IndyCar makes new effort to lower cockpit temperatures - The Race
IndyCar

IndyCar makes new effort to lower cockpit temperatures

Jul 17 2020
By Jack Benyon

IndyCar has added an extra scoop to its Red Bull Advanced Technologies-developed aeroscreen for this weekend’s Iowa Speedway races in a bid to help drivers cope with searing cockpit temperatures.

The aeroscreen – IndyCar’s alternative to Formula 1’s halo – has been well received by drivers and teams, not affecting visibility and even adding an extra layer of intrigue as teams look to adapt set-ups to deal with the added weight, which has been stacked towards the front of the car compared to last year.

However, with summer temperatures in the US proving high, and a lack of air entering the cockpit due to the device deflecting air over the car, it has led to drivers becoming increasingly uncomfortable, especially when pitting and during caution periods.

The Texas and Indianapolis races took place in temperatures as high as 30 degrees celsius, and a similar temperature is expected at Iowa this weekend – which led to Colton Herta to suggest that drivers could use IVs in this period to replenish fluids.

Iowa features the fourth and fifth races in three weekends after the Indianapolis road course then the Road America double-header, with full-length races on both Friday and Saturday nights, and no long straights on the short oval to provide a physical break for drivers.

Max Chilton Carlin Road America IndyCar 2020

IndyCar president Jay Frye said the new scoop – which was first trialled in free practice last weekend at Road America – isn’t final and that further development is ongoing.

“We’ve found that it’s not just the ambient temperature of the cockpit in conjunction to the outside temperature, it’s about air not moving inside of the cockpit,” said Frye.

“This [the new scoop] actually adds more airflow inside the cockpit.

“We’re excited to see how it works, knowing that it won’t be the final product.”

Not all teams are running it in Iowa practice so far, with some that are trying it yet to commit to using it in the races. Herta topped practice for Andretti Harding Steinbrenner, ahead of Conor Daly and Will Power.

IndyCar allowed teams to move drinks bottles in the cockpit starting from the Road America round in a bid to lower the temperature of the water reaching the driver. It had previously been described as being like “hot tea” by multiple drivers.

Moving the pouch to below the driver’s knee in the cockpit helped to alleviate that problem, while IndyCar has also added permission for a mechanic to hand drivers water bottles in pitstops.

The Iowa weekend will use a new qualifying system, with the drivers’ first qualifying lap setting the grid for Friday night’s race one, and the second lap of the qualifying run setting the grid for Saturday night’s race.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Team Car Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Dallara-Honda 18.712s
2 Conor Daly Carlin Dallara-Chevrolet +0.055s +0.055s 18.767s
3 Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevrolet +0.043s +0.098s 18.81s
4 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Dallara-Honda +0.002s +0.1s 18.812s
5 Josef Newgarden Penske Dallara-Chevrolet +0s +0.1s 18.812s
6 Simon Pagenaud Penske Dallara-Chevrolet +0.038s +0.138s 18.85s
7 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Dallara-Honda +0.069s +0.207s 18.919s
8 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Dallara-Chevrolet +0.085s +0.292s 19.004s
9 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Dallara-Honda +0.031s +0.323s 19.035s
10 Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Dallara-Chevrolet +0.001s +0.324s 19.036s
11 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara-Honda +0.02s +0.344s 19.056s
12 Oliver Askew McLaren Dallara-Chevrolet +0.055s +0.399s 19.111s
13 Zach Veach Andretti Dallara-Honda +0.021s +0.42s 19.132s
14 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara-Honda +0.004s +0.424s 19.136s
15 Patricio O'Ward McLaren Dallara-Chevrolet +0.02s +0.444s 19.156s
16 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Dallara-Honda +0.006s +0.45s 19.162s
17 Alex Palou Dale Coyne Dallara-Honda +0.032s +0.482s 19.194s
18 Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Dallara-Chevrolet +0.053s +0.535s 19.247s
19 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Dallara-Honda +0.067s +0.602s 19.314s
20 Alexander Rossi Andretti Dallara-Honda +0.005s +0.607s 19.319s
21 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Dallara-Chevrolet +0.006s +0.613s 19.325s
22 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Dallara-Honda +0.028s +0.641s 19.353s
23 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara-Honda +0.225s +0.866s 19.578s

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