By: Tanner Watkins | May 24, 2019
The NTT IndyCar Series and Red Bull Advanced Technologies has partnered to deliver the latest advancement in open-wheel driving safety.
For the 2020 season, an “aeroscreen” will be mandated for all cars to enhance driver safety. The announcement was made public this morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“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.
“Over the coming months, we’ll be working closely with INDYCAR and its drivers to refine and perfect Aeroscreen, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results race in 2020.”
The aeroscreen will be developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies featuring a titanium framework to protect drivers from debris. It will also have to pass the same ballistics and weight tests that are implemented on the roll hoop on the Dallara IR-18 currently.
“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 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, an INDYCAR official supplier, in conjunction with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
The current plan is to begin on-track testing for the aeroscreen during the summer months with acompleted and approved product being delivered to the teams by the fall.
Today’s announcement of the aeroscreen comes after more than 18 months of development work, dating back to last year’s initial prototype of the windscreen tested by Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon.
Dixon, perhaps the most decorated active driver in the NTT IndyCar Series, is more than pleased to watch Safety technology continue to evolve.
“INDYCAR has always been on the forefront of driver safety,” five-time and defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing said.
“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.”
Header image courtesy of INDYCAR Media
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.