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New aeroscreen part of IndyCar weight-saving plans for 2024

A revised, lighter aeroscreen from Pankl and PPG is part of IndyCar’s plans to cut weight from the 2024-era cars.

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda celebrates in victory lane

Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

IndyCar announced in February that it was delaying the start of its 2.4-litre hybrid era by a year, due to a supply chain issue with the hybrid components from Mahle. Since then a 2.4-litre engine from each manufacturer, Chevrolet and Honda, has been tested on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Penske and Ganassi respectively, but not yet with the hybrid system installed.

The increase in size of the engine alone will add 11lbs (5kg) to a car already considered overweight, especially since the introduction of the aeroscreen in 2020 added 60lbs (27.2kg). Now, as IndyCar aims to get the 2024 car down to the weight it is now, a next-gen aeroscreen is part of the planned solution.

IndyCar president Jay Frye told Autosport: “We anticipated the changes for 2024 were going to add 160lbs, and right now we’re probably at the high 80s. Delaying the new engine regs until 2024 has given us a chance to sort out things like that.

“The engine manufacturer test with the 2.4-litre cars was exceptional. A test with the hybrid component will be next. But as we go we’ll continue working to take weight off the car, get it back as close as we can to where it is right now.

“We’re working on a Phase 2 of the aeroscreen, where the screen is lighter and the frame is lighter, because Pankl believes it can halve the aeroscreen’s weight and still be as robust as it is now.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, crew

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, crew

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

“Pankl’s current technology is phenomenal and the new version is going to be off the charts, creating a honeycomb-type structure within the internals of the frame – and you won’t even be able to tell by looking at it that it’s half the weight of what we currently run.

More: Why IndyCar is evaluating aeroscreen performance in the wet

“One of the things we’ll also look at with the next version of the aeroscreen is how we get airflow into the cockpit. The heating issue is a lot better now than it was at the start of 2020, but we can make it better again.

“So the aeroscreen will look like it looks now but with half of the weight and without losing any structural load impact properties.”

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