Archive for April, 2009

2009 Season 1 – Review

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Season 1 of 2009 has concluded so while we patiently wait for Season 2 to begin it’s time to reflect on the goals of last season. These were :

  1. Finish Mazda series with more than 800 points
  2. Get a win in the Mazda
  3. Compete in at least eight racing weeks with the Silverado truck
  4. Lead at least a single lap in the oval discipline (it STILL eludes me!)
  5. Achieve a B 4.99 rating in both road and oval disciplines
  6. Have an ‘incident per race’ stat of less than 2.0
  7. Finish the season with an iRating above 3000

Looking at these goals, I had a pretty good season. First up I hit the objective of getting > 800 points in the Mazda series by finishing with 890. I also crossed off objective 2 by picking up a (somewhat gifted) win at VIR Grand West. It was gifted in a sense as I benefited from a low strength of field, otherwise I’d have not won for sure.

I also did OK with the oval objectives – I raced in 11 of the 12 Truck weeks and even led a lap at Las Vegas. I even led the last lap there to pick up my first (and only) Oval win!

I failed with the last two objectives – wasn’t able to maintain the 4.99 SR in Oval (although road SR was a firm 4.99+), and also my inc. per race fell above 2.0 during the season. Again, my road performance was fine, but racing the Trucks kills my safety rating, I was picking up 4x hits every single race.

Series Overview

Star Mazda Championship – 2009 Series 1

I had a decent time in the Mazda this year, but now that I’ve run a season I don’t think I’ll be spending too much time coming back to it. I don’t really like the ‘feel’ of the car and the way the car handles when you are really reaching the limits of grip.

The new tracks were welcome – it was fun to race at Road America and Silverstone for the first time, and I really loved the change of style with the two oval rounds (Milwaukee and Phoenix).

In the end I did ‘OK’, finishing 26 of 96 in Division 1 with 972 points. Picking up a race win at VIR Grand West was probably the highlight of the season.

Star Mazda Championship Season Results

Chevy Silverado Championship – 2009 Series 1
My Chevy Silverado
I enjoyed this series much more than I expected. I wasn’t able to get a handle on making my own setups (still out to sea when it comes to doing this) but I didn’t have a problem finding setups from other generous members and really having a good time. I had quite a few exciting and strategic races and only the constant 4x hits put a downer on the season. Almost every race, right on cue, I’d pick up at least one contact hit or phantom incident that affected my SR.

About midway through the season it was looking like I’d be able to get a top 5 finish in division 3 and in the end I just about managed it, finishing 5th of 176 in my division with a total of 858 points. Very happy with the seasons racing (especially that win I took at Las Vegas!)

Chevy Silverado Championship Season Results

Skip Barber Race Series – 2009 Series 1

I wasn’t planning on running a full season in the Skip Barber but once I had a few races done I felt compelled to. In the end, although I only raced in 8 weeks (so no drop weeks in affect) I actually scored more points in 2009 than I did last season! I scored 966 (last season was 933 points). I finished 23 / 102 in division 1.

The season had quite a few highlights, and some very close and clean races. Absolute highlight was probably the 99 entrant epic race during week 11, at Sebring. I’ll remember that for a long time!

Skip Barber Race Series Season Results

Season 1 Charts

Safety rating was perfect for the road licence, pegged at B 4.99. It was looking good for the oval licence too, until I picked up 16 incidents in a single race at Bristol in the Trucks.

iRating progression was good in both disciplines too, gradual increases throughout the season for road, and good early increases for oval. The oval rating looks to have levelled out, we’ll see how it changes going into the next season.

Week 12 – Mazda “Race Of The Week”

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Star Mazda Race Results


Following the recent announcement that there was going to be an official “Race Of The Week” event last night in the Mazda I was really looking forward to the race. Last weeks ROTW had 99 entrants, and was a really anticipated event.

Last nights ROTW, featuring the Mazda at Sebring, was something of an anti-climax all told. We didn’t break 40 entrants, so had just two grids. Nonetheless I had an exciting race and was glad I made the effort. It was a busy race with 19 racers, and my qualifying time put me 10th on the grid.

As the video below shows, lap one was a blast. I narrowly missed a pretty big pileup behind me, and had a very determined overtake at the hairpin. The rest of the race was pretty intense as I’d be driving at full effort, watching the interval to some much faster cars behind me and watch as they took huge chunks out of my lead, only to spin and fall back further away. The last few laps were very busy as I really had to work hard to hold onto 6th place…. I had a faster car behind and was not planning on defending 6th with my life (I would be happy with 7th) but luckily he ran out of laps to get by me.

A good result then, 147 points for a 6th place and a fitting end to my Mazda season.

“Race Of The Week”

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Following last weeks epic 99 entrant Skippy race (see earlier blog post) iRacing has decided to make a weekly event around the mass gathering of members into a single race session.

Starting tonight, iRacing will be encouraging all interested members to join the midnight race in the Mazda at Sebring, as well as the SK Modified race just before at 23:15.

Sounds like a great idea to me – last weeks race (that split into 8 discrete grids) was a really interesting community event and if enough members can make it a regular event it’ll be a high point of the racing week.

I was not sure if I was going to race the final round in the Mazda at Sebring but I’ll definitely be around tonight, and hopefully we’ll top 100 entrants! Race report to follow…