Airton Dare suffered a rear wing failure on his Dallara chassis during the Chicagoland Indy 300 IRL event. This is the second rear wing failure at an IRL event in recent weeks. Rear wing failures are extremely dangerous. The loss...
Airton Dare suffered a rear wing failure on his Dallara chassis during the Chicagoland Indy 300 IRL event. This is the second rear wing failure at an IRL event in recent weeks.
Rear wing failures are extremely dangerous. The loss of the rear wing greatly reduces rear downforce causing drastic changes in the handling balance of the car and the effectiveness of the rear brakes. Dare was fortunate and avoided damage to his car after the loss of the rear wing.
The car suffered a failure of the wing support pillars. The brackets which connect the wing pillars to the transmission were not broken or visibly damaged.
According to the A.J. Foyt Racing spokesperson, this is not the first failure of the wing supports. "Yes, we've had a few before. The fatigue gets to them. It is just a part of racing."
A race engineer for the Corteco team, which also uses the Dallara chassis, offered this opinion. "You have to watch the mileage (on the rear wing pillars). Cracks will appear. We check for cracks routinely. Everyone will be checking before the next race. You'll see one or two failures a year."
A representative from Dallara Automobili SRL offered an explanation which further clarified the reasons for the wing pillar failure. "They [Foyt Racing] were using the pillars from the 2000 season. We tell them to check the pillars but not all of them do. They have been so reliable. It has taken into the third season of the car to start seeing failures of these parts. Unfortunately this is the second failure in recent weeks. All we can do is remind them to check the parts."
Dallara and team Corteco both believe that the parts are safe if they are checked and replaced at appropriate intervals.
Auto Racing is a demanding sport and, as the Dallara representative stated: "Teams are very busy. They see that these parts are reliable and they don't always check these things."
This Chicagoland incident with Airton Dare may encourage IRL teams who use the Dallara chassis to perform the proper maintenance on their equipment.