Tuesday, July 15, 2014

IndyTech 101

Here's a fun way to put the amazing performance of an Indy car into perspective. 
Check out this cool infographic from Verizon.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Verizon & IndyCar: Racing Into the Future Together

Turn back the calendar a few months and I thought, fab, the IndyCar Series nabs a title sponsor with more than 103 million retail connections, 1,700 retail locations, and $81 billion dollars in revenue--this is promising for raising the profile of the sport.    

But after having recently participated in a Verizon Tech Tour, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it turns out the relationship is about much more than just sponsorship. This is a real partnership. A partnership aimed at speeding both organizations into a high-technology future.

For IndyCar
They get a crack at innovative Verizon LTE Multicast. Introduced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, over a commercial 4G LTE network, it delivers rich, multi-faceted media content to multiple devices at once rather than sending it in a separate stream to each user.

Right. What does that mean? With a series of cameras deployed trackside to capture the cars as they travel around the circuit, combined with in-car cameras that get unparalleled views of what the drivers see, the content delivered over LTE Multicast gives IndyCar teams, using a special app, pictures and angles in real time they may have never seen before. 

Unprecedented, split-second decision-making capabilities. That's cool.

The ultimate goal and what's in it for you: The idea is to roll this technology into a solution for the ultimate fan experience. Large audiences in specific locations--like race tracks--would have access to the same live video and data on their personal devices that teams now have in the pits. Think of it as an evolution of the current IndyCar14 app with multiple channels of live video, and more, added. Much like the same technological amenities you might enjoy on multiple devices in your living room brought right to your seat at the race track. Fastastic.

For Verizon
They get to use IndyCar as a springboard to what clearly appears to me to be a transition from solely a mobile provider to a full-fledged tech company.

A few examples of Verizon advancements already available:

Connected Car (Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot)

  • Transforms your car into a wi-fi hotspot
  • Access vehicle diagnostics, including code meanings
  • Use your mobile phone as a key fob
  • Get speed alerts
  • Locate your vehicle

Connected Home (Nest Home Thermostat, Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, and more) 
  • Control the temperature in your home remotely
  • Turn home electronics on or off from your smartphone
    or tablet
  • Control lights remotely
  • Video monitoring
Connected Home illustrated in the Verizon IndyCar Fan Village 

Isis Mobile Wallet
  • A free app that allows you to use your smartphone to pay for purchases. You can add payment cards and have it hold your offers and participating store loyalty programs, so they’re always with you.
So there you have it. A peek behind the barriers at how Verizon and IndyCar are shaping their futures together. Things look bright.


Verizon kiosk, located in the IndyCar Fan Village, engages racing enthusiasts and
showcases the entire Indycar/Verizon technological partnership

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Everyone Needs a Rookie to Root For II

Continuation of our wildly popular [blatant exaggeration] inaugural rookie roundup from 2013.

This year sees a healthy class of seven newbies who have qualified to contest the world's greatest race. From a NASCAR champion, to a Russian rock guitarist and speedy upstart who grew up across the street from the Andrettis, there's a little something for everyone.  

As we rev up for the 98th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," take a moment to meet this year's crop of fast learners—because everyone needs a rookie to root for. Who's your favorite?


Mikhail Aleshin
SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #7
Age: 27
Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Nicknames: "The Russian" "Mike Allen" 

The scoop: The first Russian driver ever to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. A former World Series by Renault champion, in Europe, he had never been to the United States prior to joining IndyCar. He's shown flashes of speed, thus far, but the jury's still out. Guitarist in a Russian rock band. \m/

Kurt Busch
Suretone Andretti Autosport #26 
Age: 35
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Nicknames: "KuBu" "Outlaw" "Double Outlaw"

The scoop: Like a box of chocolates! A NASCAR champion, he currently drives for Tony Stewart's team, in the stock car series. Focus of much attention, this May, he's the first to attempt "The Double" (Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day) in, like, a while. Unforgettably hateful rip on poor TV commentator, Dr. Jerry Punch, in the day, but he's been well behaved, this month.

