“Getac’s rugged notebooks and tablets provide a new level of freedom that we simply didn’t have before. Racing weekends are hard on equipment and we used to spend a lot of time trying to make sure our devices weren’t getting broken or damaged, meaning tasks often took longer than they needed to. Now we don’t need to worry about that kind of thing, even when down at trackside. No matter what we throw at them, our Getac devices just work.”
Sam Riches, BTCC Technical Commissioner
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The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is one of the best-loved, most illustrious and famous motor racing series in the world. Each season sees 30 championship races take place across the UK at iconic circuits including Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park.
Every race weekend is a complex logistical and technological operation. Teams and officials arrive at the circuit on Thursday morning to set up the garages, pit lane, tech centre and IT infrastructure. Friday and Saturday then see a range of practice sessions, vehicle tests/inspections and qualifying take place, before three main races on Sunday. A smooth weekend requires fast, reliable communication and data sharing between organisers, officials, teams, manufacturers, sponsors and more.
In the past, the BTCC’s technical team relied on regular, non-rugged laptops and tablets. However, with motor racing circuits being such physical environments, fear of damage to devices through accidental knocks, drops or spillages meant the team had to be extremely careful with them, particularly when down at trackside. As a result, key jobs such as vehicle inspections and engine data collection often took much longer than they needed to. There were also issues with battery life, with devices regularly needing to be recharged at key moments, causing further delays and interruptions to race operations.
At the start of the 2019 season, Getac became the BTCC’s strategic technical partner, which saw all legacy IT infrastructure replaced with its rugged mobile devices and accessories.
A combination of Getac’s S410 semi rugged notebook PCs and A140 fully rugged tablet PCs have created an integrated IT solution powering every aspect of the BTCC’s behind-the-scenes operations, all running on Microsoft Windows 10.
Both devices feature powerful Intel® Core™ i7 processors and Getac’s exclusive new LumiBond® 2.0 technology, for unprecedented visual performance and touch sensitivity in all conditions. For additional durability, the A140 fully rugged tablet PCs also boast MIL-STD-810G, IP65 and MIL-STD-461G certification, for protection against drops, shocks, spills, vibration, dust, liquid and more.
The devices are split between race control and trackside, where they can be used for a wide range of operational activities. This includes everything from lap timing and regulation compliance to on-board video review, post-race car inspections and accident data management (as part of a joint project with the FIA).
BTCC partners, Cosworth and Dunlop, also use the devices in the monitoring of engine and tyre performance respectively throughout each race weekend. Additionally, Getac supplied the BTCC with a range of accessories including high-capacity hot swap batteries, for even further functionality and flexibility when using the devices down at trackside.
The new Getac solution has transformed race weekend operations for the BTCC. Race officials, technical team members and partners can now conduct key trackside activities without fear of device failure from the slightest knock or bump. Information recorded as part of these activities can also be transferred seamlessly from trackside to race control at the touch of a button, greatly improving operational efficiency.
“Getac’s rugged notebooks and tablets provide a new level of freedom that we simply didn’t have before. Racing weekends are hard on equipment and we used to spend a lot of time trying to make sure our devices weren’t getting broken or damaged, meaning tasks often took longer than they needed to. Now we don’t need to worry about that kind of thing, even when down at trackside. No matter what we throw at them, our Getac devices just work,” says Sam Riches, BTCC Technical Commissioner.
The new solution has also enabled the BTCC to further improve its race day coverage with ITV, offering viewers even better in-vehicle footage, as well as providing race partners with deeper insights into key areas such as on-track engine performance and split timings.
“We’re constantly looking for new ways to improve every aspect of our racing, from on-track data collection to the quality of coverage fans around the world can enjoy on TV,” concludes Sam. “Our new Getac solution is already helping us to streamline operations across the board and we look forward to seeing where else this exciting partnership takes us in the future.”