Garmin Catalyst Review: Enhance Your Racing

The Role of Data Analysis in Improving Driving Performance with Garmin Catalyst

It takes constant practice to improve your technique and chop off seconds from your lap timing. Although seat time is usually the most important factor, proper instruction has always come in second, but it might not be as simple as it once was. So, how can you pinpoint areas that need improvement and turn them into measurable outcomes? The Garmin catalyst driving performance optimizer is now available. This innovative tool does more than just track your drives. It uses extensive data analysis to provide practical insights that can help you become a more competent and confident driver. Visit Westwood Racing Supplies to get a Garmin Catalyst and offer yourself the opportunity to test it out. So, how does it work? We are going to take a more detailed look at this blog.

What is a Garmin catalyst?

The Garmin Catalyst comes with a power cable, mounting hardware, wiring, a lap-recording camera, and an instruction booklet, all packaged in a container. The device is designed to look like a little tablet and has a durable rubberized body. The catalyst is designed to withstand hard handling in a kit bag or accidental drops. It can also analyze laps and recommend areas for improvement in addition to recording laps. It works with you to improve your speed and acts as a virtual driving instructor, giving you advice when you are out on the track using GPS data, G-meter readings, and other methods.

Track days provide a safe environment in which you can test yourself and improve your driving skills. You can even establish goals for yourself, such as achieving faster lap times. The Garmin Catalyst is an essential tool for improving this experience. This data analysis system, created with motorsport lovers in mind, does more than simply record lap times. It provides a variety of tools for analyzing your driving, identifying areas for improvement, and finally improving your track performance. Set aside at least thirty minutes at the track, or prepare ahead of time, to avoid last-minute rushes, as the setup takes time.

How does the Garmin Catalyst work for data analysis?

The system collects a number of data points during your track sessions. Following is a breakdown of the main components:


The system usually consists of one main unit. Although some performance optimizers may contain multiple units, the Garmin Catalyst is a single, small device. It doesn't require a separate GPS receiver. The Garmin Catalyst retrieves car data via the OBD-II port. The Garmin Catalyst 2 includes built-in sensors such as an accelerometer and gyroscope, allowing for greater accuracy in data collection without the need for additional components.

Below is a breakdown of what the catalyst collects:

  • Vehicle Dynamics: Speed, acceleration, braking force, and lateral G-forces are carefully measured, providing a detailed picture of your vehicle's performance on the track.
  • Driver Inputs: The steering inputs, throttle position, and brake application are all monitored to identify areas where you can improve your control motions.
  • Track Positioning: The system uses GPS data to determine your exact location on the track, allowing for accurate analysis of your racing line.
  • Sector Times: The track is separated into specific sectors, with thorough breakdowns of your performance in each one.
  • Route Analysis: Gain insight into specific aspects of your travel and identify areas for improvement.
  • Performance Scores: Get a clear view of your overall driving efficiency using simple criteria.


The software is the brains behind the system, evaluating recorded data to offer insights into several areas of your driving, including:

  • Line Efficiency: Shows where you may enhance your cornering or smoothness by comparing your driving line to the optimal racing line.
  • Braking and Acceleration: Examine throttle application and braking points to discover areas that need timing and consistency adjustments.
  • Sector Times: Provides a performance comparison by segmenting your lap into different sectors.
  • Real-time Feedback: During sessions, you receive real-time feedback that helps you develop a more adaptable and effective driving style.

The Effectiveness of Data Analysis

The capacity of Garmin Catalyst to transform unprocessed data into meaningful insights is its real strength. The technology identifies areas where you might be able to improve by evaluating your driving behaviors and comparing them to benchmarks. You can make faster progress and develop a more professional driving style by concentrating your practice sessions on particular approaches according to this data-driven strategy.

Essentially, Garmin Catalyst is a powerful data analysis tool that works in unison with your racing GPS device, such as the Garmin Universal 7 and uses a variety of sensors to gather an extensive picture of your driving performance. Garmin Catalyst 2 delivers a major advancement for individuals looking for an even more sophisticated data analysis experience with extra capabilities like:

  • Driver Training: Refine your driving abilities and find areas for development by receiving tailored advice based on your driving data.
  • Ghost Racing: Use visual tracking to compare your performance against a simulated version of your best lap or that of another driver.
  • Performance Trends: Examine patterns in your data over time to determine how well your training initiatives are working.

Advantages of Using Garmin Catalyst

The capacity of Garmin Catalyst to convert raw data into useful insights that have an immediate effect on your driving performance is what gives it its real power. Here are a few of the main advantages:

  • Reduced Lap Times: The technology can help you cut crucial seconds off of your lap times by finding areas for improvement and offering specific suggestions.
  • Better Consistency: Data analysis enables you to discover driving irregularities and create a smoother, more constant style of driving throughout laps.
  • Data-Driven Learning: The technology serves as a virtual coach, offering you instant feedback and assisting you in refining your driving style to be more controlled and effective.
  • Better Driving Skills: It assists you in enhancing the areas where you are losing time, such as poor cornering or late braking.
  • Improve Your Racing Line: Compare your racing line to the optimum line and spot any places where it could be improved using the characteristics of your car and the track.
  • Track Progress: Keep track of your progress over time and evaluate the success of your training initiatives.
  • Advanced Features: Extra features that improve the user experience include segment analysis and challenges (particularly in Garmin Catalyst 2).


A large variety of automobiles can use Garmin Catalyst, and installation is usually simple. In order to assure proper power supply, some automobile models may require a Garmin AC converter. When it comes to enhanced functionality and a more clear display of the data during your track sessions, think about combining your Garmin Catalyst with a Garmin Universal 7. The way these tools cooperate is as follows:

  • Garmin AC Adapter: It relieves you of the anxiety that your Garmin device's battery will run out while you are driving by providing constant power.
  • Garmin Racing GPS: Devices like the Garmin Universal 7 offer the required data when coupled with a catalyst for analysis.

Further Considerations

Positive customer reviews are received by Garmin Catalyst due to its capabilities, which include driving instruction and detailed analysis of data. However, there are a few things to think about:

  • Rate of Progress: You need to master the system, which requires familiarity with its software and functions.
  • Price: Some casual drivers may be discouraged by the initial amount of money they have to pay.


The similar opinion has been voiced by a number of online reviewers as well as new and experienced drivers: previous experience with data collection indicated their errors but not their solutions. Others believed that including data collection into their track days would be too challenging. The catalyst solves these issues by providing recommendations for enhanced performance and making data analysis clear and accessible.

In summary, drivers aiming to improve their track performance will find Garmin Catalyst to be a useful tool. Garmin Catalyst can help you become the best driver you can be if you want to be the best on the track. It functions as a performance analyzer, personal coach, and self-improvement tool, in addition to being a data recorder. The catalyst not only records your laps but also analyzes them to provide suggestions on improving speed. It considers various factors like GPS data, G meter measurements, and other scientific methods. You may maximize your performance on the track, gain a deeper understanding of your driving style, and identify areas for progress through data analysis.

The Garmin Catalyst continues to be a useful tool for our testing and tracking day activities because of its user-friendly design and thorough but understandable statistics, which accommodate users of all skill levels. If you want to improve the quality of the data you enter into your current data analysis to make it function more efficiently, or if you are thinking about getting into data acquisition but feel overwhelmed by the number of alternatives, the catalyst might be a helpful addition.