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Long Beach penalties for Hinchliffe and Bourdais

Engine manufacturers do not even allow teams to keep hold of old engines for test sessions once they exceed their 1850-mile projected life, as the units are returned to the manufacturer for a full strip-down and rebuild before being cycled back into the pool of available engines for teams to draw upon. Only engines that suffer a "catastrophic failure" are rotated out of the pool.

"Trying to get the car developed and get as many miles on it and such as possible, it's in everybody's best interest," Barfield said. "So for us sort of inadvertently putting a regulation out there that disincentivises testing, that is absolutely not what we want."

The relevant section of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook states that: "Any unapproved engine change out, except those caused by engine failure in a race, will result in a 10-place grid penalty."

However, the rulebook also states that: "An engine that has experienced a problem deemed sufficient to require change-out as mutually agreed by IndyCar and [the] engine manufacturer that is beyond the reasonable control of either the entrant or engine manufacturer (such as faulty fuel, accident, damage to the engines caused by act of God, etc.) may be replaced with an engine from the pool without penalty."

Barfield said that if any of the teams felt that this was the case with this weekend's grid penalties then they could make their case to IndyCar's vice president of technology, Will Phillips. In the longer term, he was looking at holding a meeting with all concerned with a view to how to amend the rule, although he pointed out that one issue was how those teams that had already been hit with a penalty under the existing system would be retrospectively compensated.

Barfield said that he hoped that such a meeting would happen soon, and that he intended to "bring everybody in and share some opinions to see how we feel about where the rule has gotten us and how everybody feels about the possibility of changing it.

"Obviously [it would have to] take into consideration how the teams that have already been penalized this year might look at that precedent, and if it's something the manufacturers would be interested in considering."




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.
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan takes a selfie with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew in Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
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Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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