Opportunity lost

Posted by Iannucci | 11/03/2008 | 3 comments »
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Today the IndyCar Race Control product died.

Dear 2008 IndyCar Race Control subscriber,

Thank you for your past support of IndyCar Race Control. Over the past year we have been able to deliver many exciting hours of top-level racing to our subscribers. We hope you enjoyed the content we were able to provide this season. Regrettably, we will not be able to provide access to the race archive as previously intended. Effective November 3, 2008, the site will no longer be accessible to view.

Partial refunds will be issued in November. Please ensure your account information, particularly the credit card information, is up-to-date, so we can refund your credit card appropriately.

Your humble host was pretty jazzed about this product when it was first announced in the Spring, as this was the first product to allow race fans to listen to the driver/crew interaction during an entire race. So I was all too happy to plunk down the cash and even feature a link on my site* for other fans who also wanted to partake in the "sounds of racing", which also included an on-board camera for noticing heavily flourished hand gestures.

Unfortunately, after a full season, it became all too noticeable that the product failed to fulfill in three critical areas.

1. As anyone who has recently attended an IndyCar race with a scanner and a frequency list can attest, listening to someone racing along at 220 mph trying to have an intelligent conversation with a spotter is unlike anything in sports. And by someone we mean the hyper-spastic communicator that is Marco Andretti.

Spotter: "Here he comes...outside...outside...clear!"


Spotter: "Uh, yeah, OK, so we're gonna pit this lap. Pit this lap."

Breathtaking, isn't it? Sadly, Marco was only listed as one of the four drivers covered in only a handful of races.

2. Even more unfortunate is the fact that Marco was not incredibly competitive in the races he was covered. Maybe the Race Control feature was a bit of a jinx, but every time I turned around it seemed Marco was out and we were back to watching and listening to Scott Dixon, who was usually leading out there by himself with not much to talk about other than fuel settings.

3. Most shocking of all is that for whatever reason, something happened to Marco that made him calm down to a sensible level. I don't mean he was sedate, but gone were the days of "WHATTHEFU...!!!!!!", replaced in 2008 with perfectly intelligible comments like "What the f*** is he doing?" and "I can't drive this f***ing thing!" Sadly, this sounds the same as every other driver.

So unless someone else steps up to the plate for 2009 a sad farewell is due to the Race Control feature and it's accompanying video archive. I for one will miss it greatly, almost as much as I will miss the youthful exuberance of Marco Andretti's early radio transmissions.

*And on a separate note, I'd like to thank the one reader out there who used that link to purchase the product. Thank you so much for your support of the sponsors here at My Name Is IRL. Because of you the kids and I went to town at Taco Bell earlier this year - in your anonymous honor.


  1. Anonymous // November 04, 2008 6:58 AM  

    Is it going to be replaced with another live video service?

  2. Unknown // November 06, 2008 5:45 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. pressdog // November 06, 2008 5:47 PM  

    Trying again --- never worked reliably for me. I think one street/road race we made it the whole way, but others it would vapor lock early on. Waste of money, unfortunately.