NASA selects RaceHero as exclusive live timing & results service

nasa-25-hour-thunderhill-racehero

I’m very proud of this news today! This partnership has been underway for the better part of 2016 and we finally get to break the news that RaceHero is now the exclusive live timing and results app for all 150 annual events organized by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). For racers, officials & spectators, RaceHero is the app for live timing & results!

NASA previously used a patchwork of familiar systems to keep everyone up to date: event schedule PDFs sent by email, printed entry lists at registration, live timing on race monitor and paper results taped to the side of a trailer. RaceHero consolidates all of those functions into one automated, co-branded service that creates a better experience for their members and racers.

Read on for the full release:


NASA SELECTS RACEHERO AS EXCLUSIVE LIVE TIMING & RESULTS SERVICE

Napa Valley, CA: The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) has selected RaceHero as the exclusive provider for live timing and race results for all 15 NASA regions and NASA Championship races. RaceHero provides a “weekend in your pocket” experience featuring real-time entry lists, schedules, live timing and race results. Racers can now track over 150 annual NASA events using RaceHero on phones, tablets and desktop computers making their NASA experience easier to manage during the weekend activities.

It’s not a race without results and there are no results without timing and scoring. What once was tracked with a stopwatch is today completely orchestrated by computers. RaceHero allows us to provide an automated live stream from our existing timing systems to anyone in the world on any device, enabling us to grow our reach with no additional cost or effort. It also simplifies the process of posting results and getting information out to competitors and fans alike.

“NASA Timing and scoring operators are typically volunteers working under tight schedules” said Roman Vaisman, NASA Chief Technology Officer. “Just like the racecars on track, speed and accuracy are critical for our Timing and Scoring staff. RaceHero automatically publishes accurate provisional results and lets us easily distribute official results with penalties and corrections without adding more work for our staff.”

“While we can’t do everything in-house, we look for partnerships where we aren’t just directing our members to a third-party”, said NASA Director of Business Development Jeremy Croiset. “We embed RaceHero’s live timing and results in our websites where we can drive traffic, promote our sponsors and provide value to our members through the latest and greatest technology. Software entrepreneur and racer Brian Ghidinelli created RaceHero based on his passion for endurance sports car racing which is a core event offering from NASA and we’re thrilled to be working with him on this new program.”

About NASA: The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs.  For more information, log onto www.nasaproracing.com and connect with the community at Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

About RaceHero: RaceHero brings everything about race day to your pocket in a fun, social way. By looking beyond simple finishing position, RaceHero highlights big passes, personal bests and epic battles. Access entry lists, schedules, live timing and results from smartphones, tablets and laptops all driven automatically from existing timing and scoring systems. RaceHero is free to event organizers, promoters and racetracks and is available today at http://RaceHero.io and on Apple iTunes and Google Play.

View a sample race result from NASA’s recent race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

History of Timing and Scoring at the Indy 500

indianapolis-500-timing-scoring

We missed a piece our friend Marshall Pruett (of RACER and Road and Track fame) wrote on how timing and scoring became automated prior to the electronic transponder systems we know today. Specifically, he captured some fascinating stories about the Indianapolis 500 using a wire running 1″ off the ground at start-finish to trigger a kind of punch card system:

The Indianapolis 500, as we noted in an earlier TRA tale, got its start using the most intrusive timing system possible—one with an actual wire that ran across the start/finish line and sat approximately one inch off the racing surface. Passing cars would run over the wire and trigger an create an imprint on a time card. Timing and scoring workers would then be responsible for noting which car tripped the wire and building a manual running order list for each lap.

indy-500-timing-and-scoring-tapers

Even then, the promoter wanted a backup to all that newfangled technology, so Indianapolis 500 historian Donald Davidson explains how they used “tapers” (which we still see today at SCCA road racing events as a backup to the MYLAPS transponder system):

“And then to complement that you had three or four people doing serial scopes, which is where you’re writing down the number of every car that comes by; that takes a special person to do that, you’re doing it down the column and then when the leader comes by, and you better know who the leader is, and then go to the top and you write another column. So they would have three or four people doing that.”

Read the full article on RoadAndTrack.com and follow Marshall on Twitter (he’s always at a race track!) Be sure to read the previous piece which explains how one lucky guy had to fix the tripwire during the race!

