FLIR thermal cameras are everywhere in motorsports these days. Infrared resolution has been increasing, camera cost is lower than ever, and decreasing size is opening up many possible applications. Whether Formula 1, Le Mans or NASCAR, you can’t watch a race today without seeing a few thermal clips here and there. TV images are usually limited to analyzing tire contact in infrared, but teams are using thermal imaging technology to monitor everything from exhaust systems to suspensions to cooling systems. FLIR cameras are measuring temperatures of crucial components and helping visualize thermal patterns indicative of wear or failure. FLIR even recently announced an agreement with Infiniti Red Bull Racing to gather temperature data from its 2014 RB10 race car. I don’t suppose the rest of us will be seeing that data anytime soon….
Below are some images taken with a FLIR E60 Thermal Camera at the 2013 Virginia International Raceway (VIR) Gold Cup, and the 2014 Jefferson 500 race at Summit Point Motorsports Park.