Thursday 21st April 2016, 14:00
Manor, who compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, have launched an innovative new mobile app that begins to change the way racing teams can interact with fans.
The mobile app, which has been developed in partnership with technology specialists Inovica, is available now for both Apple and Android devices and fans can download it for free from the App Store or Google Play (by searching for Manor Endurance).
The new mobile app provides fans with exclusive content including detailed background information on the team and its history but crucially it also provides something very different; a new way for fans to interact during a race.
The app has a feature called Track-Watch which allows fans to post live weather forecasts complete with geo-location data to help the team understand the weather situation around the track in real time, potentially vital at circuits with notoriously variable weather conditions such as Spa or Le Mans.
How does it work? Part of Manor’s new mobile app allows fans at the track to signal changes in weather by simply pressing a button in the app. The data is sent to the team complete with a geo-location of the sender. The data is compiled centrally and compared with inputs from other fans and a centralised, real-time, weather map of the circuit shows the team any changes in conditions across the circuit and surrounding areas. The fans that help the team with the data are rewarded with various benefits ranging from discounts on merchandising through to garage tours, factory tours and meet-the-drivers opportunities.
But Track-Watch is only the start of how Manor intends to change the way the team interacts with fans. Manor’s President, Graeme Lowdon explains:
“Track-Watch is our first step. We plan to update the mobile app regularly allowing fans to interact with the team in more and more innovative ways, we want them to be part of the team. It is not unusual to see teams in major racing events sending crew members out around the track to act as weather-spotters, this is something that the fans can get involved with.”
“This is our attempt to be more inclusive and make people really feel a part of what is going on.”
“We have big plans for how we want to interact with our fans with new features being added throughout the season. In the future fans will be able to download some simple software that allows them to donate spare computing capacity to carry out calculations and solve problems to help the Team, boosting our computing capability significantly. This would give us the opportunity to solve complex engineering and strategy problems, all with the help of the fans. Without them we would not be able to do it. Fans will be rewarded via a loyalty scheme allowing us to help them in return.”
“You regularly see requests from teams to follow us but we would prefer to say don’t just follow us, come and join us become a team member and let’s go racing!”