It is recognised that the physical demands required in motorsport are similar to those encountered within traditional sporting settings. In an attempt to understand more about the nature of these physiological demands BU researchers have been fortunate enough to enlist the help of a number of participants in Rallying at National level.
During the 2009 Rallye Sunseeker and the Border Counties events BU’s Kelly Goodwin was able to collect data concerning driver and co-driver heart rate, skin temperature, acceleration, energy expenditure and Galvanic Skin Response. In addition to a heart rate monitor, a small body conforming, lightweight monitoring device was used to provide physiological records of a number of competitors and officials including Marcus Dodd and his co-driver, Andrew Bargery. The latter pairing was being monitored when they subsequently won the Border Counties Rally of 2009.
It is accepted within motor sport that fitness is becoming increasingly important because during the course of what is an endurance event the drivers in particular can experience a number of physical, environmental and psychomotor stressors which, when combined can lead to rapid fatigue and decreased driving performance.
It is hoped that from these pilot studies participants in a variety of other motor sport events and sports will be similarly monitored and compared.