The IZOD IndyCar Series is to introduce a new advisory Competition Committee ahead of the 2013 season, in an effort to ensure that the various industry stakeholders get to input on all competition- and technical-related matters.
IndyCar has been criticised in the past for alienating team owners and other ket stakeholders by being too distant, failing to communicate key decisions, and for not listening to input on issues such as series rules, technical specifications and safety initiatives.
One such area of disput between the series and the owners has been that of bespoke aero kits, something that fans are keen to see introduced but which owners fear is not only unnecessary in terms of improving competition but also too costly.
“We believe it's important to create a forum for drivers, team owners and manufacturers to have organized and structured input to the series as we look to make important decisions that directly impact on-track competition,” said Jeff Belskus, who took over rom Randy Bernard as the CEO of the IndyCar Series at the end of 2012 on an interim basis.
The forum that's been decided upon is a new committee will consist of a minimum of seven members that will meet regularly throughout the year to evaluate competition-related matters. IndyCar will determine the initiatives sent to the committee for review.
IndyCar announced on Tuesday that in 2013 the committee will be made up from two representatives of the series management team appointed by the CEO, one of whom will chair the committee; two representatives from teams active in the series; two driver representatives, appointed by the drivers group; and four manufacturer members, one each from Firestone, Chevrolet, Honda and Dallara.
An extra 'at large' member will be appointed by the IndyCar CEO. An initiative attaining a majority vote in the committee will be submitted to the IndyCar management team for review, with the CEO notify the committee of the sanctioning body's final decision.
"Once we receive a recommendation from the Competition Committee, the series will evaluate it from a commercial and business standpoint in order to make a final decision," said Belskus.
“The creation of this committee builds a formalized process to vet proposed initiatives with safety and competition always top-of- mind," he added.