IndyCar push-to-pass data to no longer be made public

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INDYCAR has announced that push-to-pass data will no longer be made public in a bid to encourage more overtaking and on-track action in the series.

In each street or road course race, drivers are afforded ten push-to-pass boosts that give them an additional 50 horsepower for 20 seconds, which can be used for both overtaking other cars and defending from competitors.

Up to now, the information regarding the usage of push-to-pass has been made public via the timing screens, allowing teams to know the number of boosts their competitors have, often resulting in a tactical stalemate.

Speaking in Toronto this weekend, INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker confirmed that this data would no longer be made public in a bid to encourage teams to use push-to-pass as an attacking tool instead of a defensive one.

“Unfortunately, the information given to the teams on the push-to-pass function has tended to be used as a defensive measure,” Walker said.

“The driver being overtaken activates his or her own push-to-pass to defend, which defeats the intention of push-to-pass, obviously.

“We will limit the availability of that information, which will make things interesting, particularly late in the race.”

The change is effective immediately ahead of this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto, and will carry through for the remainder of the season. Race officials will retain the information to monitor the usage of push-to-pass to ensure that it is done so fairly.

In qualifying for the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday, Will Power picked up his fifth Verizon P1 Award of the 2015 season with a fine display, edging out Penske teammates Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya at the top of the timesheets in the Fast Six shootout.

The Honda Indy Toronto is live on NBCSN from 3pm on Sunday.

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”