IndyCar »

No engine starting grid penalties during Indy

IndyCar has announced that any grid penalties incurred between the end of this weekend's race in Sao Paulo and the Indianapolis 500 in May will be deferred to June.
The IZOD IndyCar Series is to suspend the serving of any starting grid penalties incurred by teams for unscheduled engine penalties until after the running of the 96th Indianapolis 500 race on May 27.

The suspension comes into effect immediately following this weekend's Sao Paulo Indy 300 race in Brazil, and will mean that any team that needs to make an engine change between then and the start of the Indianapolis 500 race will not serve the usual mandatory ten-place penalty in the May race.

The period covers the IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on May 7 at Texas Motor Speedway, rookie and team testing, and on-track activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway up to and including Bump Day (the final day of qualifying) on May 20.

"We do not intend to apply any penalties that will disrupt the Indy 500 starting field from their qualifying positions," said IndyCar's vice president of technology Will Phillips.

However, teams will still have to serve any penalties incurred during this time at the following race at Detroit Belle Isle on June 3.

"We're not saying there will not be any penalties; the penalties just won't be served at Indianapolis," Phillips confirmed. "They'll carry that penalty forward to the next event. Likewise, if someone racks up two penalties, they will go forward to the next two events."

The move is to ensure that the prestigious Indy 500 isn't affected by the same mass grid penalty that hit the recent street race at Long Beach, after Chevrolet instructed all of its teams to change engines before the race.

As a result of the penalties, over half the grid ended up not starting in the position in which they had qualified, and IndyCar is concerned about the fan reaction if the same thing were to happen at the series' flagship annual event.

Under already-announced plans for the Indy 500, all teams will receive a fresh engine from their supplier for the 500 mile race which is expected to be installed ahead of final practice (also known as Carb Day) before race day.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The 33 starters line up ready for the green flat to begin the centennial Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday May 29, 2011. [Picture credit: Ron McQueeney for IndyCar Media]
The start of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29: Alex Tagliani (bottom), Scott Dixon (middle) and Oriol Servia (top) form the front row. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Charlie Kimball
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
IndyCar, Dallara 2018 chassis, [Credit: IndyCar]
Graham Rahal Detroit celebration
Detroit IndyCar race start
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit
Graham Rahal Detroit IndyCar 2017
Takuma Sato Detroit IndyCar

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.


April 26, 2012 9:02 AM

This smacks of making the rules up as you go along in order to prevent a PR disaster at your flagship event. My sympathies go to people who've already paid to go to the Detroit race unaware that it was considered a second-class event by the championship.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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