The IndyCar Series has asked two of its teams to install new LED panels during a test next week at Sebring International Raceway, and if the units function as anticipated, they could return for the full season.
Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter Racing are expected to carry out the durability and functionality tests with the LED panels, which have already been subjected to vibration tests by IndyCar’s engineering department. Although the vendor’s name has not been released, it’s believed the panels are made by an outfit with extensive experience with open-wheel and sports car racing electronics.
The new panels are said to deliver the same pieces of information as the last units, including track position, track condition, pit stop duration, and a variety of other mobile messaging options. Of the new capabilities offered, the 2019 LED panels can be set up to show IndyCar’s AMR Response Team key vehicle information when they arrive at the scene of a stall or crash, with alerts as to whether the engine is still running, if the car is in gear, and other tailored data awaiting the crew as they approach the vehicle.
IndyCar used its most recent LED panels, made by SPAA05, during the early rounds of the 2018 season, but was forced to pull them from the cars after normal chassis harmonics encountered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway caused the circuitry in the devices to crack or fail altogether. With no immediate fix available for those units, the series sought a new solution with the unnamed vendor that solves the harmonics issues and expands the range of information that can be displayed for fans and safety workers.