By Jason Reiss | Dragzine.com
When the sport of organized drag racing first came to be, data acquisition consisted of what the driver could remember, and what his crew thought they saw as a car made laps on the track. Then came the advent of video recording equipment that was affordable and a whole new world opened up. A team was able to take a recording of a car making a run down the track, rewind it, watch what the suspension was doing, hear the engine note on the hit and downtrack, replayed over and over until the team was able to plot a course of action based on the perceived performance of the car.
And then datalogging equipment showed up on the market, and all of a sudden, instead of guessing at what was thought to be happening, actual data could be recorded, then dissected and dissected again. Dataloggers took the perceived data acquired through the use of video and turned it into real, measurable data produced by the car, rather than what was interpreted by the crew members sight.
Spencer Eisenbarth and Ron Armstrong formed Competition Systems Incorporated, the parent company of Racepak, to build data acquisition systems that could survive in the harsh environment of a race vehicle. In fact, their first partnership came about when Armstrong was trying to develop a system for the Unlimited Hydroplane he was piloting at the time back in the mid-’80’s. The development of that initial system has turned into a complete lineup of data acquisition parts and pieces that are capable of recording every single operating parameter on your car, and subsequently turning it into data for your interpretation.
It’s been said that a data acquisition system is a necessity in a drag car, and we’re here to tell you exactly why. We enlisted the help of Racepak’s Roger Conley in dissecting the Racepak lineup, where you’d want to start, and what parts and pieces are necessary to begin a new era of tuning your machine.
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