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Professional Motorsport Data Analysis: Step 2: Pre Event Planning

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Step 2: Pre Event Planning


00:00 - Step 2 is all about preparing for the event.
00:03 Now back in step 1, that was all about configuring the logger, making sure everything was calibrated properly, making sure we were logging everything we were interested in.
00:10 All of that stuff has to happen in the workshop before we head to the racetrack.
00:14 Now we can move onto the planning phase for our particular event.
00:18 Now depending on how serious you are with your racing will depend on the level of preparation and the amount of documentation you need to get ready.
00:27 So whether that's as simple as things like making sure your entry is sorted, making sure your run plans are sorted.
00:33 Depending on how you record all of your information with things like run sheets, setups, tyre information, pressures, wears and stuff like this, the level of sophistication you go to as far as part of your racing is going to depend how much work you need to put into that.
00:46 But this is the time to do that well before you get to the event.
00:50 Make all your run books, make all your tyre books, all of that stuff that you're going to do before you actually arrive at the event.
00:55 You also want to go ahead and check the weather forecast.
00:58 So that's going to be a big part of your pre event planning.
01:00 That's really important because it's going to define how and when you're likely to do your runs, which tyre sets you're going to run on and definitely which setup you want to turn up to the track with.
01:11 Now obviously this thing's a totally moving target, weather changes all of the time but if you do have a wet setup or you do make changes to your setup every time the weather's changing, particularly basically between a wet and a dry setup, you do want to be prepared for that and make sure you're turning up with the best base setup you can, making your best guess at the weather.
01:32 You'll also want to go through your previous notes.
01:35 This is something we'll get to in the final step when we talk about wrapping up the data analysis process but this is going backwards in time a little bit, you want to go ahead and review all the previous notes you made for your previous event so I'm a big believer in note taking and recording everything that happened, writing things down.
01:52 Whether that's on really simple, just in a pen and paper in a book or whether it's a bit more sophisticated, using a piece of computer software or a spreadsheet even.
02:02 It doesn't matter too much what method you use but it is really important to go ahead and record everything and this is really when you start to reap the benefits of that when you can go back and review what went well, what didn't go well at the previous event, what things you need to work on, because that's really going to help you focus on what you want to concentrate on for this event.
02:18 As part of the preparation, we want to go ahead and do a couple of last bits of maintenance to the logger.
02:23 The first thing is to go ahead and clear the logging memory.
02:26 Now that's a really simple process, all you need to do is connect to this particular logger, you can download any log files in there that you haven't already downloaded.
02:33 That's an important step because once you delete them they're gone.
02:36 After that, I like to clear the logging memory just to make sure I'm not going to run out of space but also to give me a nice blank slate to start recording onto as well, just so when I go do my first download of the race weekend, I haven't got old data either from the workshop or from a previous event in there because it just makes the data management a little bit more messy.
02:53 Same thing with the shift lights, we want to go ahead and sort those out as well.
02:57 So if you are running on the same track as last time, you're going to be able to go back and detail and look at your, how well you were shifting with respect to your target shift points and that's going to give you some guidance as to which changes you need to make for your shift lights.
03:10 Just like we went through in the course, you want to concentrate on the dominant straight or dominant straights that you've got and you want to figure out for each of the gears if you're using gear dependent shift lights, where you need to be moving your shift light parameters to in order to maximise the acceleration.
03:26 The last couple of pieces are around zeroing any sensors.
03:29 So this is things like brake pressure or steering angle.
03:32 All of these things I like to usually do my zeros when I'm on the setup patch, so when I'm doing my wheel alignment and my setup.
03:39 That's usually the best time to go ahead and zero any parameters, things like G sensors as well, often things that need to have a small offset applied to them so we are reading true zero when the car's sitting there statically, just to make sure our data is going to be as high quality as possible.
03:54 The last thing I like to do before I head to the racetrack and this is particularly true if I'm heading to a different track than I was at the previous event or certainly if it's been a long time since I've been racing is to review some data from the last time I was at that track.
04:07 if you have data from a previous event it can be really helpful just to review it, helps get your mind back in the game, it helps remind you what sort of things you might need to look for, it helps just even getting familiar with the shape of the speed trace for that particular circuit.
04:23 It's really helpful because it means you don't have to refer to the track map all the time if you're looking through a time/distance plot.
04:28 You can just look at certain features on that speed track and you know automatically which part of the circuit you're going to be looking at.
04:34 It's also really important to go through this log data in conjunction with your notes from last time, helps you find a bit of a correlation between maybe whether it was things you were struggling with or car setup items, whatever it was, and correlate that with the log data that you have, again it's just about getting your head back in the game and getting ready to go for this next event so you can hit the ground running.

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