Standing starts in IndyCar 2013: Good idea or not?

When the IZOD IndyCar Series released their 2013 schedule, they added a surprise element to their three doubleheader weekends: Standing starts!

Now that the surprise has worn off, the time has come to digest if the idea is a good one or not. Oddly this came at a time when Formula One has seen more start crashes than in past years, some creating a quite a bit of carnage (think Spa). So why would IndyCar consider bringing back standing starts to North America's premier single-seater series?

Back in the glory days of Formula Atlantic, standing starts added to the excitement of watching the sleek racing machines race toward the first turn. Yet in past years, watching the IndyCars zoom toward the first turn from a rolling start has still given the fans the thrill of who will take the lead into the first turn. So could it be that officials are looking to create more drama on and off the track by providing more potential for incidents at the start?

Start of the Belgian Formula One race, 2012
Start of the Belgian Formula One race, 2012

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Apart from Formula One, other series that continue to start their races by revving up their engines and flying off the line include DTM and MotoGP. The spectators would not have it any other way. Nor would TV. The element of waiting for the lights to go out and the cars or bikes to sail away makes the heart beat faster. And it adds yet another technical aspect to the drivers: don't jump the start, don't stall the engine. Get a good start off the line.

Obviously IndyCar is well aware of these factors. It makes perfect sense to test it out next year.

The three doubleheaders that will include one race with a rolling start and one with a standing start are all on street circuits: Detroit, Toronto, and Houston.

"We started looking at our entire business model and how we could grow," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said. "We felt this was one of the ways that would make sense. It gives your fans a chance to see twice the action in one weekend."

Now, let’s just hope Romain Grosjean doesn't sign with an IndyCar team next year!

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Article type Commentary
Tags bernard, detroit, houston, indycar, izod, toronto