More details have been revealed on the revised qualifying format for the 2010 running of the Indianapolis 500.
The new format will run on a single weekend – 22/23 May – as previously revealed, with the exact nature of the system having now been confirmed.
On the Saturday, each driver will have up to three qualifying runs during five hours of running to determine the top 24 positions on the grid – with the top nine being decided through an additional 90 minute shootout.
The remainder of the grid will then be set during Bump Day on 23 May.
“This new format for Indianapolis 500 qualifying will deliver even more action and intensity for fans,” Jeff Belskus, president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation said. “Drivers will go all out during the first session on Pole Day to get a chance to make a run for the pole. Then they'll need to dig even deeper to find the speed for the pole in the last 90 minutes.
“Plus there still will be plenty of spots up for grabs on Bump Day, with all of the dramatic, last-minute bumping that generations of fans have loved about Indy. This is going to be a fantastic weekend of qualifying. I can't wait to see it unfold.”
As well as grid positions, the qualifying system will also offer prize money to the three quickest drivers and championship points to every driver to make the grid.
The pole winner will earn $175,000 - an increase of $75,000 from 2009 – with the second-fastest qualifier earning $75,000, and the final front-row starter taking home $50,000.
In terms of points, the pole winner will receive 15 points, with the other front-row starters earning 13 and 12 points, respectively. Drivers in rows two and two will receive, in descending order, between eleven and six points.
Positions 10-24 will receive four bonus points, and 25-33 earn three points.