Fan Info - INDYCAR 101 - Rulebook - Chapter 8: Qualifications

Download Updated Rulebook: 2019 NTT IndyCar Series Rulebook (Full)

IMPORTANT: The rulebook content below was released to all parties on March 1, 2019, and should be considered UNOFFICIAL. No in-season amendments or bulletins are reflected in the below copy. Please refer to the above PDF link for the updated rulebook.

8. QUALIFICATIONS

8.1. All Race Locations

8.1.1. Meeting – INDYCAR may hold a specific meeting prior to the start of any Qualifications. INDYCAR may designate the meetings as mandatory for some Members.

8.1.2. Starting Time – INDYCAR shall determine the starting time for the Qualifications period.

8.1.3. Delays – INDYCAR may penalize any Member attempting to delay or delaying Qualifications.

8.1.4. Interruption – Qualifications may be interrupted by the commencement of a Yellow or Red Condition. Qualifications is suspended at the moment that the decision to interrupt is made. The decision to interrupt a Qualifications attempt or Qualifications (and reasons therefore) may not be reviewed and/or appealed.

8.1.5. Technical Inspection

8.1.5.1. Data Download – Entrants may not download data after the checkered flag has been displayed or when directed by INDYCAR until the Car has been released from technical inspection.

8.1.5.2. Impound Area – Officials shall direct selected Qualified Cars to a designated “impound area” to check for compliance. A maximum of two crew members per Car will be permitted in the impound area.

8.1.5.3. Cars – INDYCAR reserves the right to seal any component.

8.1.5.4. Fuel – A fuel sample may be taken from all Cars prior to and after the Qualifications attempt.

8.1.6. Backup Cars – The same Car must be used in Qualifications and the Race at a Race Location unless approved by INDYCAR.

8.1.6.1. If a Qualified Car is involved in an incident, INDYCAR allows a Backup Car to replace the Qualified Car. The Backup Car will start the Race in the same position in the Starting Lineup as the Qualified Car.

8.1.6.2. If a Qualified Car is unable to start a Race for any reason other than an incident, INDYCAR decides if a Backup Car may replace the Qualified Car. If INDYCAR allows the Backup Car to replace the Qualified Car, the Backup Car will start the Race from a revised position at the rear of the Starting Lineup.

8.1.7. Starting Lineup

8.1.7.1. INDYCAR shall determine the size and configuration of the Starting Lineup for each Race. The configuration of the Starting Lineup may include Qualified and non-Qualified Cars. The performance standard shall apply to all Cars at all times during an Event.

8.1.7.2. Except as otherwise provided by these Rules, the Starting Lineup shall be determined by best time rankings, from fastest to slowest, with the fastest Qualified Car occupying the Pole Position, followed by the second fastest Qualified Car, third fastest, and down through the slowest Qualified Car that has not been bumped from the Race.

8.1.7.3. In the event two or more Cars post identical official Qualifications times, the Cars shall be ranked in the order in which the completed Qualifications attempts occurred.

8.1.7.4. A Driver who has qualified a Car may not make an attempt to qualify a second Car unless the first Car has been withdrawn from the Event with permission of Officials or the first Car has been eliminated from the Starting Lineup.

8.1.7.5. Starting positions shall include penalties issued during Qualifications and post-Qualifications technical inspection.

8.1.7.6. If after the Starting Lineup has been determined, a Car has had its Qualifications time and/or original Starting Lineup position changed or disallowed, INDYCAR shall assign the Car a revised Starting Lineup position at the rear based on the following order:

  1. Cars without a Rules violation, and
  2. Cars with a Rules violation.
  3. If more than one Car is affected in either of these categories:
    • At the first Race of the Racing Season, the Cars shall be ranked using the prior year’s end of season Entrant point standings. INDYCAR shall determine an Entrant’s eligibility.
    • At all other Races during the Racing Season, the Cars shall be ranked using the current year’s Entrant point standings entering the Race.
    • Any Car without Entrant points entering the Race will be ranked based on the Qualifications order behind all Cars with points.

8.1.8. Provisional Starting Cars

8.1.8.1. Except at the Indianapolis 500® Mile Race, INDYCAR may offer Provisional Starting Cars at any Event if the total number of Entries for the Event exceeds the available pit space. If Provisional Starting Cars are offered, INDYCAR shall issue a bulletin detailing the Qualifications procedures and Starting Lineup prior to the first practice session.

