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Sunday – Jan.26 – 2:10pm


Checkered flag for another Rolex 24 and another INDYCAR champion in Daytona.  Sebastien Bourdais and his ActionExpress Racing teammates drove an incredible race and it paid off.  They are the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona champions.  Now, in 6 of the last 11 years an INDYCAR driver has been on the winning team at the twice-round the clock classic in Florida.

Overall, what an event.  Tons of incredible action and every single one of the INDYCAR drivers performed well.  Unfortunately, as is often the case in endurance racing, the cars didn’t hold up.  Here’s how the drivers representing the IndyCar Series finished in the 2014 Rolex 24:

  • Sebastien Bourdais – P1 Overall, P1 Prototype Class
  • Simon Pagenaud – P11 Overall, P7 Prototype Class
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay – P12 Overall, P3 GTLM Class
  • Graham Rahakl – P14 Overall, P4 GTLM Class
  • Scott Dixon/Tony Kanaan – P15 Overall, P8 Prototype Class
  • Mikhail Aleshin – P21 Overall, P4 GTD Class
  • Sage Karam – P43 Overall, P11 Prototype Class
  • Justin Wilson – P47 Overall, P12 Prototype Class
  • James Davidson – P48 Overall, P22 GTD Class
  • Tristan Vautier – P56 Overall, P13 Prototype Class
  • James Hinchcliffe – P57 Overall, P14 Prototype Class
  • Conor Daly/Alex Tagliani – P58 Overall, P8 LMPC Class
  • Gabby Chaves – P61 Overall, P16 Prototype Class
  • Sebastian Saavedra/EJ Viso – P62 Overall, P17 Prototype Class

We’re still buzzing a bit from that finish.  More importantly, we can’t wait for the start of the INDYCAR season.

We’ll have quotes and updates from Sebastien in just a few minutes.

Sunday – Jan. 26 – 1:45pm

Just about 25 minutes remain and the #5 being co-driven by Sebastien Bourdais currently leads the Rolex 24.  Sebastien drove a very fast stint to put the car up front and Joao has been the model consistency since he jumped in the car.  It’s looking more and more like we’re going to see another victory by an INDYCAR driver at the Rolex 24.  Dixon and his #02 teammates were having another strong run as well.  Unfortunately, the floor of the car began to unravel and it was considered unrepairable.  Apparently, Dixon could see the track surface beneath his feet.  Crazy!

It’s going to be a fight to the finish.  The top two cars are only 10 seconds apart and you can be sure the #10 being driven by Max Angelelli is pushing as hard as possible!

Sunday – Jan.26 – 12:35pm


We’re officially under two hours remaining in the race.  What does that mean?  Aggression!  These drivers are pushing the cars to their absolute limits in order to make a charge to the front and the potential win.  Currently Sebastien Bourdais leads the field in the #5 ActionExpress DP.  2013 INDYCAR Champion Scott Dixon is back behind the wheel of the #0 and is turnining some of the fastest laps on the track.  He’s currently listed as 1 lap down.  If a caution comes out, Scott could potentially get his lap back and be in contention for the victory.  Ryan Hunter-Reay’s #91 Viper is currently 3rd in class and teammate Marc Goosens is driving. Dirk Werner is currently at the helm of the machine he’s sharing with INDYCAR star Graham Rahal they are in the 15th position overall, 4th in his class.  Justin Wilson is in the seat of the #60 but is currently P47 overall.

It’s bound to be an incredible finish.  Don’t miss these final 90 minutes!

Sunday – Jan.26 – 11:07am

Sage Karam just recently turned the car back over to Scott Pruett and stopped by the media center to chat.  He mentioned that prior to the start of the race he’d only had 1 hour in the car.  He spent roughly 6 hours in the car across his two stints this weekend.  Driving these cars require heavy focus and Sage told us that he was so focused on his pit stop/drive change and hitting his marks that he forgot to undo his belts to get out of the car.  This was Sage’s first experience with pit stops, sports car racing, sharing cars with teammates, and a car with a roof.  Needless to say, it was a big learning experience for Sage.  He did a great job during his stints and this young driver is sure to have a great career ahead.  He’s excited to have got the opportunity to work with Chip Ganassi Racing this weekend is hopeful that an opportunity will present itself for him to have a full-time ride in 2014.

