IndyCar took a step towards introducing an aero screen-style ‘deflector’ with a test at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.
Four-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon tested the new deflector on his Chip Ganassi Dallara-Chevrolet in varying light conditions. The purpose of the test was to gather driver feedback on visibility and optical distortion following extensive wind tunnel testing and computer simulations.
Scott Dixon impressed with first deflector screen debut
Overall Dixon was impressed with the deflector screen debut.
“It’s a very good start and no showstoppers, which is the biggest part,” Dixon told Racer.com after testing the deflector screen.”
“What everyone was worried about is if we drive out and can’t see properly, glare was going to be an issue. We ran it at probably one of the worst times in Phoenix, too. Going into turn one it was complete sun and then going into the darkness.”
Cockpit heat an issue to be resolved
Cockpit heat was however one of the issues that came to light during the test as Dixon explained: “… obviously there’s no airflow right now. It’s something that’s a very easy fix down the road with maybe a NACA duct or something in front.”
Despite this Dixon declared the test “pretty good” and it represents a positive step towards IndyCar’s preferred cockpit protection option.
F1 tested a similar aero screen concept with Ferrari in 2017 but dropped the concept after former champion Sebastien Vettel declared it made him dizzy. F1 has instead introduced the halo cockpit protection system for the 2018 season.
IndyCar intends to run the deflector on both road and street courses during the course of the 2018 season.