IndyCar to Debut “Aeroscreen” for Protection in 2020
The Aeroscreen Will Debut in the 2020 Season
Watching open-wheel racing in one of its many permutations offers plenty of rewards for those fond of innovative automobile design. While performance is at the core of many of these design choices, recent years have seen another welcome area of focus: namely, safety. The 2018 Formula One season marked the debut of the Halo system to keep drivers protected from debris on the racetrack. (This was not without some controversy.) The Halos have also incorporated other features besides safety: Mercedes utilized red Halos as a tribute to legendary driver Niki Lauda, for example.
Now, IndyCar has adopted something similar: the Aeroscreen will be featured in races in the 2020 season. The Aeroscreen is being developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies. IndyCar’s press release about the Aeroscreen notes that some version of this has been in the works since 2016. It will be comparable to Formula One’s Halo, and will utilize a number of interconnected systems to keep drivers safe without sacrificing visibility. Or, if you’d like to get more technical about it:
The Red Bull Advanced Technologies design will consist of a polycarbonate laminated screen that includes an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an anti-fogging device through an integral heating element and possibly tear-offs, all of which will be produced by integrated third-party companies.
Testing is planned to begin this summer, with the new Aeroscreens making their debut in the fall. In their report on the new design, Jalopnik has also noted that Red Bull Advanced Technologies had also worked on an alternative to the Halo for Formula One several years ago. Whatever form this new technology takes, it should keep drivers safer — which is good news for everyone involved with the sport.
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