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IndyCar announces car safety upgrades

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02-14-Dallara-Chassis-Upgrades-520BottomIndyCar has confirmed a new round of safety updates for its DW12 chassis, with an emphasis on improved driver protection in side impacts.

New carbon fiber panels will be added to the exterior and interior of the cockpit (BELOW) to supplement the Xylon anti-intrusion panels that were introduced on the previous generation car six years ago. According to the series, the update will increase the chassis’ side impact integrity by 60 percent.

01-14-Upgraded-Helmet-Testing-InsertIn addition, a carbon fiber reinforcement ring is being added to increase the structural integrity of the cockpit opening, and the headrests have been modified to reduced the helmet buffeting affect on road and street courses.

Other changes include a switch from carbon to an engineered plastic foam for the panels located outside the drivers’ thighs, and the road course rear wheel pods have been strengthened.

The upgrades add around 10 pounds to the rolling weight of the chassis, and will be required for all cars entered in this year’s Indianapolis 500.

“Part of racing is always is an evolution,” IndyCar president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said. “The rules change and there are things you’ll do this year because you never saw them last year.”

Meanwhile, the series has commissioned Dallara to investigate a steering damper, which is expected to be tested shortly. An IndyCar statement said that power steering is still being considered for the future.

 

 

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