Barfield's gone...now what?

IndyCar's race director Beaux Barfield has moved over to IMSA.

Barfield's gone...now what?
Beaux Barfield
Race start
Race start
Beaux Barfield
Start: Will Power leads
Start: ACO President Pierre Fillon gives the green flag as #99 GAINSCO / Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP Chevrolet: Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, Darren Law, Memo Gidley takes the lead
Beaux Barfield
Race start for P/GTLM
Start
Start: #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP Chevrolet: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sébastien Bourdais leads

The Verizon IndyCar Series, which began its seven-month off-season just last week, has plenty of work to do before the 2015 season begins, much of it internal.

Losing Barfield is a major blow to IndyCar

Yesterday's announcement that INDYCAR race director Beaux Barfield is leaving the series to return to a similar position in sports car racing is a big blow. Say what you want about Beaux, for the greater part his three-year reign in race control has been far more benign than he who came before with the same initials to his name. Barfield has been an even-keeled member of an always-changing three-member board in race control that decides whether and what penalties will be eked to drivers and teams.

There were plenty of penalties - five, in fact - during the final race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana; the MAVTV500 had its sloppy moments that deserved wrist-slaps from race control. How much of that was up to Barfield, we’ll never know as he could have been superseded by the other two members of the team, one of whom is his predecessor, Brian Barnhart.

Beaux Barfield has ticked off people in the INDYCAR community as race director but his job pretty much required making no friends in the paddock. The objective is always to be in the background of a race, not the primary part of it - and Barfield has let the racers race, giving penalties when they are warranted.

A return to American sports car racing

He’s now returning as race director to IMSA. He held the same post for four years with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) before it merged with the Grand-Am Road Racing Series and became the Tudor United Sports Car Series (TUSCC). Barfield joins a team led by Simon Hodgson, a Briton who most recently led Wayne Taylor’s team to a championship. Between the two of them, they’ve got half a century of big league racing experience.

We look forward to identifying a race director that will take the Verizon IndyCar Series to an even higher level starting in 2015

Hodgson becomes managing director of racing information, while long-time IMSA team member Scot Elkins moves to managing director of technical regulations, which should take some heat away from him - Elkins had been doing the work of several people and having a definitive position as tech maven should work for him - he’s been making all Balance of Power decisions this year - and a whole lot more! His second-in-command, PaulWalter becomes director of racing operations while Mark Raffauf, who worked with the original IMSA back in the day is now the director of all series programs.

IMSA has several platforms, Including TUSCC, Continental Tire Challenge, Cooper Tires Prototype Lites, Ferrari Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. Barfield, Walter and Raffauf report to Hodgson.

Who takes over his role in IndyCar?

With Barfield’s return to sports cars at Circuit of the Americas on September 19-20, the job is now open in IndyCar for someone of value to take over race control. At this point in time I don’t see a perfect candidate but there is, as we all know, plenty of time for careful consideration of candidates before a decision makes any difference - after all, there’s an easy six or seven months before the Indy cars go racing again.

On its website, IndyCar thanked Barfield for his contributions over the past three seasons and wished him all the best in his new position with IMSA. “We look forward to identifying a race director that will take the Verizon IndyCar Series to an even higher level starting in 2015,” the statement said.

shares
comments
Penske aiming to bring two titles back to Detroit

Previous article

Penske aiming to bring two titles back to Detroit

Next article

The 2014 IndyCar season gave me a feeling of unfulfillment

The 2014 IndyCar season gave me a feeling of unfulfillment
Load comments
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021