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IndyCar Completes First Test Of Aeroscreen Cockpit Protection

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Chris Owens/Indycar Series

SPEEDWAY, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The NTT Indycar Series is planning three more tests of the Aeroscreen after completing a day of testing Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Will Power turned over 600-miles at the Brickyard and both had nothing but good things to say about the latest safety innovation.

“I think it’s been an intense project and one that I think a lot of people have done their due diligence on to get it to this point, and today has been pretty much seamless,” said Dixon, the five-time Series Champion.  “We went through a bunch of configurations for cooling and where we can kind of push the air to control the helmet and how it feels and how much pressure you have there. Ultimately it’s just very quiet. I can hear my radio for a change. Normally I can’t hear that. So that’s kind of nice.”

“I’m so happy that we have it. It’s really a huge step in safety, and I think it’s the best of both worlds,” said Power, the 2014 Series Champion.  “You’ve got the halo and you’ve got a screen, so I think that you’ll see other open-wheel categories follow suit because there’s just — you think about it, when you’ve driven it for a day, you’re going to feel naked without it. If you took it off, you’d feel pretty naked because there’s not much protection there. So very happy that we’re moving ahead with it.

IndyCar and Red Bull Advanced Technologies along with partners like chassis manufacturer Dallara and PPG, who manufactured the jet fighter-like screen that attaches to the halo, have been developing the Aeroscreen for quite some time and were thrilled to get some on-track testing completed.

The No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet of Will Power sits on pit road at Indianapolis with the Aeroscreen cockpit safety innovation. (Photo: Chris Owens/Indycar Series)

“We’ve run almost 600 miles to this point, and we’ve still got a couple more runs to go, so I think it’s done everything we thought it would do and then some,” said Jay Frye, IndyCar President. Obviously we’ve learned a lot. Scott and Will have been phenomenal to work with. The teams have been phenomenal to work with. We’ve got a little work to do, but I think the foundation is really there and really set. So we’re quite excited about what we’ve seen today.”

Dixon, Power and Frye don’t envision any major changes and both drivers said they would feel comfortable going racing with it.

“You could race this weekend no problem,” said Power.  “That wouldn’t be an issue. So you know, that shows how well they’ve — what good of a job they’ve done just bolting it straight on. So that’s what you get when you work with the best people in the game like Red Bull Technologies and obviously INDYCAR, as well, and all the partners involved.”

“I think as we’ve been working on it today, there’s some configurations that you could adjust, and those might be personal things, as well, but I think it’s spot on,” said Dixon.  “It’s good to go.”

The next planned test is October 7 at Barber Motorsports Park followed by October 15 at Richmond Raceway and November 5 at Sebring.

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