What Do You Do with Your Data?

Guessing that most racers record their setups. But what do you do with the data? I’m curious if people just forget about it, spend hours analyzing it or do something in the middle.

Well, I use a good amount of my data to find more laptime. I’m always looking for teammates to compare data with, so that we can go faster together.

Most of the time, I spend my time playing with data and making videos. :wink:

What do you do with your data? Can’t ask and not share. :wink:

Usually spend 15 minutes between sessions in Race Studio and maybe an hour or so at the end of the day. Then after dinner and all the woulda, coulda, shoulda talk - another peak back at the hotel before bed. Occasionally revisit sessions from previous events, particularly if we aren’t up to expectations.

Data is an awesome tool and also a great way to keep a fertile imagination out of trouble. Although some days it is the great enabler for those fertile imaginations… :slight_smile:

I’ll say that adding video has helped with the data analysis. I over lay data on top of video. The visual and audio references help make sense of the data. Haven’t tried overlaying the data in Google Earth. Something to try this year.

Like the idea of checking Race Studio between sessions, but haven’t worked that into our routine
. I have had surprises at the end of the day that if we had seen earlier we could have made improvements.

Does anyone share data with their friends? What would make that more fun to do?

I stare at it for a couple of minutes and then turn off the laptop. I never have anybody to compare to nor do I know what I’m doing right or wrong.

GPS overlays with 2 or more drivers has always been really valuable in my opinion. Makes it pretty clear to see where you’re losing or gaining time.

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I’m a huge user of the split reports, and measures graphs more than anything else. I normally use GPS as the final tool for positioning.

I’ve actually never had a chance to overlay my data other someone else’s which would be cool. The other guys in team barely recorded any and I spent a lot of time just keeping the kart together.

With my data I’d try to look for a theoretical best lap on a given day. Compare sessions with my notes and changes and try to undstand why some laps were faster than others, or why a given fastest lap of a day was faster or slower compared to another.

Theoretical laps are really helpful too. I mainly use them as an excuse not to work on a driver’s kart. If they can’t lap within .1-.2 of their theoretical best, the go-kart isn’t the issue.

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There are broadly two things to do with data. One is to improve the driver, and the other is to improve the kart.

For driver training, I feel that before you can work on something specific, you have to be consistent. So I like to overlay the speed traces of all decent, clear laps, and see where I have the greatest variance. If I’m still inconsistent at some part of the track, I focus on that part, drive only 9/10th there, concentrate on braking points and other references, until I can do it virtually the same one lap after another.
Caveat: I’ve heard it said that you can make a fast driver consistent, but you can’t make a consistent driver fast. I don’t see how you can make targeted improvements if you’re not able to do the same thing twice, but different people have different opinions on this stuff.

Once I have some consistency, it’s great to compare to a faster driver. If I don’t have a faster driver to compare to, I have to be my own faster driver. You push a little harder, sacrificing consistency, trying to get one or two tenths somewhere for just that one lap. Then you can compare to that, look at exactly what you did that one time, and learn to do that every lap. My particular fears are such that my minimum corner speeds are too low. I know this about myself, so that’s what I try to push on when I do this.

If you have the sensors, you can look at other common mistakes as well:

  • Are you locking up the wheels under braking? Not locking them up enough? Braking wheels should under-rotate a little, but not too much. How much is a little? Look at the data to see how much deceleration you’re getting. The more the better. Then check how much under-rotation you had that time. That’s your guideline.
  • How is your trail braking? When you go into a turn, does your friction circle look like a T, or like a quarter circle? Quarter circle is good, T is bad.
  • If you have a shifter, are you hitting the limiter? Are you shifting too early?

I’m not a big fan of using the GPS to compare lines. GPS is just not that accurate. If you have a g-force sensor you can use inverse corner radius to compare lines, but it requires a bit of imagination.

The other way to use the data is to tune the kart. You changed a jet, or the mixture, and it feels better but you’re not sure? Maybe you have two engines and you could swear one of them pulls better than the other, but your lap times are inconclusive. Look at the data, compare top speeds and more importantly acceleration on the longest straight.
Maybe your gearing is too long and you never hit maximum RPM, or it’s too short and you’re hitting the limiter a bit much. Two-stroke engines have weird power curves and you want to make sure you’re in the right RPM range out of the turns. That said, if you’re driving yourself (i.e. it’s not your kid that’s driving) you probably don’t need data to realize this.
Temperatures is another thing. Most people put temperatures on the display and configure warning lights, so you don’t need to look at it on the PC afterwards. On a cold day though, you might want to check the temperature curves or the maxima real quick to see if you need to tape up the radiator a bit more.

Sorry for the wall of text. I care a lot about this stuff :slight_smile:


Welcome! No need to apologize, that’s what these forums are for: Deeper discussions.

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Actually, I think that using engine data to also help improve the driver is also a very useful tool, regardless of who is driving. If your engine has a unique power curve, and lets say that you’re braking too hard and letting the RPMs fall off the pipe, then being able to use data to validate that you need to make a technique change is useful.

I think it’s the other side of the coin of making a setup change to take advantage of engine characteristic, by also validating that the driver is also using his/her technique to also do the same.

I’m, maybe, in a fairly unique position that I will have normally 6 drivers (and sometimes 14, Supernats). Usually spread over multiple session so that its about 3 per session.

I will watch the session, sprint back to truck, download the data either as they are parked in the weigh area or as they come back to the truck. For the most part with a large number of drivers you do driver comparison, I tend not to use the GPS map, but I do use latacc, speed, rpm. For the most part, most of drivers can find something from the other drivers in braking, turn in or application of throttle. Once we are close to each other I start to look at Gsum, friction circles and Lataccs_abs to determine where we can improve the kart (especially if the driver has a low input level when it comes to setup). Ordinarily all the drivers end up within 3 tenths of each other (in each class) unless a chassis is bent, and then we pick up on that fairly quickly.

The indepth setup analysis can run into the evening with multiple discussion with driver, tuner/dad, team principle and engine guy. I don’t often use video, other then to backup what I’ve seen on data to show the driver what was right, not everyone can look on a line on a graph and put that into the real world.

Periodically the engine guy will ask for feedback on what the engine is doing.

What I am trying to get a good handle on is recording the setup and aligning that with the data. I may experiment with Carmines good work at garage56.io for the Winter Nationals but I would have to whip all the drivers/dads/tuners into action.

I’ve never been sure that the default directory that Race Studio 2 uses is included in the normal Windows Backup. RS3 gives you the option of saving a second copy of your data. I have been copying the RS DATA folder on the laptop that’s been coming to the track and placing it in the documents folder. While I do have a copy of the data folder on my desktop pc, I felt I dodged a bullet today when the hard drive crashed in the laptop. Should have at least one copy of the DATA folder on the backup drive. A word of caution. There are only two types of computer hard drives, there are the ones that have crashed and the ones that will.

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If your not familiar with google drive, do it. When ever you get back from track or have your laptop on wifi, The computer would automatically save the Data to the “online drive”. Then when you get home it would already be there. Also, if you loose your “internet drive” the other 2 computers will already be sync’d and the data is still safe.

Timothy, I’ll have to look into google drive. thanks

I’ve used Dropbox for the purposes of keeping my RS data backed up. Also allowed me to access the data from any computer I want… but that took a little trickery to make it work.