Total Driver Performance – PWC GT/GTA @ COTA

(featured image: John Loftis)

Like many of you here, I am a stats nerd.  I am also an avid Formula 1 fan, and while Red Bull was in their 4 year reign of dominance, I came up with a little metric I called “Total Driver Performance” (TDP) to help measure a driver’s performance throughout the season.  The idea behind it is that it’s not always the driver who is having the best season sitting on top of the point standings and really show who is the most consistent and can get that little extra out of the car.  This took a little tweaking to get it from F1 to be ready for PWC, but here’s the first attempt.  Due to time constraints and real life stuff (job, family, etc), I will only be doing GT and GTA for now, but plan on including GTS in the near future.  I might separate the GT and GTA drivers out later on, but I think it will be interesting to see how the “Ams” match up with the Pros (I just hope World Challenge doesn’t use this for moving GTA’s into GT, but they could if a fee was given to the proprietor of the metric (half joking).

credit: Matt Kistler's phone

credit: Matt Kistler

At a high level, here is how the TDP metric works:  Take the driver’s average points scored per race (A) divided by 304, the maximum points per weekend.  Add that to the driver’s average positions gained or lost (B) divided by the average qualifying position (C), minus 1.  That total will be divided by 2.  On paper the formula looks like this:  ((A/304)+(B/C-1))/2.  The goal is to have the TDP as close to positive as possible, the larger the number, the better.  I try to take into account stuff that isn’t the driver’s fault – Accidents caused by other drivers, not setting a race lap time, etc.  Some stuff will sneak through, but I can’t get too nitty gritty or I’ll spend WAY too much time on this.

Obviously this is not the best solution (to a question nobody is asking) or a 100% accurate metric – especially early in the season – as numbers can be greatly skewed by weird stuff right now, but as the season goes along, the metric gets more and more accurate.  One example would be Nicky Catsburg.  He’s currently last in TDP, but obviously is not the worst driver on the grid, or having the worst season.  Having his average qualifying position be on the pole, then getting a penalty and losing a bunch of positions is what is hurting him currently, but as the season goes on, we’ll most likely see him move closer and closer to the top of the TDP standings.

So, onto the actual metric.  Not surprisingly, Ryan Dalziel sits on top with Mike Skeen second, who is currently being helped by an average positions +/- of 13.5.  Two GTA drivers are currently in the top 5, Michael Lewis sits third, with Cisneros fifth.  If you look at the bottom of the rankings you’ll see Catsburg (mentioned earlier), Andy Pilgrim (who I think was spun in race 2), Brian Heitkotter and Butch Leitzinger.  I do not expect those gentlemen to be anywhere near the bottom as the season goes on, but again, weird situations are skewing their numbers this early in the season.

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About the author


Matt Kistler is the founder and editor of NASportsCar. Matt works full time for a Fortune 500 life Insurance company and runs Kistler Media on the side producing digital media of all kinds.

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