Race Videos

I've been capturing in-car video for years, probably starting after about my third track event at Thunderhill Raceway. I started out with a Sony (DCR-TRV80) Handicam and a big honking Hama windshield camera mount, later experimented with external mics, and picture-in-picture using bullet cams, and so on. Oh, and I just had to have a Sony HDR-HC9 high-def camera, so that got added to the tool box. And of course now I needed a harness bar to mount the camera on. It was getting to be a pretty nice little setup, considering my budget.

Then, for some reason, Brian Doty let me put my gear in his Lemons racer and in 2009 I made my first LeMons race video. As a result my editing skills got a lot better and, hey, maybe I could make money doing this.

My favorite video from that weekend was the awards ceremony. It combines in-car and paddock video and stills with audio of Jay's presentation of the awards.

For the next Lemons race I had purchased a solid-state dual camera DVR capable of recording nonstop for over 6 hours, at DVD quality. To this I added an in-car UPS and power supply I built myself. This would keep the cameras running when the car was turned off. The race came and went and everything worked flawlessly, but holy crap, now I had 64 GB of video to edit. A week later, it was done, complete with titles, an intro sequence, and a track map that I grabbed off the Internet, stuck in the video, and added a little red ball that I'd move around the map, using video itself to work out where on the track the car was. Below is the track map video from that race.

Well, once I started racing the Tinyvette all possibilities of being a video producer for other teams ended. Alan, my partner in the Team Tinyvette venture, purchased a DVR similar to mine, giving us four cameras and four mics to work with, and by weekend's end, 128 GB of video to edit. Fortunately that was still only 15 or so hours of action, from four different viewpoints. Adobe Premiere's 4-camera editing tool made this much easier than I could have hoped. Still, it takes about a week to get through all of the video, create new and interesting intro sequences, and add other graphics.

Here's a sample of a recent video. It is from the Sears Pointless 2014 race and our new hot shoe Ben Dawson is driving.

As a favor to someone I'd never met and who didn't know I even existed, I digitized VHS tapes of one of his races from back in 2004. It was an interesting race, at Nelson Ledges in autumn, and he was driving an Opel Manta, and since I'm kind of an Opel guy I sort of had to do this. After I had the video digitized and all cleaned up I added lap times, lap counts, a track map and other niceties. It turned out well, I think, and word got back to the driver/owner that I had done this, he called, we talked, and I sent him a DVD. It was really appreciated, and for me it was fun. Hey, I wonder if I could make some money doing this.