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Motorsport Trader

GoPro Motorsports Hero Video Camera

Click here to watch a lap record at Infineon recorded with the GoPro Hero in this car.

We have searched for a long time for a really good video camera for use on our race cars.  We didn't have many requirements.  Only that it must be small and light, needing no  external wiring, easy to mount, good battery life, good resolution,  reliable, and, oh yes,  affordable!  Not too much to ask.  Some of those we have tried stopped recording as the car left the grid, some had poor resolution resulting in a tiny picture and some produced a jittery picture you couldn't see.  You may have had some similar experiences.  We have used some really good ones, too.  In the Mazda Pro series we encountered excellent cameras we rented for $600 per weekend.  Hardly affordable.  Recently, we discovered the Motorsports Hero camera produced by GoPro Camera which has radically changed our opinion of using video cameras on race cars.

The GoPro Motorsports Hero is easy to use during any activity. This shockproof/waterproof camera makes it easy to shoot digital video and still photos. Check out the Gadget Show's attempt to destroy the camera below. Miniature size and versatility combine with 640480 TV quality video resolution and 3 megapixel photos to form a highly convenient and reliable sports camera.  It comes with 16mb of internal memory, expandable to 2GB.  All this at only $179.00!  Click here to order.

In addition to its use as a motorsports camera, you can use the Motorsports Hero while you surf, ski, hike, bike, kayak, or climb. The GoPro has various mounting options available which means you can mount it on just about anything. The GoPro is durable, with crack proof poly carbonate  housing and glass lens and is water proof down to 100ft.

What this mean to you: Having a hard time convincing the wife or guys at the office of the glorious feats you pulled off last weekend while you were slaying the field as a weekend warrior?  Fret no more.  Now you can put them in the car with you when you pull off that incredible, risky pass!

Shown here on a wrist strap.  This camera has many uses besides your race car.

The Motorsports Hero comes with lots of mounts!
All of these are included.  More available.

Size:  1.25" X 1.75" X 2.6"

Weight:  4.6 oz

Batteries:  2 AAA

We recommend NiMH or

Motorsports Hero comes
with 16mb of internal memory to get you started but it's not enough to be practical.  We recommend a 2gb SD card which is good for up to 56 minutes of recording time.

Included is a mini USB splitter cable which lets you download to your computer with a regular sized USB or connect to your TV with RCA plugs.

Motorsports Hero Specs

 Sensor  3 megapixel stills, 2,048 X 1536 resolution
 Glass Lens
 f2.8 fixed
 Exposure  Auto
 Memory  16mb internal, expandable to 2gb with SD card
 Video  30 frames per second at 512 X 384, 56 min record time on 2gb card
 Self Timer
 10 seconds
 PC Connection
 USB interface, RCA plugs for TV
 Power  2 AAA
 Operating System
 Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS 9.1 or later
 Dimensions  1.25" X 1.75" X 2.6"


The Motorsports Hero was specifically designed for use in extreme sports, including auto racing.  As racers, we understand racing is about as extreme as it gets.  The camera does not have the bells and whistles you might expect on a general purpose camera but is perfect for our needs.  It uses an optical viewfinder rather than an LCD screen so you should position it carefully before sending a car out.  It does use a small LCD screen on the front for status  information.  A blinking red LED on the front indicates the record function.  Two buttons control the variety of features and you should get to know them to ensure you don't erase data before you download it.  Downloading is easy, however.  Simply connect camera to computer with the provided cable.  The computer will recognize it as a device or removable disk from which you can view, copy or download.  No software is required. Connecting to a TV is even simpler.   It's plug and play.

Audio recording can be set to either High or Low and the low setting is recommended for race cars. The Motorsports Hero takes great, high resolution still shots but lacks a flash so is best used outdoors.   Battery life with alkalines is pretty limited but 900mAh NiMH will let you record for around 90 minutes before recharging.  Lithium batteries will last as much as 8 hours before requiring replacement.

Practical Reasons to Record

Documenting driving infractions.  We all want to relive our on track sessions and show off to friends.  That's the fun part of recording our races.  But there are some very practical reasons to record our time on the track, too.  I recently witnessed a contact incident right in front of me while I was in one of our Formula Fords.  When the officials determined what happened and who should be penalized, their interpretation seemed different than what I saw.  If I had been recording with the Motorsports Hero at the time, I could have shown them exactly what happened.  Documentation of such events like passes under yellow and other such infractions could be quite important to your finishing position and sometimes beneficial to your fellow racers. 

Exposure.  Additionally, your races and on track sessions can be posted on your blogs or websites.  Show it to that prospective sponsor and give him the feeling of being an insider.  Put him in the seat with you and close that deal!

