IndyCar Houston qualifying postponed, temporary chicane installed

IndyCar Houston qualifying has been postponed and a temporary chicane installed on the approach to Turn 1 in order to address track problems that delayed the start of this weekend's double-header

IndyCar Houston qualifying postponed, temporary chicane installed

Track time was put on hold after bumps on the entry to Turn 1 proved so severe that Pirelli World Challenge cars were being launched during their morning practice session.

Qualifying for the first race will now take place on Saturday morning, with the second grid to be determined by a session on Sunday morning.

The Fast Six format will be dropped in favour of a 30 minute session, however the series is still yet to decide whether all cars will run at once, or whether the field will qualify in two groups.

IndyCar president of race operations Brian Barnhart said that installing a temporary chicane will allow cars to run today, with the first IndyCar practice session set to start three hours later than originally scheduled.

Additional repair work will be carried out overnight.

"I think we're got some pretty good solutions in place for the weekend," Barnhart said.

"We've put a temporary chicane on the front straightaway at Turn 1 and that is a temporary chicane to allow us to get some track time.

"A more permanent fix will take place this evening, but obviously people can still learn a lot about the rest of the race track.

"The temporary chicane is to slow the cars down and direct them towards the left side of the track where the bump isn't so bad."

Martin Thake, director of operations for the Houston race, said that the problem could not have been identified earlier due to the short amount of time available to build the track.

The circuit, which was last used by Champ Car in 2007 (pictured), was constructed in just 96 hours due to the Reliant Park facility's use by the Houston Texans' NFL team last weekend.

"It was a unique challenge, the last 96 hours, turning the parking lot into a race track right after the Texans game," he said.

"So many things were moving at the same time, it was very hard for us to do a full assessment of the surface when a facility like this is used as much as it is.

"The area that we're experiencing a problem with is underneath where the Texans keep their field between games. This concrete hasn't been driven on in seven years.

"So it was an area that we were unable to explore until we took over the facility and that prevented us from doing any in-depth testing. We're going to be grinding the surface this evening and anticipate a full day's racing tomorrow."

shares
comments
Ganassi to use Chevrolet engines in 2014 IndyCar season

Previous article

Ganassi to use Chevrolet engines in 2014 IndyCar season

Next article

Will Power quickest in delayed Houston IndyCar opening practice

Will Power quickest in delayed Houston IndyCar opening practice
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author Mark Glendenning
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020