Archive for December, 2009

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!

Real Or Virtual – Brands Hatch, Road Atlanta & Barber

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Just bringing some pages up to date – I made some more photo comparisons featuring Road Atlanta and the newest track to join the iRacing fleet – Brands Hatch. Click the links below to see each gallery.

Road Atlanta

Brands Hatch

The previous galleries in the series are available below :

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Mosport International Raceway

Infineon Raceway

Barber Motorsports Park

Pro Series Week 18 – Homestead A

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Pro Series Race Results (iRacing members only!)

I had a pretty decent race at Homestead. Managed to keep out of trouble and picked up places along the way. The race itself was very long (over 60 mins) and so became an attrition race, where places were gained by not making mistakes. The track is quite interesting to drive but offers next to no legitimate passing opportunities. It was the same story when the series was at Road Course B earlier in the season (blog post here).

I started 21st of 22 drivers (no qualifying time) and managed to avoid quite a few spinning cars (some very close!) en route to a decent 13th place finish. 113 points.

I made a short highlights clip – no wild overtaking to speak of, but plenty of near misses.

This sees me move to 65th in the series rankings. Should I find myself in a position to get a top 50 placing (which is unlikely but still possible) I’ll skip some racing to ensure I don’t steal a berth in the Drivers World Championship. I’m not fast enough to qualify in the top 32 for the races, so it would be a wasted place that could go to a faster driver.