An IndyCar steering wheel, showing the green push-to-pass button - image: IndyCarEnlarge Photo
In order to prevent defensive use of push-to-pass, series officials added a five-second delay to the feature at the Mid-Ohio race on August 5. The delay frustrated drivers, who now had to anticipate when the engine would produce more power in order to get on the button soon enough.
The delay was reduced from 5 seconds to 3.5 seconds for the last race at Sonoma, but even that wasn’t enough to improve racing or quiet driver complaints. For this weekend’s Baltimore Grand Prix, IndyCar has announced that push-to-pass will return, this time with no delay.
Drivers will get a total of 90 seconds push-to-pass for the street circuit race, with a maximum of 20 seconds per activation. While street circuits typically don’t offer as many passing opportunities as road courses, Baltimore may be the exception to this rule.
The main straight of the temporary circuit has been increased in length to a half-mile, with the removal of a chicane used for last year’s event. Look for passing to take place into turn one, with more action possible heading into (or coming out of) the turn three hairpin.