0221 Mediagroup’s on-board camera feed has quickly become one of the most popular elements of CREVENTIC”s race coverage. And for subscribing teams, there are benefits alongside spectacular POV…
As far as new lap records go, 2018 has been a banner year. In June, Timo Bernhard smashed Stefan Bellof’s 35-year old lap time around the Nürburgring in a specially-kitted Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo by almost a full minute. Barely 30 days later, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupé set a new production road car lap record around the same hallowed piece of tarmac, just eight months after the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 set a new benchmark for four-door saloon cars.
Casting our net further afield, Kimi Raikkonen clocked the fastest ever lap by a Formula 1 car during qualifying for September’s Italian Grand Prix. Romain Dumas obliterated Sebastian Loeb’s ‘unbreakable’ Pikes Peak Hill Climb record with the Volkswagen I.D. R in June. Even Peter Hickman fell just 0.011kph short of a 218kph speed lap time en-route to victory at this year’s Isle of Man TT, the fastest tour of the island to-date. Safe to say the performance envelope was stuffed to the brink of implosion in 2018.
Impressive though these herculean achievements unquestionably are, it’s the accompanying on-board footage that truly captures the imagination of fans and, yes, potential customers the world over. The slightly muffled scream of the Lamborghini’s V12 for instance is pure sonorous anger, and if you check out Bernhard’s full 5m 19.55s ‘Lap of the Gods’, the dedication is absolute, the proximity to the barriers is terrifying, and the speed is unhinged: you can actually hear the hybrid twin-turbo V4 rattle repeatedly off the rev limiter on the Döttinger Höhe start-finish straight.
No question, the manner in which on-board video captures the raw skill of its driver and the capabilities of a car at its limit are rarely equalled by exterior shots. It’s one reason why the on-board live feed has become such an integral pillar of the 24H SERIES race coverage.
“Our fans love the on-board videos,” explains CREVENTIC’s Peter Freij. “Our TV crews do a great job out on-track and our coverage just wouldn’t be the same without them. But when you’re in the car with a driver, especially at night, it adds another level of drama and really shows you how hard these guys are working for hours at a time. Plus it offers a great perspective of the fantastic circuits we visit throughout the year: I can’t wait to watch these guys go flat out through Eau Rouge!
“That’s why we really want to push this service to our teams. It’s fun, it’s engaging and we think there are hidden depths you just can’t get elsewhere.”
Said service is provided by 0221 Mediagroup based in Germany, and has been since 2017. High quality HD cameras, mounted in-car, transmit live images to receiving stations in each subscriber’s allocated pit box via high-frequency radio stations. Alongside the coverage being broadcast across the Motor Trend and radiolemans.com networks, the feed effectively allows teams to watch the entire 12 /24-hour race completely from their car’s perspective. So popular has this become, A6 frontrunners like Scuderia Praha, Car Collection Motorsport and Swiss Team are now regular subscribers: whenever the TV director cuts, in-car, to an A6 frontrunner, chances are its ‘their feed’ you’re watching.
Far from a mandated service though, the on-board feed is entirely at each competitor’s discretion, meaning it’s not just the teams that can take advantage…
“Quite often, it’s the drivers that request the on-board feed,” Peter continues. “This can be just for posterity but often it’s because they want to learn as much as they can about their lap times, and having a live feed sent straight to their race engineers is a big help. JM Litmann actually uses the service a lot, sometimes just for himself but other times he’ll split the costs with his teammates.”
Added bonus? All footage recorded during the race weekend then belongs to the subscriber. Check YouTube for the ‘JM Head Motorsport’ channel, and you check out some of JM Litmann’s on-board highlights from this season.
Of course, you might be wondering why teams and drivers alike should bother with an on-board feed when a bevy of go-pro cameras ‘can do the job just as well’. Bear in mind that the LIVE feed is just that, meaning there is no delays between what the on-board cameras pick-up and the signal being sent back to the pitbox, regardless of where the car is on-track. Not something a conventional go-pro can do. Nor is there the necessary faff required to buy, mount and maintain the equipment. It’s provided in its entirety by 0221 Mediagroup, installed as part of the all-inclusive €3,000 fee, and maintained throughout the weekend by a team of specialists on the ground.
Arguably the biggest benefit though is the additional exposure and coverage garnered from the on-board cameras. A full on-board POV lap of Spa-Francorchamps for instance, complete with full radiolemans.com play-by-play commentary, can gain a front-running GT3 car at least two minutes of uninterrupted international TV exposure. A TCE touring car meanwhile could get almost three, with nothing more than a well-placed decal, website URL, or twitter tagline on the dashboard.
“We feel this on-board service has hidden depths, because it’s a great opportunity for teams and drivers to give their partners and sponsors some much-appreciated air time across the live stream. We’re all over that! These are the businesses that keep our competitors coming back for more, so why wouldn’t we want to show our appreciation for that?”