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 reveals safety, tech, procedural changes for 2023

IndyCar has unveiled a raft of technical changes to improve safety and give teams greater range of options that is hoped will improve the cars' ability to race on ovals.

IndyCar's new mandatory rain vanes

Among its most significant changes, IndyCar has mandated stronger rear-wheel tethers and a more ‘forgiving’ steering arm, which is designed to take more punishment without breaking.

In the cockpit, the large U-shaped device that incorporates the rear headrest with the side padding has been redesigned to include a larger amount of cushioning to protect a driver’s head in the event of an accident that involves large lateral forces. The raised profile of this side protection will decrease the potential angle of helmet tilt, thereby reducing the chance of stretching neck muscles.

After complaints from several drivers regarding the aeroscreen’s performance in the wet, IndyCar has introduced mandatory rain vanes to direct as much water as possible away from the screen.

Some drivers had noted that rain gathered and remained either side of the central wicker that extends from the nose all the way up the aeroscreen. IndyCar’s new rain vanes sit on the front suspension access panel and either side of the central wicker.

Also with regard to wet weather races, IndyCar has introduced a new, larger LED rain light. This will be attached to a newly shaped attenuator that has been made stronger on its top surface by introducing a corrugation, but underneath has a gentler curve to direct a chasing car’s nose downward in the event of a rear impact.

New IndyCar attentuator and rain-light, 2023 + 22

New IndyCar attentuator and rain-light, 2023 + 22

Photo by: IndyCar

From an aerodynamic standpoint, for 2023 IndyCar will allow teams to use their short-oval barge boards on road and street course events.

At Texas Motor Speedway, the underwing sidewall has been made optional, while for Indianapolis Motor Speedway there are mandatory stability wickers, but there are new optional flap wickers available to attach to the top surface trailing edge of the underwing.

The range of aerodynamic options for Indy has increased greatly, with IndyCar allowing a new additional underwing inner bargeboard (also optional at other ovals), the use of road and street course strakes and the Speedway infill wicker (also available for use at Texas Motor Speedway).

Additionally, a new rear-wing pillar specification will allow three degrees more adjustability range for the rear wing on the IMS oval.

IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development Tino Belli said this would allow drivers in the pack to run with up to 10% more downforce at the Indy 500 compared to last year.

“With the increased rear wing range, teams can still try and trim out the rear wing for end-of-race speed if they have worked their way up into the lead group,” he explained.

“Overall, IndyCar wants to give race teams more options going into 2023. The optional barge boards give them a crucial tool when they consider, strategically, what it will take to get to victory lane.”

 

Photo by: IndyCar

Meanwhile alternate-compound tyres will be used on an oval for the first time in IndyCar history at the August Gateway race, which will feature Firestone's softer compound.

Teams will follow the same rules as at road and street circuits, being obliged to use a new set of alternates during during the race.

Also new for 2023 is the addition of EM Motorsports Telemetry to the EM Marshalling System, which debuted in 2022.

IndyCar will also introduce procedural tweaks, with the first red flag during Q1 and Q2 in qualifying on road and street courses now stopping the clock. (The clock will continue to run for any subsequent red flags). The decisive Fast Six will continue to feature six minutes of guaranteed time.

Also new, to maximise time during the segments, the qualifying clock will not start until the first car passes the alternate start-finish line – the one sited before pit entry during Friday/Saturday practice and qualifying.

The 'second groove' practice sessions that were seen at Texas Motor Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway last year will continue in 2023 and will be available to all entries. In this session, drivers run the higher line not used in qualifying to “rubber in” the higher groove, thereby making more of the track surface usable come race time, and therefore encouraging passes.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article IndyCar to run 'green’ tyres for at all 2023 street races
Next article What to watch for in IndyCar 2023

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