INDYCAR ANNOUNCES ST. PETERSBURG PENALTIES

INDYCAR has announced penalties for Team Penske, including the disqualification of the No. 2 (Driver Josef Newgarden) and No. 3 (Scott McLaughlin) and a 10-point penalty for the No. 12 (Willpower) from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Louis. It was presented by RP Funding on Sunday, March 10 on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Team Penske violated the following “pay to pass” standards:

  • Rule 14.19.15. An indication to enable the Push-to-Pass feature will be sent via CAN communication from the vehicle's on-board timing and recording beacon to the team data recorder. This signal shall be passed to the ECU unmodified and uninterrupted during all road and street events.
  • Rule 14.19.16. Race start and any race restart that occurs prior to the lap before the white flag or with three minutes remaining in a timed race event, the Pay to Pass system will be disabled and enabled for a particular car once the car reaches the alternate start/finish line.

According to the rule book, an offense is a penalty for running a race (9.2.2.), which includes the right to change the position of the driver/car in the post or results, with a disqualification (9.2.2.6.) which includes forfeiture of points and prizes.

During the warm-up session on Sunday, April 21 before the Acura Grand Prix at Long Beach, INDYCAR discovered the team's potential rules violation.

A comprehensive review of data from the St. Petersburg street race revealed that Team Penske tampered with the overtaking system so that the No. 2, 3 and 12 cars had the ability to use the Push to Pass feature on starts and restarts. According to the INDYCAR rule book, overtaking is not permitted during championship races until the car has reached the alternate start and finish line.

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It was determined that No. 2 and No. 3 gained a competitive advantage using the Push to Pass feature on the restart while No. 12 did not.

Additionally, all three entries have been fined $25,000, and all prize money associated with the St. Petersburg street race will be forfeited.

“The integrity of the INDYCAR SERIES Championship is critical to everything we do,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye. “While the violation was not discovered in St. Petersburg, INDYCAR discovered the tampering during Sunday's warm-up at Long Beach and immediately remedied it to ensure all cars are in compliance for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Starting with this week's race at Barber Motorsports Park, Establish new technical inspection procedures to deter this violation.

Due to the disqualification penalty for the No. 2, Pato O'Ward's No. 5 Arrow McLaren entry is now credited with the win on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Updated official final results for the St. Petersburg race are available here With the updated 2024 season standings available here.

Members may object to the imposition of penalties detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rule Book.

“Unfortunately, the Push to Pass program was not removed as it should have been, following recently completed hybrid testing in Team Penske Indy cars,” Team Penske President Tim Cindric said. “This program allowed the Push to Pass feature to be deployed during restarts at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, when it should not have been allowed. The No. 2 car driven by Josef Newgarden and the No. 3 car driven by Scott McLaughlin deployed the Push to Pass feature Pass on restart, which violates INDYCAR rules Team Penske accepts penalties applied by INDYCAR.

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