IndyCar officials have placed IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal on probation through the next six races for "blocking and initiating avoidable contact" during Sunday's Toyota GP of Long Beach.
On lap 22, Rahal's Service Central No. 38 car made contact with Marco Andretti's RC Cola No. 26 car in Turn 8, which launched Andretti's car briefly into the air before it made contact with the tire barrier. Andretti was not injured.
“Due to the inability of the No. 38 car to continue the race, a review of the on-track actions of Graham Rahal became a post-race issue,” said Beaux Barfield, IndyCar president of competition and race director. “All stewards have reviewed the incident and have decided that the on-track actions of Graham warranted probation because of driving that endangers on-track safety and adversely affects competition.”
The probation period will end following the IZOD IndyCar Series event June 23 at Iowa Speedway.
Per Rule 9.3.2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook, a driver must not alter his/her racing line based on the actions of pursuing drivers to inhibit or prevent passing. Blocking will result in a minimum of a black flag “drive through” penalty.
Rule 9.3.3 states a competitor must not initiate or attempt to initiate avoidable contact that results in the interruption of another competitor's lap time or track position. The probation penalty may be protested pursuant to the rulebook.