Andretti Autosport recently invited me into Riverside Jr. High School in Fishers, Indiana to listen, along with a class of 25 students, to a presentation on IndyCar aerodynamics. Students in Brad Bill’s Tech Education class had the opportunity to ask Andretti crew member, Kelly Potter, how to make the miniature balsam wood cars they are building this semester go fast.
The classroom setting offered the unique experience to have the high-tech aerodynamic theories in use on IndyCars brought down to a level that 8th graders could understand. A key point among those theories was to focus on the shape of the car. As Kelly put it, think of things that go fast like a jet or even a ship, they always have a pointed front. He next equated the “drag” created by wind to the force to someone trying to swim in heavy clothing.
Kelly went further in depth to describe the down force effect created by the placement of wings on an IndyCar. He then complimented the students by explaining how cool it was to see them try to apply similar design techniques used on IndyCars because he did not have that opportunity in 8th grade.
When Kelly went on to explain how the logos on IndyCars can create increased drag and weight on the vehicle, Tech Education teacher, Brad Bill, jumped in to connect the same theory to his students’ frustration with the amount of sanding required to perfect their cars. As he told students, there is a purpose after all to the amount of sanding it takes to make a car run smoothly.
Students had the opportunity to view an IndyCar up-close as part of the lesson and show off their own designs to Kelly Potter. His pick for the best student car? The one with the coolest paint job.
Andretti Autosport Crew Member, Kelly Potter, critiques the student's car designs
With all of the excitement——and questions around the Future IndyCar Concept Announcement. We at IndyCar.com thought we’d enlist our users to have fun with the open design concept that the 2012 IndyCar chassis will endorse. For more information please visit the www.indycar.com/2012 page for interviews, car information and of course…the details on how you can design your own concept.
Here is the latest design from Italy and Daniele Sanfilippo (who has already sent us multiple cool designs). Take a look and let us know what you think. AND – remember, you can submit your designs to us. We’d love to see them.
Daniele had this to say about his designs:
In this proposal, I have not given the initial design provided by Dallara. I built this from scratch mistaken some proportion. To be my first 3D design I’m quite happy.
In this car I tried to create a connection between the cars of the late ’70s and what could be the future concepts for the utilization of materials. As you will see on the sides are missing the air intake vents. In fact there are! Are vertical slots that follow the car’s aerodynamic profile. The sides are designed in two blocks. The upper part tapers towards the tail, creating the effect of Coca Cola is already known in F1. The bottom, however, is developed on the other hand, creating the side of safety necessary to avoid “engaging” among the cars.
The rest is all fiction that probably will not make the car go fast, but it certainly makes it pleasant to behold.
As the ice slowly begins to crawl across the lakes here in Minnesota, my mind wanders back to the smell of ethanol and warm sunshine. Simultaneously I also begin to plan and think about next year. Winter is always a season of change and experimentation for me. Most of those experiments happen at the local hockey rink, and make their way to the track come spring. An area I would like to explore next year is the world of HDR (high dynamic range) photography.
What HDR allows is the merging of several photographs into one, in order to better exhibit the range of light between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. Typically this is done through bracketing when you have a still subject to work with, or by editing a RAW file of drivers or track action. Essentially you are taking images which are correctly exposed, overexposed, and underexposed into one image! Once the images are merged you can make a number of adjustments, including definition, contrast, and color saturation you desire. There really is no right vs. wrong at this point…The program I use to merge my images is called Photomatix Pro, and is available for about $100.00. There are a variety of other programs available as well, including one for the new iPhone!
The topic has recently caused a little controversy amongst photography purists… Some see this as a new opportunity, while others view it as cheap photography. Below I have included some early experiments. We have included the original image as a basis for comparison. Let us know what you think?
Dario on Pitlane: f 2.8 at 1/8000
I really liked the increased definition in the firesuit and track here! However, where did those clouds come from?