MYLAPS Live Timing Relay for X2

MYLAPS Live Timing all starts with the Decoder

Over the past year, MYLAPS has been driving adoption of their next-generation timing and scoring system, the X2 platform. It offers new insights into race activity, track status and system performance. Many of these improvements are only applicable (or affordable…) to professional-level race series but between older TranX2 hardware aging out and aggressive upgrade pricing, we’re seeing a few club-level series move to X2.

We’ve been testing a new version of our RaceHero Relay with X2 compatibility with race series in the United States. We are happy to announce version 3.1.0 is now publicly available. Upgrading is not mandatory at this time for existing users.

Everything about the RaceHero Relay stays the same, especially the automated publishing that doesn’t require babysitting. The only addition is to connect and stream live timing, race results, entry lists and schedules from Orbits 5.1+ timing software. RaceHero is now the most complete MYLAPS live timing solution available.

From conversations with our customers, those who have purchased TranX2 decoders in the past 5 years are not planning to upgrade until they have a hardware failure. We have even seen a few of the pre-TranX2 decoders still faithfully reporting passings so we know they can last for a long time! The older decoders are compatible with the new subscription-based X2 transponders so there is no urgent requirement to upgrade if your existing system is working well.

1 Million Laps On RaceHero!

dr-evil-million

So far, the RaceHero Relay has logged more than 1,000,000 laps of practice, qualifying and racing! Timing and scoring staff in North America, South America, Europe and Africa are offering their racers a more complete, more engaging way to follow racing on their phones, tablets and computers. Our live timing widget can be embedded in any website and viewed on any device, including iOS devices which do not support plugins like Flash.

There is no charge to broadcast events on RaceHero so offer it to your racers, officials and spectators!

Hydration – A Racer’s Marginal Advantage

Picture of Subaru Rally Car at Rally America event

I’m a total optimization junkie. I think (hope?) that’s a good quality in a racer. Which is why this quote about hydration jumped out to me this morning and why I have to share it with you:

I’m not getting younger so I’m increasingly looking to get an edge through marginal gains like this! Click To Tweet

This straight from an interview with legendary rally driver David Higgins (three time British Rally Champion, winner of 15 of the last 16 Rally America rounds for Team Subaru USA) over at Precision Hydration.

Snow at Silverstone Circuit in central England

I’ve been down the same road. Three years ago, I was sliding my rental car into a snowy Silverstone circuit in England. I was signed up for a two-day fitness clinic hosted by Mark Webber, then-Red Bull Formula 1 driver. The session was organized by the Porsche Human Performance Center led by Andy Blow who I learned about via his book Motorsport Fitness Manual.

The event was mostly attended by up and coming racers in junior car and motorcycle categories like GP2, GP3, Porsche Cup and Moto2. These kids had natural talent, funding and lots of seat time, but they had little in terms of strategy. Few had experience with physical training or nutrition and the topic of hydration might have only meant “energy drink”.

But when Mark Webber spoke about all the tactics they tried at Red Bull to gain just an additional 3 meters in the run down to the first corner, we all learned top-level racing isn’t about the last 1%. Their last 1% was found ages ago. They were hunting for the last 0.1%: any obtainable marginal advantage.

Author Brian Ghidinelli working on the bike while being measured by a Polar heart rate system

The lesson I took home and began applying to my own racing was from the results of my sweat test. Andy used a special machine to capture sweat from my wrist and measured the amount of salt lost per unit of sweat. It turns out I’m a very salty sweater. To replace the electrolytes I lose over an endurance race would require drinking three large Gatorades with 96 ounces of fluid and 168g of sugar – plus spending $10!

Like Higgins, I immediately became a fan of the H2Pro tablets and I carry them in my helmet bag so I always have them at the track. The salt increases my body’s water and electrolyte absorption rate so I can drink less, pee less and still maintain that ideal pale yellow urine color. You can make a less optimized version of this in your kitchen by adding a pinch or two of salt into your water bottle. The tablets have been key for me to be competitive, like during a 5-hour stint at night in the rain on our way to a class win at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

As Higgins said, none of us are getting any younger. And even if youth is on our side, a stack of 0.1% improvements adds up to the 1% that puts you way out in front.

One easy racing tip to be better prepared than your competitors. So good, even Mark Webber does it! Click To Tweet

You can read the full David Higgins interview at PrecisionHydration.com. They have an online sweat test that can approximate the results of the machine test I used in the UK.

If you want to geek out further, check out my YouTube Motorsport Fitness channel.