IndyCar has announced that it will enhance the points scoring format that will decide the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ and entrants’ championships.
The enhanced format, which will be implemented at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 28-30, will put a premium on the three 500-mile events. The base points structure remains unchanged, while the following are enhancements:
• Double points awarded for 500-mile events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway.
• Points for the two days of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500, including bonuses for reaching the Fast Nine Shootout.
IndyCar has also revised the format for the Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship to reward durability and performance in addition to penalizing competitors when warranted during the 18-race season. Under the new format:
• Manufacturers will receive a 10-point award for each of their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines that reach the 2500-mile change-out threshold set by IndyCar for 2014.
• The Manufacturers’ Championship format mirrors points awarded to the top five drivers and entrants in each race when running one of the four assigned engines allotted for the season.
• Bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer that leads the most laps (2 points), leads at least one lap (1 point) and earns the Verizon P1 Award (1 point), with the exception of the Indianapolis 500. Points awarded to the top five in qualifying May 17-18 at Indianapolis.
• The 10-grid-spot penalty levied on an entry whose engine was changed before it met the mileage threshold or surpassed the mandated number of engines for the season is removed. Instead, 10 points will be deducted from the manufacturer’s total for each occurrence.
• Entrant-initiated engine change-outs will result in the loss of 10 driver and entrant points.
• An unapproved engine change-out by an entry will result in it starting from the rear of the grid in the next race.
No engine change-out grid penalties will be served during the Indianapolis 500. Penalties carried over into or earned at the Indianapolis 500 will be served at the subsequent race.
Manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda returned to the series in 2012. For the 2014 season, both manufacturers will supply twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engines fueled by E85.