New Push-To-Pass Feature for Grand Prix Drivers

New Push-To-Pass Feature for Grand Prix Drivers image

Text: / Photos: | posted July 18, 2004 00:00

Last year's CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver saw a three-car battle during the final lap. Driver Bruno Junqueira had to fight off challenges from his Newman/Haas teammate, Sebastien Bourdais, and Oriol Servia, who finished a close third.

To make the race more competitive, The CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver today announced the new Push-to-Pass feature that provides Champ Car drivers the ability to boost their power by 50 horsepower at critical moments during the street race.

"Denver is a notoriously tight, difficult course, making passing very tricky over each 1.65 mile lap," explains The Grand Prix's General Manager John Frew. "The Push-to-Pass technology gives the drivers more ability to pass and with the redesign of turn 5 we expect a lot of action this year."

Each driver has a total of 60 seconds' worth of power boosts and can use the extra power any time they choose. When a driver presses his Push-to-Pass button, a light begins flashing on the rear of his car. This light alerts the other drivers behind him that he is getting ready to make a move. Meanwhile, state-of-the art telemetry enables everyone from a driver's own crew, and other teams, the spectators along the course, and people watching the race on TV to know how much Push-to-Pass capability each driver has left.

"We worked with our engine makers, Ford-Cosworth, to develop this," said Kevin Vander Laan, CHAMP Car's electronics manager. He continued, "There's a button on the dash, and the driver pushes it in advance of when he wants the power boost. Push-to-Pass doesn't kick in until his throttle is engaged at 80 percent or higher, and it shuts off when he throttles down below 80 percent."

The CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver is set for August 13 through August 15.