If you have watched the IZOD IndyCar Series, you’re used to the traditional ‘rolling starts’ where everybody follows in line and drops the gas when the green flag flies. However, INDYCAR made the decision to change that up this weekend.
For the Saturday event in Toronto, INDYCAR has made the decision to do standing start. Now, for those who don’t know, standing starts are where you line up at the line, stop and only hit the gas when the green is displayed. If you’ve watched Formula 1, that’s basically a standing start.
For the Sunday event of the double header, INDYCAR will go back to the traditional rolling starts.
INDYCAR has released the following in stating the procedure for this weekend’s event:
Countdown – The safety car will lead the formation lap and drivers will follow single-file in starting order.
Formation Lap – During the formation lap, drivers will remain in starting order with no overtaking. The speed of the formation lap will be set by the safety car.
Grid – At the end of the formation lap, drivers will take their starting positions with the front wheels of the car remaining within its designated orange grid line.
A five-second declaration will be made via radio by the Race Director prior to the start of the light sequence. The starting sequence will begin when the first two rows of red lights on the lighting panel illuminate. The red lights will continue to fill from the bottom of the light panel two rows at a time, for a total of six steps (12 rows).
Once the panel is filled with red lights, there will be a delay between .5 and 3 seconds and the panel will switch to all green lights and the race will begin.
In speaking with the drivers at the Honda Indy Toronto on Thursday, there are mixed reviews as to whether this is a good idea or a bad idea.
Hometown driver James Hinchcliffe says it’s going to be a challenge as they haven’t had a chance to practice it yet.
“A lot of guys haven’t done it in years so hopefully we get through it catastrophe free cause we got a race the next day to run,” Hinchcliffe says.
Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe says it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Briscoe says. “I hope it all goes well. I don’t see why it won’t, but certainly something new to adapt to.”
Meanwhile, James Jakes says he is excited for it.
“I grew up doing that,” he says. “That’s all we did in Europe. So when I came over here, I was like ‘What? Rolling starts?’ So it should be fun. I’m looking forward to it. On Saturday, we have a 10 grid spot penalty for an engine change so it’s good for us. Hopefully we can take advantage of that on the start.”
Whether it goes off well or not, you can be sure that all eyes will be watching filled with curiosity.