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Serious-Racing Blog

Read our latest news and find out what we are working on at Serious-Racing

Use share to compare any lap

A lot of people have asked us for the ability to compare with a different lap than a friend’s fastest one. For example, you might want to compare one of your laps with rainy conditions. Comparing with a friend’s lap with similar weather will tell you a lot more about your performance than comparing with their fastest lap with perfect conditions. We now have a way to do this!

First, your friend shares their rainy lap and you go view the share. Click Log in at the top right of the page, or in the menu on mobile. If you have laps on the same track, you will now go to a page where you can select one of your own laps to compare with your friend’s share:

Select a lap to compare

This way you can compare like for like and compare with other than just your friends’ fastest lap. We will be building this into the usual select-friends-to-compare-with interface, but that will take us a bit longer to do, so we thought we’d give you this version first.

Share live

Adding Youtube videos to your laps means that all of a sudden, your laps are a lot more interesting even to people who are not racing themselves. So we figured you might want to share your laps with people who don’t have a Serious-Racing account, and now you can!

The shared lap will look a lot like the lap interface you are already used to:

Share with Video

Check out one of Tom’s shared laps here.

Lots of people have asked us to be able to compare with more of their friends’ laps, rather than just the fastest one. While this is not yet possible with share right now, it will be the very next thing we work on, so stay tuned!

Read more about sharing on our Help page.

Add Youtube videos to your laps

If you have videos of your laps on Youtube, you can now add these to your laps. This is what it will look like on a big screen: Comparison with video

Simply select the lap you want to add video to and tap ‘Edit’. Fill in the Youtube link and exact time where the selected lap starts in the video and save. Read more about how it works in our Help section.

Please note that at the moment you don’t get speed and graph updates on mobile, because of a bug in the Youtube API. We hope this gets fixed soon so that we can show you your speed and video together from any device!

Maintenance

This Saturday (the 27th of September, starting at 17:00 UTC), we will be doing some maintenance to the Serious-Racing servers. There won’t be any visual changes and the job itself shouldn’t take long at all, but it might be a while before all ISPs are hitting the new stuff. All in all, it should not take longer than one day and it could be a lot shorter, depending on where you are.

Existing users can still use most of the site while we are in maintenance mode. Viewing and comparing laps already in the system with existing friends will work as normal. Adding or editing anything (profile, settings, friends, vehicles, uploading laps) will have to wait until we are done.

New users will not be able to sign up while maintenance is taking place. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for free today and upload those laps!

Battle of the Brands

At Serious-Racing, naturally we’re competitive and we’re interested in motorsport data, but mostly we’re just curious. Curious about which bikes are fastest in the real world.

So we took a look at our data set and tried to figure out how we could find that out. We decided to take the ten most popular tracks, and look at the fastest ten people on each. We then gave ten points to the fastest, nine to the second fastest all the way down to one point for the tenth fastest. We grouped them by the brand of bike they were on to come up with a list of the fastest bike brands.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Here’s the graph showing the fastest brands of bikes on the ten most popular tracks on serious-racing.com

We’re already thinking about how we can improve the accuracy, what other ways we should be looking at the data, and what to look at next. Let us know what you’d like to see.

Notifications are here

Next time you log in to Serious-Racing you’ll see we’ve added a list of what’s new to your home page. This will include things like friend notifications and lap uploads.

Notifications on the homepage

This way you’ll be able to keep up to date with what your friends are doing on Serious-Racing – take a look now.

Leaner and meaner

When you next log in to Serious-Racing, you might notice some changes. We have been very busy for the past couple of months to simplify the interface, making it quicker and slicker. Let me take you through some of the new bits and explain what has changed and why.

1. Track search

Serious-Racing track search bar

In the tracks dropdown menu, you now find a track search bar. This makes it easier to find tracks you haven’t been to. Plan for the future is to add a lot more information about tracks so that you can prepare for your next track day on a track you haven’t been to before.

2. Your laps

We now have the weather! This makes it easier to select laps with similar weather conditions for comparisons.

Serious-Racing laps view

Click on each day to display all the laps, and click again to hide it and focus on a different day.

