IndyCar: Manufacturer points penalties issued to both Chevy, Honda

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The Verizon IndyCar Series’ manufacturer points system was altered this offseason to begin with, and now, at Round 3 of the championship, we have our first round of new era engine points penalties.

Chevrolet has been docked 50 total points and Honda 30, for two rules infractions.

The full release from INDYCAR is below. As this is the first such round of engine penalties, we’re glad there’s an explanation and reasoning for INDYCAR dropping the hammer.

From INDYCAR:

A total of 50 points have been deducted from Chevrolet’s manufacturer championship total and Honda’s total has been reduced by 30 points for violation of engine sporting regulations.

The Nos. 11, 12, 17 and 20 cars with Chevrolet power and the No. 98 Honda-powered car were found to have violated rule 10.6.4 (non-minor engine repair). In accordance with the rule, 10 points will be deducted for an engine undergoing a non-minor repair that requires a component change, subject to INDYCAR approval. The engine will no longer be eligible for points from Rule 10.6.4.2.

Additionally, both manufacturers were found to have violated Rule 16.5.1 (engine change under mileage). Chevrolet switched out the engine in the No. 83 car and Honda before it met the 2,500-mile threshold, while the Honda engine in the Nos. 7 and 77 cars were changed out.

The members may contest the imposition of the penalties pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.

Chevrolet leads the Engine Manufacturers’ Championship 197-112 heading into the April 27 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

The last two years since engine competition was reintroduced, engine-related penalties have been applied as 10-spot grid penalties for unapproved engine changes or an elimination of manufacturer points eligibility if an entrant was using its sixth engine or more over the course of the season.

Long Beach two years ago saw the entire Chevrolet contingent opt to change engines ahead of the race, all unapproved, so all took 10-position grid penalties as a result.

These penalties assessed don’t overcomplicate the process; they merely take away points, which the new points system allows for room to happen.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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