Here's Yet More Proof IndyCar's Aeroscreen Is Good

During practice in Texas, a pushrod from a crashed car nearly hit rookie Callum Ilott right in the face. Thankfully, the Aeroscreen was in place.

indycar aeroscreen callum ilott
Jay FryeTwitter

You probably didn't need more proof that cockpit protection for open-wheel cars was a good thing. This video is still worth watching, to reinforce the point.

During practice for IndyCar's appearance at the fast Texas Motor Speedway last month, driver Jack Harvey crashed while running ahead of rookie Callum Ilott. Debris from Harvey's car flew back towards Ilott far quicker than he could react. A pushrod seems to appear out of nowhere to slam right into the Aeroscreen. Were the Aeroscreen not in place, that pushrod would've almost assuredly struck Ilott directly, likely causing serious injury. Instead, Ilott was totally fine, and according to the young British racer, the Aeroscreen showed virtually no signs of damage.

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Even knowing the outcome, watching video of the incident, which was tweeted by IndyCar president Jay Frye, is harrowing. It's chilling to watch this knowing not long ago, debris like this could fatally strike a driver. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2012 IndyCar champ and 2014 Indy 500 winner, said the Aeroscreen "likely saved my life" after a pileup at last year's Barber race.

Red Bull Advanced Technologies developed the Aeroscreen as a possible cockpit-protection device for Formula 1, though the series ended up going with the Ferrari-designed "Halo" instead. IndyCar announced in 2019 that it would mandate the Aeroscreen for the 2020 season. The frame is made from five pieces of 3D-printed titanium weighing just under 28 pounds, while the screen is a heated polycarbonate piece supplied by PPG. IndyCar says it can withstand 17 tons of force and a strike from a two-pound object at 220 mph.

When the movement to implement cockpit protection for open-wheel cars began, there was much resistance from teams and drivers. But now that both the Halo and Aeroscreen have proven their worth multiple times, everyone has seemingly changed their tune. Videos like this will continue to squash any doubts.

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