|Power is 100% correct. IndyCar's closed pits rule is hugely unfair|
One-time IndyCar Series champion Will Power called on the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body to introduce a virtual safety car, a system used by Formula One to electronically slow cars to a specific speed under caution writes Curt Cavin of the Indy Star.
The benefit, Power said, is to allow the pits to safely remain open throughout caution periods, which would keep drivers from being disadvantaged by the timing of the caution. For example, in Sunday's Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, Helio Castroneves was leading and had stretched his fuel an extra lap but got caught out when a mid-race caution came.
Because Castroneves had to wait for IndyCar to open the pits, he cycled to the end of the lead lap because others had already pitted without losing a lap.
"Sometimes it can be very frustrating because it can be pure luck where the yellow falls," Power said after winning the 70-lap race. "Look at Helio today, caught out by a yellow. It's almost a drive-through penalty, which I don't like.
"He's done a good job there, worked his way to the front, he's saved more fuel and gone a lap longer. Literally it's a drive-through penalty if you do that."
Power said the competitors have "talked a lot" with IndyCar officials about this scenario. Under former chief steward Beaux Barfield, there was a time when the pits were open throughout a caution period.
"The problem you have is, you have people racing back to the pits, so if there's an incident people are going past that incident too fast," Power said. "But now, if you look at Formula One, you have these virtual safety cars — we've got the data to do that, we can do that. We can slow everyone down to the same speed on the track, whatever that may be — 60 mph — and go around on a limiter until everyone pits. It prevents that.
"It's an easy fix. We should do it. Then we can pack up and have restarts. It makes it safer in the pits, and it makes it more fair on the track. It makes it more sportsmanlike, you could say. It's not a lottery." Curt Cavin/Indy Star