KVSH Racing tests special LED wheel lights

For a brief time in Friday's opening practice at Barber Motorsports Park, the Chevrolet logo brilliantly glowed inside the wheel well of Sebastien Bourdais' No. 11 Team Europa – KVSH Racing car. If developers of the light-emitting diode (LED) displays have their way, all Verizon IndyCar Series cars will have that capability and more in the future.

Speed of Light Media used the practice as a test of the LED system in real-time conditions and to see how well the display would show on NBCSN's live telecast of practice. They were pleased with the results and said they've only scraped the surface of possible uses.

"We can run multiple images," said Guy Margetson, a director of the British company, "and soon, very soon, we can 'talk' to the car if the series wants us to during the race. We could put P1 (running position in a session), push-to-pass, anything the series wants."

Margetson and company co-director Patrick Wallace said they've logged more than 100 hours testing the system on the race car. They've worked with tire supplier Firestone to make sure the displays do not add improper balance to the tire-wheel combination.

The long-term goal is to supply every car in the paddock so teams can run individual sponsorship messages and INDYCAR can display competition information messages.

"We've had tremendous support from KVSH Racing and INDYCAR as well," Wallace said. "We're hoping to have a discussion with INDYCAR and, with a little bit of luck, we can launch it. It's an added advertising space and means more revenue for the series and the teams."

Margetson jokingly pointed out another advantage, since Bourdais was fastest in the practice session when the displays were on the car.

"It doesn't seem to slow the car down and, arguably," he said, "it might make it quicker."

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