Sunday – Jan.26 – 10:45am

Just over 3 hours remain in the Rolex 24.  The pace continues to increase as we approach the final laps of this event.  Sebastien Bourdais just climbed in the #5 and is dealing with a clutch/gearbox issue.  His teammate Christian Fittipaldi said it was an issue but was manageable.  Sebastien’s pace doesn’t appear to be effected by the issue.  Indianapolis 500 Champion, Tony Kanaan is in the 4th position about a minute behind Bourdais.  Ryan Hunter-Reay is running in the 4th position in the GTLM class, he’s looking strong in these last hours.  Sage Karam is back in the #01 and after several issues over the night they’re in the 9th position in the Prototype class.  A full-course caution has just been waved after the #18 GTD Porsche spun in turn 2.  Make sure you tune in and follow along here to see the sprint to the finish!

Sunday – Jan.26 – 7:30am

The sun is out.  The cars are green.  There’s been no cautions for fog.  All in all, a fantastic start to the last hours of daylight for the Rolex 24.  The INDYCAR drivers continue to make fans proud.  Currently Scott Dixon sits in the 2nd position in the #02.  Simon Pagenaud is running P19, Vautier P52, Hinchcliffe P55 (out of the race), Saavedra P58 (out of the race).  Ryan Briscoe and his beautiful #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R made the tough decision to call it quits overnight due to an overheating motor.  Conor Daly and Alex Tagliani unfortunately retired from the race after teammate Rusty Mitchell made contact with the barrier.  James Davison is behind the wheel of the #007 and is in 47th position.

We’ve taken a brief nap, changed clothes, and had a fresh cup of coffee.  We’re ready to dive back into the coverage of this twice-around the clock classic.  The pace is picking up and racing is become more ruthless.  Drivers aren’t as patient or passive as they were in the past 18 hours.  It’s sure to be battle to the end.  Who’s your pick for victory?

Sunday – Jan.26 – 1:32am

We’re just shy of the half-way point and it’s been quite an experience so far.  We’ve seen a massive accident, several multiple car accidents, debris scattered all over the track and a total of 9 full-course cautions.  Currently, we’re operating under a caution after the #87 spun off the track and subsequently caught fire.

INDYCAR drivers continue to showcase just how talented they all are.  Scott Dixon was listed as the leader prior to this caution.  He exited the pits after a yellow flag pit stop in P4 overall.  Ryan Briscoe is behind the wheel of the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and sits in P14 Overall, P5 in the GTLM class.  We did just receive a report that they are dealing with a water leak and have made several pit stops since the yellow came out.  Alex Tagliani is back behind the wheel after Conor Daly completed a 3 hour stint.  Currently the #08 is in P28 overall and P6 in the GTLM class.  Simon Pagenaud is on-track again and is currently running in P37 Overall and P9 in the Prototype class.  Tristan Vautier and Sebastien Saavedra are in P57 and 58 respectively.

We inch closer and closer to the half-way point and there’s a ton of action still to go.  We’re still going strong and will continue to update you through the night.

Saturday – Jan.25 – 8:38pm

As promised, here’s the quick update regarding Gidley and Malucelli… both of the drivers have been admitted to the local hospital here in Daytona.  They are awake and communicative.  As more information is made available we will pass it along.

Saturday – Jan.25 – 8:11pm

2013 Indianapolis 500 Champion, Tony Kanaan, just stopped by the media center after his impressive stint in the #02.  Tony had some issues at the start of his stint but stated that he decided that he at least had to return the car in the same position as it was when got in.  The result was a spirited charge to the front of the pack that featured some outside passes and very close, wheel-to-wheel racing.  Tony truly is one of the greatest drivers, not only in INDYCAR, but in any car.  He mentioned that he’d only had a few laps prior to his stint in the race tonight and that he felt there was quite a bit of pressure as his teammates were all successful endurance racers.  He also let everyone know that Chip told him, “Unless a meteor hits the car, everything else would be my fault.”  That received quite the round of laughter from the crowd here in the media center.  Tony is someone to keep an eye on over the next 18 hours.  He’s made it clear he’s going to be extremely aggressive behind the wheel.  After their pit stop, and subsequent driver change, the car sits in the P8 position with Kyle Larson in the seat.

