INDYCAR has announced some updates to the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook, which will be effective this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The updates focus on three particulars: Restarts, race procedure penalties, and tires.
They are as follows:
Race Restart – In the event of a restart with 15 laps or less remaining in the race, all lapped cars will be moved to the rear of the field. (Rule 126.96.36.199).
Race Procedure Penalties – If circumstances do not permit for a penalty to be served during a race, the Race Director shall declare the race results provisional and officials will review the penalty. This review is independent of technical inspection. (Rule 9.2.2).
Tires – If a car receives tire damage due to contact during a race, the two-lap requirement for that type of tire will be considered fulfilled (Rule 188.8.131.52.5).
The updates come after multiple late-race issues emerged last month during the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader.
As you’ll recall, Dario Franchitti finished third in the first race of that weekend but was then called for blocking on the final lap and given a time penalty that sent him to 13th. However, after additional evidence was reviewed by INDYCAR, the penalty was overturned and Franchitti was given his original result back. It would appear that the penalty update to the rulebook will aim to keep problems like this from happening again.
Then in the second Toronto race, Franchitti switched from the option “red” tires to the primary “black” tires after getting caught in a first-lap incident. INDYCAR rules state that on road/street courses, all drivers must run at least two green-flag laps on both the reds and blacks, but Franchitti ran on blacks the rest of the way.
The matter caused confusion until it was disclosed that after a competition meeting, it was decided that during doubleheader weekends, teams could run just one lap and meet the requirement as long as there was legitimate damage to one of the tires. The new amendment on tires to the rulebook would appear to address that matter.