The first engine change grid penalties for 2013 have been announced, with four Honda drivers all facing a ten-place drop at the next IZOD IndyCar Series race at Detroit Belle Isle.
Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Charlie Kimball together with Rahal letterman Lanigan's Graham Rahal and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden will all lose grid positions for the Indy Dual on June 1, the first race after the Indianapolis 500.
Franchitti and Kimball both had their engines changed prior to their Pole Day qualifying runs at Indianapolis this week, before their scheduled 2000-mile threshold had been reached.
In Rahal and Newgarden's case, their engines were changes overnight at the weekend before their Bump Day qualifying runs.
Normally, switching out engines before their completed life-cycle has been completed earns the driver a ten-place penalty at the next race, but the Indy 500 is specifically exempt from this and the grid drop is carried over to the next race of the season - in this case, Detroit.
All the cars starting the Indy 500 will be allowed to install a fresh engine this week and test it in an hour's shakedown on Friday - so-called 'Carb Day' practice - ahead of the race on Sunday, May 26 without further penalty. However the new engine will still come out of their total season allotment of five engines for the 19 races in 2013.
Most of the regular series drivers are currently on their second engines: the exceptions are Rahal, Newgarden, Will Power, Ana Beatriz, Marco Andretti and Alex Tagliani. Despite incurring penalties for their early engine changes for the sake of Indy 500 qualifying, Franchitti and Kimball are still only now on their second engine of the season.
Teams will have the option to use up the mileage in new Indy 500 engine for subsequent races, or alternatively refit the previous engine for the balance of its mileage before using the Indianapolis engine engine for subsequent races.