Archive for the ‘Silverstone’ 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!)

Disappointment at the British GP

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

The wrong type of aero package Historic British GP results (iRacing members only!)

Tonight saw the running of the next leg in the iRacing World Tour for 2010 – an event featuring the Lotus 79 at Silverstone. Earlier in the year there was talk of this event using the 2009 Williams F1 car but unfortunately the car is not yet ready for release so iRacing chose to use the ‘other’ F1 car, the Lotus 79.

I spent a decent amount of time in practice for the race and had a very drivable setup for the 60 lap race at the historic layout of the Silverstone circuit. My qualifying time saw me start 21st of 25 in the second split and given the very rearward starting position I decided to take it very safe until we were spread out enough to start to challenge.

The plan worked for the first few corners – but my luck ran out pretty quickly when two cars collided ahead of me and spun into my path, leaving me nowhere to go. I used my reset but the race was all but finished at that point. The reset took around 2 minutes to complete (during which you are held in your pit box), and the real killer was the fact that my car was then filled with a full tank, leaving the car extremely difficult to drive and over 2 seconds a lap slower. That meant that whilst I was able to continue the race it wasn’t much fun as a) I wasn’t racing anyone, and b) the car was a pig to drive.

I carried on with the challenge of running the rest of the race with no further incidents, and no pit stops which I was able to do. 58 laps on the same set of tyres!

Started : 21st of 25
Finished : 15th, 2 laps down, 70 points (4 incident pts)
iRating : -46
Safety Rating : A/4.99 (no change)

Next time I will give serious thought to starting in the pit lane to avoid the lap one collisions!

ORO visits Silverstone

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
ORO racers battling it out at Silverstone

ORO racers battling it out at Silverstone

Oval Road Odyssey – Silverstone National (iRacing members only!)

Another memorable and enjoyable race in the Oval Road Odyssey (‘ORO’) this week when the league visited Silverstone. It was also the first time I raced at the National circuit which is a very short layout. The entire field was closely matched and the race would turn out to be extremely competitive throughout the grid.

I didn’t really have a great qualifying, netting tenth on the grid where I could have earned 7th on a good lap, and the race itself took a turn for the worse when I lost four positions in the first few turns, thanks to some close battling with rivals on the track.

Over the course of the race I had some good battles, and some very narrows escapes. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever had a race with so many close escapes without getting caught up in at least one race ending impact!

In the end I was able to fight my way back from 14th to a finishing position of 7th. I made a short highlights reel of the race from my viewpoint, which is embedded below :