Garmin Catalyst on the Jefferson Extended Circuit

Lap from recent HPDE with NCC BMW CCA on the Jefferson Extended Circuit, Summit Point WV. E46 M3 on Michelin Pilot PS2 tires with full tread. Only my sixth track day in this car.

Video is interesting because you can see my struggles as a former front wheel driver. I’m leaving about 3/4 of a second on the table as I try to find the right way to deal with the road crown on turn-in. Watch the red time in the lower right of the frame. That’s the delta to my optimal lap. I loose time on the turn in for Turns 1, 4, and 14. I do get a good launch out of T14 at the end, where I’m immediately up on the next lap which was ultimately not completed due to the end of the session.

My best lap ever in the MINI on Pilot Super Sports was a 1:27.5. Previous best in this car was 1:26.2. New best is 1:24.9. I continue to be impressed with how easy and effective the Garmin Catalyst coach is to use.

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Garmin Catalyst First Use

Track season is finally upon us here in the mid-Atlantic. I had the chance to spend three days at Summit Point Main with PCA at the end of March. Here’s a 12 minute video I put together talking about how I used the Catalyst to improve. Please let me know in the comments if you have any features you’ve found especially useful.

Start by locating the mounting point for the removable lower panel and remove the silver screw.

Compare the size of the tether end to the available space and shape it accordingly. We had to shave the sides and bend to fit the contour of the device.

And just screw it in place.

Close the lower panel and test.

Now place it back in the magnetic mount. We used a longer tether to hold the mount to the car, and then a shorter tether to hold the device to the mount. Both tethers are using a small clip we mounted into the window mount.

Shop for the Garmin Catalyst Performance Driving Optimizer and Accessories.

Protecting the Garmin Catalyst Screen

On the whole, the Garmin Catalyst is a rugged tablet. The case will protect the internals from an accidental drop or bump in the car, and there is a lip on the face to protect the screen should you set it face down. But there were two aspects about the screen we didn’t like so much: It’s very reflective, and likely to get messy with all that touching. The auto makers have teams of engineers who work out where to best places screens in a car for maximum utility and minimal reflections. You’re just trying to figure out where you can place it so it has good line-of-sight to the GPS satellites and you can reach the screen while driving.

So what is our suggested solution? Generic tablet screen protector. We bought and tested two different ones from Amazon. They were the cheapest 7 inch matte screen protectors we could find. Here’s a video that shows the result of our tests.


Both worked well. The SuperShieldz pack came with 3 vs. 2 for NuPro and it was less expensive. But you would be satisfied with either one.

Supershieldz: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0821TRGWX/

NuPro: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y5WW2XT/

Click here to see what’s in the box.

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