Double File restarts to remain at Long Beach Izod IndyCar Series drivers are concerned the number of full-course cautions has nearly doubled this season, but the new double-file restart policy will remain in effect for Sunday's race in Long Beach, Calif.
The hot spot in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be the nearly 90-degree first corner, a left-hander the drivers say will almost certainly cause calamity.
IndyCar chief steward Brian Barnhart shares that concern, but said the outcome of that corner and Long Beach's other 10 will be in the hands of the drivers.
"Double-file restarts are going to remain," he said.
Barnhart said minor adjustments could be made to the restart zone or the speed at which the drivers can accelerate.
The rise in full-course cautions for contact was 45 percent at the first two tracks of this season -- the street course in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Barber Motorsports Park road course in Alabama -- compared to last year's races at those tracks. But that only begins to tell the story of extra contact.
Bumping has made IndyCar look more like NASCAR, which was the goal of CEO Randy Bernard and the team owners. The only injuries have been wrist fractures to Justin Wilson and Ana Beatriz. Wilson is one of three driver representatives on a committee that meets with IndyCar officials at each race. Beatriz, a rookie, was held out of the Barber race following surgery but will return this weekend.
"I told them before the race at Barber, 'Don't look at me to change the rules; you've got the wheel in your hands and you're making the choices, not me,' " Barnhart said. "But (the drivers) have to balance the risk versus the consequences." Indy Star
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