IndyCar Series officials have finally made the sensible decision to grant IndyCar debutant Rubens Barrichello additional practice track time after they reconsidered the Brazilian’s rookie status.
Citing precedents set in previous years, the Grand Prix veteran was refused ‘Rookie’ status by series officials, which not only denied the KV Racing driver the chance of a crack at the ‘Rookie of the Year’ standings, but more importantly, the opportunity to gain valuable extra track mileage.
Under the Series’ rules, rookies and drivers who sit outside the top-ten in the championship standings are afforded an extra half-hour’s running in the opening practice sessions at each championship event. Rookie drivers are also allocated an extra set of Firestone tyres to use in this session.
Barrichello had previously criticised the decision of series officials not to grant him additional track running on account of him being unfamiliar with every circuit on the calendar.
And now the championship’s newly-appointed competition president Beaux Barfield has seen the light, and given the go-ahead for the 39-year-old to have an additional half-hour’s running and the additional tyre seat at every round where he has not previously tested. At this point, this only applies to Infineon Raceway, which the championship will visit in late August.
“[On] street circuits that can be quirky and difficult to learn he has the benefit of that extra set of tyres and the extra 30 minutes of practice to learn the track quickly and get down to business,” Barfield is quoted as saying.
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