Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • On-Track Video Reprocessed

    Posted on May 11th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    After processing the video from a recent track day at the Autobauhn Country Club, I was a little disappointed with the results. I couldn’t figure-out a good way to do the track map… so gave-up. I did clipping back/forth between the various video feeds, but it resulted in a hard to follow video.

    After some additional thinking… and nearly 20hrs of processing (boy I need to get a desktop for doing my video work) I have something I’m happy with:

    I still have one more camera worth of video that I could add… maybe a unique shot for the session (driver’s feet, front/rear wheel, etc.). I’m thinking I could make the rear-view camera smaller and have a third video at the top… but I guess I’ll have to play around a little more in the future. At least for now I know I have a decent plan for when I hit the track!

  • HOD: Autobahn Country Club

    Posted on May 2nd, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Participation in track days are one of my main goals once I get back home, so when I heard a few G8’s were going to be attending an event an hour outside Chicago… I had to attend!

    Hooked on Driving, one of the groups that puts on driving events in California, was running this Track Day… and it turned-out to be a great way to learn about what is required when doing track days.

    HOD rented-out the Autobahn Country Club, a 3.56 mile 19-turn road course. There is little elevation change on this track, but the wide variety of corners makes it quite challenging.

    I only took one lap around the track as a passenger, but I would imagine it would take me quite a while to learn the track. Fortunately there are cones that help with the process… marking turn-in, apex, and turn-out… and I thought they were just there to get in the way when I’m taking photos!

    One of the reasons I wanted to attend this event was to see what others were doing at the track when it came to preparation for the event. The equipment people are using, tools people bring, etc. I was able to get quite a few ideas about harness bars, brake cooling, etc. I was actually quite surprised to see that most people drove to the track on the tires/brakes they used on circuit… I really figured I’d see more people changing these items out in the pits before the day started. I definitely learned a bunch spending the day in the pits!

    The other reason I wanted to attend the event was to get some data! I’ve done some data logging on public roads, but have never done anything on a race circuit. I’ve really wanted to learn how to process data with laps, sectors, etc. I was lucky to have a G8 owner (CntryClub007) who allowed me to hook-up my gadgets to his car!

    I’ve hooked-up the Race-Technologies DL1 to my car before, just with some Velcro on the dash, but had some difficulty on the super clean (and protected) dash of CntryClub007’s G8. Fortunately I had some of the stick-on mounts for my GoPro cameras… and with a little modification, I had a new mount made for the DL1. I’ve even ordered another suction cup so that I have a portable mounting solution that doesn’t require sticking something to a dash.

    I had hoped on gathering data from multiple cars, but that didn’t work-out. Regardless… there is more than enough data to keep me busy for a while!

    In addition to the data logger, I also had my GoPro video cameras mounted in/on the car.

    I tried some new angles this time, but still think I need to find a few more to add some variety to the resulting videos. It is also quite difficult to clip together video/data from multiple track sessions to make an interesting video. I also had some difficulty getting the track map data from the data logger integrated into the video… I eventually gave-up this time, but I hope to figure it out.

    My most difficult challenge this time was the audio! For some reason, when the car I was filming reached higher RPMs the audio recorded by the GoPro just went crazy. There was a high pitched “tinny” whistle sound. It turned-out that I had to remove selected frequencies from the audio… fortunately I have access Soundtrack Pro, which allowed me to pull-up a spectrum of the tones. I was able to match the noise to a set of harmonics starting around 1k Hz… and once I removed them, it sounded much better.

    I have to say that I learned all sorts of things from today’s activities. I can’t wait to get home and put all of this to use with my car on-track!

  • CHC: Texas Roadhouse

    Posted on May 1st, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve been spending some time in the Chicago area, and after the 3rd snowiest blizzard in history (dropping over 20″ of snow in a 24hr period) the weather has finally started to warm-up. As the weather gets better, all the “garage queens” are starting to make their way out onto the roads.

    The Chicago Holden Connection (CHC), the local G8 and GTO car club, has started their weekly meets. Despite not having my G8, and being stuck in a Ford Explorer for a rental car, everyone has been very welcoming of me.

    Today I worked from 2am to 2pm then drove an hour to the meeting location… a Texas Roadhouse. I knew I was going to be late for lunch, but I wanted to get some video footage of the group. Before everyone else finished eating I took some time to get video of each of the cars there… nothing too fancy, but just some details, etc.

    Once the guys finished eating we headed out on a short cruise to get some photos/videos. The road wasn’t very photogenic… basically two lanes of traffic. I had pair of cameras mounted on the back of my rental car and another one on the front. I was able to get a few clips, but the cruise was a bit unorganized… I found myself at the back of the pack and separated from most of the other cars after a few traffic lights.

    After a pit-stop to regroup we headed off to a park for some photos. I was able to keep myself towards the front of the group and it allowed me to get some good footage of the cars I hadn’t shot earlier. There was also a brief stretch of “winding” roads that looked really good on video.

    I’m going to a Track Day in the area tomorrow, so decided to get a hotel room out here… rather than driving back/forth to the city. I figured after the long day… sleep would be a good thing, and I was right. The hotel worked out well, but for some reason I just couldn’t help staying-up way too late putting together a teaser video.

    I plan on attending a few more events with the CHC, so hopefully I can put together a nice video for them.