Posts Tagged ‘ 2011 ’

Catching up with Dan Aykroyd

Posted on: July 13, 2011 | Comments (1) | Race Tracks | By: Kate

No, he wasn’t wearing the hat or the shades, and he didn’t have a proton-pack strapped to his back, but Dan Aykroyd could have been wearing pajamas and I still would have been honored to shake his hand. I got the opportunity during the pre-race festivities for the Honda Indy Toronto, when Aykroyd met up with driver and fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe.

Dan Aykroyd

Chatting with Dan

The experience was one to remember. Firstly, I was so excited for the chance to interview him that I didn’t realize I was standing in the middle of his golf cart’s parking spot. I nearly avoided that disaster when someone yelled, “Look out!” just in time for me to jump out of the way. And yes, if I had gotten hit, I would have bragged that I got hit by a golf cart carrying Dan Aykroyd.

After shuffling my feet for a bit, I mustered up the courage to be the first to interview him. After the glorious hand shake, I asked him about being an INDYCAR fan, what he liked about Hinch and if he was looking forward to his experience as grand marshal. He was a true professional, answering every question with the fervor of an INDYCAR fan and the pride of a Canadian.

As I thanked him and stepped away, indycar.com editorial director Dave Lewandowski congratulated me on my brush with fame. IMS and INDYCAR photographer Chris Jones let me know he snapped a picture of my interview and would email it to me later, officially becoming my hero for the day. I take comfort in the fact that if my computer ever crashes, the photo will forever be memorialized here on the link to this blog.

ADMIN NOTE: With Canadian races looming on the INDYCAR schedule, we thought we’d check in some of our favorite helmet designers, Art Rotondo, and how they spent their time at the recent Formula One race in Montreal (I hope they stayed dry). Check it out.

For the first time ever in Grand-Prix history, there was an artistic partner associated with an event. The event was the 2011 edition of the Canadian GP in Montreal, Quebec Canada. ArtRotondo.com was in charge of creating unique hand drawn portraits of each of the 24 drivers on this year’s grid. Each of these portraits were placed on top of each driver’s garage, a unique and innovative concept we brought to life.

There was also official ArtRotondo.com stands located throughout the circuit Gilles-Villeneuve where fans had the chance to meet Art in person, visualize some of his original works and shop his limited edition print line.  This was a tremendous weekend for the ArtRotondo.com group, along with this event were many media appearances on different TV stations which also propelled this truly fantastic moment in motorsport artwork history.

The following pictures depict a few of these works throughout the weekend.

2011-06-09_0146

Narain Karthikeyan

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Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

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Jenson Button

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You can view more posts from ArtRotondo and the creative work they do for our INDYCAR drivers, HERE.

What do you think of bringing more art into the racing experience?

2011 intro from ArtRotondo

Posted on: April 25, 2011 | Comments(2) | Helmet Designs | By: mrotondo

After a few races into the exhilarating 2011 IndyCar season, the helmets keep on coming out of the ArtRotondo.com shop. For the first time the ArtRotondo.com company is painting the helmets for IndyCar fan favorite Vitor Meira. For the occasion we came up with a few new designs for the Brazilian. We jazzed up his old design by giving it more life and to more suit Vitor’s personality. These are the first of many helmets of Vitor’s to come.

New look for Vitor Meira

New look for Vitor

May 1st 2011 will be the IndyCar’s series stop in Sao Paolo, Brasil for the 4th round of the 2011 season. Sadly this day also marks the celebration of life of undoubtedly the finest  racing driver ever to have lived on this earth, Ayrton Senna. For the occasion both Vitor Meira and the ArtRotondo.com group came up with the idea to mark this grandiose occasion by paying tribute to him. With that in mind, we made Vitor’s usual design but modified with the Brazilian flag stars and most importantly the back of the helmet is a montage of some of Ayrton’s most memorable racing moments.  Each one of these moments was entirely hand painted by Art Rotondo himself. After growing up in an Ayrton Senna influenced household all of our lives, due to our father’s Brasilian origin, it was truly inspiring for us here at ArtRotondo.com to pay tribute to Ayrton but as well to our passed father. We hope the fans in Brasil will enjoy this tribute to a champion and the immense emotions involved with this piece of art the ArtRotondo.com company created and that the IndyCar fans here in North America will do the same and take a minute of remembrance for the greatest racer of all time.

