was about 5th and 8 seconds after the crash so why he was a full speed still I guess we will never know. :(
     
  6. asxtb macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I would also like to send my condolences to Paul Dana's family and Letterman-Rahal racing. I would also like to wish Ed Carpenter a quick and full recovery from this experience. Fortunately he had no serious injuries.

    Being an IRL fan for 15+ years it is always hard to see someone's life end so quickly and tragically.
     
  7. asxtb macrumors 6502

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    #8
    As AndyR mentioned. The safety standards for racing (IRL, NASCAR, Formula 1, etc.) are exeptionally high. If they were not, we would most likely be grieving the death of Ed Carpenter as well.
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

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    #9
    From the video on ESPN, it almost looked like his throtte had stuck open, the car the camera was on started slowing... it panned to the left but Dana just kept going. :eek:

    Reminded me a lot of Alonso's accident at Brazil '03. (Villeneuve's in '94 too).

    As I say though... I'm not familiar with the IRL, or it's regs so it's difficult for me to make an informed opinion.

    Sad though... particularly if it was just an error down to inexperience. :(

    Quickly reading some of the comments though... they're quite scathing of Dana, not of him personally, but that he shouldn't have been racing at that level. A little uncalled for so soon after his death if you ask me.

    They could always be higher... as I say I'm not especially informed regarding the IRL (or any U.S. racing series), I do follow F1 religiously and the progress they make yearly is substantial, is the level of progress the same in IRL?
     
  9. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #10
    I wonder if maybe he was just so focused on popping off a fast lap that he missed the yellow lights. Seems like a possible rookie mistake to me. Tragic. Glad that Carpenter was okay. BTW, how did he crash so early into the warm-up :confused:

    I'll be in St. Pete with my boys this weekend. Here's to a safe race weekend :eek:
     
  10. AndyR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

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    #11
    I actually think progress in the USA series such as CART/IRL has been quicker than F1 in terms of safety. There is no way that an F1 would stand upto an impact into a concreate wall like IRL/CART. Look at what happened to Ralf Schumacher at Indy a few years ago. Hit the turn 1 wall at about 150mph and broke bones in his back yet IRL can impact at almost 200mph and the driver can be unhurt. Even so, accidents like Dana's, you just can't cater for as there is just too much energy involved.

    Another example was CART was developing/using the HANS Device years before F1 even looked at it and now it is everywhere. The CART medical team is also one of the best around, you only have to look at how Zanardi survived his massive crash!
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #12
    I haven't seen footage of the crash but watching Zanardi's crash nearly made me throw up.

    I'm looking forward to the WTCC season.




    Nice Sig. by the way iGav.
     
  12. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #13
    IRL is one of the innovators in safety when it comes to auto racing. This is the first series to mandate the total usage of the HANS device and developed the SAFER barrier, which is what partially helped Carpenter survive his initial crash. The problem with IRL and Champ Car (at least when it was CART and still on ovals), as well as NASCAR and any other oval series, is that oval racing promotes faster speeds than road racing. The speeds are much more dangerious than those in F1, and the fact that there are no places in the track where a run-off or sand trap can be built to keep an injured car off the track. The reason why Ralf Schumacher was injured at Indy even though he hit the SAFER barrier is because the F1 teams don't need to develop their cars with as much structural strength as IRL teams do because of their higher speeds.

    It's a great tragedy that Paul Dana died, but the drivers know that this is their life and that this is their passion. A human isn't meant to go 200 MPH, and because they are pushing the limits of their cars and their bodies, they will continually cheat death. That's part of the thrill.
     
  13. iGav macrumors G3

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    #14
    It was my understanding that F1 and IRL cars employ different philosophies as to there abilities to deal with high speed accidents.

    F1 cars being stronger, stiffer structures (hence Schumachers injuries) whereas an IRL car are actually designed to break apart (not the safety cell of course) to help absorb the impact energy of running on ovals.

    Didn't Schumacher actually miss the SAFER barrier though? as the F1 cars run the opposite way around, I'm sure that Indianapolis in 2004 didn't have the SAFER barrier all the way around, and Schumacher was just unlucky in that he impacted the wall just after SAFER barrier ended, hence he ended up hitting unprotected concrete.

    It was an horrific one that's for sure... whether anything could have been done to better protect the driver though is another question that should always be discussed and considered after such an accident.

    I'm probably wrong in this, but I recall reading that IRL use chassis for multiple years? if that is the case, are any significant changes done to the cars to improve their safety after a fatal crash? much in the same way as the sweeping changes (both to car and circuits) to F1 after Imola 1994, the following years cars saw significant changes, especially regarding the cockpit design of the cars.

    3 years is a long time in such a sport.

    It just seems that there has been a lot of fatalities in U.S. single seat racing over the last decade, and not always on ovals.
     
  14. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #15
    I think Schumacher hit the SAFER barrier in the corner at Indy. But considering the speed that the F1 cars take around the two corners (12 and 13?) including the one on the oval, it was a hard hit.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #16
    From what I've seen of IRL, their safety systems are very good, but that was a fatal crash in just about any car I can think of.

    A terrible tragedy.
     
  16. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #17
    I don't know if that crash would've been fatal in a stock car because of the added protection from the car, but it was nasty as you said.
     
  17. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    NASCAR racers are heavier, which means that the car he hit would have also been heavier and made the collision that much worse. NASCAR racers have bettor roll protection, but in this kind of collision I doubt the outcome would have been much better.

    Fortunately for Carpenter his car was not hit in the tub, or we'd probably be talking about a double fatality.
     
  18. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

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    #19
    It sucks to see this, no matter what series of racing you follow. I had a great Saturday at Homestead Miami Speedway, then I heard the bad news on Sunday. :(
     
  19. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #20
    Yes, but you also need to consider that there is a whole lot more in the front of the stock car that would've taken a lot of the force. NASCAR cars have much improved cages, which would've protected the driver who had hit the wall, and the driver who then impacted the disabled car would possibly be safe as he would've been heavily restrained and the majority of the car would've remained intact around him, unlike what happens to Indy cars because they're made to splinter and break like Dana's did.
     
  20. AndyR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

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    #21
    Sidestepping a bit here but I saw another video of the crash last night, on which a second or so before the impact Dana's car runs over a bit of debris from Carpenters crash which collapses his front right wheel and wing. This would explain why he couldn't avoid the accident but doesn't explain why he was still wide open passing cars that were slowing down under yellow. Its starting to look like it was just a tragic rookie mistake :(
     
  21. iGav macrumors G3

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    #22
    I saw that last night too... agree though, it is looking more and more like a mistake than anything else.
     
  22. macpastor macrumors regular

    macpastor

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    #23
    Maybe R. Gordon is right...

    I don't care for Robby Gordon, but what he said Sunday made sense... That is, the speeds of 200 mph or more are not suited for oval tracks like Homestead. He might be right.

    What is sad is that it takes a death to open the eyes of the people who make decisions.

    May Dana's life not end in vain.
     
  23. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #24
    I suspect what also happened was that his spotter had told him that Carpenter was going to continue sliding down the banking and onto the apron, and that he was going to be all clear ahead of him, but Carpenter stopped just short of the apron and Dana either didn't react in time or didn't notice or wasn't told this had happened.
     
  24. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #25
    If there's one guy that you should listen to when it comes to matters like this, it's Robby Gordon. He's been in so many different racing series and has pretty much done it all in terms of American motorsports, he knows what the situation is fairly well and can express an intelligent opinion.

    Another person would be Tony Stewart, but not so much of late as he has decided to become a bit of a senile old man.
     

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