8.1.9. Starting Lineup Determination

8.1.9.1. Road/Street Course Events – Qualifications Interrupted & Not Completed – INDYCAR shall assign all Starting Lineup positions as follows:

  1. After Segment One (1) – Should Qualifications not be completed after the completion of Segment One, the Starting Lineup will be determined as such: the Pole Position will be awarded to the best overall lap time in Segment One. The remainder of the Cars in that group will be ranked in the odd numbered positions, starting with position three (3). Even numbered starting positions will be determined from the other group, starting with position two (2).
  2. After Segment Two (2) – Should Qualifications not be completed after the completion of Segment Two, the Starting Lineup will be determined as such:
    • Segment One results shall determine position thirteen (13) through the end of the Starting Lineup.
    • Segment Two results shall determine position 1-12 to be ranked in order of time beginning with the Car posting the best-timed lap occupying the Pole Position.
    Each group shall be ranked in order of best lap time as follows:
    • Group One – occupy the odd numbered positions beginning with position thirteen (13).
    • Group Two – occupy the even numbered positions beginning with position fourteen (14).

8.1.9.2. All Oval Events & Road/Street Course Events – Segment One Not Completed

  1. At the first Race of the Racing Season, the Cars shall be ranked using the prior year’s end of season Entrant point standings. INDYCAR shall determine an Entrant’s eligibility.
  2. At all other Races during the Racing Season, the Cars shall be ranked using the current year’s Entrant point standings entering the Race.
  3. Any Car without Entrant points entering the Race will be ranked based on the Qualifications order behind all Cars with points.

8.2. Oval Events

8.2.1. Rule 8.2 contains Qualifications Rules for Oval Events which are in addition to the Rules for all Race Locations contained in Rule 8.1 to the extent not inconsistent with them. In the event of any inconsistency, this Rule 8.2 shall supersede any other rules, as it comes to governing Oval Events.

8.2.2. Qualifications Order – INDYCAR shall determine the Qualifications order by Entrant points. Qualifications order will be set in reverse order of Entrant points, with the highest in points qualifying last. Entrants without points will be placed at the front of the line in an order determined by a blind draw at the first Competition meeting for that Event.

8.2.3. Qualifications Line

8.2.3.1. Cars must be in the technical inspection line thirty (30) minutes before the beginning of Qualifications.

8.2.3.1.1. Cars are required to add a minimum of 3.0 gallons of fuel from the fuel depot before Qualifications as directed by INDYCAR.

8.2.3.2. A Car reserves its position in the Qualifications line as long as it remains in the designated position and proceeds with the Qualifications attempt when signaled. INDYCAR’s decision is not subject to review and/or appeal.

8.2.3.3. While the Car is in the Qualifications line, an Entrant’s representatives may make front/ rear wing angle, and Tire pressure adjustments only. The Car must be moved as the Qualifications line progresses. A Car must not leave the Qualifications line without the approval of INDYCAR.

8.2.4. Technical Inspection

8.2.4.1. If a Car does not present itself for the technical inspection line at the designated start time as determined by INDYCAR, the Car shall forfeit its “Guaranteed Attempt” and may be listed at the rear of the Starting Lineup pursuant to Rule 8.1.7.6. Cars experiencing an on-track Engine failure or crash may be granted a delayed entry time into the technical inspection line provided INDYCAR has granted prior approval. Car must be presented into its original spot in the Qualifications line prior to its departure time.

8.2.4.2. When a Car is presented for technical inspection:

  1. Fuel buckeye openings may be taped off or fitted with blanking covers; and
  2. Bodywork seams may be taped provided the tape does not change the intended shape of the part. Covering of fasteners is also permitted.

8.2.4.3. Once a Car has reached the entry to the technical inspection area, no external device may be connected to the Car unless approved by INDYCAR.

8.2.4.4. Once the Car is four (4) Cars from its Qualifications attempt, Entrant may plug in a computer and/or booster battery.

8.2.4.5. Prior to Engine start, all computers or any other external devices must be disconnected. Cars experiencing Engine start difficulties must have approval from INDYCAR prior to connecting any device.

8.2.4.6. The Car must remain as presented to the pre-Qualifying technical inspection line throughout the entire Qualifications attempt unless otherwise approved by INDYCAR.

