Speedway Hopes For 'Turbo' Boost

Posted: Updated:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are hoping the national release of an animated movie can help increase interest in open wheel racing and specifically the Indianapolis 500. "Turbo" races into theaters today. It is the first Hollywood feature to focus on the Indy 500 since Paul Newman's "Winning" in 1968. Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles tells our partners at WTHR-TV the movie can renew interest among parents and their children. The promotional element of "Turbo" extends beyond the theater. Plenty of related merchandise, including video games and a special website, is available now that the movie has been released.

IMS announced in December it would close a promotional office set up in Los Angeles, but that one of the tasks of the operation, a partnership with DreamWorks SKG Inc. to develop the movie, would continue to be a "top priority."

Well-known names in INDYCAR such as Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Mario Andretti had cameo appearances as voices in the motion picture.

Sources: WTHR, INDYCAR, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

July 16, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - IZOD IndyCar Series stars hit big screen in animated feature "Turbo": Four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti wasn't the inspiration for the character Guy Gagne in Dreamworks Animantion's feature film "Turbo," but director David Soren said 'he could be, there are similarities."

Franchitti was technical consultant on the 3D film about a common garden snail who dreams of competing in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race against his idol Gagne. When a freak accident and multiple circumstances collide, Theo finds himself at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Franchitti, Team Penske's Will Power and Indy car legend Mario Andretti have cameo voices in the movie. Andretti is the voice of a member of the Speedway Safety Patrol. Franchitti and Power are journalists.

"Basically, I went to a studio at DreamWorks with a microphone and a script and just acted out," Power said. "We went through a bunch of different scenarios. One was a bus driver, one was in a driver's meeting and one was a reporter. I'm thrilled; I made the cut."

Added Andretti: "I welcomed the opportunity obviously to be a part of it to some degree. Just to be part of it in a cameo I think is wonderful. Every time that I'm taken on the inside and shown everything that goes into a production is overwhelming. They were so kind. We went through all the different departments and spoke to so many people. They even had a Team Andretti there. With so many talented people I was wondering what my payroll was. We had fun.

"(DreamWorks Animation storyboard artists) made sure they are capturing the essence of what it's all about. They showed me bits and pieces of the film and when Turbo is doing his lap I knew exactly where he was on the racetrack. They capture all the idiosyncrasies, which is what it's all about. They studied it in and out to bring that certain reality to it and that's what these new animations are all about.

"It's wonderful that they're featuring Indianapolis and our biggest race. It's known around the world and it plays very well. The reach is tremendous and what it does for the exposure of our sport is golden."

Source: INDYCAR