Formula E

Daniel Abt stripped of Mexico Formula E pole over tire irregularity

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Daniel Abt has been stripped of pole position for Saturday’s Formula E race in Mexico City after his car was found to be running under the minimum required tire pressures in qualifying.

Abt stormed to his second pole in Formula E earlier today after topping the Super Pole shootout, edging out NextEV NIO’s Oliver Turvey.

The ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver had been due to lead the grid away, only for Formula E to confirm just before the race that Abt’s car was found to not comply with the technical regulations.

As a result, Abt has been sent towards the back of the grid, along with Faraday Future Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio, who also fell foul of the same infringement.

Turvey inherits pole as a result of Abt’s exclusion, with Jose Maria Lopez moving up to second place on the grid for DS Virgin Racing.

Jean-Eric Vergne will start third for Techeetah ahead of Nick Heidfeld, while Sam Bird lines up fifth.

2017 Mexico City ePrix – Starting Grid

1. Oliver Turvey, NextEV NIO
2. Jose Maria Lopez, DS Virgin Racing
3. Jean-Eric Vergne, TECHEETAH
4. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra
5. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing
6. Antonio Felix da Costa, Andretti
7. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams
8. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra
9. Esteban Gutierrez, TECHEETAH
10. Adam Carroll, Panasonic Jaguar Racing
11. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing
12. Maro Engel, Venturi
13. Nico Prost, Renault e.dams
14. Robin Frijns, Andretti
15. Lucas di Grassi, Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport
16. Nelson Piquet, NextEV NIO
17. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi
18. Daniel Abt, Abt Scaheffler Audi Sport
19. Jerome D’Ambrosio, Faraday Future Dragon Racing
20. Loic Duval, Faraday Future Dragon Racing

New study surveys drivers’ opinions on crashes, concussions, more

James Black/IndyCar
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Auto racing safety has continued to improve through the decades, but the sport remains inherently dangerous, according to a new survey.

At the close of 2018, a new organization called Racing Safety United emerged with the intention of reducing drivers’ risk of being harmed.

RSU is made up of more than 30 members including former NASCAR Cup Series competitor Jerry Nadeau, two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Randy LaJoie, NHRA team owner Don Schumacher and motorsports journalist Dick Berggren.

One of RSU’s first initiatives was to determine what current drivers thought of racing safety. The organization developed a 14-question survey and promoted it on select motorsports websites and forums. 

Participants were given the opportunity to disclose their identity or remain anonymous, and those who provided contact information were entered to win a $500 prize (for anonymous participants, the prize funds would be donated to a motorsports charity). 

More than 140 individuals participated in the survey over the course of 12 months. Below are the results of the survey:

Driver status

The vast majority of survey participants (60%) were amateur racers, while 26% of the participants were classified as Semi-Pro/Professional racers. The remaining 14% consisted of other individuals involved in the sport such as team owners and crew chiefs. 

When asked how frequently they race, 58% of driver respondents averaged 10 or more times per year on track, while 42% averaged 10 times or less.

The top five tracks respondents said they raced most often: Road Atlanta (21 votes), Watkins Glen (17 votes), Virginia International Raceway (16 votes), Mid-Ohio (16 votes), and Road America (13 votes).

Vehicular damage, injuries common

Over a third of respondents said they had been injured while racing, and almost two-thirds sasid they had suffered severe vehicle damage while racing

Driver error was cited as the top cause of vehicle damage (42 mentions), followed by concrete walls (26 mentions), mechanical failures (24 mentions), and other drivers (19 mentions). The study concluded those results indicated a need for better driver training/coaching, energy absorbing walls, and more technical inspections.

Almost a quarter of drivers said they had experienced racing-related concussions, and nearly half the respondents said one or multiple concussions would affect their decision to race in the future. 

Drivers primarily influenced by peers 

Roughly half the drivers said they would consider adopting new safety equipment if influenced by another driver (51 total mentions) and/or if recommended by a sanctioning body (47 total mentions). The study concluded those results indicated a need for drivers to become safety advocates and educate other drivers and for sanctioning bodies to mandate safety equipment. 

Drivers concerned with concrete walls

Approximately three-quarters of the drivers surveyed said they believed certain race tracks were more dangerous than others. Nearly half the drivers surveyed believe that concrete walls were the primary cause of damage to drivers and vehicles. 

Drivers willing to help

Just more than three-quarters of the drivers surveyed said that they would be willing to join a safety alliance to advocate for safer tracks. Two-thirds of drivers said that they also would be willing to contribute to a motorsports safety fund.

Click here for the full results of RSU’s survey

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