8.2.4.7. The PFC pad-retraction system is the only device designed to push or pull back caliper pistons or pads that is approved for use. Pull back brakes in any other form are not permitted.

8.2.4.8. Retracting the brake pistons into the caliper by any method is prohibited.

8.2.4.9. Only after a Car’s Qualifications attempt or post-Qualifications technical inspection is completed, whichever occurs later, may any of the approved aerodynamic options, approved Homologated options, or approved mechanical options be changed.

8.2.5. Declaration of Intent

8.2.5.1. A Car must be presented at the entrance of the “staging pit” when signaled to do so (“declaration of intent”). INDYCAR shall signal a Driver when it is time for the Car to depart from the Qualifications line to begin a Qualifications attempt. Unless otherwise provided by INDYCAR, each Car must depart the Qualifications line within sixty (60) seconds of receiving the signal.

8.2.5.2. In order to make an official Qualifications attempt, a Car must have been given the signal to depart from the Qualifications line and have moved away under its own power prior to the end of the Qualifications period. Notwithstanding the end of the Qualifications session, a Car may begin its Qualifications attempt, provided it has received the signal and is moving with its Engine running. The Car is not required to have completed its Qualifications attempt prior the end of the Qualifications session.

8.2.5.3. A Car may not be pushed to start its Engine at the start of a Qualifications attempt.

8.2.5.4. A Car shall be given two (2) warm-up laps. INDYCAR may add additional warm up laps, as it deems appropriate.

8.2.6. Qualifications Attempt

8.2.6.1. Qualifications will be based on one (1) individually timed attempt per Car. A Qualifications attempt is the total of two (2) consecutively timed laps.

8.2.6.2. Each Car will be permitted only one (1) departure from the Qualifications line to commence its Qualifications attempt. A Qualifications attempt may only be started and completed under the Green Condition.

8.2.6.3. All Cars in the Qualifications order shall be given one “Guaranteed Attempt” to qualify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following matters and any others as determined by INDYCAR are cause for a Car to forfeit its Guaranteed Attempt and to be listed at the rear of the Starting Lineup in accordance with Rule 8.1.7.6.

  1. A Car is not presented in the proper order to the technical inspection line at the designated time, notwithstanding Rule 8.2.4.1.;
  2. A Car does not successfully complete technical inspection;
  3. A Car is not presented in the proper order at the staging pit;
  4. A Car fails to leave the staging pit within the designated time;
  5. A Car leaves the staging pit but fails to receive the green flag; or
  6. A Car fails to receive the checkered flag.

8.2.6.3.1. If more than one Car is so affected, the Cars shall be ranked according to Rule 8.1.7.6.

8.2.6.4. If the Qualifications period concludes before each Car has been given its “Guaranteed Attempt”, then Qualifications shall resume at a time designated by INDYCAR, if practicable. If INDYCAR is unable to resume Qualifications and allow each Car its Guaranteed Attempt, the entire Starting Lineup shall be determined in accordance with Rule 8.1.9.2.

8.2.6.5. INDYCAR interrupts Qualifications attempt:

8.2.6.5.1. If the interruption is caused by a Car’s Entrant or Driver and occurs during a Car’s Guaranteed Attempt, such Car shall forfeit its Qualifications attempt and may be listed at the rear of the Starting Lineup in accordance with Rule 8.1.7.6.

8.2.6.5.2. If the interruption is not caused by a Car’s Entrant or Driver, such Car shall not be charged with a Qualifications attempt and the Car may be permitted to return to its position at the front of the existing Qualifications line and proceed with its Qualifications attempt when Qualifications resumes. The only changes that may be made to the Car are Tires may be changed, radiator shutters’ opening size may be increased, and fuel added. If INDYCAR cannot resume Qualifications, INDYCAR shall preserve the Qualifications line already established. If INDYCAR releases a Car during a suspension, the Entrant is not required to keep its Car at the designated location during the suspension. Officials shall announce prior to resuming Qualifications that all Cars are to be returned to the designated location. Any Entrant not returning an Entrant’s Car to the designated location by the designated time shall forfeit the Entrant’s Guaranteed Attempt and may be listed at the rear of the Starting Lineup in accordance with Rule 8.1.7.6.

