Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon will test IndyCar’s first attempt at a windshield-type cockpit protection device next Thursday, during the rookie oval test.
IndyCar is planning to simulate the conditions of full sun, dusk and night conditions in order to see how much the windscreen will impact driver visibility.
The series has always favored the windscreen concept over Formula 1's halo system due to expected visibility issues on banked ovals in particular, and the 2018 car package was created with a future cockpit protection device in mind.
"This has been a long process, one that's been very methodical and purposeful," said IndyCar president of competition and operations Jay Frye.
“We have been striving to create a safety piece that aesthetically looks good and works in all conditions, and this is a test of those things.
"Any piece we put on an Indy car must work for multiple types of venues and different lighting conditions. It has to be versatile."
The prototype has been tested in Dallara's windtunnel and racing simulator with new Harding Racing driver Gabby Chaves. IndyCar continues to emphasize that it has not yet decided when the series will adapt a cockpit protection system.
"We've tested this at Dallara's simulator, but this will be the first time it has been on a car at speed," said Frye. "So, this is just the next step in the process."
The windscreen is made of a proprietary Opticor advanced transparency material by PPG, the same material the company uses in its production of fighter jet canopies. The material has shown to be stronger, lighter and more impact-resistant than polycarbonate previously used, according to Jeff Horton, IndyCar's director of engineering and safety, who has spearheaded windscreen development with Dr. Terry Trammell, IndyCar medical consultant.