IndyCar aeroscreen tests continue at Richmond
Development of IndyCar’s new-for-2020 aeroscreen continued at Richmond Raceway courtesy of reigning champion Josef Newgarden and five-time title-winner Scott Dixon.
Newgarden and Dixon evaluated the screen on the 0.75-mile short oval, which will return to the schedule next season.
For Newgarden, who added the 2019 title to his 2017 success, it was his first experience of the head protection device, which has been developed by Red Bull Technologies.
"It honestly was pretty seamless, and it didn't feel that different,” said Penske driver Newgarden.
"Perception-wise it was a little different when I got in. It took maybe 30, 40 laps, after that you're used to it. It feels kind of normal at this point.
"When I first went out, in my perception of how much grip the car had and how much control I had in the car, was slightly different. But I think that was because it felt foreign.
"You're not used to having a screen over your head.
"But after 20, 30 laps when you got used to it, the car feels very similar as far as the way I drive the car. The way the car feels compared to a place like Iowa or Gateway, it feels very similar.
"From a tuning standpoint, it did not take much to get the car back into the correct window as far as the balance. I think the balance is still very good, even with the screen on. From that standpoint, I don't think the cars are going to change dramatically going into next year."
Dixon previously evaluated the device at Indianapolis – alongside Will Power – and commented: “I think you might see some differences, maybe, in outright lap time.
"We did add almost 60 pounds [27kgs] to the car. It may affect the aero a little bit. You'll get some more deg with the higher COG [Centre of Gravity] as well.
"There are some things that may slow down the performance a little bit. But honestly, I think it's going to be almost a net zero on that kind of situation with the development in the off-season, people kind of working around it.
"I think it will be interesting. We felt some slightly different situations in running with Will [Power] at the speedway in traffic.
"We'll have to see how that plays out. Again, I think it's more of a tuning thing you'll have to kind of build in for when we are racing in packs, at least in racing conditions."
The fourth and final test with the aeroscreen will happen on November 5 at Sebring with Dale Coyne's Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe, under contract with McLaren-SP.