State of INDYCAR, Day 2: What did we learn?

After last night’s State of INDYCAR address, the proceedings continued this morning in Indianapolis with presentations for on-track operations and technology at the forefront.

Today allowed folks like new race director Beaux Barfield and series vice president of technology Will Phillips to reveal their own announcements on the 2012 campaign, and there’s likely going to be a fair bit of talk revolving around some of them. Let’s see what they had in store for Valentine’s Day:

– On-Track

Barfield has a few ideas for the upcoming season, and two of them in particular could prove important in the future if they go over well.

As mentioned in the last blog post, Iowa Speedway is resorting to three, 30-lap heat races in setting the starting field for its IndyCar event on June 22. While regular, single-lap qualifying will stay on at the other ovals this season, it seems like INDYCAR is open to the possibility of a heat/single-lap mix for its quals in 2013.

Another Barfield idea that may be utilized later on this season: Standing starts, which were last seen in American open-wheel racing at the tail end of the Champ Car World Series. That idea will certainly have its followers and haters, but it’s not as if it’s a completely foreign concept.

Speaking of concepts, the double-file restarts that were brought to the series last season will not be present at Indianapolis, Texas and Fontana — the high-speed ovals — in 2012. Those events will go to single-file restarts.

Credit for these details come from the IndyCar.com piece I linked to earlier this morning.

– Engines

With three new engine manufacturers entering the fray, the last thing INDYCAR needs is to have one of them dominating throughout the season. To that end, the series appears keen on ensuring that won’t happen.

All engines will be doled out to the teams by INDYCAR, and those teams will have five new powerplants per season. The engines, which are expected to last 1,850 miles each, will feature a rev limit of 12,000 rpm (the last engines had a limit at 10,300 rpm).

Should an unapproved engine change occur, that team will have to give up ten starting positions on race day, and a second unapproved change will bring penalties for the next race.

Another key point is that there will be no “push-to-pass” overtake system at the start of the season — although it could be brought back later on.

Credit for these details go to ESPN.com’s John Oreovicz and multiple Twitter reports from folks in Indianapolis, including the team at More Front Wing.

– Chassis

It was revealed that the new Dallara DW12 has undergone and passed all of its impact tests (rear, side, nose and floor).

As for the rear pieces on the new machines — the ‘Kardashians’, as some fans have taken to calling them — they will take damage on contact but INDYCAR is hopeful we’ll see a lesser risk of launch-type accidents.

Again, credit goes to multiple Twitter reports. It makes me wish today’s sessions were also streamed, too!

– Mobile/Internet

Another piece of news involving IndyCar and mobile applications came down today with the announcement of “Cosworth Live on Air.” According to Cosworth’s website, Live on Air “enables large volumes of telemetry data (including HD video) to be streamed in real time over a fast 4G network from fast moving vehicles to a local hub for use by support staff, or to a Cloud service for use by consumers on smartphones or other connected devices.”

Between this and Verizon’s new IndyCar Mobile app with GravityJack’s augmented reality capabilities, IndyCar fans may have a tough decision to make: Watch the telemetry or watch the race itself.