IRL: Louis Schwitzer Award announced

DELPHI WINS 39TH BORGWARNER LOUIS SCHWITZER AWARD FOR EARPIECE INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 20, 2005 -- Delphi received the 39th annual BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award on May 20 for the Delphi Earpiece Sensor System. Delphi engineers Erskine ...

DELPHI WINS 39TH BORGWARNER LOUIS SCHWITZER AWARD FOR EARPIECE

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 20, 2005 -- Delphi received the 39th annual BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award on May 20 for the Delphi Earpiece Sensor System.

Delphi engineers Erskine Carter, Glen Gray, Andy Inman, Tim Kronenberg and Bruce Natvig accepted the award during a presentation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I just want to thank the Schwitzer Award committee for choosing us this year," said Gray, engineering manager of Delphi Motorsports. "There are a lot of people involved in this, not just the five of us. You can't understand how fun it is to work with the IRL from an engineering standpoint because they'll tell us to go off and do something, and they don't ask us what it's going to cost."

The Delphi Earpiece Sensor System, now mandatory in the Indy Racing League, provides a major advancement in safety. An earpiece with imbedded accelerometers is placed in the driver's ear. In the event of a crash, it delivers the data necessary to determine the degree of head injury a driver may have experienced.

The system provides actual head acceleration values at the moment of crash impact. These values are used to calculate a Head Injury Criterion (HIC). This HIC number is an important part of the diagnosis, as currently there is no medical test that can detect a concussion other than by a physician's examination.

Delphi's system helped doctors diagnose the spinal ligament injury suffered by 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice after he crashed in practice May 11, said Dr. Henry Bock, Speedway and IRL senior director of medical services.

"What we discovered is that after the earpieces were in use is that there really isn't a big correlation between the degree of the crash pulse in the chassis and the head," Bock said. "It's much different. It (earpiece) gives you a completely different picture of how to assess and what to assess on the driver and what to change to try and improve that."

Award recipients receive $5,000, a plaque and a framed poster from BorgWarner, and their names will be added to the permanent trophy in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Delphi engineers presented the $5,000 award to the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.

The Louis Schwitzer Award, named after the dynamic automotive pioneer, has been presented annually in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500 since 1967. It recognizes individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in auto racing technology.

The award is presented by the Indiana Section of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Past award recipients include Colin Chapman, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, and Mario Illien. Last year's award was presented to Indy Racing League engine manufacturer Honda for its HI4R-A Honda Indy V-8 engine used in the IndyCar Series.

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Tickets: Tickets are available for the 2005 Indianapolis 500 on May 29. For information, log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, or call the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Dan Gurney , Bruce McLaren , Buddy Rice , A.J. Foyt , Colin Chapman