Aeroscreen Coming To IndyCar In 2020

Next Advancement In Driver Protection

Scott Stiller
May 24, 2019 - 11:15 am
Aeroscreen Cockpit Protection For 2020 IndyCar

IndyCar Series

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INDIANAPOLIS, In (93.7 The Fan) - The next step in driver protection is coming to the NTT IndyCar Series in 2020.

IndyCar on Friday announced a new partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies to design and implement an Aeroscreen for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Season.

The Aeroscreen is being developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies to reduce the risk of driver injury from debris or other objects striking the cockpit area.

The driver safety innovation that will encompass the cockpit consists of a ballistic Aeroscreen anchored by titanium framework. which will mount to the chassis in three places: the chassis centerline, two-rear side mounts and roll hoop integration. 

The titanium framing and mounting points will enable the Aeroscreen to provide enhanced load-bearing capabilities. 

The load-bearing is expected to be 150-kilonewtons (kN), which would equal the FIA load for the Halo design currently being used in Formula 1. 

A kilonewton is equal to 225-pounds, which is a force of gravity rating, not static weight or mass. Force is equal to mass multiplied by acceleration.  

The Red Bull Advanced Technologies design will consist of a polycarbonate laminated screen that includes an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an anti-fogging device through an integral heating element and possibly tear-offs, all of which will be produced by integrated third-party companies.

Another feature for the drivers will be a cockpit cooling option that will be designed by Dallara, IndyCar's chassis supplier, in conjunction with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

"This collaborative effort on the Aeroscreen between Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Dallara and IndyCar truly exhibits an unrelenting commitment and passion for enhancing driver safety,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye. “We would like to thank everyone at Red Bull Advanced Technologies for creating a design that will be significant in the evolution of motorsports safety, not only for the NTT IndyCar Series but from a global perspective.”

“Since the first prototypes were developed and demonstrated in 2016, the potential of Aeroscreen to improve the safety for drivers in the event of frontal impacts in the cockpit area of cars has been clear,” said Christian Horner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO and Red Bull Racing team principal. “This new partnership with IndyCar gives us at Red Bull Advanced Technologies the go-ahead to fully explore that potential, and to deliver a protection system that will help prevent serious injuries and potentially save lives in the U.S.’ premier single-seater series."

“IndyCar has always been on the forefront of driver safety,” said five-time and defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing. “They are constantly looking and evaluating what needs to be done. It’s something they have done throughout history if you look back through the different eras since auto racing started over 100 years ago. The Aeroscreen is just the latest effort in continuing IndyCar’s efforts to enhance driver safety.”

The Aeroscreen is the second phase of IndyCar’s objective to further enhance driver safety in the open-cockpit race cars. IndyCar debuted the Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP) device for the IndyCar Grand Prix that was held May 10-11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The AFP is designed to help deflect debris away from the cockpit area and the driver.

The current design used data and information from IndyCar's extensive testing of a windscreen concept developed in conjunction with PPG Aerospace, including on-track sessions in 2018 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The drivers who tested the windscreen did not report any issues, but additional comprehensive testing at PPG’s facility in Huntsville, Alabama, revealed additional work was needed before any implementation.

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