It’s now a matter of when, not if, for when there’s cockpit protection in the Verizon IndyCar Series. INDYCAR has been developing protection the last few years, but that’s been in a wind tunnel or on a computer. On Thursday, they debuted a prototype that hit the track for the first time ever.
Four-time series champion Scott Dixon took to the 1.022-mile ISM Raceway to be the guinnea pig on the new windscreen. The device the series and PPG have created is much better than the hideous halo that will debut in Formula One for the 2018 season. It’s also much better than a full blown canopy.
This version was actually pleasantly surprisingly aesthetically too. Dixon, took his No. 9 Honda for a spin around the Phoenix area oval, completing a handful of laps in the afternoon session. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was also quite pleased with the early results, saying that there wasn’t much to complain about overall.
While he did say that it took a few laps to get used to having to look through something for the first time of his open wheel career, he noted that the windscreen did a great job of deflecting air from the cockpit. The only two drawbacks to that new window is that it was much quieter than normal and that the air flow was now blocked, making it much hotter in the drivers sea.
#VISORCAM is back race fans!🙌 For the first time, we're behind a windscreen on @scottdixon9's no. 9️⃣ car during the initial test at @ISMRaceway in Phoenix. #INDYCAR
Live streaming of testing available on:
🗓️ Feb. 9 and 10
⏰ 3PM & 8PM ET pic.twitter.com/eBfiWuDxmq
— IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) February 9, 2018
He is still going to take it for a ride around other different lighting scenarios, but he thinks they’re on the right track. As far as how other drivers will do, he’s skeptical. It may take some more time than others to get used to it, but road and street courses may be the most difficult for looking ahead through corners.
This is far from a finished product, one that may not see this hit the track at all in 2018, but rght now, they’re on the right track.