IndyCar releases revised schedule as NTT strives to enhance Indy 500
US motor racing’s IndyCar Series will begin its delayed 2020 season with a race at the Texas Motor Speedway in June but has cancelled events in Richmond, USA and Toronto, Canada in issuing a revised calendar.
The Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, the established season-opener, will be a night race on 6 June.
Due to local restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indy Richmond 300 on 27 June and the Honda Indy Toronto on 12 July have been cancelled for this year.
Additionally, the race at Road America has been switched from a single race on 21 June to a double-header on 11 and 12 July with fans set to be allowed to attend.
As expected, IndyCar’s showpiece Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for 23 August having been pushed back from its traditional date in May.
This is the first season under the tenure of Robert Penske since the billionaire US motor racing entrepreneur acquired the series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Hulman and Company in a surprise deal last November.
NTT, the Japanese IT company and title sponsor of the IndyCar Series, is seeking to improve the fan experience at this year’s Indy 500 event with enhanced technology.
The company said it will utilise its ‘accelerate smart data’ platform to power a 100-foot wide ‘media wall’ at Indianapolis Motor Speedway which will provide fans with access to data-driven race insights in real-time.
The media wall will “capture fans’ attention with 3D experiences, visualisation of 143 data points from every car and multiple live feeds throughout the track.”
NTT’s accelerate smart platform will also use machine learning to indicate where cars should be on the track and predict their next move, while artificial intelligence will be used to identify the best on-track battles and highlight head-to-head matchups in real-time with pit predictions and top speeds.
The solution also includes “safety and security measures that will offer more effective event security operations and oversight.”
In addition, NTT has also enhanced the IndyCar mobile app to provide fans a second screen to view live in-car camera video during races, track weather forecasts, create and follow fantasy teams, and watch on-demand highlights.
Since taking control, Penske and the IMS leadership team have focused on investing in digital and technology to provide better connectivity for fans to access increased data and information in real-time.
NTT has been the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series since 2019 and also serves as the official technology partner of IndyCar.
Akira Shimada, senior executive vice-president of NTT said: “The future of sport means providing fans with digital-first content, better access to technology and leveraging venues, such as IMS, to engage fans through new channels. Our accelerate smart data platform allows us to digitally transform IndyCar’S fan engagement to retain its standing as a leader in motorsports, while also creating a safer race day experience.”