Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Season Wrapup for Norcal Se30

Don't forget to visit BTM Motowerks' season wrapup here!

We were fortunate enough to have a storybook ending to the season and come away with the win for the year. And Happy New Year to everyone - 2012 should be outstanding! And may see the emergence of yet another fine BTM Motorwerks race car!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ticket to Ride!

Taking a break from the trials and tribulations of building and sorting a brand new race car, I'd been enjoying the summer with the odd karting date with Mrs. Racecarnology and Hats, running a few test days in the BTM Motorwerks 19 car, hitting the odd training ride, and just generally enjoying the fantastic weather of Silicon Valley. I'd even found a new day job which has been the most excellent company to work at since I can remember.

In the midst of my revelry, I got a call from Ali Arsham, the USTCC organizer that a long-time USTCC competitor was looking for a ringer driver to drive his car at the next event at Buttonwillow Raceway in a few weeks' time. He put me in touch with Rich Peterson, someone I'd raced against first at the San Jose Grand Prix in 2005 - would I like to drive his car - he'd just completed some power upgrades and 'thought there might be a podium' in the car with the right driver.

Yes Please.

A short conversation later with some assurance that all my experience in BMWs wouldn't detract from my ability to toss his Mini around, and the deal was set.

The Car

Rich's Mini is a 1st generation supercharged Mini, and it became quickly obvious that it was a very different beast than either of the BTM Motowerks Spec e30s, and even my old USTCC car, the BTM Motorwerks 328ti. With a short wheelbase, FWD, and a very extensive cage, it turns and squirts into whatever hole you point it at immediately. I was also unprepared for the engine upgrades...the details of which I remain culpably unaware, other than it wails to the point that I needed better ear plugs, and that it doesn't stop pulling until the fuel cuts out at 7700 rpm. Rich had done a very nice job at building a solid little car.

My first few laps in warm up went well, feeling the chassis out and figuring out what the engine and brakes would do - more and more as I tried harder. NASA Socal was running the #13 CW configuration, with the bus stop, but cutting out the Star Mazda turn for the sweeper. The Mini could be put very deep into the Offramp, practically ignoring the bumpy entry, but through bumpy Cotton Corners was difficult to get it to stay on the ground. But once through Grapevine and into the Bus Stop and Riverside, the stick of the little car was most impressive, flat on the gas all the way through Phil Hill. My mind spun with possibilities not just of where I could find more time with the little car, but also where it would be most racy against the other fine USTCC competitors and where racing opportunities would most likely present themselves later in the day. The car had a lot of good qualities, and would give several good racing opportunities.

Saturday Race

The first qualifying session went well, and we started the Saturday race on the second row in 4th. Curt Simmons, the 2007 champ on pole, Brandon Kraus, and Pete Bovenburg all in front of me, and Dave Brown multiple time champ right behind. The start was an unusual rolling start for USTCC, and nobody had a clear advantage going into Turn 1. The other three cars stacked up in Cotton Corners, and Dave Brown in his Mitsubishi got alongside the Mini, finally ending side by side as the Mini got a better run out of Grapevine and got back ahead.

Ironically, both Pete and Brandon suffered mechanical issues early in the race, and while I held off a charge from behind first by Felipe Cabezas' Mazdaspeed 3, then later a recovered Dave Brown, I found myself nipping at Curt's heels for the lead. As I caught up, I found I could carry much better speed through Riverside than the SRT4, and made a few different attempts going into and out of Phil Hill, before finally getting by Simmons coming out of the esses. Rich would later recall seeing his car come around the final turn onto the front straight in first, and he sounded very happy to see his hard work lead a professional race.

After that point, it was a matter of the typical drivers' conundrum - hold on to good laptimes while making the car last to the end of the race. I shouldn't have worried, though, given the mild temperatures and relative lightness of the car, it felt like it could have kept going at 100% all day long.

Sunday Race

Sunday proved to be a more difficult challenge. Between missing a driver's meeting (something a so-called pro driver shouldn't do!) and some weight adjustment, I qualified a little further back in 7th. Making things even more difficult, the NASA changed the course to exclude the bus stop, one of the Mini's favorite parts of the track, and the temperature climbed higher giving me concerns that the little 1.6 would suffer from heat-related issues.
The usual USTCC standing start proved quite event-filled as I lined up right behind Curt Simmons, but as the green flag few, he stalled his car leaving me with very little room to get moving. Two other BMWs got by the Mini, and I had my work cut out for me.

