The upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series has a buzz surrounding it. There are higher expectations for the series this year, after many offseason headlines.
One of the changes for the 2010 season is the removal of the four-position fuel knob. This means that drivers must regulate fuel usage primarily with their foot pedals.
Another noticeable change will be the use of a floating headrest designed by the league's director of engineering, Jeff Horton. The intent of this device is for it to stay with the driver through a crash.
Every Indy car will be equipped with a reverse gear for road and street circuits. The gear should reduce the number of full-course cautions in those events. Drivers suggest that the gear will be wide enough to keep from breaking the gearbox.
This year, there will be two open tests prior to the Indianapolis 500, including a road course event at Barber Motorsports Park. That test will be February 24th and 25th. The oval test will be at Kentucky Speedway on May 4th.
Engine leases will cost less next season—about half the price from the 2005 season. For the entire season, the total is $935,000, which is $27,000 less than last year, when you factor in general reduction and the removal of the shipping fee. At Indianapolis, the price for one engine for the "500" is $150,000. Last year it was $225,000. That gets a participant 800 practice miles, in addition to the 500-mile race.
There may be more changes to come before the season begins in March, but these things, coupled with the addition of new tracks on the schedule, should make for an interesting season.