TESTED: Laptimizer Race Data Management iPad App


From the Sessions page you can quickly view and edit the data you collected, plus you can e-mail or text yourself the report in PDF format. There’s even an option to upload reports to DropBox, which is a great way to backup your data to the cloud for safekeeping. Legit 21st century thinking going on here!
The report above is generated based on the data you feed it, and this is what the tire data input page looks like. As you can see, it’s all laid out in a logical fashion, so although you have to be willing to have your iPad hanging around pit lane with you, it’s really no slower to record the data than it is using pen and paper, and unlike those old school tools, the advantages to using Laptimizer are pretty obvious when you look at that nice, clean report above and how much data you can pack it with. I also found myself snapping pics with my iPad in pit lane, stuff like unusual tire wear or an especially hot umbrella girl. Oh, and since a lot of race tracks have free WiFi these days, it’s also super handy having the iPad around for watching live timing, streaming in-car video, and all that good stuff.
Laptimizer gearing chartAnother cool feature built into Laptimizer is the gearing page. Here I’ve input the gearing for a Scion FR-S, along with the circumference of the tires being tested. As a result, I get this colorful graph showing my gear spacing, which not only looks great as a nerdy wallpaper on my desktop, it can also be used to investigate different gear ratios or higher/lower final drive ratios in the never-ending search for more speed. The Differential, Engine and Fuel pages are just as useful for projecting how changes to these parts of your racecar will impact performance.

Ok, so I know some of you are going to be all, “There’s no f’ing way I’m bringing my $700 iPad to the race track, where it’ll get dirty, scratched or stolen!” and to you I say, grow a pair! Hah. Ok, but seriously, I do understand your concern since the same thought crossed my mind the first time I used Laptimizer, but now that I’ve gotten over that psychological hurdle and used the app at the track a bunch of times, I’ve come to really enjoy having my iPad at the track with me. Yes, I bought a $70 protective case for it, but that has more to do with having a 3-year old son at home than being worried about banging it up at the track, and as I’ve learned there are multiple uses for an iPad at the track (if AiM Sports would release an app version of their Race Studio data analysis software I’d be the happiest man on earth).

According to Sasha, “It turns out the biggest hurdle we are having with the app is getting people to actively use it. The old habit of pen and paper (or for a lot of people, just going off straight memory) is very hard to break. It’s difficult to get people into the mentality that an iPad can safely be used at the track, and that it’s faster or better than using setup sheets. The advantages of using the app don’t become apparent until you actually give it a try, and realize how fast it is to copy a setup to a new session, or to edit old notes and laps, or to export reports with all of the vehicle data. A few years down the road, the organized information about a specific racecar will be infinitely easier to browse through and get data from, then flipping through a binder full of setup sheets – IF you haven’t lost the binder by then! Our app lets you backup your data to email or even Dropbox, so there is no risk of losing that data, even if you smash the iPad.”


Am I checking the weather? Using Laptimizer’s ‘Compare’ feature to overlay setups across cars and/or tracks to help dial in the hot setup faster? Or playing Words With Friends? Only the Shadow knows. But one thing’s for certain…I look incredibly badass and tech-savvy standing trackside with an iPad. Just out of frame there’s a dozen umbrella girls running towards me with their panties flying off, I promise.

The exciting part about Laptimizer is that it’s being continually updated and expanded by a racer like Sasha. He’s obsessed with going faster and making it easier for all of us to do the same, and he and Cameron do have some cool ideas they intend to add to the app soon. “One thing that I would really like to implement is a track map feature where you can click on a corner and enter your specific notes about how the car feels in each corner. The work involved however means making a template for each racetrack for the app, which would take a fair bit of effort. Since there are so many tracks out there that we would never be able to replicate, we almost need a way to let users easily create their own tracks. The other request we have been getting a lot of is to improve the lap timer functionality. I am spoiled and used to having live timing, but regional/club racers want to be able to time multiple cars, and split times between certain cars. So that is something we are going to look at implementing as well.”


Within each session there’s a lap timer function that’ll come in handy for grassroots teams without the benefit of an in-car timing system, and the creators of Laptimizer are listening to their customers by planning to add multi car and split time functionality to it.

In fact, Cameron (flexing his engineering and entrepreneurial muscles) has even bigger ideas about what the future may hold for this app: “Laptimizer provides a unique opportunity to manage the input parameters of a racecar and track the changes over time. We hope that someday, with the addition of integrated data acquisition and live timing, that we will be able to use all of this information to provide the end user with suggestions on how to improve the setup on their own car through an algorithm which takes all of these things into account. Imagine… the app will become your own personal race engineer who actually knows what it’s talking about! The future is full of possibilities!”

As for all you rebellious Android users, yes they’re looking at releasing an app for those other tablets too. Don’t expect a smart phone version, though, since the smaller screen size really isn’t well suited to Laptimizer’s interface.

So there you have it. An app designed for go-fast geeks like you and me, from go-fast geeks like you and me. For more information you can jump on their website at Laptimizer.com or follow their Facebook page.

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