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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Drivers divided on Indy 500 ‘dragon weave’ and pitlane entry utilization

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The manoeuvre first appeared in 2019, when Simon Pagenaud used the tactic to maintain his rivals at bay on the best way to victory for Workforce Penske.

In recent times, it has grow to be extra prevalent – with some drivers swerving wildly off Flip 4 and into the pitlane entrance to discourage these following from utilizing their slipstream. Josef Newgarden used the transfer to assist him to remain forward of Marcus Ericsson on the ultimate lap on Sunday.

The vehicles then swerve to rejoin the racetrack simply forward of the pitwall attenuator, which is considered as one of the harmful areas on the legendary 2.5-mile oval. 

The strikes are usually not in opposition to IndyCar guidelines, because the main automobile is the instigator of the change of course slightly than making a reactionary blocking transfer, and there aren’t any monitor limits guidelines at IMS.

One driver, who didn’t want to be named, informed Autosport: “Happening into the pitlane… You already know, with the leaders, everybody has a transparent view, it is superb.

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“However think about a bit additional again with vehicles two large and extra, and somebody finally ends up hitting that attenuator. I feel that is when issues begin getting a bit unprofessional in a sure means.”

Sunday’s race winner Newgarden admitted after the race that he doesn’t “love” doing the transfer however was adamant that it’s a authorized and mandatory below the present guidelines.

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Josef Newgarden, Workforce Penske Chevrolet

Picture by: Chris duMond / Motorsport Images

“It is unattainable to not use that [dragon move] due to the convenience it’s to observe one automobile,” mentioned Newgarden. “I used to be about driving by pitlane. It was authorized is all I will say.

“They have been very clear that they aren’t implementing that [dotted pit entry] line, and so they did not implement it final yr.

“They mentioned they don’t seem to be implementing it once more, and I am coming to the checkered flag and I will do all the things I can to win this race, and I needed to be as aggressive as attainable, as a result of the tow impact to simply the primary automobile was much more troublesome than final yr.

“[Ericsson] was like tremendous shut and had a very good run coming off [Turn] 4, and with that, I believed, I’ve bought to be as aggressive as attainable to not let him by.

“You have been only a sitting duck when you have been within the lead. Actually, I do not love that.”

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Runner-up Ericsson weaved in the beginning of the ultimate lap restart to maintain his lead and didn’t cross the pitlane entry line, however did go throughout it whereas desperately drafting Newgarden on the sprint to the road.

He mentioned: “I do not suppose it was too unhealthy. For me, it is superb to maintain doing what we’re doing.”

When requested by Autosport for his ideas on weaving into the pitlane entry, third-place finisher Santino Ferrucci replied: “I’ll be completely sincere, that’s a driver’s selection proper there. I wouldn’t name a rule on it for monitor limits. On the finish of the day, they’re risking their lives if one thing occurs and so they hit it, in order that’s on them.

“I didn’t personally go down there, and I’d be actually nervous of placing the automobile down that low with that momentum if one thing have been to occur. You’d appear to be an absolute moron when you wrecked on the attenuator making an attempt to interrupt the draft.

“However I’m not shocked they did it. You’re going to do something to win that race.”



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