Archive for the ‘Race Report’ Category

How to go from first -> last inside 10 seconds…

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Facing left to navigate a right hander

For the first time since 2008 (when I raced in the Advanced Solstice) I am in the hunt for an overall series win in iRacing. Racing in the multiclass Grand Touring Cup series I have been racing the MX5 against the often faster Jetta cars and have been picking up some good results which has me in a very strong shape for a top three finish when the season finishes in a month or so.

So it was with regret that a vital Silverstone race during week 9 resulted in a messy lap 3 wreck that saw my position tumble from the class pole position all the way down to 13th in my class (20th overall), and firmly last.

Realising that the Jetta drivers always have a powerful launch against the under-powered MX5 cars I tried to signal my intent to take the inside line for the first right hander at Silverstone (directing faster Jettas to pass on my left) but it seems this wasn’t received by the Jetta behind, as he put us three wide going into a fast turn 1. A moment later, another car clipped my rear quarter panel sending me into a spin and out into the weeds.

I was seeing red as I had been looking at a strong win (I was on class pole, and had a clear pace advantage over the second place runner) so with a tight grip on my wheel I set about seeing how far I could catch up. After half a lap of frantic driving I was surprised to see that the class leader hadn’t been able to scutter into the distance (the erratic Jettas around him had seen to that) and I was only around five seconds back, albeit with several hard racing cars in between.

I did my best to dice through the field and eventually fought my way to second place, on lap 4 of 19. I was five seconds back, and around 1-2 tenths faster per lap than the leader. It would be tough.

Racing hard, I had some success and managed to slowly claw my way back within two seconds with a few laps to go, but it was not to be as a rogue Jetta (one lap down and in 15th place no less) had caught up to me and started racing me (for no gain to his race as he was far far back from his next competitor). His wild moves and general disarray slowed my progress and allowed my race rival to trot into the distance uncontested in some nice clear air.

Had I been able to convert this mess into a win it would surely have been my greatest victory in iRacing, but as it was it remains just one interesting event and a reminder of what could have been.

Here’s a short race highlights clip of the initial spin and mission to get back through the field.

iRacing Grand Touring Cup race results (iRacing members only!)

2011 iRacing Indy 500 Race Report

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

This weekend saw the second running of the iRacing Indy 500, a race I was very eager to finish following last years DNF after just 17 laps. By way of coincidence, I managed to achieve almost exactly the same qualifying performance as last year. Last year I qualified 193rd of 636 competitors. This year was also 193rd of 638! Both a similar number of qualifiers, as well as exactly the same qualifying spot!

A final total of 975 racers took to the track and my race split was the fourth race split, as determined by qualifying time. As always, my race objective was to make it to lap 200 and see where things lined up, and stay at the back of the field if I had to. I started the race from the pit lane and managed to avoid a few of the early wrecks as things got settled out amongst the field.

Unfortunately I didn’t come close to finishing (yet again!) and again it was through no fault of my own – on lap 31 two cars collided down low and as I slowed and moved high to drive past one car slid up to the highline and collided with me, sending me into the wall with race ending damage.

Looking through the other splits it seems that most races have less than ten finishers at the end, so I suppose a winning strategy next year is to sit in the garage for 100 laps to pass before taking to the field. That won’t get me a win, but a top 10 is almost guaranteed!

2011 Indy 500 results (iRacing members only!)

Started :
23rd of 32
Finished : 25th DNF, 169 laps down, 27 points (6 incident pts)
iRating : -81
Safety Rating : A/4.99 (no change)

The next race in the iRacing World Tour is the Michigan 400 (NASCAR Sprint Cup) on June 18th.

The second annual iRacing Daytona 500

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Action from the second iRacing Daytona 500

My iRacing Daytona 500 (iRacing members only!)

The second running of the iRacing Daytona 500 took place on February 19th, and like last year it occupies the second event in the iRacing World Tour series. I had mixed feelings about the event as last years event resulted in a DNF and a record number of incidents in a single race (19!). I knew what was in store, and decided to race anyway.

Last years event had over 1300 racers and this years event surpassed that with almost 1700 racers signed up to race. Unfortunately the iRacing infrastructure couldn’t handle the sheer volume of racers at once and so the race had to be delayed by two hours – midnight.

Thankfully once the server mayhem was sorted 1464 racers took part in the rescheduled race to form 37 separate race grids of ~40 racers each.

My race went exceptionally well (especially considering I was certain I’d not make it to the end). I did my usual approach of trying to stay at the rear of any pack that I was in (to reduce the risk of getting rear-ended when slowing for any wrecks) and I wasn’t far from the action all race! There were 11 caution/wrecks in my split and I think I had to drive through most of them with only a couple happening safely behind me.

It doesn't look likely, but I dodged this wreck!

As the race continued I slowly increased my position and in the second half of the race I was firmly inside the top ten. With 15 to go I had risen to 5th place and was set for a great result when I made a mistake in the pack and made slight contact with the outside car – enough to turn us both around. I was very annoyed at the mistake but thankfully it didn’t destroy everyones race behind me. It was approaching 4am by that point and I guess I had probably succumbed to the tiredness slightly.

Lap 189 - A mistake in the pack late in the race

I was lucky in that I didn’t hit any barrier in that accident so I chose to not use my single car reset and raced on to see the last ten laps home. When the race went green I quickly realised my car was more damaged than I first thought, and soon enough one of my guages was overheating massively. I was pretty sure the engine was set to blow so I moved to the back of the pack I was in (8th) and decided to try and limp home. A final caution at the very end allowed me to slow down and save the engine for an 8th place finish, which I was very happy to get.

Started : 36th of 40
Finished : 8th, 141 points (2 incident pts)
iRating : +66
Safety Rating : A/4.99 (no change)

The next World Tour event is scheduled to use the Street Stock at Thompson Int. Speedway on April 9th.