Red Bull Advanced Technologies has developed an innovative Aeroscreen cockpit protection system to be introduced to the top level of US single-seater racing at the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series.
The enhanced driver safety technology is designed to reduce the risk of injury from flying debris or other objects striking the cockpit area. It consists of a wraparound ballistic screen anchored to the car’s cockpit by a titanium framework. When fitted, the device’s load-bearing capability is expected to be 150 kiloNewtons, equivalent to that of the Halo device currently used in Formula One.
Additionally, the laminated polycarbonate screen will include an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an integrated anti-fogging heating element and possibly tear-offs, all of which will be produced by associated third-party companies.
Red Bull Advanced Technologies will also work on a further refinement of the system, a cockpit cooling option to be designed in conjunction with Dallara, INDYCAR’s official chassis manufacturer.
The technology partnership was announced at the NTT IndyCar Series at a joint press conference at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner said: “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 US premier single-seater series. Over the coming months we’ll be working closely with INDYCAR and its drivers to refine and perfect Aeroscreen and we’re looking forward to seeing the results on the cars in 2020.”
Jay Frye, INDYCAR President, added: “This collaborative effort on the Aeroscreen truly exhibits an unrelenting commitment and passion for enhancing driver safety. We would like to thank everyone at Red Bull Advanced Technologies for creating a design that will be significant in the evolution of motorsports safety not only for the NTT IndyCar Series but from a global perspective.”
Upon completion of the Aeroscreen design by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, INDYCAR is tentatively planning on-track testing by selected NTT IndyCar Series drivers at the beginning of this summer and the Aeroscreens delivered to all the teams by the autumn of 2019.