8.3. Road/Street Courses

8.3.1. Rule 8.3 contains Qualifications Rules for Road/Street Course Events, which are in addition to the Rules for all Race Locations contained in Rule 8.1 to the extent not inconsistent with them. In the event of any inconsistency, Rule 8.3 shall supersede any other rules, as it comes to governing Road/Street Course Events.

8.3.2. Once Qualifications has begun and throughout the remainder of the Event, the aerodynamic configuration of the Car can only be changed by the addition and/or removal of approved individual parts and not by the changing of assemblies. Parts damaged during Qualifications may only be replaced by an exact matching part or assembly.

8.3.3. Qualifications Groups

8.3.3.1. For Segment One only, Qualifications shall be divided into two (2) groups.

8.3.3.2. Groups are decided by the lap times in the practice session immediately preceding Qualifications.

8.3.3.3. The Car with the best lap time in the practice session immediately preceding Qualifications decides groups for Segment One (1). The Entrant must notify INDYCAR of its choice via IM to the race control account within thirty (30) minutes of the completion of the practice session immediately preceding Qualifications.

8.3.3.3.1. If the Car with the best lap time chooses Group One (1):

8.3.3.3.1.1. Group One (1): Cars in the odd numbered positions, and

8.3.3.3.1.2. Group Two (2): Cars in the even numbered positions.

8.3.3.3.2. If the Car with the best lap time chooses Group Two (2):

8.3.3.3.2.1. Group One (1): Cars in the even numbered positions, and

8.3.3.3.2.2. Group Two (2): Cars in the odd numbered positions.

8.3.3.4. Any Cars not completing a timed lap during the practice session immediately preceding Qualifications will be ranked behind the Cars completing timed laps during the session in the order of Entrant point standings. If more than one Car has no Entrant points, the order of those Cars will be determined by random draw.

8.3.4. Qualifications Attempt – Qualifications will be divided into three segments:

Segment One

8.3.4.1. All Cars shall participate in one (1) of two (2) groups for ten (10) minutes each inclusive of Red Conditions, with only the six (6) Cars posting the best lap times from each group advancing to Segment Two.

8.3.4.2. Segment One shall determine positions thirteen (13) through the end of the Starting Lineup. Each group shall be ranked in order of best lap time as follows:

  1. Group one (1) occupy the odd numbered positions beginning with position thirteen (13) and;
  2. Group two (2) occupy the even numbered positions beginning with position fourteen (14).

8.3.4.3. Group two (2) shall begin five (5) minutes after the conclusion of Group one (1) or as determined by INDYCAR.

Segment Two

8.3.4.4. Segment Two (2) shall consist of one ten (10) minute Qualifications group inclusive of Red Conditions, with all times from Segment One (1) having been voided. Only the six (6) Cars posting the best lap times shall advance to Segment Three (3). Segment Two (2) shall begin ten (10) minutes after the conclusion of Segment One (1) as determined by INDYCAR.

8.3.4.5. Segment Two (2) shall determine positions seven (7) – twelve (12) to be ranked in order of time beginning with the Car posting the seventh best-timed lap occupying the seventh (7th) position.

Segment Three

8.3.4.6. Segment Three (3) shall consist of six (6) minutes of guaranteed Green Condition time, with all times from Segment Two (2) having been voided. In the event of a Red Condition, session timing will stop.

8.3.4.6.1. Segment Three (3) shall begin ten (10) minutes after the conclusion of Segment Two (2) as determined by INDYCAR.

8.3.4.7. Segment Three (3) shall determine positions one (1) – six (6) to be ranked in order of best lap time beginning with the Car posting the best-timed lap occupying the Pole Position.

8.3.5. If a Car causes a Red Condition in any segment, the Car’s best two (2) timed laps of the segment shall be disallowed, the Car may not continue in the segment, and the Car shall not advance to the next segment.

8.3.6. If a Car interferes with the Qualifications attempt of another Car other than through a Red Condition:

8.3.6.1. If the violation occurs during Segment One (1) or Segment Two (2), the Car’s best two (2) timed laps during that segment shall be disallowed and the Car shall not advance to the next segment.

8.3.6.2. If the violation occurs during Segment Three (3), all Segment Three (3) times shall be voided and the Car shall not be permitted to participate in the remainder of Qualifications.

8.3.6.3. A Car not improving its previous section times in any portion of the Track may be cause for interference with another Car.

