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:
A very beautiful, cloud-filled Practice day brings out the green, teal, blue, red, white, and black in this photo
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.
Blue, White, Green, and Red couple with the Swiss flag
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's blue and white helmet stands out against his Sun Drop sponsored red and yellow
Tony Kanaan's helmet features his son's handprint
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.