New Rules for IndyCar in 2012
February 8, 2012 | 6:20 P.M. EST
Sporting and technical regulations that comprise the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook were distributed electronically to teams today by INDYCAR.
INDYCAR President of Competition and IZOD IndyCar Series Race Director Beaux Barfield said the goal was to re-format the 2012 rulebook for ease of use in conjunction with the debut of the Dallara DW12 chassis and participation by three engine manufacturers.
"A rulebook is written to protect the rights of its competitors and empower the officials," said Barfield, who joined INDYCAR in January after several years as Race Director of the American Le Mans Series. "It's that balance you're trying to strike when you're writing rules, and it's very important in generating the product we long for on-track. I'm confident that we've created the proper balance with this rulebook moving forward this season."
• An instant messaging system during events between Race Control and officials, individual entrants or the entire field to communicate track conditions, warnings, penalties or other information. Team managers also will be able to directly contact Race Control. The system will complement radio communication.
• Standard INDYCAR tech bodywork parts must be able to fit a team's car during technical inspection.
• A minimum of two Track Condition Radio steering wheel lights are standard. They will act in unison with dash lights and complement audio and trackside visual caution warning systems.
• Manufacturer points will be awarded on a race-by-race basis and added throughout the season to crown a Manufacturer Champion between Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus. The highest-finishing engine manufacturer earns 9 points; the second highest-placing manufacturer earns 6 points and the third-highest manufacturer receives 4 points.
• An oval Open Test has been added March 13 at Texas Motor Speedway to complement the private test Feb. 19-21 at the 1.5-mile oval and supplement the March 5-6 and March 8-9 Open Test at Sebring International Raceway.
Barfield said his intent was to review instead of rewrite. He will take notes throughout the season for points of discussion relating to the 2013 rulebook.
"For me, it's important that certain rules make sense for my style, but be careful to not cut out too many elements that have value," Barfield said. "There's a lot of heritage to these rules that you want to preserve and make sure you don't create any pitfalls by getting rid of items. At the conclusion of the 2012 season, this rulebook will be the base and we'll start immediately on 2013."
INDYCAR Vice President of Technology Will Phillips and the technical officiating group have been reviewing regulations since autumn with 2012 and beyond in mind as multiple aerodynamic bodywork kits will be introduced for 2013. INDYCAR also has added engine support engineers to aid Director of Engine Development Trevor Knowles and police the Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus programs.
The comprehensive technical inspection process, which measures, weighs and checks more than 100 items of the car, now will include matching INDYCAR standard car parts to an entrant's car.
"Our goal is to ensure as quickly as possible that everybody is following the letter of the law and the intention," Phillips said. "INDYCAR officials started with a clean sheet when developing the 2012 technical regulations, and through the diligent enforcement of the rules we can help maintain an environment of safety and fair competition that benefits the participants and fans."