The line of automobiles stretched down the winding road with their inhabitants waiting patiently (this is Japan after all) for the Twin Ring Motegi gates to open promptly at 8 a.m., signaling the start of Friendship Day.
Archive for the ‘ Race Tracks ’ Category
I’m heading to Japan on Wednesday with most of the IZOD IndyCar Series staff and the drivers and teams. Getting there is pretty painless for us – it’s not unlike any other flight to a race, only longer. So what does it take to move the IZOD IndyCar Series across the Pacific?
It turns out it’s not that different a process from getting the people there. It takes a lot of cooperation and patience needed between series officials, the teams, the ground crew and Nippon Cargo Air – which transported some very precious freight.
For most teams, the journey to Japan started as soon as the checkered flag fell in Kentucky.
Tony Kanaan, an eight-year veteran of the IZOD IndyCar Series, joked that he needed a GPS to find the front entrance of New Hampshire Motor Speedway Aug. 31 for the first of two days of Firestone tire testing on the 1-mile oval.
For all the racetracks and North American cities Kanaan has visited during his distinguished career, it was his first to the speedway in Loudon.
“They call us veterans nowadays,” said Kanaan, motioning to Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, a veteran at age 30. “It’s nice to come to a place I’ve never been. Having been in America for 15 years I don’t have a GPS in my cars because if I haven’t figured it out yet I should go home. This morning I got here late because I realized I didn’t know how to get to the racetrack. I stopped and asked at a gas station and once I got here I got yelled at (at the front gate) because I didn’t stop to sign in. I apologized to the guy, ‘Sorry, it’s my first time here.’ ”
After Mid-Ohio it seemed we really had some momentum going on in the team. But now an even bigger challenge was facing me; Not knowing Sonoma and having to Qualify on the first day of learning the track. The Rfactor simulator didn’t have the track for me to learn so I had to dig out my iRacing membership and shake the dust off. Some drivers also gave me some tips and heading to Sonoma, I wasn’t sure whether to feel confident or not knowing I was heading to a fast sweeping track with blind cresting turns.
Enhancing the fan experience is the goal, and Verizon is delivering with its IndyCar Mobile app that was launched Aug. 19 – just in time for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – for the Android platform that includes all Android devices.
Incorporating social media functions Twitter and Facebook, news and video, the IndyCar Mobile app brings all the action of race weekends to fans — whether they’re in the grandstands or vicariously at the racetrack.
The IZOD IndyCar Series app for the Android platform is part of Verizon’s relationship with the IZOD IndyCar Series, and enhancements, including real-time timing and scoring will be added through the 2010 season.
Get details about app, including how to download, and about Verizon’s Android by logging on to mobile.vzw.com/indycar on an Android phone version 1.6 or newer.
Infineon Raceway is a beautiful track in Sonoma, California with elevation changes and yellow hills surrounding the track. The mornings are overcast before giving way to bright, bright sun later in the day. It’s a great venue for fans, it’s also not too bad if you’re shooing video or images.
You may have noticed that we publish a lot of content throughout the race weekend – via Tweets, Facebook updates, countless IndyCar.com changes and news stories, live video and timing and scoring through Race Control, and images to Flickr, video to YouTube, and RSS feeds for each driver and team. It’s a content juggling act.
While the month of May can be spent dodging raindrops, from time to time we are blessed with perfect weather over a race weekend. Last week’s racing at Mid-Ohio not only had beautiful weather, but light as well. With practice and racing sessions scheduled during ideal shooting times of morning and late afternoon, it was a photographer’s dream. Whenever I get a chance to shoot in strong light, or in high contrast situations I enjoy playing with my shutter speed and varying my apertures to see what I can produce. Below are some samples of opportunities I came across this weekend.
Pace Car: This shot was taken immediately when I got to the track on Friday morning. The pace cars were methodically lined up, morning dew beading off their brightly painted hoods! It was a great opportunity to shoot into that bright morning sun! By cranking up the shutter speed, the sun gave me a high amount of contrast to catch those droplets and the paint scheme hiding below.
