Front-End Web & Mobile

Enduring Race Pace: How IMSA delivers real-time GTP telemetry to the fans

This post was written in collaboration with David McSpadden, Sr. Director, Systems Technology at IMSA

One of the ten GTP cars competing at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

Figure 1: One of the ten GTP cars competing at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona


In the motorsports world, the speed of the cars on track demands that the data keeps up. IMSA, The International Motor Sports Association, collaborated with AWS to deliver car telemetry to fans in real time.

As the premier sports car racing sanctioning body in North America, IMSA races uniquely feature four separate classes of car that race on track at the same time. Manufacturers including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and many more compete simultaneously for races that can last as long as 24 hours long. While the Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) and Pro (GTD PRO) classes feature cars you may drive past on the highway, the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) and Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) classes feature hypercar designs intended for the fastest speeds on track. This blog post covers the new GTP class car, its telemetry, and how AWS and IMSA are able to deliver real time data.

The GTP Car – pushing automotive boundaries

The GTP car was introduced to IMSA in 2023 (Figure 1). The newest class, it uniquely features a hybrid powertrain, a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) paired with an electric motor and battery. GTP cars are the fastest on the grid and are renowned for silently launching from their pits on electric power before the ICE “bump starts” or roars to life further down pit line, following its electric powered start, creating a unique and satisfying symphony for race fans.

Each season, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship begins with one of the biggest races of the calendar, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, a 24 hour long, multi-class race (Figure 2). The Rolex 24 tests the endurance of both the cars and teams and pushes them to their limits. With the introduction of the GTP class’s hybrid system, new strategic challenges presented themselves that necessitated faster access to raw information. So – while the cars on track might be the ones with eye catching speed- the data streaming off them is even faster.

The Porsche Penske #7 GTP car, winners of the GTP class at the 2024 Rolex 24 (Hours) At Daytona

Figure 2: The Porsche Penske #7 GTP car, winners of the GTP class at the 2024 Rolex 24 (Hours) At Daytona

Solution overview

The first step in any journey for telemetry data begins at the source. Each GTP car is equipped with more than 180 sensors that capture data covering all aspects of the car’s performance. This includes metrics like engine RPM, hybrid energy remaining, vehicle speed, transmission gear, etc. This data is sent in real-time to an AWS Kinesis Data Streams, utilizing 4G LTE modems for data transmission (Figure 3).

IMSA racing live telemetry architecture

Figure 3: IMSA racing live telemetry architecture

Kinesis Data Streams provide a highly available, fully managed, serverless streaming data service that scales to handle the volume of data sent to it from the data producers – in this case the GTP cars. The telemetry data from the cars is then consumed from the Data Stream by an application running on AWS Fargate. Fargate is a serverless compute engine that allows you to run container images at scale, without the need to manage the underlying compute infrastructure.

In this architecture, Fargate houses the application logic that is used to parse, process and enrich the incoming data records. The end result is a single, easily consumable data stream that contains not only telemetry data but timing, scoring, and entry data as well. Once this is done, AWS AppSync is then used to fan out the stream of data to all consumers.

AWS AppSync is a serverless GraphQL and Pub/Sub API that allows applications to query, update, and publish data in real time. AWS AppSync receives updates from the Fargate application that previously enriched the telemetry data. In addition to this, AWS AppSync is also responsible for storing some historical metrics of the cars/race into an Amazon DynamoDB table. The DynamoDB table stores historical checkpoints, such as point-in-time snapshots of the leaderboard each lap. This augments the live dashboard.

Finally, an Angular application subscribes to updates from AWS AppSync, enabling fans to view the data in real-time, whether at the track or across the globe. This webpage and code are hosted in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket and fronted by Amazon CloudFront. These choices provide durable, highly available static web hosting for the dashboard page, allowing usage of the app to scale to tens of thousands of users. In addition, Amazon CloudFront helps reduce latency for the live dashboard by reducing the overall geographical path from the user to the application’s backend. In addition to the static site being served through a CloudFront distribution, AWS AppSync APIs are also served through a separate managed CloudFront distribution to take advantage of these same benefits.

The entire journey from car to fan is completed in under a second. For the Rolex 24, 6.5 million messages were successfully processed and delivered. The result: A compelling view of the car’s performance and deeper engagement with fans.

The telemetry dashboard on a mobile device, as viewed from the stands during the Rolex 24

Figure 4: The telemetry dashboard on a mobile device, as viewed from the stands during the Rolex 24

The dashboard (Figure 4) in action on a mobile device at Daytona International Speedway. Over an LTE connection, live telemetry was provided to fans with sub-second latency. This provided an incredibly immersive experience for fans at the track. Fans trackside used the application to monitor pit stops in real-time, watching the energy refill, as well as indications representing tire changes and vehicle jack status.

The live telemetry dashboard viewed on a web browser during the Rolex 24

Figure 5: The live telemetry dashboard viewed on a web browser during the Rolex 24

Away from the track, fans visiting were treated to a similar view (Figure 5). Reception of the dashboard was hugely positive at this year’s Rolex 24. The application was released publicly shortly after the race began and within hours the telemetry dashboard had more than 28,000 page views from 11,500 unique users. Users from 106 different countries viewed the data during the race, helping to reinforce IMSA’s global reach.

The telemetry dashboard was also a hit in the television and radio booths. Minutes after releasing, on-air talent began digesting and integrating the telemetry streams into their commentary. Having this data available to them in real-time allows these racing experts to provide even more context to fans worldwide and provided extra enrichment to the already thrilling storylines. Since debuting at the Rolex 24, it has become a staple of IMSA racing coverage.

Going Forward

Working together, IMSA and AWS were able to execute from vision to delivery in under four months, showcasing the ease at which AWS services and existing workflows can help complement each other. This type of architecture featuring AWS AppSync and Kinesis Data Streams provides an easy blueprint that many other sports leagues can take advantage of to get data in the hands of teams and fans as fast as possible. As we move further into the 2024 season, we anticipate more updates and upgrades to this solution. Data from additional sources and deeper insights relating to sustainability are things to look forward to. Stay Tuned!

Ryan Kiel

Ryan Kiel

Ryan Kiel is a Senior Solutions Architect for AWS based out of Virginia. As part of AWS Sports, he helps leagues and franchises with their cloud journey on AWS by leveraging best practices and the newest technology. Outside of work, Ryan is a hockey, golf, and motorsports enthusiast.

Carlos Valdes

Carlos Valdes

Carlos is a Senior Technical Account Manager for AWS based out of Florida. As part of AWS Enterprise Support, he is a technical advocate for his customers, helping to enable them in their cloud journey and accelerate their outcomes.

Edmund Chute

Edmund Chute

Edmund is a Specialist Solutions Architect for AWS based in San Francisco, California. As a member of the AWS Worldwide Specialist Organization’s Solution Builders team, he collaborates closely with customers to drive innovation through rapid prototyping development.