- 21 March 2011
Bob began using data systems in his own race cars in 1989 and has worked since 2004 as a data engineer and driver coach for numerous SCCA club racers and several professional racing teams.
He explained why he wrote the book: “I wrote A Practical Guide to Race Car Data for the amateur and lower-level professional racers who either have a data system in their car or who may be thinking about installing one but who do not have access to an experienced data engineer. Many of the data systems available today at reasonable prices offer capabilities that only professional race teams could afford just a few years ago. My own experiences over the last seven years convinced me that, unfortunately, most of these racers do not know how to use more than a small part of those capabilities and, more importantly, they do not know how to obtain the knowledge and skills they need. Using real track data, numerous real–world examples, and more than 200 illustrations, the Guide gives them the tools to select, configure and use their data systems efficiently and effectively.”
The Guide starts with simpler topics and, building on what’s been covered, moves to progressively more complex topics:
Chapter 1 focuses on basic data system topics — hardware, software, sensor configuration, logging rates, and downloading and organizing data files.
Chapter 2 looks at use of basic data — speed, throttle, longitudinal g’s, lateral g’s, steering, and RPM — as well as basic data analysis tools such as overlays, track maps, split reports, filters and smoothing, offsets, and sensor calibration.
Chapter 3 focuses on advanced data analysis tools — x-y (scatter) plots and math channels — and provides a comprehensive explanation of how to create and use math channels to greatly increase the scope of data analysis.
Chapter 4 discusses installation and calibration of damper potentiometers and manipulation of the data they produce with math channels to examine damper velocity, damper velocity histograms, ride frequency, ride height, roll, pitch, and downforce.
Chapter 5 looks at use of pressure sensors to examine brake bias, brake bias compliance, sticking master cylinders, and riding the brake or clutch pedals.
Chapter 6 provides examples of creative use of math channels to look at issues like throttle speed, steering speed, average understeer per lap, total brake time per lap, and comparison of different brake packages.
Chapter 7 takes the information covered in the first six chapters, assembles it into a comprehensive scheme for analyzing data, provides examples of the data views used with the outline to analyze the data, and provides detailed information on how to create and configure the data views.
Appendices provide vendor–specific tips on creating math channels as well as vendor-specific versions of each of the math channels discussed in the Guide, vendor–specific information on how to display a cumulative lap time difference trace when using lap overlays, and several useful data-related outlines and checklists.