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More push-to-pass changes for Sonoma

The IZOD IndyCar Series has made further minor changes to the push-to-pass turbo power boost system ahead of this weekend's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma race.
The IZOD IndyCar Series continues to fine tune its technical regulations, with further changes to the recently re-introduced "push-to-pass" overtake system in time for this weekend's race at Sonoma Raceway.

The push-to-pass button adds 200rpm of extra turbocharger boost to the power output of the 2012 specification 2.2-litre V6 engines to make overtaking moves possible on street and road course circuits, in a rough equivalent to the DRS or KERS boost seen in F1.

However, officials were disappointed when its main use at Edmonton was by race leader Helio Castoneves using it to hold off Takuma Sato in the last 15 laps of the race. Castroneves was able to deploy the system at the direction of his pit crew who could see real-time information about other competitors using push-to-pass from the live TV feed and timing and scoring system.

As a result, for the following race at Mid-Ohio the series introduced a five second delay between the pressing of the button and the power coming online, which meant that it couldn't be used fast enough in response to other cars attacking from behind and was only effective in planning overtaking moves in advance on cars in front.

After analysing the racing action from that race, IndyCar has now trimmed the activation delay down to 3.5 seconds for this weekend's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. The series also confirmed that drivers will have a total boost time of 90 seconds available to them for the duration of the race, in bursts no longer than 15 seconds in duration.

"All parameters of the push-to-pass system can be tailored to fit any circuit that play host to IZOD IndyCar Series races," explained IndyCar's director of engine development, Trevor Knowles. "Sonoma has shorter straightaways than what we had at Mid-Ohio, so we've adjusted the parameters of push-to-pass to fit this particular circuit. But the principles for use that were in place for Mid-Ohio have remained the same for Sonoma."

The series has opted not to introduce a recharge time between uses of the push-to-pass system at this stage. The system will be used only once more in 2012, at the following week's race in Baltimore, and will not feature in the mid-September series finale on the Auto Club Speedway oval course in Fontana, California.

Teams were able to test the tweaked power boost settings at the end of last week in their one day open test at Sonoma. Drivers used the time to get used to the revised layout of the track, formerly known as Infineon Raceway and before that as Sears Point Raceway.

The run down to the hairpin turn 11 has been lengthened by 200 feet to make a deeper turn, giving drivers more opportunity to out-brake their competitors and to get a better run out of the turn and set up a pass into turn 12. The exit from the Bus Stop (turn 9) has be widened, and turn 7 has been remodelled into a new hairpin. The changes make the circuit into a 12-turn, 2.31-mile road event.

The drivers seemed largely happy with the changes to the track after their first taste of it last Friday.




Related Pictures

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Cars battle on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Martin Plowman battle on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power leads the field on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on pit road during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Sebastian Saavedra`s wrecked car is craned away during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Mark Miles and Derrick Walker announce the addition of Boston to the 2016 IndyCar Series itinerary. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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