Porsche's GT cars, such as the Cayman GT4, 911 GT3 RS or 911 GT3, are the gateway drug for many driver's track addiction. In fact, Porsche says that four out of five of all Porsche GTs ever built have been driven on the track at some point and that one in three owners take to the track in the first year to test the limits of their new Porsche and their own abilities. One of the best ways to monitor and improve your progress is through data logging and analysis. Until recently that required aftermarket equipment for any real analysis.
Now, Porsche is drawing attention to their home-grown Porsche Track Precision app. If you ordered your Porsche GT series with the Sport Chrono package, or would consider having one retrofitted, you can take advantage of what this app has to offer, which is a whole lot more than the somewhat difficult to use stopwatch on the standard Sport Chrono Package.
What Does The Porsche Track Precision App Do?
Utilizing vehicle data from an auxiliary control unit, as well as your smartphone's high-resolution camera and GPS signal, the app allows drivers to perform detailed and objective analysis of their lap times and driving style using synchronized data and video recordings.
Here's what you do:
- Download and install the app (this assumes you have the Sports Chrono Package installed on your Porsche. If not you can have it retrofitted).
- Choose your track from a database of approximately 60 international tracks pre-installed. If you're track isn't already there, you can add if via a map editor or create it by driving a lap of the circuit.
- Affix your phone to the windshield. You'll need some type of adapter for this. We use this one.
- Once you're ready to go, the app will automatically begin to record once you pass the start line (it uses GPS data to determine this) and you can store the data with a tap of a finger once you complete your lap.
GPS is great, but it's not 100% precise. If you want even more accurate data, Porsche offers an optional "lap trigger" (similar to what's used in professional motorsport). Basically, this is a transmitter you place next to the start finish line that will "trigger" a receiver in the rear side window to both start and stop recording at the exact moment you pass by.
On track the app will record and visualize your performance in the form of traction, steering response and longitudinal and lateral acceleration. In addition to the sector and lap times, the display also shows precise position of deviations compared to a reference lap, which can either be one driven previously or preselected from a list. You, as the driver can see the differences in time, distance and speed at a glance on an animated “ghost car”, with two vehicles used to indicate the current difference in comparison to the reference lap on the display: you want to be the car in front as it's the faster one.
You've Recorded A Lap, Now What?
This is the beauty of having the app on your smartphone, all the data is recorded. With the info and the app you can produce a a video analysis of the lap you just ran in order to improve your performance on the very next lap. The video below shows data for Walter Röhrl during a "fast lap" on the Autódromo International Algarve circuit
One unique feature of the Porsche Track Precision App is the display in the specific, animated 911 GT3 or Cayman GT4 cockpit with a steering wheel that is synchronized with the video and simulated accelerator and brake pedals. Almost all of the driving data are displayed, such as engine speed, gear position, speed, steering angle, accelerator and brake pedal position, lateral and longitudinal acceleration (G-force) as well as traction and oversteer or understeer.
The ghost car animation of distance and time deviations in comparison to a freely selectable reference is also displayed. On top of that, a number of detailed graphical analyses can be selected. For example, it is possible to display the driving line and to switch to detailed display screens or to a video of a precise position anywhere on the track.
How Does It Collect All That Data?
Porsche developed a special control unit for data collection and transmission, which acquires all of the relevant information from the on-board network 10vtimes per second and encodes it with a high-precision time stamp. This ensures that no inaccuracies arise during transmission to the smartphone via WiFi. The driver can use the smartphone menu to select whether to use the GPS signals from his mobile phone, the car or from an external, high-precision GPS receiver.
What's It Cost
That's the $64,000 question at the moment. Porsche's Tequipment site lists it at just under $1500 here in the US. However, it's not clear what's included in that price or if it's for the retrofit, the "trigger" or what. We have questions into Porsche and will update this post as soon as we hear back.
UPDATE: We heard back from Porsche and have more details on U.S. pricing.
- The cost of the Track Precision App in conjunction with Sport Chrono Package when ordered from the factory is $1850
- The cost of a retrofit is about $1500 dollars, but this does not include the factory installed wiring that enables you to use a lap trigger.
- The lap trigger price is roughly $1000 dollars, we hope to have a more exact figure for you soon.