Category Archives: Chasing the clock

RaceCloud Co-Driver Mode

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The world-first Co-Driver for Go-Karting is here! And it’s here to help, to help learning new tracks, to help improve driver’s behavior, racing line and the points of interaction that define the ideal line through the corners. In the previous blog post (How to Improve Lap Times with RaceCloud Academy) we have discussed the proper approach in creating a Co-Driver setup on the iPad and it is now time do see how the magic happens from the driver’s perspective.

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After the created setup is loaded on the device through the Session Mode screen for every driver it refers to, you will be guided with illuminating signals by the LEDs for every speed changing action (braking, accelerating or keeping constant speed) and by the DISPLAY itself for the cornering interactions.

So now, all you have to do is to go out and drive, following just the simple 3-2-1 visual instructions:

3-2-1 (Brake)
Red
3-2-1 (Turn)
Turn
3-2-1 (Keep your balance)
Yellow
3-2-1 (Accelerate)Green
Of course, you must be careful when setting up those points through the RaceCloud iPad Application and never rely solely on the Co-Driver’s guidance. Create the points only for reference and check them during the moderate driving pace in the first lap or two, before getting into racing at 100%. You are the driver, you should feel the driving and benefit from the Co-Driver’s guidance with just keeping the display in your peripheral sight in order to quickly learn unknown tracks, easily improve your driving and effectively adjust your racing line. We already mentioned that every point of interaction is affecting your racing line, speed and driven path and thus, changing any of them results in a change in your results. For example moving your braking point a little bit further means that you’ll keep more speed on the previous section, but you’ll need a later turn-in, the racing line will alter in one with a later apex and this will lead to potential earlier acceleration, but this may not be suitable for the next section of the track, so you need to carefully examine the data, find the fastest way through the section of corners. So just create a setup of points and carefully experiment until you reach the desired results.

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As soon as you select the new session mode, the Co-Driver’s guidance will be with higher priority than your standard  LED indications for  RPM Shift Light or Lap/Split Difference. Of course, despite being used for the Co-Driver mode, the temperature alarm will always “watch your back”, overriding its instructions, so the LEDs will notify you for overheating of the engine, if its temperature get too high, over the predefined value in settings.

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After the session made under your virtual Co-Driver’s guidance you will be able to again fully analyze your performance, including the Academy points locations, so you can adjust your setup even further and grow even higher in your driving and results!

If you need more of the RaceCloud Academy’s Co-Driver Mode take a look at our action video: RaceCloud Academy in Action

How to improve lap times with RaceCloud Academy?

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RaceCloud Academy is announced and as a sensational world-first solution it opens a whole new horizon of opportunities for improving driver behavior and performance! We already have discussed most of the innovative advanced analysis features and their basic usage, we have mentioned the purpose and advantages of the maintenance timers and talked about the Co-Driver mode, all of them included in the Academy subscription upgrade. It is now time to gather all this together and make it work.

Brake&TurnAs every driver knows, every corner is composed of few phases that define the driver interactions in it. To achieve fast lap times you need to determine the corner’s character, the section before and after it and find the appropriate actions in order to execute those phases in such a manner that transforms into the best possible results.

So, first, let’s determine those phases:

  1. Braking phase
  2. Turning phase
  3. Acceleration phase

Combining those phases and adding the proper transitions between them defines your racing line and the speed you carry through it, which is relevant for your lap time. Beginning at the braking point, the braking phase continues until the turning point, where you should start releasing the brake and start turning the wheel, in order to use the front end grip not only for braking, but also for steering. This is the first transition (also called “Trail Braking”) combined with progressive steering wheel operation until reaching the desired steering wheel angle designated for the turn and keeping it stable. As soon as you have released the brake you need to start pressing the acceleration pedal which is the second transition, keeping it constant first, while the steering angle is stable and smoothly and progressively enter the last acceleration phase as early as possible, after you start unwinding the wheel.

