What A Cluster…!

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What started as a very unfunny and frightening crash by Ed Carpenter this morning, has turned into a comedy of errors as IndyCar officials have been changing the rules by the minute.

While the official story that qualifying would be delayed while they fixed the fence, word travelled quickly through the media center that there were high-level meetings going on between IndyCar and the manufacturers. As I posted earlier, the boost was ordered to be dialed back to Race Day levels.

Then word leaked out that Honda teams would have to qualify with the same aero kit pieces that they planned to race with. Chevy teams did not have the same restrictions. As you can imagine, Honda teams were livid. Then we heard that the Honda teams were summoned back into the meeting. Nothing official yet. Mark Miles will address the media shortly. More on that later.

In the meantime, IMS President Doug Boles announced that we would not see cars on track until practice at 1:30, with two separate groups going. Then, qualifying will take place at 3:15…about the time the rain might start falling. Everyone gets one shot and there will be no Fast Nine Shootout.

Needless to say, it has been an interesting morning. I’ll have more after the Miles press conference.

George Phillips

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8 Responses to “What A Cluster…!”

  1. I thought NOLA would be the nadir of the season, then we got this

  2. Miles may be a good businessman but hes crap as a racing official. IF you want to chase the speedy you need to be willing to accept the danger that comes with speed. INDYCAR made a decision to go down the road to increased speeds and now is getting cold feet.

  3. Honda gets punished because Chevy screwed up? I’m afraid Indycar is in the position of whatever they decide it’s going to be wrong. Who will ultimately be held responsible for this mess?

  4. Chevy seems to have a problem. There has been nothing to show that Honda does. I agree with lowering the boost, but let Honda teams continue without penalty for a Chevy problem.

  5. Ed said on the radio about an hour ago that his backup is ready to go now.

  6. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    Keep in mind that two of the Chevy shunts occurred during reduced boost sessions. Seems as though this is a down force imbalance issue that rears it’s head during turns in the lateral, reducing flow over the rear of the car causing the nose to stick which causes the car to rotate longitudinally. Air flow gets under the rear diffuser of the bottom tray and wing and over she goes…

  7. Savage Henry Says:

    1994: On Fast Friday, Paul Tracy decides that he can hold it flat through T3 at ~ 250 mph. It turns out he can’t and he crashes, destroys his car, knocks himself unconscious, and eliminates himself from Day 1 qualifying. Does USAC determine that it is unsafe to go flat through T3 and prohibit all drivers from trying it? No, of course not! The Penske drivers are going to have to lift or risk crashing (and perhaps missing the show).

    2015: Chevy teams are experiencing stability issues running the low-downforce parts of their oval aero kits, which leads to two spectacular crashes (Newgarten’s was attributed to a tire issue so it doesn’t count). The Chevy teams will need to remove the low-downforce aero bits from their cars for qualifying or risk crashing (and perhaps missing the show). If it makes them slower so be it. Right. Right????

    Wait, what? Indycar changed the rules on the fly because of Chevy’s problem? How is this not punishing Honda? How does that reconcile with the idea of manufacturer competition in this series?

    Maybe the Honda teams should knock down a couple walls in their road & street course kits and try to convince Indycar it is a safety issue. Maybe Indycar will change the rules in their favor?

    So now Chevy has dominated qualifying with the top-5 and 7 of the top 9 because of rule changes precipitated by their own aero kit design flaws. I don’t know why I’m so pissed off about this but I am. Part is that it is fundamentally unfair based on the rules laid out. The other part is that it runs counter to everything that I love about the Indy 500.

    This was a huge overreaction and overreach by the Indycar series. Chevy should have been left to work with their teams to figure out how to handle this. Most likely it would have meant abandoning some of their low-downforce aero bits and leaving the top of qualifying to Honda. Fair and square – you run what you brung.

    Indycar meddling in this is a by-product of this spec era. They have become accustomed to meddling in everything. Please Indycar, just make the rules and let the chips fall as they may. We’ll all be happier for it.

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