CART crash-test aids 2005 specification

Championship Auto Racing Teams in Indianapolis is analysing the results of a chassis crash-test it undertook last month in association with safety technology specialist IMMI, at America's Center for Advanced Product Evaluation in Carmel, IN. CART is evaluating new ideas for restraint systems, as well as methods of monitoring the forces induced on drivers during impacts, with a view to incorporating them in its chassis specifications for 2005

CART crash-test aids 2005 specification

"We're aware of the dangers that drivers face and we're doing all we can to protect the driver in an accident," said CART's director of technology, Lee Dykstra. "We're working on the design of the 2005 chassis and we intend to make every effort to ensure that our cars are as safe on they can possibly be."

The test took place with a 2001 Reynard chassis, which was delivered into a fixed barrier at 50mph with a 90deg angle of impact. In addition to the standard 'ADR II' crash-data recorder, the car was equipped with monitoring devices in the footwell and on the brake pedals, and the 170lb dummy in the cockpit was also fitted with an earpiece accelerometer measuring the forces on the head. The earpiece device was developed by CART medical director Dr Steve Olvey, and has been used in races this season. The dummy was also fitted with experimental driver-restraint devices, testing a new belt system designed to work with the 'HANS' device to provide a better, more comfortable fit for drivers.

"The car held up well in the test and the chassis did everything that it was designed to do during the impact," Dykstra said. "We didn't see anything that surprised us and the data that we gathered, especially in the area surrounding the driver's lower extremities, should help us as we move forward in designing and building a safer car in 2005."

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