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After being introduced as IZOD IndyCar Series president of competition and race director in January, Beaux Barfield said his goal was to reformat the 2012 rulebook for ease of use, particularly with a new Dallara DW12 chassis and participation from three engine manufacturers, Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus arriving for the 2012 season.
"A rulebook is written to protect the rights of the competitors and empower the officials," he declared. "It's that balance you're trying to strike when you're writing rules, and it's very important generating the product we long for on-track. I'm confident," Barfield stated, "that we've created the proper balance with this rulebook moving forward this season."
His objectives were to review, rather than rewrite the rulebook for the IZOD IndyCar Series, Barfield emphasized. To that intent, Barfield has added an instant messaging system during events between Race Control and officials, individual entrants or the entire field to communicate track conditions, warnings, penalties or other information. Team managers will also be able to directly contact Race Control and this system will complement radio communications.
Barfield has told competitors that standard INDYCAR tech bodywork parts must be able to fit a team's car during technical inspection. In addition, a minimum of two Track Condition Radio steering wheel lights will be standard, acting in unison with dash lights and complementing audio and trackside visual caution warning systems, Barfield said.
There will be a Manufacturers Championship this year, thanks to the inclusion of three engine makers for the 2012 season. Manufacturer points will be awarded on a race-by-race basis and accumulated throughout the season. The highest finishing engine manufacturer at each event earns nine points, second takes six points and the third-highest receives four points.
Barfield has added an oval open test on March 13th at Texas Motor Speedway. This will complement the private test scheduled for February 19-21 at the high-banked 1.5-mile oval and supplement the March 5-6 and March 8-9 road course open tests at Sebring International Raceway.
Barfield intends to take notes throughout the season for points of discussion relating to the 2013 rulebook. "For me, it's important that certain rules make sense for my style, but be careful to not cut out too many elements that have value," he said. "There is a lot of heritage to these rules that you want to preserve and make sure you don't create any pitfalls by getting rid of items," currently in the rulebook. "At the conclusion of the 2012 season, this rulebook will be the base and we'll start immediately on 2013."
Will Phillips, INDYCAR vice president of technology - together with his technical officiating group - has been reviewing regulations since the fall of 2011 with rules for this coming season and beyond in mind. Phillips is especially focused on the 2013 season, when multiple bodywork kits will be introduced. INDYCAR has also added engine support engineers to aid Trevor Knowles, the director of engine development in policing the activities of Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus with regard to their engine programs.
The series' comprehensive technical inspection process that measures, weighs and checks more than 100 items on the car, now will include matching INDYCAR standard car parts to an entrant's car, as referenced above by Barfield.
"Our goal," said Phillips, "is to ensure as quickly as possible that everybody is following the letter of the law and the intention. INDYCAR officials started with a clean sheet of paper when developing the 2012 technical regulations and, through the diligent enforcement of the rules we can help maintain an environment of safety and fair competition that benefits the participants and fans," he said.