Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

IndyCar restarts changed for 2024, split practice trialed in St. Pete

The IndyCar Series has a unique format and try out splitting groups for opening practice of this weekend’s season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will also feature new race restart protocols.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

When drivers and teams take the 14-turn, 1.8-mile street circuit to signal the start of the 2024 season with a 75-minute session at 2:45 p.m. ET on Friday, March 8, there will be a unique schedule to work within.

The series is implementing a template, currently only for St. Petersburg, that will feature the field split into two groups after the initial 20 minutes of all 27 cars running on track.

The concept should help clear traffic - an issue many drivers expressed over the past couple of seasons – as teams attempt to hone their respective ideal setups.

The opening practice is the only session prior to qualifying when Firestone’s softer alternates (green sidewall, for sustainable guayule rubber compound used on street circuits) are utilized.

In the updated rules released by IndyCar, it stated: “Deployed on a trial basis in St. Petersburg, the field will be split into two groups following a 20-minute ‘All Cars’ session to begin Practice 1. Following the 20-minute ‘All Cars’ session, each group – split by odd and even numbered pit boxes – will receive two 10-minute segments on an alternating basis. As in qualifying, the clock in Segments One and Two will stop for the first red flag condition of each practice segment.”

At the moment, nothing suggests this will be implemented in the second practice – a one-hour session that promises 45 minutes of running – on Saturday, March 9 at 9:35 a.m. ET. Knockout-round qualifying takes place later that same day at 2 p.m. ET. Sunday, March 10, will begin with a 30-minute warm-up at 9:30 a.m. ET, with the green flag waving for the 100-lap race at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Additionally, new restart procedures are being set in North America’s premier open-wheel championship for this season.

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Drivers will not be allowed to pass on restarts until reaching a specific point in the final corner.

“On restarts, drivers must remain in single file and are prohibited from passing until reaching a line designated in the last corner,” read a recent rule update by IndyCar.

“Additionally, the EM Motorsports light panels positioned around the track will be illuminated green to supplement the traditional cloth flag waved at the start-finish line for both starts and restarts.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Fines, penalties and pain: When driver racewear goes bad
Next article Dale Coyne Racing finalises 2024 IndyCar line-up

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe