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DATE News (chronologically)
03/17/12
irl
IndyCar to change pit lane rules?  New IndyCar Series race director Beaux Barfield is considering leaving pit road open this season during nonemergency caution periods on road courses and street circuits.

The goal, Barfield said Friday, is to reduce the amount of time the race has to be slowed for a full-course caution. But there is another advantage, he said.

“It would also leave the cars potentially more stretched out, which could alleviate some of the issues that have been inherent in the pit lane,” he said.

Under the procedure, the pace car would pick up the leading car after stops are made.

In caution periods involving crashes or other emergencies, the pits would be closed as they have been in recent years so rescuers can begin moving.

“If I've got a huge incident that I've got questions that I can't immediately answer, pits closed, full-course yellow immediately so we can dispatch safety vehicles and get them [to the scene],” Barfield said.

In cases where the pits are left open, Barfield said he would “delay” the call for a caution until the leader had the first opportunity to pit. That keeps him from being disadvantaged, Barfield said.

“You're still leaving a lot of responsibility in the hands of the drivers to observe local yellow flags,” he said. “They're still allowed to maintain speed outside that local caution area to get themselves back to the pits. On an oval, we don't have the ability to display any type of local yellow. Therefore, you have to bring the entire circuit under control.” AutoWeek

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