In-car Active circuit driving guide for PC and MAC
In-car Active from Circuit Driver takes real time, multi-channel on-board race-track footage and mixes it with data-logging and commentary to create the first interactive circuit driving guide for those racers and track-day fanatics who are looking for expert tuition from the comfort of their keyboard. As a bonus the first, in what is to be a complete series of first UK then European circuits, DVD contains in-car footage of Mark Hales driving Nick Mason’s Ferrari 250 GTO.
Those of you who driven on a circuit will have experienced that ‘Where the hell am I going?’ feeling once out of the pits, and no circuit comes more bewildering than the Silverstone GP track with its blind apexes, deceptive changes of gradient and a requirement to carry as much speed out of the corners as possible. Believe me it is not as easy as it looks on the TV, and no sensible person should attempt a track day, let alone a race, without having had some personal tuition as well as thoroughly studying the circuit layout. Circuit Driver, having published detailed printed guides for many years now, have teamed up with Octagon, owners of the Northamptonshire track, Pi research, data-logging specialists, and Mark Hales, the experienced journalist with many professional races under his belt, to produce an interactive version using the latest computer technology.
Silverstone’s three separate circuits are covered in depth with information that can be accessed corner-by-corner, a running commentary from Hales in a Caterham, as well as overhead helicopter shots of the correct line to take. Each element of the track can be examined in minute detail and Pi Research’s data-logging gives you an idea of the speeds and input of steering and braking required to do it the professional way.
In addition some general advice, very valid for any circuit, is offered on how to prepare your car for track days, as well as the basic principles of circuit driving. A brief history of Silverstone is included and some more information on hotels and restaurants near the track makes it a useful companion for a visit to the home of the British GP.
Having test-driven the guide on the Classic Driver PC I have to say I was very impressed, for the money (£15.99), it is great value and gives you the chance 24/7 to brush up on Silverstone. Hales goes to great efforts to avoid the usual instructor’s tips of ‘Turn in on that change of tarmac, and aim for the ‘S’ in the Shell advertising hoarding’, knowing that over time the circuit’s landmarks will change. However there is no substitute to having a professional alongside you actually on track, so you can get a feeling for speed and braking points. But it’s certainly the next best thing.
Some glorious in-car Ferrari footage of Hales in Nick Mason’s GTO is a big bonus. And there’s even a chance to win a place alongside Hales in the car with the competition included in the first DVD guide.
Please check your computer will run the programme. Utilising the latest technology, in DVD not CD-ROM format, it will require a modern W2000 upwards Pentium PC (or equivalent MAC) with 256k RAM and a 16mb graphics card installed.
In-car Active costs £15.99 and is available direct from Circuit Driver on 01379 897200, and securely on-line at www.circuitdriver.com. It is also available through Demon Tweeks, Duke Video and Grand Prix Racewear in the UK. All UK circuits will eventually be covered, and there are plans to include the greatest track of all – the Nurburgring – at a later date.
Review by Steve Wakefield.