The Verizon IndyCar Series, the premier level of open wheel racing in North America, has partnered with Mandt VR to bring virtual and augmented reality to the championship during the 2018 season.
The Los Angeles-based company will provide behind-the-scenes footage from the pit lane and garage, capture in-car footage and record audio between drivers and their crews. On-track footage will only be available during practice and test sessions, given that the weight of the cameras would be a competitive disadvantage during races.
The content will initially be divided into five videos, which will enable fans to sit in the driver’s seat, view the action from the stands and get a closer insight into the mechanics behind the sport. The footage will be available for free on IndyCar.com and the series’ official Facebook and YouTube accounts. Fans who have VR goggles will get the full experience, but the content will also be available from a 360-degree camera perspective.
“IndyCar will continue its momentum by engaging present fans while seeking new and younger audiences,” said CJ O'Donnell, chief marketing officer of IndyCar. “Social media, video content, and now virtual reality will be central to this strategy. By partnering with Mandt VR, we will deliver highly immersive experiences for fans of all ages. I am certain this will bring them closer to the speed and excitement our sport delivers.”
Neil Mandt, co-founder and chief executive of Mandt VR, added: “As a car enthusiast, I'm particularly thrilled to be partnering with IndyCar to produce virtual reality experiences tied to such a beloved sport.
“With such a huge following and robust history, IndyCar has not only enriched the discipline of racing but has also become an American icon. By providing a new medium for consuming IndyCar content, we hope to encourage future generations to carry on the tradition of racing culture.”