Following Formula 1’s lead, IndyCar is pushing ahead with testing its new shield cockpit protection system during their open testing at Phoenix in February.
Formula 1 tested its version of the shield during practices at the British Grand Prix last July and plans to have it in use for all cars during the 2018 season. IndyCar is taking a slower approach.
“There’s been a lot of simulation, a lot of windtunnel work, a lot of modeling, a lot of everything, but we’ve yet to actually get it on a car,” IndyCar president of competition and operations Jay Frye told motorsport.com. “We’ve had it on a car statically, but we haven’t tested it on a car at speed or at a racetrack so we’re working diligently to get it on one car to run at the open test.”
Frye said that a single Dallara IR-12 will be fitted with the shield for the test. The idea is to provide more front safety for drivers while not impeding their ability to see.
“I would say that we’ve been able to accommodate for everybody and everything,” said Andrea Toso, head of R&D for Dallara. “First, the car has no halo. I think soon IndyCar will test some sort of structural windscreen, which comes from military planes like on an F-16 jet fighter cockpit.”
Formula 1 drivers had mixed reviews on their version of the shield, but settled on a combination of protection with good visibility. Look for IndyCar to do extensive testing in 2018 and roll out the new modification the following season.