Standing restarts confirmed by FIA for 2015, among other updates

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Thought double points was a controversial idea? Try standing restarts after safety car periods.

But like double points, standing restarts are coming, and will be enforced from 2015. That was confirmed at Thursday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council:

“Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.”

Among the rest of the updates outlined to the 2015 Sporting Regulations, the number of engines that each driver can used will be four, and the penalty for a change of Power Unit will be starting from the back of the grid instead of the pit lane. The current restrictions to the parc fermé will now apply from the start of P3 instead of the start of qualifying, as well.

Rather than three preseason tests of four days apiece in Europe, that’s been reduced to two tests of four days. There also will be two in-season tests of two days each in Europe (instead of the current four). Two of these four days must be reserved for young drivers.

On the Technical Regulations side, a two-stage wheel fastener retaining system is now compulsory.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski