|World Formula| – Datalogging: Taking notes before getting started #kart

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Just recently, I picked up an AIM Mychron 4 and GPS attachment, so I could start gathering more data on my performances when racing my competition kart.

As we’re getting used to the technology, my teammates and I are learning more about how to approach using data acquisition tools. What I decided to do is catalog what we’re learning as we discover new ways to use these tools to go faster.

These posts will be short, and just have tips here and there. There are several videos on Youtube that cover the same topic, and sometimes I’ll link to them. Just another nerd thing, for those who like to read, I guess.

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There is so much stuff here! Maybe we should write down what we want to find out first, before we hurt our eyes looking at all of the lines.

Congratulations! You have a data acquisition system on your kart or car.  I’m working off the assumption that your analysis software and kit allows you to pick up several data channels. ( Laptime, RPM, GPS Speed, Longitudinal G and Lateral G, etc.) Now you’ve got a whole series of data coming to you,  and once you’re able to understand it all, you’re going to be able to find more laptime.

But where should you get started?

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There is an irony to writing things down, before using the computer, but it always helps to keep you organized.

Let’s start some place easy, by asking the simple question. “What is the most important information that you are trying to uncover?”

Before you start diving into all of this information of  swiggly-lined chaos, and potentially just getting confused, it’s helpful to just write down on a notepad what specific data-points you’d like to uncover. Writing this list down will help providing a focus of where to put your attention in parsing away all of the data to get the information that you need.

It’s going to depend on what sensors and equipment you have and what your particular hardware supports. If you find that there is some critical data that you want that you don’t have the gear for, it’s either time to go shopping or get creative.

Some examples of basic data points to start:

  • Standard deviation of laptimes from fastest lap – (How consistent are you over a session period?)
  • Sector laps – (How fast are you in a particular sector of a lap? How many sectors does the lap need to be broken into?)
  • Ultimate laptime – (How fast would you have been, if you added your best lap sectors into a single ‘special lap’.
  • Comparison data to a competitor -If you have another unit to compare session data with.

What are some important pieces of data that you’d like to find out from your lap session? Leave a comment, and we’ll see how we can figure it out.

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In the next post, we’ll talk more about how to compare times from lap to lap, the importance of tracking setup notes with lap times,  and whatever else we figure out.

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