A host of integrated LED panels strategically positioned around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course will welcome NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers to this weekend’s GMR Grand Prix.
The installation of the EM Motorsport Marshalling System is the latest step in enhancing driver safety through more efficient communication. The computerized system activated with a push of a button by corner workers complements the longstanding practice of waving cloth flags to alert drivers to changing track conditions. The flags will continue to be utilized in case multiple flag codes are necessary at the same corner.
The colorful LED panels are 20x20 inches and will correspond to familiar flag codes, allowing drivers to instantly know, for example, if the incident area is for a local yellow or for the entire course. Surface conditions also can be communicated on the panels, and some corners will have multiple panels for the best possible visibility.
Not only will the information be delivered to the drivers in a more complete manner, the EM Motorsport system will provide race control a better look at the incident, with real-time data illustrated via a detailed track map. Landline communication with the corner workers will continue to provide race control a complete perspective of the happenings.
INDYCAR will be the first North American-based sanctioning body to utilize the EM Motorsport system. That it makes its INDYCAR debut at IMS continues the tradition of the historic facility being a center of automotive ingenuity and safety advances.
“This is an efficient way to give drivers the information they need to race as safely as possible, and it gives us in race control automatic visualization that we’ve never had before,” INDYCAR Race Director Kyle Novak said. “This is a substantial investment in race control technology, and this system represents INDYCAR’s continuing commitment to driver safety enhancements.”
Founded in 2003, U.K.-based EM Motorsport also provides INDYCAR with the accident data recorder technology and the earpiece accelerometers used by the drivers.
“EM Motorsport has been a tremendous partner, and we could not be more enthused to be the first North American series to use its integrated course marshalling system,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “Visually, the industry-leading EM technology will be a huge asset to our teams and drivers, and it will also allow us to officiate our events in a more efficient way.”
With every panel having a GPS fixed position, race control also can monitor each car as it passes through the highlighted sector. The system will allow for several standard communication functions to be automated as well.
INDYCAR had a soft launch of the EM system during the recent Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires event at Barber Motorsports Park. This will be the first time it will be used by the INDYCAR SERIES, which expects to use it at all road courses and street circuits.