CART beats F1 to testing ban

CART has stolen a march on Formula 1 by banning testing during the season and replacing it with extra track time during race weekends

CART beats F1 to testing ban

A similar plan is being considered for F1, but CART's acting CEO Bobby Rahal announced his plans for the 2001 FedEx Championship Series at Mid-Ohio last weekend.

No testing will be allowed during the course of the season, but the race weekend schedule will now include four hours of running on the Friday of a race weekend to compensate. Two-car teams will be allowed to test for 20 days during the off-season and single-car teams will be allowed to test for 14 days. Current rules allow 36 test days per year (24 for a single-car team), of which 20 can be run during the season.

The off-season has been defined to start on November 13 and end on March 1, 2001, but CART could make exceptions for special tyre, aerodynamic or engine tests. It may also allow limited testing if a substitute driver is brought in as a result of injuries.

"Fans are at the core of our racing," said Rahal. "These initiatives are designed to provide more track time that is meaningful for our fans, sponsors, manufacturers and teams. I credit our team owners for working together to make this happen."

The move is also an attempt to reduce stress and workload on CART's team personnel. At 22 races, next year's calendar is the biggest ever, with a double-header in Europe and a race in Mexico added to the schedule.

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