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25 entries to line up at St Petersburg

Push-to-pass gives the engines a turbocharger boost from 21.7 Psi to 23.2 Psi and an additional 200RPM. There will now be only 10 activations of push-to-pass per race, with the maximum time the boost lasts varying between 15 and 20 seconds depending on the nature of the circuit, or until the driver lets up on the throttle.

Organisers confirmed that there would be no delay in activation this season, and no refresh time before the next use - but also no way of cancelling it once the steering wheel button is depressed.

“If the driver chooses to use one, they can't cancel it. It's use it or lose it,” explained IndyCar's vice president of technology, Will Phillips. “That in itself makes it more difficult to choose to use as a defense mechanism rather than as an overtaking opportunity.

"You'll have to be careful because there are only 10 opportunities to use it during a race," he added. "The length of each push of the button should cover the longest straight - if that's where they choose to use it - of each circuit.”

This season will also see a new safety standard for drivers' helmets in the series. Under the latest rules, all IndyCar and Indy Lights drivers will be required to wear helmets that meet or exceed the new FIA 8860-2010 specification inttoduced in the wake of Felipe Massa's head injury sustained at the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.

"The 8860 helmets provide the drivers more penetration resistance because of the penetration specification that requires a thicker carbon fibre shell," explained IndyCar's director of engineering Jeff Horton. "Because we race open-wheel cars, debris on racetrack is a potential projectile."

The first event of the 19-race 2013 calendar gets underway with two practice sessions on Friday, followed by a final practice opportunity on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon.

The drivers get one last shakedown opportunity in Sunday morning warm-up before the race which is scheduled to start at 12.40pm local time, 4.40pm GMT. The race will be aired live by NBC Sports in the US, and by ESPN in the UK.

Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - Entry List

#1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
#3 Helio Castroneves Chevrolet Team Penske
#4 JR Hildebrand Chevrolet Panther Racing
#5 EJ Viso Chevrolet Team Venezuela/Andretti Autosport/HVM
#6 Sebastian Saavedra Chevrolet Dragon Racing
#7 Sebastien Bourdais Chevrolet Dragon Racing
#9 Scott Dixon Honda Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#10 Dario Franchitti Honda Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#11 Tony Kanaan Chevrolet KV Racing T echnology
#12 Will Power Chevrolet Team Penske
#14 Takuma Sato Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#15 Graham Rahal Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#16 James Jakes Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#18 Ana Beatriz Honda Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Justin Wilson Honda Dale Coyne Racing
#20 Ed Carpenter Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing
#22 Oriol Servia Chevrolet Panther DRR
#25 Marco Andretti Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
#27 James Hinchcliffe Chevrolet Andretti Autosport
#55 Tristan Vautier * Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
#67 Josef Newgarden Honda Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
#77 Simon Pagenaud Honda Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports
#78 Simona de Silvestro Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
#83 Charlie Kimball Honda Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing
#98 Alex Tagliani Honda Bryan Herta Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

* denotes IZOD IndyCar Series rookie



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23-24 March, 2012, St Petersburg, Florida USA. Tristan Vautier holds up the Sunoco Winner`s flag on the podium after winning the Indy Lights race at St Petersburg. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Helio Castroneves on victory lane after winning the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25 2012. [Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo]
Vitor Meira and Ana Beatriz wait for the fog-delayed start to Sunday warm-up at Infineon Raceway. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Ana Beatriz at Infineon Raceway, Sonoma [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Ana Beatriz testing with Dale Coyne Racing at Barber Motorsports Park - March 2012. (Photo Credit: IndyCar Media)
Ana Beatriz. (Photo Credit: IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 24, 2014 to win the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Graham Rahal shows off the his new helmet prior to the morning warmup for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal gets strapped into his machine before the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves pits during the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday August 24 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, is congratulated by teammate Helio Castroneves after capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014 with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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