Long Beach: A big challenge for brakes

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The streets of Long Beach provide some of the toughest braking conditions the Verizon IndyCar Series will see all year.

On the 1.968-mile street circuit, there’s three deep braking points on the circuit. Courtesy of Brembo, the official brake supplier to the series, here are some interesting brake facts heading into the weekend.

  • At the end of Shoreline Drive, the front straight, cars decelerate from an estimated top speed of 167mph to a corner entry speed of 76mph, covering 332 feet in 2.02 seconds.
  • The next big braking point is entering Turn 6, coming down from 143mph to 70mph, covering 296 feet in 2.01 seconds. Like Turn 1, Turn 6 is a 90-degree left-hander.
  • Then there’s the backstraight. Going into the 90-degree right-hander, Turn 9, speeds decrease from 159mph to 85mph over 1.91 seconds. That corner registers 2.83 G’s.
  • The final braking point, for the Turn 11 hairpin, runs into the tightest corner the series runs all year. Speeds are at 42mph through the corner, if not less.

Racing Safety United aims to reduce the risk of injury to drivers

Racing Safety United
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Racing is an inherently dangerous sport.

The Racing Safety United (RSU) alliance aims to reduce some of that risk with the formation of a multi-discipline advocacy group that includes all major stakeholders of the sport: sanctioning bodies, drivers, track owners and equipment manufacturers – just to name a few of the many businesses that impact a driver’s welfare once they strap into the seat of a racecar.

Originally spearheaded by sports car driver RJ Valentine, the alliance initially intends to focus on track safety. Because expenses can be razor thin for short tracks, a financial aid program is in the works to help with safety upgrades.

“As a racer, I’ve witnessed a lot of horrible crashes and it always astounds me that, for the most part, the motorsports community continues to accept it, including drivers,” Valentine said in a press release. “Because safety improvement adoption is slow, I realized we need support from constituents in all sectors of motorsports to make any real changes happen.

“Initially, track safety is one of RSU’s top priorities, mainly because it receives the least amount of attention. However, we intend to address all safety areas from helmets to driver education.”

RSU’s first official meeting is scheduled on December 6th during the PRI Show to discuss and prioritize safety initiatives.

The RSU is currently made up of 30 members including former NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, NHRA team owner Don Schumacher, Flying Lizard owner Darren Law, Randy Lajoie – owner of The Joie of Seating, sportscar driver Andrew Pilgrim and journalist Dick Berggren.

More information can be found on the RSU site.