Cosworth announces new “Cosworth Live on Air” program for IndyCar

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Cosworth continues to enhance its Verizon IndyCar Series presence, beyond its existing electronics and data presence, as it works to have a greater role in the series over the next couple years.

It’s looking to partner with an OEM to come back into the sport to power the cars, as was documented by MotorSportsTalk in February. It’s been in the news this week, as Chevrolet said it would welcome Cosworth power back.

Now, this week, Cosworth has confirmed a new “Cosworth Live on Air” program. Here’s the release from the company:

Cosworth, the world-renowned performance engineering and manufacturing group, has announced the launch of its Cosworth Live On Air system, which integrates with the Verizon INDYCAR14 app. This collaboration has the potential to revolutionize the racing experience for millions of race fans by providing immersive real-time data.

The launch of Cosworth Live on Air, at the third round of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series in Birmingham, Alabama, reaffirms and builds on Cosworth’s presence in the championship which dates back more than twenty years.

Cosworth technology already plays a crucial role in the Verizon IndyCar Series as the company provides electronics to series organizers as part of a scrutineering system. Cosworth electronics are fitted on all cars to enable the league to monitor data and ensure compliance to the regulations. The new Live on Air solution will use that existing infrastructure to take the racing experience to a whole new level for fans, teams and partners alike.

Each car is fitted with high bandwidth radio (WiMAX) and data capture electronics to deliver data from any channel on the car. Data is streamed continuously back to the pit complex, where it is used for the league’s timing and scoring that is also fed to teams and into the Verizon INDYCAR14 app.

The Verizon INDYCAR14 app, developed by Verizon and INDYCAR, uses data captured live during on-track action will be used to generate new, engaging and never-seen-before content for fans. Cosworth Live on Air supplies data to the Verizon INDYCAR14 app that enables promoters to fully immerse spectators, whether at the track or at home, into the thick of the racing action, delivering a motorsport experience like never before.

From Hal Reisgier, CEO, Cosworth Group Holdings: “We are excited to be providing Cosworth Live on Air to the Verizon IndyCar Series. We believe that this new technology has the potential to truly change how fans can interact and engage with motorsport. As social media and multi-screening becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives, Cosworth Live on Air feeds into the technology that Verizon has been building to immerse fans fully into the race weekend experience.”

Coyne transitioning from underdog to Indy 500 threat

Photo: IndyCar
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For most of the team’s existence, Dale Coyne Racing has been the Chicago Cubs of American Open Wheel Racing – a team whose history was more defined by failures, at times comically so, than success.

The last decade, however, has seen the tide completely change. In 2007, they scored three podium finishes with Bruno Junqueira. In 2009, they won at Watkins Glen with the late Justin Wilson.

The combination won again at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and finished sixth in the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. That same year, Mike Conway took a shock win for them in Race 1 at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.

Carlos Huertas scored an upset win for them in Race 1 at the Houston double-header in 2014, and while 2015 and 2016 yielded no wins, Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly gave them several strong runs – Vautier’s best finish was fourth in Race 2 at Detroit, while Daly finished second in Race 1 at Detroit, finished fourth at Watkins Glen, and scored a trio of sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Race 2 at Detroit, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

And 2017 was set to possibly be the best year the team has ever had. Sebastien Bourdais gave the team a popular win in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and then rookie Ed Jones scored back-to-back top tens – 10th and sixth – at St. Pete and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to start his career.

But, things started unraveling at the Indianapolis 500. Bourdais appeared set to be in the Fast Nine Pole Shootout during his first qualifying run – both of his first two laps were above 231 mph –  before his horrifying crash in Turn 2.

While Jones qualified an impressive 11th and finished an even more impressive third, results for the rest of the season became hard to come by – Jones only scored two more Top 10s, with a best result of seventh at Road America.

But, retooled for 2018, the Coyne team is a legitimate threat at the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Bourdais, whose No. 18 Honda features new sponsorship from SealMaster and now ownership partners in Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, has a win already, again at St. Pete, and sits third in the championship.

And Bourdais may also be Honda’s best hope, given that he was the fastest Honda in qualifying – he’ll start fifth behind Ed Carpenter, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Josef Newgarden.

“I think it speaks volumes about their work, their passion and their dedication to this program, Dale (Coyne), Jimmy (Vasser) and Sulli (James Sullivan) and everybody from top to bottom. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity, for the support,” Bourdais said of the team’s effort.

Rookie Zachary Claman De Melo has been progressing nicely, and his Month of May has been very solid – he finished 12th at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS Road Course and qualified a strong 13th for the “500.”

“It’s been surreal to be here as rookie. I’m a bit at a loss for words,” Claman De Melo revealed after qualifying. “The fans, driving around this place, being with the team, everything is amazing. I have a great engineer, a great group of experienced mechanics at Dale Coyne Racing.”

While Conor Daly and Pippa Mann struggled in one-off entries, with Mann getting bumped out of the field in Saturday qualifying, Daly’s entry essentially puts three Coyne cars in the race – Daly’s No. 17 United States Air Force Honda is a Dale Coyne car that has been leased to Thom Burns Racing.

Rest assured, the days of Coyne being an “also ran” are long gone, and a Coyne car ending up in Victory Lane at the biggest race of the year would complete the Chicago Cubs analogy – the Cubs won a World Series title in 2016, and an Indy 500 triumph would be the crowning achievement in Coyne’s career.

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