Can IndyCar drivers do double file restarts without crashing? UPDATE The answer is no. Today was another debacle as IndyCar actually thinks they can do double file restarts in the rain, when it is proven the drivers can't avoid contact when they try it in the dry. At this rate they'll have to rename the series "The IZOD Parade Series" because week in and week out they parade behind the pace car while the carnage is cleaned up and the TV viewers switch to another program. As we stated for the umpteenth time, they should limit double file restarts to the oval tracks only.
05/01/11 Jeff Olson for Autosport writes, Are double file restarts ever going to work? Can 26 IndyCar cars dive into a sharp Turn 1 on a street course without littering the pavement with carbon? How many more well-publicized errors can the series take before integrity – and ratings – suffer beyond repair?
"I think it's doable," Scott Dixon says. "It's a lot more difficult to achieve visually for the drivers, just because everything happens so fast. On the ovals, I don't see it as a problem, but on the road and street courses, it's tough to pull off.
"What it comes down to is that it's what the fans and racing people want to see. If you've had a bad qualifying, it can be a way to gain track position. It's just that at the moment that you see the space open, it closes. You can't try to make up eight positions on a restart. It's not going to work. Officials need to pull their fingers out of their asses and give penalties, too. You have to police this thing or it won't work.
"Barber is a perfect example of how it can work," Dixon says. "If you compare it to St Pete, it wasn't nearly as difficult to get through Turn 1, so we were able to race into it two-wide. The racing at times was pretty spectacular."
"The accordion effect is so big on restarts. You can't slow the entire field down before the restart and expect it to work. We're going to have to understand spacing to get this right. The competition is so close right now – the lap speeds are very close together – that we're all running the same out there. You can't pull away from each other."
"We're like a classroom of eight-year-olds when it comes to a restart," Dixon says. "Eventually I think it will be good. There are a lot of positives to be had from it. I think we can get it to the point where accidents on restarts are rare."
"It's not going to be that ridiculous slow pace we have at street courses" – nor does he harbor a grudge against Castroneves – "it's not just Helio; he's just the one who's had a spotlight."
"The meetings are better and shorter now that we understand it little more completely," he says. "We need more space. The pace needs to be faster, and the restart cone needs to be placed earlier. Once we understood all the aspects of it and voiced our opinions about it, it started to get better. People forget that the major accident at St Pete was on the start, not a restart. If you look at the starts, they're not a whole lot different than what we usually do, and we've had accidents previously on the start at St Pete."
"It's a learning process for all of us," he says.