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Book Review

Book Review – A Practical Guide to Race Car Data Analysis

A Practical Guide to Race Car Data Analysis

Authored by Bob Knox

207 Pages Paperback

Most serious racers who want to improve their track performance will be familiar with data acquisition. There are simple forms such as smart phone based devices that provide basic information up to very sophisticated systems such as we see being used in Formula One. Getting the data is one thing. Putting it to good use is another. As Knox explains in his intro “I did not write A Practical Guide to Race Car Data Analysis for professional data engineers or race engineers. I wrote the Guide for the amateur and the lower-level professional racers who either have a data system in their cars or who may be thinking about installing one but do not have access to an experienced data engineer. Many of the data systems available today at reasonable prices offer capabilities that only professional race teams could afford just a few years ago. My own experiences convinced me that most racers did not know how to use more than a small part of those capabilities. More importantly, they did not know how to obtain the knowledge and skills they needed. The goal of the Guide is to provide those racers with tools that will help them configure and use their data systems efficiently and effectively.”

Knox has done a very good job of delivering on his above promise. The book is well written, technical only as required to get the information across, and certainly you will find useful information regarding your data analysis. Knox assumes you are going to purchase one of the major systems available. He is pretty balanced in addressing general concepts and relating to specific systems. Systems addressed include AIM, MoTeC, Pi Toolbox, and Stack. Obviously from the moment the book was released in 2010 technology has marched on. That said, much of what Knox discusses is of such a nature that the book will not be outdated for quite some time.

Be warned, this is not an easy subject to master. Knox has done a good job but you will have to work hard to fully use the wealth of knowledge provided in the book. Thanks to Bob for providing us this “brain dump” so that we may all benefit from his experience.

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