In what has become a favorite late summer tradition, the IMSA Tudor United race cars once again storm Virginia International Raceway to punch holes through hot summer air, thick with humidity and racing fuel. The Oak Tree Grand Prix is perennially an all GT affair, featuring the shapely lines of Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Corvette, Viper, Audi, and Lamborghini in hours of head to head racing action. Endless rows of BMW, Porsche, and Corvette car corrals form a gleaming backdrop to the rolling hills and manicured landscape of VIR’s 3.27 mile Full Course.
To capture the action in a truly different light, Ivy Tools packed up a FLIR T640 infrared camera and headed to VIR to catch all the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona action. Since the thermal camera only sees the light we usually refer to as heat, it makes startling revelations about everything from brake compounds, to unseen structural reinforcements, to engine cooling strategies. You can spot the drivers who emerge from 140 degree cars looking more refreshed than their crew thanks to cooling suit systems. The FLIR T640 camera is sensitive to temperature differences of just 3/100 of a degree Celsius, so even the friction of the tires against the asphalt leaves bright streaks through the image and bits of rubber smoldering trackside.
Many thanks to our coffee loving friends over at Butler Films for editing the hours of footage we captured.