IndyCar Aeroscreen prototype to arrive “in about 30 days”

IndyCar president Jay Frye says that he hopes the prototype 2020 Aeroscreen will be seen in one month, with ‘production’ versions a month after that.

IndyCar Aeroscreen prototype to arrive “in about 30 days”

The Aeroscreen, developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, was today confirmed to be introduced for the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season.

Frye stated: “The plan is to have a prototype in probably 30 days, and we'll have real pieces in another 60 days. Get them on cars this summer to test, and then at some point… around November, we'll have one for each entry. To put this on all the cars in 2020 is our goal.”

As the former manager of the Red Bull Toyota NASCAR squad, Frye said his connections helped in facilitating the partnership for Aeroscreen development.

“They're great friends, we talk to them all the time,” he said. “When they came out with their application [proposed alternative to F1 Halo] a couple of years ago, it was like, ‘That's very cool. That's kind of what we wanted to do. We had the same intent.’

“The last couple years we've tested our own version, and earlier this year we called them and said, we want your idea on our car; how can we do that, how can we work together?

“They immediately jumped on it – basically that day! What's the next step, how is this going to work? In the last 60 days, it's incredible the amount of work that they've done. We'll have a prototype here pretty soon, so this thing is rolling right along. We're very confident in everything they're doing.

“They've got great pride and equity in what we're doing here, so we're excited to see the final product.”

More details

Andy Damerum, Red Bull Racing business development engineer, and Ed Collings, head of composites and structures at Red Bull, were able to go into more detail of the design for IndyCar’s Aeroscreen.

Said Damerum: “We got experience, back at the beginning of 2016, working with the FIA on an aeroscreen program, something similar called a canopy. The FIA asked for a number of companies to look at protection devices; Halo is one of them, and the windshield was another one.

“We had experience of working with Perspex technologies and safety devices, so we got quite a lot of experience in this area. The FIA didn't use the system in the end, but chose to use the Halo system, and I think it was later on that year we got contacted by IndyCar to see if there was an interest and see if we could share our IP with them.

Collings added that the Aeroscreen’s design will withstand the same loads as the FIA Halo, explaining: “I think part of the reason that the FIA didn't choose the Aeroscreen initially wasn't so much the strength but the time it would take to design around the other concerns of visibility and reflections, and they felt they didn't have time. They were under pressure to introduce something quickly, and the Halo removed some of those concerns from the design process.

“But in talking to IndyCar at the beginning of this project, that does also remove some of the protection from smaller debris, which is something that IndyCar felt was essential for their series. So we think this is the right solution, more comprehensive solution, more fitting for IndyCar, and we're working hard with a good group of engineers to design out all those other issues that perhaps prevented the FIA from being able to react quickly enough.”

Frye confirmed that the ‘hoop’ of the Aeroscreen frame will not impair drivers’ vision even on high-banked ovals, while Collings explained that the increased height of the screen was also to help prevent a driver’s crash helmet making contact with the any part of the design.

“Part of our work has been to study previous crashes in the IndyCar Series,” he said, “and to detect where the helmet position was during those crashes. One of the important parts of our design is that we don't put a very rigid structure in a position where the helmet could make contact in a high-G instant. So in order to deliver that, we've created an exclusion zone where this device doesn't enter that zone where it would impede the driver's head.

“It's important that we haven't introduced any compromises by adding this assembly on to the car. So as a result, that has defined the height of the device. It's quite similar to the previous windscreen design, but particularly it's higher at the rear edge in order to protect the driver more comprehensively than the earlier prototype would have done.”

Regarding driver extrication in the event of a shunt, Collings stated: This is one of possibly 20, 25 topics that we've had to explore and come up with solutions working with the AMR IndyCar Safety Team to ensure they have a very fast and prepared and practiced method of removing the parts of the screen.

“We use the jaws of life through the IndyCar sponsor, and they deliver the equipment that is perfect for the job.”

Frye suggested that the screen may stay the same for the next-gen IndyCar (due in 2022) but obviously more integral to the car’s design, rather than an “add-on” to the IR18/universal aerokit bodywork

“A hybrid of this will be on the next generation of car,” he said, “or it might be this one – it just depends. When you look at the Red Bull [F1 car’s canopy] obviously there was an angle to it where it went into the monocoque [which] with this current car we were not able to do because it couldn't take the load there, so they’ve tied it into the roll hoop, which we thought was brilliant. So the roll hoop actually created this additional strength that was not really the original intent.

“So again, they've done a phenomenal job… This thing is very strong.”

 

 

shares
comments
Indy 500: Ericsson, #7 Arrow SPM crew win pitstop competition

Previous article

Indy 500: Ericsson, #7 Arrow SPM crew win pitstop competition

Next article

Alonso shows off steering wheel broken by leg impact in Indy crash

Alonso shows off steering wheel broken by leg impact in Indy crash
Load comments
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021