Cincy SCCA PE4 @ Turfway Park and Garmin VIRB XE

Cincinnati Region SCCA held their Point Event #4 at Turfway Park.

It was really a beautiful day, hot, but not too hot, and not too humid neither… With 63 entries, we did a split heat, 4 runs in the morning, and 3 runs in the afternoon.

Unfortunately I had some trouble with my car in the afternoon heat, so I ended up stopped racing early, and my best run was the last run from the morning heat.

I ended up 6th out of 12 entry Street Open class, even though it was 11th over all pax. 5 out of top 10 pax was Street open… tough class….

Also at this event, I got to try Garmin VIRB XE, with Auto Racing Bundle.
I have been using GoPro for a while, and also played with some JVC action camera as well, but this Garmin offers something quite a bit more than simple action camera.

The Garmin VIRB’s camera itself has built in G-sensor, GPS. By using GPS and G sensor, the camera can also calculate it’s speed, distance driven etc. With Auto Racing Bundle, it comes with OBDII reader. It wirelessly communicate with the camera, and later when the video is edited, the OBDII information can be placed as overlay.
OBDII reader can provide RPM, Vehicle speed, temp sensor, throttle position, etc.

There are a few short comings though. The picture quality is not as good as GoPro out of the box. I used full auto setting,and from what I see, it may be over exposing at some situation. I can probably change some contrast and brightness setting etc, and can make it look better though.
Also the builtin GPS on VIRB is somewhat useless for autocross setting. The frequency of GPS refresh is 1hz, which is not useful at all on any autocross courses, and probably not on some of the small road course neither. I am looking for some external antenna that I can use, but have not found any…

There are other solution such as Solo Storm, to embed those data onto movie, and I think using GoPro with Solo Storm and external sensors, would give better picture qualities and more accurate GPS Data. However, it can be pretty expensive once you get all the equipment and the software. Garmin VIRB with Auto Bundle provide better values, especially if you do not have any action camera, and just looking for a complete solution it can be used very easily.

The overlay info can only be seen when editing. I was hoping to be able to see some data on my phone directly from the camera’s live feed, but it was not. This is not critical, but just thought it would be nice…

Anyhow, here’s my best run of the day.

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