INDYCAR President talks about the car, qualifying and the schedule.


Jay Frye:

Moderator: Given that, what’s next for the car?


Safety components are the biggest contributing factor to the increased weight of INDYCAR series cars. An INDYCAR series car has to withstand incredible impacts with speeds of 240+ mph in Indianapolis.

The aero screen and driver’s side impact device contributed the most to the weight savings, but we think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

The new hybrid system will also create weight hurdles, but with the changes to the car and engine it also offers opportunities to reduce the overall weight, and we will continue to work hard on this.

If there’s any indication from an engine standpoint, Chevrolet and Honda did a test at IMS with the new 2.4-liter engine, and it was flawless. They lined up and rode all day. For INDYCAR, this is an exciting time.

Moderator: It’s good work. Now let’s talk about qualifying on the road circuit and on the street circuit. In recent weeks, the red flag has gone out in Segment 1 as the clock continued to tick, putting some teams in a difficult position to advance. Some fans have wondered why we don’t guarantee time in the early ‘knockout’ qualifying rounds like we do in the Firestone Fast Six?

Frye: We have guaranteed time for the Firestone Fast Six, which is good. Why don’t we do it in the first two rounds? There are several different reasons. First, the show must go on; there are other things happening on the circuit after us. Yes, we’re the headliners, but there’s only so much time in a day, so that’s part of it.

Historically, INDYCAR had a guaranteed time, and a lot of teams sat in the pit lane because there was no sense of urgency to get out at the start of the session. You need to have a sense of urgency. If you look at Nashville, where Group 1 didn’t have much time due to red flags, it was a clear reminder for the teams: You have to have a sense of urgency because you never know what’s going to happen. pass. It’s good to have a plan if all goes well, but sometimes it’s not, and you’d better go for a round of « banking » to make sure you get transferred to the next round. Teams can do whatever they want, but that was probably a good reminder of what could happen.

Interesting fact: In the 11 years of qualifying in the current format, we’ve only had 10 occasions where we had multiple red flags in a session. So it doesn’t happen that often. Yes, it happened in Nashville, and we don’t like it because we want to keep going and the fans have a good show. But we have a procedure for a reason. They need to have a sense of urgency to move forward.

Moderator: Finally, it’s the time of year when fans wonder about next year’s schedule. There is a lot of talk about historic locations and other places where fans would love to see the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. What can you tell us about this?

Frye: Historic tracks are what helped build the sport, and you always want to go back to your roots and take care of the people who took care of you. Sometimes we were able to do that. We returned to Road America. We returned to Portland, Laguna Seca and World Wide Technology Raceway. We returned to Phoenix.

We did a test in Richmond a few years ago, so who knows what might happen there one day. But we are very proud to bring back many of these historical sites, and we have succeeded in doing so.

In addition, we strive to ensure fairness in dates and locations. When you look at next year’s schedule, you’ll see that it looks very similar to this year’s one, and that’s what we have worked hard to achieve.

Obviously, there are some big additions, like Nashville, which just had its second event. Nashville was a spectacular event in a dynamic city. Think about it: We’re running across a bridge, and it’s beautiful. It’s unique. There’s ambiance to running around an NFL football stadium with an iconic downtown backdrop.

We have made some improvements to the track this year. It’s no doubt helped the overall product, and we’ll be looking at further improvements for next year. New events are important to the overall diversity of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

We also have Toronto, the fourth largest market in North America, and Long Beach, part of the second largest market in the United States. St. Petersburg is a beautiful coastal city, which serves as the perfect opening for the season. Key ovals like Texas, World Wide Technology Raceway and Iowa, which received massive support from Hy-Vee this year, are important for the balance of the schedule. We hosted the 106th annual Indianapolis 500, the world’s largest one-day sporting event. And our visits to Barber Motorsports Park, Road America and Mid-Ohio are scenic showcases for INDYCAR racing.

All of these sites have done the NTT INDYCAR SERIES a lot of good and where appropriate we will be looking to add a few more “Nashvilles” for the overall diversity of the schedule.

It also goes without saying that with Portland and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, we also have two renowned venues to wrap up the season.

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