Dr Tom Fletcher
Tom Fletcher has a MEng and PhD in Automotive Engineering from Loughborough University and began working on the RaceStream camera in early 2017. Before returning to university, he worked as a systems engineer for Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team, and has six years of experience working as a race engineer at MacG Racing alongside and since studying for his PhD. He has specialised in control systems and software development and has also worked with major automotive companies such as Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.
“I came up with the idea for RaceStream while working as a race engineer for a local family-run racing team and we were looking for a way to monitor the car from the pits. I put together the first version of the camera and we began using it over the 2017 racing season.
“We also found that not only could we monitor the car, but also we could provide relevant and up to date feedback to drivers without spending hours between sessions and after events reviewing video footage. By marking important clips, we were able to give immediate visual feedback to drivers in-between sessions; this accelerated the learning curve especially for novice driver’s enabling them to become competitive on track much more quickly.
“At the same time, our pit garage began filling up with other team members and fans who realised they could watch the race from the driver’s perspective as it happened. Previously, this was something that was only possible at the highest echelons of motorsport. I realised that we could also integrate the camera with well known social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook Live to allow team members, friends, family and fans at home to interact much more closely with the team during the race weekend. Having two small children at home, this is a particularly important aspect for me while I am away at weekends.”