INDYCAR To Introduce Next Phase Of ‘Cockpit Safety’?

INDYCAR announced Tuesday the planned introduction of the next step to improve cockpit safety for all drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series. All cars participating in an April 24 open test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval will be fitted with Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP), a titanium piece made by Dallara (Sole provider? Fancy that – And All Italics Are The Editor’s by the way).

AFP, which stands a little more than 3 inches tall and averages three-quarters of an inch in width, is designed to deflect debris away from the driver (How exactly?). It will be positioned in front of the cockpit, along the chassis centerline (To do what? Ensure that any wires are cut in the event that they’re lying two feet off the track surface?). The piece has passed the same strength tests as Dallara’s roll hoop (Well one would certainly hope so…).

Versions of AFP have been explored through on-track and simulator testing since 2012. New technology made this a practical option now. NTT IndyCar Series teams received information about the planned AFP adaptation today. All cars entered in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in May will be fitted with the piece, and they will carry it through the rest of the season.

“Safety is a never-ending pursuit, and this is INDYCAR’s latest step in the evolution,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “There are more details to come about the phases to follow.” (You mean sort of like how well the rear wheel caps worked?)

A halo-type device was considered, but it cannot be fitted to the current version of INDYCAR’s chassis. (Ah yes, but the Lexan appliance does fit, and is clearly safer in the case of potential vertical and side debris incursions).

INDYCAR has done extensive testing with a windscreen developed in conjunction with PPG Aerospace, including on-track sessions at ISM Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2018. Neither driver who tested the windscreen reported problems, but recent testing at PPG’s facility in Huntsville, Alabama, proved that work remains before INDYCAR could implement its use. (Maybe because Dallara is still the ‘sole provider’?)

This Makes Sense – The Other? Not So Much








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