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CompetitionComponentsLLC New Reader
8/8/17 9:35 a.m.

ApexPro Digital Track Coach Review by Joseph Kou, reprinted from Renn List web site. There's also a shameless sales pitch at the end.

I've always been a sucker for electronic gadgets and toys. There is a new product out there for track day people designed to help us learn how to become better drivers called the ApexPro Digital Track Coach. I had never heard of the product until Clark from Apex Performance told me about it recently and suggested that I test out the product. I checked out the website, and it seemed interesting, but the website didn't really give a ton of information and left me with a lot of questions.

The premise of the device is very simple. It's an LED bar that shows how much more you have to go in terms of the limit of the car when it comes to traction/grip. If the bar is totally green, you are at the limit. If there is red, you are not there. From what I gather, the device is an accelerometer that calculates Gsum and can figure out what the max Gsum is for your car at any point on the track. Gsum is the combination of G’s from multiple different axes. Your tires can only handle so many G’s before they break loose and this device can tell you how far you are away. It's not a simple constant number, either. That 'max' will change based on weather, track conditions, tires, and each corner of a track. You can see what the limit is while you are driving with the LED lights and you can review afterwards on an app which displays the track and how you did on each corner. It also gives you a total 'score'. The unit also acts as a lap timer, which I've found to be accurate. I've only seen a few hundredths of a second time disparity between the apex unit and my AiM solo DL. A neat feature is that your lap times will live stream to a server so anyone who is interested can download the app and watch your times roll off live as you drive.

Getting the device setup is super simple. You just mount the device however you want. Apex supply’s a magnetic mount that attaches with adhesive. I've found attaching it to a solid suction cup mount allows better visualization while driving. If you mount it on the steering column like I did on the GT3, you can't see while the steering wheel is turned. After you mount the unit, just turn it on, and then use your app to connect to the unit so it can stream/collect the data/times. It needs to be calibrated when you first mount it using the app. One thing that wasn't addressed is a battery indicator. You have no idea how much battery life is left in the device and how long it needs to be charged. That being said, I left it on an entire day and the battery didn't go dead. I use Gsum to determine how well I am executing a corner. This is a VERY useful tool to see how you are doing at the corners and braking. For those of you who have interest in learning how to calculate and read Gsum, the apex pro will basically do it for you. The interesting thing is how the Apex track coach can determine what the Gsum limit is for each corner since it will be different based on the camber/elevation/tires/conditions/etc.

So the real question that every wants to know is, 'Will this device make me faster??' The answer is, yes, but you have to use it properly. I think the best way to take advantage of this device is reviewing video of you driving which includes the device in the camera view so you can see points where you can go faster. It is difficult to pay attention to the device while you are driving. I think that if data logging and interpretation is a foreign concept to you, then this is a great device for you.

If you are a data geek, then that data you are sifting through Aim Solo and Vbox data has just as much to offer and more. If you are novice, intermediate, or slower advance driver, I think the device can be very helpful. This is a much better tool to spend money on rather than a Harry’s lap timer that most people start off with. If you are a seasoned, fast driver, I think you'll find that most of the cornering is green and your butt will tell you if you can go faster just as well as the lights can. There's also the issue that if you are driving near 10/10ths, you aren't going to be look at lights.

This unit has the most value if you are running video that shows you’re driving as well as the lights. Most people aren’t going to be able pay attention to the lights in the middle of a corner they are trying their best to manage. Reviewing afterwards on video is akin to reviewing the Gsum meter I calculate and display in my videos. Again, if you're not a video/data nerd, then this device will bypass the hurdle of learning how to do what I do with my videos.

Lots of cool stuff coming out for track days these days. The ApexPro unit is something that can be useful for a lot of people.

If you're interested check out www.racesafe.com or give us a call at 1-888-741-5542

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