Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 Season 2

The schedule for iRacing 2015 Season 2 has been posted.

My thinking at the moment is that I want to focus on the Grand Touring Cup and Ruf Cup. I'm a little torn if I want to drive the Mustang or the Solstice in the GT Cup, I'm leaning towards the Mustang as it'll mean a new challenge.

I expect that I'll jump into enough Production Car races (in the Solstice) and Mazda Cup races to keep my iRating up around where it is now, off setting the losses I'm sure to take getting the hang of two new cars.

The Grand Touring track list looks like this:

  • Phillip Island
  • Okayama Full
  • Homestead Miami Speedway Road Course A
  • Brands Hatch GP
  • Road America Full
  • Summit Point Full
  • Monza GP
  • Mosport
  • Watkins Glen Cup
  • Mount Panorama
  • Laguna Seca
  • Road Atlanta Full

    The Ruf Cup list is:

  • Mount Panorama
  • Phillip Island
  • Sebring International
  • Virginia International Raceway North
  • Daytona Short Night
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road
  • Laguna Seca
  • Road America Full
  • Sonoma Cup
  • Motegi GP
  • Suzuka East
  • Monza GP

    So that means I'll be buying Monza, Indianapolis and Homestead Miami. Oh, and the new Trucks and possibly a couple of Ovals; since I'll be promoted to C License on the Oval side of things.

    The only goals I can see myself aiming for will be to maintain my Road B License and Oval C License. I'd also like to keep my Road iRating up around 2500, but I'm not going to stress out if it drops due to running in two brand new series.

  • Friday, February 27, 2015

    Ruf C-Spec Training

    I've been putting some concerted effort into learning how to keep the Ruf C-Spec pointed the correct way on the track. Along with on the track practice, I've also been studying the art of setup tuning. Two great resources:

  • The Ruf C-Spec Setup Guide thread
  • The iRacing Setup Guide pdf

    I began by focusing on Daytona Short, as it is the first track on the schedule for next season and it seemed like it should be easy to come to grips with. It took some time, but I got myself comfortable with a setup and was able to put in consistent ~40.5 second laps. My best was just into the 39's. I'm not sure how that will match up against the pole time, considering weather will play a big part it isn't even worth thinking about too much.

    I then took that setup over to Laguna Seca, the 2nd track on the schedule, and turned a few laps there. It took a while before I was able to cleanly get around corners 2 and 3, but I feel like I've got a decent handle on the car now.

    Note: It now appears they've decided to change the order from what was selected before.... Now 2015 S2 will kick off with Mount Panorama. That should be a crazy crashfest to get everyone excited for a new fresh season! Sigh.

    Last week the Ruf Cup is running at Suzuka, so I jumped into some practice sessions so I could compare my pace with other people. The pole time is 1:04.7. I've been able to get down into the high 1:08's. I don't feel too bad about being 4 seconds off the fastest drivers on the service. When I check the qualy times for the Div 4 drivers, they best of them are doing low 1:07's.

  • Trading iRating for Safety Rating

    Successfully avoiding demotion from B License :)

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    2015 Season 1 Goals Checkup

    Top 100 in Mazda Cup42nd out of 12,718 drivers
    Top 50 in the Advanced Mazda Cup35th out of 2,096 *
    1st in Division 4 of Adv Mazda Cup3rd
    2000+ iRating2463
    Maintain B LicenseB 1.56

    It's hard to predict exactly where I'll finish when the drop weeks are taken into consideration, I'm confident that I'll be able to achieve the 1st two goals. As these were my main goals going into the season I'm very happy. I put an asterisk next to my standing in the Adv MX5 Cup because I haven't run a race for that series yet this week. At the end of last week I was around 26th.

    The bonus result is that I'm currently sitting in 10th of 3,656 drivers in the Production Car Challenge. I hadn't expected to enjoy that series as much as I have, nor did I expect to do so well in it.

