Posts Tagged ‘ racing blog ’

Twinterns in Trois-Riveres

Posted on: August 7, 2011 | Comments(3) | Race Tracks, Road to Indy | By: Kate

My Public Relations twintern Emily Lewandowski and I hit the streets of Trois Rivieres Thursday night in an effort to give away 20 free tickets to the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres. As my only foreign language is Spanish, the experience was a hilarious mess of me running up to random people asking “Parlez voux anglais?” in a Spanish accent. However, I got through to several people who did indeed walk away with a three-day pass to the event. My personal favorite, Rose, was an elderly (yet extremely hip) local woman who actually flagged me down and demanded tickets (a woman who knows what she wants). I also gave one to our very sweet waitress at dinner in a desperate effort for a free drink, which worked like a charm. Look for our video blog coming soon!

As I went through our adventure, the most amazing thing was how alive the city was. When we landed in Trois Rivieres and eventually trekked over to our hotel, the city seemed quiet and fairly unassuming. As evening hit, the city roared to life with a street festival that brought in hundreds of people of all ages. There was a swaying pirate ship ride, men on stilts walking the streets, street musicians and booths along the beautiful Rues de Forges. We learned that the festival runs the Wednesday through Sunday of the Grand Prix week, and is a major attraction of the area.

It’s a totally different experience than racing anywhere else on the schedule. People have no idea what the IZOD IndyCar Series is, so it gives them a bigger appreciation for the Firestone Indy Lights, which can often be overshadowed when scheduled with their big brother. The track is a first for all but five of the Indy Lights drivers, who raced here with Star Mazda. It was with a bit of pride that I observed the fans watching practice today, knowing they were getting their first look at an extremely talented group of drivers who deserve every bit of the attention they get this week.

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres

Spotted around Rues des Forges: Star Mazda drivers Sage Karam, Gustavo Menezes and Patrick McKenna; Indy Lights drivers Anders Krohn, Peter Dempsey, David Ostella and Gustavo Yacaman.

Two weekends ago at the Edmonton Indy marked the first time that Motorsport Artwork company ArtRotondo.com and avid Indycar.com blogger Mauro Rotondo were present at an Indycar event with an official stand at the event. The ArtRotondo.com stand was a great display showcasing all of the world famous Art Rotondo’s works which have took the Motorsport scene by storm and also included an array of his custom painted racing helmets. What made this weekend even more special was the live autograph sessions being held inside the ArtRotondo.com stand by some of the Indycar greats names such as; Scott Dixon, Mike Conway, Sebastien Saavedra just to name a few and even local Indy Lights racer Stefan Rzadzinski all took part o the official ArtRotondo.com autograph session.  This marked not only the first ever time that a Motorsport Artwork company had a live stand at an Indycar event, but as well as the first time a Motorsport artwork company had live autograph sessions by multiple Indycar stars throughout the same weekend in their official stand. A true historical event which prooved to be a true success for all and the especially the fans who got to be part of a great race weekend. Here’s a few pictures of the weekend at the ArtRotondo.com stand.

Scott Dixon at the ArtRotondo.com stand

Mike Conway signing autographs at the ArtRotondo.com stand

Sebastien Saavedra signing autographs at the ArtRotondo.com stand

Scott Dixon signing autographs at the ArtRotondo.com stand

ArtRotondo.com stand at the Edmonton Indy

July turned out to be another busy month for the JLF Designs team. EJ Viso was making a flying visit to the UK so we arranged to have a helmet painted while he was here so he could take it back with him to the US. The design was another variation of the “Orbital” design EJ has been using which has proved very popular. This one had the concentric circles in the Lotus yellow and green to match his race car, with a matt finish.

EJ Viso helmet

EJ Viso's new helmet design

July is also the month of the British Formula One Grand Prix so we had special designs for our F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta (cousin of IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti). Patriotic flags was the theme for these designs, with Lewis’s design featuring 3D Union Jack flags as well as the flag of Grenada where his family originally came from. Metalflake/sparkle paint was used almost everywhere – even on some of the logos, which made this design really stand out under sunlight and the garage lights.

