Technology deep dives, trackside insights, scorching heat, pictures, memories, and a spectacular race that saw the season's points leader crash early and later return to the track, highlighted the last Speed2Design event of the 2012 IndyCar season.
That's what five lucky engineers took home after three days here, Sept. 13-15, part of a season-long program from Littelfuse designed to get engineers talking to engineers about some of the most advanced vehicles on the planet. During five race events, about two dozen engineers got a chance to spend time in the pits and in the garages, chatting with engineers from KV Racing Technology (sponsored by Mouser, Littelfuse, and other technology companies), watching practice and qualifying, and getting up close and personal insights on bleeding-edge automotive technology.
Click on the image below to see some outtakes from the program's stop in Fontana, Calif., for the MAVTV 500, Sept. 14-15, 2012.
Tony Kanaan's No. 11 IndyCar gets towed out to pit row on qualification day. The cars cost a little more than $1 million, and the team budget for a year is roughly $7 million. By comparison, Formula One teams spend about $400 million a year racing.
What it sounded like
The MAVTV 500 was the last of the 16-event IndyCar 2012 season. The Littelfuse-sponsored Tony Kanaan No. 11 car led for several laps during the race, but Kanaan spun out with eight laps remaining and finished 18th. Ed Carpenter won the race, which started with track temperatures around 125F. Kanaan, 37, finished ninth overall for the season with KV Racing Technology engineering supporting him. Ryan Hunter-Reay took the season points championship. Here's a short clip of what it looked and sounded like:
Learn more about the Littelfuse Speed2Design program here.
Fast cars and lots of engine noise. That's fun for me. Of course, that used to be my commute to work.
The challenges of these cars are really interesting. One thing that people may not be aware of is that the car companies and engineering firms use racing to test ideas. If it wokrs under the stress of racing it will probably work on your car at home.
Racing is a lot of engineering fun. Car aerodynamics, strength to weight ratios as well as getting high speed at high MPG are items that keep racing pit crew engineers up at night.
I enjoyed the clip showing the sights and sounds of racing. I recently attended a NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway where they allow you to walk along a path behind the fence about 15 feet from the track. The wave of air and sound pushed by the cars is amazing as they fly by you on the racetrack.
Nice slide show and article. I'm a NASCAR lover guess that's a requirement growing up in NC. It's amazing just how much engineering goes into racing. NCA&T, my alma mater offers and works with NASCAR, of course now that I'm gone. lol.
While watching an IndyCar race on TV is exciting, you really need to see a race in person, especially a road race. I went to the event at Sonoma, and the sights and sounds were really impressive. The acceleration and braking of these cars is unbelievable. On TV, all the cars sound alike, but at the track, you can definitely tell the Chevys from the Hondas, and unfortunately, the lone Lotus. At Sonoma, you can buy a pass that allows access to the garages and pits, which is Disneyland for an engineer.
I fully agree, it's great to attend an IndyCar race! There's nothing like being at a professional top-level motorsports race in person...all the sights, sounds, smell, and the feeling (the car power, wind from the cars, etc). Seeing the garage and pit areas helps give an understanding of what's involved. Great entertainment!
I've been to see two IndyCar races at California Speedway in Fontana (now called AutoClub Speedway of Southern California), over a dozen NASCAR races, and one IROC race (IROC now defunct). Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this year's IndyCar finale in Fontana, had to watch it on TV. I've always loved fast and close speedway racing with nicely banked turns.
Congratulations Chevrolet for the 2012 IndyCar Championship! It's also nice that an American won the Driver's Championships...Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving a Chevrolet powered car. Hey Honda...it's not so easy to win an IndyCar Championship when it's not all Honda's!
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