In a mid afternoon press conference NTT Indycar Series Jay Frye said today’s Aeroscreen test “exceeded our high expectations. We learned a lot; we have lot of work to do but the foundation is set.” Frye said the cars will visually be different when teams do their own things to blend the new device into their liveries.
If necessary, the AMR Safety Team will be able to remove piece “within seconds,” Frye said. “They already have a piece they are practicing on,” he added.
The day long test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway saw drivers Will Power and Scott Dixon log 600 miles by 3 pm. Both drivers agreed that the test was seamless . Both drivers commented on how quiet it was in the cockpit. “I can hear my radio,” Dixon said.
Power was impressed with how quickly the project came together. “When you’ve driven it for a day you’re going to feel naked without it, ” he said. Asked if this car could race this weekend, Power responded, “you could race this weekend; no problem, no issue.” Dixon agreed.
Power and Dixon still believe some adjustments need to be made with the tear-offs and air flow adjustments. They both think reflections need work as well. Dixon sais there are some optional and driver’s personal preference items that need to be looked into as well.
Tire wear was not a concern today. Power said the car was more forgiving. The new weight distribution helped, he said. Dixon said on his long run the speed fall off was about the same as this year.
Following the press conference Power and Dixon returned to the track to do simulated “qualifying runs.”
I started the day skeptical of the aesthetics and how the Aeroscreen would work. I am ending the day impressed with the new safety piece. Safety is the first priority and this is a step in the right direction. As the piece blends in with the cars, it won’t be noticeable. It should be even less noticeable on the new chassis in 2022, when it is an integrated part of the car.