Arie Luyendyk took to Twitter on Tuesday to congratulate the newest Indianapolis 500 champion, Tony Kanaan, and give his approval for IndyCar’s quest to break his speed records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Prior to this year’s 500, the IZOD IndyCar Series announced preliminary details of a return to innovation, which is set to occur in 2014.
“Tony Kanaan a deserving winner of Indy 500 and long overdue too. He broke my average race speed record and I’m totally ok with that!” Luyendyk wrote.
Luyendyk held the race speed average record from 1990 until Sunday, and continues to hold the one, four, and unofficial lap records on the legendary 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as he has since 1996 (his No. 5 car is pictured next to Ryan Hunter-Reay’s).
“Records are meant to be broken I can’t wait for them to break my qualifying records at Indy, good for our sport,” he wrote.
“I think breaking the qualifying record is achievable within a year but because of containing costs and development it could take longer,” he added.
Luyendyk’s record-setting runs are chronicled in this piece he did for the IMS website.
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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