Saturday – Jan.25 – 7:37pm


Graham Rahal just swung through the media center to update everyone on his stint.  He mentioned that adapting to this style of racing has been an interesting experience for him.  Traction control which is not a feature of the INDYCAR, is something the drivers utilize heavily in sports car racing.  Graham stated that he’s used to using his right foot to control the car and it’s taken a bit of time to get used to leaning on the traction control.  He mentioned that the cars were much heavier than the IndyCar’s that he’s typically used to driving and it doesn’t quite suit his driving style. However, he said that he’s been having a blast at the wheel of the #56 BMW.  He’s hoping that the Viper’s have some trouble over the next few hours as they seem to have the most outright speed.  He’ll be back in the car later this evening for a longer stint of night driving.  He’ll get about a 3 hour break and then he’ll jump back in for another 3 hour stint.  His team is currently running P6 in the GTLM class.

Saturday – Jan.25 – 7:00pm


We’re fully back into racing and it seems with every second there’s something new developing on-track.  Most recently, the Delta Wing, currently being driven by Indy Lights runner-up Gabby Chavez, had a brief off and nosed the car into the tire barriers.  They quickly returned to the pits and changed out the nose bodywork on the car and are back on-track.  They currently are running in the 15th position in the Prototype class.

Indy 500 champ, Tony Kanaan, is currently giving chase to the leader from the 2nd position.  Justin Wilson is in the seat for Michael Shank Racing and is making a charge from the 6th position.  Viso, in the #78, is holding steady in the 9th position, one lap down.

The circuit is currently under a full-course yellow condition after a spin by the #09 LMPC spinning in the International Horseshoe.  The #09 is the sister car to the #08 being driven by Alex Tagliani and Conor Daly.  They currently are in the 24th position overall and are running 4th in their class. Unfortunately, Conor’s team was penalized due to an improper pass during the wave-around after the red flag situation earlier.

We’re heading back out to grab some more photos from the evening.  We’ll be back with those and quotes from the steady stream of drivers we’ll begin to see in the media center here shortly.  Tweet us your questions or leave them below and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Saturday – Jan.25 – 6:00pm

After an extended red flag for the accident earlier involving Memo Gidley and Malucelli, we’re approaching a return to green flag racing.  We can’t provide much of an update other than that both drivers have been transported to the local hospital.  When more information is passed along we’ll be sure to include it in an update.

As we prepare to return to racing here’s a run down of where the INDYCAR drivers and their teams are currently positioned:

  • Sebastien Bourdais – P1 Overall (Fittipaldi is behind the wheel at this time).
  • Tony Kanaan – P2 Overall
  • Saavedra/Viso – P4 Overall
  • Sage Karam – P6 Overall (Rojas is in the car).
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay – P11 Overall, P1 in GTLM Class (Farnbacher is in the car).
  • Conor Daly/Alex Tagliani – P 16 Overall, P1 LMPC Class (Cummings is in the car).
  • Ryan Briscoe – P18 Overall, P6 GTLM Class (Garcia is in the car).
  • Graham Rahal – P19 Overall, P7 GTLM Class
  • James Davison – P51 Overall, P22 GTD Class (Davis is in the car).

Unfortunately, there’s not much more to report at the moment.  We’ll be back with more action in a bit.  Don’t forget to send us your tweets and show your support for the INDYCAR drivers in the Rolex 24!

Saturday – Jan.25 – 4:15pm

This continues to be one of the more intense starts to the Rolex 24 in recent memory.  The #01 car that will soon be driven by Sage Karam came in for a stop earlier.  Unfortunately, the car was dropped prior to the left rear wheel being secured and in the chaos the driver made contact with one of the crew members.  Thankfully, everyone is ok.  An interesting stumble early in the race.

There’s been quite a bit of contact as well.  None of the INDYCAR drivers have made contact so everyone continues into the late afternoon.

Alex Tagliani is behind the wheel for his first stint in the #08 LMPC.  His team appears strong and it should be exciting to see 2013 Indianapolis 500 Rookie, Conor Daly, get behind the wheel later this evening.  They are currently leading their class.

Scott Dixon continues to lead the Prototype class in the #02. Graham Rahal’s #56 car just entered pit lane for a driver switch and Graham will now be behind the wheel.  Currently they sit in 9th position in the GTLM class.

Ryan Briscoe’s team is sitting one position ahead of Graham in the 8th position in the GTLM class.  James Hinchcliffe is in the #70 LMPC.  Unfortunately, the team seems to be struggling and they are currently running in the 62nd overall position.

