Create Custom Sectors In AiM Race Studio

Did you know that you can create custom sectors in AiM Race Studio?

No? Well you can and here is a guide on how you can set them up.

What Is Wrong With AiM Race Studio’s Auto Segments Anyway?

If you have an AiM data logger you will likely already be aware of how AiM Race Studio can automatically create sectors for you.

This is a helpful sounding feature but you should tread carefully …

The issue is that you get WAY too many sectors this way. Plus the splits are NOT in the best place. Oh, and the splits will be IN DIFFERENT places for every session you run, even at the same track. This is no good.

If you are asking “Why is that an issue?” to any of the above, then have a quick read of this accompanying article on how to define the right number of well placed split time sectors.

In summary, when you are trying to use split times to analyse your race driver performance, what you need are well placed, meaningful and consistent sectors. Unfortunately, you do not get that with the AiM auto generated splits.

What Is The Purpose Of Split Times?

The aim of using split times is to help you to reliably understand more about what your driver achieved around the lap.

You want to be able to:

  • assess your drivers consistency through each part of the track,
  • see their progression (or not!) through a session,
  • determine what lap time you might be able to achieve.

You are therefore looking to use sector split times to start to identify the key areas for the driver to work on.

Without relevant and reliable sector split times you are making your analysis much harder.

Sadly, whilst a great idea in theory, the automated AiM sectors do not really help you with driver analysis.

Your challenge quickly becomes HOW TO create custom sectors in AiM Race Studio?

If you have ever tried then you may have discovered it is not obvious – at least I did not think it was!

Luckily, it is fairly simple, once you know how.

In the rest of this article I’m going to take you through a worked example on how to create custom sectors in AiM Race Studio.

Then you will be able to work through the same logic with your own data and create your own custom sectors.

Oh, and if you only use AiM Race Studio infrequently BOOKMARK this page.

Your future self will thank you! ?

How To Create Custom Sectors In AiM Race Studio 2

The first thing is just to make sure you have the right settings enabled. If you do not then you will not see any sectors, not even the automated ones …

Step 1: Get Your Settings Correct Via The Measures Graph

This is the measures graph you see when you open AiM Race Studio:

Measures Graph in AiM Race Studio
AiM Race Studio Measures Graph

It might be that you see something slightly different, if you have generated a track map before.

That is ok as I’m going to address that below.

For now though you just need to check these settings in the top right:

Your settings in AiM Race Studio should look like this.
AiM Race Studio toggle settings to check.

There are two to check:

  • Distance/Time
  • Snap On/Off

You want to make sure that you have selected Distance and the Snap is On.

The toggle buttons do not tell you their state. Therefore if they look like the image below, then click them again.

Make sure these two toggle switches in AiM Race Studio do not look like this.
These are the settings you DO NOT want …

I (think I) understand why AiM does this. The visual difference between the toggle states is extremely subtle though, especially on a small screen.

Unfortunately it is little things like this that can cause you a lot of frustration and waste a lot of your time.

Double check you have these set right before continuing … ?

Step 2: Create A Track Map

To create sectors you need to create a track map.

From the menu at the top of the page, click Map –> New like in the image below:

Creating a track map in AiM Race Studio 2
Creating a track map in AiM Race Studio 2

This will open up a new dialogue box similar to this:

The AiM Race Studio auto generated track map looks like this. It is not what you want.
The Modify track map dialogue in AiM Race Studio 2

There is a lot going on here.

I’m just going to focus on how to create custom split times but you can manage many things to do with visualising the track here.

As an aside, whilst you might think you can adjust your start finish position here, you cannot. If you find yourself a situation where AiM has cut it in the wrong place here is an article that will help you sort out the correct start finish line position ?

In the image above you can see the splits that AiM has created automatically. They are colour coded for left, right and straight.

You do not want to continue with these but if you did, then when you loaded the “Split Report” you would see a mess something like this:

This is an AiM auto generated split report ... my eyes !!
Result of AiM auto segment generation. My eyes ?‍♂️

Whilst it might appear useful, this information is next to useless – sorry AiM ?

In my experience you want to create only between 3 and 5 sectors. For why, again read this.

In this example I’m going to create 4 sectors.

Step 3: Create Your First Custom Sector In AiM Race Studio

Firstly you need to clear all the automatically generated sectors.

To do that, click “Remove All” in the bottom left of the Modify Map dialogue:

Remove all AiM auto generated sectors like this.
Click “Remove All” to get rid of the AiM auto generated split sectors

Second, you need to create your first sector.

In this example I am going to use the speed trace at the top as my guide.

