Week 6 – Lag Monster at Lime Rock Park!

My Helmet Design Lime Rock Park

After a few weeks of taking my race early in the week, I decided to relax a little bit for the week six return to Lime Rock Park. By Wednesday I hadn’t really put many laps down so I decided to run a few sessions, and the race if I felt like it. I guess part of me doesn’t like to delay the race too long because of the risk of something unexpected causing me to miss the race completely, or the belief that my opponents will generally increase in pace during the week whereas I do not!

That said I put in several sessions in the evening (some quali and TT) and after 37 laps practice I was back in the groove and had 0 incidents. I had a huge issue just before I started the race when I started seeing huge ping times (almost 1000ms) – I was worried that if I joined a race with a connection like that I’d either be booted and get nil points or my car would accumulate a hefty list of incident points!

I took the risk and joined the 10:30pm race, and luckily the connection had resumed back to something raceable.

I would start the race 3rd, and as #3 driver. #1 and #2 drivers were names that were familiar to me and were clearly faster, so already I set my goal for a 3rd at best and a 6th at worst. The start was good and I was able to beat car #1 and take the second spot. However I knew he was a much faster driver and so I was not planning on putting up a significant fight.

Here’s the opening laps, from the cockpit of driver #1 :

I did OK for the opening four laps and he wasn’t all over me as I expected (but certainly faster). On the last corner on lap 3 I made an error on the final corner (SO nearly lost it!!) and I decided not to challenge his passing attempt into turn one. Clearly driver #1 didn’t know how receptive I would be to his pass so his passing attempt was a little messy as he outbraked himself heavily and risked contact. It would have been a situation if I had been pressing hard to keep my place I think. Here’s an external video of the audacious move :

I fell into place in third and had around two seconds to 4th, so I set about consistency in my lap times. One thing I really hadn’t anticipated was my fall off in lap times towards the end of the race! My setup has very high tyre pressures and these are really good for the opening 14 laps, but thereafter they really go off and it takes around 4/10 off my early laptimes. The last few laps were interesting as I saw a new challenger for third ebb away at my lead from around four seconds down to next to nothing. I even had a major moment on the last lap where it seemed my brain was determined to make me crash and I went a bit wide on the penultimate corner of the lap. I was able to keep moving (attracting an off track incident) and I managed to keep third for a very welcome podium and 110 points. Had the race been another lap I would have endured a LOT of pressure, so I was very thankful it finished when it did.

On the whole I am happy with the result – maybe another race on another day would have seen me net a second place but I achieved my goal of getting 100+ points for the week, and I ran nearly 60 laps with just the single incident, so my safety rating should be in fine shape for my C licence.

My Solstice

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