Paul Di Resta helmet

Lewis Hamilton's new helmet design

Pauls’ design was a combination of the Scottish Saltire and the Union Jack with an outline of the Silverstone circuit on the back. Paul wanted a clean, classic design that would be recognisable from the spectator grandstands while still having a bit of airbrush flair.

Lewis Hamilton helmet

Paul Di Resta's new helmet design

Also pictured is a helmet that we recently painted for a customer who wanted a design based on the BMW Art Car designed by Jeff Koons. Every stripe and colour was hand-painted on to give a design that is pretty different from most race designs on the track! We love getting unusual designs to paint and will be soon painting a helmet based on a psychedelic Cream album cover.

Custom helmet by JLF Designs

Helmet designed by JLF Designs team

The paintshop is as full as ever so we’ll hopefully have more photos to show soon. We’ve just received a helmet from the Indycar series organisers for Dan Wheldon to use in the test schedule for the rest of the year so the next blog should have photos of that helmet once it’s finished.

Perks of the job

Posted on: July 21, 2011 | Comments(3) | Random | By: Kate

I have to admit, one of the best perks of working for INDYCAR is getting the wardrobe. The day my order came in and I got my shiny variety of IZOD apparel was one of the happiest days of my life (exaggerating, but it was really cool). A few weeks later, I walked into a Macy’s store and saw a large display of the brand in the racks, and didn’t think much of it until I continued to notice IZOD popping up all over the place. Whether it was on TV commercials or around the tracks, IZOD is definitely serious about promoting the IZOD IndyCar Series, and we should send them a little thank you!

Ryan Briscoe's new car

The IZOD look

Lucky for you fans, there is a new, interactive way to do that. Fortune Magazine has a new reader poll out that allows people to vote for what they think is the brand getting the most recognition out of their sponsorship dollars. IZOD is running in third-place behind AON, insurance giant on all Manchester United jerseys in the Champions League Finals in May, and NIKE, sponsor of NBA Finals stars Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. Give them a boost by clicking here and voting today!

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.

The Driver Behind the Tweet

Posted on: June 30, 2011 | Comments(12) | Drivers, New Media | By: Cassie

Twitter allows drivers to better interact with their fans and a way to share a small piece of themselves and their teams. When a driver tweets, it gives us all a closer look at their personality. Some drivers tweet about things that keep followers up-to-date on their racing life, some tweet about their personal lives, some tweet mobile pictures (remember planking??), but no matter their intentions, some drivers make us LOL every time they tweet.

Danica Tweeting?

Danica Patrick Tweeting Away!

We’ve pulled together some of the funniest Tweets from the IndyCar world and listed them below. Each Tweet shows a bit of the Tweeters personality. Gather all of your IndyCar knowledge and take a guess at who the Tweeter might have been.

Guess away! Get your friends to play, and see who can correctly guess which drivers are behind these tweets:

1. Last night, one of our crew guys pulled me aside & said, “Stop being an a**hole.” That’s all the motivation I needed.

2. Anything better than putting on boxers fresh out of the dryer? I think not. #lovethelittlethings

3. I am at bucksstar ;) had to whisper 1 frappo no whipped cream to cashier make sure no one heard me.

4. “that’s the most passes 4 the lead that I can remember. Much better than just watching Dario go round & round.” SNAP

5. @dariofranchitti the pleasure was all mine! I was always told to be nice and polite to your elders!

6. For me boxing is the closest trainning for racing outside the race car…sometimes the punch feels like the wall.hehehe

7. Not entirely sure new yoga instructor tonight was overly impressed with a certain someone’s non existent levels of “bendyness”…!!!

