I compete in the local auto crossing groups with my old formula ford. For those who are not familiar with Autocross, this is a time trial sport held in a large paved area on a closed course usually less than a mile in length. Each car is assigned a class and who ever runs the course the fasted in their class wins. Cars are run individually, and while you wait you can make simple changes to your car.
A critical aspect of measuring the cars performance is measuring the tire temperatures. This was one of the primary reasons for my purchase of the Seek Thermal camera for my iPhone. The results are really cool, and offer a great insight into how the car is performing after each run.
first run images
As you can see I didn’t get too much temperatures in the first run. I ran in the last run group at the end of the day about an hour before sunset, so it was already getting cooler. You can see how the heat is distributed over the top surface of the tire. The course was predominantly left hand corners, so you can see the higher temps on the left side tires.
On one of my runs I had set the brake balance too far forward and when braking off a high speed corner, the front tires locked, and you can see it in the thermal images!
once the tire temps stabilized, you can see how the tires are working on the course. The rear tires settled down to a predicable temps, and it looks like the camber and toe are pretty reasonable. The front alignment needs a little work
third run of the day.
I did collect some interesting data points from using the Seek Thermal camera. First the tire temps didn’t drop off like I had always expected. Second, the tire temps stabilized quicker despite the colder temperatures in the late afternoon.
This camera will be a great tool moving forward, and I can’t wait to get some more data as I develop the car through out the season.