Photo Courtesy Brian Cleary, IndyCar.com

IndyCar improves LED panels for 2019 season

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An improved system of LED displays will be used in every IndyCar session this year to assist fans with understanding how each car is performing and to aid the safety team in attending disabled cars, it was announced Tuesday.

IndyCar has contracted with a new manufacturer named MoTeC for 2019 to create a version of the system used in IMSA.

“We know that fans at racetracks and watching from home appreciate the LED system that helps them keep track of how their favorite cars and drivers are performing,” IndyCar President Jay Frye said at IndyCar.com. “That’s why we worked hard in the offseason to develop a more reliable system that will have even brighter displays that make them more visible to everyone. Our thanks go to MoTeC and Jon Koskey, IndyCar’s senior director of technology, who led the effort on this important project.”

One feature of the new displays is that they are lighter, which will insure that there are no performance issues. They were tested in simulated race conditions during the offseason and will be mounted on the chassis’ roll hoop in time for the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The system receives data from IndyCar’s timing and scoring system. Continuously updated at the timing loops embedded in the track, the displays show a car’s running position on the leaderboard during each session.

When a driver presses the push-to-pass button, the display will alight a flashing green “PP”.

During pit stops, the displays will transform into a counter showing the length of service in tenths of a second.

One safety feature is that the display can also show when a car has lost power – assisting in the determination of when to deploy the safety team.

The lights will debut with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg’s practice session beginning on March 8. All practice session will air live on IndyCar Pass – NBC’s streaming service from NBC Sports Gold. More than 200 hours of broadcast qualify programming can be seen on this service, which is currently available at the IndyCar Pass on NBC Sports Gold site.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.