I confess, I believed I didn't need a data analyst - a coach that would critique my driving from his desk chair. In fact, I used to scoff at people who spent money on data analysis and Ray has absolutely proven me wrong. He is invaluable at analyzing data and providing examples of positive and negative habits. Ray doesn't stop there, he continues to challenge you to think more and focus harder on your driving and its application to the track. I absolutely recommend Ray, he is worth every dollar (and minute) invested.
Ray is truly in a league of his own when it comes to racing knowledge and racing data application. With over 17 years of his own personal racing experience and his breadth of knowledge on analyzing and applying data, he is renowned by drivers and coaches in many teams and racing series. We trust and need him on our Ferrari race team to help find driver issues, keep us honest, and show us where to push to find speed and time.
I have used Ray as my racing coach for some time and it has led to significant improvements in my driving and lap times. He works with me at the track while testing and racing in my Ferrari 488 Challenge car which I run in the North American Ferrari Challenge series. He also works with me remotely online while I'm in my simulator and he is in his simulator in preparation for the real car. He is even able to analyze data generated from me doing laps in the simulator! Through the use of our simulators, Ray has been able to fix some driving style issues that others have missed. Ray being at the test sessions has helped tremendously because I always have video and data that we review together after the sessions. After we leave the track, Ray digs a little deeper with the data and video and identifies things for me to work on the next day in order to improve my lap times. In addition, he has a pleasant manner that helps with the learning process. You can't go wrong by using Ray to help you go faster!
Hiring Ray Phillips to coach me with my Formula F race car was the BEST decision I made out of anything I've done with my racing. I recently installed a data system in my Van Diemen RF85 to really critique, and essentially halt any habits I could form, or take after others. Having him walk me through what I was doing, how effective my changes in pedal modulation, steering smoothness, and more importantly, the car understeering/oversteering events throughout a lap was invaluable. His ability to take the populated data from the car, break it down into terms drivers can relate to (mind you he has many years in racing himself), was a walk in the park for him. It really helped put everything in perspective, and allowed me to apply his teachings, faster. I implore anyone with data, or even contemplating it, Ray is the down to earth, race driven, success minded help, you'd want at any event you do.
The class I run in just went to a spec radial tire, which for many of the veterans (5+ years), has been quite the adjustment. Having not really raced many seasons at all (1 season after racing school), and with Ray's help, I was able to shave seconds off, and get back to the fastest time I did on bias ply tires, IN 1 WEEKEND. Compare this to guys that still haven't gotten back to their fastest pace across an entire season. I still have more work to do and will be using Precision Driving Analytics as much as possible. There's just no better way to spend your money after the Entry fee itself!!
I came into contact with Ray back in January 2016 and he offered to help me with my driving and setups, an offer I gladly accepted.
The best way I can summarise his abilities is by way of the following anecdote;
During the very first practice session we had he told me that if I listened to what he had to say and practiced the techniques he was advocating he could guarantee that I would win my division that season! At the time I didn’t take that too seriously but followed his instructions non the less, and by mid-season it was apparent that winning my division was fast becoming a realistic goal. We won the division with two races in hand.
If I were to single out the most valuable thing Ray taught me it would be, how to analyse my own driving, this has helped me ever since and continues to do so.
I took Ray Phillips up on his offer to review my telemetry from a dozen laps at Summit Point in a SRF and was it an eye-opener!
We all want to believe we are smooth and precise drivers but when Ray walked me through his personalized data set using the Motec Pro application I found out just how inconsistent I was. There was a lot of data to review in the 90 min session but Ray was able to graphically demonstrate and compare my braking and turn-in points, apex and exit speed, wheel-spin, steering angle, throttle position, tire temps and a few more I can't recall just now in an easily digestible manner.
Ray showed me where I was braking too late as well as braking too long and the benefits of trail braking in a low-horsepower momentum car like the SRF and offered his insight into a few basic setup changes to alleviate some of the inherent handling problems of the car as well as the driver. He can show you your section times and put together the optimal running lap to give you an idea of what your lap time should be.
I plan to take his advice and invest some resources into my understanding of telemetry and maybe put off purchasing that new wheel until I can handle the one I have better.
Thanks again Ray!
Do yourself a favor and visit his new site to find out more about Ray's services - http://www.drivinganalytics.com/
I took Ray up on this as well and all i can say is +1 to the above (Sorry Ray for not posting sooner, I got a promotion at work the same week we did the session and have been super busy since)
Ray really seems to know his stuff and was able to identify a good few things that i could improve on.
1 of the big ones for me was regarding my braking and out of that discussion it was apparent that i had my brake pedal set up all wrong and had way to much throw on it (nearly 3") i have now adjusted that to as Ray recommend about 1" and it feels sooo much better!
Sadly due to said promotion i have not been able as yet to dedicate as much time as i would of liked to understanding the data and putting it into real world use.
but the session most certainly open my eyes to the benefit in learning more about data and that if you are just missing that .5 sec from where you want to be, you will properly find it in the data somewhere!
as David said, check Ray out you will not be disappointed! :D
Short story: best $100 I've spent on racing for a long time
Long story: It was pretty amazing to have Ray to myself for almost 2 hours. And it was clear he had spent quite a bit of time looking at my data and preparing the session. Looking at telemetry data is like solving a puzzle. While the data analysis software is an essential component, knowing what you're looking at is the critical bit. By analogy, it's not much use having a microscope if you can't tell a vacuole from a mitochondrion. Having a data analysis pro examine my driving and tell me what I'm doing wrong (and right) was a unique learning experience. We only scratched the surface in our session, but I feel like I've learned a huge amount. Now I've got a lot of homework ahead of me on and off track, and 2016 just got a lot more interesting.
For someone who also races real cars and uses iRacing as a training tool, I found Ray's history, expertise, and perspective particularly significant. If you think $100 is a lot of money for personal professional coaching, then I'll have to quote Carroll Smith "other sports beckon".