IndyCar has confirmed several rule changes for the upcoming season, including modifications to Indianapolis 500 qualifying points, changes to the qualifying process at other ovals, tweaks to tire allotments and an increase in minimum car weight, all previously reported by RACER.
Under the new Indy 500 qualifying points system, driver and entrant points will only be awarded to the top nine qualifiers, with nine points for the pole-sitter. Last year, Scott Dixon’s pole earned him 42 points.
Meanwhile, plans to scrap the use of a lottery system to determine the qualifying order at all ovals other than Indianapolis in favor of running in the reverse order of entrant points have been enshrined into the rules, along with an end to an additional set of Firestones being made available to teams outside the top 10 in the standings for the opening practice session of a weekend. In a related change, an extra set of tires will be made available to all teams at Phoenix, Detroit, Texas, Toronto and Iowa.
Other changes include the granting of an additional half-day of private testing to teams that did not take part in manufacturer testing with the universal aero kit, with each team being allocated five hours and two sets of tires.
The series also made several minor schedule confirmations, including times for next month’s series-wide open test at Phoenix, where the track will be open to all cars between 3-6pm and 8-11pm ET both days, as well as an additional four hours of track time on February 8 for rookies to complete their oval assessments.
A series-wide test will also be held at Portland on August 30, one day prior to the beginning of the race weekend, while a schedule change for the month of May will now have garages closed on May 13 – the day after the GP of Indianapolis – for Mother’s Day. The track will be closed to the public on that day and will reopen on the 14th, although there will be no on-track action until rookie orientation kicks off the first scheduled day of Indy 500 practice on the morning of the 15th.