INDYCAR released the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook to teams last week and it included a few changes for next season.
“The best thing the sanctioning body can provide competitors, manufacturers and fans is a stable, consistent rulebook, so most of the changes for 2015 are clarifying and tidying up definitions,” said Derrick Walker, president of competition and operations, INDYCAR. “The rulebook is continuously evolving and we always look to refine it to make the product better.”
Most of the changes involved points. Double points will be awarded to drivers for the Indianapolis 500 and for the season finale race at Sonoma Raceway. In those races, 100 points will be awarded to the winner, 80 to second place, 70 to third place, decreasing to ten points for 25th and lower. Two bonus points will be awarded for leading the most race laps, one point for leading at least one lap, and one point for earning the Verizon P1 Award. All entrants will be awarded points for qualifying for the Indy 500, with nine additional going to the Verizon P1 Award winner.
Engine Manufacturer Championship points will be awarded to the top three finishing positions by each manufacturer. Previously points were earned by the overall top five. Ten additional points will be earned by manufacturers for engines that meet the 2,500 mile threshold, nine for earning the Verizon P1 Award for the Indy 500, one for Verizon P1 Awards in the other races, and two for the manufacturer that leads the most race laps. Twenty points will be deducted for engines that fail to complete their life cycle.
Among other changes, standing starts have been eliminated for 2015. Walker noted standing starts may return in the future, but they proved problematic at times and more development work needs to be done on the launch system.
Qualifying will continue to set pit lane assignments for the following race, but previously, if a driver change was made between events, the car was assigned the last pit stall (i.e. when Mike Conway yielded to Ed Carpenter for an oval race, the car was assigned the last pit stall). Per the change, the car will retain its pit assignment based upon qualifying position from the previous event regardless of who is driving.
Finally, speed phases for the Rookie Orientation Program for the Indy 500 have been bumped up by 5 mph.
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