This post we will take a look at the view a touring car driver has of his racer and the controls he has at his (or her) finger tips.
The below photo is taken from the drivers eye view inside the team dynamics Honda racing Civic and was (again) published by Matt Neal (published on https://twitter.com/ by @MattNealRacing )
IThe BTCC NGTC specification dictates that a Cosworth electrics package ( http://cosworth.com/products/motorsport) is used which consists of ECU, Dash, data logger and switch panels.
The Cosworth electrics LCD digital dash and combined data logger can be seen in Item 1. This display not only displays crucial information to the driver but is also the vehicles data logger and stores information for the teams race engineers (and TOCA scrutineers) to analyse after the race.
The screen has many display pages and a “warm up” page can be selected to display water and oil temperatures and pressures in the garage. “Race pages” can be selected for the race which displays information such as RPM, speed and lap times.
Clear alarm messages are displayed on this screen should any temperature or pressure rise or fall from a pre-determined range. The background color of the screen turns from the standard “Normal condition” blue to “Alarm” red to ensure that alarms are clearly visible to the driver. In the photo the background is “alarm” red and the message: “fuel press low” is displayed. This obviously means that the fuel pressure is low and is probably because the photo was taken in the pit garages when the fuel had been removed from the car.
Shift lights are positioned above the LCD screen shown in point 2, which illuminate and indicate at the optimum point to change gear.
The Cosworth “Membrane switch panel” can be seen in point 3 and it is positioned so that it is within view and reach of the driver it controls all the items that may need to be switched on or off on the race car. In the below diagram I have identified the function of each of these buttons.
In addition to the controls on this panel other controls which are frequently required to be used during the race are added to the steering wheel for ease of use. These controls are:
4, This button is labelled as PTP which I believe stands for “Push To Pass” and will be used to control over boost, Not allowed in 2012 but to be introduced in 2013.
5, Dash- This button selects the display on the LCD dash and is used to scroll through the display pages I.E from warm up page to race page.
6, Flash- This button is used to control the head lights to allow them to flash.
7, Brake– This controls the solenoid valve which locks and releases the brake lines to the rear calipers, this is used as a type of hand brake and is pushed to release the brakes on the start of the race.
8, Radio- This button allows the driver to speak to his engineer in the pit garage.
9, This knob controls the brake biase and is wound clock wise to move the bias to the front brakes and anticlockwise to change the brake bias to the rear. Most racers of front wheel drive cars in normal conditions have the bias wound fully to the front.
10, This red button activates the cars on-board fire extinguisher and has to be positioned so that it cannot be accidentally activated but so that it can be reached in an emergency.
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