Scott Dixon tests IndyCar prototype windshield

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    The four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon has tested a windscreen prototype made by PPG, expressing his approval after three runs in a Chip Ganassi Honda fitted one. Test runs were performed at ISM Raceway in Phoenix in late-afternoon, shadowy sunlight, at dusk and at night at full track lighting, to find out any possible glare issues affecting concentration. The reason for the windscreen's eventual introduction is to protect drivers from track debris. The setup might be implemented as soon as March.

    In an interview with IndyCar.com, Dixon said the biggest part of getting used to the screen was adjusting his vision to suit it. "Your brain and eyes just need to catch up with it and the longer I ran, I got more adapted to it", added Dixon.

    "We went through the biggest transition of lights," Dixon said. "The hardest was probably the first run where we had extreme sunlight to darkness. Out of all of them, the night time was the easiest – no transitions there."

    Dixon even said the windscreen might have improved his vision when driving against the harsh sunlight. All in all, the testing showed some room left for improvement; so far the screen has been tested in simulators, but now it was time to put it in a real car with a real driver.

    The screen's material, Opticor by PPG is now going to go through some coating testing to combat possible glare and fogging. Dixon also expressed a need for improved cooling in the cockpit. "It needs some cooling just because you get no air flow through the car. I definitely think there's things that we can improve on and make better, but good job. The weirdest thing is how quiet it is."

    IndyCar's safety and engineering director Jeff Horton added that the need for cooling improvements was already a known issue, and that it would be addressed. "Scott was excited and said, 'No show-stoppers,' so we'll fix a few things and move on. For him to get out and say really no problems, that's exactly what we were shooting for."

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