Live track day TV ..


When the race circuit action starts, the BS stops - and as one of the leading race track experience companies demonstrates, the camera never fibs or exaggerates…

Blink Racing, well established in motorsport but setting a completely different standard in track day event experiences, has launched two adrenaline-packed track driving days.

And to make sure nobody runs out of Murray Walker-style superlatives while they're describing their Lotus on-track experience, Blink has installed the very latest in-car video recording and live transmission kit meaning that not only is the action recorded onto DVD, it is also transmitted live back to the pit garage for everybody to see.

The equipment, which was originally created for on-board fitment to cars at Mercedes-Benz World, the automotive theme park in Surrey, has been developed and installed in Blink's cars by Rapid Media Systems.

"Just as well their experience is recorded, because after a few sessions in the Lotus they're usually speechless anyway," said Graham Horgan of Rapid Media Systems.

"The equipment is compact and utterly reliable - neither Mercedes-Benz nor Blink Racing would tolerate anything else - and it does two jobs.

"Firstly, it records a multi-angle DVD of each driver's experience, but it also beams live coverage of the on-board and on-circuit action back to a plasma screen TV in the pit garage so that everybody can see precisely how heroic and skilful everybody else is being …

"Guests or participants are given a Flash memory card as they arrive and sign in. As they enter the car, the Flash card is slotted into a playing-card box sized digital recorder."At the end of their day or experience, the card is slotted into a PC, the guest recognised, on-track and other content merged into a finished, edited, product, and then presented to the guest on a souvenir DVD - complete with their name and other information - all in around four minutes.

"The secret is in the software which allows each guest or an administrator to decide what they want on their DVD in advance.Templates are setup ahead of time to make the production process totally automatic," said Graham.

"Stock video clips, advertising, intros, datasheets, documents and any computer-based material can be automatically combined with the video footage captured during the day and the result is a fully-authored DVD which looks as though it's taken hours to produce but is actually delivered to the guest in a few minutes, including printing the DVD face in full colour."

Blink Racing owns Lotus race cars based on the Lotus Elise S1 and Lotus Exige. They're hand-built by race championship winning Blink to full race specification - accelerating 0 - 100mph in 8 seconds, and braking 100mph - rest in four seconds. There are six famous circuits to choose from including Brands Hatch and Silverstone.There are two experiences available; "High Speed Cornering and Slalom"and "Ultimate Track Day". Drivers get to develop their skills and speed throughout the day with the help of instruction from an experienced team of instructors and technicians. Prices are from £395 per person.

Rapid Media Systems is based in Dunsfold, Surrey. Its systems have been developed by racing driver and management consultant Graham Horgan, and John Chambers. John's professional experience encompasses IT networking, video production and motor racing.