Highlights of 2013 IndyCar rules changes UPDATE You can download the entire 2013 IndyCar rulebook from our IndyCar page or here.
01/23/13 The sporting and technical regulations that comprise the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook were released to teams today by INDYCAR.
"In 2012, the IZOD IndyCar Series saw an exciting season with an all-time high level of competition between our teams," said Beaux Barfield, Race Director, IZOD IndyCar Series. "For 2013, we have adjusted processes and regulations throughout the rulebook to build on last year's successful introduction of a new car and engine package. In addition to enhancing the on-track competition and producing rules consistency, the 2013 rulebook is focused on changes that will make the sport easier to follow for our competitors and fans."
Notable updates include:
• The pole sitter must start from the inside front row on the start (126.96.36.199), and the race leader must restart from the inside front row on all double-file restarts (188.8.131.52). Previously, the leading driver had the option of choosing their lane (driver's left or right).
• Pit selection for all events outside of the Indianapolis 500 will be based on qualifying results from the previous event (7.4.1). The selection order in 2012 was determined by the qualifying results of the last similar track (i.e. oval qualifying results determined pit selection for next oval event).
• Pit lane speeds have been adjusted to be consistent based on the type of track. All ovals will be 60 mph and all road/street courses will be 50 mph (7.9.11).
• For all events, each team may determine the quantity of E85 fuel it has in its car for the start of the race, further enhancing strategy (Rule 184.108.40.206). Previously tanks were required to have 18.5 gallons of fuel at the start of the race.
• To further emphasize on-track sportsmanship, if a car is deemed by the Race Director to have interfered with qualifications during Segment 1 or 2 of road/street course qualifying, the car will not be allowed to advance to the next segment in addition to having its two fastest laps disallowed. If the offense occurs during Segment 3, the Firestone Fast Six, the car shall not be permitted to participate in the remainder of qualifying (220.127.116.11).
• Push-to-pass will remain as a strategic competition tool for drivers on all road/street course races. Ten pushes will be available per event, with the duration of each push between 15 and 20 seconds based on the course. There will be no activation delay or reset time (14.18.14).
• Specifications for Texas have been updated to align with other speedways through use of common aerodynamic parts. Cars will have the same amount of downforce at Texas as in 2012 (18.104.22.168).
• Iowa specs will see a slight decrease in downforce to further enhance car control (22.214.171.124).
• Aero specs for the new event at Pocono are currently set at Indianapolis regulations (126.96.36.199).
• Car numbers on rear end fences are increased by inch to a minimum height of 8 inches for improved visibility (188.8.131.52).
• All drivers are required to wear helmets that meet or exceed the FIA 8860-2010 specification (184.108.40.206.2). The FIA8860 specification requires the helmet to be certified to the Snell SA standard plus pass an additional single impact and shell hardness test.
For the 2013 season, the IZOD IndyCar Series points structure has been slightly modified to reward performance. Any driver/entrant that leads at least one lap in a race will receive one bonus point. The driver/entrant that leads the most laps of the race will continue to receive two bonus points. Additionally, points awarded to finishing positions 19 through 25 have been adjusted, providing a differential instead of a flat system. Previously, finishing positions 19 through 24 received 12 points. Under the new system, there will be a one-point difference between each position 19 through 25. The balance of the points system remains unchanged from 2012. (Full points chart at bottom of release.)
"With the depth of competition we continue to see throughout the field, each finishing position and every point is vitally important to the championship," Barfield said. "The battles between 19th and 25th are very often hard-fought battles from the green flag to the checkered flag. Our drivers and teams are deserving of a points system that rewards competitors for their performance and efforts, no matter where they find themselves on the track."
Changes marking the Engine Sporting Regulations include a lengthening of the engine change-out threshold to 2,000 miles, an increase of 150 miles from 2012 (15.5.1). Unapproved engine changes will continue to warrant a 10-spot grid penalty at all events except the Indianapolis 500, where the penalty for a full-season entrant will be served at the following event (15.6.1).
Additionally, engine manufacturer points will only be scored by entrants utilizing their season allotment of five engines (10.6.4). Should a driver win a race utilizing a sixth engine, those points would not be awarded to the manufacturer.
"Our engine regulations were created to ensure cost-containment measures for both the manufacturers and teams, and those will continue in 2013," said Will Phillips, vice president of technology, INDYCAR. "We looked at a variety of options to potentially replace our unapproved engine change penalty, seeking feedback from the teams and manufacturers.
"After careful consideration and heavy debate, we believe our best option was to continue with the 10-spot grid penalty. We feel it is important to continue to be consistent with this penalty for both the long and short term."
The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season kicks off on Sunday, March 24 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The race will air at noon (ET) on NBC Sports Network.
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POINTS STRUCTURE
Leading at Least One Lap: 1 point
Most Laps Led: 2 points
Pole Position: 1 point (except at Indianapolis and Iowa)