Cotman on IndyCar catch fencing and the Houston crash In this Racer.com article Tony Cotman discusses catch fences and the issues around making them safe for the race fans without obstructing their view.
“To be able to retain a vehicle at that speed is bloody hard, I don't care what kind of a fence you have,” said Tony Cotman, the former Indy car team manager and Champ Car chief steward who now makes his living designing and building racetracks while also assisting with the new Indy Lights program.
“The chassis did a fantastic job of protecting Dario. Did the fence do a good job? Without question. But while the car stayed within the confines of the racetrack, it's not perfect.”
“Before people jump to conclusions on either side, all the data from the crash needs to be reviewed and evaluated,” said Cotman, who also serves on the FIA's circuit committee. “There's always been continuous evaluation, testing and upgrades to fencing. Each track continues to do so.”
“But we've come a long way since Jeff Krosnoff's accident.”
“There's never going to be a 100 percent guarantee you can stop cars from leaving the ground,” said Cotman, who also led the ICONIC panel for IndyCar and helped map out the Dallara DW12. “Those wheel guards don't work on every occasion but they've prevented some crashes and reduced cut tires, particularly on some of the oval incidents.
“You try and make the tracks and cars as safe as possible for the fans and drivers but the reality is that it's still a dangerous sport.”
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