8. My tomtom has @dariofranchitti voice…not sexy. Hahahaha

Hint: Not all of the Tweets are technically from drivers. Think of some of the most vocal INDYCAR tweeps out there and you might recognize 1 or 2 of their personalities as well. Leave a comment with your guesses below and we’ll keep you posted when the answers are revealed.  #goodluck

This entry is one in a continuing series which discusses images from the IndyCar.com photo gallery.  This entry reviews the story behind a photo taken at the Milwaukee Mile during the Milwaukee 225 on June 19, 2011.

Tony Kanaan wrecks at Milwaukee

Each race weekend, a small army of IndyCar staff descends upon the site of the IZOD IndyCar event.  The IndyCar series has full-time year-round employees in most key positions, but come race weekend, there are a significant number of part-time employees who assist in all aspects of the weekend’s activities to help make sure the race runs smoothly.

The part-time employees occupy a number of important roles.  The most visible of the primarily part-time crews is the Holmatro Safety Team.  Most members of the team are full-time firemen or paramedics.  The IndyCar Series wants to ensure that drivers and team members get the best possible attention when an incident occurs.

Some of the other areas with significant part-time help include timing and scoring, pit techs, observers, and even photographers.  All of the part-time “Weekend Warriors” I have worked with are truly professionals who take their responsibilities seriously.  I often see a strong camaraderie among members of the various support teams.

Many of the part-timers take time away from their primary job and their family to be involved in a sport for which they have a deep passion.  You may be surprised by the diverse occupations of these part-time employees when they are away from the track.  For example, one of the observers is a County Superior Court Judge, and one of the pit techs is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives.

During a typical race weekend, I try to shoot pictures of the various IndyCar personnel as they handle their duties.  I know they are not working for the notoriety, but for many part-timers, the memories of their race weekends are more valuable than the compensation they receive, and sometimes the pictures we take help keep those good memories alive.

Here are a few more photos of some part-time employees at work at the Milwaukee 225.

Milwaukee Pit Lane

Crew Member

Do you have any IndyCar “Weekend Warriors” stories to share?

Flickr, 5000 photographs later

Posted on: June 21, 2011 | Comments(2) | Flickr | By: Daniel

I write from time to time on this blog. And if you follow this blog or my posts, you’ll notice I often write about Flickr. I mean, a lot.

To date we have uploaded 5,264 photographs or graphics. We have created 100 sets. We administer 11 groups. Our most viewed image has over 5,800 views. Will Power’s jump at Barber Motorsports Park this year has been favorited 26 times. And out most commented image, is Guess the Driver, with 16 comments. Oh, and we have 448 Flickr contacts.

Jump!

Great photo of Will Power by Paul Webb, LAT Photo USA

I’ve been thrilled with our experience on Flickr so far (just a season and a half). We think you have too.

[More]

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.

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Narain Karthikeyan

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Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

IMG_8992

Jenson Button

IMG_9007

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?

While I’m en route to a little relaxation at my parents’ lake abode to cool off for the weekend, things in Texas will just be heating up. I’ll be floating around the lake in the pontoon while final adjustments and preparations are being made on pit lane around the Texas Motor Speedway. By the time I’m back to shore, it’ll be just about time for the Firestone Twin 275s to start and my family and I will tune in just as we always have.

02DH2056
The television will be set to Versus and, because we will most likely be outside, our SiriusXM radio dock will be blaring the race broadcast on the deck. Home or the lake, indoors or outdoors, day or night,  if it’s race day you can be sure we’ll be listening to the race through some medium.

BK411709

Everyone has their race day rituals or traditions. Whether you throw big parties, have small family get-togethers, or lounge on the couch in a t-shirt featuring your favorite driver, we love the way you tune into IndyCar. We’d love to hear more about your favorite ways to spend race day.

Brag about the way you celebrate by leaving a comment below.

  • Throwing a party?
  • Grilling out?
  • Hanging out with your family?
  • Not moving from the couch all day?
  • IndyCar drinking games?

We want to know why your way is cooler than any other!