Using an in-car camera has many benefits, including as a training tool, for capturing memories and importantly can help prove your innocence on track. This piece is relevant to all members, thank you to CSCC Driver Liaison and Committee member, Tony Rushforth, for putting together the majority of this article.
The majority of you indicated in the end of season survey that you were already using a camera, or were planning to this season. It forms part of the CSCC's commitment to maintaining high driving standards.
If you have been called to race control in the last few years, the chances are, that first of all, you'll have met one of our teams of driver liaison, Tony and Charlotte or Susanne and Barry. They are there to help both drivers and Clerks, to save them and you time, and so that the Clerks can view all the available evidence from a driver's perspective.
One of the first questions they will ask you when called to see them is "do you have a camera"? Video is sometimes more reliable than a driver's (or official's) split-second recollection and allows analysis frame by frame. On many occasions it has helped prove a drivers innocence, especially in a case of mistaken identity, or where you are in relation to a flag or sign. Other times it can prove guilt of course, but hopefully leads to a lesson learnt and acceptance of a mistake.
If you DO use a camera at the moment, the driver liaison team please ask that you use your camera in qualifying too, not just the race, that it is charged and has space on the memory card. Turning it on always helps too! Oh, and deleting previous test sessions and family parties will help the team find the footage they need. Please be honest and helpful to the officials, hiding your camera, or being evasive is really not in the spirit of racing with the CSCC.
The image above was not from a CSCC race
If you DON'T yet use a camera, please consider doing so.
Footage is not only reviewed when there has been contact between cars, it can also be used when there has been a report of a flag being missed, or even to ask you to assist as a witness to an incident in which you may not have been involved, but as a following car; you and your camera may have seen it develop.
Please don't be tempted to buy a helmet camera, or camera glasses, they are not permitted under MSUK regulations.
The cost of specialist in-car cameras, such as the industry standard (and perhaps most reliable) ‘GoPro’, is sometimes used as a reason for not having a camera, however even a dash camera sold for use in a road car can produce satisfactory results, for both visual and audio evidence. You don't need the best quality, but want to avoid the very cheapest cameras too.
If you decide to go down the route of a GoPro, then a former CSCC racer has offered discounts on new and used cameras and they even produce a remote switching unit that can be dash mounted, so there is not a need to struggle to reach the ‘on button’!
Getting in to a little more detail now, David's advice is to buy a GoPro and their separate 'large tube' mount. Once you've bought the camera, mount it on the roll cage behind you. You should only need to play with the settings once, although feel free to experiment. I set mine to 1080P, 25fps, medium angle, centre spot meter, PAL, stabilisation off, although if you speak to 10 different drivers you'll get 10 different sets of advice!
A growing number of Championships and Race Series are making the use of in-car cameras compulsory, with some even making the failure to produce footage when requested, a punishable offence. The CSCC have not adopted this approach and believe that competitors will see the advantage of having a camera in the car, for themselves.