News & Multimedia

Daily Trackside Report - Friday, May 21

DAY 7 – FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):

8 a.m.

Garages open

Noon-6 p.m.

Indianapolis 500 practice

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The Indy Racing League will provide a Video News Feed during each day of practice in preparation for qualifying for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The Video News Feed will include b-roll of on-track activity and sound from various drivers following the day’s activity. Today’s feed:

Friday, May 21

Time: 8-8:15 p.m. (ET)

Coordinates: AMC 9 K 11 (CH A )

Bandwidth: 18 MHz

Symbol Rate: 13.235 MS

FEC: 3/4

Aspect Radio: 16:9

Digital: 4:2:0

Downlink Frequency: 11911 MHz Horizontal

Position: 83 degrees West

Uplink trouble number: (317) 492-8657 or (317) 492-8750

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Indianapolis 500 rookie Takuma Sato is using the iRacing.com motorsports simulation service this month to prepare for his first start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Sato is driving the No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology car this month and in the entire IZOD IndyCar Series season after racing in Formula One from 2002-08, including a third-place finish in the 2004 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

Sato is helping Interush, Inc. introduce iRacing.com to Japanese driving game enthusiasts.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of more than 40 racetracks in the U.S. and around the world that are represented in the iRacing.com internet-based motorsport simulation service. The service is inexpensive and intended to let motorsport fans and racing games enthusiasts from all around the world practice and, if they wish, compete against friends and other fans in organized races.

The tracks and cars in the service are modeled so accurately that a professional racing driver can use them to learn a track he or she has never seen before. iRacing.com uses survey-quality laser-scanning to capture data, so the finished track is accurate to with two millimeters. Every tiny bump or change in road camber is accurately represented in the virtual version of the track.

Other Indianapolis 500 drivers who are iRacing.com members include Justin Wilson, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dan Wheldon, Tomas Scheckter, Danica Patrick, Mike Conway, Raphael Matos, A.J. Foyt IV and Sato’s fellow IZOD IndyCar Series rookie, Simona de Silvestro.

TAKUMA SATO: “Many people think that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a simple track, just four 90-degree left-hand turns. But at speeds up to 230 mph, each turn is unique, with many subtle differences that make them completely different. Like many of the other IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, I use iRacing.com to get to know these tracks better before I get out on the actual track. I am very impressed with the realism of the iRacing.com online racing simulation. Plus it’s a lot of fun at the same time!”

***

The qualifying draw for Pole Day will take place at 6:15 p.m. tonight on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza.

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Mezzo Technologies engineers Charles Becnel, Patrick Luke and Christophe Marques and Tino Belli of Andretti Autosport received the 44th annual BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their development of the Mezzo MicroChannel Radiator.
Designed to fit in the same space and use the same connectors as existing radiators, the Mezzo MicroChannel Radiator significantly reduces coolant temperature with reliable, robust performance. Earlier this year, the IZOD IndyCar Series approved the technology for use by all teams.
Mezzo Technologies, based in Baton Rouge, La., also has developed cooling systems for military and other automotive use.

Increased cooling capacity results in better engine performance and greater horsepower. Unlike conventional radiators that rely on fin designs to transfer heat, the Mezzo MicroChannel Radiator uses nearly 5 miles of stainless steel micro tubes measuring less than 0.5 mm (1/50th of an inch) in diameter to reduce engine temperatures up to 8 degrees C (14 degrees F). A corrugated arrangement also increases heat transfer while keeping pressure losses low.

Developed by Mezzo Technologies in close cooperation with Andretti Autosport, the technology is now being evaluated by other race series, as well as the aviation industry.

Presented to engineers by engineers, the Louis Schwitzer Award rewards individuals with the courage and passion to explore and develop new concepts in racing technology. BorgWarner sponsors this prestigious $10,000 award, which is presented by the Indiana Section of SAE International. The winners' names are added to the Schwitzer trophy on permanent display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

Mezzo Technologies doesn’t have a longtime background with racing technology, but it joins the prestigious company of past Schwitzer winners, including such legends as Andy Granatelli, Dan Gurney, Colin Chapman, Bruce McLaren, Smokey Yunick, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, John Barnard and others.

PATRICK LUKE (Mezzo Technologies): “We’re a small company, and we’re much like family. We’re just tickled to win this award. For the Indy racing (project), Tino found us.” (About award’s significance): “He (Louis Schwitzer) was an amazing innovator and engineer. I don’t think we know the company we’re in, but I think everybody is Google-ing it back home. We’re tickled.”

***

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears talked today about working as a spotter this month for Helio Castroneves, who is attempting to match the record of four Indy victories shared by Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser.

RICK MEARS: “Helio doesn’t need a whole lot of coaching or spotting. I’m a safety factor. In my mind, the driver should know what’s going on around him at all times, anyway. I’m a backup in case the driver misses something. I’m going to be helping him whenever someone is getting a run on him on the outside or the inside, and those are the things I’ll be telling him about. I try to stay out of his ear as much as I can and let him drive the car. I’ll try to give the driver a head’s up if something happens on the track up ahead so he has a quicker warning because of the closing rates and the speeds. I can also watch other cars and their lines and see if something is working better for them under the conditions on the track, and I may suggest it. I’ll answer any questions Helio has and try to help him do well.” (On working as a spotter for a three-car team): “I’ve spotted here before because it’s one of the only places we need more than one spotter per car. This year, with the three cars, I will be spotting at all of the ovals. We need more spotters for the team, and that’s a gap that I can fill.”

***

The Indianapolis Star’s website, indystar.com, was recently nominated for an EPPY Award by Editor & Publisher magazine in the Best Special Web Feature – News or Event category for its Indianapolis 500-Centennial Era coverage in 2009. Interviews with IMS Historian Donald Davidson were featured throughout the coverage. CNN.com, Newsweek and Boston.com are the other nominees.

***

Winners of the men’s and women’s divisions of the Little 500 bicycle race served as honorary starters today. Five members of the winning women’s team, Teter Hall, and one member of the men’s team, Cutters, waved the green flag.

The Cutters team is a multi-time winner of the race and were immortalized in the movie “Breaking Away,” which won the 1979 Acad

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