Brandon, Felipe and Pete took off and I ended up clawing my way back past the BMWs, right up to Dave Brown's Lancer's bumper. I was able to poke the Mini's nose in a few times, but the straight run through the Dog Leg gave less advantage to the Mini than it had the previous day.

Dave pulled out a three length lead that we fought over, and got some help holding me off.

To anyone that's raced at Buttonwillow with a full track of hard-charging nutballs, one of the well-known features are the incredible dust clouds that can gather when someone puts a wheel or two or a whole car off into the dirt. Being in the middle of California's Central Valley, the runoff areas are flat and quite uneventful, but the prehistoric lakebed dust is fine, and can easily be shot a hundred feet in the air by a speeding race car with hot tires.

It just so happened that I chased Dave over Phil Hill, and he was able to dive into the sweeper ahead of a lapped car. As we looked into the turn, we realized there was the mother of all dust clouds just hitting its peak as we turned toward the esses. Dave bombed into the cloud unfazed, but the lapped car hit its brakes just as it entered, disappearing into the cloud to slow somewhere unseen.

Slowing myself to avoid hitting a mystery-dust shrouded car, I turned off the track and cut a path through the dust and dirt, finally rejoining halfway through the esses. I'd managed to avoid collecting another car as a hood ornament on Rich's lovely Mini, however, Dave's Mitsubishi had taken advantage and gained a half straightaway on me that I wasn't able to regain.
Ironically, none of the other cars broke or went terminally off the track, so I brought the Mini home in 6th, safe but dusty, and plenty of grit between my teeth.


Up at the front Brandon managed to score another victory just tenths ahead of Felipe and Pete, and they managed to spray plenty of champagne to hose off the Buttonwillow dust in the usual USTCC podium ceremony. The Mini ran some very good times though, especially in the standard #13 configuration - just a few odd circumstances kept us from a much higher finish. USTCC's season finale will be at Infineon in early November, here's hoping that Rich has us back for another chance on the most technical, twisty track in California. Seems like it would suit a Mini.

Pictures and video to follow!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The MaxQ Review

The first product I’ll review on Racecarnolgy will be the MaxQ VeQtr system by MaxQData (www.maxqdata.com). This system is an interesting package for the Racecarnologist because it uses mostly off-the-shelf parts available to the average nerd to accomplish something that previously was only done by expensive, dedicated hardware.

The system I received came with the following:

  • A high quality 20Mhz Bluetooth GPS
  • An Asus EeePC 901 loaded with MaxQData Software
  • A higher and a lower quality webcam
  • Various cables and a slim low-power power inverter

Essentially, the concept is the GPS and the PC are connected through Bluetooth, you plug the webcams into the PC, start the software and hit the track. The software determines when you’re moving, starts the timer, then extrapolates power, braking and lateral G’s from the GPS data. The intention is, since EeePC has a solid-state drive, the goal is for it to be rugged enough to survive inside the race car while recording everything realtime, and that even saves a step from having to download the data to analyze it. The idea and the workflow is good in theory...but more on the practical side of this later.

What’s also nice from a do-it-yourself standpoint, is it’s possible to assemble the individual pieces yourself, GPS, laptop, webcams, etc, and buy a copy of the software to get them to all work together - MaxQ makes a license for their analysis and data capturing software available starting at $29 for basic 5Hz Bluetooth compatibility to $149 for 10Hz GPS unlimited data comparison and video overlay. The ability to mix and match pieces, particularly given many of us might have a laptop, some webcams or a Bluetooth GPS laying around might really be MaxQ’s secret super power. The whole $1300 system with 20Hz data is all-inclusive, but rivals the cost of entry level versions of the popular Race-Technology DL1 data logger, or the higher-end Race-Keeper SE Video Data System.

Here’s a sample video with the high-end 20Hz system mounted in the BTM Motorwerks BMW 328ti, during a practice session at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana:

BTM Motorwerks 328ti Cal Speedway Fontana Test from MadManMotors on Vimeo.

