Posts Tagged ‘ Sao Paolo ’

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

This week I figured I’d go a bit of a different direction and put on display five of my favorite IndyCar moments.  This is by no means a definitive list as to the “greatest” moments ever in IndyCar but it’s more of a quick highlight reel of some of my favorite moments.  I hope to write a post of this “type” more often and expose more of my favorite moments from the past couple years as well as the “good ole’ days.”  Feel free to post links or descriptions to your favorite moments in IndyCar.

1.) Helio Castroneves at Indianapolis 2007

How can you not be amazed by that?!  The move he makes in that video is completely insane.  It truly shows the level of bravery some of these guys have.  Taking the the low-side on that pass, coming with in inches of the wall, and never backing off the throttle… THAT is IndyCar racing.  I can’t imagine how much fun it is driving a Team Penske Racing Indycar, he’s off the throttle going into 1 but he’s still passing cars!

2.) Tomas Scheckter at Indianapolis 2004

If you’ve watched IndyCar racing since 2002 you know one thing… Tomas Scheckter loves the outside pass.  In this video from the 2004 Indianapolis 500, Tomas passes seven cars going into turn three.  What the video doesn’t show is how Tomas had to catch the car going into three.  You can hear him come off the throttle but unfortunately can’t see his steering wheel.  If you happen to attend an IndyCar race that Tomas is racing in during the 2011 season be sure to keep your eye on him during the starts and restarts, he won’t disappoint.

3.) Vitor Meira at Indianapolis 2008

While this move was quite risky and could be considered “dirty” (as I’m sure Ed Carpenter thought) it’s pretty incredible.  IndyCar racing is all about taking it to the extreme limit.  Everyone wants to win so badly that coming down to the final laps of a race the “all or nothing” mentality sets in.  Vitor has finished second so many times I’m sure all he was thinking about was “WIN” and he sure as heck went for it.

4.) Tomas Scheckter at Milwaukee 2007

Yep, it’s another Tomas Scheckter highlight.  The guy is mighty exciting to watch.  I have no idea how he does it but he seems to find grip where no one else can find it.  I particularly like this video because you can really see how much work he’s doing in the cockpit making those passes.  He’s definitely using the “pitch and catch” method on the high side.

5.) Dario Franchitti at Sao Paolo 2010

I’m pretty partial to road and street racing and I chose this video for a couple of reasons.  It’s not necessarily a “highlight” but it shows how much skill it takes to muscle one of these beasts into turning left and right.  It also shows that Tony Cotman is the MAN at designing tracks.  This place is amazing…great scenery, bumpy, and super long straights into heavy braking zones.  Personally I didn’t want them to grind the track coming off the last corner because I thought the lack of grip added another element of skill to the race, but then again I don’t own a team so I understand. :D

I look forward to hearing/seeing some of your favorite moments and showing you guys some more of my favorites in the future!