IndyCar announced Wednesday it will resume using push-to-pass at the five remaining road and street course events this season.
This was first utilized under IndyCar sanction in 2009; it was also used previously in Champ Car. The push-to-pass function on the new DW12 allows a driver to add turbocharger boost and additional RPM with the press of a button on the steering wheel to complete a pass.
“It will be similar to what it was in the past because we know that model worked,” said Will Phillips, IndyCar vp of technology.
The additional boost is added for a pre-determined amount of time, which will be determined by IndyCar depending on the circuit. The sanctioning body will also determine the total amount of time available, recharge time and any delay in the system prior to each activation, though the engine manufacturers may adjust the settings below the requirements to optimize their engine's performance.
Push to pass will not engage until a certain throttle position is reached and will disengage if the driver lifts or presses the button again.
As part of the introduction of push-to-pass, the base turbocharger boost level will decrease to 150 kPa. When the system is engaged, the boost increases to 160 kPa on the 2.2-liter V6 engines supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus.
Teams will have the opportunity to test the system during the event weekend on the streets of Exhibition Place before the Honda Indy Toronto.
"I thought just having the rules the way Beaux has enforced them this year would have made Toronto exciting enough in Turn 3, but this is likely to make it even more exciting," Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports co-owner Sam Schmidt told RACER.com. "Hopefully the push-to-pass doesn't affect reliability components, I don't think it will, but it will be interesting to see. It's something we've had before, it adds to the show."
“Push-to-pass will increase the ability to pass an equally fast (lap time) car on the straights which should make the racing more competitive and exciting," explained Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing vp of technology Jay O'Connell. "I am pleased to see this feature added as we head into a series of five road and street course events because it gives the driver significantly more power when activated to overtake another car. Since push-to-pass allows more turbocharger boost for a specific time, the existing electronic boost sensors are well placed to monitor the new feature and keep it fair for all the competitors.”