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Newgarden completes windscreen test at IMS

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Following Monday’s test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden completed a handful of laps with the windscreen that INDYCAR has been developing to improve protection around a driver’s head.

This served as the second on-track test for the windscreen – Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing completed the first test at ISM Raceway in February – and the first at a big speedway.

Newgarden appeared to battle glare issues initially, as he immediately re-entered the pits after attempting to start two runs.

However, after the No.1 Hitachi Chevrolet team swapped out his helmet for one with a different visor – Newgarden had been using a mirrored visor at first – he was able to continue without any issues.

Newgarden completed several laps without incident before returning to the pits to debrief with INDYCAR officials.

“It was fascinating. It was totally different for an open-wheel car,” Newgarden detailed afterward.

“You’re not used to having a windscreen that big in front of you, but it was interesting to try it out. The most interesting thing to me was the visor changes (on his helmet). Going from a fully-smoke visor to a clear visor was better. It helped with the visibility and the clarity.”

Newgarden added that the windscreen still needs some tweaks, but it already functions quite well

“There’s small improvements to be made, especially with the clarity with the visors and the perception to see through it. It was easy to make it work, I didn’t have any major issues with it, and I think INDYCAR did a nice job.”


Relive the 1911 Indy 500 in living color

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Race fans and historians will have an opportunity to relive the 1911 Indy 500 in color this Sunday, November 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

Airing on the Smithsonian Channel as part of their America in Color series, a colorized version of the first Indy 500 highlights a race that began a tradition more than 100 years old.

The Indy 500 helped establish the auto racing industry and part of the episode deals with the lives of the Ford, Firestone and Edison families.

On board mechanics were a fixture of racing at the time – in part because they also served as spotters. On Lap 90 Joe Jagersberger (running three laps down at the time) broke a steering mount and his rider tumbled onto the track, causing Harry Knight to careen into the pits – which had no wall separating it from the track. Remarkably, no one was killed.

The documentary describes how Ray Harroun likely won because of his use of a rear view mirror that allowed him to drive without an on board mechanic. Innovation in that inaugural race set the tone for racing today.

Harroun beat Ralph Mumford by a margin of 103 seconds in a race that took six hours, 42 minutes to run.