Possessing one of the strongest pedigrees of all teams in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, Brad Jones Racing now has another advantage over the opposition from the 2018 season onwards.
The team has been running at the highest level since the turn of the millennium but now has the added advantage of partnering Acronis to keep its data safe and rely on it for making improvements on the circuit.
“Technology has grown so fast in our industry where not so much the engineers but people owning the businesses are struggling to understand how to deal with it, how to store it, how to recover it and how to have it so that it’s secure,” team co-owner Kim Jones told Motorsport Technology. “You guys came to talk to us at the grand prix and we’ve done our research and we’ve decided that you’re the people we need to partner with to go forward to make sure that not only our data is safe, but we the ability to store it and draw on it whenever we need it. It really helps our program going forward.”
At the ripe age of 61, Jones is a veteran of tin top racing and there’s not much he hasn’t seen in the sport during his career. Yet tapping into the new era of utilizing data in such a quick and efficient way is something that Jones could only dream of when he entered the sport decades ago.
“I’m 61-years-old. I’m coming from a school when you used to run a car from a piece of paper. At the end of a test, I may have five or six pages worth of notes and data that we could take a way and draw on. These guys now get about an equivalent of 45 reams of paper in seconds. There is a huge amount of data, and you can’t analyse it while we’re at the circuit. So, we have to put in storage position so that we go back to the office, we could look at it and analyze it and work out what’s going on and work out the important pieces that need saving and what’s rubbish that we can get rid of.”
In motorsport, where evaluating exactly what is happening to the car under different circumstances, at different circuits and in different conditions and temperatures, the ability to make the most of this data can lead to making up time on the track.
“The data is all encompassing. We have live streams from the car – braking, steering, tyre pressures and more at real time. We have lots and lots of inputs on the car that we get the data from and that’s what how we make our decision on what to change, if necessary.” adds Jones. “The data is only going one way – from the car to us. We can’t send it back the other way. But like I said before, we collect a lot of data, so we need to store it and analyze it between the races.
“You pick up the best lap and use it as you benchmark. When you make a change about what is does to the car, and you understand that, you keep that information so that you can keep referring back to make sure where it works and where it doesn’t. And you keep that, because when the weather conditions and track temperature is different, you try to align on that, so you need a database in order to do that.”
For Brad Jones Racing, the new partnership is an exciting glimpse into the future and the benefits will surely become apparent over the years. Data loss, which used to be a constant hazard, is now a thing of the past thanks to Acronis.
“I giggle, because somebody had a hard drive and I picked up and bumped it, and it locked up! The problem we have is that there are a lot of people who don’t back up. It’s about education and it’s about making sure that you have safeguards to make sure you don’t have data loss.
“It was explained to me that you have different servers lined to each other etc. (I get my grandkids to help me with IT), but it all made a lot of sense to me. I’m comfortable the way things are progressing and it’s going to be a long fruitful partnership for both parties.”