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IndyCar aeroscreen earns eight engineers Louis Schwitzer Award

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IndyCar aeroscreen earns eight engineers Louis Schwitzer Award
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Eight key people involved in the development of the IndyCar Series’ aeroscreen have been named as the recipients of the BorgWarner-sponsored 54th annual Louis Schwitzer Award which recognizes engineering excellence.

The device was introduced from the start of this season and is designed to protect the NTT IndyCar Series drivers from airborne debris withstanding up to 28,100 lbs (125 kN) of vertical and lateral static loads and survive the impact of a 2.2lb (1 kg) projectile fired at 220mph.

The recipients are Ed Collings of Red Bull Advanced Technologies; Antonio Montanari of Dallara, Stefan Seidel of Pankl Racing Systems, Craig McCarthy of Aerodine Composites, Brent Wright of PPG, Marco Bertolini of Isoclima, and IndyCar’s Bill Pappas (VP of competition) and Tino Belli (director of aerodynamic development).

BorgWarner and the Indiana Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International gave the award, along with a $10,000 prize, to the engineers who have decided to donate the money to SeriousFun Children’s Network.

The Louis Schwitzer Award honors engineers who innovate new concepts to improve competitive potential, with a focus on new technology with applications in the engine, powertrain, profile, chassis or safety, and that adhere to the Indy Racing Series specifications.

The Award memorializes Louis Schwitzer who won the first auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 and then designed the engine that powered the Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp to victory at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 two years later. After founding Schwitzer Corporation in 1918, Schwitzer led the IMS technical committee and maintained a strong association with SAE throughout his career.

BorgWarner’s involvement in the Award is a result of the company acquiring Schwitzer Corporation in 1999, and the company’s inextricable links with the Speedway thanks to the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy, and the fact that BW supplies all the spec turbos used on IndyCar’s 2.2-liter V6 Chevrolet and Honda engines.

Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO of BorgWarner Inc., said: “A lot of the emphasis for the Indy 500 is put on who will take home the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy, but we think it’s just as important to highlight the significant efforts of the engineers behind-the-scenes who continue to innovate impressive technologies for the NTT IndyCar Series.

“With safety being at the forefront of everything we do at BorgWarner, we’re pleased to see this group of award winners honored for bringing a creative and functional safety solution to the racing industry.”

The aeroscreen consists of an additive manufactured titanium top frame, a titanium-reinforced carbonfiber lower frame and a clear laminated polycarbonate screen. The top frame is designed to prevent large objects from entering the cockpit, while the lower frame stiffens the cockpit opening and provides attachment points for the top frame and screen, and the screen deflects smaller debris away from the cockpit.

The aeroscreen is the result of engineering collaboration between IndyCar and Red Bull Advanced Technologies for the structural design, Dallara for the aerodynamics, Pankl Racing Systems for the top frame, Aerodine Composites for the lower frame, and PPG and Isoclima for the screen.

Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport Honda

Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Author David Malsher-Lopez