IPS: IRL: New IRL Safety Team partner launched at Homestead

The Indy Racing League has enhanced its partnership with Delphi Corp., as the electronics firm has agreed to become the "Official Safety Supplier" to the IRL.

Delphi press conference: new earpiece sensor system by Delphi.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
In addition to supplying accident data recorders, earpiece sensor systems and other valuable technical data to the League, Delphi has agreed to a sponsorship package for the Indy Racing League's Safety Team, a band of 33 experienced emergency room physicians, paramedics and fire fighters, 15 of whom are on duty at every IRL race.

The renamed Delphi Safety Team will have a new tool at their disposal as the company has furnished two Delphi on-board camera systems for the team's trucks.

A front-facing camera will record the driver extraction from a vehicle during on-site rescue and transfer that video wirelessly to a nearby medical center, allowing physicians on staff to have an earlier indication of the nature and severity of injuries. Later, the safety team will be able to review that same video to critique its performance and and identify new ways to improve on-site treatment for injured drivers.

The Delphi Safety Team will also have a rear-facing camera, which will monitor the two fireman assigned to ride shotgun. This same camera will also monitor oil dry distribution to ensure the proper application, feeding the video to a monitor mounted on the front seat, where the passenger can observe ongoing activity and advise the driver accordingly.

This camera technology utilizes automotive product applications and transfers them to motorsports, rather than the other way around. "We're very proud of our partnership with Delphi," noted senior vice president of racing operations Brian Barnhart. "These units produced by Delphi improve both driver and car safety in the League."

Delphi press conference: IRL VP of operations Brian Barnhart and Delphi's Brad Stout.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
"This is a very natural business relationship for all of us," agreed Brad Stout of Delphi as he also noted two other Delphi safety technologies that will give added value to the Safety Team's rescue efforts; Delphi Forewarn Back-Up Aid uses radar technology to help drivers avoid objects behind their vehicles that are not in their line of sight. The radar system can detect objects as far as 16.4 feet away.

The company is also fitting safety trucks with track condition radio to give them critical information from race control. A dash-mounted display communicates messages, including safety warnings and the track condition.

In addition to all of these innovations, Delphi will continue to provide hydraulic sled testing and analysis services at their Delphi Safety Systems Test Center, located in Vandalia, OH.