Meira's helmet

Inspired by Senna

IndyCar rookie Sebastian Saavedra will be in his very 1st full time Indycar season and for the occasion we spiced up his 2011 helmets by putting more clean cut emphasis on his native Colombian flag at the back of the helmet to give the overall more mature look to better suit his current Conquest Racing ride.

Sebastian Saavedra

Saavedra with a new look

Keep checking back Indycar.com’s blog for our special Indy 500 themed blog which will capture all of our drivers special Indy 500 themed helmets.

You’re watching the streets

Posted on: April 16, 2011 | Comments(15) | Flickr, Race Tracks | By: Daniel

Sunrise in Long Beach

Sunrise at Long Beach

My favorite type of track happens to be street circuits. You may disagree and I hope you let me know why. I like urban environments. I like that our drivers are racing around concrete, surrounded by walls, speeding by hotels, restaurants and parking garages. I love that street circuits are unforgiving. And I love that street circuits are usually in pretty cool locations (St. Pete, Long Beach, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Baltimore on this year’s schedule) – not to mention circuits from other Series’ like Monaco, Singapore, Macau, Surfer’s Paradise, Trois Rivieres and more. That atmosphere at these events always feels intense – it must have something to do with the heat, the concrete, the number of fans, the coming together of an event that is defined as temporary. Temporary street circuit.

Circuit Singapore Grand Prix, F1 night race, Formula 1 (www.yoursingapore.com)

F1 in Singapore (from Flickr user YourSingapore)

I also happen to love photography from these events. Where else can you capture palm trees with high speed cars? Drivers using the curbs to bounce into a corner. The colors of the chassis’ illuminated by the reflection of the light. And the sun causing unique shadows. In theory street circuits are unconventional. Photography serves to reveal that. It’s what we’re doing this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Simona de Silvestro

Wasn't kidding about the shadows

Part of my job this weekend is to sift through hundreds of images. We look for pictures to post to indycar.com, our Flickr page, INDYCAR Nation and our media site. It’s one of my favorite parts the job.

Morning practice

Cars stream through an actual street

Some of the images make me think about the photographic process. What settings did they use? Why did they chose that location? How did they get even get to that location? Photographers definitely think outside the box.

Takuma Sato with speed

Takuma Sato and the streets

The shots from above on a street circuit are cool. Everyday buildings or hotels provide perfect platforms for photographers to capture a unique vantage point. And honestly, who doesn’t love a good palm tree.

Danica Patrick with the shadows

Danica Patrick passing through palm tree shadows

So when you watch the race on Sunday (4:30pm ET on Versus) consider the different views you experience. This entire track came together this week. On Monday after the race, barriers, fences, curbs and signage will start coming down. Honda powered IndyCar’s will be replaced with Honda Accord’s and other street cars. That’s what I love about street circuits. They’re unconventional and temporary.

But we at least have the photos to show that it all came together, temporarily for the weekend.

A beautiful morning in Long Beach, California

Temporary street circuit

11 in 11 featuring Ryan Hunter-Reay

Posted on: April 15, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Admin

We’re following up on the fan generated video series, 11 in 11. This weekend, we’re featuring reigning Long Beach Grand Prix champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Marco Andretti, Michael Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay

RHR with the Andretti's

Find out what race he wants to win. His opinion on neck pillows, yes neck pillows. The Indianapolis 500. Winning at Long Beach, and more.

Beautiful Barber

Posted on: April 8, 2011 | Comments(4) | Flickr, Race Tracks | By: Daniel

Have you ever been on vacation or visited a place so stunning or picturesque, that it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo?

