Archive for October, 2009

A Masterclass On Race Starts…

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

It’s that time of year again when iRacing deploy their quarterly build. I can’t speak highly enough about this latest build, and this weeks events have been pure fun for me.

The build saw the addition of some welcome features such as vast camera controls (now offering a high degree of customisation), new graphical effects (such as skidmarks, smoke and dust), hosted racing (so people can basically pick and choose combinations of car and track, and then go race them) and a whole bunch of other small but notable improvements.

With it being week 13 (the traditional ‘off’ week at the end of each season) the majority of racing is done in unofficial races, featuring unusual combinations. The fact that there are less series offered in week 13 also means drivers tend to group together more closely, so it’s really cool seeing hundreds of members all joining the same race (which then gets split off into competitive grids via matchmaking).

One of the combos this season features three car classes at Laguna Seca and I’ve been having a blast racing there, pegging down the laps and kicking up dirt to block my rivals visibility (not intentionally, I must add!)

Of course, being an ‘unofficial’ week means people tend to switch off mentally just a little bit (I’m including myself in that group!). Check out this have-a-go hero who tries to win the race in the first 200m. This ambitious start really humoured me…. :)

Pro Week 12 – Homestead Road Course B

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Pro Series Race Results (iRacing members only!)

This weeks Pro race was quite memorable (for good and bad reasons). It was my first race on the road track at Homestead and for a roval it’s not too bad. I decided that it would be worth qualifying but in the end it wasn’t really needed as I started 16th of 18, and was the last of the drivers who set a qualifying time (so I would have started 16th even with no quali time).

The race itself was pretty eventful. There was a lap 1 pileup where I was lucky to drive away with just a 1x incident hit and a slightly wonky wheel. It did mean that I was able to pickup a few positions and so I spent the first portion of the race in 13th/14th position, somewhere in a pack of cars.

Passing is quite hard at Homestead, as you have a one lane hairpin just before the oval section (so the cars are always spread out a certain amount as they navigate the turn in single file) and even after a long period of drafting the route to turn 1 is very tricky to drive whilst also battling another driver. Most of my position gains were the product of other drivers making mistakes and gifting me positions.

After some more lucky passes I found myself in 10th position with just 9 laps to go – but I was locked into a fierce battle with another driver and we both seemed to be getting more and more wild as the laps ticked over. Unfortunately on lap 42 the inevitable happened; after a lengthy period of drafting we entered the turn 1 kink side by side and I hit a bump in the road (a bump that I hadn’t felt before as I was now off my ideal racing line) and this pitched the car into a ‘tankslapper’. I was luckily able to reign it back under control and slow the car down, but I ran out of road and the car spun out into the grass.

I rejoined the track and was able to finish 13th, for 74 points (not too bad considering).

I made a short highlights reel of the race and the memorable moments:-

Pro Week 10 – DNF!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Pro Series Race Results (iRacing members only!)

After having a pretty good start to the inaugural Pro series, I scored my first DNF this week at Infineon Long.

It was quite disappointed as I had unusually good pace here – from checking the laptimes of some of the other Pro races I had a reasonable chance of scoring 150+ points, which would have been a tremendous result.

As it was, I took damage towards the end of lap 2 from a car that had spun out and rejoined the track haphazardly (tagging at least four cars in his race to get back on the racing surface).

It was just a tap, but it was enough to break the alignment, and I had to park it. Only a 0x contact though, so there was some small positive.

Just the 8 points this week then (my third lowest tally since I started iRacing). I’m currently stationed 79th out of the 154 racers currently scored.

We return to Infineon Long for the penultimate race of the series, in week 24.