AnalysisWith the help of the advanced Academy analysis you will be able to clearly define those phases in your driving, analyze them and adjust your interactions accordingly in order to improve your results. But what’s the easiest way to adjust your inputs? The answer of this question is the Academy’s Co-Driver mode. No matter if you want to correct the most common mistake in driving – the desire of the driver to enter the corner as fast as possible, resulting in a lower exit speed, if you want to move a braking point a little bit later or earlier, want to push a little bit earlier and harder, or want to change the racing line through the corners, all you need to do is to carefully examine and analyze your data and the possible way of improvement and setup a Co-Driver assistant which will guide you through the track with red, yellow and green LED indications and visual turn-in graphic on the display.

15 - Advanced AnalysisTake a careful look at your speed graphs, examine the G-Forces and Steering Wheel Angle lines into the corners, check your previous braking and turn-in points and the racing line itself. As soon as you make your conclusions just enter the Academy screen on your iPad Application and start creating points for every corner you want. This will allow you to mark every driver interaction for every corner phase you want to adjust and notifications with the LEDs and the DISPLAY will show every desired braking point (red), transition point (yellow), acceleration point (green) and turn-in point (DISPLAY graphic).

14 - Co-DriverAlthough, you must be careful when setting up those points and never rely solely on the Co-Driver’s guidance. Create the points only for reference and check them during the moderate driving pace in the first lap or two, before getting into racing at 100%.          Let us give you a few tips and tricks how to achieve a good and useful Co-Driver setup:

  • Consider your braking points setup very carefully and never move them too further into the corner versus your current ones, since there is a risk that you won’t be able to decrease your speed enough before the turn.
  • Position your turn-in points wisely, since they are the main component defining the racing line, and a small change in the moment you turn can result in a big change in your trajectory through the turn.
  • The transition point is the moment that marks the overlap of braking and acceleration or the neutral situation in a turn, that you’re balancing the speed and using almost 100% of the grip for cornering. It marks the end of the braking phase and the start of balanced throttle phase of a turn, and can be in any of the cornering phases of the steering wheel, but mostly it should be somewhere around the moment that you have balanced the steering wheel as well, keeping the desired turn angle constant. This phase is very important, since as early you’re able to stabilize after the hard braking and initial turning as faster you’ll be in the corner and as early you’ll be able to accelerate hard.
  • The sooner – the better! This is the ideal case with the acceleration, but it’s a bit tricky, since accelerating too early may result in the loss of traction. So try to set the acceleration point as early as possible, but not too further back, so that the transition phase have finished and it is time to start unwinding the steering wheel and step on the gas.
  • Do not create your points too close one after another, since the visualization will become too quick and you may not be able to get it into consideration.
  • And to summarize – create your Co-Driver setup in a manner that will allow you to brake further, turn in a point that will create a racing line allowing short path and good minimal speed, but most of all earlier acceleration.

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After you have created the proper Co-Driver setup you only have to get into your Go-Kart, apply the Academy mode on your RaceCloud DISPLAY and go out and drive, developing your driving with the help of your personal on-the-spot guidance.

https://youtu.be/hN1n0uuO4tI?t=1m35s

Improving driver’s behavior within the racing line

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Academy_HeaderImproving driver’s capabilities and achieving better results and performance have always been the core of motorsports and ever since its creation people are trying to find the easiest, the fastest and the most effective way to do this. There have been a lot of different approaches through the years in pursuit of speed, but the driver’s behavior within the racing line have always been the essential part. And what defines the racing line itself are the crucial points of driver interaction. Finding the best braking, turn-in and acceleration points is a desired goal activating people’s creativity in making the drivers follow them. The history remembers a lot of interesting and inspired ideas – from marking those spots on the tarmac, through standing next to the track and showing them to the driver to creating a visual mind markers inside the driver’s head. And now, since we’re into the 21st century it is time for RaceCloud to once again create something innovative and bring driver coaching to a completely new level!

What’s the meaning of all the data and information if the driver can’t realize what to change and when to do it? This is why with RaceCloud Academy you will be able to effortlessly find the weakest spots in driver’s behavior within the racing line and correct them by showing him the right moment for all the driver interactions – braking, turn-in, transition and acceleration! Co-Driver in your go-kart?! Why not! Want to push harder, brake later, guide your kart through the ideal line and accelerate as early as possible?! Yes, we all want that, so in order to achieve it just analyze your data, find the room for improvement and create your crucial driving points over the racing line and they will be displayed on the DISPLAY’s screen and LEDs. As simple as that! Forget about the old school, we are into the future, let’s take advantage of it!

14 - Co-DriverYou’ve found an option to improve braking for turn 1, or think that you should accelerate earlier out of turn 7? Just find the right spot and create your guiding points through your iPad Application, save them in your Academy Co-Driver setup for the Go-Kart BUNDLE and go! Your RaceCloud system will guide you through the track preparing you and showing you exactly what and where you should do in order to go faster and achieve better lap times. 3…2…1… BRAKE, 3…2…1… TURN, 3…2…1… ACCELERATE! Just like that!

And this is just the beginning – since RaceCloud’s Academy is automatically detecting the braking and turning points of your friend or team mate, you will be able to review them and create yours based on this, making it a piece of cake to learn a new track or just improve your driving!

Just take your seat with our test driver and take a look at all that in action: https://youtu.be/hN1n0uuO4tI?t=1m35s

It’s a video-game-like for kids as well! You know how cool such gadgets are in their eyes… Get them entertained and see what happens, having the opportunity to find if they are getting your advices into consideration – there will be no more excuses if they are not following them.

So, RaceCloud Academy is knocking on the door bringing innovation and state-of-the-art experience! Keep on following us for the future launch and details about how to get it for your new or existing RaceCloud subscription!

Maintenance timers

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Maintenance_HeaderWhen talking about chassis and engine performance the first things that come to mind are power, acceleration, G-forces, cornering speeds and lap times. But behind achieving all those figures and results lies the technical condition and preparation of your racing equipment in order to unveil its best performance. And despite being a relatively simple in technical terms, kart racing requires a lot of maintenance procedures, keeping the machine in shape.

IMG_0532Now imagine that you are owning not just a single go-kart, but a team with numerous karts, each of them with a few different engines and you have to take care of all the necessary maintenance procedures, keep track of what have been previously done and what have to be done in the future. It could easily become a nightmare and what’s worse – you can easily forget an important procedure and this may cause worse performance or even a technical failure.

IMG_0536In RaceCloud we have created an effortless notification tool allowing you to keep track of all those procedures, no matter if they concern engine, chassis or you want to add a custom reminder for any other maintenance or servicing procedure.

IMG_0535Pick any of the default units or create your custom timer and adjust the notification’s interval (a number of racing hours, sessions or days). Since your RaceCloud is constantly monitoring what’s happening with your machine there is no need for you to think about anything. It automatically counts how many racing hours you’ve done, the number of sessions made and the active days of use and notifies you accordingly when there is a procedure that you have to be reminded for. Check it when you’re done and the timer starts counting again. As simple as that!

IMG_0533And from now on you will never forget any operation that has to be done on any of your karts and thus will be safe and secure that you can rely on your machine’s technical condition and performance.

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Wanna know even more about RaceCloud’s innovative world?! Follow us and you’ll never miss an exciting update.

Race Setup – Chassis and Engine Adjustments

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In pursuit of every possible option for improvement, analyzing driver and machine behavior and their performance is inevitable. And, considering how crucial are all the chassis adjustments in order to give you the best possible grip and handling, how important is the engine setup and the perfect tire type and pressures, we all know how substantial is to keep track on every single setting you make and how even the slightest change can result in a huge improvement or deterioration. But what’s the proper way to keep under control all those adjustments and fine tuning? Well, we believe that we have found the right way to do it!

Adding the option to enter each and every adjustment you make on the kart for every single session is a feature that makes your life a lot easier, saves time and gives you a lot of information and data for comparison and a starting point for improvement.

imageGet inside the “Race Setup” and easily enter all the parameters that have been adjusted in pursuit of grip and handling and they will be stored for you and available whenever you need them. Make a session with this setup and then upgrade it and make another one. Then you have the option to easily compare sessions made with different setups and see how they reflect on your lap times, kart behavior and overall performance.

imageAnd to take the tuning to another level in terms of engine setup, we have done some magic again, thanks to RaceCloud’s innovative concept. Being able to receive Live data from the WEATHER station included in the BUNDLE, our system’s advanced computing is taking into consideration the ambient air temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity and the kart’s altitude and picking from our database the recommended values for the carburetor’s jet and needle setup. The best possible starting point for fine tuning your engine, right?!

imageHaving all this, you are once again a step ahead, taking advantage of a simple, useful and time saving feature that will not let you leave anything to chance! Keep following us for more of this!

