Posted on: June 18, 2011 | Comments(13) | Flickr | By: Admin

Think about it for a second and the acronym will set in. Remember in elementary school when you learned the colors of the rainbow? It’s ROYGBIV – Red, Orange, Green, Yellow, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and it’s the spectrum of colors that one can expect to find emerging after a rain shower, imprinted across the sky as well as an INDYCAR race weekend.

Here at Milwaukee, I can’t help but think in shades of color as I watch photos roll in from our talented photographers. With blue, cloud-filled skies, perhaps the colors that have popped the most can be found on Dario’s car:

Bright color scheme for the weekend on Dario Franchitti's car

A very beautiful, cloud-filled Practice day brings out the green, teal, blue, red, white, and black in this photo

Dario Franchitti on track in his new Downy colors

Brilliant colors help Downy stand out on the Target car

From what I understand, the history of car colors dates back to the early 1900’s when cars were assigned colors at the Gordon Bennett Cup based on their country of origin.  Blue was France, yellow was Belgium, white was Germany, red was the USA, and green was for the UK.  Through the years from there, auto manufacturers used different colors to signify their presence in the sport.

When you look at a list of traditional country livery colors, Switzerland’s colors are red and white and Canada’s are white and green. However, in the IZOD IndyCar Series, Swiss driver Simona de Silverstro takes on Canada’s coloring while throwing in traditional colors with a Swiss flag decal. James Hinchcliffe goes in a different direction altogether by coupling the silver and blue of his Sprott car colors with the red and white of a Canadian Maple Leaf.

Regardless of nationality or sponsors, in a race weekend our photographers will work with shadows to bring to light the many different colors of each driver.

Simona de Silvestro

Blue, White, Green, and Red couple with the Swiss flag

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe's Maple Leaf stands out on the Sprott-sponsored car

In 1968, sponsorship liveries became allowed in international racing. With sponsorships in play, colors go beyond the cars and extend to a driver’s firesuit. Perhaps the most interesting and unique colors emerge now in the intense and intricate designs found on the helmets of drivers. Helmets, as we’ve seen in the Art Rotundo blog series,  take on the personalities of their owners and say much, much more about a driver than the cars do.

Helmets give our photographers exciting, colorful objects to shoot and they do an incredible job of using a driver’s helmet to share a bit of each driver’s personality.

Mike Conway secures the visor on his helmet

Mike Conway's blue and white helmet stands out against his Sun Drop sponsored red and yellow

Helmet designs are a great way to see a driver's personality

Tony Kanaan's helmet features his son's handprint

Danica Patrick focuses in practice

The red, blue, green, and white surrounding Danica bring out the intensity in her eyes during practice.

I’ve been told that the diversity in paint schemes is a sign of a healthy series. Does this mean that, the more colors we see, the better times are for INDYCAR? If so, it’s ROYGBIV at INDYCAR, let the good times roll.


There are 13 comments for this post.

  1. Bob Mc on June 18, 2011 12:26 pm
    Bob Mc

    gtg with Henry Ford on this; … as long as its black.

  2. Margie on June 18, 2011 12:30 pm

    The NUCLEAR car is the best looking on the track this year! Nuclear green and white, yes.

  3. dj on June 18, 2011 12:34 pm

    Porkchop is one of the best dressed cars out there today!

  4. Paully on June 18, 2011 12:39 pm

    The only color you need to know about is Tartan!!!!!!!

  5. Josh on June 18, 2011 12:45 pm

    Downy car looks like RHRs old car.

  6. Lucien on June 18, 2011 1:06 pm

    Like the Nuclear car, love TK’s helmetQ

  7. jobo on June 18, 2011 1:51 pm

    Julie, you are incorrect. It is ROYGBIV, not ROGYBIV. The colors of the ranbow, in order are Red/Orange?Yellow/Green/Blue/indigo/Violet…ROY-G-BIV!

  8. jobo on June 18, 2011 1:53 pm

    Julie, you are incorrect. It is ROYGBIV, not ROGYBIV. The colors of the ranbow, in order are Red/Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue/indigo/Violet…ROY-G-BIV!

  9. NaBUru38 on June 18, 2011 2:58 pm

    “Brilliant colors help Downy stand out on the Target car”

    To me, white letters on light green background don’t stand out at all. The car does.

  10. Julie on June 18, 2011 3:08 pm

    Thanks, guys! You’re right, it is ROYGBIV. Thanks for giving it a read, enjoy the race Sunday!

  11. KC on June 19, 2011 9:44 am

    It is raining here in Waukesha, will they race today? If not, its a bummer because I was going to have an all-racing weekend…June Sprints yesterday and IndyCar today 8-[

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