IndyCar officials have announced a complicated qualifying format for this weekend's race at Iowa

IndyCar Series officials have developed a brand-new qualifying format for this weekend’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway, with a series of heat races to be held to determine the starting order for the main event race.

In previous rounds, practice session times have been used to determine the make-up of each of the two starting qualifying ‘groups’.

This weekend’s event will use that format to an extent, taking the session times from Free Practice 2 to decides which of the field’s 25 drivers will start in which heat race.

Those who register times outside the top-eight-fastest will be split into the first two heat races: those who made the even-numbered positions (tenth, twelfth, and so on) will race to determine the even-numbered starting positions on the grid from tenth place onwards.

Those who sit in the odd-numbered positions (ninth, eleventh, and so on) will race in Heat 2 to determine the odd-numbered starting positions on the grid from ninth place onwards.

The fastest eight drivers in the session will start in the day’s third and final heat race to determine the first four rows of the grid for the main race; the winner of the heat will claim pole position.

It seems like a lot of work – not to mention risk of car damage – for a single bonus championship point.

In other news, the championship’s officials have also determined the maximum degree of wing angle that drivers will be allowed to run on Iowa’s 0.875-mile oval, which is the shortest circuit on the 2012 calendar.

Officials have decreed that drivers can run a maximum rear wing angle of 37 degrees throughout the race; the use of additional downforce-generating devices – such as Gurney flaps – has been banned.

Teams will run the same short-oval aerodynamic package used at last weekend’s race at Milwaukee, which includes a mandatory front brake package and the banning of rear wheel in-fills and sidepod ‘top decks’.

Marco Andretti won last year’s race at Iowa

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.