Porsche has announced a new app to help track-day enthusiasts get the most from their Stuttgart rockets come race day. It’s called the Track Precision App, and it’s designed to provide weekend warriors with the data and references required to shave crucial tenths in the pursuit of lowest-lap-time glory.

“Four out of five of all Porsche GTs ever built have been driven on the track. One in three enthusiastic drivers take to the track in the first year to test the sporting limits of their vehicle and their own abilities. Porsche has developed the Track Precision app especially for such drivers,” the automaker says in a press release.

Using GPS data, video recordings and vehicle data from an auxiliary control unit, the app offers drivers a range of functions, both for on-track use and for analysis in the pits. 

First, the driver selects his venue from a list of roughly 60 digitized international racetracks. Alternatively, the driver could add to the list with a single reference lap using the map editor. With the smartphone securely attached to the dash or windscreen, the app will begin to record as soon as the driver crosses the start/finish line. Data includes traction, (oversteer/understeer), steering angle, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, sector and lap times, engine rpm, gear position, throttle and brake pedal positions, and road speed.

The app comes as a free download for Android or iPhone smartphones through Google Play or iTunes. Availability is offered to owners of current-gen Cayman GT4, 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models outfitted with the optional Sport Chrono Package. GT customers who opted out of this package can have the app retrofitted by Porsche Tequipment at a certified Porsche Center.

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Why it matters

Once upon a time, it was quite the costly proposition to deck out any car with the instrumentation required to analyze performance data at this level of detail. But now, software like Porsche’s Track Precision app are opening up a whole new world to the wannabe race car driver.

Chalk it up to that square bit of tech most folks haul around in their pocket. They call it a phone, but it’s also a text messenger, a gaming device, a web browser, a voice recorder, a camera, a navigation system, and thanks to apps like this, a track-day analyzer.

Software like Porsche’s Track Precision app are opening up a whole new world to the wannabe race car driver.

 

Using a specialized Porsche-developed control unit that pulls data directly from the car’s ECU, this app uses a WiFi signal to wirelessly transmit all pertinent information 10 times per second, giving users a highly accurate recreation of their on-track experience. Stuttgart is also offering an optional “lap trigger” through Porsche Tequipment, which is essentially a laser placed near the start/finish line. When the car crosses the line, it communicates with the app for even higher precision than GPS alone.

Another cool feature is the animated “ghost car,” which shows variations between laps with an animated vehicle that easily demonstrates the quicker line between the two. There’s also an animated cockpit that displays inputs and a variety of data for a driver’s seat recreation and further analysis. It’s all real-time synched and very accurate. 

At the end of the day, this is exactly the kind of thing that both casual and serious performance enthusiasts can sink their teeth into. Simply going for a spin at the local track is fun, but if you want to improve, it takes data and analysis. How fast are you at the end of the back straight? What’s your maximum lateral grip through the chicane? How early are you on the throttle out of turn six? How long does it take for the tires to get up to temperature? These are all questions that are easily answered with apps like this.

VW offers data acquisition similar to Porsche’s app, as does Chevy. It’s not necessarily a difficult thing to produce – the data is already present in the ECU, while the functionality is there in the phone. All it takes is an interface and the software to pull it together. As such, expect many more performance apps in the future.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Exterior
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The GT philosophy is a simple one: offer the best possible driving experience for the performance-minded, with no frills attached. The Cayman GT4 holds true to this credo, pilfering bits from the 911 GT3 parts bin for a mid-engined sports car perfectly at home gripping through the apexes of the world’s most esteemed race tracks. Speaking of which, this car is purportedly capable of lapping the ‘Ring’s North Loop in just seven minutes, 40 seconds, while Porsche also claims the two-seater can still provide adequate levels of utility for street duty.

To distinguish it from it’s non-GT stablemates, the GT4 has a large fixed rear wing, larger front intakes and a lower stance. Motivation comes from a 385-horsepower, 3.8-liter flat-six powerplant, which drives the rear wheels via a standard six-speed manual. Either you row your own or you need not apply.

Read our full review here.

Press Release

GT sports cars from Porsche are a good ticket to the world of motorsport. Four out of five of all Porsche GTs ever built have been driven on the track. One in three enthusiastic drivers take to the track in the first year to test the sporting limits of their vehicle and their own abilities. Porsche has developed the Track Precision app especially for such drivers.

Porsche Launches Track Precision App
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The Porsche Track Precision app is part of a special Sport Chrono Package, which is only available as an exclusive option for the Porsche GT sports cars Cayman GT4, 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS. It also includes the pre-fitting for connecting a lap trigger, which is available as an option from Porsche Tequipment. This lap trigger allows lap times to be measured even more precisely than using the GPS signal. You can download the free smartphone app for Android or iPhone from iTunes or Google Play. It allows the driver to perform a detailed and objective analysis of their lap times and driving style using synchronised data and video recordings. To do so, it utilises precise vehicle data from an auxiliary control unit in the vehicle as well as the smartphone’s high-resolution camera and GPS signals.

The Porsche Track Precision app offers a unique range of functions, both while driving as well as for subsequent analysis. Before setting off, the driver simply has to select the desired track. This can be done either before or during the approach to the track. There are already about 60 international racetracks available in digitised form so far. Additional tracks can be conveniently added in a map editor beforehand or can be created when you drive the first lap in the car. To ensure high video quality, the driver should then affix the smartphone in a secure mount on the windscreen. As soon as he passes the start line, the system automatically begins to record using the GPS data. The data can be saved with the tap of a finger after passing the finishing line when the car leaves the track.

On the track, dynamic performance is also visualised 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 driven previously or preselected. The driver can also always 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: the car in front is faster.

Because all of the data and the video recording are saved in the smartphone, it is possible to produce a video analysis immediately after the vehicle is stopped, allowing you to improve your performance in the very next lap. A unique feature is the display in the specific, animated 911 GT3 or Cayman GT4 cockpit with a steering wheel that is synchronised 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.

Porsche Launches Track Precision App
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Porsche has developed a special control unit for data collection and transmission, which acquires all of the relevant information from the on-board network ten times 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.

For the high-precision measurement of the lap time, the Sport Chrono Package for GT sports cars also includes an interface to a “lap trigger” as used in motorsport, which communicates with the Track Precision app. It is based on the light barrier principle, with a transmitter next to the start/finish line which triggers the receiver in the rear side window when the car passes. The lap trigger is available from Porsche Tequipment.

GT customers who did not order the Sport Chrono Package when buying a new current-generation Cayman GT4, 911 GT3 RS or 911 GT3 can have the Track Precision app retrofitted by Porsche Tequipment at a Porsche Centre.

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