Views & Notes: August 2016 Edition | Performance Racing Industry
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Views & Notes: August 2016 Edition
By Dan Schechner on July 29, 2016

* NASCAR Opening Windows: NASCAR recently unveiled a joint project with Microsoft that it hopes will revolutionize motorsports. Rolled out at Sonoma Raceway earlier this summer, the Microsoft-created Race Management App incorporates six separate areas of competition—from the inspection process to racing—and transfers it all onto one screen, thereby simplifying the officiating process while relaying information to teams and, ultimately, to race fans.

“We’re really excited about working with NASCAR because they really have complicated problems to solve in really three areas: operations and logistics, in competition and performance, and in fan engagement,” noted Microsoft’s Mike Downey.

In essence, Microsoft has taken a paper-based process and converted it into a digital one to more efficiently streamline NASCAR’s inspection system. That information can now be easily accessed before and during races, allowing officials to better track cars in action and on pit road to assess lineups, determine penalties and more—all in real time. With data now at their fingertips, “for us, it’s really about helping the scoring of the race as well,” said Steve O’Donnell, EVP and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR.

“I think you’ve seen we’ve had some challenges just from a timing standpoint. NASCAR [doesn’t] have time to call a timeout or a TV timeout and let the officials sit on the side for 15 minutes. We need to make a quick call. And this allows us to do that.” O’Donnell also noted the potential to better anticipate accidents and improve dispatch of safety vehicles during the race. And post-race, he cited the ability to “almost recreate” the entire event and critique not only the product on the track, but how teams were policed throughout the weekend.

While remaining sensitive to proprietary information that teams may not want released, NASCAR nonetheless hopes to further leverage the technology to boost fan engagement: “The great news for us, O’Donnell added, “is no other sport has more data to be able to compile and get out, and especially with the younger generation and racing technology.”

* Moto Attacks The Market: Performance aftermarket distributor Motovicity Distribution is set to debut a special event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, designed to give “our customers and other racers a unique venue to prove just how badass their builds are,” according to VP of Sales and Marketing Brian Lounsberry.

The Speed Ring Motor Sports Festival Powered by HKS will be highlighted by a time attack race for enthusiasts and shops, as well as a GTR-only class in which participants can square off against legendary pro driver Nobuteru “Nob” Taniguchi, who himself will pilot the HKS GT 1000+ Nissan GT-R. The Speed Ring, scheduled for August 21, also offers one of the largest payouts of any time attack to date, with more than $10,000 in prize money up for grabs.

And, Lounsberry said, in addition to class prizes, “The customer who defeats Nob in the HKS GT1000+ and lays down the fastest overall time in the Unlimited R35 GT-R Class will walk away with a $20,000 bonus!” Alongside the time attack, the event features a car show, vendor midway, and more. For tickets, as well as information on vendor and display space, visit www.thespeedring.com.

* Ladies Only: Big congratulations to our friends at Car Chix, who will showcase their acclaimed Ladies Only Drag Race at the World Series of Drag Racing at Memphis International Raceway August 26-27. Open to all female racers and women of motorsports, the Ladies Only event offers two classes to choose from: Car Chix Street and Car Chix Pro.

“This is a great opportunity for female racers of all racing levels to meet and race with some of the most influential women in racing and motorsports,” said Jeanette DesJardins, president and founder of Car Chix. To learn more about Car Chix, which advertises, promotes and supports women in motorsports and the auto industry, as well as the Ladies Only Drag Race, visit their website at www.CarChix.com.

 

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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