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NBC SPORTS - INDY 500 VIRTUAL INDYCAR

NBC SPORTS    |    PEACOCK

What is a Weight Jacker, and how does it affect the performance of the cars racing in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing? I had the exciting opportunity to produce a tech segment for the NBC Sports and Peacock Indy 500 pre-show, taking viewers inside an IndyCar to explain some of the features of these incredible machines. Working with producer William "Mac" Swenson and with help from former drivers James Hinchcliffe and Townsend Bell, I visualised the entire car while focusing on the weight jacker and rear anti-roll bar, how they affect the car's handling, and how drivers use these "tools" to fine-tune their cars at 230 mph.

 

With just two weeks from the green light to delivery, it was a frantic period of 16-hour days to pull everything together. For the project, I repurposed CAD models from several previous projects, using Dallara and other OEMs' original CAD as a base. I assembled all the assets in Blender, rigged the pushrod suspension and weight jacker, and rendered everything in EEVEE for speed. James and Townsend then expertly explained the visuals as part of NBC's commentary team on race day.

 

The piece featured during the rain delay and was sponsored by the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop 4: Axel F movie, which was cool since Beverly Hills Cop was one of my favourite cop movies back in the day! Unfortunately, due to a late-race time crunch, there wasn't time to show the Anti-Roll Bar analysis because there was no late-race caution. Hopefully, it will appear in a future broadcast, especially as rigging was quite challenging!

 

It is always a privilege to contribute to the iconic Indy 500 event, even in a small way. I'd like to give a huge thanks to the NBC team, Mac James and Townsend, Dallara for their support, and the guys at Andretti (who supplied the weight jacker model).

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