Racing Analytics morphed from a software company to a prep shop
Sometimes something will start in one form but morph into another. Such was the nature of Shea Hughes’ Racing Analytics, which started out as a software company but came to life as a prep shop based at Atlanta Motorsports Park.
“In a previous life I worked in IT and we created a data aggregation system,” explains Hughes. “In racing, there are a lot of data acquisition systems via video, data [boxes], dyno data, setup information, tire/heat cycles, air/fuel ratios … there are so many data points. We actually created a system called Racing Analytics that took all these data points and aggregated them so we could unload off the trailer and emulate the conditions of the race track on any given race day better than our competition.”
Racing Analytics branded a couple of cars with its logo to both promote and to test the product, including Hughes’ personal Spec Miata. As it turned, out, Racing Analytics got beat to market with its software product, and the capital to take theirs to market was short as well. But the cars with the logo on the side, thanks to the product, were so quick right off the trailer that people started talking to Hughes about helping to set up and prepare their cars.
“So we slowly evolved into a prep shop where we started taking on setups and we started taking on dyno tuning and bolt-ons and suspension installs. We basically became a prep shop like you see all over the country,” he says.
Racing Analytics concentrates primarily on Mazdas, Spec Miata specifically, and Radical sports racers. It has six rental Spec Miatas and offers trackside support, engine tuning, chassis tuning, coaching, transport and safety equipment, pretty much everything short of roll cages. But because it is the sole service provider at AMP, there’s a lot of walk-in business as well from track day customers. They also take care of a variety of vehicles for corporate driving programs and a new school that has just started at AMP. In all, Hughes says the company services about 300 to 350 cars and is growing.
“We’ve been very blessed,” Hughes says. “We’ve done it based on relationships, trying to take the high road on every transaction and always do what’s right – that’s really been the core of it – and not take advantage on every transaction. We try to make it sustainable so that these guys keep coming back. Customer service and attention to detail is what sets us apart. We strive to do the right thing and we take great pride in making sure that everything the customers ask for is taken care of, no matter how big or how small it is.”
Racing Analytics data aggregation software still exists, although not as a commercial product – there was a lot of administrative overhead and building record sets manually – but it’s a service that Hughes offers his customers. The core of the business today is as a prep shop, handling all the duties you would expect. It may not be what Hughes set out to do, but it’s certainly working well.