Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tech Day at Infineon Raceway

Today was an absolutely incredible day here at Infineon Raceway. The IZOD Indy Car Series organized a Technology Day for writers.


After arriving at the track and shooting photos of the Indy Lites practice, we met at the Media Center and were assigned to one of the team's pits for the morning IndyCar practice. This meant that we were sort of captive in the pits rather than being out around the track taking photos, but we got a first hand look at what goes on as the teams work to make final preparations to their cars before the afternoon qualifying session.


After the practice session, we had lunch in the Honda Hospitality tent, hosted by Erik Berkman, President of Honda Performance Development. I've got lots of notes from our lunch meeting, many of which will be included in my forthcoming article.


Then we were driven up the hill to the Versus TV Compound, where Robby Green, VP and General Manager took us through the many tractor trailers that house the various television production facilities, including one trailer containing cameramen operating the numerous remote controlled cameras scattered around the racetrack, and the main control room where the director and producers control the on-air broadcast.


Then we went back down to pit row where we were met by Bryan Herta, former IndyCar Series driver and owner of Bryan Herta Motorsports. We each received Motorola headsets so we could hear all of the race team communications and also ask questions.


Then we met with Jack Arute, the primary on-air commentator for Versus' coverage of IndyCar racing.


Next, we went to the pits of deFerran/Dragon Motorsports, where we met with Eric Zeto, the team's race engineer (who I also interviewed yesterday for my article) and Raphael Matos, driver of the #2 HP deFerran Dragon entry. They explained how the team collects and analyzes telemetry throughout the race.


We then had a bit of a break, so I went back trackside to take photos of the Historic Grand Prix cars during their final practice session.


To round out the day, we were driven up to the IZOD IndyCar Series Paddock Club, where we met with Gil deFerran, 2003 Indy 500 winner and owner of deFerran/Dragon Motorsports, and Tony Cotman, the project manager of the 2012 IndyCar. We also met with Matt Ellis, the manager of Infineon Raceway.


It was an incredible day.

I've also got a bunch of videos that I shot throughout the day that I'll be uploading later once I can edit them down. So check back again later next week.

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