In the wake of his second season as Director of Competition, Derrick Walker has announced that upgrades to IndyCar’s race control are a go for 2014 with an ultimate goal of having a mobile race control ready by 2015.
Some calls made by race control this year put race control under fire, which is something Walker doesn’t deny.
There were a couple of things that seemed pretty obvious. That was we couldn’t always see what we needed to do for Race Control to be effective. It looked pretty obvious we needed to upgrade our equipment and needed to have more eyes on the job.
So for this year we’ve invested a tremendous amount in equipment so we have a lot more views and better-quality views, better replay, trying to capture all the views that are possible.
A lot of times Race Control, and I see it in other series, they make decisions based on a few views, but don’t have them all. Sometimes the fan gets better views than we do in Race Control. The simple fact were the limitations on how many screens we’ve got, how many inputs we actually tap into.
The equipment upgrades include more cameras around race circuits, additional monitors, upgraded replay equipment and ability to review car data.
Race control came under fire at the end of Toronto Race 1 where Dario Franchitti was initially penalized for blocking Will Power, but after Franchitti’s team presented data to race control, the penalty was wisely overturned. Walker cited that a lack of camera angles was partly to blame, so the new camera angles are all in good intentions.
The mobile race control idea is a matter of making transporting the equipment easier.
We have a lot of equipment. We have to cart it upstairs, everywhere you go,” Walker said. “The space you have isn’t always enough. We’re going to put it in a trailer, give it enough room and stability and have it at all of the races. That’s a big undertaking and huge investment on the part of the INDYCAR.