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.”

Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

In a final session Thursday night, Matt Campbell was fastest (1:35.802) in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 but still was off the times set by Westbrook and Taylor.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Click here for Session III (by class)

Combined speeds