The IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series is the second major motorsports series to implement new – or strengthen enforcement of existing – rules on drivers leaving their cars after on-track incidents.
TUDOR is following NASCAR’s lead, which reaffirmed and strengthened its existing rules after the Aug. 9 tragic incident that claimed the life of Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car race in upstate New York.
Ward had been involved in a wreck with NASCAR star Tony Stewart, exited his car and came down the track, where he was accidentally struck by Stewart’s car and suffered fatal injuries.
The TUDOR series is now mandating that drivers remain in their cars until safety crews arrive on-scene. The only exception to that is if “personal safety is at risk,” such as fire or the threat of additional vehicles piling into the original wreck.
IMSA’s new Rule 48.5.1 officially states:
DISABLED CARS. During an Event, if a Car is involved in an incident and/or is stopped on or near the Racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the Car (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.), the Driver should take the following steps as a Full Course Yellow is declared:
- Communicate the condition of the Driver and Car to Officials where possible;
- Shut off electrical power;
- Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any Driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by Officials;
- After being directed to exit the Car, Driver should proceed as directed by Officials;
- A Driver must not approach any portion of the Racing surface; A Driver must not approach another moving vehicle.
48.5.2. DRIVER EGRESS.
A Driver exiting a Car stopped in a location away from the Racing surface should first communicate the condition of the Driver and Car to Officials where possible, shut off electrical power, and only move directly to a protected location behind a wall, other barrier, or as directed, and must not approach the Racing surface or other moving vehicles.
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