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IndyCar to debut safety device earlier, at Indy road race

April 26, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar will start using its new debris deflector at the May 11 road race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, moving up the debut from the Indianapolis 500 two weeks later.

The 3/4-inch-wide titanium “AFP” piece is bolted to the car just in front of the open cockpit so it can knock away debris moving toward a driver’s head. It was slated to make its debut May 26 during the series’ marquee race. IndyCar President Jay Frye says there is no reason to wait after recent work, testing and feedback.

Series officials have spent years trying to make racing safer, but Justin Wilson’s death in August 2015 reignited the discussion about head safety in open-wheel racing. The popular English driver died from injuries sustained when he was hit in the head by flying debris from another car at Pocono.

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