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IndyCar Long Beach

IndyCar tweaks split practice format for Long Beach

The IndyCar Series will continue to trial a split practice format in opening practice for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

The unique format was initially implemented in the first practice of the season-opening round on the Streets of St. Petersburg last month, with the 75-minute session starting with all cars beginning with 20 minutes of running. From there, the field was split into two groups – by odd and even numbered pit boxes – for two 10-minute segments on an alternating basis.

With that being the baseline, IndyCar has confirmed a new update has been rolled out after series officials collaborated with drivers and teams for the second points-paying round of the 2024 season in North America’s premier open-wheel championship.

The opening practice session for Long Beach, which begins at 5:50 p.m. ET on Friday, will see all cars available to pound laps around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit during the first 45 of 75 minutes. The clock will not stop during that time.

Following a brief five-minute break, Group One will receive 10 minutes of running before alternating with Group Two. All rookies are eligible to participate in both group sessions.

Unlike the initial 45 minutes, the clock will stop during the group portion of the session if an incident brings out a red flag.

Sharing a Practice 1 update for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach this week. The format for Friday’s practice will consist of:

Firestone’s softer alternate tires (green sidewall, for sustainable guayule rubber compound used on street circuits) will be available for teams to use at their discretion, with the group portion of the running allowing drivers reduced on-track traffic.

Similar to St. Petersburg, the groups will continue to be determined by their respective pit position, with those in odd numbered boxes (one-three-five etc.) in one group and drivers in even stalls (two-four-six etc.) running in the other.

The second practice session is set for Saturday at 11:25 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying later that day at 2:25 p.m. ET.

The 85-lap race will take place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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