Races, tracks, drivers and all the drama that comes along with it
Post a reply

Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:53 pm

:shock: I did NOT know they were doing this! :shock: As a fan watching TV, I liked the occasional view from the roof cams! For one thing, they were great for seeing the replay of a wreck from different drivers points of view.

March 01, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com

Move should lessen turbulent air impact at intermediate tracks

CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars competing on the series’ intermediate tracks this season will be doing so without the familiar roof camera, beginning with Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

According to series director John Darby, the removal of the camera (for approximately two-thirds of this year’s points races) is just one of several moves made during the offseason as officials worked through changes on the new Generation-6 car. Of primary concern was how to lessen the impact of turbulent air that previously hampered side-by-side competition at the series’ intermediate tracks.

What officials found was that changes made underneath the car “seem to stay more consistent, whether you are out front by yourself or seventh in a pack of cars,” Darby said.

“Those are the kind of enhancements that we were looking for. Typically a spoiler would … give you more (downforce). The problem with the spoiler is the guy out front gets more value from that than the guy that’s seventh trying to come through traffic.”

Likewise, he said, roof cameras can provide as much as 80-90 pounds of downforce on a car, but are much more beneficial to the race leader.

“The old way of thinking was, if that’s the case then … make sure everybody has got one on the car so everybody’s the same,” Darby said. “But in reality the downforce is toward the 80-90 pound range for the leader that’s out front by himself. But going back to (the car) in seventh place, you’re not getting (any benefit) off it because the air is too turbulent.

“It’s not just about having them all the same, it’s removing stuff like that that gives the leader even more benefit than he used to have.”

Roof cameras will continue to be used at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, the road courses at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International, as well as the series’ smaller venues.

“We want the air messed up (at Daytona and Talladega),” Darby said. “The short tracks are slow and small enough that it doesn’t affect it as greatly.”

Television partners FOX, TNT and ESPN will continue to have cameras in various locations inside the cars. Among the new pieces for FOX, which opened the season with coverage of The Sprint Unlimited and Daytona 500, was the Gyro Cam, a center-mounted camera that rotates to remain level with the horizon as a car speeds through the turns.

According to Rich Feinberg, vice president of motorsports production for ESPN, the same company provides the in-car camera systems for ESPN, FOX and TNT.

“And we are in the process now of developing new options to replace (the roof camera),” Feinberg said. “Perhaps behind the rear-view mirror, various places inside the car.

“We try to be at the forefront of creating new elements. So we’ll get to see what happens over the next few weeks; we’ve begun the conversations about alternate locations inside the car because that seems to be the area in which we can have the most significant conversation with the teams and with NASCAR.”

Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus, fresh off a victory with driver Jimmie Johnson in the Daytona 500, said the removal of the roof camera isn’t that much of a concern for teams.

“It’s minor,” he said, “and everybody has the same thing so it’s not a huge, huge deal. It’s not a big change.”

Knaus said the Hendrick organization had been aware of the change, and tested its intermediate-style cars with that in mind.

“So that’s the way all of our cars are now baselined,” he said.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:20 pm

We'll see if it takes away some of the benefit it has if you're leading. If that's the case, I don't mind a bit...

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:51 pm

Hopefully this means we'll have more cameras mounted inside the cars looking out the windshield, how it used to be.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:58 pm

I know some cars have inside cameras, but do ALL cars have them? There are more interior obstructions that get in the way.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:22 pm

If they don't have actual cameras, then they must have some type of weight to even out it out. That much I do know. The only weight advantages any of the cars have comes from the difference in the weight of the drivers.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:32 pm

Thanks for posting this. I did not hear this story.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:56 am

The "suspension cam" that was either on Speed Saturday during practices or on ESPN2 during the Nationwaide race (how sad that I can't remember, it was sooo long ago, haha) was really neat, showed the brake rotors and other things I have no idea what they are from the in/underside of the car.

My new favorite is the gyro-cam, they showed a comparison of Daytona's 31 degree banking with Phoenix's 11 degrees....juuuuuust a slight difference! My second favorite camera view is the front bumper cam.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:29 am

I like the idea of a camera behind the rear view mirror, especially if it would rotate.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:04 pm

I am liking the new in-car gyro camera best. I love the perspective it gives on the high banks.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:47 am

Personally, I can't stand the gyro-cam. I like the old ones that could rotate left and right to view other drivers. To me, this is just a gimmick for something different...like Digger. It was funny the first time or two, then it's novelty wore off.

I really don't get an enhanced perspective of what the driver feels, I just see how much the car is tilted. That isn't what the driver sees or feels. Bring back the perspective of hitting a high bank and seeing the wall and clouds to the right, and the yellow line and grass to the left. Please! :mrgreen:

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:52 am

Jellikit wrote:Personally, I can't stand the gyro-cam. I like the old ones that could rotate left and right to view other drivers. To me, this is just a gimmick for something different...like Digger. It was funny the first time or two, then it's novelty wore off.

I really don't get an enhanced perspective of what the driver feels, I just see how much the car is tilted. That isn't what the driver sees or feels. Bring back the perspective of hitting a high bank and seeing the wall and clouds to the right, and the yellow line and grass to the left. Please! :mrgreen:

I'm with you on this one. Don't care for the gyro cam.

Re: Roof Cameras Removed For Phoenix Race

Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:26 am

In small doses the gyro cam is a great view. I like it early in the race so that I can get a better feeling for what the race track is like, how steep the banking is, what the entrance to pit road looks like, etc. I definitely wouldn't want to watch the entire race like that though.
Post a reply