Hi! I'm Ricky Vesel, the guy behind Race Optimal. The project is just me. Anytime I say "we" on the site is just me pretending to have coworkers. When I'm not cooking up something crazy, I'm avidly playing table tennis. My USATT rating has stagnated at 2000. I'm trying to learn how to keep a positive mindset and enjoy myself. While I'm bragging I also play guitar.
It's a bit difficult to explain my interest in track riding, driving and racing. I had only participated in one track day on my Yamaha FZ1 before 2012. In the meantime, I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Master's in Aerospace Engineering. My research involved optimizing wind turbine blades with a genetic algorithm. If you've read the Who is Al? section then that should sound at least vaguely familiar. Anyhow, during a brief period following graduation, I became interested in writing scripts (typically with MATLAB) to solve different puzzles and problems I came across. I don't remember exactly why, but eventually the idea occurred to try to optimize the line through a turn in a race course. It seemed like a natural and exciting application of my experience with shape optimization. What began as a few notes and sketches gradually evolved into a formidable database of beautiful racing lines for over 250 circuits and configurations.
My brother and I had the chance to test out a primitive version of my optimized racing line (shown below) at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last August. Although the correctness of the racing line was far from the standard I've achieved at present, we both found having a printout of the map and even a mediocre racing line immensely helpful. It also made it easy to recognize the mistakes other riders were making without the benefit of a racing line diagram.
I'm very proud of Race Optimal. It has a lot of promise for helping track day junkies, both new and old, learn how to go faster in less time. I'm also confident that amateur and professional racers will find Race Optimal a valuable resource in their quest to shave tenths, as well as quickly familiarize themselves with new circuits. Thanks a lot for visiting, and of course, feel free to contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions.
Here's one more picture of me scrutinizing the racing line.