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Push-to-pass returns to road and street races

IndyCar has announced that the 'push-to-pass' overtake assist feature is to return to the series for the remaining five street and road courses in 2012.
The IZOD IndyCar Series is to re-introduce the 'push-to-pass' overtake assist feature, first introduced to the competition in 2009 but suspended at the start of this season while the teams got used to the new DW12 Dallara chassis and new specification turbocharged V6 2.2-litre engines from Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus introduced this year.

'Push-to-pass' adds an additional turbocharger boost from 150kPa to 160kPa and temporarily increases engine RPM in order to allow drivers to pass rivals on the track. A similar system was first used in Champ Car, and also featured in the now-defunct A1GP World Cup of Motorsport where it was called 'powerboost'.

The boost is triggered by drivers pressing a button on their steering wheel, but is only available for a pre-determined period of time depending upon the circuit and can only be used once a certain throttle position is reached. The boost ceases the minute that the driver lifts off the throttle or depresses the button a second time.

"It will be similar to what it was in the past because we know that model worked," confirmed IndyCar's vice president of technology, Will Phillips.

As well as the length of time that the boost activates for, IndyCar also sets the number of total activations and the minimum time that the system takes to 'recharge' between applications. Engine manufacturers will be allowed to tweak the settings under these limits in order to optimise 'push-to-pass' for their own units.

In essence, 'push-to-pass' is one of many solutions to the perennial problem of overtaking in open wheel competitions that rely on aerodynamic ground effects for grip; in F1, KERS and DRS are two other approaches that have been introduced for similar reasons.

Teams will be able to use the restored 'push-to-pass' feature starting with practice for July 8's Honda Indy Toronto race in Canada, and will also have the system available to them on the following the street and road courses at Edmonton, Mid-Ohio, Infineon and Baltimore in July, August and September.

However, 'push-to-pass' will not be enabled at the final race of the season at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. IndyCar organisers announced on Monday that this race will now be a 500 mile endurance race, as well as being the final race of the season now that it's confirmed there will be no replacement for the cancelled outing in China.

New penalty for Schmidt-Hamilton

In other news, IndyCar announced on Tuesday that Simon Pagenaud's #77 Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsport car had been fined $5000 for using an irregularly sized fuel cell in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedwayon June 23.

The formal announcement indicated that the fuel cell used by the team exceeded the maximum capacity of 18.5 US gallons, but that this technical breach hadn't impacted the race result in which Pagenaud finished in fifth place after starting last on the grid.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simon Pagenaud during the Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program on 10 May, 2012. (c) 2012, Walt Kuhn.LAT Photo USA [Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA]
Simon Pagenaud shows off his new team affiliation with Sam Schmidt Motorsports. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Photo of the new 2012 specification Dallara chassis, unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10 2011 with the cars grouped around the historic
Indy Racing League.  4-6 July 2008. Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen. Watkins Glen International Raceway. Watkins Glen, New York. Honda Indy V8 engines
Close-up of Will Power`s steering wheel. (Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud Phoenix IndyCar
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Simon Penske - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar media/Bret Kelley]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [image credit: IndyCar Media/Bret Kelley]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar/Bret Kelly]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar/Bret Kelly]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]

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Thorborg - Unregistered

June 28, 2012 5:42 PM

Not impressed. DRS appears to work because only the following car can use it. In the case of KERS and Push-to-Pass (when it has been used in the past) it seems most often the case that both drivers seem to activate the system at the same time leading to a stalemate. Sure there are some situations where one driver has used up all his allocation before another and is therefore defenceless but from what I have seen that tends to be rare.

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