Colton Herta expects IndyCar to rethink the positioning of the restart zone at the Nashville street circuit after a series of crashes and near-misses at the venue’s second race.
“I don’t think that restarting on the bridge was a good thing,” said Herta, who finished fifth on Sunday. “I thought the closing speeds were incredibly unsafe and I’m sure that they’re going to probably change it to something else for next year because it was really dangerous.
“Especially going over a bridge like that. You don’t want to go over the back of somebody.”
Herta recovered to finish in the top five despite dropping a lap down at one stage after being pushed into a barrier by Dalton Kellett. The Andretti driver said the tight sequence of corners which precedes the restart area made for significant differences in speeds between the cars at restarts.
“The field spans out so much,” he said. “I got every range of restart. I got a restart where I was 25th or whatever, and then all the way up until I was fourth or fifth. I got all the ranges of restarts.
“Coming from the back, the field through that tight section is so strung out that they’re pushing to get back up. By the time the leader is halfway across the bridge, cars are still going through turn five, six, seven.
“As they come on to the straight, they’re flat out. And it’s a bridge [so] you can’t see what’s over the end of it. So you come over the bridge, and it’s, like, ‘oh, all the cars are going 70 miles an hour, 80 miles an hour’.
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“So I think it’s something that they knew could have been a little bit of a problem, but they wanted to try it out, so we’ll see what they do in the future. I think something has to be adjusted.”
Herta was also concerned about the length of time the race spent under caution, partly due to drivers being waved past the Safety Car in order to rejoin the lead lap.
“Maybe there’s a way to shorten some of the cautions without doing the wave-around every time or whatnot,” he said. “But it’s hard to say because that’s what saved me today, the wave-around.”
However he defended the event from criticism after it produced a second consecutive crash-strewn race.
“It’s not terrible to have a crazy race every now and again,” he said. “And this might be IndyCar, some of the races are snoozers and some of them are really amazing. Some of them are amazing for this reason, because there’s cars going off all the time, you never know who is going to win.”
Despite his concern over the restart zone, Herta described the Nashville track as “fun to drive” and “really challenging.”
“It’s hard enough on a street course to have straight-line braking for a hairpin or really [slow] corner. When you are coming in at 180, and you have braking that’s turning away from the corner, like turn four and turn nine are, it is really challenging because you unload that right front tyre, so it’s really easy to lock and then go into the wall or go into the run-off.
“So there is a lot of challenging parts to this track that I do enjoy.”
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5 comments on “Herta expects IndyCar to change “really dangerous” Nashville restart zone again”
9th August 2022, 9:09
From the last 2 races there, It would seem that he has a very valid point.
9th August 2022, 10:02
Agree – however spectacular the bridge looks, a freak contact there could have scary consequences!
Matt Jones (@mattj)
9th August 2022, 12:14
I find the whole circuit a bit of a mess to be honest. It doesn’t do anything for good racing. The single file turn back section 14-18 is totally mickey mouse, and the bridge absolutely terrifies me. The thought of a car getting airborne over there is proper scary.
9th August 2022, 14:35
That track isn’t even suitable for Formula E. It’s what Miami might have been if you look at some of the initial layouts. Indycar is doing itself no favours with this circuit and they need a new layout. Don’t they have an oval track in Nashville ??
9th August 2022, 16:15
The Tennessee Titans are expected to soon get local approval for a new stadium, to be built on the area presently used for the Indycar pitlane and paddock, with construction beginning in 2024. So hopefully next year will be the last on this circuit…
Comments are closed.