IndyCar rule changes of interest for 2022

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IndyCar rule changes of interest for 2022

IndyCar

IndyCar rule changes of interest for 2022

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The NTT IndyCar Series has made a modest number of updates to its 2022 rulebook, with some entries holding more impact on the racing than others.

With a new electronic marshaling system that will be installed at each circuit, the series has newfound abilities to track the placement of its drivers as they reach, drive through, and exit the turns, and with more timing loops in place, race director Kyle Novak and his team can more accurately monitor when and how competitors adhere to yellow conditions.

As such, one smart alteration has been made with the removal of an expectation for drivers to arrive to the scene of a yellow on road and street courses, look at their digital dashes to observe their current speed, then swiftly do math in their heads to conform to the former instruction to “reduce speed by a minimum of 15% (or greater if conditions warrant).” Under the updated Rule 7.1.3.2, the math problem has been removed and drivers no longer need to comply to a percentage-based speed reduction.

It now reads: All Drivers shall demonstrate caution as defined by the criteria set forth in Rule 7.2.2.1. (a) & (b) and be prepared to stop. Overtaking is not permitted between the first Yellow Condition and the subsequent Green Condition. Any Driver passing through a Local Yellow Condition in Practice or Qualifying will have that lap time invalidated.

Continuing the theme of cautions, IndyCar has doubled the verbiage previously used to describe hanging or waving yellow flags with Rule 7.2.2.1:

a) Motionless — A motionless yellow flag means a hazard beside or near the edge of the Track or forewarning of a waved yellow flag ahead. Overtaking is not permitted. Drivers must reduce speed substantially, be prepared to take evasive action, and safely interact with other Drivers to the satisfaction of IndyCar. Failure to demonstrate caution based on any or all the above factors may be subject to penalty.

b) Waved – A waved yellow flag means a hazard wholly or partially blocking the Track. Overtaking is not permitted. Drivers must reduce speed substantially, be prepared to take evasive action, or stop, yield to safety vehicles and/or personnel, and safely interact with other Drivers to the satisfaction of IndyCar. Failure to demonstrate caution based on any or all the above factors may be subject to penalty.

IndyCar has taken the extraordinary step to give its race control team permission to remotely disable push-to-pass in situations where lapped drivers have, in past examples, used the 40hp boost to stay in front of those who are fighting for the lead.

Rule 7.2.5.1 now reads: At Road/Street Course Events – When displayed from the starter’s stand and ordered directly by IndyCar (command blue), directs a Lapped Car to immediately give way to the overtaking Car. IndyCar may disable Push to Pass for Lapped Cars (defined as a Car that is at least one lap behind all Cars that are on the Race leader’s lap).

Rule 7.6.10 brings an unexpected end to a practice that’s been seen since 1911 with the first Indy 500: Unless approved by IndyCar, crew members are not permitted to physically assist with the Car’s exit from the Pit Box.

The amendment to Rule 14.7.9.4.1.1 leads one to wonder where one or more teams tried to divert air to another part of the car that offered an aerodynamic gain: The Driver helmet inlet duct hose must have a minimum 0.500 inches inside diameter from the inlet connection to the helmet connection. The only permitted outlet for the air is into the Driver helmet.

And finally, Rule 14.8.1 on wheel guns is an interesting subject: Wheel guns must be pneumatic and may not have any electronic devices attached to any part of the wheel gun system, including air lines and regulators.

About a decade ago at the higher levels of sports car racing, well-funded factory teams began using “smart” wheel guns that made use of electronic torque sensors that provided instant information regarding the tightening of each wheel nut. Provided the correct amount of torque was applied, the cars would be sent from the pit box to resume racing, and in the rare cases where a nut was not properly installed, the smart wheel guns would alert the team. The reasoning behind this new rule is not fully clear — possibly to keep costs down — but it does make the introduction of electronics in any capacity against the regulations.

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