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IndyCar announces new testing policy.

The IndyCar Series has revealed a new testing policy for the 2009 season which will see teams restricted to six days of running over the course of the year.

Teams will be limited on mileage and the number of tyres available during the testing, with the limitations being dependent on the amount of cars fielded during the year.

Each IndyCar Series entrant that participates in the season-long IndyCar TEAM programme will be allowed 800 miles or six days of testing, whichever comes first, and 18 sets of Firestone Firehawk tyres. Entrants with a second car may conduct 1,200 miles of testing with 26 sets of tyres, while entrants with additional cars will gain 200 miles and four sets of tyres per car. Teams are not permitted to test at any track within seven days of a race.

Teams can earn additional test days by providing opportunities to Firestone Indy Lights drivers.

“Our 2009 testing policy strikes a fair balance between controlling costs and maintaining a level playing field,” Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, said “With our diverse schedule of short ovals and superspeedways, road and street courses, it's important to give our drivers and teams the chance to keep improving and maximise their performance.

“We also think there is a tremendous incentive for teams to give opportunities to the next generation of IndyCar Series drivers.”

For every 200 miles a Firestone Indy Lights driver tests with a team – up to a maximum of 600, the IndyCar Series team earns 100 bonus miles.

The testing policy also affords teams with rookie drivers an additional 400 miles and eight sets of tyres for three days of testing.

“When you look back at the 13-year history of the IndyCar Series, our hallmark is the absolute best on-track competition,” Barnhart continued. “This plan provides rookies, newcomers and our future drivers the chance to improve their skill set and throw themselves right into the thick of the competition.”

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