A good bibliography for improving the club-level racer and track day driver's knowledge of data interpretation might begin with the bible of making data intelligible, Buddy Fey's seminal work, "Data Power!" Fey, a noted race engineer and one of the "early adopters" of data logging from the the late 1980's to the present day, combines plain spoken delivery with an extraordinary depth and breadth of experience. Fey's open, authoritative tome is STILL cited in one of the most modern books because the information presented is still that valuable! Think of it as a data-specific extension of Carroll Smith's timeless "Prepare to Win" series.
It was ten years before the next good book came out, Simon McBeath's "Competition Car Data Logging, A Practical Handbook." McBeath's book is a good explanation of how to "read" the data, identifying the essential channels and is a good, albeit dated primer on the subject. The next in the collection, Graham Templeman's book "The Competition Car Data Logging Manual" was published in 2008 and struck me as more approachable, practical and relevant to the currently available crop of data logging equipment than McBeath's book. Self taught and using examples from one of the first relatively inexpensive "consumer level" GPS-based systems, the Race Technology DL-1 introduced in 2002, Templeman's explanations are simple, straightforward and useful, although biased towards the less quick, lower powered "momentum" cars. For $26-$28 on Amazon available through this site, it's a good buy.
Published in 2008, the next book that moved the goal further forward was written by the youngest chief engineer ever to win an FIA International series race, Jorge Segers. "Analysis Techniques for Racecar Data Acquistion, published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), is a rather dry, but comprehensive selection of objective parameters primarily to help engineer the car but also to measure and improve driver performance. Segers has run several seminars worldwide that give great depth to the concepts and examples illustrated in his book. As a trained engineer,
Segers' book can quickly devolve into a string of mathematical formulas helping to explain why a particular performance metric measure is valuable or can be constructed for use on the powerful MoTeC systems he uses in professional motorsport. Vetted and mentored by both Fey and one of the best engineers to ever explain the dynamic behavior of race cars, William C. Mitchell, Segers book is the best technical treatise on the subject, bar none. Probably beyond the interest of the casual data interpretation hobbyist, it is a good "graduate course" in analysis and offers many new ways to quantify driver behavior and performance.
The two most recent interpretation guides are "Making Sense of Squiggly Lines" by MoTeC West supremo Chris Brown and racer and engineer Bob Knox's excellent treatise, "A Practical Guide to Race-Car Data Analysis." These two are both terrific and probably the most useful and practical guides to learning how best to use data analysis as a tool to improve driver and car performance. If you're going to buy two books, these are the two you should buy.
Most drivers equipped with Traqmate, AiM Mychron or Solo, Race Technology, Race-Keeper or Video VBOX are interested in quickly divining the information to find rapid and immediate improvement in their performance.Brown's book is very good for this purpose, and while I have concerns with his reliance on wheel speed over GPS, his identification and interpretation of a speed vs distance X-Y graph as "trail braking" and the examples being too MoTeC-centric, Brown's book clearly and directly establishes what a driver is looking at and what they should look for within the copious information collected by even the most basic systems.
While Brown's book may be the best for the club racing or track day driver trying to identify simple areas of performance improvement, Bob Knox's work fills in a great deal of critical information required to understand better what and why you should be looking at this information. Knox not only delves into more complex and arcane data, but provides us with the proper engineered procedures to extract truly useful information beyond the straight measures. This allows a better understanding and method establishing the complex relationship between car engineering and driver performance. Initially, Knox's material looks to be beyond the scope of the track day driver, but in the end provides enough material, presented in an approachable and easy to digest way, to prove useful for many years for drivers at every level.
For over twenty-five years, Peter Krause has consulted, coached and instructed amateur, club-level and entry-level professional sports car and GT racing drivers. A championship-winning racing driver, award-winning mechanic and automotive historian, Krause understands the psychology and has identified the metrics in order to "go fast."
Krause is an enthusiastic advocate and power user of technology to assist accelerated driver development at his 1200 square foot Driver Development Studio located at VIR, at tracks across North America and remotely via the internet. Krause offers multi-line data acquisition and video sales, service, support and training, with the primary mission of making data relevant and useful to the driver.
Krause is a leader in the field of professional coaches using technology to provide a data-driven, objective measure, as well as the use of simulation training for course familiarization and technique enhancement. More information can be found at www.peterkrause.net or www.gofasternow.com