Working with Data – Session1

So if you read ultimate speed secrets by Ross Bentley, he starts with vision, then goes to vehicle dynamics, then cornering, then putting it all together where you need to think about the line, corner entry, corner exit, and mid-corner. So… how do you practice intentionally to work on all of this? I started by just working on vision, and hands, then started with corner entry, and have now been focusing on corner exit, working with data is the only way I can “know” that its working.

A lot of the guys at the track talked about using Harry’s LapTimer (HLT) on their phones to record their track data, so that is where I started. First I just used the app by itself without a mount, and just picked up my speed, GPS, and G-forces. After doing some research, and asking around I decided to upgrade my setup slightly by adding a higher frequency GPS receiver, and an OBDII sensor. Harry’s site has a link to compatible accessories. After I was able to get data into the app, it was a question of how to get it out, and analyze. After more research I figured out that you can export .vbo files out of HLT to dropbox which are compatible with Circuit Tools. This is a nice little inexpensive setup that is pretty powerful. Now the real question, what to do with it?

Luckily, Courtney is awesome, and we setup a morning to work with just data, so here is what we did:

Data Acquisition Experimentation Exercises Session 1:

Drive 2 laps for warm up. 
Set baseline on 3rd lap. 

4-9 Different Braking Techniques
10-11 Hands
12. Cool down

We captured all of the laps using HLT, and then analyzed them in Circuit Tools, it was easy to see what worked, and what didn’t, and translate that to vehicle dynamics, a really amazing, and powerful lesson. 
Here is the video of the session


Dual Electronics XGPS150A Multipurpose Universal Bluetooth GPS Receiver with Wide Area Augmentation System and Portable Attachment
ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: Professional OBD-II Scan Tool for Android & Windows

PCA Club Racing

After attending Carrera of Americas this spring, I asked around and started to understand that PCA Club Racing might be a good place to start to get experience racing wheel-to-wheel, the rules are conducive to a beginner with a modest budget. Also, it was easy to understand how to setup the car to meet class requirements, I did some searching to figure out where other Cayman R’s were placed, and found GTB1 was where my car fit

Next steps are to find a builder that can help me take the car from stock to race ready. More to come in the next couple posts.


Working with an Instructor

I needed help to start working on car control, and how to improve my skill. I started working with Scott Dollahite doing the two courses (Foundations and Advanced) at Driveway Austin it was an incredible experience, I got loads of track time. Scott is a very patient, and experienced instructor, and driver it really helped me get comfortable with the Cayman R, which is an amazingly forgiving, and balanced car to drive.

Driveway Austin L3

Additionally, I started working with Courtney Rivers who I met while spending time with Longhorn Racing Academy (LRA) she has really helped me get comfortable with car control. The first thing we started with was trail braking, and we then moved on to data analysis working out at Harris Hill Raceway.

Additionally, I have done a number of HPDE events at Circuit of the Americas both with LRA, and later through the Hill Country PCA. The PCA events have started bringing instructors in as well, and I have taken the opportunity to work with them as well. I think it is really good experience to get as much variety of tracks as possible as you begin learning.

Circuit of the Americas


Racing License – Part1

I caught the bug bad, I need to race wheel-to-wheel, so I started by getting my novice license, at first glance the two most popular options are SCCA, and NASA, I opted to go the SCCA route as it seemed more straightforward. All the forms are simple,  I went to my general practitioner for a physical, and then got a separate eye exam from a ophthalmologist. Sent everything in with my novice fee, and a couple weeks later, I got really cool packet in the mail.   I have the completed everything up to step 3, I just picked which school I am going to and will post on that later.

Here is the rulebook for 2016, which is what I used to figure out where my car fit in terms of class.


Driving Calendar

After doing multiple driving events in 2016, I talked to a couple people about what they did to improve their skills, its all about seat time, I embarked upon a goal of doing at least one driving event per month through the year of 2017, currently I have overachieved with some months doing as many as 3 events. I got a calendar, and started putting all the materials onto the calendar as a way to visually reinforce my goal.


The Birthday Gift

On my birthday last year my sister, and parents got me the coolest gift. A gift card to use with Longhorn Racing Academy and their exotic driving experience. That is where I continued my love of all things Porsche. I drove a Peridot Metallic Green Cayman R, and instantly fell in love. I remember getting out of the car, and telling Varun (the owner of LRA) that I was going to be this car. And after a couple more times hanging out with the LRA team doing an HPDE, and another event, I bought the car: