As the motor racing world feels the pain of Dan Wheldon’s passing during the 2011 IZOD IndyCar finale in Las Vegas, calm reflection must be a priority.
The crash, triggered on lap eleven of a two-hundred lap event, saw fifteen cars involved, as one bounced into another, spewing carbon fibre debris across the circuit.
Several cars caught fire momentarily until the flame flash blew over; however the more serious incidents occurred to Will Power – and Dan Wheldon, both of whom became airborne.
Whereas Power, his Penske Dallara chassis destroyed, came to rest, Wheldon’s continued top side up into the catch fencing, clawing off the rollover hoop, before spitting the Sam Schmidt machine back to the floor. It would be enough to kill the 33-year-old.
Any investigation must be both respectful and sensible, as any ill-advised or rash alterations may introduce dangerous consequences further afield. Thankfully, the new car may address a number of the safety limitations that the current Dallara possesses, but that is still too late for Wheldon.
Until this accident is fully and properly investigated, we have absolutely no idea of the forces that tore through Wheldon’s car and it would be grossly irresponsible at this stage to claim that various safety features may have saved him.
We must come to expect several numerous self-proclaimed experts ramble on about the dangers of motorsport and what / who / where should be banned over the next few days.
Unfortunate knee-jerk reactions may see the mainstream media go into overdrive, until eventually they find something else to froth over.
They are headline seekers; they will not find the solution, nor will they try too hard to look.
The sad truth is motorsport is a very dangerous occupation. Those within do not take the margins lightly, but sometimes – sadly – accidents do happen and when they do, the consequences can be tragic.
When one takes into account the circuit, this form of car, the speed and the number of competitors involved, then one can easily see how this accident may have been amplified; however that is not to say it would not have happened.
All of these are simply maybe’s and probable’s – none of which will bring Dan back.
Let us not fall into the trap of placing blame or vilifying drivers for any part in this tragic accident, because it is just that – an accident.
As noted previously, my thoughts are with Dan’s family, friends and colleagues. Let’s hope the series takes action to prevent this from happening again.
With little to do this afternoon, I found myself flicking through my iTunes collection, before chancing upon Myaskosky’s 27th Symphony in C Minor as performed by Evgeny Svetlanov and the State Academic Orchestra.
It’s been a while I since I last sat back and really listened to it, but today, this just felt right. I hope you enjoy it too.