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Professional Motorsport Data Analysis: Step 2: Pre Event Planning

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Step 2: Pre Event Planning

09.23

00:00 - The next step we need to take care of is our pre event planning.
00:03 Now this is a really important step, it's just as important in my opinion as the actual running on track.
00:09 Without going through and preparing for your event properly, you're really going to be unlikely to get the most out of it, whether that's in terms of improving the car or improving yourself, going through and making sure everything's ready is really really important.
00:21 For me the first part of that is going through and preparing some of the documentation so whether that's your entries, whether that's making sure that your license is up to date and everything's ready like that.
00:30 The event schedule's really important because it's going to impinge on how your runs are going to play out on track.
00:35 What I mean by that is if you were at a total open pit lane, what I mean by that is you can just go in and out of the track as many times as you like during the day, obviously that's giving you a lot of flexibility.
00:44 At the other end of that spectrum, if you're going to a race event and particularly a really busy race event where you might not actually have that much track time, that's going to determine which practice sessions you have, how many you have, how long you're going to have on track for each one of those, how many qualifying sessions, all of these are really important to understand and plan how much fuel you're going to need, how many runs you're going to get, which tyre sets you're going to take, stuff like that.
01:06 Another thing to make sure you're prepared for is that you've got your notebook or your run sheets, your tyre pressure sheets, however you're recording and monitoring all of the information that you're going to record over the day.
01:17 Whether you're doing it digitally on your computer or whether you're just doing it on pen and paper, making sure you've got everything either printed out or making sure that you've got all of your stationary and everything ready to record all that stuff because this really is where a lot of the important information and learning comes from when you're running on track is making sure you're recording all of those details accurately.
01:37 You'll also want to make sure that you've reviewed the weather forecast, obviously this is something you're going to be slowly working up to each day as you get closer and closer to the event, that forecast is going to be more and more accurate.
01:46 This is going to obviously affect your planning of which runs you're going to do at which time, if you know it looks like it's going to be dry in the morning but wet in the afternoon, this is going to have a big impact on which tyre sets you're going to have ready and maybe which parts of your plans you're going to shift towards, one part of they day, maybe if you're not even going to run if it gets wet, you might need to shift your priorities for the morning running if you think it's going to be dry to the morning and maybe drop off some of those things that aren't as well prioritised.
02:12 Another really important thing is to go back and review the notes from the previous time you were at this track.
02:17 Or even for that matter, from the previous time you ran at all with this car.
02:21 It's really important to go through and understand what your priorities were the last time you ran at track, what your goals were, what went well, what didn't go well, what maybe reliability problems you had.
02:32 Just to get you in that mindset of being ready to run on track again.
02:35 Now once you've done that, you'll probably already have some ideas of what you're going to work on at this next event so whether it's a driving thing, whether you're trying to improve something about your braking performance or whether you're trying to improve something on the car or you're testing different parameters of whether it's different setups or different components on the car, this is where you really want to go through and prioritise 2 or 3 things that you want to make sure you work on at this event.
02:57 It's really in my experience to actually have a goal for what you actually want to improve at this event rather than sort of just aimlessly driving around because it just isn't an efficient way to work as far as just wasting tyres and brakes and just generally wearing out your car for not much gain.
03:13 You want to go through and generate a run plan, so part of that plan is going to be based on the event schedule that we discussed before, so you're going to have to look at the timeslots that are going to be allotted for you for your class, that's going to be allowed on track.
03:26 How many runs you think you can fit in within that time, how much fuel you're going to need based on how many laps you're going to be able to fit into each one of those runs.
03:31 Remember obviously you have to allow for in and out laps as well which are typically going to use less fuel than your flying laps.
03:38 Part of that is important because you may well want to be testing things back to back so you're going to want to be able to start with the similar amount of fuel for each run.
03:46 So things like this you just want to go through and plan exactly when you're going to be on track, how long you're going to be on track for, how may times you think you're going to be able to come in and download the data in between, stuff like that.
03:55 You also want to think about which tyres you're going to run, so whether you're got multiple sets of tyres you're taking with you to a track, whether you're got different compounds, whether you've got wet tyres, dry tyres, you're going to want to think about the cold pressures that you're going to need to achieve your hot pressures.
04:09 So your hot pressure, this is something that you're going to be able to get from your tyre supplier, the target hot pressure that you're going to go for.
