When it comes to keeping track of all your ride’s vitals, there are few companies out there doing it better than Racepak. Its displays are in racecars of virtually every type and taste all around the world. From drag racing to road racing, Racepak has a display to help you log and display data in a usable, and valuable, format.
Last year, Racepak displayed its Vantage CL1 system for the very first time. When we initially saw what is was capable of, we thought it was one of the coolest product we had ever seen, and others agreed as it went on to win multiple awards. The CL1, in essence, is a data acquisition system that uses your cell phone, or a tablet, as the output display for the device. The central box is GPS enabled allowing the tracking of your position on the course and provides actionable data to the driver and anyone who might be monitoring the data stream, which uploads instantaneously to the cloud (if enabled).
Not only that, but the system has just about every track in the country pre-mapped and gives you a bird’s eye view of the course and the line you are taking around it. This includes braking points, apex choices, and acceleration zones. Once the run is done, the data is overlaid in a playback that shows the system’s parameters at any given point on the run.
Since the system is GPS enabled, the CL1 tracks the stop/start stripe and restarts and logs your lap times after each and every pass—allowing you to look at the data on any lap of your run. This gives a degree of accuracy that a stopwatch would be hard-pressed to duplicate, not to mention the valuable information you obtain throughout the rest of the run.
Unfortunately for us, and all of you, the system was designed to be used by the karting market and didn’t possess the features to interface with a vehicle. While that’s cool and all, it left us clamoring for a system for HPDE days at our favorite tracks in full-sized car. Well, as of PRI 2017, the wait is finally over.
“The wait was mostly due to us figuring out the Bluetooth integration with the OBD-II data, which is the first time anyone is seeing it right here,” said Chris Vopat of Racepak. “That’s why we debuted it for the karting market first, because the inputs are much simpler, but it has taken a little while to get the system ready to display the OBD data obtained from a vehicle and log it along with track position.”
Not only does the new system pull OBD data, but the central controller for the system allows for an additional eight different inputs—four analog, four digital—allowing you to log channels that may not be running on the vehicle’s CAN Bus system. This could include boost pressures, suspension travel sensors, or steering wheel and brake position sensors. Racepak includes many other sensor options that can be used with the module as well.
“The central box is the brains of the operation and that’s where the GPS is built into,” Vopat said. “If you pull up to just about any track in the nation, it says ‘hey! I just arrived at West Coast Kart Club’ for example. It then gives you a Google Maps view of the track and starts logging as soon as you pull out onto the track. Now, the really cool part is, if you have the cloud account, anyone you assign access to will get a pop-up on their phone saying ‘racer X just arrived at West Coast Kart Club. Do you want to view?’ They open it up and they can see all of the data the car is outputting from anywhere in the world.”
While anyone watching will see the data overlaid on the bird’s eye of the track, the driver will simply see all of the engine’s vitals displayed on their mobile device in an easy-to-read display. Once everything is paired up, as soon as the engine fires up, the display instantly goes to vital read out. In the rare case that you are on a track that hasn’t been mapped yet, it will track your line through the course and display it on a black background—though Vopat tells us they are constantly adding new tracks to the system.
Chris tells us that the system will start at $595 and includes the box, GPS antenna, and a basic input harness. However, if you want to go with the Bluetooth-enabled system that will output OBD data, it will add a little to the cost. On top of that, you can add input sensors such as EGTs, coolant temps, head temps, or anything else in a long list of input devices Racepak sells.
We don’t know about you, but we definitely need one of these systems in our lives, and at under $600, it’s really a no-brainer. For more information, head over to racepak.com.