"Trackside running on Surface Pro means more time is spent on the track and less time is spent talking," said Steve Wickham, TRD's vice president of chassis operations. "Teams are back on the track faster, allowing them more time to determine the optimum setup for the race car. Our mission is to take advantage of the latest innovation in technology to quickly get better data — which translates into faster cars on the track."
Since 2007, TRD has been developing racing software on the Windows platform for teams to analyze and improve performance, enabling Toyota race teams to be frequent visitors to victory lane and annually compete for series championships. TRD differentiates itself within the hypercompetitive racing business through technology innovation. Today, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard is one of the first Toyota teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to use the new Trackside solution.
"For Toyota teams to finish first on the track, we must also be the first to innovate our technologies behind the scenes," said Darren Jones, group lead for software development at TRD. "We chose Windows 8 because we get enterprise-ready security and management, the familiarity of the Windows development environment, and a fully capable touch-enabled interface."
When it came to choosing a device, TRD wanted a high-performance, lightweight, touch-enabled computer to complement the fast-paced environment at the race track. Several tablets were tested during the pilot phase, but Surface Pro was ultimately chosen because it delivered the power and performance of a laptop PC in a tablet package, as well as the hardware benefits of its unique Touch Covers and durable VaporMg chassis to protect the tablet from hazardous track environments. Surface Pro allows drivers and crew to use the device as a tablet or laptop, and its excellent screen visibility in outdoor lighting is essential when working at the race track.