IndyCar Tightens 2013 Testing Rules
INDIANAPOLIS – IZOD IndyCar Series manufacturer and team off-season, preseason and in-season private testing through the Oct. 19, 2013, season finale at Auto Club Speedway has been significantly reduced, the sanctioning body announced Monday.
“In the interest of continued cost containment and with the support of the majority of the partners involved, testing is being reined in after the initial development of the new car,” said IndyCar Vice President of Technology Will Phillips. “We’re recovering from the cost of re-capitalizing the whole field and testing can be the most expensive part of a team’s program.”
Engine manufacturer preseason testing in 2012 had been unlimited as Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus prepared their 2.2-liter turbocharged V6 engines for the 2012 season on the most diverse set of racetracks in motorsports.
Full-season entrants are allocated a maximum of 10,000 miles per calendar year for use in all team tests, Open Tests and race events. Excluding manufacturer test days, no full-season entrant has topped 9,000 total miles this year.
Scott Dixon, driving the Honda-powered No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, has a series-high 19 test days. The team has two additional test days scheduled (Oct. 11 at Milwaukee and Oct. 29 at Barber).
“We’ve spent a good part of the 2012 season dealing with the expenses associated with the sport, especially as it was the introductory year of the chassis,” said Brian Barnhart, IndyCar’s president of operations and strategy. “We listened to the owners on several occasions talk about the need to reduce the costs associated with participation, and one of the ways of doing that is to examine the testing rules that were allowed and necessary in 2012 and revising them for 2013.”
Costs of a single test day – factoring in track rental, travel, lodging/food and per-lap expenditures (tires, engine, fuel, mechanical wear and tear) – quickly add up to $30,000 to $50,000.
Approved engine manufacturer testing:
In the updated testing regulations distributed to teams and partners, manufacturers are limited to two days each during the off-season (through Dec. 31) and preseason (Jan. 4, 2013, to the March 24 opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.). In-season manufacturer test days have been reduced from six to four, with a restriction of two manufacturer days per team.
Approved team testing:
Similarly, team private off-season, preseason and in-season testing has been reduced from six total days to two days, plus four total engine manufacturer test days per team.
Each full-season entrant will be allocated a maximum 16 sets of tires for off-season, preseason and in-season private test days – half the total as 2012. This excludes engine manufacturer tests and Open Tests. Open Test entrants will be allocated three sets of tires per day per entry.
These tests, which supplement private test days, are scheduled during the race week at Barber Motorsports Park in early April, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in early August, and at Sonoma Raceway in late August. Additionally, an Open Test is scheduled for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April. Dates and times will be announced at a later date, as will a preseason Open Test venue.
New teams, drivers:
Teams will be allocated two additional test days and three sets of tires per day for the purpose of testing a rookie driver. Any new IZOD IndyCar Series teams for the 2013 season will be allocated two additional team test days and three additional sets of tires per day during the off-season and preseason period.
Also new for the 2013 calendar year:
Full-size wind tunnel testing is restricted to two days per team and four days per engine manufacturer. Model wind tunnel testing is permitted. Testing that requires the use of an approved chassis must be submitted with a minimum of seven days’ notice to IndyCar for approval.