04:15 But this is where your previous notes of running at that track, so which cold pressure to use, how much bleeding or whether you had to boost or whether you had to do a hot bleed to get to your target pressure.
04:25 This is where these notes are going to be really important, this is why note taking is so important.
04:29 The idea here is that you can give yourself a pretty close ballpark for what cold pressures you're going to need to set in order to get to your hot pressure.
04:36 So when you're running on track you're going to lose the least amount of time possible actually just messing around and getting your pressures right before you can actually start doing meaningful running on track.
04:45 Before you load the car up to head to the track, it's a good idea to go through and clear the logging memory.
04:50 So obviously if there's any useful logged data on there that you don't want to get rid of, you want to download it and store it in an applicable location, but the idea here is that you're getting rid of any erroneous or useless data.
05:02 Maybe it was gathered when the car was running, while you were just testing something in the workshop, just to keep things clean, I prefer to get that deleted before I head to the track.
05:12 You also want to go through and update your shift lights.
05:14 So this is something you can use, looking at previous data from the previous time you ran the car at this track.
05:21 This is the right time to go through and make updated shift lights if you need to, do it before you get to the track and that way you're going to be ready to hit the ground running as well as possible.
05:31 So now's the time to set the reference lap and reference lap behaviour that you want for this circuit.
05:36 So if you've got a previous reference lap you've used for this track for this car, this is the time to send it to the logger.
05:41 So we went through that in the logger setup, I showed you where it was, how to do that in the MoTeC configuration software, it's also the time to configure the reference lap reset behaviour, so whether you want that reference lap to stay in there and to be locked in there regardless or whether you want it to be updated if you go ahead and set a faster lap on that time on track, now's the time to do that.
06:02 You also want to go through and define the new logging directory.
06:05 So if you're heading, particularly if you're heading to a new track but even if it's a different event from the same track you ran at last time, you want to make sure you update your logging directory.
06:13 So remember we talked about in the course the way you'll often be setting out your logging directory is you'll have the location, so the track and then the season and then below that the event.
06:25 So you want to make sure all of your logged data is set up to be sent to the correct directory when you do your first download.
06:31 Otherwise it's really easy when the car comes in and it's all a big panic to get the car downloaded and you're in the middle of a session, it's really easy to send that logged data to the wrong directory which will obviously make it very difficult to find if you're looking in the correct directory later on.
06:45 Before I get the car loaded up this is also a time to do all the zeroing of your sensors so a lot of the sensors, it'll make sense while the car's on the setup patch, other sensors won't need to be zeroed.
06:56 You also want to go through and just check all the sensors are nominally reading correctly.
07:01 So make sure things like the temperatures, if the car hasn't been running that all of those temperatures are going to be pretty close to ambient temperature.
07:07 Make sure all of the position values all look sensible, it's just a case of a basic sensor check to make sure it looks like all of your sensors are nominally reading correct values.
07:17 Before heading to the track it's also a really good idea to have a bit of a review of the data of the last time you ran at that track, just to refamiliarise yourself with what the data looks like, the shape of the speed trace, I find this is really helpful because when you're used to looking at data from a certain circuit, even from that shape of the speed trace, you'll get used to knowing which part of the track that relates to.
07:39 It's also a good chance to look at the fastest lap from last time, the fastest lap compared to your reference lap or maybe that's going to be your reference lap from last time, just have a little bit of a look through the features to understand what your braking was like, understanding your accelerator use and your traction circle exploitation was.
07:57 It's just a chance to get the brain working again, have a good look at that data and make sure you're as familiar as possible so when you do do the first download of the day and you're reviewing that data, you've already got a little bit of a head start because you're not looking at that data from that track fresh again.
08:11 So I just want to give you guys a demo of exactly how we make a reference lap from the i2 software.
08:17 So I will go through the i2 software in a lot more detail in a following step but for now I just want to show you quickly how you generate that reference lap.
08:25 Let's say if you've got previous data and you want to make a reference lap that you're going to use at the next event.
08:29 So over here on my laptop screen I've got i2's software open here which is just the data analysis software that you use for MoTeC data.
08:35 So if we go to the file tab, I've got my, I should say first, I've got the lap open that I want to use so you'll see here in the data section I've got 2 of the, I've got the data selected here so I can go through and select different laps from either of the runs I want to use.
08:54 If I want to use this lap here, I can have it selected so it automatically zoomed to that section of that lap.
08:59 And file, create reference lap, and it's as simple as pressing create here and it'll save that lap to a position on my computer and as we went through in the configuration part of the, for the logger, I showed you there where you could upload that reference lap, this is where we generate the reference lap to upload into the logger later.