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Not playing by the rules at Indianapolis can be costly

May 21, 2013

On Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the IZOD IndyCar Series made known the penalties for engine changes that will occur in the first Detroit race a week from now, as no engine penalties are imposed during the Indianapolis 500 race meeting.

Because his Honda engine expired about 70 miles before its 2000-mile change-out, Dario Franchitti will suffer a 10-spot penalty in the first of two races at Belle Isle a week from Saturday, as will Charlie Kimball, Graham Rahal and Josef Newgarden, whose Honda engines were changed before the appropriate time. There are no penalties for an in-race problem, such as the fire that occurred in Sao Paulo for Chevrolet driver Will Power or Honda’s Ana Beatriz, who also lost an engine during that race.

There were added penalties announced on Tuesday, May 21 for other infractions during the Indianapolis race meeting. Single-race entries received two of the penalties, none of which were engine related.

The No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone race car driven by Ryan Briscoe has been fined $5000 for having an improper mainplane trailing edge height, as measured from the chassis reference plane. It should be between 28.010-28.210 inches and Briscoe’s didn’t meet those criteria.

Hapless Michel Jourdain Jr, whose No. 17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda/Firestone race car could never get sufficient speed to qualify on Bump Day was fined $1000, because the underwing parts – splitters, sidewall extensions and the like – were not as supplied. The only underwing items the team could change were to add fasteners or permitted trim to the underwing sidewall.

Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry received the biggest fine in the group. The full-season team was fined $10,000 for having improper forms of cooling outside its garage. The team is allowed to apply cooling towels to the bodywork; to use driver cooling fans – it can also use brake cooling fans in the assigned pit box as well.

INDYCAR did not reveal exactly what any of these teams did to contravene the rules but did tell us that they did not meet the letter or spirit of the INDYCAR rulebook.

By Anne Proffit

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