It’s been four weeks of Flickr related posts and the 2010 IndyCar season – reviewing some of the coolest images, most interesting, viewed, favorited and today, commented. This has been a fun series to write, I hope you’v enjoyed reading and viewing.
What we learned in reviewing Flickr’s methods of measurement is this -
Most Interesting and views was dominated by our fans – images of your 2012 Chassis Designs.
Most favorited, saw the return of photography.
And most comments? Let’s take a look and start traditionally, with the 99th most commented image.
Glide Memorial Church and the needy in San Francisco were the beneficiaries of a friendly wager between Infineon Raceway president Steve Page and Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage over the World Series.
Gossage would send 49 pounds of smoked Texas turkey – one pound for every year of the San Francisco Giants’ World Series drought – to Infineon Raceway if the Giants won the title. If the Texas Rangers had won their first championship, Page would have provided a gourmet wine and cheese reception for members of the media at the stock car events this weekend at TMS.
Well, Glide Memorial Church will serve 5,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day to the needy.
“A terrific day for two great San Francisco institutions, the Giants and Glide Memorial Church,” Page said. “We appreciate the generosity of our colleagues in Texas in helping to make this Thanksgiving a happy one.”
Added Gossage: “It’s usually a bit tough to swallow when you lose a bet, but not on this one since the less fortunate will benefit from it and receive some Texas turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving.”
This past Tuesday the 16th Street Racing League headed to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for 45 laps on the 2.238 mile historic road course. Laguna is an incredible race track. It has some of the fastest corners and most extreme elevation changes you will find at any road course, especially in the United States. The “cork-screw,” made famous by Alex Zanardi and his legendary move “The Pass” when CART ran here in the 90’s, is one of the most difficult and iconic corners in all of motorsports.
We had a total of 25 drivers show up to give it a go around this twisty California race track.
In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by you over this year. Flickr offers the option of “favoriting” an image – this will simply place the image into a permanent gallery. You can access it anytime. Kind of cool. You favorite our images a lot. Thank you for that.
In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by YOU this year. Unlike the previous two measurements – Interestingness and Views – this category places the emphasis back on photography and the people behind the lens (sorry helmet and 2012 chassis designers).
And continuing this blog series tradition – what’s our 99th most favorited image?
Halloween is for the young – and the young at heart. Both descriptions could fit drivers in INDYCAR.
Mario Romancini as Mario
Paying homage to one of the video games that started it all – Super Mario Brothers – on its 25th anniversary is Mario Romancini. Below is Jay Howard, who has the look if not the moves to “Thriller.”
Any guesses on Jay Howard?
Wearing firesuits during daylight hours this weekend are Ryan Hunter-Reay, buoyed by a two-year deal with Andretti Autosport, and Marco Andretti. Maybe they’ll stay in character and scare up some fun in Birmingham after testing at Barber Motorsports Park.
Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, James Hinchcliffe, et al, were planning to attend parties so we’ll pass along photos if they dare send. Have a goolish time.
The Flickr blog series continues again this week, this time revealing our most viewed images from 2010. Unlike last week where I wrote about Interestingness, the ‘most viewed’ statistic is easy to understand, simple to measure. It’s what our online community looked at the most.
So let’s start randomly – our 99th most viewed image so far this year?
When you win an IZOD IndyCar Series Contest, we dig deeper! Actually, we just request that the recipient take a photo with their new gear and send it to us- Nothing creepy, we just want to make sure our winners are happy. We also want to feature them on our website and Flickr account, because let’s face it- race fans are passionate people and we like to give appreciation when appreciation is due! Today we are featuring two of our contest winners, Courtney Braden and Rudi Womack:
Courtney Braden may not know this, but she was the first contest winner since we began “Contest Wednesdays” back in June. She won a RT contest on Twitter (@IndyCarNation) by being the 50th person to retweet our message- pretty cool, so a big thanks to Courtney for being our guinea pig!