“The safety crew should be ashamed of themselves,” said Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Principal. “That was a scary moment and we are glad she is alright.”

Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds principal, added: “I am completely speechless on what transpired after our car hit the wall. I am just glad Simona is okay despite that circus we saw.”

Simona’s engineer Michael Cannon (who you can see in the video) looks to be spewing an unprintable tirade

HVM criticises safety crew over fire

Nobody can blame Simona for not doing more to get out of the car faster. She can be seen removing the steering wheel and restraints before the so called safety team even arrived! Also you have to lift yourself out of the car with your hands placed on the sidepod but in this case the sidepod is on fire. You can see her place her own hand directly in the fire trying to get out. If they had actually sprayed the correct side of the car there might not have been a fire there.

Most folks here know this , but just to be clear, NONE of the CART/CC safety Team members, including Dr’s Pinderski and Timms, were offered jobs by the IRL.

The IRL had it’s own IRL safety team and those are the folks that have recently been sponsored by Holmatro, who supplies the extrication tools.

The CART/CC safety team was NOT part of the merger. In fact, they were given a farewell/thanks party by the CARA folks who recognized them for setting the standard in motor-sport safety. The IRL has always had it’s own safety team and they adopted none of the personnel from the CART/CC program. The IRL did obtain the Med Center from CC but has never used it. It was included so there would be some tangible asset to make the whole transaction appear more legitimate. It is a very nice but aging facility, and was used as the base of operations for the CART/CC medical/safety staff. But as nice as it was, it was just a place for them to work.
( The CART/CC medical staff provided care to ALL hard card participants – the IRL uses the individual race track medical facility, and does not provide at-track care for the series participants. )

The real key to the program was the PEOPLE and the experience that they brought to the racetrack. The pool of 20 team members were EACH trained as certified paramedics AND firefighters. The team performed daily equipment checks – including the hose and pumps- and had weekend in-services and training sessions with extrication drills. They practiced and worked as a team, and had the resources to do so. Even the two ChampCar docs, Pinderski and Timms, worked as safety guys on track and practiced as part of the safety team. The “Extricator/SpineBinder” spine immobilizer used from 1994 thru the end of CC is designed and built by Dr Timms, and refined at the racetrack thru the years by the safety team. At the end of CC the average safety team member had 11 years of experience on the CART/CC safety team.

The CART/CC safety team had the support of the series management, which not only paid to have them at each event but maintained a “safety first” operational directive in race control, that started with Wally Dallenbach. The safety team worked hard to make the races safe on track and in the paddock and deal with on and off track issues effectively to help the races run smoothly and avoid long yellows, or yellow flag finishes.

It is much easier to practice extrication at the track than it is to practice firefighting. Fortunately fire has been a relatively rare event at the track. The approach to a crash scene always should include the possibility of fire and the ability to control it. I do not know the conditions in which the IRL team operates but can only suggest that the folks involved did not appear to be properly prepared in terms of training and/or familiarity with the equipment at hand. I am quite sure that they are as critical of themselves and of the response as those who have commented. I hope they are able to re-assess the program and get the series support they need to improve upon this weekend’s response. I know who they can call..



The seven drivers that “came over” to Indy from the 2007 ChampCar series sometimes refer to themselves as the “refugees.” Off the record, they’ll confide that the Indy’s standard race car, the Italian-build Dallara with its Honda engine, is a slower, inferior racing vehicle compared to the model and engines used by ChampCar.

In fact, the fastest Atlantic Series drivers would give the slowest Indy cars a real run for their money.

The good news is that except for some burns on her hand Simona is A-OK. The bad news is that the IZOD IndyCar Series has a giant black eye that no PR spin can repair.

I’m sure all the parties feel terrible about what happened.

I’m also sure that there will be an attempt at damage control.

What pisses me off is that the only way to reduce the sting is for the IZOD IndyCar Series to step front and center and admit without any reservations that they BLEW IT!

Think that will happen? Not in today’s world.


This is what a great safety team looks like:

Whereis Lon Bromley ?

Posted by Max Papis

Watching Indy Texas just got really upset for @simdesilvestro spending 10 second while car was burning need to do better than that @indycar
Old CART safety team would have done better this is unacceptable really upset for @simdesilvestro accident

Robin, Miller
saying that they looked like the Keystone Cops out there, (on wind tunnel and Speed report)


You know what’s obvious from this?

1. Miller wasn’t at the race.
2. Miller didn’t see the incident. His info comes from eyewitnesses and he talked about a TMS firetruck that he thought had responded, which anyone who saw the incident even on tape, knew didn’t happen.

He starts off talking about Simona, but then he brings up the safety team.

