One of the keys hurdles for USF1 in the coming weeks is the FIA mandated crash testing. Earlier tests of the nose were conducted at Cranfield Laboratories in Bedford, UK, and it has been assumed that Cranfield would be the site for the official tests. The logistics involved in flying the car to the test lab are difficult. There is little time left and every day counts.
If the car could be tested in the US, the pressure on the schedule would be relaxed, somewhat. I was not aware of any approved crash testing facilities in the US, so I thought I would look into the possibilities. The FIA has a set of lists that includes all facilities with approval to crash test cars, as well as lists of facilities to test damn near anything. This ranges from head to toe (shoes to helments) and from stem to stern (tail lights, seat harnesses, and wheel tethers).
On the list is CAPE, the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation. Cape is located on the campus of IMMI in central Illinois, very close to Indianapolis. They have full FIA approval and have been involved in the testing of open wheeled cars including the last CART chassis, the DP-01.
Their facility is about 550 miles from Charlotte, or about 10 hours by transport. The car could be shipped at 6:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon and be at the facility 3 hours before they opened their doors on Monday morning. I am told that the test procedures could be complete in 24 hours, and the transport could be on their way back to Charlotte by 7:00 AM Tuesday morning.
This seems like the best solution for USF1. A spokespersonn at CAPE decline to comment as many of their test sessions are confidential per client request.
FIA Technical Lists - http://www.fia.com/en-GB/sport/regulations/Pages/TechnicalLists.aspx