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IndyCar director of engineering and safety Jeff Horton says the series’ first test of its aeroscreen cockpit protection device “exceeded expectations”.
Scott Dixon tested the aeroscreen on Thursday at Phoenix, and gave a generally positive review of the device.
Watch Dixon testing with IndyCar’s new aeroscreen
IndyCar has previously suggested it could implement the aeroscreen before the end of 2018, and Horton said the first test did not thrown up any problems beyond those the series had anticipated.
“It probably exceeded our expectations,” Horton told Autosport. “Scott said there were no big deal-breakers.
“As we anticipated, the screen prevents the airflow hitting the helmet, so it was really quiet, but it could [become] very hot in the cockpit.
“We understood that from the CFD studies we’d done, and we also understand there will be some helmet buffeting at some of the faster tracks like Indy because there’s no air on the face of the helmet.
“So we may have to pump some air into the cockpit to fix that.”
Horton said Dixon had also reported a small distortion in the screen but added that would be changed on any final version of the device.
“This is a prototype screen so [aeroscreen builder] PPG hasn’t created a final mould for it yet,” said Horton.
“Scott picked out a little area of focus change, really minor, and we are sure that will go away when PPG make the final piece for us.
“We haven’t blessed the configuration yet: we needed to get through this test first.
“This is a prototype – we have two actually – and when PPG built them, they built a jig and the background had cross section on it so you can see any deformation as you look through the glass.
“We cut off one of the parts at the front, but there turned out to another slight one down to the left which Scott spotted from the cockpit.
“But that will be fixed in the final piece. When they do a proper machined aluminium mould, the thickness will be 100% consistent.”