Rollout: Shortly after taking shots of the pace car, I wandered over to the garage area where there are always opportunities to get great shots as teams set up. Dario’s crew had just begun to wheel the #10 car out into the morning light from the sharply contrasting darkness within the transporter. The effect of shooting at f/4 at 1/5000 is a striking one!
At Speed: While not dealing with harsh lighting or high contrast in this situation I was still concerned about how my subject and background would come out. As I peered through my viewfinder I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant yellow curbing and the bright red guard fence. The shot was taken during the race and the harsh light of midday which often washes out color. By turning down my shutter speed to 1/320 I was able to create some motion blur, however with an aperture set at f/13 I was able to capture the rich setting, and avoid that midday washout.
Photo info: f/2.8 at1/5000 with a 15mm. fisheye.
Photo info: f/4 at 1/5000 with a 70-200 mm. lens
Photo info: f/13 at1/320 with a 70-200 mm. lens and 1.4X extender.
You can view all of the images from Mid-Ohio, here.
Brothers, Mauro and Art Rotondo own and operate ArtRotondo.com. This dynamic duo is based out of Montreal and specializes in the art of motorsport helmet design.
We have quite a roster of IRL drivers under our brand, one of our first- Graham Rahal- is always looking for the most unique and stylish helmets out there. This weekend’s Mid-Ohio Race marks the home race for Rahal. For the occasion, ArtRotondo.com actually kicked it old school by paying tribute to Graham’s father Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, by painting his helmet in his father’s original colors. Who thought a few shapes on a helmet could make so much of an impact? In a sport where helmets are getting busier from race to race, it’s nice to come back to down to basics and create this great tribute. Hopefully this helmet will bring Graham the luck needed to be first to cross the finish line this Sunday.
After an entire season of sponsorship uncertainty for Rahal, the great people at QuickTrim came through and decided to come on board with Rahal to sponsor the rest of his racing season starting at the Sonoma race. For the occasion, the ArtRotondo.com company made sure to incorporate their unique corporate colors into Graham’s helmets.
Each of our helmets is unique its own way right down to the custom painted cartoon Graham on each helmet top even suited up in his QuickTrim suit! These helmets were a blast to work on and hope they will bring Graham the extra boost to bring the QuickTrim car to victory lane!
“EJ Viso is a long-time friend and customer of the team at JLF Designs and likes to use different themes for his helmet designs which relate to the track the helmet will be used at. His cousin Juanco is a designer working in Milan, Italy and he comes up with the ideas for the designs which we then translate into the painted artwork.
For the Canada races, EJ wanted a design that reflected the nature of the venues from a completely different perspective so Juanco went to work on some ideas and came up with a design featuring the Canadian Danaus Plexippus butterfly. Here’s his explanation of the inspiration behind the design:
Juanco:“Danaus plexippus / evolution baby: this precise family of butterfly is the National insect of Canada, that’s why we thought it would blend perfect on the Canadian scene. After all, to win, one has to move fast and alert on rainy Toronto and almost fly over the bumpy and tricky tracks of Edmonton…As a final detail we added the caterpillar that curls shaping the number 8…good metaphor for EJ’s Indy career evolution…”
We set to work on the paintwork and the task of making the Butterfly fit the helmet shape without too much distortion. As the colours went on it became obvious that the solid shapes of the original design looked a little flat and not very lifelike so I used some rough airbrush texturing to give the colours a soft transition between the colours. Then when the paintwork was finished I used a gloss base for the white and a matt finish for the butterfly to give a contrast between the two, and to give the butterfly the soft, powdery look they have.
Many IZOD IndyCar Series drivers bring their favorite foods with them while on the road, which partly is why you’re more apt to get an autograph/photo while shopping in the organic produce section of Whole Foods than a local hamburger joint.
Such meal plans allow for drivers to eat when they’re hungry, more likely to stick to their diet and consume health-conscious items that they enjoy. For E.J. Viso, one of his favorites is sardines. Check out the video as the KV Racing Technology driver from Venezuela explains.