Danica afraid, should stay home UPDATE #2 Randy Bernard is confident the IZOD IndyCar Series’ final scheduled race at Twin Ring Motegi this weekend will be contested in a safe environment, despite concerns voiced by superstar Danica Patrick over lingering radiation levels and earthquake aftershocks in Japan.
“If I did (have concerns), I wouldn’t be sending everyone,” Bernard said during a teleconference from Indianapolis on Tuesday. “This is a responsibility that I had to take as CEO of INDYCAR, and I think that we did a significant amount of research and evaluation.
“We started with the State Department and made sure that they cleared it. We had Dr. (Terry) Trammell do a thorough investigation on it, and we have also listened to a lot of the response from Motegi and what they have been able to learn. And everything that we have learned has come back the same way –that it’s, that, Motegi is very good.”
09/12/11 Honda hosted a "Takuma Sato Fan Day" at its Japanese headquarters ahead of next weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race on the Motegi road course, and the Japanese driver used the opportunity to refute concerns raised last week by Danica Patrick about the event.
|IndyCar is now going to use the Motegi road course. Is it radiation Danica is afraid of, or is it that Danica the NASCAR driver (Danica Left-turn Patrick) is backmarker when you have to turn left and right on road courses?|
Patrick said on Friday that the decision to race in Japan was unwise, pointing to potential risks from radiation and lingering aftershocks from the March earthquake that devastated parts of the country. However, Sato – who launched a "With you Japan" relief effort for victims following the March quake – says he has no such concerns.
"I have no hesitation to race at Twin Ring Motegi or in Japan. None," Sato declared. "After the tragic events of March 11, 2011, the entire country has come together to rebuild and make the country safe for all its countrymen and visitors. zzzz
"I am proud to race here and I feel no harm will be done by racing at Motegi to myself, other drivers, fans or media. We all thank Honda and IndyCar for their support of the event. Countless hours have been spent to ready the facility to race on the road course and I hope everyone looks forward to a safe and competitive event. I could not be happier to be part of the event with my fellow drivers and IndyCar race teams." More at Racer.com09/12/11 Danica Patrick says she is concerned about traveling to Japan for the Sept. 18 IndyCar race at Twin Ring Motegi.
MotoGP postponed their April race until October because of concerns stemming from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country earlier this year. But IndyCar is going forward with its event and Patrick questioned the wisdom of that decision.
She cited concerns with possible high radiation levels in food and water, and earthquakes that have occurred since the March disaster.
Patrick also said it made little sense to proceed with the race because IndyCar had already compromised by moving from the oval track to the road course, and the series is not planning to return there next season. FOX Sports