Archive for the ‘Season Review’ Category

2009-04 Season Review

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I’ve had a very busy season, racing in no less than 4 racing series each week – a new record for me.

Dallara Indycar
This was the first Indycar series in iRacing and so I was eager to get stuck into the new car, especially as fast open wheelers appeal to me.

I found the racing here to be really interesting and unique to the other forms of racing in iRacing. The Indycar races require a stop for fuel so it really made the races memorable, and the blistering pace of the car meant the racing was quite exhaustive at times.

On the whole I was very pleased with my season. I only raced in eight of the 12 weeks but I still was able to finish with 940 points which was way ahead of my usual 100pts/race aim. I finished 15th in division 2.

I also took a victory at Indianapolis which was a bonus.

Late Model

Oval Road Odyssy (a hosted league featuring the Late Model on road courses)
I was really into racing the late model on road courses since I first tried the combo in a 24 Heures du Fun race back in the Summer (which I blogged about here).

I joined this weekly hosted league and had a really good time, taking this great car to some of the best road circuits in iRacing. I didn’t win any races but had a number of memorable races and was pleased with my performance throughout the season (apart from the final race, where I completely took out someone – TWICE – in my worst race ever). I’m thinking of making a very small highlights reel of my activity in this league – should this happen I’ll update this post.

iRacing Late Model Tour
I completed my second season of the iRacing Late Model (I completed my first in 2008 season 4, twelve months ago).

I was interested by the new series schedule, where the car was taken to some larger venues like Phoenix and New Hampshire, and also unusual places like Bristol and Lime Rock Park (road course).

I was looking forward to comparing my result with my performance twelve months ago and I was very happy with the results :

8 10 0 4 0.6 495
8 17 1 8 0.65 881

I was even able to take my first Late Model win (and second oval win ever) at Bristol! I finished 15th in division 2 with 881 points.

iRacing Road Pro Series
I’ve made a separate post dedicated to this series available here.

Finally my road iRating generally suffered this season, falling from a high point of around 3700 in season 2 to 3400 in season 3 and now finally down to around 3200 in season 4. I put this down to my participation in the Pro series, where I would typically lose iR every single race for finishing in the latter half of the grid. In 2010 I am expecting to see my iRating slowly grow to 3500+ once more, without the downward inclination of the Pro season.

My oval iRating showed marginal change, going from 2300 to around 2450. Not really enough to amount to any increase in skill really.

My safety rating was in good shape all season. I was really striving to finish all my races incident free, and whilst I wasn’t able to achieve my goal of ten races in a row without incident, I lowered my ‘average inc per race’ stat and kept a solid Pro 4.99 (road) and A 4.99 (oval) rating all season. Road Pro Series Season Review

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

The inaugural Road Pro series has come to a close (for me at least, no more racing this week) and here are some final reflections on how my season went. I posted some initial views in a separate post here so here are some final thoughts on what was a very memorable series.

It was quite a hard, long endeavour and it required some commitment to continue to join races where I knew I was racing for the back of the grid. I can scarcely remember more than a handful of overtaking moves (by myself) in the whole season! Most of the time I was racing for good clean finishes, and tried to reap as many points as I could.

Another goal for me was to complete the full season, and after missing quite a few races in the first half I really had to stay commited and attend as many races in the second half. In the end I raced in 20 of the 25 racing weeks (where the top 19 weeks count) therefore I had one dropped week (dropping a nightmare result at Infineon where I scored just 8 points).

So my final series standings were 58th place with 1671 points.

I catalogued my series results below and you can see that as a consequence of finishing in the bottom half each race my iRating generally declined (375 iR units over the season). Now that the Pro series is over and done with I can make arrangements to build it back to its previous value, and try to once again qualify for the next Pro series! Road Pro Series

iR Change
Daytona Road DNS - -
VIR Full 9/16 119 +6
Sebring International DNS - -
Laguna Seca 10/19 127 +10
Watkins Glen Boot 14/19 70 -32
Barber Full 16/24 86 -18
Road America Full 14/19 70 -28
Road Atlanta Full 11/17 92 -13
Lime Rock Park Full DNS - -
Infineon 30/31 8 -79
Silverstone GP 27/31 34 -54
Homestead Road B 13/18 74 -23
Laguna Seca 15/31 142 +28
Atlanta Road 20/21 13 -66
    11/20 122 +14
Summit Point Full 14/19 71 -25
Daytona Road DNS - -
Lowes Road Course 11/15 77 -16
Homestead Road A 13/22 113 +7
Sebring International 19/23 50 -35
Watkins Glen Boot 19/25 67 -26
Road Atlanta Full 13/22 114 +9
VIR Full DNS - -
Silverstone GP 21/27 64 -24
Infineon Long 19/25 69 -20
Road America 11/17 110 +10

(red = dropped)

The final stretch in the iRacing Pro Series…

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

With just four more racing weeks to go until the inaugural Pro series completes, where do my feelings lie concerning this pioneering sporting endeavour?

I believe my thoughts put me in a minority here, but I’ve really enjoyed the series as a whole. There were a few areas that could have been handled far better (such as a better schedule) but I definitely subscribed to ‘cracking on with what we’ve got’ and have had some good races to show for it.

At a micro level, the individual races were generally positive. A few of the early races had some more erratic driving (I include myself when I saw this) so had a fair share of 4x hits along the way. But as the season matured the racing became extremely fair and it was pretty amazing to be part of such a fast group of safe drivers. Now each week when I join a Pro race I firmly expect to be able to race side by side with almost anyone on the track, which is something you usually just can’t do.

On a more ‘macro’ level I was disappointed with the community enthusiasm. With 250 eligible drivers, to only get 100 turning up for the early races which quickly fell to < 50 is hugely disappointing. For me, it's been disappointing to watch the majority of the slower drivers (i.e. my direct competition and the drivers I need in the races to give me an even, memorable challenge) drop out in dribs and drabs each week, until we are now at the point where I have just one other person of a similar skill that I race each week. Had we gained participation from 200 of the 250 each week I think the series would have been all the more stronger because of it.

Still, at its heart the sole reason for the Pro series is to establish the top 50 drivers who will move forward to the iRacing Drivers World Championship, starting February 2010. And I think the Pro series has done that perfectly. The Oval series is very tight and competitive, and the Road series probably has around 40-50 names that seem to be interested in putting in the time and effort to race in the iDWC events.

And I am secretly happy that despite my racing each week, I just wasn't good enough to finish in the top 50. As I write this (with four more weeks to go) I need to score at least 250 points in at least TWO of the last four races to somehow get into the top 50, which is just not going to happen. If I was able to sneak into the top 50 merely by my attendance each week it would be to the detriment of the competiton as I'm just not fast enough. So I'm happy that the top 50 does in fact represent a reasonably high level of performance.

I've made the most of my time in the Pro series because I realise that by next May, when the licences are handed out again, I probably won't make the cut - so this first season is really the first and last chance for me. And I've thoroughly enjoyed it!