INDYCAR SUSPENDS SAFETY TEAM MEMBER FOR BALTIMORE INCIDENT

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 8, 2011) - INDYCAR announced today that it has suspended a member of its Holmatro Safety Team for two events for not following on-track protocol during the start of the Sept. 4 IZOD IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix.

Start: Will Power, Team Penske and Graham Rahal, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing battle for the lead
Start: Will Power, Team Penske and Graham Rahal, Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing battle for the lead

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The safety team member, whom INDYCAR will not identify, was driving a safety truck when it pulled into Turn 1, narrowly missing the field as it was accelerating after taking the green flag. The truck had been readjusting tire barriers on the pace laps of the event, and was to move to its station between Turns 2 and 4.

"The safety of our drivers, track workers, safety team members and all exposed personnel is always of the utmost importance during any event," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for INDYCAR. "Protocol was not followed at the start of the event and we had to take action by issuing a suspension. This safety team member is one of our most experienced, with more than 20 years working with various safety teams, and unfortunately made an error.

"Over the course of this past week, we have met with all of our team members who operate vehicles on track during competition, reinforcing all of our procedures. We want to make sure we do everything possible to avoid any situation like this in the future."

The safety team member will miss the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series events at Twin Ring Motegi and Kentucky Speedway and will be reinstated for the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.