IndyCar drivers searching for ways to beat the heat with new aeroscreen

0 Comments

IndyCar drivers will be getting some needed relief from aeroscreen-induced heat this weekend at Road America with a cooler forecast and a smarter approach to the cockpit layout after a grueling race last Saturday.

Conor Daly tweeted that he lost 12 pounds during the oppressive heat on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Though temperatures were in the 90s, the new aeroscreen that essentially encloses the cockpit also severely reduced airflow.

The weather was as hot in the June 6 opener at Texas Motor Speedway, but the stifling conditions inside the car become magnified on a road course with several low-speed corners vs. constantly whipping around an oval at 200-plus mph.

NTT IndyCar Series officials have been working with drivers and teams to improve cooling, adding another air duct and repositioning their drink bottles away from radiators to keep liquids cooler.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE: When cars will be on track

SATURDAY’S TV INFO: How to watch the race Saturday

ENTRY LIST: Who will be racing at Road America

“I think it’s going to be huge,” Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward said during a team media availability Friday. “I think more than anything when you’ve got guys who have been in the series for a while saying that’s the hottest ever race they’ve done in an Indy car, there’s nothing but to believe them.

“As much as we work out as we can get fit and be prepared, we need oxygen to get into the muscles to feel good at the end of the race. I think it’s going to be huge having nice cold water for once. Because before then, it was hotter than tea. Steaming hot. The only reason you’d do it was to get some fluid in you because you lose so much during the race.”

The forecast for Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, should help: When the green flag falls on the first race of a weekend doubleheader Saturday, temperatures are expected to be in the low 80s.

Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Rinus VeeKay said Road America, which is 1.5 miles longer than the IMS road course but with the same number of turns, also should provide more airflow because of its longer straightaways, but he also would like another hose to provide venting through his helmet.

“We have been able to give the water bottle a different location so it gets a little bit more airflow and stays colder,” VeeKay said. “I think that will help. Of course, you need to hydrate as good as possible. It’s going to be hot in the car anyway. I think it’s never going to be perfect.”

Simon Pagenaud said he lost 8 and a half pounds during the GMR Grand Prix. With back to back doubleheader race weekends at Road America and Iowa Speedway, the Team Penske driver believes fitness will be a priority for the field.

“I’m on my way to recovery, but it is definitely the life of an athlete,”  Pagenaud said. “I just want to make sure going into Road America I want to present fully hydrated and full strength.  I’m excited because I’ve worked really hard for this and its paying off.

“We are in the early stages of the aeroscreen. I have been one of the ones preaching this and in favor of the aeroscreen because it adds safety. We are pioneers in safety. We are the first to go forward with this type of device. Unfortunately it was too hot in the last race. But IndyCar is already looking at adjustments to try and help the drivers with cooling, venting and drink bottles placement and size. They know what to do.  We knew there would be some kinks along the way in the early stages certainly. I think we will be OK.”

Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta said Daly’s loss in water weight was “insane but it’s just your water weight.” Herta expected many drivers would be taking IVs after the first race at Road America and Iowa and perhaps after the second race, too.

“The only way you can really recover is just by getting fluids,” said Herta, who added teams are “constantly working on it. I would say nothing major has happened in the last week. They obviously know what the problem is now. They’re looking for solutions to fix it. I don’t think it’s something that you’re going to fix in a week. Hopefully throughout the season we can find some stuff to make it better.”

Arrow McLaren SP rookie Oliver Askew said IndyCar had been very receptive to drivers’ opinions.

“Honestly, I think this issue has gone on far too long, especially now with the aeroscreen, it’s become more of an issue because our bodies are much hotter inside the car,” Askew said. “We’re not sure if the new (bottle) placement is going to work, but we hope so. Luckily this weekend, it won’t be as hot, but I think we can expect Iowa next weekend to be just as bad as the IMS GP.

“It’s been a big test for us. You can also take into account that none of us have been in a car. We’re not race fit at the moment. Hopefully as the season goes on, we’ll have less and less issues.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

0 Comments

Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s