Tracking Lap Times
In the last few days, we've spent some time implementing a way to navigate through historical time performances, and we're quite happy with what we have achieved. Let me share what we've done.
We wanted to be able to see the best performances for each car-track combo, as well as have some way to compare performances across cars. This is something we feel has been somewhat lacking when it comes to racing games, especially when we have classes of cars with Balance on Performance (BoP), that aim to converge performance.
Another obvious complexity relates to the conditions used for the best lap times. Some racing games implement a level playing field to manage this complexity (e.g., fixed setups, weather), while others just let you choose the conditions you want, naturally leading to the use of best conditions possible (low fuel, grippy track, dry weather, etc).
Our solution to track your best time performances is have a specific area in our platform for this feature, called Track Records. As a starting point, you will see a table containing information about your absolute track records, one line per track. You can then drill-down by selecting a track, for which you will see one lap per car sorted by best lap performances. Finally, if you select a car, you access the list of top performances for that specific car-track combo. In terms of table fields, we found useful to include here the track name, info on the record (lap time, car used for the record), and record context (Date of the performance, Track temp, Water on Track, and car setup name).
We believe context information on the performance is quite useful. For example, thanks to the metadata used linking different data types, clicking on the car setup name will lead you to a page showing the details of the specific setup. You can then check it, download the setup file, see other sessions using it, etc. The Water on Track value is an average throughout the entire lap. At first glance, it might not seem very useful, as the expected best lap times will always be on a dry track. However, we are keen on having a way to see best performances in the rain as well. Thus, we include a toggle button (i.e., dry <-> wet) to select which type of best performances we want to look at, keeping the same table format. Naturally, there is a spectrum of wetness in a track, and we're trialing different thresholds to consider if a lap is done on a wet track or not. We'll naturally have this threshold visible in the platform, so you know what we consider to be a wet lap.
The wet lap topic is an exciting one, and goes in line with our aim to have more visibility on performances in different conditions. Another of such interesting cases to include is race pace, which we're fond of, given we're endurance racing fans. This type of performance is very different, such as different fuel loads used or generally different overall setup optimizations. Tracking best race pace performances in one place is useful for several things, including having a quick way to have visibility on proven good race pace setups. After pondering about it, we've decided to set race pace as meaning 10 consecutive laps with total best time. There's several pros and cons to making the number of laps lower or higher, but we thought this was a good compromise. Dry <-> Wet and 1-lap <-> 10-laps options are independent, so you will be able to check race pace top performances in wet conditions.
These Track Records features will be available when we first give access to the platform, although race pace specific tables will only come soon after.