The new buttons at the top are ‘View’, for viewing up to four of your own laps, and ‘Compare’: select one of your laps to compare with a friend. The buttons ‘Your laps’ and ‘Track info’ let you easily switch between the two.

3. Profile page

Serious-Racing profile page

Your profile looks a bit different now, with more space for your pride and joy, your cars or bikes. If you are lucky enough to have more than one vehicle, your primary one is displayed bigger. To change your primary vehicle, click on the vehicle you want to change it to, then check ‘This is my primary vehicle’ on the edit page.

These are the three biggest changes. We hope you like them and that you will convince even more friends to sign up. For all your feedback and ideas, please talk to us on Facebook or Twitter.

Serious-Racing One Year Anniversary

One year ago today, the first code for Serious-Racing was written. But really, things started a few months before that…

In November of 2012, I went to Almeria, in Spain for a four day track holiday. It was an eventful week for a lot of reasons (first time on track with my new bike and more rain than there should be in Spain’s driest area), but it was mostly eventful because it was the first time I tried out RaceChrono.

My friend Tony had suggested we give it a try, and it instantly appealed to my technical side. We were both blown away by the data available to us through RaceChrono – being able to see your speed at any point on the track was a revelation. 12 months before I’d gladly paid £10 for just the lap times from another trip to Almeria, and now with a free Android app we were getting full GPS lap times.

But the thing we found ourselves doing the most with this data, was comparing with each other. We’d hold our phones side by side and look at fastest points on the straights and slowest points on the corners. We learned a lot about our different riding techniques from this, and I’m sorry to say we learned that Tony was actually quicker through the corners on his GSX-R 750 than I was on my RSV4, and it was only because I was obviously faster on the straights that I had a faster lap time than him.

We didn’t have a very good Internet connection out there in Spain, but we naturally thought “wouldn’t it be great to be able to compare these on a big screen when we get home?” However, after quite a lot of searching once we were back in the UK, I wasn’t able to find a website that did this. So I had a thought. And that thought is what eventually became Serious-Racing.com.

Fast forward to July 23rd 2013, and the site is now up and running, but in closed beta. Up until this point, it’s just been myself and my trackday friends that have been testing the site. It’s time to see what the wider world thinks of it. I placed a post on the Trackday Riders forum calling out for beta testers, and got an overwhelming response. The guys were fantastically patient, enthusiastic, and helpful in bringing the site along, and getting us to the stage of being able to open the site up for public use, with support for not just RaceChrono, but AIM, QStarz and Harry’s Laptimer as well.

On September 8th the site was opened up for anyone to sign up, and since then we’ve grown to have users from 19 countries and we now have 6.5k laps in the system.

So what’s next? We’re really excited about where the site goes from here. We have big plans for how we can make Serious-Racing more involving, more useful and more fun. We hope you’ll stick with us to find out how far we can go, and bring some more friends along for the ride.

Risk vs. Reward?

This week I had a rare treat – a sunny day at Brands Hatch GP for a trackday at the tail end of summer. Bike Magazine were running a “Road Bike only” trackday with MSVT, and we were blessed with one of the best days imaginable. We woke up to a heavy dew with foggy visors obscuring our vision on the way down to the track, but as we came up the hill towards the entrance to the track on the A20 suddenly hints of blue sky were visible above our heads, and a yellow disk hung partially visible in the mist. It was going to be a good day.

And so it was. There was some standing water on Graham Hill Bend for the first two sessions of the day, but by the third it was perfect conditions. I was there with friends, and although two of the six of us crashed (not seriously) everyone was okay, and all in all it was a great day. For me personally I was able to improve my laptime by 1.7 seconds while adjusting to new tyres (Pirelli Supercorsa BSBs from Dunlop GP Racers) which was great. It’s kept my record of improving my laptime every time I go back to a track I’ve been to (and kept times for) before. But it left me wondering – am I improving times because I’m getting better, or because I’m taking more risks?

Am I drifting closer and closer to the likelihood of crashing as I get faster and faster, and am I only getting faster because I’m more familiar with the experience of speed, or am I actually improving my technique? Unfortunately risk and technique are very hard things to measure – certainly harder than laptimes.

Trackday comparison video

I’ve just posted a new video showing how to compare laps on Serious-Racing.com