Saturday – Jan. 25 – 3:15pm

GREEN FLAG!  We’re off and running.  Just over 1 hour into the race.  Scott Dixon is still behind the wheel of the #02 and is currently running in 1st position.  The ActionExpress Racing DP is running in 9th position, Sebastien Bourdais has not been in the car yet.  The #01 car, currently driven by Scott Pruett, that will later feature Sage Karam at the helm is currently running in 11th position overall, roughly 58 seconds behind the leader.  The Delta Wing that will later be driven by Gabby Chavez sits in the 1oth position overall, Justin Wilson’s teammate, Oz Negri Jr sits directly behind them in the 12th position.  The rest of the drivers and their respective teams are in the following positions:

  • #70 – Tristan Vautier/James Hinchcliffe – P 61
  • #2 – Simon Pagenaud – P44 – Contact with the barrier just a moment ago with Van Overbeek behind the wheel.
  • #78 – Sebastian Saavedra/EJ Viso – P11
  • #08 – Conor Daly/Alex Tagliani  – P16, P4 in LMPC Class
  • #3 – Ryan Briscoe  – P27 Overall, P8 in GTLM Class
  • #56 – Graham Rahal – P30 Overall, P10 in GTLM Class
  • #91 – Ryan Hunter-Reay – P18 Overall, P2 in GTLM Class
  • #007 – James Davison – P56 Overall, P27 in GTD Class

It’s sure to be an exciting race as there has been a ton of action already. Simon Pagenaud’s team is working to repair their damage.  The INDYCAR group is looking strong with Dixon in the lead.  More coming soon!

Saturday – Jan. 25 – 12:45pm

It’s almost go time!  We’re putting our camera equipment together and scouting locations for where we’re going to head for the start.  There’s going to be some great racing at the start of this event (and throughout for that matter.  Make sure you’re tuned in earlier.  Part of the culture of this event is the preparation prior to the start.  Not just the cars, the teams and the drivers but the media and fans.  We spent some time at Target last night picking up coffee, red bull, sunflower seeds and an assortment of other items to keep us going during the 24hr stint.  Now, we want to see your setups and preperation!  Marshall Pruett, from RACER.com, posted a tweet earlier today asking you to send us your photos.  So, get to sending those in and we’ll retweet and reply.

Speaking of Marshall, he recently did some in-depth research on the new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.  The same car that Ryan Briscoe will be driving in the Rolex 24.

There is some seriously cool technical information contained within his presentation, like the fact that the engine had to be DETUNED from the production model to meet up with the IMSA regulations.  That’s quite the statement.  Head over to Road&Track.com and check out the rest of the presentation now!

Saturday – Jan. 25 – 11:30am

We’re creeping closer to the green flag and the excitement is ramping up here at Daytona.  There has been a multitude of press conferences in the media center, some vintage track laps, and the autograph session is about to begin.  The autograph session is one of the coolest parts of the Rolex 24.  All the drivers are lined up in front of their garage with their teammates for a full-field autograph session.  It’s probably one of the only opportunities you can get autographs from so many champions from so many different series and disciplines in on one location.  We’ll be posting a few pics later.

One of the questions we’ve been asked is in regard to which INDYCAR drivers are starting for their respective teams.  Scott Dixon will be starting in the #02, Alex Tagliani will be starting in the #08, and James Davison will be first behind the wheel in the #007.  The remainder of the INDYCAR pilots will be stepping into the car later in the 1,440 minute event.

Again, we’re going to be here for the entirety of the event and will bring you all the content we can.  It’s important we hear from you as to what you’re looking for from us!  So tell us what you want to see, stories you want to hear, etc.  We’ll get out there and get it done!

Saturday – Jan. 25 – 9:45AM

It’s officially Race Day!  We’re beyond excited to get this thing off and rolling and get the party started.  We heard some of your requests for a spotters guide that is specific to the INDYCAR drivers competing in the event.  So, here you have it.  You may notice that the #78 doesn’t feature Sebastian Saavedra or EJ Viso.  Due to the late nature of their entry they were not a part of the spotters guide.  Rest assured that they are in fact racing in the #78 Starworks Daytona Prototype.  We hope you find it helpful!

At the end of the day, RACER.com writer, Marshall Pruett caught up with Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and their TUSC teammate Memo Rojas.  The subsequent interview is quite hilarious.  Over the course of such a long race these drivers seem to get a bit bored outside the car.  As a result, interesting antics ensue.

