No simple solutions to keeping drivers cool in the aeroscreen era

Images courtesy Chip Ganassi Racing

No simple solutions to keeping drivers cool in the aeroscreen era

IndyCar

No simple solutions to keeping drivers cool in the aeroscreen era

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The last cooling option is found at the back of the aeroscreen, and it could be the most powerful of the three solutions. Using a duct that mounts to the side of the screen’s trailing edge, air is fed from a hose to special ducts that attach to the top of the helmet. Although the ducting at the front of the aeroscreen has been improved with feeding air to the driver, the lack of a ram-air effect to force cooling into the helmet was missing, which has been addressed with the side-mounted scoop.

With Arai, Bell, and other helmet manufacturers being used by the field of IndyCar drivers, each vendor offers their unique ducting that feeds air to the driver’s head once the flexible hose is connected to the scoop.

“And then finally, we have the helmet cooling duct,” Belli said. “We have a duct on the side; it’ll be the opposite side of whichever side the refueling takes place. The helmet manufacturers are still coming up with inlet pieces to go on top of the helmet to blow the air in. So, the helmet cooling ducting is mandatory on roads, streets and short ovals. Currently, it’s not approved for superspeedways because the drivers do not believe it will be necessary.”

The side scoop is a spec piece that cannot be modified, but IndyCar has left the rest of the associated componentry open to individual tailoring.

“Teams can do anything they want from the exit of the tube, to the diameter of the piping to the helmet where the air goes into the helmet,” Belli continued. “That’s all between the helmet manufacturers and the teams. And we are asking for quick disconnects so the drivers can actually get the piping off the helmet quickly. We want to leave the other manufacturers and the teams some latitude there so they can do things the best way. We want them to be innovative, so the quick-disconnect method is open.”

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