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IndyCar adopts new cockpit device as further windscreen work needed

IndyCar AFP device

IndyCar has revealed plans to introduce a new cockpit protection device from this year's Indianapolis 500, after declaring "work remains" before it can implement its windscreen solution.

All cars taking part in an open test at Indianapolis in April will be fitted with the Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP) device, a titanium piece manufactured by Dallara that sits in front of the cockpit along the centreline of the chassis.

The device, which IndyCar says is just over three inches tall and averages three-quarters of an inch in width, is designed to deflect debris away from the driver and has passed the same strength tests as Dallara's rollhoop.

IndyCar said versions of AFP "have been explored through on-track and simulator testing since 2012" but that new technology had made it possible for the device to be implemented this year.

Teams were given information about plans to adapt cars to incorporate AFP on Tuesday.

"Safety is a never-ending pursuit, and this is IndyCar's latest step in the evolution," said series president Jay Frye.

"There are more details to come about the phases to follow."

The series said it had considered a "halo-type" device that is used in Formula 1, but that it cannot be fitted to the current version of IndyCar chassis. The halo is also considered unsuitable for banked ovals due to driver sightline problems.

IndyCar tested its PPG-built windshield device twice in 2018, with input from Scott Dixon at Phoenix and Josef Newgarden at Indianapolis, but will not adopt it this year.

Neither driver reported problems with the windshield beyond minor distortion and heavily restricted cockpit ventilation, but IndyCar said recent testing at PPG's facilities "proved that work remains before IndyCar could implement its use".

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