Following the competition debut of the Advanced Frontal Protection device in the INDYCAR Grand Prix earlier this month, the sanctioning body of the NTT IndyCar Series unveiled a new partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies to design and produce an Aeroscreen for each Indy car in time for the 2020 season.
Red Bull’s new Aeroscreen is intended to reduce the chance of debris striking drivers by surrounding the cockpit with a polycarbonate laminated screen anchored to chassis via a titanium framework with three mounting areas.
Multiple mount points — on the chassis centerline, two rear-side mounts and integration with the roll hoop — will grant the Aeroscreen a load-bearing capacity of 150 kilonewtons. This puts the device on par with the FIA’s Halo design currently used in Formula One.
“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,” said Christian Horner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO and Red Bull Racing team principal.
“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 U.S.’ premier single-seater series.”
Beyond structural rigidity, the Red Bull solution will address concerns that stemmed from previous windscreen testing with an anti-reflective coating on its interior and an anti-fogging device. Optional elements include tear-offs and the addition of a cockpit cooling system developed by Dallara to compensate for the lack of airflow in an Aeroscreen-equipped Indy car.
Design and development work by Red Bull is ongoing with testing of the completed design expected during the summer and anticipated delivery to each team in the fall.
Ben was hooked after witnessing Dario Franchitti's victory at the 2009 Iowa Corn Indy 250 and began providing media coverage from IndyCar events in 2015. If IndyCar is on track, he can be found live-posting and updating The Apex's Race Reports from his iPad Pro.