Lap Time Consistency

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IMG_0033We’re always talking about the best lap times, but being super-fast in one single lap is never enough in motorsport. You want to win races right?! So you have to be as fast as possible in every corner, on every straight, in every lap, in every session on track. Consistency is the key to become a winner! But how to find out if everything is ok with your driving stints’ consistency? All you need to do is to take a sneak peek at RaceCloud’s session overview and find the laps progress during your drive.

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Well, it’s a simple sequence of bars with lap times, but what does it tell us? Actually it can give you more information than you might think. Can you imagine that it can give you clues on how your go-kart is performing, how the tires are working, how the driver is building his pace and using his physical resources.

We all know that it’s easier to search first for weaknesses in the technology and blame it for poor results, but we should never forget the driver’s behavior and his dedication in achieving consistency. So in the first place the list with all the lap times is giving us a clue where we should start searching for and after we examine the driving we can go forward investigating the go-kart’s behavior.

If for example the best lap is a lot better than the others in the session this could be due to chassis setup which is allowing the driver to complete just one perfect lap but struggle to keep it consistent.

IMG_0034Lap times are gradually but slowly improving but yet you cannot reach the desired target? The reason could be insufficient tire temperature due to improper tire pressure or compound, or simply because of an incorrect chassis setup, resulting in lower grip levels.

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Experiencing the opposite – best lap time in the first few laps and then gradually becoming worse? Well, possible the tires are overheating and grip levels drop.

IMG_0032These are just a few basic examples on how just a simple list of lap and sector times could help us build our consistency and improve driver and go-kart. It is your turn to take advantage thanks to it and continue growing as a winner!

Stay tuned for more of our moments of “revelation” on our blog!

Theoretical best lap time

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imageWhen you’re pushing the limit it’s not always possible to complete a whole lap making every bend and straight at 100%. Once for example you’re perfect in turn number 3 but a missed braking point ruin the whole lap. Next time sector one and two are brilliant but traffic prevents you from keeping the pace. And you are always wondering what will be the result if you manage to complete a lap that has all your best in it!

The theoretical best lap is the feature that automatically calculates the sum of the best sector times in your session and gives you a clue of what is possible if you manage to get them inside one single lap. What’s more is that you can find exactly what you have done in you fastest sector in order to get the clock showing as short interval as possible.

imageA closer look into the lap times list in the session overview is showing you a detailed list of all the sector times as well and all you have to do is to find in which lap was your fastest sector one, two, three etc.

imageWhen you have that information all you have to do is to get back to the comparison mode and find what have been done in order to achieve those sector times and push harder to repeat those actions as consistently as possible. As we can see on the image shown, our driver managed to drive the fastest sectors 1 and 3 in his best lap, but has a 3 tenths faster sector 2 in his 5th lap and thus he needs to find what mistake have been made there.

If you want to go even further you can manually divide the track (creating a manual track configuration) making every single corner a separate sector and thus you’ll be able to get the ultimate best lap and examine the fastest way through every corner.

And if you dare to go further don’t forget to follow our blog.

RPM Analysis & Gears

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IMG_0016_crSpeed is everything in motorsports. Ask any man on earth and he’ll confirm that he can be as fast as hell, but is it so simple?! Despite the fact that it sounds very simple to most people, and as discussed in our previous topics, keeping the speed as high as possible isn’t a simple task and there are a lot of factors that have serious influence over it. Being fast means that you have to consider a huge number of factors, no matter if we talk about acceleration, max speed or turning speed. We have mentioned some things considering the speed into the twists, but what about the acceleration and speed between them and on the straights?

In terms of catalog data it is so simple – you have power, you have certain weight, and there we go. But the equation is a lot more complex. When you have the restrictions and the equalized forces in all the championships everything scales down to the finest details. This is why being able to make a proper RPM range analysis and adapt your gearing accordingly is crucial in getting the best speed on every specific track and conditions. Finding the best combo between max speed and acceleration is a complex of fine driver perception and careful assessment over the data. In other words, the proper tool helping you to find the best gear ratio will be a huge relief and time saver.

