IndyCar updates standing start procedures

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INDYCAR has announced updates to its standing start procedure, which will be implemented in Race 1 of both this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto (Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) and Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston in October.

Here are the key points from the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook:

  • COUNTDOWN: Safety car will lead the formation lap and drivers will follow single-file in starting order.
  • FORMATION LAP: Drivers will remain in starting order with no overtaking. Speed of formation lap will be set by the safety car.
  • GRID: At the end of the formation lap, drivers will take their starting positions with the front wheels of the car inside its designated grid line.
  • LIGHTS: The Race Director will make a five-second declaration via radio before the lights sequence begins. Said sequence will begin when the first two rows of red lights turn on. The red lights will continue to turn on from the bottom of the panel, two rows at a time, for a total of six steps (12 rows). Once the panel is filled, there will be a delay between one half-second and three seconds before the red lights turn green to start the race.

Penalties will be imposed for false starts, which will be declared when a car moves forward or is out of its assigned position before the end of the light sequence. The Race Director can also call an aborted start before the final row of red lights turn on; if that occurs, a standard rolling start will occur and all competitors that are found to have caused the aborted start will be sent to the rear of the field.

The second races of the Toronto and Houston doubleheaders will utilize the rolling starts.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.