What I have done is drag my mouse over the speed trace until just before the braking zone.

Move mouse to this cut position to create custom sectors in AiM race studio
Select your first split sector by dragging your mouse over speed trace – like this.

Note that this speed data trace is a bit odd because it is flat for a bit. Your speed trace will more likely be more pointy and therefore easier to find the braking zone.

When you do this you will see that the cursor on the track map also changes. This is a good opportunity to double check whether the spot you are considering is sensible. Sensible meaning not mid corner.

Third. Once you are happy with your position, click “Divide” from the bottom left Modify parts menu:

Use this button in AiM Race Studio to cut your splits on the track map
Create a split sector by clicking Divide

You should then see something like this on your track map:

First cut in create custom sectors in AiM race studio
Your track map should look like this after making your first split

Congratulations you have created your first custom sector!

Now to create the others.

Step 4: Creating The Rest Of Your Custom Sectors

To create a total of 4 sectors, you need to divide the track two more times.

Repeat the process from creating your first segment. Use the speed trace to identify the next major braking zone. Use the track map to confirm that the area you are looking at is not mid corner. Then click divide again.

This is what I ended up with:

2nd cut to create custom sectors in AiM race studio
Second Sector cut here. Speed trace helped choose just before braking zone.

You now have two cuts and three sectors in total.

For reasons I cannot work out, you can see that the second sector is also coloured red.

When I first did this I thought I was doing something wrong. Possibly that it was not dividing or possibly that it had removed my first sector. It was very confusing.

Luckily everything is ok. It is just that the second sector has been coloured the same as the first.

You want to change this and can do that as follows:

How To create custom sectors in AiM race studio
Change Your Sector Colours by clicking this toggle button.

Hopefully the image is clear for you.

What you want to do is click on the segment. Then click on the button in the right of the Modify parts section.

Initially this is called “Corner 1” but if you click the button the name changes and the segment colour. The options are “Corner 1”, “Straight” & “Corner 2”

As you can see in the image above, the second “Divide” did work. Like me, you should now have made two cuts and have 3 sectors in total on your track map.

Repeat the above until you have created all the sectors you require.

Step 5: Save Your New Custom Track Map

Once you have all your sectors cut and coloured (!) then the last thing to do is save your work.

In the bottom right of the Modify track map dialogue box, fill in the “File name” box and then press OK:

Save your custom track map like this in AiM Race Studio
Save your AiM Race Studio custom track map using this dialogue

This is what my track map looked like before I saved it:

Final custom sectors in AiM race studio
FinFinal track map with 4 custom sectors in AiM Race Studio

This is the Measures Graph:

Create custom sectors in AiM race studio Final Measures Graph with 4 sectors
AiM Race Studio Measures Graph with 4 sectors for the lap

And this is what the split report looked like: (Note: I changed the sector colours from the ones below to the above ones after this screen image was taken i.e. the blue one went to green.)

Final custom split report in AiM Race Studio
Final 4 sector split report

Hopefully you now have something similar.

Interpreting my example, you can see that this driver has opportunity in sector 1.

Create custom sectors in AiM race studio Sector 1 has most opportunity for this race driver
AiM Race Studio Split report. Driver has opportunity in sector 1.

On lap 4 he was nearly 0.5 seconds faster than his fastest lap. What happened? Could he do it again? What else is going on with these splits?

Your challenge now is to try to discover what went on and help the driver form a plan to go faster … (No clue where to start with that? Yes, there is a course for that ?)

In Summary

The AiM auto sector generation system is a lovely concept but in practise of no use to you.

Surprisingly, whilst people are aware of that, they ar e not aware that you can create custom sectors in AiM Race Studio. Hopefully you now know a) you can, and, b) how you can create custom sectors in AiM Race Studio.

Interpreting the 4 sector split report above is much easier and more meaningful. You know that you can rely on the sectors being in the same place every time you want to look at data across drivers or sessions at this track. The sectors are meaningful chunks of the track that aim to encapsulate discrete events for the driver – as best as one can.

You might have a different perspective on where you would cut the splits. The point is that now you know how to create custom sectors where ever you like around the lap in AiM Race Studio.

Check out the further reading suggestions below. Also consider signing-up to my weekly(-ish) newsletter for my latest articles on helping you to lower your lap times, delivered direct to your inbox.

Happy segmenting!

Further Reading

Where do you go after looking at split times? Try the delta-t channel. Learn about it here.

Are you using all your racecars grip? Know how to get this info from your logger? Here’s the article.

No clue where to start with motorsports data analysis? Could this be the course for you?