ABC and NBC Sports Network viewers will get a different perspective on IZOD IndyCar Series races thanks to technology implemented by Broadcast Sports Inc.
BSI, based in Hanover, Md., worked with Dallara Automobili to integrate the existing 360-degree HD roll hoop camera and three others into the chassis design and electrical system. The new cars, powered by engines from Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, will debut at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25 (12:30 p.m. on ABC).
BSI also has included a camera on the rear wing for a panoramic forward-facing shot, one in the right-side radiator duct to offer suspension and side views, and a fourth on the rear view mirror to provide a detailed view of the driver steering and shifting.
“It was not difficult to do and will give new angles of all the racing,” said Andrea Toso, head of research/development and head of U.S. racing for Dallara.
Most races will have six cars equipped with the four-camera system, and 12 cars with on-boards are planned for the Indianapolis 500.
“The sheer number of cameras capturing views from the track will be incredible,” BSI project manager Doug Parr said. “With four cameras per race car, we will have 48 on-board views at Indy. Up until now, the most on-board cameras at Indy was 16. Even on a regular race day, we will have 24 cameras.”
The rear wing camera will offer a high, wide view of the racing around the car. The camera in the right side radiator air inlet area is only a few inches off the ground and will convey the tremendous speed of the car as race fans see the tire and suspension working under the varied race conditions at different tracks. The shot will also provide a close-up view of the tire changes and suspension adjustments during pit stops.
Added Parr: “The camera inside the mirror will provide a nice wide shot showing the driver working the wheel and using the right side paddle shifter on the back of the wheel. I think it will also show how hard physically it is to drive one of these cars.”
The cameras will run from the car’s Cosworth auxiliary auxiliary power supply rather than on the former battery-based system, which will save space and reduce weight. Cars without on-boards will carry dummy cameras to ensure consistent weight.
“I have to thank INDYCAR,” Parr said. “Without their support and forward-looking vision, this project would have never been possible. INDYCAR has set the new gold standard worldwide for the implementation of on-board camera systems.”