    My "it would be nice to win Div 4 of the Adv Mazda Cup" goal was pretty much shot down from the start, when it turned out Robin Austin was in the same division. Since he's currently 10th overall in the whole series, it was never really realistic to think I'd have any hope. Antoine Maes is 2nd in the division and he's 22nd over all.... he'll still be 100 points in front of me even if I get a decent result this week. So 3rd is pretty much the best I can hope for. Marek TumiƂowicz and Andries Fourie are both with in 20 points behind me.

    I've easily jumped over 2000 iRating. If I was only driving in the series I'm actually focused on I think I'd be pushing around 3000.

    Over the next two weeks before the end of the season I'm going to have to focus on getting my Safety Rating back up over 2.00 to maintain my B License. I dropped down into the 1.20's during Week 8, a string after terrible MX5 races at Lime Rock Chicane and Road America. In the final two weeks of the season I'm going to have to focus on being clean, and will be looking to run some GT3 and Star Mazda races and trade some iRating for Safety Rating.

    Up front I'll admit that I have at times been overly aggressive in the Advanced Mazda Cup and caused some contact incidents and had a few stupid spins. Along with the usual carnage of the rookie Mazda Cup races, my handful of races in the Skip Barber series have cost me a big chunk of Safety Rating. The Skippy is definitely a car which you can't just jump into and race ever now and then. I think I'd only ever look at racing it again if I was going to put 100% focus on it for the season.

    Looking forward; I'm looking forward to racing in the Advanced Mazda Cup at Road Atlanta this week and massively excited for Mount Panorama to wrap up the season next week. I think I'll try to run 1 more race this week in the Mazda Cup, as I think I could score more than the 104 points I have so far. Then the MX5 Cup is back at Lime Rock which is one of my best hunting grounds. In the Production Car Challenge I definitely want to have another race around Lime Rock Chicane, as I only picked up 88 points so far. Next week that series heads back to Laguna Seca, which should be fun.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    2015 S1 Week 9

    Week 9 started very well, the first race was a 146 point haul in the MX-5 Cup; the biggest I've had so far. I started on pole and got away as the others battled behind me. A little over mid way through the race, the Robin (currently 4th in the series) caught me up and went by. I wasn't too upset, I never expected to be able to hold him off. I followed him for a couple of laps when he suddenly disappeared; his internet must have failed. I managed to hold Aaron off (ranked around 25th in the series) to snatch a lucky win.

    I followed this up with a 125 point score in the Production Car Challenge. Once again gaining from someone else's misfortune when the leader got taken out by an MX-5 driver.

    My luck then turned; I had 3 bad performances in the MX-5 Advanced series. One of these in particular was devastating as I was comfortably in 2nd in a very high SOF race which would have earned me around ~150 points. I ran wide on the penultimate corner, putting my right rear wheel off and spinning the car into the opposite wall with only 2 laps remaining. In the fourth race my internet went crazy during warm up and I didn't get it fixed in time to grid up, forcing me to start from the pits. My lap times would have seen me battling for 2nd and 3rd.

    I finally got a decent race in, finishing 4th. I really should have settled into 3rd position, as I battled for 2nd I let someone steal my podium after a poor passing attempt that compromised my lap.

    With just 3 Weeks left in the season I'm very happy with where I'm currently sitting in the series which I've been focused on:

  • 9th out of 3,332 drivers in the Production Car Challenge
  • 26th out of 10,530 drivers in the MX-5 Cup
  • 31st out of 1,907 drivers in the MX-5 Advanced Cup

    Adv Mazda MX-5 Cup504.210.843-360.01
    Production Car Challenge MC216.08.070-20.09
    Street Stock Series208.05.57440-0.11
    Mazda Cup111.01.0146890.16

    Safety Rating1.78
    Corners Per Incident26.18
    Total Driving Time3 hrs 41 mins
    Race Starts8
    Race Finishes4
    Qualify Sessions9
    Time Trials0
    Podium Finishes2
    Top 5 Finishes3
    Average Finish Postion8.9
    Total Laps93

  • Thursday, February 12, 2015

    How Fast?

