INDYCAR Introduces Cockpit Protection Piece

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NTT IndyCar Series teams received information today about a new component aimed at improving cockpit safety that will make its race debut in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The Dallara-made Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP) piece, standing just over 3 inches tall and with an average width of three-quarters of an inch, will be positioned along the chassis centerline in front of the cockpit and is designed to deflect debris away from the driver.

Though the sanctioning body’s windscreen project has garnered attention over the past year, INDYCAR states that versions of AFP have been explored since 2012 through both on-track and simulator testing.

INDYCAR AFP cockpit protection rendering
After six years of development, INDYCAR landed on this version of the AFP piece to improve cockpit safety while not obstructing drivers’ vision. | Photo: INDYCAR

On-track testing of the windscreen at ISM Raceway near Phoenix and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway went positively, but recent testing at PPG Aerospace’s Huntsville, Alabama facility proved that the solution isn’t ready to be implemented.

INDYCAR considered a halo-type device but found it could not be fitted to the current Dallara IR-12 chassis.

“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.”

All cars participating in the open test to be held April 24 at IMS will be fitted with AFP before its use in the Indianapolis 500. The piece will stay on the cars for the remainder of the season.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Duranthttp://aarondurant.com
Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. As editor-in-chief and an avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.

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