IndyCar drops standing starts as 2015 rules are finalized

The 2015 rulebook has been announced.

IndyCar has announced new regulations for 2015, including the elimination of standing starts, which has been controversial since its implementation. IndyCar’s president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said in a release, “Most of the tracks we run on, few meet the space criteria for our cars, which are bigger than most formula cars and there is some development needed with the launch."

"I wouldn’t say it’s out of the picture for the future. We know the fans enjoy it, and we love it, too.”

Standing starts have caused major accidents in the past and there have been many situations where the cars would fail to start as some within the sport argued that the cars were not capable of consistently pulling off clean starts.

They've also changed their system for awarding double points. In 2014, the tree 500 mile oval races were double points events. In 2015, only the Indianapolis 500 and the season-ending race at Sonoma will award double points.

"We look at the new calendar and analyze how many cars would be in contention for the championship after certain events, and the best trend with multiple cars racing for the championship was weighting it for the final race and the Indy 500, which is a special race deserving of double points," Walker said.

Highlights from the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook

- Standing starts, which were introduced in 2013 at Toronto and utilized at four venues in 2014, have been eliminated for the 2015 season.

- Teams will be charged four days from their 14-day test allocation for Promoter Days (formerly known as Open Tests) at Barber Motorsports Park (March 16-17, for the introduction of Chevrolet and Honda street/road course aero kits), St. Petersburg (March 27), NOLA Motorsports Park (April 10), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval (May 3), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (May 7) and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (July 31). The on-track Promoter Day at St. Petersburg, NOLA Motorsports Park, the Indianapolis road course and Mid-Ohio immediately precedes the race event weekends.

- Qualification groups for road/street course races shall be determined by the practice session prior to Segment 1 of the three rounds of qualifying.

- Qualifying will continue to set the pit lane assignment for the following event, but rule 7.4.1 addresses changing drivers between events, such as Ed Carpenter and Mike Conway with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2014. When Conway, who drove 12 road/street course races in the No. 20 entry, yielded to Carpenter for an oval race (and vice versa), the No. 20 car was assigned the last pit stall from pit out. Under the new rule, the entrant will retain the pit assignment based upon qualifying position from the previous event, regardless of driver. 

- Each of the speed phases of the Rookie Orientation Program for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race have been increased 5 mph. In addition to car control, placement and a consistent driving pattern, the Rookie Orientation Program shall consist of three phases totaling 40 laps: Phase One of 10 laps at 205-210 mph, Phase Two of 15 laps at 210-215 mph and Phase Three of 15 laps at 215+ mph. The laps do not have to be consecutive. The phases and corresponding speeds may be adjusted based on track/weather conditions.

- Correspondingly, the Indianapolis 500 refresher test for drivers will consist of 30 total laps (the second and third phases of the ROP).

Statements via IndyCar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mike Conway , Ed Carpenter
Article type Breaking news
Tags double points, rulebook, standing starts