So, we’ve spent the past couple of days here and we’re feeling pretty confident in picking our favorites for the race.   Before we do that we want to hear your favorites and dark horses.  Send along your predictions in the comments below.  We’ll post another update later this morning.  Happy Race Day!

Friday – Jan. 24 – 2:10PM

Final practice for the Rolex 24 is complete.  Richard Westbrook turned the overall fastest lap in the final session with a 1:38.964 in his Corvette DP.  The INDYCAR drivers and their respective teams rounded out the session in the following positions:

  • Sebastien Bourdais – P3 Overall – 1:39.665 (Christian Fittipaldi turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Scott Dixon/Tony Kanaan – P4 Overall – 1:39.822 (Scott turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Sage Karam – P5 Overall – 1:39.835 (Memo Rojas turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Simon Pagenaud – P12 Overall – 1:41.528 (Johannes Van Overbeek turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Justin Wilson – P13 Overall – 1:41.675 (AJ Allmendinger turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Conor Daly/Alex Tagliani – P21 Overall, P6 PC Class – 1:45.349 (Conor turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Ryan Briscoe – P26 Overall, P3 GTLM Class – 1:45.934(Jan Magnussen turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Graham Rahal – P30 Overall, P7 GTLM Class – 1:46.309 (Dirk Mueller turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay – P33 Overall, P10 GTLM Class – 1:46.435 (Marc Goosens turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Mikhail Aleshin – P51 Overall, P17 GTD Class – 1:49.495 (Sergey Zlobin turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • James Davison – P54 Overall, P20 GTD Class -1:49.830 (Al Carter turned the fastest lap for the team in practice).
  • Gabby Chavez – No laps turned.
  • Tristan Vautier – No laps turned.

With the final session often being a simple shake down to make sure things are prepped for the big show tomorrow the results aren’t necessarily a prediction for the race.  Especially considering many of the teams used the session to get drivers who hadn’t had as much time in the car to get prepped.  Still, it’s impressive to have 6 drivers from INDYCAR inside the top 15 positions.

He has the name, the car and the number. Meet James Davison (“license to thrill”).  Davison, a Firestone Indy Lights race winner who competed in two IndyCar Series races last season for Dale Coyne Racing, is co-driving the No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage for TRG-AMR in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.  The team had a bit of James Bond fun in the garage area, posing in tuxedos with the car.  Davison, 27, of Australia, said he’s cautiously optimistic of making his Indianapolis 500 debut in May.

We managed to gather most of the drivers this afternoon for aquick group shot.  Unfortunately, many of them weren’t able to make it.  Still, it was a great opportunity to get the INDYCAR contingent together for a few minutes.  There was quite a bit of handling discussions as well as tips on properly navigating slower traffic.

Here’s how the INDYCAR drivers will start tomorrow for the 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona:

  • Sebastien Bourdais – P3
  • Scott Dixon/Tony Kanaan – P5
  • Gabby Chavez – P7
  • Sage Karam – P8
  • Justin Wilson – P9
  • Conor Daly/Alex Tagliani – P19
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay – P24
  • Graham Rahal – P30
  • James Davison – P35
  • Mikhail Aleshin – P40
  • James Hinchcliffe – P59
  • Tristan Vautier – P60
  • Ryan Briscoe – P62
  • Sebastian Saavedra – P65

Action for the Rolex has come to a close for today.  So, we’re going to head over to Target and get our equipment for the long haul tomorrow.  We’ll update with a few more photos this afternoon.  Don’t forget to let us know what you’re hoping to have us show you over the next few days.  We’ll do our best to get out there and find it for you.  Overall, we’re excited and can’t wait to get this thing started!

Friday – Jan. 24 – 10:00AM

Good news race fans, RACING IS BACK!  The Rolex 24 marks the kick-off of the racing season and we couldn’t be happier to be here.  This year features not only one of the strongest fields in recent memory but there is a massive contingent from the INDYCAR paddock taking to the track this weekend.  Drivers from Indy Lights to the IndyCar Series are piloting cars in several different classes.  Overall, 30 competitors in this years event have competed in an INDYCAR race.  16 of those 30 have won at least 1 race in the IndyCar Series.  While that’s certainly impressive in its own right, what really shows the strength of INDYCAR drivers in the Rolex 24 is the fact that in the last 10 years INDYCAR drivers have won five of the races.

