For the first time in NTT INDYCAR SERIES history, alternate-compound tires will be used on an oval. The Sunday, Aug. 27 race at World Wide Technology Raceway will feature the Firestone Firehawk alternates. Teams will follow the same rules as road and street circuits, with mandatory use of a new set of the alternate tire compound during the race.
This is a customary strategy rule that spices up the road and street course events and should organically, create more passing/strategy opportunities on the 1.25-mile St. Louis area oval.
Also new for 2023 is the addition of EM Motorsports Telemetry to the EM Marshalling System, which debuted in 2022. The new telemetry system will give all race teams the ability to quickly receive reliable information and react with split-second decision making. It will also introduce more over-the-air features new to INDYCAR.
From an aerodynamic standpoint, the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES rulebook is allowing:
- Optional short oval barge boards on road and street course events
- At Texas Motor Speedway, the underwing sidewall has been made optional
- On the IMS oval:
- New optional underwing flap wicker
- New mandatory stability wickers
- The option of a new additional underwing inner bargeboard (also optional at other ovals)
- Optional underwing road and street course strakes
- Speedway infill wicker made optional (also at Texas Motor Speedway)
Additionally, a new pillar specification will allow 3 degrees more range for the adjustable rear wing on the IMS oval. It will increase the options for teams looking for additional or less downforce.
“At the Indy 500, drivers in the pack can run up to 10% more downforce than last year,” said Tino Belli, INDYCAR director of aerodynamic development. “With the increased rear wing range, teams can still try and trim out the rear wing for end of race speed – and go for the win – if they have worked their way up into the lead group.
“Overall, INDYCAR wants to give race teams more options going into 2023. The optional barge boards give them a crucial tool when they consider, strategically, what it will take to get to victory lane.”
Recently announced, single points will be awarded for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The change comes after a review of the double points system, first used in 2014. Analysis showed full-time championship teams were overly penalized for poor performance in the “500.”
Popular “second groove” practice sessions on the ovals at Texas Motor Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway will continue in 2023. The additional practice, designed to help “rubber in” a higher racing line, will be available for all entries.
From an officiating standpoint, the first red flag during Segments One and Two of road and street course qualifying will stop the 10-minute clock. The clock will continue to run for the second and subsequent red flags during Segments One and Two. The Firestone Fast Six will continue to feature six minutes of guaranteed time.
Also new, to maximize time during the segments, the qualifying clock will not start until the first car during the session passes the alternate start-finish line on the racetrack.