Preparing to race at Fontana with USTCC, some video footage showing the track with light NASA traffic. Driver, Andy Chittum, video overlay MaxQdata

What we liked:

One of the really nice parts of this system is the ability to add an external mic (again, don’t we all have a cheapo one just laying around?) or grab sound from one of the cameras. The main camera in this setup is mounted right in front of the rearview mirror, showing an excellent view and getting wind-free sound from up by the windshield. The second webcam is mounted by the passenger door to give a full view of the driver in action. Up to 4 cameras can be added to the system.

The MaxQ’s QView view of the data does a nice job of showing acceleration and braking in blue and red respectively, as well as wider rectangles for lateral Gs. It’s easy to see where I wimp out going into NASCAR T1 and lift slightly, as well as a few other areas I did well, or needed to work on - the more intense the color, the more dramatic the input.

The Chart software in general allowed for most of the standard comparisons one might want to see - comparing lap to lap or sector to sector with different runs, calculated hp, typical power curves, and in general is a completely serviceable way of analyzing data, with both typical plots for the data or the marching rectangles you see in the data overlay in the video.

What we didn’t like:

While the MaxQ’s strengths do lie in its modularity, some of its downfalls come from that as well.

Workflow - While there are some newer systems available to mere mortals that can update more often or realtime, typically the engineer descends upon the returned car wtih his laptop, downloads the data and looks at it with the driver. The MaxQ system relies on its included netbook to perform all functions, and it’s not designed to copy the data to another system. This leaves the team to first mount and supply power to a netbook in the race car, then get to it quickly after a session. But instead of a larger screen and more processing power that one might have in a laptop suitable for the paddock, all analysis, data processing, and video processing is done on one tiny Asus Eeepc 901.

In fact, a number of issues arose around the use of this netbook as the system brain:

- The system would start recording automatically as designed when leaving the grid, but when stopping for a standing start, it would stop recording, freezing while saving the data recorded thus far. The system would sometimes realize it was running again and start up invariably just after the typical early-race shimozzle, sometimes not at all. There is a setting to force the system to wait for a period of inactivity after stopping (say 5 minutes) but in practice we couldn’t reliably get the system to handle standing starts.

- While the Eeepc is rather rugged with its included 12GB SSD and withstood the odd bump and jiggle of racing, it did not withstand the heat of a typical race car (120+ degrees) very well. Hotter events in Sonoma and Fontana saw the system either shutdown and leave the team with a corrupt data / video file, or leave just a .asf file that would need some conversion before being useful. Certainly, a team could design a cooling system for the laptop in the car along with its mount and power needs (and we did have some success with this), but this is yet another detail that a small team would likely rather not deal with if necessary.

- Processing the video and data into the combined view seen above would have to be done on the Eeepc. While it was functional, there are certainly faster processors than the basic 1.6Ghz Atom for doing this. MaxQ could help this issue by allowing their software to be used on more than one PC at a time, but the release we tested only allowed one PC per copy.

- And lastly the UI. There are some environments where a simple friendly UI for the office just doesn’t quite cut it. A typical racecarnology reader might find Windows XP a very easy way to interact wtih a computer while sitting in the office, but as has become more obvious in the past few years, tablet based OSs, whether iOS, Android, WebOS or other are much more suitable to an outdoors, ‘I just want to punch a few buttons and have it work’ type of activity. The last thing that an engineer or crew chief needs to be doing when prepping the car for the track is booting up a PC, clicking icons, making sure USB and Bluetooth devices are connected and troubleshooting any of that.

The original versions of MaxQ did apparently run on Windows Mobile 6.x, but even Microsoft won’t admit to that OS anymore for the same reason - an epic fail in terms of a mobile UI. Many of the UI elements in the QView software could likely be adapted to a simple touch interface on, say, a 7” or 9” tablet. I don’t know about the reliability of such a device in a hot car, but it would be much better way to interact with the data, certainly. Perhaps an added benefit there would be mounting such a device in a way to provide dashboard-like feedback, laptimes, etc.


Our engineer noticed some discrepancies with the measured HP values in a few different situations - it appeared the MaxQ did not take elevation changes into account when measuring horsepower. So - looking at max HP on the run out of the carousel up to T7 at Sears Point looks a bit different than the front straightaway at Thunderhill, but Ed at MaxQ pointed out comparisons like this are still valuable day to day, if not track to track.

