Now that Chris and I have done a few practice days together, we’ve started incorporating a few more pieces into our day programs. Two weeks ago, we started mounting an onboard video onto the kart. It helps us so we can reflect back on changes more accurately, and start to analyze where we can find more laptime.
This footage is from a practice day about two weeks ago. We’ve just started to dig into making some handling changes that we’ve been making to on the kart. Our tuning approach has also been to make one change on a kart, doing a run with the camera, record the change in our notes (with the laptime as a reference), and then repeat. It’s been making our approach to tuning the kart and the driver so much easier, because engineer and driver can focus on one thing at a time.
Onboard footage does a great job at keeping the driver honest on what I thinks I’m doing, versus what I’m actually doing. I can see where my lines are good, and where they could use some improvement. I’ve always been one to have better lines when I’m chasing someone down, so I decided to take a few practice days and work on trying to use the same lines when I’l leading/alone.
Just for fun, I took a quick moment to take one of my laps and overlay it with one of the faster drivers on the same track. This video really wasn’t to compare laptimes, as it was just to see how someone else’s driving differs from my own. (Also, I wanted to see how close I could get two different videos to compare on the first try.)
At a glance, I can tell that I need to focus on how I run the line through the T5 through T8 section. (In case you care, here is a link to the SIMA track map.) I’m not using all of the road on the exit of Turn 6, and taking an early apex into Turn 7, which then just slows me down when I’m approaching Turn 8 to get on the brakes.
When we’re ready, there are some good tools that integrate onboard data with camera footage, like the Smartycam, but we’re not there yet. The goal has always been to incorporate new additions to our training program one piece at a time. That way, we can get familiar with how we want to use each piece, rather than fumbling with too many things at once.
(to be continued)