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A Look Inside an IndyCar Cockpit

Juan Pablo Montoya rolls down pit lane during Monday's Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park -- Photo: Chris Jones
IndyCars have some of the most advanced cockpits of any racing series. There are paddle-shifters, gear lights, fuel-map switches, and a plethora of other buttons to deal with. At the open test at Barber Motorsports Park, we got a chance to look inside some of the cockpits of the cars and see just how busy they really are. 

Below are some shots of the cockpits of the machines. Hover over images for more information. All photos courtesy of Chris Owens, IndyCar PR.

James Jakes is strapped into his Honda on pit lane during Tuesday's Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park

Stefano Coletti is strapped into his KV Racing Technologies Chevrolet on pit lane during Tuesday's Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park

Stefano Coletti is strapped into his KV Racing Technologies Chevrolet on pit lane during Tuesday's Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park

Charlie Kimball is strapped into his Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet on pit lane during Tuesday's Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park

James Hinchcliffe is strapped into his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda on pit lane during Tuesday's Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park

For a more detailed explanation of what's exactly on the wheel, check out the list below (all explanations courtesy of INDYCAR):

ANTI-ROLL BARS: Allows driver to fine-tune the handling of the car by engaging mechanical linkages connected to the front or rear suspension.

DASH: Displays warning lights and information the driver needs during the race. That information includes lap times, oil, water and gearbox temperatures and fuel mileage.

RPM SHIFT LIGHTS: LED lights that go from green to red and indicate engine RPM. When the red lights are on the driver shifts gears.

PIT LANE SPEED LIMITER: Used on pit lane by the driver to activate the engine control program limiting the car’s speed to the pit lane speed limit, which is usually 60 miles per hour.

PUSH-TO-TALK: Activates the microphone in the driver’s helmet so he can communicate over the radio.

RESET: Used during the race. During a pit stop the driver pushes this button to reset the fuel reading on the display.

FUEL MAP SWITCH: Allows the driver to adjust the fuel mapping of the engine to increase fuel mileage or to increase power. There are a number of settings available including full rich, where the engine produces maximum power but uses more fuel. There is also a lean setting which uses less fuel but produces less power. During caution periods the drivers will switch to the leanest mixture to increase fuel economy, different pages available on the dash board, including the race page, qualifying page and practice page.

DASH SCROLL: Allows driver to scroll between the screens of information on their dash.

WEIGHT JACKER: Adjusts the cross weight on the car from left to right, or right to left, depending on button pushed. The weight jacker allows the driver to make fine-tuning adjustments as the car begins to handle differently during the race.

NEUTRAL BUTTON: Used by drivers to set the car's gearbox to a neutral state.

REVERSE: Allows the driver to set the car's gearbox in a reverse position.

PUSH-TO-PASS: The push-to-pass, or overtake assist, button is an INDYCAR-regulated mechanism which provides a driver the ability to increase the car's horsepower for a short period of time.

HAND CLUTCH (BEHIND WHEEL):

DRINK (BEHIND THE CARBON): Allows the driver to get a drink of water during the race. It activates a pump connected to a water bottle on the car which pumps water through a hose installed in the driver’s helmet.

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