IRL/NASCAR-WCS/SAFETY: Indianapolis Motor Speedway safety innovations

IRL/NASCAR-WCS/SAFETY: Indianapolis Motor Speedway safety innovations

Post by pr.. » Fri, 03 May 2002 09:00:51

Safety improvements and innovations timeline for the Indianapolis Motor

<b>1911:</b> Inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun employs what
is believed to have been the first rear-view mirror on his No. 32 Marmon

<b>1921:</b> The Duesenberg Motor Company team, operated by Fred and
Augie Duesenberg, introduces the use of four-wheel hydraulic brakes.

<b>1925:</b> Front-wheel drive is used at the Speedway for the first
time on a privately owned Miller entry, driven by Dave Lewis and Bennett
Hill, that finishes second.

<b>Early 1930s:</b> Magnetic particle inspection (Magnaflux) of key
safety-related components, such as steering shafts, is implemented.

<b>1933:</b> Oil capacity restricted to 6 gallons; oil can no longer be
added after the race begins.

<b>1935:</b> The first installation of colored warning lights (green and
yellow) completed at the Speedway in time for the 1935 Indianapolis 500.

<b>1935:</b> Helmets are made mandatory, a first for motor racing. They
were not required in European grand prix racing until 1952.

<b>1936:</b> First mandatory driver's test is instituted, requiring that
all new drivers show their skills at various speeds before they are
allowed to practice for the "500."

<b>1936:</b> Inside concrete wall removed and safety aprons substituted.

<b>1938:</b> Pit wall constructed to separate crews' work area from
pit area, thus providing a safer working environment for crews during

<b>1948:</b> New emergency medical center constructed, expanded in 1972,
and still in use today with state-of-the-art trauma center equipment.

<b>1957:</b> Pit area is completely redesigned with safety in mind. A
second wall is added, separating pit lane from the racing surface.

<b>1959:</b> All drivers required to wear fire-retardant uniforms, and
roll bars are required on cars.

<b>1964:</b> New safety cable is installed on outer edge of entire

<b>1965:</b> Only methanol fuel -- which is much less volatile
than gasoline -- is permitted. All cars must be equipped with a
rupture-resistant fuel cell, and on-board fuel capacity is limited to 75
gallons. A minimum of two pit stops is required for each car (increased
to three in 1968 and four in 1972).

<b>1974:</b> Onboard fuel capacity is reduced to a maximum of 40

<b>1979:</b> "Packup" procedure established, whereby the Pace Car enters
the track during cautions to regulate the speed of the field.

<b>1991:</b> Revolutionary energy-absorbing attenuator is added at pit

<b>1993:</b> Crash data recorders, developed by Delphi Automotive
Systems, are placed in cars competing in the Indianapolis 500. This is
the first application of this groundbreaking technology in motorsports.

<b>1993:</b> New outside walls and larger, higher safety fences
installed. New warning strips and warm-up lanes installed.

<b>1998:</b> First version of PEDS Barrier (Polyethylene Energy
Dissipating System) installed inside exit of Turn 4 in time for the 82nd
Indianapolis 500. The wall consists of 5-foot-long, overlapping impact
plates made of polyethylene. Each plate contains two cylinders made of
the same material and measuring 16 inches in diameter.

<b>1999:</b> The second-generation PEDS Barrier, PEDS-2, is installed
inside the exit of Turn 4, replacing the PEDS Barrier. PEDS-2 contains
an additional, smaller, polyethylene cylinder inside the original PEDS
cylinder to add strength to the system.

<b>1999:</b> Debris fence added in North Pits, separating pit lane from
grandstands and enhancing fan safety. Additional debris fence added
south along pit lane in 2001.

<b>2001:</b> Race Control Camera System installed.


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