IRL: Indy500: Exciting TV technology coming for qualifying

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 8, 2001 - A revolutionary form of television technology will be used during coverage of the opening weekend of time trials for the 85th Indianapolis 500 on May 12-13, bringing a new and exciting element to ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 8, 2001 - A revolutionary form of television technology will be used during coverage of the opening weekend of time trials for the 85th Indianapolis 500 on May 12-13, bringing a new and exciting element to viewers.

Dartfish's stunning SimulCam(tm) images will be produced in conjunction with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and used during the ABC Sports and ESPN/ESPN2 telecasts of the first weekend of time trials.

In addition to MBNA Pole Day on May 12, the SimulCam(tm) technology also will be used during coverage of second-day qualifying May 13. Much of the elite 33-car starting field for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will be determined on those two days.

The SimulCam(tm) technology makes it possible for the qualifying laps of two different race cars to appear on the screen at the same time. Using the technology, the television producers will be able to demonstrate to viewers the varied paths that drivers take around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

"This technology will give the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League the edge in communicating to the viewer a clearer understanding of exactly how the greatest racing drivers in the world vie for the richest pole position in auto racing," said Buddy McAtee, Indianapolis Motor Speedway assistant vice president of broadcast communications & business development.

"In short, the technology clearly illustrates the different line each driver takes to find the quickest way around the world's greatest oval. For the first time in Indy history, the viewer will see it on the screen. The Indy Racing League is all about fan access, and we want that access to extend to our television audience, as well."

The SimulCam(tm) technology has been used in the telecasts of other sporting events, including the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In auto racing, the technology has most recently been used during the V8Star series in Germany and debuted in America at the Petit Le Mans last September. Its use at Indianapolis will be its first in American oval-track racing.

"We're extremely happy that Dartfish's SimulCam(tm) footage will be seen during the Indy 500 qualifying time trials," said Victor Bergonzoli, Dartfish U.S. general manager. "It is a privilege to once again have the opportunity to work with ABC and ESPN and a great opportunity to reach even wider audiences with our dynamic images by being present at a world-renowned event such as the Indy 500."

After extensive research in image and video processing, the SimulCam(tm) technology was created and developed in 1997 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. Dartfish was founded in 1998 by Serge Ayer, one of the creators of the technology, and his brother, Jean-Marie.

The SimulCam(tm) technology made its world premiere in January 1999 during the World Cup Ski Championships in Switzerland and in Vail, Colo.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series Automotive , IndyCar