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Push-to-pass change for Mid-Ohio

IndyCar has announced changes to its push-to-pass power boost system for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, in an attempt to make it harder to use the system to defend.
The IZOD IndyCar Series push-to-pass power boost system is to be modified for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, to introduce a five second delay between the press and the power kicking in.

“After that five seconds, when the driver gets to full throttle or already is at full throttle, the overtake will come on. That's to stop from using it as a push to defend,” said Trevor Knowles, IndyCar's director of engine development. "You can push the button before you get to the braking zone and when you get on the throttle it will be on overtake."

The overtake button - which adds 1.5 pounds of turboboost and 200RPM to the engine for up to 20 seconds or as long as the car is going full throttle - was first used in the series in 2009 and reintroduced to the series this year at Toronto after being on hiatus since the end of 2011 while the new specification engines and new DW12 Dallara chassis were bedding in.

Drivers will have up to 100 seconds of push-to-pass for the entire 85-lap race at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course. Other than the five second delay, there is no recharge time between activations.

While the return of push-to-pass for road and street courses has been generally welcomed as adding overtaking action to street races, IndyCar officials are keen to ensure that it can't be used as a defensive measure - as Helio Castroneves did to good effect over the final 16 laps of the previous race at Edmonton on his way to a win over Takuma Sato.

The use of push-to-pass use was included on the live timing and scoring feed and even featured in the TV coverage of the Edmonton race, allowing pit crews to radio the information direct to their drivers in real time and virtually 'remote control' the deployment of the power boost.

"I just told them to tell me when he uses push-to-pass, and I'll defend it," admitted Castroneves after the race. "It worked out very good."

The five second delay is intended to stop that from happening.

“If you're the car in front trying to defend, the TV won't show when the competitor [behind] has pushed it," explained Knowles. "It will only show when the overtake is active. If [the driver in front] responds, he has five seconds before his overtake cuts in."

Knowles said that the series was looking at further modifications to the system for the future to improve racing action: "We didn't want to introduce too many things at one time," he said.




Related Pictures

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Scott Dixon leads Ryan Briscoe on lap 1 of the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. August 2011. [Photo credit: Dan Helrigel for IndyCar Media]
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course venue sign. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Close-up of Will Power`s steering wheel. (Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates pole position 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)
Ryan Hunter-Reay around the fountain turn during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves apexes the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)

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Terminator - Unregistered

August 02, 2012 7:44 PM

I don't see this change working on a circuit like Mid-Ohio. It has lots of corners one after other and two obvious overtaking spots, so the one front can guess when the other will use it and press the button 5 seconds earlier.

Thorborg - Unregistered

August 02, 2012 6:40 PM

Not bragging but I did comment on the original story where the return of push-to-pass was announced and pointed out that when it was previously used it didn't work very well as the defender used it too and this resulted in a stalemate. Kind of weird than an Armchair Joe like me can figure this out where as the Pro's at Indycar seem surprised that it happened. This latest change is practically useless too. Most circuits only have one or two viable overtaking points so the defender can surely predict when it will be used and also activate it whilst braking for the corner that leads to the passing straight.



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