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The announcement of the formation of Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) took place at the most iconic circuit in Australia, Bathurst, on the eve of the 2017 Bathurst 1000 race. The team and the three organisations that form it span the globe, with Walkinshaw Racing based in Australia, Andretti Autosport in America and United Autosports in Europe. Recently WAU had a requirement for an Official Technology Partner and for that they chose Australian comms specialists, D2N – Technology Solutions.
D2N – Technology Solutions MD Jason Owen explained, “Last year the WAU team purchased all the equipment they needed to build their own intercom package, including some Riedel and Kenwood kits from us at D2N. However, due to circumstances beyond their control, WAU were suddenly without a comms expert who was able to build and maintain the system. So, they asked D2N to become their Official Technology Partner and as such, build the system for them. They also asked us to provide one of our unique Listen Everywhere solutions so their guests could listen to the drivers’ audio via a WAU branded app in their garage. In addition, we now also provide on track support for the team and their systems across the season.”
From a kit and equipment perspective D2N now supplies WAU with Riedel, Kenwood, RFI, Listen Everywhere, custom painted MRTC headsets, user training and support.
Technical Director at WAU Carl Faux said, “As part of being our Official Technology Partner D2N have supplied us with an integrated team radio, wireless intercom and a fan engagement solution from which the team can leverage our existing strengths in the Supercars Championship.”
As far as WAU are concerned having D2N as their Official Technology Partner has enabled them to witness firsthand how the comms specialists are able to build systems from the ground up, support them on track and help grow customer engagement via their Listen Everywhere solution.
Faux added, “D2N have been a supplier to the team for some time. We have also seen other teams in the Supercars paddock using their technology and their products and solutions are clearly an excellent way to help improve our team and our performance on track as well as enhance fan and partnership experiences in the garage on race weekends.”
According to Faux, when looking for an Official Technology Partner, WAU were looking for good quality comms that are reliable over any distance, the ability to have fast interaction and set-up to full implementation to be quick and easy.
He continued, “As a data driven sport, communication between drivers and engineers throughout the race is extremely important. In addition, communication within the garage between team members all goes into the team result of the race. Our D2N partnership and comms solution means communication is reliable when on track which is very important, we get great service at the track and the speed and set-up to full implementation is particularly efficient.”
Over race weekends, the WAU team uses D2N to communicate between drivers, engineers, the team manager and mechanics, during practice, qualifying sessions and races to provide information such as race strategy and data. D2N’s Listen Everywhere is used by fans and partners to enhance their on-track experience by getting an insight into team communication on track.
In terms of a typical workflow, primary communication is between the engineer and driver to help direct set-up change, strategy calls and race management. Then, pitstop communication is between the driver and car controller who also communicates with all members of the pitstop crew, to ensure that the pitstop is conducted as safely and efficiently as possible.
Carl Faux concluded, “Listen Everywhere is a game changer in the commercial world for us as it enables our team partners and members to bring their own smart phones or tablets to link into the drivers’ communication, race control and commentary. This helps our fans and partners feel a part of the team as they are provided with unique insight into our team. Having D2N as our Official Technology Partner means we have the best one-stop-comms-shop who support the Australian Supercars Championship and their experience in the industry is second to none. The D2N team are great to deal with and their knowledge and experience always gives us quick and easy solutions. Finally, both WAU and D2N value long term relationships and this is just the beginning of a very exciting partnership.”
All images taken by Daniel Kalisz
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