Indianapolis racing team helps put design on U.S. luge sleds
Indianapolis 500 technology is helping the United States go fast in Sochi.
Everyone loves to go sledding, but luge is the ultimate in going fast. It is one of the most extreme Olympic sports, with speeds reaching 90 miles an hour.
Team USA is chasing gold in Sochi with help from the Panther Racing team on Indianapolis' southwest side. The company is applying the same graphics wraps used on IndyCars to the sleds for the U.S. lugers.
"Over the last couple months, they sent us all their runners. Little by little, we worked through all of the different pairs they sent us and wrapped them," said Nick Bauman with Panther Racing Graphics. "It's been really well-tested at the track, never had a failure. (We) feel confident in extreme conditions it will hold up again. It's cool for us to see that."
The high-tech material is very tricky to install, but the Hoosier craftsmanship makes the difference.
"To get a chance to show under extreme conditions our workmanship can hold up is pretty cool and, obviously, there is a little bit of swagger to be involved with the Olympics and the U.S. team," Bauman said.
Every tenth of a second matters in luge and Panther Racing's magical touch could mean the difference between a gold medal and a bronze.
"It's cool to know something we have had here in our hands, we have been working with, spent so much time on, to see it run for a gold medal is something not a lot of people can say. It's neat for us," said Bauman.