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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

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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, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem following qualifications for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the Verizon P1 Award for capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team take a selfie picture following their pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem to his Chevrolet after capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the Verizon P1 Award for capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi streaks toward Turn 1 during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon enters Turn 1 during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon heads towards Turn 12 during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls through the Carousel (Turn 12) during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon enters the Turn 2 Keyhole turn during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Luca Filippi with a quick off heading into Turn 12 during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon in action during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)

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MartinJSUK

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.



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