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Professional Motorsport Data Analysis: Pre Event Planning

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Pre Event Planning

04.29

00:00 - Putting aside some time to prepare for a test or race will make a significant difference to your progress and allow you to maximise your time on track.
00:08 Everything we cover in this section is part of the process that you'll need to repeat for every event you go to.
00:15 One important part of both your preparation and your progress tracking is documentation.
00:21 The level of complexity you use will depend on your situation but if you're a one man band, then at a minimum, get yourself a hardcover A4 notebook.
00:31 You can use this to record your event goals, driver feedback, setup changes, development ideas and any other relevant notes.
00:40 The planning for each event will depend on the event type.
00:44 Is it a race meeting or a test day where the pit lane is open the whole time? What time is the track open and closed for a track walk? When does each session start and finish? In the days leading up to the event, keep track of the weather forecast and predicted temperatures and use this to help plan your outings.
01:00 Refer to your notes from the previous event to help you focus on what you should be working on this time around.
01:06 What went well and what went badly at the last event.
01:09 What did you work on last time, what improvements did you find and what weaknesses are your highest priority for you to work on this time? Use this information and anything else relevant to generate at least 3 goals for things to focus on improving on for this event.
01:25 Use the format and timing of the day, the weather forecast and your goals to generate a run plan for each session.
01:32 Using a rough lap time, plus the time or in and out laps to plan how many runs you'll fit into each session along with how many flying laps in each run.
01:42 Allow time between each run to review the data and make changes as required.
01:48 Giving yourself plenty of time on the in laps to allow the car to cool down.
01:53 For each session, think about which tyre sets you'll need, how much fuel you'll start with, how much fuel you'll want to run with and when you want to top fuel up.
02:01 You'll also want to calculate the total amount of fuel you'll need for the day.
02:06 In the case of an open test day in particular, where there aren't any pre defined sessions, plan for relatively short runs where you can review the logged data after every outing.
02:16 Making time to review the data between each run is particularly critical when you're working on driving technique.
02:23 Once you've planned your outings, you can move onto the logging setup.
02:26 Start by making sure the logging memory is clear.
02:30 After reviewing the upshifting point data against your targets from the previous event at the relevant circuit, you should update your shift lights as required.
02:40 Next you should set up your reference lap.
02:42 Normally you would use your fastest previous lap at the relevant circuit.
02:46 This reference lap could be one set by you or someone faster but still from your car.
02:52 Most data systems will allow you to select any previous logged lap and generate a reference lap file from this.
03:00 This reference lap file can then be uploaded to your logger or dash unit.
03:04 Also be sure to check the reference lap reset behaviour is set correctly as well.
03:10 This will determine if you set a lap faster than the reference lap, the reference lap will auto update or if it would be fixed at the reference lap you've uploaded.
03:20 If you have never been to the circuit or particular circuit configuration being used at the upcoming event, then you'll want to clear the reference lap currently in the logger and set the reset condition to learning so it will update throughout the day.
03:34 After you've done the physical setup on the car, it's a good time to zero any sensors required such as steering position, G force and damper potentiometers.
03:43 Add the event folder to your logged data directory under the correct circuit and season.
03:49 Carry out any other required logger configuration such as selecting the correct circuit name and configuring your beacon and/or your GPS settings for the start/finish line depending on what you're using.
04:01 Looking through some logged data from the last time you ran at this circuit is also worthwhile if possible.
04:07 Along with the notes you made at the time to help you get familiar with the data again.
04:11 Finally, save your logger configuration with a consistent naming convention that includes the season, event, circuit name and date.