Two significant rule changes were announced today, for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The first major change was reducing the double-points paying races to just two, the Indianapolis 500 and the season-ending race at Sonoma. The second significant announcement was that there will be no standing starts in any of the races next season.
In 2014, Pocono and Fontana also awarded double-points, but will no longer. Derrick Walker, IndyCar’s president of competition and operations addressed the changes. “We looked at the new calendar and analysed how many cars would be in contention for the championship after certain events. The best trend with multiple cars racing for the championship was weighting it for the final race and the Indy 500, which is a special race deserving of double points.”
Winners of the double-point races will be given 100 points, with second place getting 80, and third place earning 70. Bonus points will still be given to the driver leading the most laps (2), leading at least one lap (1), and the Verizon Pole Award (1).
Concerning the standing starts, Walker said that the series learned that neither the circuits nor the launch systems on the cars were properly suited for the procedure. He did leave the possibility open for it returning in the future. “Most of the tracks we run on, few meet the space criteria for our cars, which are bigger than most formula cars. And there is some development needed with the launch. I wouldn’t say it’s out of the picture for the future. We know the fans enjoy it, and we love it, too.”
Other notable changes include a modification to the manufacturer points, which only award the top three instead of the top five. Manufacturers who reach the 2500 mile threshold will be awarded 10 additional points. Test day allocations have also been changed. Teams will now be charged four days from their 14 day allotment for Promoter Days (formerly Open Tests) at Barber, St Petersburg, NOLA, the IMS Road Course, and Mid-Ohio. The test at Barber in March will be the first group session with the new aero kits.
The speed phases for the Indy 500 Rookie Orientation process have been increased by 5 mph each. The Indianapolis 500 refresher test for drivers will consist of 30 total laps. You can read all of the detailed changes for 2015 by clicking here.