on joining Phoenix
Racing for 2012 KIMI COOL AS EVER
“There will be general changes, not
From an officiating
absolute wholesale. You don’t want to
paint yourself into a box. If it’s too open
and ambiguous, you can get in trouble,
or if it’s too specific, you can, too.”
Barfield expects to apply the lessons
he learned with ALMS when it comes to
the thorny issue of blocking.
standpoint, the easy way
to call it isn’t the answer.
barfield (at right) comes into the
director’s chair with a widespread
endorsement, but ceO bernard knows all
too well what a hot seat he is taking on.
IT’S BEAUX...NO JEST
New race director Beaux Barfield brings confidence
of clarity and consistency in IndyCar decision making
Beaux Barfield, 40, who served as the American Le Mans Series
race director from 2008 through 2011, is IndyCar’s new race
director and president of competition, replacing Brian
Barnhart. Barfield has been signed to a one-year contract and
will report directly to IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard.
Barfield brings a wealth of experience to the position. Prior
to joining the ALMS, he had worked as the race director for the
Atlantic Championship and alongside Tony Cotman within
Champ Car’s race control. A former driver, Barfield raced in
Formula 2000 and Indy Lights in the 1990s.
Barfield’s first task will be a rewrite of
the IndyCar rulebook, which he said
needs to provide better clarity about what
the expectations are from series drivers.
“The attraction for me coming into
this is that it does require some fixing
and some change,” Barfield said at the
press conference announcing his hiring.
“It’s great to come in with the ability to
write rules and go from the ground up.
“I’ll give you an explanation about
where I stand on blocking: We made zero
calls on blocking my first year. We then
called everything on blocking. Both, in
retrospect, were wrong. From an
officiating standpoint, the easy way to
call it isn’t the answer.
“Absolute black and white rules aren’t
really compatible,” he reckoned. “It
requires an official who can articulate the
gray. I don’t like a line down the track.
There will be latitude to defend their
positions, but calls will be made if it gets
When those calls do get made,
Barfield made it clear that the buck
would stop with him.
“It’s simple [who has the final say] – I
do,” he said. “I’m fortunate to be a
professional, but also a fan. I’ve always
watched IndyCar. In watching, I form
opinions about things that happen. I’m
always analyzing what I’m seeing.”
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS
Check cleared, Austin’s Grand Prix is back on
U.S. fans’ chance to see Formula 1 in
person in 2012 depends on whether
the Circuit of the Americas can follow
through on the second chance it has
been given for a U.S. Grand Prix.
Bernie Ecclestone said last fall that
the race was dead due to delays in its
sanctioning fee payments. COTA had
subsequently shut down construction
of its mega-dollar permanent circuit
outside Austin, Texas, but then started
up again after announcing a new
agreement with F1’s commercial boss.
“Mr. Ecclestone received his check
today for the USGP,” said investor Red
McCombs in a statement on Dec. 7.
“We want to thank the fans supporting
us, the local officials and businesses
that have encouraged us, the state of
Texas, Circuit of The Americas’ staff
and Bernie himself.”
See you there Nov. 18...we hope.