By on September 28, 2014

dyson

When the Traqmate system came out a decade or so ago, it revolutionized the way that low-and-mid-budget racers measured and improved their performance as drivers. All of a sudden it was possible to understand why you were faster or slower in a given situation. It’s now become such a standard that major sanctions like the Canadian Touring Car Championship use it to measure and adjust competitiveness across different chassis and engine combinations.

Last year, TTAC partnered with the people at Autosport Labs to test their Race/Capture system in our infamous race that wasn’t. Although somehow our RaceCapture system never returned from Texas, with all hands professing puzzlement about its ultimate disposition, I was able to use the RaceCapture prior to that race, in a coaching session with Chris Dyson and the Autosport Labs people. Using the system’s live-tracking features, I was able to immediately take ten seconds off my lap time in a single coaching session.

This year, Autosport Labs has a brand-new system and the spec sheet is enough to make a grown club racer shed a couple of tears in gratitude. There isn’t space to list everything that the new RC/2 does, but it’s capable of interfacing with your car to read engine data and tire temperature data in conjunction with your lap. Don’t know if it’s a problem with air-fuel ratio or aero drag slowing your acceleration on Mid-Ohio’s back straight? This system will tell you.

Using 50Hz GPS, the system promises to record to most accurate and consistent lap times yet — and as someone who suffered through a lot of trouble with the solid but fussy TrackMaster Android program at the Challenger Hellcat intro, I’d appreciate having better and more consistent GPS data.

Alright, this sounds like a sales pitch, and it is. Not necessarily for RaceCapture/2, but for any kind of high-quality data logging. You’ll learn more and progress faster as a track driver with solid data. Traqmate and RaceCapture are so good now that it’s possible to coach via e-mail — send me your data traces and I can probably offer a couple of ideas on how to go faster. The high-end private coaches like Peter Krause are doing all of their coaching now with observation and data. Why get in the right seat when you can make someone faster from the comfort of pit lane?

When RC/2 is in full production, we’ll be checking it out somewhere on the West Coast where we can generate some serious g-forces and hard numbers. If you can’t wait until, I’d recommend buying RaceCapture from Autosport Labs online — or checking out the pawnshops near College Station, TX.

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13 Comments on “Better Track Driving Through Technology...”


  • avatar
    Blue-S

    If only they made a Shop/Capture system so you can see if the team captain is actually building your car and it might possibly be ready in time for the race.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “I was able to immediately take ten seconds off my lap time in a single coaching session.”

    Wait, our tame racing driver took 10 sec off his own lap time? Well then I assume he must have finished before he started and lapped himself in the process.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Ten seconds is huge! It must be really nice to work with a group like Dyson.

  • avatar
    redav

    What car is in the pic? I like the shade of green & would like to pull up some more images of it.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    TEN SECONDS…was it a physiological or vehicle adjustment, so explain why you were able to knock off TEN SECONDS, from what I assume were your best efforts after being familiar with the car before capturing and analyzing data from RaceCapture/2.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I was in no way familiar with the car. The problem was understanding how far I could go with the aero in a car that, fundamentally, I was only going to get twelve or thirteen laps in.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Reg; “I was in no way familiar with the car.”

        Jack… respectfully, to a degree, that negates your claim. Had you been very familiar with the car, track, conditions, and then base lined your time and then applied metric info from the ‘RC/2’ and improved your time applying that information, I think you would have found far less lap time improvement.

        If your saying that the RC/2 helped you leap frog the learning curve with less track time, time that you would have found eventually with more track time not using the RC/2, then that is a consideration favorable for the RC/2 in a limited use scenario.

        A well sorted car set-up for conditions, driven by a pilot well experienced in the car and track and driving in consideration of conditions, would benefit little from the RC/2 in terms of improved track times. It would just provide interesting information.

        Aero? Studying the data that the RC/2 can collect, I don’t see how one could determine aerodynamic forces applicable to driver input, so could you school us dummies on that.

        Regards..

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Robert Farago, Ed Niedermeyer, Bertel Schmitt, Jack Baruth: all of them made TTAC great and a joy to read, each in their own personal style. But right now, TTAC has become soulless. It is just a list of articles now. It always was more than just that.

    Bring back Baruth!

  • avatar
    racerxlilbro

    Mr. Baruth, sir –

    I will happily volunteer the use of my Formula Ford (SoCal based) for a test-day with one of these systems. I’ve used laptimers for years, but have always felt like a little more data would help a LOT. This is my next big purchase for the car…

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