Mark Colby - Life Racing Systems Designer
Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:10 pm
After Uni I did five varied years at Marconi Research and GEC Sensors. The normal stuff: experimental radar, satellite image processing, safety-critical system analysis, a passenger aircraft telephone exchange ... and once I wrote a report I didn't have security clearance to read
It was time for a change - I joined Pectel Control Systems to work on racecar engine and chassis management electronics. That lasted seven years, ending in April 2002 when I left to become Systems Designer at the birth of a new company, Life Racing. Right now I'm in it down to the silicon, designing a new range of control systems from scratch. In case you are wondering, all the cars on this page are controlled by electronics I had a major hand in.
Motorsport's challenges aren't always obvious. During the 1999 Safari rally I had to produce some new software for the Ford Focus WRC engine management electronics in just a couple of hours (an additional strategy to help cope with some unexpectedly harsh conditions). I was back in the UK, so as soon as I had written and tested the new code, the team downloaded it via a portable satellite dish sitting on the sand in the middle of the desert, to program into the car for the next stage. This works fine, albeit slowly - except when a tribe of nomads parks its camels in front of your dish.