In a pleasant reversal of procedure, the IZOD IndyCar Series not only meted out pre-inspection penalties for the 96h Indianapolis 500 on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
The series announced which teams were subject to rules violations, exactly what they did and what the penalties are for these violations. In the past, silence has been the modus operandi.
INDYCAR stated 11 cars from seven specific teams had violated certain procedures prior to going through Indianapolis 500 pre-qualifying technical inspection.
The 96th Indianapolis 500 is set for May 27
The teams were permitted to make appropriate changes and all did, eventually pass tech. The penalties for failing to comply with Rules 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 14.12.2 during pre-qualifying technical inspection will cost each of these 11 cars and their owners $15,000 apiece.
These are the rules involved:
188.8.131.52. Officials may penalize any Member and/or exclude any Member or equipment from any Event if Officials deem any act or any condition to be hazardous and/or not meeting the specifications, spirit, illustrations, and intent of, the Rules. Conditions that may warrant penalty and/or exclusion include without limitation any action which an Official deems to be a threat to the integrity of INDYCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series and/or orderly conduct of the Event, and/or which relates to the design and construction of a Car or repairs to a damaged Car.
184.108.40.206.Retracting the brake pistons into the caliper by any method is prohibited.
14.12.2. Cars must be equipped with a dual-braking system to operate the brakes effectively on all 4 wheels. The use of computer logic to control any function of the braking system is not permitted.
The teams who are $15 large poorer as of the close of qualifying are:
Penske Racing No. 2 (Ryan Briscoe) and No. 12 (Will Power)
Panther Racing No. 4 (JR Hildebrand)
KV Racing Technology No. 5 and No. 8 (EJ Viso and Rubens Barrichello)
Target Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 (Scott Dixon)
Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 (Justin Wilson)
Andretti Autosport No. 25 (Ana Beatriz), No. 26 (Marco Andretti), No. 28 (Ryan Hunter-Reay)
Fan Force United No. 64 (Jean Alesi)
In addition, the following teams were penalized for other technical infractions:
Fan Force United No. 64: During pre-qualifying technical inspection INDYCAR determined the team did not comply with Rules 14.3.2, which designates driver equivalency weight ballast. Normally this penalty is $100,000, but INDYCAR fined the team $50,000.
The No. 28 Andretti Autosport car, too had added penalties: it failed to comply with Rule 220.127.116.11, which asks the teams to follow all directions of an official and 14.1.8, which allows cooling towels outside the bodywork, driver cooling fans and brake cooling fans that are only allowed in pits and garage, to the tune of $10,000. Hunter-Reay's car was also cited for a secondary 18.104.22.168 violation and 14.1.8 which also carried a $10 grand fine.
The No. 27 car from Andretti Autosport failed to comply with Rule 22.214.171.124 and received a $10,000 fine. It received another $10,000 fine for secondary failure to comply with Rules 126.96.36.199 and 14.1.8.
Andretti's Autosport's No. 26 car failed to comply with 188.8.131.52 and received a $10,000 fine.
AJ Foyt Enterprises' No. 14 car for Mike Conway failed pre-qualifying tech inspection when it failed to comply with Rule 14.1.4, which states that all components provided by INDYCAR, Dallara or an approved supplier must be used as supplied or as otherwise stated in the rulebook or in an update bulletin. This violation also resulted in a $10,000 fine.
It's refreshing that the new regime in INDYCAR has decided the media and yes, the fans deserve to know what's going on in tech and what deviations from the rules have been noted, processed and punished. This is quite a difference from the past and it's welcome.