IRL driver Tony Renna was killed during a test session at Indianapolis on Wednesday after his car became airborne, cleared the concrete wall and struck the catch fencing.

IRL driver Tony Renna was killed during a test session at Indianapolis on Wednesday after his car became airborne, cleared the concrete wall and struck the catch fencing.


Renna, 26, who was recruited to replace South African Tomas Scheckter at the championship-winning team in 2004, crashed at Turn Three. The American was the 67th person to be fatally injured at the Brickyard since it opened in 1909. The last driver killed there was Scott Brayton, who died in a crash during practice in 1996.


According to reports, Renna's car snapped out of control before the crash. The IRL's medical team tried to revive Renna but their attempts were in vain. He was taken to the city's Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The incident was the latest of several recent serious accidents in which IRL cars have become airborne. Earlier this month, Kenny Brack was badly injured when his car collided with Scheckter’s vehicle and flew into the fence at Texas Motor Speedway.


Renna was alone on the track when his car suddenly became airborne in the short section between the third and fourth turns.


In May, Mario Andretti escaped injury in a spectacular airborne crash at the Speedway. British rookie Dan Wheldon was uninjured when his car flipped during the Indy 500.


"The League will work with teams and speedway officials to see what they can learn about this crash to see if there is anything that can compare to other crashes," said Indianapolis spokesman Ron Green. "They'll get together and do a walk-through and try to determine its cause. Right now it's too premature to say how the crash happened and what actually happened during the crash."


Sam Hornish, who was at the Brickyard for the test session but did not witness the crash, said news of Renna's death was difficult for the racing community to come to terms with.


"This is really hard," Hornish said. "We all feel bad, especially for his family. He was a great guy and a great racer. He was quiet, and I'm pretty quiet, too. When you get two quiet guys together, they don't say much. But the times I did race against him, I had fun. I was looking forward to racing with him next year."


Renna, a former Indy Lights driver, had been a test driver for Kelley Racing before signing with Ganassi. He made an impression by finishing seventh in the Indianapolis 500 in May. He also led the first two races he ran while substituting for Al Unser when Unser was undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse last year. In one of those races, at Michigan, Renna finished fourth.

Original article from Car