Another issue we weren’t able to confirm, running with USTCC (who use the system to police max HP on cars) the naturally aspirated cars’ HP values appeared to read high compared to the forced induction ones when we ran at Miller Motorsports Park, which is 4400ft elevation. The telling thing was nearly the entire field was impounded and run on a dyno - it was the two naturally aspirated cars that appeared to read high by comparison. Once we returned to Buttonwillow the following month, the readings followed the same distributions we’d seen previously at other near-sea level tracks, such a Sears Point and Thunderhill.

Neither accuracy issue are particularly deal-breakers, particularly with an affordable system, but worth noting.


Lastly, it’s worth noting that the Chart software takes video inputs via USB (up to 4 cameras) and external GPS inputs via Bluetooth, but no additional channels of data appear to be supported. For the processing limitations related above, we tested with a maximum of two video cameras.


Overall, the MaxQ set of products are a nice way to begin analyzing data that a beginning or amateur racer might generate with his or her car, looking for trends, and beginning the process of visualizing in data the hundreds of factors that lead to a fast lap time. Given some of the limitations of the system, it’s likely going to suit a driver or team that have more time and ingenuity than outright cash, and as such could be a valuable part of a low-cost system. But before spending more than a few hundred dollars on the various components of the system, the up and coming racer that will eventually want more should definitely investigate the systems that begin in the $1200 range and see if it make more sense to buy the entire VeQtr ™ system from MaxQ or go with the entry level offerings of a higher-end manufacturer.

Picture by Head On Photos, driver Andy Chittum

Monday, February 14, 2011

Little Cars, Big Fun, Could be Huge

We had a fantastic weekend racing at Infineon, BTM Motorwerks' Spec e30 was able to pick up right where we left off last season, right on top. While Brad was out in the #91 car on Sunday and the #92 car still a few steps short of track-readiness, I perused the NASA paddock looking for interesting things, and happened to run into Jim Jordan, from Mazda USA.

He had brought out their B-Spec Mazda 2, and with some introduction, a discovered shared love of the Mazdaspeed Protege, and proof I was indeed a card-carrying NASA member, Jim had me signed up to take the car out in the last session of the day.

Hopping into the little car, even with the stock dash and race equipment, everything falls right to hand, and taking off was indeed a bit like heading out to get groceries. Just with all the safety equipment and going via a few hilly laps of Infineon Raceway along the way. What's really great about this car, is what they didn't have to change to make it completely competent on the track. Stock suspension mounting points, stock engine and transmission, and otherwise off the shelf parts to build this car. Also especially neat is that so many new cars' electronic systems get very fussy from having parts removed, but Jim explained they'd just pulled a few parts out, and went racing. And this was the very same car that had been out for the 25 hours of Thunderhill, had done every single track session at the NASA event that weekend, and who knows what else in between.

And it was great. The stiffness of the suspension and chassis were very complementary and wherever you pointed the car, there it went. It didn't wallow around in some of the more technical areas like exiting the 3a-3b complex, and it was credibly stable through the faster areas like exiting the carousel T6, or just breathing off the throttle to make T10. Even the ABS kicked in predictably pushing a braking zone to the limit or avoiding slower traffic. Certainly, the power isn't anything that's going to bend anyone's mind, but setting up much more powerful cars on the brakes or just plain driving around them on the inside of T7 or outside of T2 kept me giggling the entire drive. All too soon, it was over, and I had to give the car back to the team to pack it up for its ride home.

Musing a little about the drive, I imagined some kind of not to distant world, where perhaps forty of these cars might show up to race in support of some larger series...particularly on a street circuit...some kind of crazy 'Keystone Cops do Monaco' event would be tremendously popular with race fans. Sure, a typical fan comes out to see the big boys race, the Rolex or ALMS or other sports cars, but a supporting series with cars that aren't just silhouettes, but real honest cars that they use for the mundane everyday movement, particularly two, three and four wide through the first few turns -- that is something that a race fan will really delight in seeing.

That also points too to the future of the series - it's great to have an easily accessible chassis, parts and support. And it's also great to drive a fun little car around for the day, something that's a joy to toss around, is light on consumables, but I personally think the future for building a car that's on sale now has got to be some lower end Pro series. Even just a little money and TV coverage could get quite a lot of these cars out all over the country, and not just from Mazda but any other manufacturer that have a sub-compact car they even remotely hint might have some performance.

In the meantime, Mazda is really leading the way with this. Particularly to be able to spare the time to bring their car out for just anyone to try out, is just amazing. Even further to have a chance to hear Jim talking about calling the race for the #40 GT Rolex RX8 at the 24 hours of Daytona, and describing pulling every trick in the book to hold off the might of TRG Porsche...I had to pinch myself a few times. That's a company that cares.

