IndyCar to Implement New Aeroscreen Cockpit Safety Device in 2020
It’s as strong as Formula 1’s Halo and was developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
IndyCar has solidified plans to implement a new Aeroscreen cockpit safety device, designed in partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, starting with the 2020 season.
The topic of introducing equipment to better protect IndyCar drivers from hazardous on-track debris has long been debated and picked up steam when Formula 1 announced its Halo device in 2017. Over time IndyCar has tested various methods and fixtures before deciding on the Aeroscreen, which was revealed during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday.
“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."
As for the Aeroscreen itself, it's constructed of titanium and features an anti-reflective, anti-fogging polycarbonate laminated screen. The device has three mounting points—one at the chassis centerline and two rear-side locations—and it also integrates the existing roll hoop. Strengthwise, it's equal to that of F1's Halo as it's expected to bear 150 kilonewtons of load.
In attempt to solve the possible issue of oil or other liquids covering the Aeroscreen during on-track action, IndyCar is considering tear-offs similar to that found on sportscars and stock cars.
Lastly, it was revealed that Dallara intends to develop a cockpit cooling device that will help lower temperatures for those behind the wheel.
“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,” IndyCar President Jay Frye said. “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.”
The Red Bull Advanced Technologies Aeroscreen, which will be in development through summer and reach the hands of all teams by fall, is unique to the PPG Aerospace-built equipment that was tested by the likes of five-time series champion Scott Dixon in the past.