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Long Beach penalties for Hinchliffe and Bourdais

James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais will both have 10-grid penalties to overcome in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend after suffering engine failures.
Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe and Lotus Dragon Racing's Sebastein Bourdais already know that it's going to be a tough weekend at the office for them in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, after both drivers had engine failures during testing earlier this week.

The Chevrolet engine of Hinchcliffe's #27 GoDaddy.com car failed early during testing held on Monday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Hinchliffe lost all of that day's track time while engineers looked into the issue, but the unit couldn't be reliably repaired and Hinchliffe will now take a ten-place grid penalty when he lines up at the start of Sunday's street race.

Similarly, Sebastien Bourdais' #7 Lotus Dragon Racing has required an unscheduled engine change for Long Beach after problems were found with it following the end of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1, and so the Frenchman will take a similar ten-spot hit on the Long Beach starting grid.

They are the fourth and fifth such penalties levied so far this season, after only two of 16 races. Simon Pagenaud's #77 Schmidt-Hamilton car had a ten spot penalty in St Petersburg, and both Alex Tagliani's #98 Team Barracuda-BHA car and Oriol Servia's #22 Lotus Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car were penalised in Alabama.

Under new rules this season to keep teams' costs under control, any engine replacement that does not occur as a result of a failure during an actual race or because the unit has reached the end of its 1850-mile projected lifespan incurs a penalty in the next event.

New IndyCar president of competition Beaux Barfield admitted that it was rather unfair that the teams and drivers should take the penalty for a problem for a piece of equipment that is not under their control.

"I share the fans' pain in that it sort of lacks sensibility in penalising a team and driver rather than penalising the engine manufacture itself," he said, describing the agreed rule as a "a self-imposed penalty" wanted by the engine manufacturers to ensure that there was no attempt by one manufacturer to outspend the others.

"In order to try and keep the engine leases and the engine programs at a reasonable price for a team, they decided this would be an appropriate way to try and move forwards to try and control that," said Barfield. "If they have engine issues within the 1850 miles and they are putting in new engines now, by the end of the year they may be on their sixth or seventh engine."

However, Barfield admitted that the failure of engines during testing sessions was an unintended consequence of that rule and that he was unhappy with the possibility that it might curtail teams' testing activities in the future.


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Related Pictures

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Sebastien Bourdais [Picture Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe in the pits during Saturday practice at Motegi. [Picture credit: Brian Simpson for IndyCar Media]
The Lotus insignia. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Chevrolet`s Camero pace car. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Indy Racing League. 17-19 April 2009. Long Beach Grand Prix. Long Beach, California USA.  Race winner, Dario Franchitti.
James Hinchcliffe in the #27 GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Mike Conway poses for pictures with the team from Ed Carpenter Racing after victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Sebastien Bourdais during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
James Hinchliffe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais waits on pitlane before practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais around the fountain turn during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais on track at Long Beach on Friday (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media

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