Infotech Lead America: TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), in association with Microsoft, has designed a touch-enabled app for Windows 8 that will help improve the performance of the Toyota teams competing in NASCAR.
The Windows 8 Trackside app running on Surface Pro hardware provides drivers, crew chiefs and team engineers a more mobile computing platform to monitor real-time performance data.
Previously during practice, drivers and crew chiefs had to record racing performance data with software on a laptop, or even with pencil and paper. Drivers had to get out of their race cars to view information about the car’s performance and explain what was happening on the track.
The Windows 8 Trackside app and Surface Pro changes all that. It enables the race team to efficiently capture performance data through the touch-based app and share it with the crew in real time. The real-time data helps mechanics to immediately get to work fine-tuning the race car for enhanced performance. Trackside also offers comparative data that gives the crew chief and driver insight and analysis on timing and scoring data versus competitors, allowing a team to determine if the right adjustments have been made to the car or decide what adjustments may need to be made.
TRD has been developing racing software since 2007, on the Windows platform. Toyota race teams use these softwares to analyze and improve performance, leading Toyota race teams to victory frequently and enabling them to annually compete for series championships. TRD differentiates itself within the hypercompetitive racing business through technology innovation.
RAB Racing with Brack Maggard is one of the first Toyota teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to use the new Trackside solution.
TRD wanted a lightweight, high-performance device that is touch-enabled to complement the fast-paced environment at the race track. Surface Pro was chosen over several tablets that were tested during the pilot phase because it delivered the power and performance of a laptop PC in a tablet package. Additional plus points were its unique Touch Covers and durable VaporMg chassis. Drivers and crew can choose to use Surface Pro as a tablet or a laptop. Its excellent screen visibility in outdoor lighting is essential when working at the race track.