IndyCar »

Indy 500: double file restarts stay

Ever since teams and drivers arrived at Indianapolis, there has been a rolling campaign to get IndyCar to drop double file restarts for the Indy 500. But to no avail: they stay.
"This is the centennial of the Indianapolis 500 and I'm really fed up with talking about double-file restarts," the 2010 race winner Dario Franchitti said on Friday.

Other than the "will she stay or will she go" eternal saga surrounding Danica Patrick, the story of the last two weeks has been whether or not the Indy 500 will feature the controversial double file restarts brought in to IndyCar at the start of the season, with drivers lobbying IndyCar officials hard to see them dropped.

But on the day before the race, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard was insistent and confirmed that double-file restarts will be featured in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing from noon on Sunday - although some extra precautions have also been put in place to address concerns.

"Obviously during the first couple of races we've seen some incidents on the street course," said Alex Tagliani after the drivers' Friday pre-race meeting, which IndyCar series director of competition Brian Barnhardt had also been asked to attend. "Here we don't want to see anything like that, so basically share our concerns and hope that everything's going to go well during the race."

A major concern is the build up of marbles off the racing line, which might make it unstable for cars required to run out of that groove at the restart. On a high speed oval, wandering onto the marbles can be a very fast way of proceeding directly into the wall.

Numerous drivers were said to have spoken out against the restarts being double file at Indianapolis, with Taglini - the man with most to lose, starting on pole - calling it "really stupid" and "a terrible idea,", Franchitti fearing it will turn the race into a "lottery", and Dan Wheldon saying it could result in the race "being remembered for all the wrong reasons."

But Bernard and Barnhardt were insistent - although several measure have been put in place to alleviate concerns, with new procedures being introduced.

These require that cars start lining up off turn 2 down the back straight and leave three car lengths between rows, with cars to be in second gear as they pass the restart line off turn 4 which should cap speeds in the 115-120mph range, resulting in speeds of around 150mph as they cross the actual start/finish line for the green flag which is the first point where they are allowed to change positions. Experts calculate that this puts the cars at around 183mph into turn 1 itself.

IndyCar spokeswoman Amy Konrath also announced this week that the Speedway is doubling up the number of track sweepers to deal with the off-line marble build-up, with two trucks being used to clear turns 1 and 2 in tandem, and two more in 3 and 4; Previously only two trucks were used on Race Day.


Page 1 of 2
1 2  »


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scott Dixon and Pippa Mann run side-by-side on track during Car Day practice, the last chance for teams to shake out their cars and make final set-up changes before Sunday`s race. Friday, May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Photo credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media.]
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Dario Franchitti reviews data in the Target Chip Ganassi pit stand at the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The 2014 Chevrolet engine of Scott Dixon. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon prepares to take to the track during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon on course during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon locks up his brakes during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday, March 17. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power has the fastest time of the day in his #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Monday, March 17, 2014 during Day One of the Verizon IndyCar Series Open Test in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo Credit: LAT/ Scott R. LePage for Chevy Racing)
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcement that Jacques Villeneuve will drive for them in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve appeared by video link, with his 1995 race-winning car pictures in the foreground. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcement that Jacques Villeneuve will drive for them in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve appeared by video link, with his 1995 race-winning car pictures in the foreground. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcement that Jacques Villeneuve will drive for them in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve appeared by video link, with his 1995 race-winning car pictures in the foreground. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti during the press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing shop. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


FRED - Unregistered

May 31, 2011 3:21 AM

If people don't want as many 'marbles' get Firestone to build tyres with a much harder compound for oval races. It's a bit silly when there is only one 'groove' at the end of a race, as Hildebrand found out the hard way. Also Indycar should be leading debates/rules on racing, not following NASCAR - that smacks of desperation. Let NASCAR do their own thing - Indycar should follow it's own course. Ultimately the double/single file rule should rest with the drivers. They're the ones who are going to end up in the wall if things go wrong, not the Indycar management.Why be wise after the event - if there was a di Silvestro type accident on the restarts, with the cars all bunched up, there would be absolute mayhem on the circuit.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.