The NTT IndyCar series will go forward with a new cockpit protection device called the Advanced Front End Protection (AFP). The 3-inch-tall and 0.750-inch-wide titanium piece replaces the windshield unit tested by the Phoenix International Raceway series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from last year.
Made by Dallara, AFP will be used for the first time by all teams in the April 24 practice at IMS and will make its official debut once the trials begin in May for the 103rd Indianapolis 500. Indy 500 will be completed, the AFP will remain in place as mandatory equipment for each remaining race in 2019.
"Security is an endless pursuit, and this is INDYCAR's last step in evolution," said IndyCar President Jay Frye. "There are more details to come on the phases to follow."
The vertical apparatus, located at the top of the chassis, on the chassis, is designed to interact with oncoming debris that may strike the driver's helmet. Based on its low height and narrow width, the AFP seems to offer the best value for objects approaching the cockpit in a low and wide way. Projectile debris that does not arrive on a low, central trajectory would not seem to be part of AFP's deflection capabilities.
After its track tests, the IndyCar windshield, made from PPG's Opticor ballistic material, was subjected to impact tests at the company's Alabama facility where, according to the series, a additional is necessary "before INDYCAR can implement its use".
It is believed that AFP is a short-term solution for the coming season and could be replaced by a new cockpit protection device by 2020.