As usual things are pretty busy, was able to take a small break, and get to the track this last Friday night. Edge Addicts runs an awesome event called COTA Under the Lights that starts at 3pm, and runs until 11pm. It got dark around 9pm, and both Danny, and I were able to get a session in the dark, turn 7 is epic. We made some good memories!
My old computer died, need one to get ready for Road America. So I finally decided to upgrade, got some pretty good kit, makes for a nice workstation, and looks rad with blinkenlights too.
I have always been a big fan of AMD, went with a Threadripper 2, and a newer NVIDIA card, I usually try to buy the previous generation, or mid-level spec, and give myself room to upgrade. This machine has 32-core, and 32GB of memory with a 2070RTX. I can expand up to 128GB of memory, and add another 2070 in the future if I decide to do some more development outside of the cloud.
We continue to work on proposals for partnerships, hope to start closing the gap by the end of this month, will hopefully be able to share more soon on that front. Training has been going really well, stepped up to 4-days per week about a month ago, and have already dropped another 10Lbs.
At the end of April when I got back from Road Atlanta, I put the finishing touches on my application for the Department of Transportation Small Business Innovation Research program. I focused on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Automated Driving Systems (ADS) Test Data Interface. I have not revealed too much about what I have been working on but this may give you an idea. The SBIR program provides a Phase I grant of up to $150,000 to produce research, and a report on the topic, and opens the opportunity to pursue commercialization funding under Phase II of up to $500,000. Since I am attempting to bootstrap this is very attractive
I am continuing work on the development of a Vehicle Dynamic Simulation environment, having a discussion with Doug Milliken, I was able to get tire test data directly from Pirelli, which is an excellent development. I am in talks with IPG for large-scale testing, and was able to join MatLab Startup Program. Everything is moving in the right direction.
In other news, I am getting ready for Mid-Ohio, in a couple weeks this will be the second race for the Pirelli Triple Trofeo. I am planning to work with Tom O’Gorman while there so I can pick up the track quickly. Spending lots of time in iRacing, and going to participate in the David Murry webinar this coming week. Some really exciting news is that I am currently running 3rd in GTB1 nationally, which is pretty awesome!
I am working on putting together a GT4 program with Danny Soufi for 2020 to run in the SRO GT4 America. It will be a lot of work, trying to figure out how to get a bunch of sponsors onboard to help us fund the program, and working out how to get the car, looking at the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport,
Overview: Another successful weekend, two podiums, qualified on the pole with the fastest laps all weekend! I was able to work with the incredible David Murry again, the work in iRacing really helped me pick up the track quickly.
Goals and objectives: My goal was to qualify in the top 5, then take what the track would give me, the weather conditions were going to play a big role in the outcomes for the weekend.
Analysis of outcomes: Road Atlanta is incredible, so much elevation change, a really fun flow track, my fastest, and favorite section was the S’s starting at turn 3. David Murry was able to help me find so much time through minor adjustments, he gave me some incredible advice, and feedback which really helped my confidence.
Analysis of the performance shown on critical tasks: I flew into Atlanta on Wednesday, then drove out to Gainesville, GA which about 20 minutes from Road Atlanta. On Thursday it was open track with lots of short sessions, between each session I would debrief with David Murry, go over video, take notes, and come up with some new goals for the next session. On Friday we had the PCA practice sessions, and fun race. Saturday morning was qualifying, I was able to secure the pole position with the fastest lap running at a 1:33.0. I fell behind in race 1 after about 5-6 laps, but we caught up to the back of the field, which allowed me to take advantage, and get back into second position, unfortunately that is when I had a tire blow out on my left rear. Race 2 I started on the pole again, fell back again, really needed to focus on Turn 7, I dropped into 4th position after a miscue during a local yellow, that quickly turned full course caution.
Sunday morning it rained like crazy, which I love! Was able to get out, and warm-up on slicks in the rain!! After some thunderstorm warnings, race control, and the scrutineers decided to move the race from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. It started to dry out over the course of the race, and I was able to get on the podium in P3.
Summary: I stuck with my process, watching video, taking notes, comparing telemetry after the day, picking small specific, and measurable goals, that supported my outcomes. I learned Road Atlanta very quickly, and was able to compete at the top of my class with very seasoned drivers. A big part of the weekend was to work with the amazing Rick Curtin, Gradient Racing Crew Chief, he has been doing this for a long time, and had tons of advice, and an excellent perspective, and attitude.
Recommendations: We need to look at a different tire size for the rear on my car, which will require some setup changes to the car, will likely do that over the summer, prior to Road America.
Crazy week coming up, have a work event in Las Vegas for two days, will then make my way from there to Sebring. I am really looking forward to working with David Murry, I’ve spent a bunch of time working through his webinar. iRacing, and Virtual Racing School have been invaluable for preparation. My experience with this approach for Road America, was that it helped me get comfortable more quickly, and focus on the detail of getting to consistence lap times. Thus far I have been able to get into the 2:09’s at Sebring, need to get a couple more seconds off aiming for 2:07’s which in the real world will probably be about 10 seconds slower. I hope all the travel goes smoothly, wish me luck!
I have always loved this time of year, it has given me a chance to focus on the things that I really want to do, interesting projects, time to catch up with friends, and family, play games (or get in some iRacing time, got to get Sebring down), watch movies, and just relax. I am off from work for the next couple weeks, and will be focused on a quite a few things, as usual.
I have built, and deployed three kubernetes clusters on the three different cloud providers that came with my having joined FFL (GCP, AWS, and IBM), I have tested all of my training jobs, and am now ready to do a big run on distributed training using kubeflow, I will be working on a couple different models, Inception v3 to start, and will be working through all the hyperparameter tuning involved with trying to get the best RMSE for what I am doing, hint (it’s motorsports related).
Also, I have a prototype of the trackNotes app, that I released to the Play Store for a closed Alpha, to get some feedback on the UI, I am putting it together with creator. I am working on the backend data-model in Firebase, which is pretty straightforward, there are some really good materials out there, I really like the codelab, it is ridiculously comprehensive. I am also going to start a wireframe for another app called setupBoard.
On the racing front, I am doing outreach for sponsors, and will need to get all of that loaded into Hubspot so I can keep track of it all. I am also loading in a bunch of leads which, I will see if I can turn into opportunities for everything that I am doing (vaguely described above). Also, I have been talking to Andris over at Gradient Racing to see what support would look like for 2019, we are planning a test day in January.
Registered for Sebring, Feb 01-03 really looking forward to driving at this track, I plan to run the Triple Trofeo this year: Sebring, Road Atlanta, Road America, plus a couple others: COTA, and Watkins Glen (Barber didn’t make it on the schedule for 2019). Time to start getting ready, I am going to get the Ross Bentley, and David Murry webinars. Need to get going in iRacing as well.