Garmin offers a new box dedicated to the track. Storing your lap times and immortalizing your trajectories thanks to a small camera, the latter can also coach you to improve your performance.
Presented as a sturdy display case measuring almost 18 cm diagonally, the Catalyst is sucked into the windshield by a metal base allowing several adjustments and flawless support. Intuitive, as always with Garmin, you navigate easily and you don’t get lost in the menus.
We had the opportunity to test it on two different circuits. The first time on the Magny-Cours Grand Prix track (more than a hundred circuits are preloaded) for a circuit day of nearly 53 laps. Once the box is installed, you will have to position and calibrate the small 1080p camera to take advantage of a good horizontal shot. This will allow, after the session, to superimpose data and images. Another advantage is the sound recording: our vehicle was for the occasion a Porsche 991 GT3, with a flat-six peaking at 9000 rpm and the sound environment is reproduced to perfection. Nice for viewing on the sofa, because the device is autonomous and does not no request to unload sessions on a computer, for example.
Afterwards, it is obviously possible to analyze its performance turn by turn and thus compare its trajectory to the optimal one, which could save us precious tenths. The theoretical optimal time is not an addition of the best sectors but your best time according to the trajectories that you have actually traveled and that you can therefore repeat. The case is also vocal coach either via a headset or via Bluetooth in the car speakers, by warning for example of an early or late turn in relation to the chord point before and after the turns, thus offering immediate feedback without waiting for the end of the turn.
On our second Track Day, we visited the Ladoux Michelin test tracks, near Clermont-Ferrand. This research and development route was not listed in the database. No problem: you just indicate the desired start / finish line and the Catalyst takes care of the rest. After a lap, the GPS chip allows a very small modeling of the Clermont route and thus to benefit from a debrief ‘as precise as for our passage in Magny-Cours.
Last good point, the internal memory allows 7 hours of recording but a slot is available for an additional card. This state-of-the-art and very intuitive object could have only one flaw: its price. Displayed 999.99 euros – price largely justified by its services – this Catalyst will only appeal to regular users, ready to take the plunge to afford its services.
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