• Mar 27, 2008
The new rule at the Indy Racing League (IRL) says the minimum weight for cars will now include the driver. That's good news for Ed Carpenter. At 165 pounds, he's the heaviest driver in the series (if anyone can call that "heavy"). On the other hand, it appears to penalize Danica Patrick -- the petite driver, the lightest in the series, can barely tip the scale over 100 pounds. The IRL insists the new rule isn't targeting Danica. Nevertheless, she's not very happy.

The weight difference is more significant than many think. In fact, it has been estimated that a 65-pound weight difference could mean as much as a 1-mph advantage during a race. To even the field, the new rule will divide the drivers into three categories. The heavy group get weight cut, while the lightest group will get ballast added - to the vehicle's chassis, not the driver's derrière. We don't want to affect Danica's swimsuit modeling career, do we?

[Source: Inside Line, Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty]



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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      They're on the right track here with equalizing weight.

      Set a point, let's say 200lb. Driver weights 100lb.? Add 100lb. of ballast. Driver weighs 300lb.? Remove 100lb. of ballast.

      Doesn't make any sense to me to split them into three groups and universally make the changes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Inspector: "Uhm Danica, I don't think that it would be right for you to drive an indy car while pregnant"

      Danica: "No really the doctor said it would be O..." - 10 lead weights fall out from under her sweatsuit...
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is just stupid. More evidence that IRL is out of touch and why IRL for the most part irrelevant in Auto Racing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      damn, i was going to field 2 cars this year, and cut myself into 2-120lb drivers.
      so much for that plan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How is this bad for Danica? She can place the ballast around in the car to even out the weight distribution, while the fat guys weight is kept where he sits.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nothing a set of ridiculously out-of-proportion breast implants couldn't fix...
      • 6 Years Ago
      If her weight was 50 lbs. she still wouldn't win. Can't believe how ink is wasted on a back marker, oh thats right she's a girl.
      • 6 Years Ago
      bwa-hahahahahahaha

      then she'd prob get cited for improper safety devices.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds perfectly fair to me, it should always be this way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      MotoGP suffers a bit from this problem. The series definitely favors petite riders. When the machines are significantly lighter it makes rider weight much more important.

      I do have to take some issue with the statement that "it has been estimated that a 65-pound weight difference could mean as much as a 1-mph advantage during a race." Is this estimate derived from an average speed for a full lap for two drivers? It seems more accurate to compare power/weight ratios for the full rider and machine. I've heard it said that on a motorcycle losing 14 pounds equals an additional 1hp. I don't know if it's accurate, but it seems like a more accurate comparison of lighter and heavier drivers.
      Austin James
      • 2 Years Ago
      The cars should be equal period so what if the driver is small and petite and OH SO SEXY, If the boys can't keep up with her then they should get out of the way, They just don't want there sport being invaded by woman, well to bad I don't remember the NHRA having a problem with Shirley Muldowney ! So again boys either speed up, move over, or get run over.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think I am going to recruit Larry the Cable Guy as my driver as soon as this rule is implemented.
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