INDYCAR is scheduled to perform its first on-track test of the Aeroscreen driver safety initiative Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and 2014 series champ Will Power of Team Penske have been selected to take part in the full-day test session on the 2.5-mile oval. Shown above, Dixon previously conducted a simulator test of an Aeroscreen prototype in July at the Dallara Research Center in Speedway, Ind.
INDYCAR, in partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, is designing the Aeroscreen for enhanced driver cockpit protection and plans to have the component implemented for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season.
The RBAT design encompasses the cockpit with a ballistic Aeroscreen anchored by titanium framework. The design will consist of a polycarbonate laminated screen that includes an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an anti-fogging device through an integral heating element and possibly tear-offs, all of which will be produced by integrated third-party companies. There also will be a cockpit cooling option that will be designed by Dallara in conjunction with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
The test will be open to the media with additional details to follow.
Autosport recently released its 2019 Motorsports Power List covering the 50 most powerful people in global motorsport and eight have direct connections to the NTT IndyCar Series.
The subjective list from the Autosport staff identified individuals in and out of the spotlight that wield influence and impact in the world of motorsports.
The INDYCAR-affiliated group, led by Roger Penske, consisted of three team owners, three official partner executives, a new team executive and an INDYCAR executive.
Penske (shown on left) checked in at No. 16 while fellow INDYCAR owners Michael Andretti and Chip Ganassi were ranked 29th and 41st, respectively. Team Penske has amassed 15 series championships, 18 Indianapolis 500 victories and 212 victories since the organization’s first season in 1968. Andretti Autosport, formed in 2003, owns four series titles, five Indy 500 wins and 64 victories. Chip Ganassi Racing has collected 12 series championships, four Indy 500 crowns and 108 wins since forming in 1990.
The sole chassis supplier - Dallara - and both engine manufacturers - Honda and Chevrolet - for the NTT IndyCar Series were represented among the top 30 most powerful on the list. Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo was No. 17 and was followed by General Motors Director of Motorsports Competition Mark Kent at No. 27 and Dallara CEO and General Manager Andrea Pontremoli at No. 28.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown ranks 18th on the organization’s Formula One foundation, but McLaren Racing announced in August a return to full-time INDYCAR competition beginning in 2020. McLaren will forge a strategic partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and be renamed Arrow McLaren Racing SP.
INDYCAR President Jay Frye is the final individual of this group, coming in at No. 45 in the rankings. He was named president in December of 2018 after serving as the sanctioning body’s president of competition and operations the previous three years.
According to the Autosport, “Frye has earned the respect of IndyCar team owners by asking their opinions, carefully considering their answers and leaving this largely experienced body to sort out potential problems before returning to him to present their cases. He then reaches conclusions that he and his technical experts consider compatible with IndyCar’s purpose of improved competition and also satisfy the majority of team owners.”
FIA President Jean Todt was given the No. 1 ranking on the Motorsport Power List.
ROAD TO INDY TITLES UP FOR GRABS
All three Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires championship chases have come down to a duo duel in the #RTIFinale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
For Indy Lights and USF2000, it’s been a season-long battle between the top two while in Indy Pro 2000 one driver has emerged on top with an impressive second-half surge.
In Indy Lights, Oliver Askew (shown on the right) and Rinus VeeKay have battled for the championship in each of their three Road to Indy seasons. Askew defeated VeeKay for the 2017 USF2000 Championship while VeeKay captured the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 title with Askew third.
Askew, 22, stands poised to claim the 2019 Indy Lights title and with it, a guaranteed entry into three 2020 NTT IndyCar Series races, including the Indianapolis 500. With VeeKay, who turned 19 on Wednesday, announcing his intentions to work toward an IndyCar ride as well, the distance between their karting days and the start of their NTT IndyCar Series careers could be an astounding three years. Both drivers tested an Indy car last month to rave reviews from Chip Ganassi Racing (Askew) and Ed Carpenter Racing (VeeKay).
Askew holds a 41-point lead with a race doubleheader remaining at Laguna Seca. If Askew finishes fifth or better in the opener on Saturday, Sept. 21 or if VeeKay does not win, Askew will clinch the title. If VeeKay wins that race, Askew need only start the second race on Sunday, Sept. 22 to clinch.
Kyle Kirkwood, the 2018 USF2000 champion, took his first championship lead of the Indy Pro 2000 season with a sweep of both races at Portland. Kirkwood, 20, driving for RP Motorsport USA, holds a 20-point lead over Rasmus Lindh, 18, who drives for the 2017 and ‘18 champs Juncos Racing.
California-born, Australia-raised Kiwi Hunter McElrea, 19, took his first points lead of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season at Portland, with a sweep of both poles and both victories. He holds a slim six-point lead over 20-year-old Braden Eves who drives for Cape Motorsports, winner of eight consecutive championship titles. McElrea earned the Mazda scholarship into the series this season with a victory in the Road to Indy Shootout last December.
INDYCAR concludes its 17-race season with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday, Sept. 22. Television coverage will begin on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT local) with the green flag scheduled for 3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m. local). Live radio broadcasts will be available on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM 205, Sirius 98, Internet/App 970).