Mark Miles, President and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corporation says that the anticipation for the start of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season in St Petersburg this weekend is palpable.
There are many storylines to follow this weekend with the return of Helio Castroneves to full-time series competition with Meyer Shank Racing. The move of Simon Pagenaud to MSR and the new rookies coming into the series, not to mention Tatiana Calderon’s debut with AJ Foyt Racing this weekend.
Speaking ahead of the opening race Miles says:
Anticipation towards the start of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is palpable. “It is terrific to know the wait is almost over as we approach a marquee year for our series and its stars.
“Kicking off the season in St. Petersburg, followed by three thrilling spring events, is an ideal lead-in to the Month of May, where demand is outpacing all years since the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The season hits another gear following the ‘500’ with a jam-packed summer punctuated by our return to Iowa and Nashville. Both will prove to be extraordinary events. Combined with our TV partner NBC, we cannot wait to showcase the daring and bold athletes of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”
In 2022, INDYCAR will gradually introduce the EM Motorsport Marshalling System. The new addition will supplement the use of cloth flags with up to 20 EM Motorsport light panels deployed on road and street circuits. The ultra-bright LED displays will use the same flag codes as existing flags and will still be operated by track marshals via a handheld console.
When fully implemented, all race cars and light panels will carry EM Motorsport GPS units, which will create marshalling sectors to help identify cars as they pass through local yellow sectors. New to 2022, any car that passes through a local yellow will lose that timed lap in practice and qualifying, which will help expedite session officiating. As in the past, any driver that causes a local yellow will lose their fastest timed lap.
Other adjustments to the 2022 rulebook include, for safety, the banning of “pushing” or assisting cars out of their pit stall at the completion of a pit stop.
Pit box locations will be selected in order of entrant qualification results from the previous event in 2022. The order will not be affected by penalties for unapproved engine changes. The process of selecting pit positions for the Indianapolis 500 will remain based on “500” qualifying.
The use of barge boards on the Dallara AK-18 chassis are now optional on all ovals with the introduction of the aerodynamic tool at Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway in 2022. The curved, plate-shaped piece of carbon fiber, located on the leading edge of the underwing, creates front downforce while reducing the reliance of the front wing.
“In race conditions, it should be a benefit to a trailing car,” said Tino Belli, INDYCAR director of aerodynamic development. “Using barge boards combined with less front wing angle will allow cars to follow more closely while still avoiding an aero washout affect through the corners. It also follows the philosophy we have always had with the universal AK-18 to create downforce with the underwing rather than being reliant on the front wing. These optional barge boards will become another crucial tool in the teams’ aerodynamic arsenal.”
Speaking about the start of the new season, IndyCar Series President Jay Frye said:
“We are constantly evaluating ways to improve the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “We examine every aspect – from safety and officiating to on-track competition – and believe the changes will add to the series’ level of energy, momentum and deep competitive balance.
Jay Frye continued saying that the series expects the 2022 season to be even bigger and better than last season.
|“Last season was an amazing year with historic storylines throughout 2021. “With the effort by everyone in the offseason and the continued growth of the paddock, we expect 2022 to be even better. We cannot wait to see it play out.”|