It takes a village to attract and grow the masses, which is what INDYCAR's racetrack fan initiatives are addressing for 2011.
An interactive INDYCAR Fan Village and garage area stage, plus additional large infield video screens will entertain and inform spectators at IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights race weekends. Combined with fans as young as 9 years old having the opportunity to go behind the scenes, the re-launch of INDYCAR Nation and the complimentary ticket program to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships, the sport will instantly jump on the fan- and family-friendly meter.
The INDYCAR Fan Village -- in cooperation with series partners IZOD, Verizon, National Guard, Mattel Hot Wheels and Honda - will showcase the latest communications products from Verizon, a social media network lounge, opportunities to test skills on iRacing.com simulators, Q&A and autograph sessions with the current stars and Indy car racing legends, photo opportunities with a "green screen" background, and redemption of IZOD INDYCAR World Championship tickets.
A stage in the garage area will allow fans to chat with IZOD IndyCar Series and Holmatro Safety team officials, along with drivers and team principals to address race preparations. Youngsters will benefit from both initiatives. INDYCAR is working with each of its racetrack partners to allow minors to hold garage passes during event weekends for the opportunity to see the stars and preparation of cars up close.
"Our current fan base became fans of our sport by attending races with their parents, and we want to keep that tradition alive with the next generation," INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said. "One of the greatest assets we have in enhancing the fan experience at the racetrack is access to our garage. We want our fans to get close to the action and excitement that defines the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"We are trying to make our events more family-friendly and allowing minor access to the garage is a great way to accomplish this."
From their seats, spectators will receive racing information such as leaderboard changes, pit times and lap times via 12-foot-tall video panels suspended 37 feet off the ground and supplemented by an increased number of portable video screens. Also, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers will be introduced before the race individually by country.
At the IZOD IndyCar Fan Village and at home, fans will have the opportunity to further enhance their experience by joining INDYCAR Nation.