Beaux Barfield has been named race director for the 2012 IndyCar season.
Barfield, 40, served as the American Le Mans Series race director for three years and he replaces Brian Barnhart who left in November 2011. Barfield has previously worked in a stewards role in the Champ Car series from the early to mid 2000’s.
As a driver, Barfield reached the IndyLights series after progressing through karting and Formula Ford 2000. He believes that understanding a driver's passion, point of view and mind-set will be an asset for him in this role.
“My driving experience counts for a lot when you're in the heat of the battle making difficult decisions in Race Control,” he said.
“The one thing that I wanted to do as a racing driver growing up in America was to be involved with the Indy 500. When my driving career took a change of course and I found myself officiating, it was still a goal of mine to get to Indy car racing and the Indy 500. In that regard, it represents the pinnacle of my aspirations as a race official. I'm truly honored to be a part of INDYCAR.”
The Texan’s first tasks will be to assemble a Race Control team and finalize the rulebook.
“I think there will be general changes (to the rulebook),” he said. “But if you essentially put too many words in any given rule as an official you paint yourself into a box. That’s what you really have to be careful of.
“Ultimately, I don’t want to walk in here like I’m wielding a big stick and gun slinging. I think the decisions come down to the Race Director, period, end of story because ultimately I have to sit in the drivers’ meeting and explain to the drivers exactly what my expectations are.
“I absolutely have the final say. Stewards I think more are there for a safety net and to help and assist when you get into a difficult call or difficult situation.”
The IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard believes that Barfield is the right appointment for the series.
“Though Beaux comes from sports car racing, his roots are in open-wheel racing,” he said. “He has built a strong reputation as Race Director with ALMS and bringing him on board ensures that INDYCAR has a dedicated Race Director with the right level of expertise for the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“IndyCar has a very bright future ahead of us in 2012 and I would like to think this is the start of a new era with a new car, the first one in eight years, as well as with three engine manufacturers. We believe we have a lot of opportunity in 2012.”