October 17, 2011
Wheldon crash called 'involuntary homicide'
By QMI Agency
MONTREAL - Auto racing analyst and columnist Bertrand Godin didn't mince words in describing the accident in Las Vegas that killed driver Dan Wheldon during the final IndyCar race of the year Sunday.
"It's involuntary homicide," Godin said Monday in an interview on French-language network TVA.
The crash, which involved 15 cars on the 12th lap of the race, should have been anticipated for many reasons, Godin said.
Godin said that 34 cars is "way too much" for this type of high-speed oval circuit. The Vegas track is 1 1/2 miles; by comparison the Indianapolis 500 is 2 1/2 miles, increasing the odds of separation between cars.
Godin said this was the last IndyCar race in which the current carbon-fibre chassis would be used. "You could break them into a thousand pieces, no problem," he said.
The enormous $5-million prize added to the danger, he said. The aggressive driving witnessed on the 12th lap Sunday normally wouldn't be seen until the last few laps of a race.
"What shocks me is that, for the whole season, the drivers tried to bring forward their opinions on the safety plans but they were never listened to, like in Indianapolis, where they asked not to start the race with cars lined up two wide," Godin said.