Aeroscreen 'ready to race' agree Will Power and Scott Dixon
Team Penske's Will Power feels the new aeroscreen is 'ready to race' after taking it for its maiden track test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
Power hit the world-famous 2.5-mile oval with Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon, where both cars were fitted with the aeroscreen in order to conduct a series of on-track tests to put the safety device through its paces.
Such tests included helmet lift, buffeting, airflow as well as new tyres from Firestone to cope with the additional weight of the aeroscreen and its support structure on the Dallara chassis.
Both drivers were in agreement the device would be ready to go into a race weekend without many issues, however, they mentioned some tinkering to personalise it for some of the drivers could be required.
"You could race this weekend no problem. You could do that," said Power. "That wouldn't be an issue. So you know, that shows how good of a job they've done just bolting it straight on.
"Totally agree," added Dixon. "I think as we've been working on it today, there's some configurations that you could adjust, and those might be personal things, as well, but I think it's spot on. It's good to go.
"We'd be the only two with it. I think there's only two of them so far."
Despite being pleased with how quickly they became accustomed to the aeroscreen, there were some small critiques, particularly with glaring and how the tear-offs could work in wet weather.
"We went through a bunch of configurations for cooling and where we can kind of push the air to control the helmet and how it feels and how much pressure you have there," said Dixon.
"Ultimately it's just very quiet. I can hear my radio for a change. Normally I can't hear that. So that's kind of nice.
"But yeah, there's actually a lot less load on the helmet, too, so visually there's been really no impairment. I think some of the areas with tear-offs and stuff and where they seam in the middle will be sort of fixed kind of down the road, too, to make it even better.
"But ultimately I think today we've just run through a long list of projects that we needed to get through, but ultimately it's been pretty seamless."
Power also agreed with Dixon on the same issues, he even quipped he would feel 'naked' without it on the car. Hinting at the extra security it provided in such a short space of time.
"To have the first run in and really no major issues," added Power.
"It's just like Scott said, the tear-offs are obviously something they're going to work on, how they fit and glare on the inside with what paint you put on and such.
"But the vision is fine. There's no problem doing a stint with bugs and such that get on the screen.
"I'm so happy that we have it. It's really a huge step in safety, and I think it's the best of both worlds.
"You've got the halo and you've got a screen, so I think that you'll see other open-wheel categories follow suit because thinking about it, when you've driven it for a day, you're going to feel naked without it.
"If you took it off, you'd feel pretty naked because there's not much protection there. So very happy that we're moving ahead with it."
Three more tests with the aeroscreen are scheduled in the coming weeks with Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay set to test at Barber Motorsports Park on October 7.
A week later Dixon and newly crowned double NTT IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden will test at Richmond Raceway which will rejoin the calendar in 2020.
James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais will complete the fourth and final test on November 5 at Sebring.