Scientists make the track their lab to improve the performance of racing drivers

phys.org | 2/12/2019 | Staff
gemini2323 (Posted by) Level 3
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A new concept that, for the first time, collects biomechanical data from drivers and riders while on the track could give racing teams a new dimension to optimise their performance.

Biomechanics is the study of movement and technique. Historically in motorsports, biomechanical data collection has been lab or simulated based.

Approach - Collects - Data - Sensors - Driver

However, this new approach collects data by attaching sensors to the driver or rider that monitors their 3-D movement as they are performing on the track to investigate and optimise their biomechanics. This includes motion capture data, muscle activity, force and pressure assessment; all of this helps to understand and improve driver and rider technique.

The concept has been developed by Motorsport Biomechanics, who have been working with scientists from the University of Portsmouth. After three years of intensive research and development, Motorsport Biomechanics have now become the first company in the world to offer biomechanical data, which has been scientifically validated with rigorous and robust methods.

Motorsport - Biomechanics - Founder - Michael - Wakefield

Motorsport Biomechanics founder Michael Wakefield is an ex-professional racing driver. He and his wife Joanna, a leading Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Portsmouth, were fascinated to learn that, while biomechanics has been utilised to optimise performance with top level athletes in many other sports, it had not been attempted in motorsports.

Michael said: "Significant time and money is spent on improving the mechanical performance of racing cars and bikes. However, little attention has been given to optimising the mechanical performance of the driver or rider while racing on the track. For these high performance athletes, it is crucial that their technique and muscle activity is assessed so they can respond to feedback to adjust and improve their performance race-to-race, and lap-to-lap.

University - Portsmouth - Motorsport - Biomechanics - Evidence

"Working with the University of Portsmouth has given Motorsport Biomechanics the scientific evidence based platform to optimise driver and rider performance on the track."

Michael has been...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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