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IndyCar adds safety aerodynamic tethers in 2016

IndyCar organisers have announced new safety measures to be introduced next season, including tethering aerodynamic kit tighter to the cars.
IndyCar organisers have announced new safety measures to be introduced next season, including tethering aerodynamic kit tighter to the cars to reduce the risk of parts flying off during races.

In the aftermath of the tragic death of British driver Justin Wilson, who was hit on the head by loose debris from another car at the Pocono IndyCar 500 race, a thorough safety investigation was launched and the announcement outlines stricter measures to ensure the risk of parts coming of cars is minimised.

As a result, high-tensile Zylon tethers will be introduced to tie aerodynamic components to car chassis. Rear beam wings and rear wheel guards will be tethered at all IndyCar Series events, while the car's nose will also be tethered on the high-speed oval tracks.

Chassis manufacturer Dallara has also created a tethering system for the front wing main plane at the three superspeedways on the 2016 calendar; Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

"It is a continual goal to improve safety for all the participants, fans and drivers alike," Will Phillips, IndyCar Vice President of Technology, said. "We also need to do this in a fashion that does not create more yellow-flag racing and try to prevent as much debris as possible.

“We have great support from our partners to improve safety and wish to thank Chevrolet, Honda and Dallara for their participation and efforts in working together to implement change."

Additional changes for 2016 are also set to be implemented, including a domed skid plate on the belly of the chassis which will deploy a rear wing flap to slow down spinning cars, similar to what is used in NASCAR.

Two updates to the Engine Control Unit (ECU) will also be introduced next year, one which stops a car moving forwards when not in neutral while the fuel hose is attached – where a fuel probe activation sensor will return the engine to idle during pit stops. Finally, the second ECU update puts the engine in idle faster if too much pressure is applied to the throttle or brake pedal.

Tagged as: Indycar , Justin Wilson

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