8.3.6.4. If a Car causes a Yellow Condition that requires another Car to comply with Rule 7.1.3.2, the Car’s best-timed lap to that point during that Qualifications segment shall be disallowed, regardless of whether the other Car complied with Rule 7.1.3.2. If the Car does not have a timed lap recorded when causing the Yellow Condition, a Black Flag drive-through penalty will be assessed once the lap on which the Yellow Condition occurred has been completed.

8.3.7. The Pole Position Car will start from the inside of the front row.

8.3.8. Attempt Not Completed

8.3.8.1. If one or more Cars does not post a time within its respective group or segment, such Cars will be ranked at the rear of its respective group or segment based upon:

8.3.8.1.1. Segment One (1): Qualifications order

8.3.8.1.2. Segment Two (2): Segment One (1) lap times

8.3.8.1.3. Segment Three (3): Segment Two (2) lap times

8.3.9. Segment Extensions

8.3.9.1. If a Green Condition occurs prior to the completion of any segment, INDYCAR may delay the display of the Checkered Flag to allow each Car leaving Pit Lane enough time for one (1) timed lap. Each Car must leave its Pit Box within thirty (30) seconds of the Green Condition.

8.3.9.2. If Segment One (1) and/or Segment Two (2) concludes without enough Cars posting a time to fill the advancing positions, INDYCAR may restart the session to allow each Car leaving Pit Lane enough time for one (1) timed lap. Each Car must leave its Pit Box within thirty (30) seconds of the Green Condition.

8.3.10. Double-Header Race Qualifications – Rule 8.3.10 contains Qualifications Rules for Double-Header Race Qualifications, which are in addition to the Rules for all Race Locations and Road/Street Course Events contained in Rule 8.1 and Rules 8.3 respectively to the extent not inconsistent with them. In the event of any inconsistency, Rule 8.3.10 shall govern Double-Header Race Qualifications

8.3.10.1. Each Race Qualifications is one (1) session with two (2) groups.

8.3.10.2. Race One (1) Groups

  • Cars are divided into one (1) of two (2) groups.
  • Groups are decided by the lap times in the practice session immediately preceding Race One (1) Qualifications.
  • The Car with the best lap time in the practice session immediately preceding Race One (1) Qualifications decides groups for Race One (1) Qualifications. The Entrant must notify INDYCAR of its choice via IM to the race control account within thirty (30) minutes of the completion of the practice session immediately preceding Race One (1) Qualifications.
  • If the Car with the best lap time chooses Group One (1):
    • Group One (1): Cars in the odd numbered positions, and
    • Group Two (2): Cars in the even numbered positions.
  • If the Car with the best lap time chooses Group Two (2):
    • Group One (1): Cars in the even numbered positions, and
    • Group Two (2): Cars in the odd numbered positions.
  • The order is:
    • Group one (1), and
    • Group two (2).

8.3.10.3. Race 2 Groups

  • The same groups as Race One (1) Qualifications are used for Race Two (2) Qualifications.
  • The order is:
    • Group two (2), and
    • Group one (1).

8.3.10.4. Race One (1) and Race Two (2) Attempts

8.3.10.4.1. Each group has twelve (12) minutes of Track time, including five (5) minutes of guaranteed Green Condition time.

8.3.10.4.2. The Car with the best overall lap time earns the Pole Position.

8.3.10.4.3. The remaining Cars in the Pole Position Car’s group will be ranked by best lap time in each session in the odd numbered positions, starting with position three (3). The remaining Cars in the other group will be ranked by best lap time in each session in the even numbered positions, starting with position two (2).

8.3.10.5. Attempt Not Completed

8.3.10.5.1.If one or more Cars does not post a time within its respective group, such Cars will be ranked at the rear of its respective group based upon Qualifications order.

8.3.10.6. Race One (1) and Race Two (2) Alternate Procedures - Session Not Completed

8.3.10.6.1. All Cars will be ranked by Entrant point standings entering each Race.

8.3.10.6.2. Any Car without Entrant points entering the Race will be ranked based on the Qualifications order behind all Cars with points.

8.3.10.6.3. Points are not earned.

8.4. Indianapolis 500® Mile Race

TO BE ISSUED VIA BULLITIN TO TEAMS/DRIVERS UPON FINAL APPROVAL.