IndyCar Series is practically the equivalent of Formula 1 in Northern America, with many drivers across various countries competing tracks around the Americas. For the 2020 season, the defending champion was Josef Newgarden, though the eventual champion was Scott Dixon.
Their most famous race is the INdy 500
Sometimes, the weekend is held on one day, or on multiple, depending if it is Indy 500 or a double header. IndyCar races on two different types of tracks: ovals and roads. Because of this, their qualifying segments vary:
– In ovals, the drivers are given a random sequence by draw. They usually get two warm up laps followed by two consecutive “green flag” laps, which are their timed ones. Both are recorded and considered their qualifying laps.
– On road courses, the drivers are put into two groups for segment one. They receive 10 minutes of track time to determine their position. The top six from both groups move to segment two whilst those that don’t, line up on the grid from 13 onwards. Those in group one occupy the odd-numbered spaces on the grid, whereas those in group two occupy the even ones. For segment two, they repeat the 10 minutes of fast laps. Once again, the fastest six move to the final shootout, whilst the rest line up in their order that they placed. For the final segment, they try and compete to finish top six, placing in this order at the end of the session.
The races start as a rolling start and all drivers must line up in their qualifying format, whether this be in two lines or three (Indy 500).
IndyCar have 2.2L V6 engine powering the cars, combined with six configurations on their gearbox, used with paddle shifts. Their tyre supplier are Firestone and follow a similar pattern to Pirelli’s in European Formula’s, where they have slicks for dry weathers and treaded for wets. Instead of the halo which we see usually, they opted for the aeroscreen as their protection device.
Along with race points like every series, the drviers receive one point for pole position (except for Indy 500 – shown below). Every driver who leads at least one lap in the race gains a point and those who lead the most earn an extra two points.
For the Indy 500 – their big and main event – drivers receive double the points shown above. They also receive points for qualifying shown below.
Super License Points
40 points are required for a driver to apply for a super license to drive in a Formula 1 team, or 25 for a free practice license, allowing them to drive with a Formula 1 team during the first free practice of the weekend.
There are a lot of recognisable names from across many series
There have been many drivers across various countries competing in IndyCar. They’ve had drivers such as Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Josef Newgarden, Felix Rosenqvist, Marcus Ericsson and many more. It is possible to watch IndyCar on their website excluding if you live in the US, where it is only possible to watch on your TV network broadcaster. For 2021, their calendar is as follows:
|Streets of St. Petersburg||7 March|
|Barber Motorsports Park||11 April|
|Texas Motor Speedway||1 and 2 May|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road)||15 May|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Oval/Indy 500)||30 May|
|Belle Isle Street Circuit||12 and 13 June|
|Road America||20 June|
|Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||4 July|
|Exhibition Place||11 July|
|Nashville Street Circuit||8 August|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road)||14 August|
|World Wide Technology Raceway||21 August|
|Portland International Raceway||12 September|
|WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca||19 September|
|Streets of Long Beach||26 September|
We hope that this helped you understand the world of IndyCar, the home away from the European Formulas. The IndyCar website also has a lot of fantastic guides to help the new viewer get into the series and explains in detail how the sessions work and what goes on behind the scenes, all found at indycar.com. Come back tomorrow at 5pm GMT for another post about their ‘feeder series’!