For us, the off-season is like pressing a “reset” button. After the checkered flag at the last race of the season, the cars usually aren’t in their full, recognizable, 100 percent form until the green flag of the next season’s opening race.
Attention to detail
It starts in the composite department of the shop with a body fit. To start, the car is stripped down to the bare carbon to check each piece’s weight and check for damage from wear and tear throughout the season. It’s like bringing the car back to square one. After the car is bare, the composite guys will start to glue the car back together. They make sure all of the pieces have nice seams, so the car is as smooth as possible to create better aerodynamics. The glue is a mixture of a high-solvent and resin, which holds each carbon fiber piece together. The carbon usually sets overnight or bakes in the oven for about 2 hours, depending on our time constraints.
As we get started on 2011, a lot of things have happened over the last 12 months at JLF Designs. The helmet painting industry has been moving at an amazing pace and lots of new styles have emerged and even though I’ve been painting for 20 years, I have enjoyed my work more than ever thanks to some great projects with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Dan Wheldon and E.J. Viso who always brings us designs that are a challenge – and I love a challenge!
One of Viso's many designs
Posted on: January 11, 2011
Remember the fat kid in junior high that wore sweat pants all the time? The one that carried a Trapper Keeper stuffed full of very organized (and totally awesome) abstract art folders? Imagine if that kid’s name was really unique and rhymed with an orifice located at the very end of the digestive system. Hi. I’m Amos. I’m that kid.
Names are important. In some cases, names are exchanged before a hand is shaken. Fair or not, sometimes lacking all context, a name can be the first impression.
Imagine we just met (which we did). Your friend knows my wife whose cousin played soccer with your college roommate and we’ve gotten together at your favorite local establishment for a beverage.
“Hi, I’m Amos.”
“Hello. I’m John. Synthia mentioned you work in racing.”
“I do. I work for the Indy Racing League.”
“The what league?”
“The Indy Racing League. You know…INDYCAR.”
“Oh! Yeah, yeah. Like the Indy 500?”
Why not get straight to the point? Why not just call this operation INDYCAR? Why go with a first, middle and last name when you can go with just your first name? Mario. Coco. Prince. Oprah. They all worked it out. So — INDYCAR it shall be.
Do not fret Indy Racing League fans of yesteryear. It’s still us. We’re just a bit more fit (likely from turning left AND right now) and more prone to carrying iPads now. Yet still the fastest, most versatile athletes and race cars in the world!
Posted on: January 9, 2011
It’s no secret that the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights is changing its name to INDYCAR (yes, all caps, but it isn’t an acronym) from the Indy Racing League.
“As I was talking to fans through the course of last season, I realized that we needed to make a name change to reflect the history and heritage of our sport,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. “The INDYCAR name has more world-wide recognition and is in-line with our positioning as the fastest, most versatile racing and drivers in the world.”
The formal announcement will come Tuesday, Jan. 11, during the State of INDYCAR program in Indianapolis. Drivers — plus team, sponsor, racetrack representatives – will hear from INDYCAR principals about the momentum of the series, some tweaks to the competition side and a few surprise announcements.
Revisiting the name change, one unveiling will be the new logo for the sanctioning body. Stay tuned.
Not quite ready to unveil
Posted on: December 12, 2010
Last Sunday, I wrote a post asking you to vote on some our best images from 2010. I picked only 5 out of 3,000+. It wasn’t easy and I tried to pick them based on what you and Flickr were telling me – most viewed, commented, favorited, and so on. There were some really good shots covering the season.
You voted and overwhelmingly chose the picture from the 33 Winning Indy 500 car shoot (it got 47% of the votes). If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a picture of 33 winning Indy 500 cars going to say? There are a lot of stories in this image.
It also serves as a reminder that the 2011 Indianapolis 500 will be here before you know it. I’m sure you know it’s the 100th anniversary. I know I’m excited. So thank you for voting, and here’s your pic/pick.
The winner is...
Flickr was a new online tool for us in 2010 and we talked a lot about it. As of today, we’ve uploaded 3,190 images. And you’ve given us 1,289,024 views. That’s pretty amazing.
