Technology being used in the body of Scott Dixon's car may have been the difference between life and death for the Kiwi driver in today's 350km/h IndyCar crash, a former driver says.
Barrie Thomlinson, who has managed the Toyota Racing Series for 14 years and used to be a race car driver himself, says the strength and durability science has given open-wheel car chassis makes a significant difference.
The monocoque, the chassis that an open-wheel race car driver sits in, of a Toyota Racing Series car features layers of carbon fibre covering an aluminum honeycomb centre.
"In Indycar, the features are exactly the same," Thomlinson said.
"The whole thing makes for a very strong structure."
The result of the layering and specific honeycomb design creates an extremely tough barrier that remains lightweight for optimal racing.
"It gives the car strength obviously for performance, but also driver safety."
Dixon walked away from today's crash without serious injuries after his car went airborne following a collision with Jay Howard's vehicle.
"Just a little beaten up there. It was definitely a rough ride," Dixon said.