Thursday, May 25, 2006

Race this weekend

On my home track too! This will be fun, it also looks as if it will rain on the race day... Historically I have proven to be quite good in rain so this time anything other than podium is a big disappointment! That goes for the dry race as well.

Tracktimer development has been slow the last weeks, I am discussing a quite big redesign of the sidecar part since modern sidecars are more like cars but with three wheels instead.

I had a phone call yesterday with a friend in advertising (who also races bikes) about what you as a racer will gain by using Tracktimer, just saying that it's good isn't enough to make people buy it (but it is, good I mean!)

  • You will force yourself to make notes after each session. This means that you will learn more from each session both about yourself and the vehicle you are using.

  • By using the Maintenance functionality you will service your vehicle when it is needed to, not too often and not too seldom. This gives you an edge in knowing that the parts that you are using probably won't break in the middle of a race. This makes you confident and you can concentrate on going fast!

  • You will very easily be able to look up data from older sessions if you have internet connection, just export all sessions and upload to a web server (if you have an ISP you always get 10-20 MB of storage for a personal home page, check it!). This is invaluable if you are working with suspension engineers, engine builders and such. They can read all data from your tests and also see all the settings used. Not to mention extremely interested sponsors that want to know everything about the last race.

  • The first setup you enter into Tracktimer should be as complete as possible. Later setups should be based on the setup you used before which means that you will always have the complete setup available, not just the changes between two sessions. So if the bike/car/kart is completely disassembled you can put it back to the same settings as you had before.

  • Still, the most important benefit of using Tracktimer is that you force yourself to think and analyze your racing and get this feeling of being on top of all the small details.

    A quick update about the race:
    I qualified at 7th place with lap times about 2 seconds slower than I normally run. A combination of a lot of headwind on the straight and an engine that doesn't perform very well is the reason for this. Come raceday and I felt feverish, my forehead was dripping with sweat after the warmup, this didn't feel good. Anyway I did a good start (again!) and was fifth into the first curve, then on the long straight I could not follow the other bikes and after six laps the engine made a noise that sounded very expensive so I had to stop, at that moment I held 7th place. I haven't looked at the engine yet so it could be anything from broken gearbox to a broken exhaust valve.
    So two races so far and two DNF's, at last me and Rossi have something in common! :)
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