16 January, 2014

It's been over a year, but I've still got the skills.

I've just done a 23-lap session at Laguna Seca in an R8 LMS in rFactor, and I'm pretty impressed with my pace, considering it's been over a year since my last race: VEC, Season 5, The 6 hours of Fuji (You can see me on the grid).

After I'd done a couple of 1m25s laps, I had this strange feeling that I ought to be lapping in the 1m23s. Classic subliminal thinking technique, one that I always inadvertently manage to fool myself to drive faster with. Turns out that a 1m23s0 was my Pre-Qualifying time back in the day, with fresh tyres and low fuel! I would have kept on driving, but I accidentally drained the fuel tank when intending to pit for just tyres for the final couple of laps. However, I can confidently say that I've still got it in me

Feels good!

My laptimes and out-of-the-box consistency, for posterity.

06 May, 2012

Fixed Prototype/GT @ Watkins Glen - Pressure cooker

Results (image) - Results on iRacing

The HPD has once again been updated for a new season, and this time it has more top speed (at least compared with the GT cars) and less front-end grip. This means that passing the GT cars is a lot easier, and that the car isn't as insanely planted and grippy through the corners as it was last season. For the race, I qualified well in what was a really big field consisting of 34 cars. I got settled in pretty quickly, and overtook two cars who had gone off the road for position. Most of the race consisted of chasing Mauro Licciardello in 3rd, and trying in vain to find a way past. I was consistently getting a good tow from him up the esses and I was much quicker through the chicaine, but even if you get alongside at that point it's still a dangerous place to pass. I was very fortunate not to get nerfed off the road as he chopped me off once as we entered the chicaine. The closest I got to actually getting past him was when I out-braked him into the toe, but couldn't capitalise on it through the next left-hander. All in all, though, it was a fun race with 0 incident points.

07 April, 2012

Fixed Prototype/GT @ Phillip Island - Hard to pass

Results (image) - Results on iRacing

Qualified 4th with a blinder of a lap (see previous entry) but lost one position right after the start to Philip Stamm by virtue of a sneaky move up the inside of T2. I shadowed him for three laps, gradually closing in and peeking up the inside of T3 a few times. I went for a proper move on the fourth lap but out-braked myself and lost two positions to the scrapping pair of Andreas Osthoff and Tarcilo Cordeiro. Tarcilo snuck past Andreas, but couldn't quite shake him as we started moving through traffic. They collide five laps later between turns 1 and 2 and are out of the race, promoting me back into 5th with a 5-second gap up to Philip with 8 laps to go.

Highlights up until this point in the race, by Andreas Osthoff:

I got my head down and started to do some really quick and consistent laps in clean air. I lost out a bit of time due to unfortunate timing when catching Corvettes and GTs, but I was reeling Philip in at a decent rate each lap. On the final lap, I was right on his gearbox through the sharp right-hander after the downhill braking zone and could only slipstream him to the finish line. An exhilarating finish to a decent race!

06 April, 2012

Phillip Island qualifying lap

I don't usually go nuts in qualifying sessions; usually I'm fine with just setting a reasonable time so I don't have to pick my way past n00bs at the start. But this session escalated into a real chase for thousandths of a second.

After getting taken out by virtue of a silly first-lap incident in a race in the fixed series, I decided that I should qualify if I wanted to survive my next attempt. It was a good session, and culminated with my fastest lap which started with 30 seconds left in the session. First sector was exactly as quick as my current best, I purple'd the second sector after nailing the next two corners and went a tiny bit slower in the last. Could have gone slightly faster, but we're only talking thousandths of a second so I'm cool with that :)

Here's the lap in question. It netted me a compliment from the Brazilian who posted a time only 0.08 seconds faster than mine, which is always nice!

Session details on iRacing

05 April, 2012

Prototype/GT @ Phillip Island - On the rostrum

Results (image) - Results on iRacing

Qualified 3rd, took 2nd right off the bat and settled in. Got overtaken by Tamy Accioly who then promptly went off the track, granting my position back to me. Actually led the 15th lap due to the leader (Cristian Petero) having an off while trying to lap a Ford GT. It got hampered badly myself by a Corvette on the next lap, and Cristian was back in the lead and once again lapping slightly faster than me. I soon realised I would need to pit for fuel, and fudged up the calculations slightly (resulting in 13 kg left in the tank at the end, which is too much) which cost me a couple of seconds. Me and Tamy then exited the pits nose-to-tail and I managed to hold him off for one lap before he snuck past under braking. Then he suddenly and inexplicably disappeared due to a disconnection, and I was back in 2nd which I was able to safely cruise home to.

Lapping the Corvettes and GTs is really tricky! They go much faster at the end of the straights, and then they have to slow down a lot for the corners. If either part isn't paying attention, and both cars pick the same side (which happens more often than you would think) a lot of time gets lost and sometimes cars get nerfed off the track. I wish iRacing had an LMP1 car so we didn't have to put up with this rubbish.

Prototype/GT @ Phillip Island - USE YOUR MIRRORS

Apparantly I was on the grass and his spotter didn't tell him I was alongside. He also said I wasn't going to pass him on the outside.

So then I went all...

...and quit, since my car was broken because of this fucktard.

01 April, 2012

Prototype/GT @ Silverstone - Stuck throttle

Results (image) - Results on iRacing

Qualified 8th, got away cleanly and set about driving consistently. Caught and passed Michael McCormick on L10 by going 3 wide with him and the lead Corvette down the Hangar Straight. Luckily the Corvette lifted off before the braking zone, but I was seriously worried he was going to muddle things up for us. Gradually started to pull away from Michael and was posting consistent times and new PBs all around. Was good to go all the way after one stop for fuel, and had a very quick stop compared with Michael. Due to attrition, I was actually running 3rd at this point.

Then as I caught the lead Corvette again, this time before Bridge, my pedals froze and I almost took him off the track with me. In hindsight would have served him right, because he was driving with his head up his ass...

Fixed Prototype/GT @ Silverstone - Traffic plays a role

Results (image) - Results on iRacing

Got away cleanly in 8th, and settled into a rhythm. Got overtaken by Cédric Le Comte (who ended up 4th) and set about keeping David Sockrider behind me. I managed to scythe through the GT and Corvette traffic when we encountered it, and ended up with an 8-something second gap and running all on my own. Some of these cars were easier to pass than others, and some more obnoxious about it than others. There seemed to be a lot of "take" and not a whole lot of "give" on their part, which seems to be the way things go in the world of iRacing. Got held up by a few cars on the second round of lapping, and had mr. Sockrider up my chuff for the last 5-6 minutes of the race.

Things got really intense on the last lap of the race, where I caught the slow car of Dan Giang coming out of Chapel. He had just nerfed a Corvette off the track and was moving slightly towards the right side of the track. I moved right myself to try to get the inside but realised at the last second that this guy was going to block me all the way, so I Mansell'd him and went left, out-dragging him before Stowe. A fun race, and with no incident points to put a damper on things!

18 March, 2012

Prototype/GT @ Sebring - I keep running into idiots!

Results (image) - Results on iRacing

I was looking at a pretty secure 3rd place finish in this race, right before halfway through the race. I then went to pass a backmarker HPD, making sure I was on the side I was intending on passing him, and the moron just brake-checks me, sending us both spinning.

I managed to salvage 5th in the end, having run the rest of the race with a severely under-performing car. Good luck I was able to fix it, I suppose, but had I been able to pass this guy without incident then I'm pretty sure I would have ended up 2nd. Oh well! It's only a game in the grand scheme of things...