The IndyCar Series rulemakers have made further tweaks to the ‘push to pass’ system to try and introduce further consistency into the championship’s rules ahead of the 2013 season, which kicks off this weekend in St Petersburg.
The device was reintroduced into the championship midway through the 2012 season, but underwent several refinements as the season wore on. One such modification was that the arrival of the power boost would be delayed, to try and encourage more overtaking.
Under the 2013 rules, the use of the ‘push to pass’ device will be restricted to ten instantaneous bursts in race conditions. The length of each power boost dictated by the length of the longest straight at the respective road and street courses being raced on over the course of the season.
The circuits with shorter straights – St Peterburg, Detroit, Sonoma, Baltimore and Houston – will have 15-second boost periods, totalling 150 seconds all up.
Those tracks with longer straights – Barber Motorsport Park, Long Beach, Sao Paulo, Toronto and Mid-Ohio – will have 20-second boost periods.
If a driver elects not to use it on the longest straight, then the unused ‘push to pass’ balance will not be carried over for future use, according to IndyCar vice president Will Phillips.
“The length of each push of the button should cover the longest straight, if that’s where they choose to use it, of each circuit,” he said.
“There are only 10 opportunities to use it during a race. If the driver chooses to use one, they can’t cancel it.
“That in itself makes it more difficult to choose to use as a defence mechanism rather than as an overtaking opportunity. It’s use it or lose it.”