Couch guide to race

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE - Mark Hinch­liffe

MO­TOR racing wouldn’t be the great couch spec­ta­cle it is to­day without the in­ven­tion of the in-car cam­era.

Aus­tralia’s Chan­nel 7 de­buted the now-ubiq­ui­tous ‘‘Race­cam’’ in 1979 in the 20th an­nual Bathurst 1000.

Around the na­tion, view­ers for the first time ex­pe­ri­enced the stom­ach­drop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence of go­ing into the Dip­per, the eye-pop­ping leap over Sky­line and the but­tock-clench­ing ap­proach to Hell Cor­ner as they sat along­side Peter Wil­liamson in his Toy­ota Cel­ica.

The tech­nol­ogy, which in­cluded he­li­copter links, proved so pop­u­lar Seven sold it to the world and now you can’t turn on any motorsport pro­gram without feel­ing as though you are along for the ride.

To­day Chan­nel 7 con­tin­ues with its award-winning cov­er­age that will put mil­lions of couch pota­toes in the driver’s seat with Craig Lown­des and the rest of the Bathurst rac­ers.

But in­stead of a mas­sive fixed cam­era in the passenger seat, Seven has mov­ing cam­eras all over, un­der and through­out 10 cars in the field.

The tele­vi­sion crew will num­ber 315 this year with 117 cam­eras: 49 in 10 V8 Su­per­cars; 31 in cars in other races; Fly­cam cov­er­ing the pits; 31 track cam­eras; four pit cam­eras; and one he­li­copter cam­era.

One of the new cam­era spots this year will be in the right-hand side of the rear wing of the Kelly broth­ers’ Jack Daniels Racing Com­modore, pro­vid­ing thrilling cov­er­age as the car comes within mil­lime­tres of con­crete walls at Reid Park, McPhillamy Park and the Dip­per.

It is one of six cam­eras aboard the No. 7 Com­modore. The oth­ers are: • A ro­tat­ing cam­era on the passenger’s side fac­ing for­ward; • In the passenger footwell looking up at the driver; • In the rear looking over the driver’s left shoul­der; • In the left tail­light looking back­wards; and • Un­der­neath the car looking back- wards at the dif­fer­en­tial and rear sus­pen­sion link­ages.

Driver Rick Kelly has been in­volved in bring­ing new views to the tele­vi­sion au­di­ence, in­clud­ing a hel­met cam which gave view­ers a driver’s eye view of this year’s Sandown event.

‘‘It’s fun to think of an idea and then work at mak­ing that idea be­come a re­al­ity,’’ he says. ‘‘The on-board cam­eras are a great way to get the view­ers even closer to the action.’’

V8 Su­per­cars Tele­vi­sion se­nior pro­ducer Si­mon Ford­ham says work­ing with a driver who owns the car cuts most of the ‘‘po­lit­i­cal red tape’’.

‘‘Rick has been very ac­com­mo­dat­ing with ev­ery idea we have sug­gested and has also had some great ones him­self,’’ he says. ‘‘Rick has a real un­der­stand­ing of the en­ter­tain­ment fac­tor th­ese shots pro­vide the view­ers.

‘‘I worked with Rick for close to 12 months in get­ting the hel­met cam­era ap­proved that we saw at Sandown this year and the re­sults speak for them­selves – it’s a great shot.

‘‘We feel the wing cam­era will pro­vide an­other fan­tas­tic in­sight into how th­ese cars be­have and bring the viewer closer to the action at our big­gest event of the year.’’

The Bathurst 1000 is be­ing broad­cast in 130 coun­tries in­clud­ing New Zealand, In­dia, Pak­istan, through­out South-East Asia, the US, and across Europe and North Africa.

RACE­CAM: Rick Kelly and, next to his hand, the cam­era on the rear wing of his Su­per­car.

CHOP­PER ACTION: Seven’s he­li­copter re­lays the in-car cam­era vi­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.