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IndyCar Successfully Tests Windscreen To Improve Driver Safety

Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon says it will take some getting used to, but calls the windscreen a step forward in driver safety

Avondale, Ariz. -- The Verizon IndyCar Series is looking into the possibility of installing windscreens on the new generation of IndyCars. The new car was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show a couple months ago. 

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon was happy to test out a prototype put together by IndyCar's Safety and Engineering Division when he and other Ganassi drivers were turning test laps in the new IndyCar at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. 

After taking several laps around ISM with the windscreen on his car Dixon called it a milestone in moving forward for IndyCar, but adds it will take some getting used to if the series decides to make the windscreen a requirement.

"The weirdest thing is how quiet everything is," Dixon said of the windscreen. "You have no airflow (in the cockpit) so the car is very quiet so you hear thing more that you typically don't."

Dixon says with that absence of airflow into the cockpit of the car, things got a little hot, something that IndyCar Safety and Engineering Director Jeff Horton says they expected and will need to work on as they make tweaks.

"Probably could use a little airflow in the future, we knew that because all the positive pressure on the face was taken away," Horton said. "But I'm excited. For him to go out and say their weren't any problems was exactly what we were shooting for."

IndyCar has partnered with PPG Aerospace to research and build the new windscreen. Dixon stressed that if the windscreen were to be fully implemented by IndyCar, it would increase the safety of the drivers tremendously.

He points to incidents in the past where drivers have been hit in the head with fly debris, like when Justin Wilson was killed in a wreck at Pocono Raceway in 2015 when he was hit in the head with flying debris from Sage Karam's car. 

Horton says some tweaks still need to be made to the windscreen before they consider making them standard on all IndyCars.

(PHOTO: Courtesy of Verizon IndyCar Series)

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