IndyCar doubles points for 500-mile races as part of 2014 overhaul
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, March 21st 2014, 16:02 GMT|
IndyCar has doubled the points awarded for its 500-mile races and dropped the practice of applying grid penalties for engine changes as part of a broad overhaul for 2014.
Under the new system, which will take effect from next weekend's season-opener at St Petersburg, a win worth 50 points at a regular event will pay 100 points at the Indianapolis 500, Pocono and Fontana, with all other positions also worth double.
Setting the fastest time on the opening day of qualifying for the Indy 500 will pay 33 points, with nine bonus points on offer for the winner of the Fast Nine Shootout.
"Adding more weight to the 500-mile events rewards teams and drivers that continually rise to the occasion at key times of the year," said IndyCar president of competition and operations Derrick Walker.
"We looked at various ways to improve the way we decide our champions, and this will only make the championship battles more exciting."
The format for the manufacturers' championship has also been revised to further reward durability and performance.
Under the enhanced system, manufacturers will earn 10 points for each one of their engines that reaches the 2500 mile threshold mandated by IndyCar during the season, and they will also earn the same double-point payout at the 500-milers as the drivers.
"Fans didn't like seeing drivers receive the 10-grid-spot penalty for engine changes, especially when it was out of the team's control," Walker said.
"With the help from our manufacturers, we are able to enhance our races without adding more confusion to the people who follow the sport."
In place of the former 10-place grid penalty for entries that were subject to an unauthorised engine change, manufacturers will be dealt a 10 point penalty.
Entrant-initiated engine changes will incur a 10-point penalty for both the entrant and the driver.
An unapproved engine change by an entry will result in that entry starting from the rear of the grid at the next race.
No engine change grid penalties will be served at the Indy 500, with all penalties carried into or earned at Indy to be served at the following race.