Not to take away from the work of our professional photographers that work in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but at Barber Motorsports Park, I really do think it’s hard to take a bad photo.

It’s beautiful, with rolling hills, a manicured landscape, a museum and a scattering of art installations.

Haulers are loaded in to the paddock area

A nice wide look at Barber

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Charlie Kimball – 11 in 11Charlie Kimball has joined the IZOD IndyCar Series for the 2011 season and before he ever turned a lap he was setting records.  Having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007, he is the first IZOD IndyCar Series competitor to have driven with the disease.

Charlie Kimball

Charlie Kimball

Charlie uses a complex set of tools and rigid self-discipline to maintain his edge as a competitor.  We were lucky enough to catch up with Charlie at Barber Motorsports Park for a few minutes and asked him questions submitted by you, the fans.  Sit back, enjoy the video, and get to know one of the young, up and coming stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

2011 and Photography

Posted on: March 26, 2011 | Comments(14) | Flickr | By: Daniel

I’ve lost count of the number of Flickr or photography related posts I’ve written on this blog. As a hobbyist in the area, I have tremendous respect for the people that shoot our IndyCar events. Our photography staff and the numerous photographers that follow the IndyCar circus from event to event, put in long hours to capture ‘the’ shot. They are typically the first and last to leave the track. They spend 10-14 hours in all types of weather, loaded up with equipment, dodging the crowds, teams and fast cars. Then they rush back to the media center to review, edit and upload images. It’s a really tough job. But we reap the benefits. These images appear all over the world, and of course on indycar.com.

Bourdais in pit lane

Bourdais at St. Pete

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Surrealism, Servia and Speed

Posted on: March 25, 2011 | Comments (1) | Drivers | By: Daniel

Yesterday, Newman Haas driver Oriol Servia stopped by the new Dali Museum, located in the heart of the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. He was greeted by the museum’s director, Hank Hines. They toured the museum, talked art, engineering, surrealism and racing. It was an unlikely pairing, but the two hit it off immediately.

Inspiration

Oriol reveals his inspiration

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11 in 11 is here

Posted on: March 24, 2011 | Comments(2) | Drivers, Fans | By: Daniel

Well, the season is here, congratulations, you made it. It’s time for racing. It’s time for racing updates. It’s time for lots and lots of racing video content.

Back in January, we pitched a new video series to you – something we called 11 in 11. It was a simple premise. We would gather 11 of our favorite fan submitted questions and ask as many drivers during the 2011 season. 11 in 11, get it?

You responded with lots of suggestions, lots of questions. You left comments on our blog. You tweeted at us, you wrote on our Facebook wall. As always, you surprised us with your passion and enthusiasm for the sport.

Today we’re bringing you the first video in this series, featuring Target Chip Ganassi Driver, Scott Dixon.

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Scott Dixon at the 2011 IZOD photo shoot

Scott Dixon posing during an IZOD shoot

What were the questions we ended up with? Here’s the general outline:

•    Which race are you looking forward to this year and why?
•    Talk about circuit layouts— what makes for a challenging course?
•    Talk about the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500 and what it means….
•    From Paige: If you were a cartoon character, who would you want to be?
•    From Ken (possibly in Idaho): What retired Indycar driver do you respect/admire the most, and why?
•    From Gina: which type of track do you prefer- ovals or road courses and why?
•    From Neil: What is your biggest challenge now that you’ve made it to the pinnacle of racing?
•    From Canada: what’s the best prank each driver has played on other drivers/crew members?
•    From Joe: What are you most looking forward to in 2012 with the new car and engine?
•    From Susan: Tell us about the first race that you won (no matter how old you were, what type of race it was) and how it made you feel.
•    Megan wants to know: Everyone wants to win the Indy 500. After that what is the race you would most like to win?

And finally – here is the video. Enjoy. Lots more to follow throughout the season.