“Simona’s situation aside, we need to recognize Wally Dallenbach, who launched CART’s safety team over 30 years ago, the rapid response and care of drivers in open wheel is without peer in motorsports. Alex Zanardi’s life was saved, on the track in Germany in 2001, by Dr. Terry Trammell and CART’s rescue squad stands as the benchmark.

The Holmatro safety team in IndyCar has carried on that tradition and usually responds to any situation with the urgency, protection and professionalism required.

But last Saturday night was unacceptable.

According to eyewitnesses, the first IndyCar worker on the scene of Simona de Silvestro’s blazing car had a kink in his hose and the pump on his truck wasn’t strong enough to drive the water through that kink.

The second person didn’t get the pin out of the extinguisher and there was a delay until he realized that but he damaged the handle while pulling it out, which caused flow problems.

With the fire spreading and no fire bottles properly operating, Indy native Mike Yates finally had the good sense to grab Simona and yank her out of the car.

I reported on WIND TUNNEL last Sunday night that there was also a Texas Motor Speedway crew involved but that was incorrect. The TMS fire truck in Turn 3, just a few yards from de Silvestro’s flaming car, was NEVER called to respond. Instead, IndyCar dispatched one crew from Turn 4 and another from Turn 1 (which eventually put out the fire).
Everyone is entitled to an off night or a mistake but, in this case, a lot of things went bad in a short amount of time.

“Everything went backwards,” commented de Silvestro, who seemed to be much calmer than the people trying to rescue her.

Fortunately, she escaped serious injury but it should be a wakeup call to all involved.

Extraction from IRL cars



I viewed some CART and Champ Car videos by comparison, and, well… there was NO comparison. For example:


No one should downplay Simona’s injuries either. Burns are serious business and her burns are on her palm which she needs for driving. Burns take time to heal and need therapy.

info- “Burns are not static and may mature. Over a few hours a first degree burn may involve deeper structures and become second degree. Think of a sunburn that blisters the next day. Similarly, second degree burns may evolve into third degree burns.

Regardless of the type of burn, inflammation and fluid accumulation in and around the wound occur. Moreover, it should be noted that the skin is the body’s first defense against infection by microorganisms. A burn is also a break in the skin, and the risk of infection exists both at the site of the injury and potentially throughout the body.

Only the epidermis has the ability to regenerate itself. Burns that extend deeper may cause permanent injury and scarring and not allow the skin in that area to return to normal function.

Burns to areas of the body with flexion creases, like the palm of the hand, the back of the knee, the face, and the groin may need specialized care. As the burn matures, the skin may scar and shorten, preventing full range of motion of the body area.”

It would be interesting to hear how she’s doing today.

The old CCWS/CART Simple Green trucks had a similar arrangement of on-board extinguishing agent, pump, and hose, the key difference being that said hose was hard jacketed and on a reel and not flat and folded as it is on the IRL rigs. This allows the H2O to flow without restriction regardless of how much hose has been pulled (and it won’t kink, either).

Of course, a Ridgeline doesn’t have as much cargo volume as a F150 does, so this may be a moot point (and when your #1 sponsor is Honda, that’s what you get to work with…).

I hope that their safety guys give some serious thought to a redesign of the hose lay on their trucks. IMHO, the action that caused the “monkey+football” situation to occur was that it seems the the guy with the hose line didn’t get it cleared completely of the storage compartment or remove all of the folds from what WAS out before the truck captain started the pump and charged the line. If a fold or some small length of the line was still inside of the truck body, pressure in the hose would cause a kink and choke off the flow of extinguishing agent.


Here is an article on the dangers of ethanol fires.

Unlike methanol, which burns with an invisible flame and could be put out with water, ethanol requires special firefighting foam to put it out.

NOT Ethanol fire

is it for “teh show’ ?

switched to ethanol because of back room Apex Brazil
sponsorship deal tied in with crap Sao Paulo FIRL race.
deal brokered by Terry the carpetbagger Angsted, no
surprise there, sure safety never entered the equation

IRL statement

First and foremost, we make the safety of our competitors a priority when on the track. The primary hose on the series’ safety truck malfunctioned, so the safety team had to go to the backup of the bottles. All equipment is checked prior to going on track before every race. We are examining why the hose malfunctioned to ensure this equipment failure will not happen again.Our Safety Team consists of approximately 24 highly-trained safety personnel with a minimum of 14 attending each event – 2 trauma physicians, 3 paramedics and 9 firefighters/EMTs. Team members have an average of 20 years of experience in their respective areas. The safety team is recognized for its high standards and high performance and this problem will be addressed.

DE SILVESTRO: The Torch Club
Written by: Simona De Silvestro
Date: 06/09/2010 – 02:38 AM
Location:Texas Motor Speedway is a very different track than the previous two ovals I have raced on, and that was more than apparent when I saw it for the first time. I traveled down with the team and got here on Thursday. I managed to watch last year’s race and the track looked edgy, with a lot of side by side action; could be fun!

