When the NTT IndyCar Series returns to road course action in September or October, its drivers will have some new and improved cockpit cooling options available for use.
At the recent Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course outing in an IndyCar for seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, the series tried a variety of 3D-printed ducts and devices meant to reduce cockpit temperatures behind the new aeroscreen.
“We tested five or five or six of them with Jimmie Johnson, and there are a couple of things that we feel pretty good about,” IndyCar president Jay Frye told RACER. “A couple of them seemed to make a difference, so we’re going to look at what we want to implement for the next road course event.
“At Iowa, we put the scoops on top of the aeroscreen, and we made it mandatory,” Frye continued. “There’s one iteration of that which worked really well in the test with Jimmie.”
With the new scoop implemented at Iowa, an improvement in excavating hot, stagnant air in the cockpit was made. Based on the feedback from Johnson during his IMS run in Felix Rosenqvist’s No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, one of the newer scoops, coupled with a larger diameter hose feeding air to his helmet, made a significant difference.
“Jimmie said that even at low speed, he could still feel it blowing in, so that’s been the biggest development so far; we hadn’t heard that before,” Frye added. “That’s been the biggest issue, with temperatures rising at slow speeds under caution, or on pit road, when more heat soak happens.
“The Ganassi guys, like always, were great. They were extremely helpful, and we learned some valuable things that will get applied to our road course cooling package.”