Indycar: Barfield rules

Indycar has appointed Beaux Barfield as its new Race Director, replacing Brian Barnhart who over the past few months has been under increasing pressure over a number of controversial decisions, culminating in a re-start order under rain at the New Hampshire race which led to a multi-car crash on the start/finish line. That decision had a very high stupid-o-meter score (not the least because someone could have been hurt) and, together with loss of support from team owners, drivers and fans, meant that CEO Randy Barnard was basically left with no choice but to replace him.

Indycar has a lot to improve in terms of rules. It is shocking how blocking rules was applied in non-oval courses with drivers being basically forced to leave the door open for others to pass and penalised for not doing so. Yes, it makes sense to apply a strict definition of blocking in an oval, where you don’t want cars chopping over one another at 220 mph, but in road courses the application of the rule always seems to generate unfair outcomes. Penalties for causing collisions were also applied in a rather inconsistent and ad hoc way (not that Indycar is alone in this matter, as F1 officials take similarly poor decisions) and that’s another area that Beaux Barfield will also need to have a look at.

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