RaceCloud’s automated RPM analysis is that tool! Adding the most effective RPM range according your engine’s power curve into the Kart’s setup is allowing you to precisely determine how efficient is your final gear – how much time you match this range on track and if you need to search for shorter or longer gearing. Combine this data with the min/max RPM and SPEED values in the session overview and the task is becoming a piece of cake! If you think you’re spending too much time in the blue zone bellow the optimal range – pick a shorter gear ratio. And the opposite – you’re revving too high – change to longer final gear. As simple as that!

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Want more speed and driving “secrets”? Keep on following our Blog!

G-Forces & Steering Wheel Angle

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HeaderWell, welcome again in our pursuit of happiness… oops, sorry, pursuit for best lap times, which is motorsport’s joy factor and the way of measuring happiness. Remember that in the last two blog posts we’ve found the proper way around turns 5 to 8 for our driver on Lucas Guerrero track during the Rotax Grand Finals 2014. Unfortunately something went wrong in the second half of lap 7 in session 3  and we should now find out what have happened that caused the loss of those 2 tenths gained before that section.

image(8)How should you find such a weak spot within all the numbers and data?! Well, that’s easy with RaceCloud, since we have already thought about making it simpler, easier and faster for anyone to get “into” the in-depth analysis and to do so we made it visual! See the blue and orange lines over the racing line? You’ve already guessing what they are, right? It’s so much easier to understand what’s happening at every centimeter of the driving line with such a visualization of the lateral G-Forces and the Steering Wheel Angle. The pieces of the puzzle are finally getting on their places one by one and we start noticing a lot of details.

image(5)And this is how the “something wrong” went out on focus! Something is really wrong with Steering Wheel Angle and G-Force graph in turn 10, right? What we see is that a huge drop in the G-Forces is generated, combined with “opposite lock” with the steering,            done by the driver in order to compensate the grip loss and get everything back under control. This however, as everyone in motorsport is aware, is a time killer and despite the higher speed it immediately started “eating” what was gained in the last few turns.  Removing the other lap from the comparison clearly shows what have happened and that it was the first reason for losing time.

image(6)So the mystery is solved and RaceCloud once again showed us, that even being as close as possible in the matter of lap times, two laps can be a lot different to each other and we can learn a lot from them, being able to understand what the data is trying to tell us!

Follow us for more, since we’re impatient to help you easily understand what’s happening at every centimeter of the track!

Speed vs Brake / Turn-in points & Racing line

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This week we continue chasing the clock and it is now time to unveil the mystery that appeared in our previous post. Following the Time VS Time graph we discovered that our driver did some magic in the second sector gaining a lot of advantage in his second best lap.

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Let’s examine the Speed graph and find out if it’ll help us determine what happened. What the blue line is showing you is that the driver is keeping higher speed through turn 6, resulting in higher speed before turn 7. A later turn-in for turn 7 on the other side allows earlier acceleration and thus – higher speed in the next section despite the little lower apex speed.

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How do we know about the later turn-in? Well, RaceCloud is automatically detecting the braking and turn-in points and displaying them for easier and faster analysis. According the World Champion Mikko Laine, that’s the best feature that we have created so far and he also says that “It’s really useful for all the drivers including rookies and pros“.

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If you take a closer look at this section and the points over the racing line you’ll see that in the “blue” lap the driver initiated the braking and started turning at one and the same point, while on the other lap the points are different and the turn-in is earlier. A turn-in point in the middle of turn 5 in the red lap on the other side suggests a possible reason for the lower speed through turn 6, mentioned above. The later braking and more inside racing line caused the driver to work harder and struggle for grip and speed into the next turn and all this resulted in time and speed loss through the whole next section which is faster and thus more important for taking advantage.

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In the final section of the track, the “red” lap is “back in the game” carrying more speed into turns 15 and 16 and that helps it to finally make it with a negligible advantage of 0.03 sec. But what caused the loss of 2 tenths of a second in just a few turns? Keep following us so we can find the secret together, next time on RaceCloud Blog.