|News - Set-up Management|
It's amazing how people will be careful and orderly in one place (such as work) and lazy and sloppy in another (racing). I've seen full time racers just as guilty as weekenders, too. Keeping track of where you are and what you are doing with a race car is not something you can do in your head or on scattered note pads.
Race car set-up and changes are very entangled. This is further complicated by human nature and inherent variation in doing specific tasks. So, even if you have good records, there is a very good possibility the car is not set up exactly like you think.
One method to combat this situation is to use a Set-up/run sheet
before and while running the car and then perform a "set-down" at the end of the day (or back in the shop if necessary). A set-down is just the process of measuring ride heights, angles, etc., and recording the race car's current configuration (be sure to check those springs, too).
The Set-up/run sheets
are designed to contain the vast majority of set-up parameters and have a place to record lap times and observations on the track such as "traffic" or "off line." Begin the process by filling in the set-up portion at the top of the first sheet. Then, on subsequent runs, record only the changes to the set-up in the appropriate boxes and the associated lap times. This provides a good record of changes (preventing forgotten changes) and/or helps prevent trying to decipher cryptic notes, later.
At the end of the day, transfer all of the changes or unchanged original settings to a final sheet. Once the set-down is complete (and recorded) compare this to your final set-up sheet. Don't be shocked when the two do not match! It happens often as things vibrate, loosen, shift, or were not properly changed on the race car. The bottom line is you now have a neat and orderly process to control set-up. This prevents those times when you chase your tail trying to "figure out what the hell is going on with this dumb car" because the actual set-up is different than what you have in your head.