IndyCar announces competition rules, procedural changes

Three incidents that occurred at last week’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach have prompted IndyCar to announce changes to add clarity and better serve both its drivers and the fans. INDYCAR announced the following rules and procedures changes effective at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park from April 22-24:

  • Segment 3 of road/street course qualifying (the Firestone Fast Six) shall consist of six minutes of guaranteed green-flag time (Rule 8.3.4.6 of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Rule Book). The timing clock stops during any red-flag situation. If a red flag occurs near the end of the session and the remaining time is not enough for entrants to complete a timed lap, all entrants will be given an opportunity to complete one timed lap when green-flag conditions return. In order to receive the one guaranteed lap, cars must leave pit lane within 30 seconds of the green being called. Previously, the rule called for Segment 3 to run for 10 minutes, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time.
  • Rule 8.3.5.1 has been added to the Verizon IndyCar Series Rule Book, which states that a car involved in a red-flag condition in Segment 3 will not be permitted to continue in the session. Rule 8.3.5 remains in effect, stating that a car causing a red flag in any qualifying segment shall have its two best timed laps disallowed and it shall not advance to the next segment.
  • An electronic pit exit commit line has been embedded in the track surface. The transponder in each Verizon IndyCar Series car must cross the embedded line to determine a legal pit exit. This procedure will be in use this weekend at Barber and at other series tracks where conditions permit.
  • Backup timing and scoring data decoders have been placed at both the traditional start/finish line and the timing line used for qualifying at Turn 14. This procedure will be in use this weekend at Barber and at other series tracks as conditions permit.
  • Entries completing five laps on one set of tires (including “in" and “out" laps) within the first 20 minutes of green-flag conditions during the first on-track session of an event weekend at a road or street course, including promoter test days, will receive an additional set of primary tires for use during the weekend (Rule 15.2.1.1). Previously, the time limit to complete the five laps was 15 minutes.

Jay Frye, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations:

“The change in Segment 3 of road/street course qualifying was made to simplify the process, create a sense of urgency to have cars on track and give the fans a better show. We want to avoid situations where the Firestone Fast Six concludes on a red flag, so we’ve put in place the opportunity for each car to post one timed lap at the end of the session."

“The addition of the electronic pit exit commit line uses technology to improve enforcement of the lane usage rule and creates a system to determine if an infraction has occurred. The race stewards’ penalty guidelines remain unchanged.

“Adding backup data decoders at the alternate start/finish lines puts a system of redundancy in place to assure accurate and quick results.

“The time allowed for teams to earn the additional set of Firestone primary tires has been expanded by five minutes and excludes red-flag conditions in the first on-track session." IndyCar.com

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