Drivers concerned by Sonoma crash
|By Jeff Olson||Sunday, August 23rd 2009, 06:40 GMT|
IndyCar Series drivers have called for lessons to be learned from the Sonoma practice accident that left both Will Power and Nelson Philippe injured yesterday.
Power was kept overnight at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with two broken vertebra and a concussion. Philippe was being treated for a compound fracture of his left leg and was also concussed.
Philippe had spun and stopped sideways on the racing line at Turn 3A. HVM driver EJ Viso then crested the hill and clipped the nose of Philippe's Conquest car. Seconds later, Power (Penske) came over the brow at speed and slammed into the side of Philippe's Dallara.
The accident brought questions about safety at Turn 3A, a blind right-hander at the crest of a hill. A flag marshal can be seen in the video replay, but track and IndyCar officials said it was not clear if the warning lights before the turn were illuminated.
Power's Penske team-mate Ryan Briscoe said the accident should be taken as a warning.
"I think we need to look at the safety over here and what can be done differently with spotting or whatever," Briscoe said. "Turn 3 is a dangerous corner."
Viso agreed, adding that he had no chance of missing Philippe's stranded car as the incident unfolded.
"It's a very fast and tough corner, and it's blind, too," said Viso, who was uninjured. "I came over the hill and just saw something green. I knew it was Nelson, but I was going through so fast. I just went to avoid him, but it's so tough. I didn't see much by the time I had to try and avoid the car."