Ever wondered what is involved in the television coverage of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship, highlights of which will be presented by Ford on Supersport this year?
Each year Network Ten co-ordinate thirteen Australian V8 Supercar Championship telecasts with each telecast from a remote location, in a different state and different city, which makes planning an essential part of the production process.
The planning required for each event tests the skills and patience of the television production and technical crews. They need to face the tropical heat of Darwin to the icy winds blowing in off Bass Straight at Phillip Island, or the rugged terrain and varying weather conditions of the Bathurst 1000, which is always a tough test of crews and equipment.
When the senior production team from Network Ten arrive at the circuit they determine the locations where they believe the action will mostly occur. Cameras are placed in these locations capturing different angles of the track to feed into the telecast so the fans don't miss a minute of the on track action.
There are a staggering amount of cameras required to make the magic happen. Ranging from cherry picker cameras, 65 meters up and over the track, to remote control cameras under bridges and on concrete barriers where it is too dangerous to put a cameraman. Coverage for a telecast can require from 12 to 30 cameras, depending upon the circuit.
For each telecast eight V8 Supercars each carry between three and five in car cameras, all providing different perspectives on the racing.
A central control room, housing over 40 video recorders is transported to each round. At events such as Bathurst 1000 and Indy, approximately 12 people are needed to watch and edit the recording and to have the replays instantly ready to go.
Radio scanners are used by reporters, producers, statisticians and commentators to listen in on the teams planning. Other data is extracted from the cars to give Network Ten the telemetry information to show the team’s performance levels graphically on the telecast. Timing data is also collected to help give the commentators an understanding of the pit stop opportunities each team has coming up.
For large events such as the Bathurst 1000, the Clipsal 500 and Indy, the crews start running cables and installing equipment around ten days prior to the first telecast date. Tens of kilometres of cables are run out over bridges, through drains, along fences and suspended between power poles to carry all of the signals.
Through rain, hail, storms, heat and dust the Network Ten crews carry on to bring viewers all the action and excitement of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship.
South African viewers now have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacle of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship…presented by Ford, exclusively in High Octane Motorsport on Supersport on the following dates:
13 April, Adelaide – Part 2
27 April, Eastern Creek
18 May, Pukekohe, New Zealand
01 June, Hidden Valley
06 July, Barbagallo
27 July, Queensland
10 August, Winton
07 September, Oran Park
28 September, Sandown
26 October, Bathurst 1000 – Part 1
09 November, Bathurst 1000 – Part 2
23 November, Surfers Paradise
07 December, Shanghai, China
21 December, Eastern Creek
Numerous repeat broadcasts follow the date of the first broadcast of each highlights programme so viewers have ample opportunity to witness one of the greatest spectacles in motorsport.