Cable cam added to Supercars’ SMP telecasts

The cable cam which runs across Brabham Straight

A cable-mounted camera will fly across Sydney Motorsport Park’s main straight as part of the telecast of this weekend’s Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight.

While such cameras are a regular feature of Supercars telecasts at Mount Panorama, and have appeared also at the likes of Adelaide and Sandown in previous years, the presence at Eastern Creek is a first.

The cable has been strung diagonally across Brabham Straight, from the western end of pit lane, nearest to Moffat Corner (Turn 1), to the eastern end of the grandstand, meaning it will provide new perspectives on the action.

“It does about 75km/h, so it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to keep up with a Supercar at 260km/h approaching Turn 1, but it’ll still give a really good effects shot,” Nathan Prendergast, Supercars’ general manager of television and content, told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s got a fantastic vantage point of the main straight and the start, so we see it being used a lot for that.

“Obviously, it’s more than fast enough to keep up with the cars in pit lane and we can do a combination of things; park it for some great perspective as they go off through Turn 1, approach shots, it can pan as the cars come inside the camera at the bottom end of its run, and because it goes diagonal across the track, we can get it going left to right as well.

“It’s going to evolve over the four weeks, and that’s the beauty of it; we can start to really get used to how it’s going to work and get some fantastic shots out of it.”

The endeavour has been made all the more feasible by Sydney Motorsport Park’s permanent light towers, installation of which was completed late last year.

Nathan Prendergast tests a shot of Pirtek Victory Lane, with the camera at the far end of the wire

“It’s a different system to the ones that we use at Bathurst; it’s a slightly slower system, but it’s perfect for this venue,” explained Prendergast.

“We’re really lucky to have the pole infrastructure here that’s suitable to hold it.

“One of the big costs of putting this system in is the rigging and the infrastructure to hold it up.

“Utilising the grandstand and being able to use the poles means we can put it in cost-effectively, and of course that’s offset by the benefit of being here for a month.”

The cable-mounted shots will be joined by a new drone camera that will track the final portion of the lap.

Both will be parts of a spectacle which is going to include lights shows and pyrotechnics for the four night races which will unfold over the next four weekends, reaching a climax on the final Saturday night.

“Because three of the four events have a night racing component, we’ve got some fire jets, some pyro, so it’ll all build to the big crescendo,” said Prendergast.

“Our last night race will have the most amount of fireworks and fire, but there’s going to be some sort of pyro and fire at every single night race.”

Practice 1 at Event 8 of the season starts this afternoon at 15:50 local time/AEDT, with Practice 2 kicking off after sunset at 19:30.

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