BMW treated engineers to the sights and sounds of Formula One racing this week at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas.
Building a short stretch of fenced-in track in a parking lot across the street from the main convention center, the automaker allowed a racer to provide short demonstrations of the sights and sounds of his Formula One vehicle. The racer, Graham Rahal (son of legendary Indy racer Bobby Rahal), ran the vehicle’s engine to about 19,000 rpm and did a series of short, ear-splitting (130 dB) turns to demonstrate the power of the car.
“Usually a racing fan never gets this close,” said Joerg Csallner of BMW Motor Sport Marketing. “You get so much more here than if you were in a grandstand.”
Csallner explained that BMW teamed with Intel Corp. as a way of showing off Formula One racing to American racing fans, and as a way of showing how Intel has helped the automaker with its aerodynamic design efforts. Using Intel processors and expertise, the automaker has set up a supercomputer-like platform in Switzerland to help BMW work on the aerodynamics of its Formula One race vehicles.
Intel added to the festivities at CES’ “Pit Lane Park” by setting up a remote-control model car race. The remote-control cars were “driven” by Intel engineers located nearly a half-mile away in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Using wireless WiMax to send real-time camera images and commands back and forth, the Intel engineers operated the remote-control cars while sitting in simulators in the company’s booth.