TV viewers will have multiple on-board camera views to watch during this season's IZOD IndyCar Series, as Broadcast Sports, Inc. (BSI) has incorporated three new HD on-board cameras, for a total of four systems, in the new Dallara DW12 chassis for the 2012 season.
Based in Hanover, Md., BSI worked with Dallara to seamlessly integrate the existing roll hoop camera (ABOVE, on Marco Andretti's car in testing) and three new cameras into the body design and electrical system. The new cars will debut at the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25.
The four cameras will provide new perspectives and never-before-seen action for viewers. In addition to the 360-degree roll hoop camera used in previous seasons, BSI has included a camera in the rear wing, for a panoramic forward-facing shot. A camera placed in the right side radiator duct, facing the front tire and suspension, will offer side views of the racing action, while a camera on the rear-view mirror will provide a detailed view of the driver steering and shifting. Most IndyCar races will have six cars equipped with the new four-camera system, with plans for 12 cars with on-boards at the Indianapolis 500.
"The sheer number of cameras capturing views from the track will be incredible. With four cameras per racecar, we will have 48 on-board views at Indy," said BSI's project manager and engineer in charge for IndyCar, Doug Parr. "Up until now, the most on-board cameras at Indy was 16. Even on a regular race day, we will have 24 cameras."
BSI was involved at the early stages of the new IZOD IndyCar chassis development so that the its cameras could be incorporated into the design of the car. The new rear wing shot, which has never been used before in IndyCar racing, will offer a high, wide view of the racing action around the car. The camera in the right-side radiator air inlet area is only a few inches off the ground and is positioned to convey the sense of speed as viewers will see the tire and suspension working under the varied race conditions at different tracks. The shot will also provide a unique, close-up view of the tire changes and suspension adjustments during pit stops.
BSI's rear-view mirror camera will allow audiences to see a detailed front view of the driver in-action as never captured before. "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," noted Parr. "I think it will also show how hard physically it is to drive one of these cars."
Even the 360-degree roll hoop camera shot, a vital part of the IZOD IndyCar Series' broadcast coverage to date, gets a facelift for the 2012 season. The new 2012 chassis is slightly taller than the old chassis, which allows a better rear view because there is considerably less obstruction from the wing.
All four cameras will run from the car's auxiliary electric system rather than on the former battery-based system. Using the Cosworth auxiliary power supply eliminates the use of a battery to power BSI's equipment, so it saves space and weight in the car. Cars without on-boards will carry dummy cameras to insure consistent weighting for all the cars.
"I have to thank IndyCar," says Parr. "Without its 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."