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A Novice Dips His Toe Into the Racing World
Despite a love for cars since his teenage years, Steve Spano only found sportscar racing about five years ago. While he owned a couple sports cars and had “run the cars” at Watkins Glen during a few HDPE events, it was a random comment from a friend about renting a racecar to actually GO FAST that caught his attention. Completely unaware that such an option existed, a call to Motion Dynamics started the chain of events that would lead Steve to renting a Spec Racer Ford for a SCCA Driver’s School in 2013.
“Coming down the front straight at Watkins Glen on my third lap ever in an SRF, the only thought in my head was ‘I absolutely have to buy one of these!'” A few months later, his own SRF in tow, Steve returned to The Glen for his first regional race event. After winning his race during the driver’s school and completing a Pro-School with Bertil-Roos Race School, Steve just assumed he would do well and finish near the top. “I’m not sure how many cars were in our SRF group, mostly because I’m pretty sure the entire field lapped me.”
Time to Learn
“The speeds the other SRF drivers were carrying looked unbelievable to me,” Steve recalls. “I quickly realized I had a lot of work to do to even be marginally competitive.” While other drivers had decades of racing experience, Steve had the benefit of a flexible schedule that allowed him to spend time at the track on test-and-tune days. Even with plenty of seat time, his results were mixed and inconsistent.
It was time to bring in some professional help. Steve hired a driving coach to sort out the variables and find better ways to look at the lap data, approach corners, and improve braking, entry, exits, and all that goes into performance driving. While expensive, Steve walked away with a key lesson on how to analyze what he did on track. “It was very step-by-step. The coach had me change one thing, test, repeat the test, and then look at the results. This resonated strongly with me, as that is the exact same process I use in my career with software development and electrical engineering.”
A Better Way Out of the Rut
While the driving coach helped improve lap times and Steve’s competitiveness, the inconsistency remained. “I would run 100 laps on a test day, and at some point I’d have that magic lap with a personal best. Even pouring over data traces and video afterwards in the paddocks, I could never figure out what made that magic happen. I needed a better way.”
Watching IMSA and Formula 1 races, Steve noticed how those drivers have dozens of people on radios relaying to the driver how to adjust, where to find more speed, and giving them real-time guidance around the track. “This real-time relay between track data and the driver was the inspiration for RaceVoice,” Steve explains. “I may not have 20 years of racing experience, or be a daredevil driver, but I have 20 years of software and hardware engineering skills. I can use that to make me GO FASTER.”
Using the template for a professional race team with multiple engineers, data streams and live coaching for a driver, Steve constructed RaceVoice to take the Dashboard/ECU data, analyze it in real-time, then speak the results back to the driver while they are on track. The RaceVoice box emulates what was previously only available at extremely high end racing formats.
“With RaceVoice, now every corner and every lap matters. Like my coach instilled in me, I make changes, test, re-test, and get results, obtaining immediate feedback on what works and what to avoid.” It has helped Steve achieve a whole new series of personal best times and become more competitive in the SRF3 race series, one of the most daunting classes because of the equality of the cars, the high caliber of drivers, and the devastation of small mistakes. “RaceVoice has helped me close the gap towards those higher speeds and faster lap times.”
Now You can Go Faster with RaceVoice
What started as a way to help Steve GO FASTER, is now available to you. The RaceVoice technology allows anyone to benefit from having real-time, audible, in-their-ear feedback on their turn-by-turn performance, in a small, easy-to-install and configure device. Purchase your RaceVoice now here. Then start watching your times drop as you too can GO FASTER with RaceVoice.