Thursday, 29 May 2014

Don't ask what telemetry can do for you, ask what you can do for telemetry

We've all seen race engineers hunched over displays, gazing intently at traces that spike and trough in ways that are thoroughly unintelligible for the uninitiated. What they're doing is attempting to discover and identify issues with the car being analysed.

Now I have no great understanding of this science. When I was working on the C-Spec setup at Okayama earlier in the season I was doing it based on feel. I tried the lowest value then the highest and compared the feel of the two. From there I went to a third value in between them, biased towards the better feeling, and adjusted downwards or upwards from there.

After spending some time researching telemetry I've come to the conclusion that in fact that might be the best solution. At least the best primary source for adjustments.

I re-installed Motec after having messed around with Atlas. I say "messed around" because Atlas is not particularly user friendly, to the point I didn't even know what unit of measure it was using. Motec right out of the box with a default setup has the required information right there, to the point I went straight to the suspension histogram - I didn't even know what it was called from my fumblings with Atlas.

I can see how it's worth experimenting with the bump and rebound on three of the four wheels. I want to see how the car handles with them being more symmetrical. And tyre temperatures on the outer sections are much cooler. That suggests camber changes to improve the amount of tyre in contact with the road.

The latter I could see from wear in the garage. And with iRacing wear is most likely the most reliable measurement for camber.

But, having made those adjustments I will still go by feel, and won't be afraid to discard whatever shock changes the Motec histogram suggests. Though I am likely to see how garage tyre wear and the Motec temperature telemetry compare.

Perhaps the most important thing about analysing telemetry is that it makes you think about the science behind how these cars actually work out on the track.

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