Motorsport

Indy 500 set for radical new qualifying format

2019-03-01 07:51
sebastien bourdais, getty images, motorsport, indy
Sebastien Bourdais at IndyCar (Getty Images)

Indianapolis - Qualifying for the venerable Indianapolis 500 is getting a makeover that will see drivers chasing pole position and seeking to "bump" the lowliest qualifiers off the grid on the same day.

Under a new format announced on Thursday, positions 10-30 on the 33-car starting grid will be locked in on Saturday, May 18, the first day of qualifying for the 103rd running of the Indy 500 on May 26.

The nine fastest drivers on Saturday will then battle for pole in a Fast Nine Shootout on Sunday, May 19, the same day that cars outside the top 30 will decide their fates via the Last Row Shootout a one-hour session in which the last three places on the grid will be up for grabs.

Because more than 33 cars are expected in qualifying, the session will likely feature bumping of cars from the field. Last year, 2016 pole-sitter James Hinchcliffe failed to make the race.

After qualifying concludes on May 19, there will be a full field practice session expected to feature cars in race set-up on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

"With this schedule, fans will get a phenomenal weekend of action, with two days of qualifying, bumping, the run for the pole and this incredible practice that effectively is the race before the race - all in a two-day span," IndyCar President Jay Frye said in a statement.

Read more on:    indianapolis 500  |  motorsport

 

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