The IZOD IndyCar Series announced how the new doubleheader events in 2013 will be structured.
This year's season calendar features three doubleheader events, with weekends at Detroit Belle Isle on June 1/2, in Toronto on July 13/14 and finally in Reliant Park in Houston, Texas on October 5/6.
"Doubleheaders are something we wanted to introduce this year to improve the fan experience on a given race weekend," said Beaux Barfield, the race director of the IndyCar Series. "With two races, there certainly is a lot more entertainment and competition."
The two races at each of the three events will be full distance with equal points. The first race of the weekend at Toronto and Houston will both feature standing starts, while the second race at each venue will be the traditional IndyCar rolling start.
Barfield said that the series was looking at adding at least one more standing start to the 19-race calendar this year, but said that it would not be at Detroit Belle Isle due to the recent configuration of the track.
The standing starts will use an FIA-specification starting light system said Barfield. “Once the cars are in their grid spots following formation laps, the five lights will come on one second apart," he explained. "Once all five lights have lit up, between half of a second and 1.5 seconds all the lights will go out, which signifies the start of the race."
Since standing starts are a new innovation to the IndyCar Series, there will be an opportunity for drivers to practice the start procedure during the weekend.
"We would leave the lighting system at pit out and designate a pit stall where drivers can stage themselves and practice standing start launches during official practice sessions," Barfield said. "It's a way for drivers to practice their own launches and get used to the lighting system."
Barfield added that an in-car starting light system had been decided against in case of any pit-to-car radio communication glitches.
In addition, IndyCar announced how the qualification system would work for the two races at a doubleheader event.
Starting positions for the first race of the weekend will be set on the Friday by the usual three-round qualifying process used for street and road course events, with the slowest cars being eliminated before the front rows are set in the Firestone Fast Six pole-shootout. Positions for the second race will be set by the fastest lap times set by car during a single 30-minutes session on Saturday morning.