So, thank you Mazda! We'll be definitely keeping two eyes on this one.

Photo from Mazdausa.com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Life for a Battery

Today HP launched its new line of formerly-Palm phones and a tablet, amidst a fair amount of fanfare in San Francisco this morning. Racecarnology's labs was eagerly awaiting the news, we've been fans of Palm since we first tethered a Palm Pilot Pro to a Nokia 2190 using an Option Snap-on adapter and used that rig to kick off a build back at work from the seat of a parked 1999 M Roadster.

While their connected organizer did a lot of connecting and organizing, it of course fell to the wayside with the Smartphone Revolution where Palm finally responded with it's Pre phones running WebOS. Which, due to a number of fatal flaws weren't able to save Palm's sovereignty and were absorbed by HP. This morning's event is the culmination of the many fantastic innovations that Palm were able to bring about, backed by the piles of cash that HP has to pour into them.

By Racecarnology's estimation, original Pre and Pixi were fantastic overall including:

- Incredible WebOS UI and integration
- Nifty sleek design
- Better than average camera on the Pre

But, as it happens, a few fatal flaws:

- Poor ability to ship and update the device on a timely schedule and get to new carriers
- Bizarre Marketing incapable of communicating WebOS's awesomeness to the common man
- Battery life

Which brings us to the new devices. Have HP rectified all the Palm-bound shortcomings? The ship dates announced look slightly long, likely a new iProduct or two will be announced before HP's new gizmos hit the street. But HP has the money to make it happen. So 'Maybe' for that one. HP's marketing efforts have been at least non-offensive in the past, and I take it as a success story that Racecarnology's labs have two HP laptops and an HP printer, so we'll admit they're doing something right there.

But here's the rub - Engadget's fine coverage of the event listed a spec comparison between the Pre 2 and Pre 3 that showed awesome bumps across the board...except for a 1,230mAh battery. A 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon is just great, but how long will this phone last with just slightly less power than a Nokia X6? Or just sightly more power than an HTC Aria?

The Veer looked particularly interesting too - we tend to gravitate to a smaller phone, helpful to take long while training for those long hot hours in a race car. But perplexing in the extreme - a non-removable 910mAh battery. WTF.

Reading that number, we flashed back to the days of yore when a just nine hundred and ten little milliamp hours could last a full work day and night. And it dawned - the Sony Ericsson K850i - a beloved gadget, that we used constantly, took great pictures with its Xenon 5MP shooter, we broadcast the start of the 2009 Le Mans directly from Le Sarthe over Qik, we Skyfired, we Fringed, we Google mapped, we made calls with excellent reception, we tethered over bluetooth, and we listened to MP3s with Mega Bass for hours on end, all on its tiny little BST-38 930 mAh battery.

And so, a comparison that you probably won't see anywhere else. The very latest WebOS Veer vs. the Sony Ericsson K850i:

Dimensions54.5 x 84 x 15.1mm102 x 48 x 17mm
Processor800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230200Mhz ARM926EJ-S
Display2.6-inch 400 x 3202.2-inch 240x320
Camera5 megapixel5MP, AF, Xenon/LED Flash
Storage8GB8GB via Micro SD or MSM
Cellular RadioGSM / HSPAGSM / HSPDA
Bluetooth2.1 + EDR2.0, AVCRP, A2DP
Touch to ShareYesNope
Battery Capacity910mAh non-removable930mAh removable

As always, statistics need to taken with a grain of salt. In no way are we suggesting the K850i is a match to nearly any modern OS smartphone, but given this information, how long will a Veer's battery last? Without some serious optimization, there could be netbooks out there with more talk time.

In short, we still love Palm, even now under HP's evil overlordishness. WebOS still has so much UI awesomeness about it. Their tablet looks great with WebOS, and their announced computers running WebOS ensure its innovativeness be around for some time to come. But if they want to sell a phone, they're going to need some near-magical levels of power optimization, pave every road with Touchstone chargers, or they're just plain going to need some bigger batteries.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clean Sheet of Paper

Racecar Engineering last night published a brief article on the all-new John Player Specialesque Renault Lotus-ish F1 R31's exhaust treatment. Started last May from a clean sheet of paper, the car was designed by engineers with free reign to do something drastically different in the name of an advantage. Renault Technical Director James Allison said, "I believe we have chosen a direction which is on the brave end of brave."