We plan on using it even more in 2011, bringing you closer to pit lane throughout the season and revealing more behind-the-scenes action from all of our events.
As we solidify our 2011 plans, what are some things you would like to see on Flickr?
Where would you like to see more coverage?
What types of photos do you want to see?
We’re listening, after all, you’re viewing.
Day 2 of the IZOD Brave New World shoot continued today. The rock band may have left the desert, but we had new guests. In preparation for print, video and web content in support of the 2011 IndyCar season, IZOD was working with six current IndyCar drivers, a former Indy winner and more models. The edited piece will feature Weezer, all of the above, fast cars, rock and roll and some more surprises. Bring on 2011.
A bunch of clothes for Will Power
Posted on: December 7, 2010
The day started in darkness. Teams of people worked in the cold desert as the sun slowly rose, bringing some much needed warmth. Lights were installed. Stands were built. Cameras were tested. Props were checked and double checked. Models got their hair done. And the radio chatter was constant with last minute instructions.
Early in the morning
When the sun did finally make an appearance, the California desert had been transformed by IZOD into an elaborate set featuring Ryan Briscoe’s Team Penkse car, historic Indy Cars, lots of fashion, a big stage and plenty of excitement.
Posted on: December 5, 2010
I actually thought the Flickr posts for 2010 had to come to a close. Then I read on Flickr’s site something about a group and submitting your best shot for 2010. That got me thinking, why shouldn’t IndyCar submit their best shot to this group? And why shouldn’t you be involved?
I picked (5) of our most discussed, viewed, favorited, and interesting of our images from 2010 for you to vote on. I’ll check the results next Sunday and submit the winner. I know we have more than 5 really cool shots, but I had to start somewhere.
So take a look at the following five and make your selection. And if you’re interested the official Flickr 2010 group, you can check it out HERE: Your Best Shot 2010.
The 33 Winning Indy 500 Cars
Tony Kanaan spinning during May
2010 rookie Simona de Silvestro
Target up the hill, at Barber
Pace Car Droplets
Enjoy the poll below. If you’re having any difficulties registering a pick, please leave your choice as a comment on this post – it will be factored in.
Check back next week!
Posted on: November 28, 2010
Another week is underway and here’s another piece on Flickr. Since the season ended in early October (which seems like a long time ago), we’ve been running a series of Flickr/photo blog posts, covering everything from our most popular images, to most interesting, to what IndyCar teams are doing. This time, it’s all about you. I searched through images from our contacts within Flickr and found some pretty cool shots. Here they are.
Here’s Takuma Sato on the streets of St. Petersburg by James Boone. The blurriness reveals the speed and movement at a street circuit.
A blurry Sato
Gerry Calub grabbed this shot in pit lane at Infineon Raceway. Any ideas on what these are? I always enjoy pictures that show the behind the scenes action at an event.
Parts in pit lane
Daniel Riffero grabbed this shot of Tony Kanaan through the corner at Long Beach. Looks like this was a tough one to get.
TK at Long Beach
Bo Gray got truly behind the scenes at a video shoot, to grab some really candid shots. Here’s Dario Franchitti, driving in a a drop top.
Dario - all smiles
Flickr user Track Chic caught this great moment with Helio Castroneves celebrating his win Barber Motorsports Park. Who doesn’t love champagne shots?
Helio spraying the champagne
Remember some of the weather issues in Sao Paolo earlier this year? Check out Crystian Cruz’s view of things. It should bring back all the memories.
The rain heads towards the crowd
Those are some pretty incredible shots. If you’ve taken some and you want us to know, please leave us a comment or share a link. We’d love to see them.
Otherwise, what are your thoughts on some of these images?
Posted on: November 21, 2010
I usually like to start the week with a blog post about Flickr. In this post, I thought I’d do some research and let you know if any of our IndyCar teams are using the Flickr world. We’re not the only ones that take lots of photographs over the course of a season and I found a few examples for you. Check out what some of the teams are doing.
KV Racing Technology, is incredibly active on Flickr with hundreds of images. Here’s a cool shot of E.J. Viso getting fitted in the new 2012 Safety Cell from Dallara. They cover all kinds of things through imagery.
E.J. Viso in Italy at Dallara