HomeNews & InsightsFlag drop to finish – The pursuit of perfection

Flag drop to finish – The pursuit of perfection

By Sarndeep Nijjar 28th Apr 2023

The WEC season is picking up pace in the build-up to its flagship 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans. This weekend, Paul Di Resta and the Peugeot Sport team are headed to Belgium to compete in round three of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Traditionally, the venue located in the Ardennes, famous for its ever-changing weather conditions, also serves as the ultimate test for teams ahead of the all-important 24 Hours of Le Mans (10-11 June).

Ahead of the race, we’re looking at the parallels in elite motor racing and how we transform businesses at ClearRoute with a similar approach to endurance and performance.

Last year, the circuit underwent significant changes – these focused on the run-off areas and resurfacing parts of the circuit. During each tour of the 7-kilometre circuit, Hypercar drivers shift gears 44 times, reaching top speeds in the range of 317 kmph and travelling with fully-opened throttle for 51% of the lap.

But there’s a formula, process, culture and team underpinning every twist and turn.

How do we look to get to the finish line by removing friction? How does data and expertise combine? And ultimately, how important is the right foundation and engineering approach to drive efficiency on both the race track and the Route to Live?

Like endurance cars, the Route to Live is built to last, making great strides through employing the right experts, the perfect tech and regimented testing at every stage to get to the finish line as fast as possible.

You can’t get to the finish line in a car that isn’t built to last.

Just as you can’t create a robust and timeless Route to Live without prioritising software engineering, businesses that overlay an unstable or unreliable engineering infrastructure with agile development and delivery approaches will ultimately stumble when the foundation is inadequate.

It would be like approaching today’s WEC with a car from 5 years ago, that had since been driven to and from the supermarket and not been advanced.  It wouldn’t work. To create a truly winning Route to Live experience, you need to combine engineering, automation and developer experience, breaking down silos and addressing the challenge as a whole.

From there you can scale solutions to overcome initial challenges and actually unlock new opportunities and ways of working.

Sarndeep Nijjar, Head of Delivery at ClearRoute, said “So often we find that clients have no idea of their own potential – they have a vision, but no idea how to establish the engineering infrastructure, team and approaches to realise it. Consequently, when we apply our ‘one view’ approach to a particular problem, they then realise that it can be adapted from project level to enterprise level. That’s the bit that really excites us and makes unprecedented differences to businesses.”

Mapping your route

Like every race track, every client and project comes with its own twists, turns, and directional shifts specific to that organisation. Getting a piece of code to production is, in principle, no different to getting a race car from the start to the finish of a circuit. By producing a Route to Live map before embarking on the project, ClearRoute QCE engineers make recommendations about the route to take, identify bottlenecks and current snags, and apply data-driven solutions that dramatically improve the lap time.

People or data? How do the experts truly drive the processes?

A WEC race team comprises experts at the top of their field, the total elite, owning their own discipline. From the mechanics in the garage to the data interpretation team, right through to psychologists, dieticians and trainers, each one has their part to play in delivering optimum performance. The reliance on every expert is heavy, and if one underperforms, the whole outcome of the race and season could be compromised.

The QCE – behind the wheel of engineering effectiveness

The QCE at ClearRoute is at the heart of delivering engineering effectiveness. Backed by a team, culture and infrastructure unique to ClearRoute, and the mantra to always push boundaries, these engineering experts are specially trained to break down working silos and apply expertise and solutions that tackle the project from foundation to delivery. By marrying quality engineering, infrastructure and developer experience, the QCE is behind the wheel of supercharging the path to live.  Their work is so powerful that it transforms organisations and their approach to development.

Sarndeep Nijjar continued “The QCE is unique to ClearRoute, and they are powered predominantly by a culture of collaboration that sits at the heart of our team.  We want clients to be as efficient as we are, and our QCEs leave a legacy on the completion of their projects, driving clients to adopt the same ‘never standing still’ approach that we thrive on.  We improve, we enable, and we move on to the next project.

The advancement of testing

Behind every well versed race team, driver and supercar, is a dataset informing every decision and adjustment.  The evolution of the use of data between races has transformed the way teams prepare for the next one. The driver is at the heart of it, but needs culture and collaboration across the team, with those who truly understand how to apply the data, to inform how they’re positioned at the wheel.

Paul Di Resta, when asked about the role of tech in racing, said: “Boy, things were so much simpler just ten years ago. Look at the technology on the [Peugeot] 908 for example. I think that (technology has) evolved even to the point of an hour ago, when during a meeting, we were asking for new things and new data on the performance analysis of other competitors. The answer – yes, that change can be done. But it’s about building software that can do it.

“The software used in the racing industry has to keep evolving, to keep going forward. Any software that you write has its negatives, has its positives: the important thing is that you fix it, you go forward, you understand what you want out to make that software better. It’s what runs the car, it’s what gives the driver the feedback, it’s what gives IT teams live data. It’s the thrill of seeing the imagery coming in, what they get from it, and how it keeps their brain active.”

In both disciplines, experts are given the best possible environment via technology and training to perform at the top of their field. Testing plays a huge part in the Route to Live in increasing developer efficiency and productivity to create faster release cycles and fewer bugs.

The advancement in testing and the application of cloud-based software has reduced testing cycle time drastically. Cycles and releases that historically could have taken days or weeks can now take minutes, are fully automated, and happen as a constant, agile process.  Coupled with the provision of applications, libraries and golden paths and the developer experience becomes integral to the successful transformation of the process.

We’ll never reach perfection, but we’ll strive for it

In any elite sport, the pursuit for perfection will always sit at the heart of a performance mentality. But perfection is never truly achievable, and what sets elite sports teams apart from amateur is the skillset, experience and talent comprising that team.

The technology, data and ability to adapt to change will also enable teams to continually assess, improve, learn and apply their expertise and advances to the next event or race, helping them to improve on lap times, sit toe to toe, or even nudge ahead of their rivals and reach the finish line faster.

Paul Di Resta: “When you’re in the hot seat, you’re in the office. It’s about helping each other. And predominantly, making sure you do your job to 100% of your ability. And I think that’s where team spirit comes forward. I’m fully focused on this journey to keep progressively going forward. And you can only look back on it and see success if you are successful. And you get that ultimate Le Mans win at a World Endurance Championship. That’s only some years away. That may be sooner – I honestly don’t know. But I’m enjoying it, and with enjoyment comes success.”

QCE for business transformation

The power of the ClearRoute approach comes from the combination of QCEs, who we consider the elite in their field, and the principles of ensuring projects are looked at as a whole. The QCEs embed strong engineering foundations and delivery approaches, which in turn deliver exceptional developer experiences, increasing productivity, satisfaction and motivation.  The changes applied to each project have the capability to be scaled and transform businesses culturally and at enterprise level.

Which means that our mindset, for each project, always has to be that we will never stop at the realisation of the solution. We will strive for ways to increase the margins of success at micro level, because at macro level these achievements could completely reinvent the business and its teams.

Charlie Whaley, CEO at ClearRoute said, “It’s a mentality that we instil in our team and we want to impart on our clients. The impact we have on businesses, whether it be their engineering teams, developers, or C-suite is undeniable, but what always makes people sit up and take note is when we don’t stop at a 95% improvement, we strive for 98%, or even more, so that we can not only demonstrate our value, but also pass that impact on at enterprise level. These margins, on the race track, could mean only microseconds each lap, but across an endurance race and then a race season, it could be the difference between finishing on the podium on a high, or walking away underachieving, and no elite professional wants the latter.”

Clear Route x WEC

It’s expertise and process that underpin a successful race season and a successful Route to Live. Built for endurance, agility and performance, a ClearRoute to Live and a fully prepped, data-fuelled, expertly driven approach to the WEC will give each team the best chance of success. Backed by a team of mentally strong and professional agile experts to grow, learn and improve as a team in the pursuit of greatness.

To keep abreast of Paul and the Peugeot Sport team’s progress at Spa and across the season, follow us on our social channels.

To learn more about QCE and the principles that underpin our Route to Live approach, the principles that make us elite and in turn, our clients, head to Our Services.