Bourdais Tests LED Wheel Display

Sebastien Bourdais with experimental LED Tire Lights on course during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway — Photo Credit: John Cote

IndyCar and Sebastien Bourdais tested out an LED wheel display system during Friday practice before the season finale in Sonoma. The No. 11 machine ran with lights on both the front and rear wheels.

According to IndyCar’s press release, the LED’s “have the potential of displaying logos or words for commercial partners, race or car information or other programmed details.” The system is under consideration by IndyCar for inclusion on the 2016 cars.

If approved, these lights could show race information similar to the LED panels that were introduced onto the cars earlier this year – the current panels just show race position and pit stop times. Some ideas are different colors for the current flag conditions (yellow while under yellow, green while the race is green, etc.), black or red colors depending on the current tire that’s on, or different colors for current championship position (driver in first has red tires, second has blue, etc.).

There are a ton of different options for what can be done with these lights if they come to fruition for next season. Like the current LED panels, I was skeptical of the visibility of the lights at first, but that’s why IndyCar tested them at Sonoma during the day. Speed of Light Media owner Guy Margetson said “we’re testing three colors in the brightest light of the afternoon sunshine to see how it is displayed.” From the initial images, it looks pretty good.

What do you think of these tire panels? What kind of information would you like to see displayed during a race? Let me know in the comments below.

Check out some more images of the experimental LED lights below.

Photo Credit: John Cote

Sebastien Bourdais apexes Turn 9A during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway — Photo Credit: John Cote

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