Troubleshoot suspension problems.  Occasionally we have used a camera to focus on some suspension component we suspected to have a problem.  It's amazing what shocks, uprights, A-arms and pushrods go through on the track.  This is a good way to discover what's really going on.

Improve your driving or car setup.  When you are really serious about your driving and car setup, video is invaluable.  No one has a memory good enough to remember everything that happened in a practice or qualifying session.  Use video to diagnose improper line or early braking.  Or use video to remind you of what the car did on the track as you take notes.  Then you have good, precise information to tell your engineer (that could be you!) as you decide what changes to make to the car for the next session or the race.  This is absolutely the best way to improve your results in setting up your car.

New!    The Motorsports Hero Wide

Now with 170 degree wide field of view
Watch the Lugana Seca video to see the difference.

Wide HERO race car testing. Laguna Seca July, 2008 from GoPro on Vimeo.

Let the camera capture what you see!

Introducing the 5 megapixel Motorsports Hero Wide vehicle camera! Sporting a new 5mp sensor, improved low-light performance, faster "Photo every 2 seconds" mode, 40% smoother video and mega wide 170 degree lens . . .   this is the highest performance Hero camera yet.  Still has the same long 56 minute recording time, uses the same accessories and shares all the other great features of the standard Motorsports Hero.

Motorsports Hero Wide

Only $199.99

Now you can finally have a video camera built specifically for your racing needs at an affordable price. Order your Motorsports Hero camera here.

For an open cockpit car we recommend you order #GP-MH or #GP-MHW camera, #GP-RH roll bar mount, Lithium batteries and #GP-2GB memory disk. 
Always use Lithium batteries!

                           GoPro Motorsports Hero Wide Camera and Accessories       
                                                                                                            #GP-MHW    $199.99

  GoPro Motorsports Hero Video Camera & Accessories
                                                                                                           #GP-MH        $179.99
Suction Cup Mount for windshields, body sides     #GP-SC          $29.99

  Ride Hero - tube mount for .7" to 1.4"                 #GP-RH         $19.99
                              Use for mounting to roll bars and cages

  Grab Bag of Extra Mounts                                      #GP-GB         $19.99

                                       This bag of add-on parts is for Motorsports or Helmet HERO owners wanting more     
                                       mounts. It includes 2 flat surface base plates, 2 curved base plates, a thumb knob      
                                       and hardware, 2 quick release buckles, and a vertical J mount for mounting your 
                                       camera on a vertical wall surface like a car bumper or similar.

  Quick Release Housing                                           #GP-QR        $39.99
                             This is the housing that is included in the Helmet HERO and
                             Motorsports HERO kits. Perfect if you need an extra one for more
                             mounting options.

  Motorsports Hero Expansion Kit                             #GP-MHX      $79.99
                              All accessories of Motorsports HERO, minus the camera. Expands
                                        functionality of Helmet HERO and Digital HERO 3 wrist camera.

 Helmet Hero Expansion Kit                                     #GP-HHX       $69.99
                            All accessories of Helmet HERO, minus the camera. Expands functionality
                            of Motorsports HERO and Digital HERO 3 wrist camera

                           Wrist Hero Expansion Kit                                       #GP-WHX       $39.99

                            All accessories of Digital HERO 3 wrist camera, minus the camera.
                            Use your Helmet HERO or Motorsports HERO as wrist camera.

2GB Memory Card                                 
                                                                                          #GP-2GB        $24.99

AAA Lithium batteries, 4 pk                 #GP-AAA         $14.99
                Hot, but not rechargable

AAA Rechargeable NiMH batteries, 4 pk                   #GP -NMH      $24.99
The bunny claims 1000 cycles!

Supreme Power AA, AAA charger for NiMH
Charge time for AAA  1 - 1.5 hrs          #GP-CGR      $29.99

Supreme Power Charger Features:
  • Charges 2 or 4 AA & AAA batteries at a time
  • Charges NiMH or NiCd batteries
  • Smart Charger
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • Negative delta V cut-off detection
  • Safety timer control for overcharge protection
  • Protects against reverse-polarity
  • LED Glows Continously when charging
  • LED off when batteries are fully charged


We need videos!

We are holding a contest for the best onboard videos recorded from Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas and the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit near Tulsa, Oklahoma with a GoPro Motorsports Hero camera purchased from us.  One video will be selected from each track.  The grand prize for each of the two videos selected is a $25.00 gift certificate and your video posted on our In-Car Video page.  Deadline for submissions is November 15th, 2008.  Please go to the In-Car Video page for more information on the type of videos for which we are looking and to watch videos from tracks across North America.

The Gadget Show
Extreme endurance tests
of GoPro camera   5:06
Watch them try to demolish it!

Interview with Nicholas Woodman of GoPro
at the Las Vegas SEMA show.   3:47