Circuit Tools analysis software
Circuit Tools software is a track focused, data-analysis package designed for Racelogic GPS data-loggers, including VBOX, Video VBOX, VBOX Sport, DriftBox and PerformanceBox. The software is designed to automate many tasks and quickly present a driver with the crucial information required to improve lap-times. The software is designed by racing drivers, for racing drivers, with none of the complexity normally associated with analysis software which is often aimed at experienced race engineers.
Watch the demonstration video here:
Insert your SD card containing the video and synchronised data, and select the latest file. The software then automatically detects the country, circuit and track configuration you have been driving from the database of 400 circuits included with the package, then uses the start/finish line in the database to separate and sort the laps contained in that file.
(To download a Google Earth KML file showing all of the tracks currently in the database, click link here)
The fastest lap from your latest session is automatically chosen and displayed on the graph window, and the video is moved to the start of this lap. You can then compare runs from this session, or from previous one simply by clicking on the relevant lap-time shown in the session window.
A theoretical ‘ideal lap’ is calculated from the best sectors in each session. To view sectors, simply click on the relevant sector, or drag the cursor over a number of sectors to show a sequence.
A very useful channel, time difference or 'Delta-T', can be displayed showing the lap-time difference around the lap between two different laps.
Two laps compared using Circuit Tools analysis package showing Delta-T channel
Circuit Tools contains a huge database of worldwide circuits and for most circuits in that database are Track overlays.
These are surveyed inside and outside edges of the track, which allow you to truly see and compare different driving lines.
Lap-time difference channel
The time difference or Delta-T channel is a very important parameter in driver analysis and we have vastly improved the standard technique used up till now with an advanced algorithm which utilises the advantages of GPS to the full.
Conventionally, continuous lap time difference was based on aligning the distance channel from each lap and subtracting the time at these points.
This works only if the driver took more or less the same line around the track, but if you are comparing two drivers, or trying out different lines, then the difference in lap distances can be typically more than 10m by the end of the lap.
This means that the time difference channel degrades from the start of the lap and could be out by up to as much as 1 second by the end (and over 4s around the Nordschleife!) which makes it difficult to use for any meaningful analysis.
Take the example on the right, where the two drivers took completely different lines around the corner, but which is the fastest? The difference in rolling distance between these two lines is around 3m, so if you rely on distance to compare them, the analysis for this corner alone will be out by nearly 0.2s.
You can apply corrections to appear to reduce this, but in reality you are losing out on vital information because the true point by point comparison is not being done.
In Circuit Tools we have developed a sophisticated routine which compares the two actual GPS driving lines around the lap to give a continuously accurate Delta-T channel which is always within less than a tenth of a second, even around the Nordschleife.
This ensures that the feedback you are getting from the analysis is as accurate as possible, allowing you to get closer to finding the optimum driving techniques.
The data graph in Circuit Tools can be set to time, distance, or GPS position. However, for comparing different laps or drivers, comparing via GPS position is usually more effective.
Why is position comparison better than time and distance?
Time: One driver may drive around a circuit at a totally different speed to another. While one driver is still approaching a corner, another could be already on the exit - which makes true comparison difficult.
Distance: As position on the track will often differ between laps or between drivers, distance travelled even around one lap is often very different from lap to lap. This could be as a result of using differet lines, or going around the outside of a corner (and thus travelling further) due to traffic. Around long tracks this can equate to a large difference.
Therefore, if a point is picked for comparison using either of the above options, then there is a high likelihood that the two laps / drivers will be at separate points in the circuit.
Position: Using GPS position (shown in the bottom image, above right) means that it does not matter how fast you are, or what distance you have travelled. This is because the software will look at the GPS sample points and use the position data from each lap when aligning the comparison laps. If you want to compare the same point on a corner, for example, you can do it with a high degree of accuracy.
Laps aligned with distance
Laps aligned with GPS position (LineSnap)
How to improve you lap times with Circuit Tools
A real life example of two drivers using Circuit Tools at Anglesey to improve their lap times.