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Sunday, April 22, 2012

OGT! Racing – Technology Innovation is Why We Race!

The 2012 OGT! Racing program in the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan series brings together Freescale innovation with the R&D and marketing platforms offered by professional motorsport. We are working with various technology partners. Tokyo University is looking to improve medical research with Freescale’s biometric technology. On the marketing side we have already succeeded in picking up positive media exposure following our win in the opening race of the season. The program is still in its infancy and we’d appreciate your feedback, ideas, and leads. 
The World of Motorsport – Striving for Maximum Efficiency 

Racing has always been at the forefront of intense competition and technology innovation. The most efficient overall program that takes full advantage of the rules, wins. Motorsport serves as a technology development platform for the core aspects of consumer vehicles. 

The first electronic active suspension systems were developed in motorsport. Porsche is one of the first to transition this technology to production sports cars with the current iteration of the 991-generation Porsche 911. The system is called Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). 

On the green technology side, 24-hour endurance races require maximum fuel efficiency balanced with power-output. Therefore, manufacturers around the world develop new fuel efficient engine technologies for motorsport to empower production cars afterward. 

Formula One is constantly on the cutting edge of new technology and the current Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is by far the most efficient hybrid technology in the world. The McLaren team has built their KERS system on Freescale silicon. 

Race cars must also be built to be as durable and light as possible, which is why the motorsport industry was the first to adopt carbon-fiber materials in the 80’s. The aerospace industry is now the largest buyer of carbon fiber because the material proved its effectiveness in motorsports.

There are so many aspects of this OGT! Racing program that get us excited, and we would like to share each one with you. 

Freescale Technology

As this is a new technology R&D project, we must keep the details confidential for the time-being, but here is the basic outline of what we plan to introduce.

There are four main components in this project that span all four of the Freescale business segments.
  1. Driver biometrics: we will be placing an array of Freescale sensors on the driver’s body.
  2. Vehicle telemetry: including steering angle, brake pressure, lateral and longitudinal G-forces, speed, RPM, throttle application, and all of the engine’s vitals. The data-logging unit is powered by Freescale chip.
  3. Onboard video and other video technologies.
  4. All of the above data will then be live-streamed to a world-wide consumer audience using 3G/LTE technology with an intuitive user interface.
What is absolutely fantastic is that every piece is powered by Freescale – biometric sensors (industrial segment), vehicle telemetry data aggregation and video (automotive segment), streaming of all of the data via Freescale-powered LTE basestations (networking segment), plus we hope to make an even more advanced GUI accessible via Freescale-powered smart connected devices (consumer segment). The convergence of all of the segments within one project is revolutionary and demonstrates the unrivaled scope of Freescale solutions.


Race 1 at Okayama International Circuit – March 31st 


Our race team of mechanics and engineers is KTR – located next to Fuji Speedway. KTR is by far the most advanced and experienced Porsche race team in Japan, and we have a sister team operated by the same group of people in the SUPER GT series – the factory Hankook tire team, #33 Porsche 911. We were paired with KTR as a result of Porsche Japan’s direct instructions to ensure maximum opportunity for success on the track.



The competition vying for series championship is intense, especially with a winning former SUPER GT GT500 Toyota factory driver and well-known Porsche racing ‘expert,’ and a young driver that has come up through the same open-wheel driver development program as myself , funded by Honda, Nissan, and Toyota (Formula Challenge Japan).

We had a two-day test at Fuji Speedway mid-March. Despite having been out of the racecar car for over 18 months, thanks to great teamwork we topped the charts as the fastest car.


The race weekend began with challenging weather as rain poured for Saturday morning qualifying. We were able to qualify in 2nd place for the afternoon race. The unpredictable weather continued and it even hailed at one point!  As all the cars moved to the grid, with heavy clouds hanging over us but strong winds drying the track rapidly, our team was the first to make a decision to start the race on dry tires. This was a severely risky maneuver as the race is only 15 laps (~25 minutes). 


We were essentially doomed had rain resumed because slick tires have zero ability to disperse water and must reach very high temperature to generate any kind of grip. Driving on dry tires on a wet track is like walking on ice in leather-soled shoes, at 160mph. Several other teams followed our lead, and the race got under way. Luck was on our side as strong winds continued to rapidly dry the track, and as the race played out, it was clear that anyone not on dry tires was out of competition for the win, so long as rain did not come back.


Tire management is a critical component in racing, as tire temperatures and tire pressures can easily rise beyond optimum operation, resulting in a severe decrease in grip. Cars on wet tires had the upper hand at the start of the race, but that situation quickly reversed, as I passed two cars in front, with only the GT500 veteran left to pass, also on dry tires, for the win. Once the Michelin tires were ‘on,’ we quickly closed the gap and patiently waited for an opportunity. It came a few laps later when we were lapping traffic that had stayed with wet tires, resulting in an easy and safe pass. After that, we continued to expand our lead, and our first goal of securing a win for this racing program in its debut race became a reality. 





Branding


This program is the perfect storm – an exciting technology innovation platform that will be experienced by thousands via our live-streaming technology. OGT! Racing’s message will reach far beyond just the interviews and articles in the media. Pair this with a winning program and our momentum is compelling. The opportunity to co-brand with global leaders and Freescale partners, like Porsche and Michelin helps us differentiate Freescale from the competition in a meaningful way – this is a branding exercise supported by our solid backbone of new technology activation that can benefit end-users.




Call to Action
Please join our OGT! Racing community on Facebook and click “Like”: https://www.facebook.com/ogtracing


Here is a direct link to the photo gallery from the race:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.380525988645133.91640.347248715306194&type=3
and from the hospitality:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.378440222187043.91230.347248715306194&type=3