After having a pretty good start to the inaugural Pro series, I scored my first DNF this week at Infineon Long.
It was quite disappointed as I had unusually good pace here – from checking the laptimes of some of the other Pro races I had a reasonable chance of scoring 150+ points, which would have been a tremendous result.
As it was, I took damage towards the end of lap 2 from a car that had spun out and rejoined the track haphazardly (tagging at least four cars in his race to get back on the racing surface).
It was just a tap, but it was enough to break the alignment, and I had to park it. Only a 0x contact though, so there was some small positive.
Just the 8 points this week then (my third lowest tally since I started iRacing). I’m currently stationed 79th out of the 154 racers currently scored.
We return to Infineon Long for the penultimate race of the series, in week 24.
Had a good first race in the Star Mazda for 2009. The season started with a new track for me, Road America, and being a larger circuit I was looking forward to racing here. The track is nice to drive, with a good variety of corner types, speeds, and elevation changes.
19 cars took to the grid (one off the maximum grid size) and I began the race 8th, in a SOF of 2817. I had a good first lap, climbing to 5th and soon found myself in a very competitive gaggle of cars racing hard.
On lap 2 I made a mistake following someone closely through a corner (a fast sweeping right hander) where they slowed more than I anticipated and I didn’t slow enough and caused a gentle spin for both of us. I was able to press on with minor steering damage, and recovered a 5th place position for much of the race.
The only other moment of note was a gradual chase down of 4th, which was finalised with a nice turn 1 pass.
So a 4th place finish and 146 points – a great start to the season.
I made a small highlights reel of my first two laps, and my late pass to take 4th place :
I was a bit reticent about this first race at Daytona – it’s quite a high pressure ride and crashes/incidents are all to easy to collect. I was happy that I didn’t need to work on a setup here though, as at this superspeedway it’s all about the draft and not so much the setup.
I joined a race with no qualifying time and started 11th (last). It was a pretty good race, and a lot of fun – there was an early caution on lap 10 (I avoided the crash by a wide margin but still picked up a 4x incident) and I was one of the 3 or 4 cars who pit for fuel. The rest of the race I pottered around the back, just hoping that the race would stay green to the end. Sure enough, (somehow) we ran the rest of the way under green and I scoffed when I passed the cars ahead splutter and run out of fuel and I took a good 3rd place finish, for 123 points.
I’m also having thoughts about running a Skippy season too, but I realise that it is really unlikely I’ll put in 12 weeks of racing…. hopefully I’ll get at least 8 in but we’ll see how it pans out. The first week for the Skippy was at Infineon Long, and with a short amount of practice (10 laps or so) I was comfortably beating last seasons time by a good few tenths. I went into a race (with a high strength of field) and had a good, but uneventful race for 5th place, and 118 points.
All in all, three really good races and very high scores for week 1 (146, 123, 118)!
This week had the Skip Barber series racing at Lime Rock Park, and after a bit of thought I decided that I would pass on this weeks action. It’s not that I really hate the track – more that I really hate lapping it again and again for long periods of time. The same corners come around every 60 seconds and it becomes such a chore!
Instead I took the opportunity to look to the C licenced series of the trucks and mazdas (have to get four races in each car during this season to get promoted to B licence).
First up is a cool race I had in the Star Mazda at Infineon Long. I made the first mistake of jumping into a qualifying session without a lot of time on the setup that I had loaded and soon found that this should never, ever be done! A bad setup in the Mazda can be pretty lethal!
I soon got to a consistent, if slow, pace and went into a strong race field. Had a really good race through the field and had a memorable battle for what was effectively sixth place. This is a video of some of the action – it’s a bit long but nevermind.
The rest of the race was spent defending my position so the race had a nice two sided feel to it.
On the oval side I had a blast racing at trucks at Bristol – such an awesome track. Pitting strategy is really welcome and livens up racing nicely, plus there weren’t too many yellows either. I also raced the late model at Milwaukee which was a good combination too – took 97 points home, which is a nice bump over what I usually get.
Next week we have the Skip Barber car at Lowe’s full road course – can’t wait for that!