Aeroscreen Ready For It’s Debut In St. Pete, A Full Run Down With Timeline And Facts About The New Device

INDIANAPOLIS — The Aeroscreen is a safety innovation for enhanced driver cockpit protection that will make its race debut in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15. The safety feature is a ballistic, canopy-like windscreen anchored by titanium frame work encompassing the cockpit. INDYCAR has mandated its use by all teams at all track disciplines (ovals,permanent road courses and temporary street circuits).

Timeline

INDYCAR partnered with Red Bull Advanced Technologies on the Aeroscreen and in just over four months the safety innovation went from a concept to being tested on track. INDYCAR and RBAT announced the partnership during the 2019 Indianapolis 500 weekend in May, and the Aeroscreen had its first on-track test onOctober2. That initial test was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Will Power.More on-track tests with additional drivers followed at Barber Motorsports Park, Richmond Raceway and Sebring International Raceway over the course of a month to simulate the other type of disciplines the NTT INDYCAR SERIES competes on.
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Alex Palou speeds on his the pits during the open test last month in COTA 

On-Track Testing

October 2, 2019–Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile superspeedway with ChipGanassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Will Power.

October 7, 2019–Barber Motorsports Park’s 2.3-mile permanent road course with TeamPenske’s Simon Pagenaud and Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay in Birmingham, Ala.

October 15, 2019–Richmond Raceway’s .75-mile short oval with Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in Richmond, Va.

November 5, 2019–Sebring International Raceway’s 3.74-mile permanent road coursewith Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward and Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais inSebring, Fla.The Sebring layout offers a simulation to a temporary street circuit.

February 11-12, 2020–First full-field test with 25cars equipped with the Aeroscreen atCircuit of The Americas’ 3.41-mile permanent road course in Austin, Texas.Noteworthy

The titanium Aeroscreen frame produced by Pankl weighs 27.8 pounds and can withstand 34,000 pounds of force.That is equivalent to 17 tons.The carbon reinforcing the cockpit rim has increased the stiffness of the tub by more than 10 percent.➢The frame is made of five pieces of 3D-printed titanium welded together, then machined. All welds are X-ray inspected and final assembly is measured on 3D coordinate measuring machines.

The ballistic screen, produced by PPG, weighs 17.3 pounds and can withstand a two-pound object striking it at more than 220 mph.➢The entire Aeroscreen assembly can be fitted or removed on an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car in fewer than 15 minutes.➢The Aeroscreen has a heating element in the middle of the laminate to prevent fogging. It can have up to eight tear-offs on the outside of the screen, and these can be removed during pit stops if the screen gets dirty.

Air flow to cool the driver comes from vents added under the leading edge of the windscreen, a very high-pressure area. The direction of air flow coming out of these vents can be adjusted by the teams to direct air to different areas of the driver’s torso as preferred.➢For road courses and short ovals, there is an additional air inlet beside the trailing edge of the windscreen on the opposite side of the refueling valve for piping air into the driver’s helmet. Also, there are additional inlets in the nose of the car that can be opened and ducted to cool the driver’s legs.”

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Ryan Hunter-Reay tests the new Aeroscreen in the rain at Barber Motorsports Park

QuoteBoard

“I don’t think any stone has been left unturned, but we will continue to fine tune it. The Aeroscreen is an industry-changing, total driver safety solution.”–INDYCAR President Jay Frye.

“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. 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. We’re looking forward to seeing the results race in 2020.”–Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO and Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner

“This has been a huge advancement, not just for INDYCAR but for what they did for the sport. This has been something we’ve been wanting to implement,but you have to do it the right way with the right product and the right piece and the right partners.”–Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon, a five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner.

“It’s a really huge step in safety, and I think it’s the best of both worlds with the halo(titanium frame)and the screen. I think you’ll see other racing categories follow suit. When you’ve driven it for a day,you’re going to feel naked without it. If you took it off, you’d feel naked because there is so much protection there.”–TeamPenske driver Will Power, the 2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and ’18 Indianapolis 500 winner.“

“INDYCAR and Red Bull did a fantastic job, really…. The visibility is great. I think the car looks pretty futuristic, which I’m sure the kids will enjoy that. It’s an evolution. It’s a great evolution into safety. It’s a new step for INDYCAR going forward. As a driver, I can’t thank them enough for the effort to try and provide us better safety.”–Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud, the 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner and ’16 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion.

Inside Views

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