Inspection is conducted of all NTT IndyCar Series competitors’ cars to enforce regulations and maintain competitive balance between teams and manufacturers. Over the course of an event weekend, INDYCAR officials will conduct five inspections (initial, which includes driver safety equipment; pre-qualifying; postqualifying; pre-race and post-race).
Initial inspection typically includes 15 officials, known as inspectors, and is overseen by INDYCAR technical director Kevin Blanch. Inspection times, based on entrant points entering the race weekend, are provided to teams during the week.
The inspection process includes four stations, which focus on different components of the car. During these processes, inspectors will check – among other items – the mandated safety features, chassis underwing, fuel cell, height, weight and width.
- In the safety station, inspectorsensure that the cars meet safety requirements. Among the items checked are the SWEMS (Suspension Wheel/Wing Energy Management System) restraints, driver seat and headrest, seat belts, fasteners, pedal position, steering wheel, helmet, earpieces, fire bottle and the frontal head restraint. Event-specific decals are placed on the car and driver safety equipment after passing initial inspection.
- At the gauge and template station, inspectors utilize about 60 jigs and templates to measure each car to ensure it meets requirements and conforms to regulations.
- On the technical inspection pad in the garage area, measurements are made that require the car to be level and sitting on its reference plane.