What does all that mean?  We’re in for quite the show!  I’m beyond excited to get this event started.  Not only is it great to see all the incredible drivers from the IndyCar Series behind the wheel this early in the year but the merged sports car series with new cars and drivers should be spectacular to follow.  So, here’s our plan… we’re going to bring you all the inside info and behind the scenes images from this event.  Starting today and going through the checkered flag on Sunday (yes, all 24 hours of the race) we will be providing frequent updates to this post.  So bookmark it, tweet it, share it on Facebook, email it to your friends.  This will be the one-stop shop for all things INDYCAR at the Rolex 24.  Are there things you want to see or information you’re looking for?  Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get out there and find it for you!

This entry is one in a continuing series which discusses images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Milwaukee Mile during the Milwaukee 225 on June 19, 2011.

Tony Kanaan wrecks at Milwaukee

Each race weekend, a small army of IndyCar staff descends upon the site of the IZOD IndyCar event.  The IndyCar series has full-time year-round employees in most key positions, but come race weekend, there are a significant number of part-time employees who assist in all aspects of the weekend’s activities to help make sure the race runs smoothly.

The part-time employees occupy a number of important roles.  The most visible of the primarily part-time crews is the Holmatro Safety Team.  Most members of the team are full-time firemen or paramedics.  The IndyCar Series wants to ensure that drivers and team members get the best possible attention when an incident occurs.

Some of the other areas with significant part-time help include timing and scoring, pit techs, observers, and even photographers.  All of the part-time “Weekend Warriors” I have worked with are truly professionals who take their responsibilities seriously.  I often see a strong camaraderie among members of the various support teams.

Many of the part-timers take time away from their primary job and their family to be involved in a sport for which they have a deep passion.  You may be surprised by the diverse occupations of these part-time employees when they are away from the track.  For example, one of the observers is a County Superior Court Judge, and one of the pit techs is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives.

During a typical race weekend, I try to shoot pictures of the various IndyCar personnel as they handle their duties.  I know they are not working for the notoriety, but for many part-timers, the memories of their race weekends are more valuable than the compensation they receive, and sometimes the pictures we take help keep those good memories alive.

Here are a few more photos of some part-time employees at work at the Milwaukee 225.

Milwaukee Pit Lane

Crew Member

Do you have any IndyCar “Weekend Warriors” stories to share?

Flickr, 5000 photographs later

Posted on: June 21, 2011 | Comments(2) | Flickr | By: Daniel

I write from time to time on this blog. And if you follow this blog or my posts, you’ll notice I often write about Flickr. I mean, a lot.

To date we have uploaded 5,264 photographs or graphics. We have created 100 sets. We administer 11 groups. Our most viewed image has over 5,800 views. Will Power’s jump at Barber Motorsports Park this year has been favorited 26 times. And out most commented image, is Guess the Driver, with 16 comments. Oh, and we have 448 Flickr contacts.

Jump!

Great photo of Will Power by Paul Webb, LAT Photo USA

I’ve been thrilled with our experience on Flickr so far (just a season and a half). We think you have too.

[More]

ROYGBIV at INDYCAR

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.

This entry is one in a continuing series which typically discusses images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11, 2011.

04CJ0120

Different drivers celebrate a victory in the IZOD IndyCar series in different ways.  We all know that Helio Castroneves is famous for his fence climbing when he wins an IndyCar race.  Coming into the season, I was not aware of his teammate Will Power having any special “trademark” victory celebration rituals.

After Will Power won his first race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park, he exited his car in victory lane and stood on the side-pod to celebrate.  He then jumped off the side of the car and kicked his legs back.  Paul Webb, a photographer from LAT Photo, captured Power from a low angle with a wide-angle lens that made it look like Power had leapt to great heights.  Paul Webb’s image was featured on IndyCar.com and many other websites and publications.

When Power won at Sao Paulo, we were all hoping he would repeat his leap.  He didn’t disappoint us.  If you look at the leap on video, he didn’t jump that high, but with a low angle and kicked back legs, it makes his jump appear higher than it actually is.

When Power won the second Firestone Twin 275 race at Texas Motor Speedway, we all knew what to expect.  When he rolled into Victory Lane he delivered his soon to be trademark leap from the side-pod.  I couldn’t get a real low angle for the shot, but I think this image captures his leap in his first IndyCar oval track win.

What would you do to celebrate if you won an IZOD IndyCar race?