It looks like, quite possibly, Renault been quite brave indeed.

Blown rear diffusers or rear wings have been on and off F1 cars for several years, the simple view is that you point the exhaust pipe of the engine at a sensitive areo area of the car, either to increase airflow in one area or to decrease airflow in another, and one supercomputer of advanced math later, you have increased downforce when you need it...just enough to make that difference in a highly completive race series.

We can't easily recall other areas of a race car getting the exhaust-blown treatment, but pictures seem to indicate the RB31's exhausts actually travel forward and exit toward the front of the sidepod, perhaps enabling better airflow over the floor right around the midsection of the car. This is particularly neat, because, should it actually work, they'd be getting additional downforce around the midsection of the car, which should give even more flexibility than just more downforce at the rear as with the 2010 cars using that setup. Which could lead to a significant advantage.

However, some serious challenges with heat come to mind - not only with running the exhaust pipe forward near the driver, but KERS returns to F1 this year, and that means another component in the car that needs extra cooling. And the tradeoff between cooling and areo efficiency is a very tight balance as well.

So will this thing work?

I'm reminded of another clean sheet of paper design released in June 2007 by a small computer company that had just 5% share of its market at the time. The main press thought they just might be on to something with their radical approach...some neat new features but glaringly lacking in others. Brave engineers too, and things have worked out quite well for them.

The Renault R31 needs to be ready to race March 11th. I have a feeling we'll know pretty quickly thereafter if the old John Player slogan 'Something Very Special' ends up referring to the R31's pace, or its ability to light up and burn at one end.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ship Date!

The two main areas my waking consciousness lingers on are the latest technology and building race cars.

Sadly, my thankfully steady but drab day job testing software somehow long ago ceased to follow the exclamation-point filled headlines on the forefront of technology, but having been in this industry for a few years and marking the changes through the fabulous tech coverage of sites like Engadget and Gizmodo, the perspective of our progress in the past few years is truly dizzying. 16 Gigs on your fingernail? Amazing. Translate words real-time through the camera on your off the shelf handheld? Stupendous. Maybe even a good synchronized mobile Gmail client. Unbelievable.

The lovely online real-time media facilitates us hanging on the words and terrific evil plans for world domination of our tech overlords…they promise amazing gadgets, and often deliver them, sometimes even when they say they will. It’s a tough balance - my favorite mobile devices are announced, and have to survive a bevy challenges -- the company’s own ability to execute on time, carrier approval, and finally other competitive company’s friction just to make it into my hands. Not an easy job.

To date, I’ve participated in the dis-assembly of a number of reasonably nice street BMWs and other cars, all for the express purpose of making them better for racing against other people on the track. Every one of them had a plan behind them, a shipping schedule as it were, of when the dis-assembly, fab work, reassembly, upgrades, and testing needed to be complete, and when I’d unleash them on the unsuspecting racing public, with better or worse results.

It’s a simplified comparison to be sure, but there’s an interesting point about racing that’s not as prevalent with the tech industry...the hard ship date.

Sure, plenty of companies shoot for a device to be ready for the Christmas selling season, or for a magazine reviewer to have a piece of software to review it in time for a publication date, but there’s always an alternate plan or schedule slop to work with. But when I strap into the race car I’ve built, the grid marshal blows three blasts on his whistle, and I’ve got just about 5 minutes ‘til my ship date has arrived. Checklists should show tire pressures have been set, suspension aligned and tuned using any recent test data, wheel nuts torqued, gas and ballast set correctly. Yes, it’s easier to get a race car certified for competition, and to pre-flight it. But while dropping a call using an Infineon chipset can be frustrating, dropping a wheel off the side of your car at 110mph in turn 10 at Infineon Raceway invokes a whole new perspective on one’s problems.

So, hopefully in the weeks to come, I’ll find a few more things to say about racing, and about tech...all I need now is a hard ship date to get my attention away from other shiny things and tickle the keys on my laptop on a regular basis.


Infineon photo by Head On Photos. True to form, the BTM Motorwerks Spece30 pictured leading through Turn 10 was DQ'd from 2nd place on its first race for being a few pounds too light, then soundly won its second race, in abysmal February weather with the author behind the wheel.