James Davison
Always Evolving Racing KV Racing Technology #33 
Age: 27
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Nickname: "Big Jimmy" [???]

The scoop: A late add to give KVRT a 4-car Indy 500 lineup, Davison's been around: A couple of Indy Lights wins, at least one IndyCar start for Coyne at Mid-Ohio, Rolex Series, Carrera Porsche Cup, and so on. Racing is in Davison's genes—his grandfather Lex Davison won the Australian Grand Prix four times, while his father Jon raced Formula 5000. Can't speak to current status, but he once dated Tony George's daughter, Lauren.

Jack Hawksworth
Energee Bryan Herta Autosport/BBM with Curb Agajanian #98 
Age: 23
Hometown: Bradford, England
Nicknames: "The Hawk" "sHAWK and Awe" "J-Hawk" 

The scoop: Coming off an admirable season of Indy Lights, he was the surprise pick of Bryan Herta for a full season of IndyCar competition. So far, so fast. The kid appears to be good. Here's one: He was so convinced he wouldn't have a race ride for 2014, he nearly tapped out and got his personal trainer's license. Rich, old-world accent...

Carlos Huertas
Cafe de Colombia Dale Coyne Racing #18
Age: 22
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Nickname: "[your favorite here]" 

The scoop: Tested by Panther Racing, then picked up by Dale Coyne, when Panther folded, he's one of four Colombians in this year's '500' field. Four IndyCar starts to his name, a lone top 10 is the highlight. Once drove for a team owned by Formula 1 superstar Kimi Raikkonen. Such a media darling, reckon I've never heard him speak.  

Sage Karam
Brantley Gilbert/Comfort Revolution Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing #22  
Age: 19
Hometown: Nazareth, PA, USA
Nicknames: "SK$" "Kid Karam"

The scoop: High school senior—that's right—Karam is hot off a 2013 Indy Lights championship. His notable performances for Chip Ganassi's sports car program have him in a development deal with the owner, but with four cars already in the Ganassi IndyCar stable, Karam's been farmed-out to Dreyer and Reinbold for the '500.' Sage dates former Indy car driver Gil de Ferran's daughter, Anna. 

Martin Plowman
ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing #41
Age: 26
Hometown: Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England [fancy]
Nickname: "Plowey" 

The scoop: The wee Brit stepped out of the sports car shadows to contest the Indy Double of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500 for the legendary SuperTex. He's had a total of four IndyCar starts, with unremarkable results, but has claimed a 24 Hours of Le Mans class win and FIA World Endurance sports car championship. By all reports, a likable chap. Married to a former Miss Indiana and likes to be called, "Marty." [part of that statement is true]

photos ℅ IndyCar.com

Monday, May 19, 2014

Is an IndyCar driver coming to your town?

In my case, YES. Tomorrow, Tuesday May 20th, Pippa Mann will pay me a personal (well, not actually) visit in the great city of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The other Indy 500 drivers will also fan out over North America to spread the good gospel of the world's greatest race and IndyCar.

Check out the graphic, below, to see if one will be near you.


2014 Driver
Charlie Kimball
Bristol, CT
Helio Castroneves
Juan Pablo Montoya
Scott Dixon
Pippa Mann
Columbus, OH
Takuma Sato
Tony Kanaan
Dayton, OH
Alex Tagliani
Justin Wilson, JR Hildebrand
Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Buddy Lazier
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Jack Hawksworth, Plowman, Sage Karam, Carlos Huertas, James Davison, Mikhail Aleshin
Carlos Munoz, Sebastian Saavedra, Oriol Servia
Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe
Josef Newgarden
New Orleans
Graham Rahal
New York
Kurt Busch, Marco Andretti
Sebastien Bourdais
Jacques Villeneuve, Simon Pagenaud