Indy 500 cars revised after multiple practice flips

IndyCar has reacted to the three practice flips with changes to the Indy 500 qualifying format and technical regulations for the cars.

Indy 500 cars revised after multiple practice flips
Derrick Walker
Ed Carpenter, CFH Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, CFH Racing Chevrolet and Derek Daly and Eddie Cheever
Ed Carpenter, CFH Racing Chevrolet
Mark Miles
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden flip damage
Josef Newgarden, CFH Racing Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves flips
Debris after Josef Newgarden's crash
Safety crew members check the damage after Josef Newgarden's crash

INDIANAPOLIS - IndyCar has released a revised schedule for the qualifying, the second time it has been changed this weekend.

Format changes

Each of the 34 entries will get one attempt with their time based off the average of four consecutive laps. The 'Fast Nine' shootout for the pole will not take place. No points will be awarded for qualifying either. The bottom four will be the only drivers allowed a second run.

At 1:30pm local time, teams will get another opportunity to practice.

Technical changes

Along with these format changes, the boost level for qualifying has been lowered and will remain the same for the rest of the week and the race. Also, both Chevrolet and Honda must run the aerodynamic bodywork they planned to utilize in the race for qualifying.

Just because we've seen three incidents happen with a Chevrolet, it doesn't mean there aren't three Hondas there who won't do the same thing 

Derrick Walker, IndyCar Pres. of Operations and Competition

Essentially, the series has mandated that each team must race what they start qualifying with. The aerodynamic configuration and boost levels must be identical between qualifying and race. 

IndyCar statement

“This morning we saw a third car get into wall, turn backwards and lift into the air. We’ve said all along we want to go faster, but we want to do so safely," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company in a release from the series.

"As a precautionary measure, IndyCar will require that the cars qualify today in the same aero set up that they will run in the Indianapolis 500 next weekend. Also, for today, boost levels will return to race conditions. Given these changes, we have elected to not award points for today’s qualifications."

Better to be safe than sorry

In a press conference, series officials added: "We are committed to protecting safety the best we can for both our drivers and fans. What I'm learning in this sport is initially, everyone thinks about how a situation affects them. They understand where we are coming from.

"This may be done with an abundance of caution - We hope to go faster, but we are also going to be responsible."

Chevy-only problem? 'We don't know'

"Just because we've seen three incidents happen with a Chevrolet, it doesn't mean there aren't three Hondas there who won't do the same thing."

"Honda does not believe they have an issue," they admitted. "This isn't about a manufacturer one vs. the other. Safety has to be our guiding light. It would be negligent on our part to focus on one manufacturer or the other."

In regards to what is precisely causing these cars to go airborne: "We don't have complete clarity on that.

"This problem is solvable."

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