In the evening, I had an event in downtown Dallas that one of my sponsors, Bernard Richards Manufacture (BRM), had organized with Neiman Marcus. We presented the Two By Two (AIDS Foundation) organization with one my limited edition watches for their upcoming auction. It was our contribution to them. They are a fantastic group and I was glad to help in a very small way.

There was a fair bit of lifestyle and fashion media, so I had to do some interviews from a different perspective; that was cool. I got to meet some interesting people and everybody was really nice to me.

The next day, when I got to the track, I was amazed at how much banking the track had. It almost looks like you are turning into a wall. My first practice was not bad, but we had a lot of things to try out in just an hour of running. I wish we could have tested here before because it would have really helped us. We were working on a car for the race and it did feel pretty good in traffic.

Qualifying was a different story as we were missing a bit of speed because we worked the whole first session in traffic, so we had to start from the back in the race. I was pretty confident that we could go forward during the race because I was starting to get pretty comfortable with running the high line and running in traffic. I am slowly starting to get a feel for running on the ovals. After qualifying, we had a practice late in the day to try and get used to conditions for the night race. We were fairly happy with that session. I had never driven that late in the evening, and that was a new experience.

The next day I was able to sleep in. It’s so strange to be able to sleep in on a race day; first time for me. I did not know what to do with all this newfound free time, so we went downtown Dallas for some sightseeing. I really like Dallas, it is a beautiful city. So after a couple of hours I went back to the hotel for a quick nap and then it was time to head to the track. I got to the track and had a quick debate about what visor to wear; it’s all new for me and the decision was to go with a clear visor. Here we are at the start of the race, starting in the back, and I didn’t quite like it. I told my team that we should make sure that this is the one and only time, ha ha!

The start was pretty good; the car was a bit loose, but we were moving towards the front. Passing people on the inside and outside; oval racing is a blast!!! First pit stop came and I was a bit long in my box, but luckily did not lose that much time, thanks to my team. We were closing up to Tagliani after I had moved up some positions. The car is getting looser, but I was holding on. I had made the car stiff on the rear to tried and curb my understeer but this might not have been the best situation to be in. We knew that I had to nurture the car to the next pit stop so I was just trying to make it. I had a few catches and then came the big one. They say on the ovals there are those racers who have crashed and those racers that are going to crash; I guess it was my time.

I hit the bump in turn 2 and the rear got loose and bang I was in the wall. Then it felt like forever for the car to stop and I saw a bit of fire. I pushed the extinguisher button but continued to see the flames. When I finally got to a stop, the fire got bigger and bigger and I knew it was time to get out of the car. The safety crew came up to my car and everything seemed like it was in slow motion. One of the Safety Crew members jumped in and tried to help me get out; it took a while to get out and the fire was burning badly. I really appreciated the efforts of all the Safety Crew members and specifically Mike, who helped get me out and in doing so apparently suffered burns himself (Hope you get well soon Mike). Once out I was taken to the track’s care center.

I was alright, except for the hand; it felt like it was on fire. They took good care of me and put it on ice and put some strange cream on it, and that was very painful. My Dad in the meantime ran all the way from the grandstand and I think he needed more medicine than I did. I love you Dad!

It was all a bit scary and I was lucky to be ok. Everything was burned; my suit, my helmet, and my car were all in bad shape. It’s a shame that my first one had to turn into a fire ball. I’m sad for my team and we now have to work very hard to bounce back from this unfortunate situation.

TK (Tony Kanaan) has informed me that I have now been inducted into “The Torch Club”. This one is certainly the least favorite of any my memberships and I hope to never experience this again. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers for my well-being and support of my team. We really appreciate it!


In 2010 Simona De Silvestro makes her debut in the IZOD IndyCar Series aboard the # 78 Stargate Resistance entry as part of the Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing entry. Prior to that she stunned the North American open-wheel world in 2009. De Silvestro won 4 races In dominant fashion. In addition to her wins she also earned 4 pole positions, and an extraordinary 9 podium finishes in the 2009 Atlantic Championship Season. Her success was not only impressive but it was also record breaking.

De Silvestro, who is often referred as “the Swiss Miss” because of her Swiss upbringing, was the first woman is series history to have earned the most wins, pole positions, and led the most laps all in a single season. At the end of the season De Silvestro also had an extraordinary 9 podium finishes in the season. The results of her effort led to her finishing the season in 3rd place, proving to observers that she is on par to becoming open wheel racing’s next shining star.

Learn more about Simona and her team at www.teamstargateworlds.com, http://www.simonadesilvestro.com, and www.hvmracing.com.