Chasing lap-times can not only be a constant pursuit of shaving off seconds, but determining whether the driver or the car should be prioritized for improvement. Often times we look for the best in aftermarket parts to improve our confidence in the car to suit our driving style. By having a reliable way to accurately measure where we lack in driving skill, we can spend less time under the wrench and more time behind the wheel.
Using data loggers will grant you the telemetry you need for your session debriefs including throttle and brake traces along with steering inputs. Some data loggers display purely this data, while others combine the use of HD camera equipment to combine the telemetry with the video.
Newer data loggers offer track mapping technology through the use of your vehicle's speed sensor and accelerometer, or GPS in a closed circuit (point-to-point). This is useful for displaying what one’s car is doing at any point in the lap, with and without a video camera. Furthermore, a data logger can provide you with live data useful to improving your lap times and allow you to make driving adjustments.
Live split times for example allow you to determine whether your driving changes were beneficial or detrimental to your lap times at a quick glance. Through each corner of the track, you are able to see whether you have gained or lost time, depending on the entrance and exit speed you carry throughout the corner. This concept is identical to if you were playing a simulator such as iRacing or Gran Turismo, where your best times are matched against your current progress to determine if you have gained or lost time throughout the track. More importantly if you have a target lap-time in mind, having those times available in your cockpit live may give you the confidence to push harder for further improvement.
The primary data acquisition tools we use and recommend for our customers are the AIM Solo & AIM Solo DL. Both devices utilize data from two satellite constellations, GPS and Glonass. This allows for more precise lap times calculated within 2/100 of a second. The regular Solo will provide you with information such as predictive lap and sector times, using LEDs to indicate real-time performance. Green shows improvement, while red shows impairment. LEDs are also programmable to focus on certain data or to be used as shift lights. The AIM Solo DL offers several complex layers of data vital to you and your vehicle’s performance.
Being able to actively monitor and record fluid temps and pressures ensures you’re staying within the safe zone of said car’s limits; letting you know when to cool down and when it’s safe to bring the car back to its limits. The Solo DL also allows you to see your throttle and brake traces, steering angle, rpm, g-force, and much more which can be recorded and replayed. The AIM Smartycam, which is a video device used to record HD footage of your track endeavors, is plug and play with the DL. Paired together with a driving coach who can interpret the data to your benefit, the path to becoming a better driver can’t get easier.