Watch aeroscreen-fitted Indycars turn laps at Sebring
Prior to its implementation from 2020 onward, Indycar's aeroscreen underwent four test runs in all, starting at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by Barber Motorsports Park and Richmond.
The final test took place Tuesday at Sebring – a venue that proved to be the ultimate testing ground for the device – with its anti-fogging measures being trialed in the humid Floridian climate by Dale Coyne Racing’s Bourdais and Ferrucci, with the latter using the former's car.
Also turning laps was the newly-formed Arrow Mclaren SP IndyCar team, with O’Ward being the lone to run, even though Oliver Askew was present. The team also used a funky test livery as they kick-start their new outfit.
None of these three, however, had any issue with the cockpit safety device, cooling not-withstanding, as Bourdais requested larger helmet vents be added, as ductwork around the screen will be prohibited. “It’s figuring out what’s the best cooling option,” he said.
“But it’s nothing we can’t work through. In races, we drive through clouds of debris, particularly on speedways and superspeedways, so I think this is a massive step. It’s a much safer place for us IndyCar drivers – I think everyone is pleased with it.”
IndyCar rookie O’Ward also enjoyed his first aeroscreen encounter, stating that his vision was in no way impaired, even noting that one doesn’t notice it at times. He also feels the anti-fogging technology did its job to combat the heat and moisture in the air.
“You can barely tell the screen is there because it’s pretty clear,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a bit more enclosed, but you see everything you usually see. The eyes kind of look around the halo, so you don’t really notice it.
“Once you’re pushing, you don’t really see the Aeroscreen.” The teams will be receiving the Red Bull-developed safety system from next month, and based on reports from drivers, the aeroscreen will be ready for its first IndyCar race at St. Petersburg in March.