Inside Shot – Indy 500

Posted on: June 6, 2011 | Comments (1) | Flickr, Indy 500 | By: Chris Jones

In previous Inside Shot entries I have discussed one image from an IndyCar race that was featured in the indycar.com galleries or the IndyCar Flickr site.  For the Indy 500, it is difficult to single out one image.

For most IndyCar race weekends, the activities take place over 2 or 3 days.  For the Indy 500, activities started on May 7 with the Mini-Marathon and weather-postponed Balloon Race, and ended on the evening of May 30th at the Victory Celebration banquet.  During that period, I shot at the track 20 days and took over 9,600 images.  For comparison, at Long Beach where both IndyCar and Indy Lights were in action, I shot around 2,300 images.

You may wonder why we spent so much time at the track given there were only 10 practice and qualifying days.  At Indy, there are so many other activities we covered including the Celebration of Automobiles, the American Dairy Association Rookie Luncheon, celebrity two-seater rides, Emerging Tech day, the unveiling of the Marmon Wasp postage stamp, Community Day, and Rookie Orientation.

My favorite images are those that tell a story.  Although these may not qualify as the “best” photos during the month, they are photos that help tell my favorite stories from the month.

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One of the top stories of the month was the hardship that Simona de Silvestro faced after her accident.  It was obvious her hands were still hurting watching her get in the car after her incident.  She didn’t let the pain stop her from signing autographs even though everyone would have understood if she said she needed to let her hands rest.

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J.R. Hildebrand had a great month – fastest Rookie in the field, first day qualifier, race runner-up and Chase Rookie of the Year.  Unfortunately for him, he would have been the race winner if not for his final lap incident in turn 4.  Similar to Simona, the way he reacted to his adversity showed his class and character.

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To me, one of the big stories that got overlooked throughout the month was the success of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team, especially Bertrand Baguette.  Here was a team that hadn’t raced this season, with two drivers that hadn’t raced in IndyCar this season either, and only one previous Indy 500 start between the two drivers.  Both Baguette and Jay Howard were first-day qualifiers, and Baguette was one late caution period away from winning the race.

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Of course, the big story was Dan Wheldon’s win in a one-off ride with Bryan Herta Autosport.  According to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson, Wheldon is the first winning driver at the Indy 500 to lead only one lap, and he probably led less than a quarter of a mile.  It was great to see the pure emotion he expressed after his win.  He should continue to be a great ambassador for the Indy 500.

Next up is Texas Motor Speedway.

The Indianapolis 500 is a very, very long race event for us. It’s two weeks of content. And for the new media group, it’s overseeing both indycar.com and indianapolismotorspeedway.com. Most of our race events run from Thursday-Sunday, with indycar.com being the focus. Two weeks of racing is exciting, exhausting and a challenge. I love content, good storytelling and beautiful photography. Our May provided all of that. Some highlights.

Opening weekend brought the announcement of The Greatest 33. It was an honor working on this site and it was amazing to see how many fans voted, shared with friends and revealed their own personal memories.

The Greatest 33

The Greatest 33

4,028. That’s how many photographs were uploaded. It’s how our department sees what our photographers capture. We then title, caption and tag these images for our websites, media site, Flickr and so on. That’s a lot of images and it’s tedious work. BUT – it allows us to bring some really stunning moments to you (and shows what a great group of photographers we work with). A few of my favorite below. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Simona De Silvestro signs an autograph

One of the most compelling stories of the month

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Inside Shot: Sao Paulo

Posted on: May 11, 2011 | Comments (1) | Flickr | By: Chris Jones

This entry is one in a continuing series which typically discusses images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on May 1, 2011.
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Each race weekend we shoot over 1,000 images.  Only a small portion of our photos are featured in the Photo Galleries at IndyCar.com or on the IndyCar Flickr site.  In addition to the photos at those sites, we also load some photos to a Media only site each day.  From the Media Site, authorized media and team personnel can download high-resolution images for editorial use.  Although the picture above was not in the IndyCar.com gallery or on the IndyCar Flickr site, you may have seen it on J.R. Hildebrand’s Facebook page or some other media web-sites.

During pre-race activities, the drivers rode in the back of pick-up trucks for a lap to greet the fans.  I was fortunate enough to be allowed to jump in the back of the truck with Tony Kanaan and J.R. Hildebrand.  It was amazing to see (and hear) the reaction Tony received from his home-country fans in Brazil.  As we would round a corner and the crowd could see Tony, the cheers started building.  Even the corner workers, concession stand workers and ambulance drivers were cheering for Tony.  I could tell that Tony truly appreciated the cheers from his fans.  It was unfortunate that he, and the other Brazilian drivers, encountered problems during the race.

