If you’re one of the millions worldwide who enjoy watching the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), keep an eye out for Getac’s rugged devices, signage, and other sponsorship elements for the 2022 season.
For the 2022 season that runs from April through October 2022, we will be an Official Technology Partner of BTCC. Getac provides rugged devices and automotive solutions to the BTCC Technical Team for scrutineering purposes.
Unlike other racing series, the BTCC puts the entertainment factor first – ensuring the on-track action engages millions of fans worldwide. The series also required the latest technology to improve its processes.
Under the auspices of TOCA, an organization of motorsports events in the United Kingdom, the BTCC conducts more than 30 races over ten weekends. In addition to the BTCC main event, each weekend includes five support series, including Porsche Carrera Cup GB, British Formula 4 Championship, Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Mini Challenge, and Ginetta Junior series. The BTCC itself is the UK’s biggest motor racing championship.
For the second time, BTCC will partner with Getac to bring rugged mobile devices to the organization to help digitise and streamline processes.
Getac’s Role in Digitising Motorsport Processes
Motorsport, like the automotive industry in general, is constantly evolving. Teams always seek an edge in performance while adhering to strict rules and guidelines.
“The collaboration with Getac has helped us move towards far more efficient paperless processes within our systems,” said Alan J. Gow, Chief Executive of BTCC. “The championship had many paper-based processes that only serve to slow down our operation and the support we need to give to the race teams. Turning to digital made absolute sense to bring real-time control and visibility in areas such as the scrutineering and technical checking process – the speed at which we can now do this enables more efficiency in the procedures and allows the teams to get on with preparing for the race itself,” he said.
In years past, the scrutineering process has been paper-based, with BTCC inspectors keeping records and then entering data later. A scrutineer’s job is to check that competing vehicles comply with the relevant technical and safety regulations. Previously, that work has been paper-based as scrutineers check those competing vehicles comply with the relevant technical regulations, which help to ensure safety and fair play.
For the 2022 season, Getac contributes UX10 10.1-inch Windows Tablet PCs and cloud-based vehicle checking software to digitise the scrutineering process. TOCA/BTCC will be equipped to digitise their data recording around scrutineering, increasing transparency, accountability, and hugely important speed.
Hardware and software work together to help motorsport increase response time through digitisation.
We at Getac have been supporting TOCA/BTCC since the 2019 season. This partnership has replaced BTCC’s legacy IT infrastructure with S410 semi-rugged notebook PCs and A140 fully rugged tablets. These devices created an integrated IT solution that powers all aspects of BTCC’s behind-the-scenes operations. Both race control and trackside officials use the devices. They can be used for a wide range of operational activities. This includes race control, regulation compliance, on-board video review, post-race car inspections, and accident data management (part of a joint project with the FIA).
These rugged mobile devices offer seamless efficiency and reliability throughout the race control, paddock, and pit lane during race weekends and beyond. Each BTCC race team will use a Getac tablet with vehicle health software as part of the scrutineering process. It will save the team’s time and administration in communicating with the BTCC technical team. Getac tablets also allow the teams to perform other tasks on a case-by-case basis. These include diagnostic, tuning, and capturing other measurement data.
The BTCC’s other technical partners such as Cosworth and Goodyear, also use the devices to monitor engine and tyre performance, respectively, throughout each race weekend.
Getac rugged devices were welcomed by the BTCC personnel, who had previously used consumer-grade laptops and devices. Those devices often failed from damage due to the environment they were used in, frustrated users with short battery life and slower processors. Essential tasks such as vehicle inspections and engine data collection often took longer than needed.
For BTCC, partnering with Getac helps them demonstrate its commitment to technology, given its reach of 700+ million homes worldwide and the audience who overwhelmingly use smart devices in their lives.
“Race weekends are often full-on, and like the speed of the cars, time simply flies by,” concluded Gow. “So, it is pleasing to see how digitising our scrutineering process has enabled us to use some of the time saved to focus on other things – and to ensure the race teams are looked after and the race weekend attendees and global viewers continue to enjoy the great spectacle of the BTCC.”
In 2022, the BTCC also took another technological leap forward by introducing hybrid power in all its cars, the first touring car series in the world to do so. Drivers control the hybrid system, using it to overtake or defend their track position with a power boost.