Callum Ilott has revealed that his Aeroscreen suffered a hairline crack at last month’s race from Texas when he drove through a cloud of debris at high speeds.
Ilott was behind Jack Harvey when the Brit touched the outside wall and then sped down into the interior barriers out of control, destroying his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda in the process.
The debris from that impact was strewn across the road when Ilott drove past, and it was recently revealed that a large suspension piece deflected off the Aeroscreen before knocking off the air vent on the top of Ilott’s helmet.
Speaking at the Long Beach event this weekend, Ilott said that he noticed a small crack in the Aeroscreen after the impact and had officials look into it after the session.
“What’s amazing for me is I just came in [and said to the team], ‘I think I hit something, can you check the car?’ Obviously I’d gone through a lot of debris.
“I looked at the Aeroscreen. There was a slight hairline crack in the light. Obviously they couldn’t see it at first. After the session I said, ‘Can you check that, make sure it’s okay?’
“It had to be changed out of precaution. It’s weird to think about, that three years ago that may not have been the same outcome from a practice, someone else’s crash.
“I’m very lucky to be in this position to have the innovation that we do. When I think about it, yeah, it’s a crazy thing to witness and be a part of out of nowhere. It’s one of the things you can’t avoid. I didn’t see it at all before it hit.”
The onboard video showed that Ilott had slowed to 124 MPH before his car was struck with the debris, and that it most certainly would have hit his helmet directly if the Aeroscreen was not installed.
The event is one of multiple scary accidents that have taken place since the safety device was introduced in 2020 in which a likely injury would have resulted if IndyCar still ran with open cockpits.
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