I have to admit that this shot is slightly staged.  For most of the lap, the Tony and J.R. were facing forward, which limited the photo opportunities.  When we hit the long back-stretch where there are no stands, I asked the drivers to turn towards me and act like they were waving to the fans.  That is when I captured this image.  Shortly after this photo was taken, the rain started coming down, and all three of us got totally drenched in the back of the truck.  Thank you Tony and J.R. for allowing me to the share the pre-race lap with you.

This entry is one in a continuing series which discusses the images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16, 2011.

MLB Legend Randy Johnson shooting some photos of the on-track action

At each IZOD IndyCar event, it is not unusual for us to shoot photos of celebrities.  On some occasions, the celebrities are there are to promote their latest television show, movie or album.  Other times, it may be a local celebrity or sports star who is there to cross-promote another event in the area.  Some examples this season include Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Player Vincent Lecavalier, who exchanged jerseys with Alex Tagliani at St. Petersburg, 2003 American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard who sang the National Anthem at Barber, and Chef/TV Host Gordon Ramsay who was the Grand Marshall at Long Beach.

During IndyCar Qualifying at Long Beach, I went out to an area we refer to as the “peninsula.”  From this area, you can see the cars after they exit turn 9, work through turn 10, and take the final hairpin corner as they head down the main straight.  As I walked towards the hairpin, I noticed a photographer was on one knee shooting through one of the photo holes.  Some people have to lean over a little to shoot through the photo holes, but I have never seen a photographer so tall that they had to get down on one knee to shoot.

As I got a closer, I realized who it was.  It was retired Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Johnson whose nickname is “The Big Unit.”  For those of you not familiar with Randy, he was in the Major Leagues for 22 seasons.  He was a 10 time all-star and a 5 time Cy Young award winner (awarded to the top pitcher in his League).  During his career, he threw 2 no-hitters including a perfect game, and he was co-winner of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2001.  Also, he stands 6 feet 10 inches, thus the need to get down on a knee to shoot through the photo hole.

I had the opportunity to talk to Randy during a break in qualifying.  He wasn’t there to promote anything; he was simply there to be one of us – a credentialed event photographer.  Randy took photo journalism classes while he was at USC, and since his retirement from baseball after the 2009 season, he re-discovered his passion for photography.  I learned this was his first time to shoot an IndyCar event, but he has shot a NASCAR race and an NHRA event.  We talked a little about his minor league days with the Indianapolis Indians, and he said while he was with the Indians he attended an Indy 500 practice session.

Randy, if you happen to read this, we are glad you joined us at Long Beach, and we hope you enjoyed the weekend. Leave a message below if you’re interested in sharing some of the photos you shot over Long Beach weekend with our fans on IndyCar.com.

This is the second entry in a series which discusses the making of an image from the IndyCar.com photo gallery. This entry discusses a photo that was taken at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27, 2011.

Inside Shot: Honda GP of St. Pete

Keep reading to find out more about this shot

Each race weekend, we have a number of photo assignments.  The list includes such items as press conferences, driver autograph sessions, the Peak Pole Award, pre-race activities and victory lane.  We also shoot a lot of on-track action, the crews at work in the pits, and scenes from the Paddock.  One of the other items on our list each week is the start of the race.

Since we had several IndyCar photographers at St. Petersburg, we each went to different locations for the start of the race.  I was shooting through a photo-hole in the fence at the end of the long front straight that leads to Turn 1.  We knew this would be a good place to get shots of the cars just after they took the green.  Also, based on past races at St. Pete, Turn 1 has been the site of a number of “racing incidents” (last year, James Hinchcliffe was taken out in a first lap incident during the Firestone Indy Lights race).

If you watched the race or saw any of the highlights, you know Marco Andretti was involved in a big accident in Turn 1 on the first lap.  Knowing there was a possibility of an incident, I had the shutter speed turned up higher than normal.  Generally we shoot action shots at a speed of less than 1/1000 of a second so you don’t stop the motion of the tires, but for the start, I was shooting at 1/1400 of a second since we like to stop the action when there is an incident.

As the incident ensued, the primary cars involved moved out of range from my photo hole. We never like to see accidents, but if there is one, we hope no one is injured, and we hope we catch the action so we can share it with the fans who visit IndyCar.com.

Next up, an image from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.