IndyCar veteran Scott Dixon has vented his disapproval towards the newly enforced 35-lap tyre stint limit for this weekend’s season-opening event at Texas Motor Speedway.
Sunday’s Genesys 300 will be the first event in a truncated IndyCar scheduled that has seen a myriad of races either postponed or cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the global crisis has also impacted sole tyre supplier Firestone who have been forced to transport the same compound as tyre as last year’s race for this weekend’s event.
The introduction of the aero screen for 2020 has altered the cars’ centre of gravity, thus seeing a consequent surge in front tyre wear.
IndyCar has ultimately opted for a safe route in ensuring no cars suffer unexpected tyre blowouts due to extending their stint beyond the recommended window.
However, Dixon, a two-time winner at the 1.5-mile oval, believes the series has become overcautious by slicing the typical 60 lap tyre window in half.
“Shortening the stint by half, I think kind of eliminates the whole tire deg thing,” Dixon told Motorsport.com. “I wish there was more of a range they’d come up with as opposed to chopping it right in the middle.
“It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how that plays out. It’ll put a lot of emphasis on pit stops, in-laps [and] could create other issues. Refueling is going to be short. [There will be] a lot of pressure on the pit crew guys.”
The five-time series champion also admits the consequent ‘pack racing’ that comes as a result of the field having large levels of tyre grip all race could be a catalyst for more incidents.
“[With] the tire grip, the possibility of it becoming a pack race again could be interesting, too, which you hope doesn’t happen,” he added.
“Plus the emphasis of having good in-laps because it’s going to carry over so much of your pit stop time, the time you’re on pit road, you don’t want people overextending themselves on pit entry and sliding back up onto the track, which we have had in previous years.”
The revised IndyCar season-opener from Texas Motor Speedway is slated to get underway from noon, Sunday, June 7.