    I've started work on another little application, similar to Race Info, but this time focused on Qualy and Practice sessions. I call it How Fast?

    The general idea is to allow the user to easily compare their current best times for a car and track combo with the current qualifying pole time, the best time from recent races and the best and worst average lap time from the winner of recent races.

    I have it all working as I planned, now I'm pondering if I should merge this app with the work I've done for Race Info. I'd have to rename it, perhaps to something like Session Info. The logic would be that you join an iRacing session and if it detects that it is a race, it'll return the info which is currently displayed by Race Info. If a qualy or practice session is detected it'll return the info from How Fast? This would also spur me into working on code to return helpful information about time trial sessions.

    Monday, February 9, 2015

    Looking Forward

    As we come to Week 9 of the 12 week season, I've started thinking about which series I'd like to concentrate on next season. In the list of cars which I've purchased and not really got any return on investment from yet there are two which I'm currently giving test drives; the Ruf C-Spec and the C6R Corvette.

    I've come to realize that the 'Vette really needs a lot of patience and while I think I'd enjoy coming to grips with this mean machine, I'm initial leaning more towards the C-Spec. It is a handful, but catchable.

    Looking at the schedule for next season, there is an interesting mix of tracks; some that I know and love and a bunch which will be new to me.

    1. Daytona - Short (haven't run that layout)
    2. Laguna Seca
    3. Bathurst
    4. Indianapolis - Road (haven't run in iRacing)
    5. Monza - Junior (new to me)
    6. Phillip Island
    7. Road America - Full
    8. Sebring - International
    9. Suzuka - East
    10. VIR - North (new to me)
    11. Twin Ring Motegi - GP
    12. Sonoma - layout tbd (new to me)

    I'm going to start practicing over the final few weeks and get a feel for the car. I doubt I'll actually jump into a real race, but the tracks for the final weeks of the season are ones that I know very well. So it'll be a good chance to learn the car, rather than having to learn both car and track:

    1. Interlagos - Grand Prix
    2. Twin Ring Motegi - East (night)
    3. Suzuka - Grand Prix
    4. Donington - National
    5. Spa Francorchamps - Classic Pits (night)

    Paint Job

    I've spent some time creating paint jobs for the MX5 and Solstice, I felt it was time to personalize things a little....

    This Is Serious

    I bought a domain for this blog. That's how serious this iRacing addiction has become. Sorry for anyone who has already gone out and got a tattoo of the old blogspot address, you'll have to get it modified to:

    Oval Update

    This week I decided I'd try and fast track my way to C license on the Oval side of things. I started off pretty well, running some good clean races at USA and grinding my way up to D 3.94. In hindsight, at this point I should have just run qualifying and time trial sessions to eek out the final 0.06 of Safety Rating. Instead I had a string of shocking races where morons crashed and banged into me and made my SR plunge back down to 3.53. Sigh.

    So I've pretty much given up and am resigned to only progressing to Oval C License at the end of the season. I look forward to getting away from these stupid newbs.

    Street Stock Series806.97.95612-0.02
    Grand Touring Cup MC3119.716.072310.09
    Mazda Cup302.35.08621-0.09
    Production Car Challenge MC113.05.0116780.14
    Adv Mazda MX-5 Cup104.04.09948-0.18

    Safety Rating3.53
    Corners Per Incident22.34
    Total Driving Time2 hrs 26 mins
    Race Starts8
    Race Finishes7
    Qualify Sessions4
    Time Trials1
    Podium Finishes2
    Top 5 Finishes3
    Average Finish Postion7.9
    Total Laps287

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Race Info App

    I've kicked out a publicly available version of my little Race Info application. You can check it all out on the brand spanking new page I just created for it:

    So if you're interested in getting access to information about the drivers you're just about to race against, give it a shot. What sort of information? Their license level and iRating along with how many races they've done, where they are currently positioned in the championship standings, what their average finishing position and average incidents per race are in the series you're about to race in.

    Handy if I do say so myself.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    2015 S1 Week 7

    I kicked off the week with two good races early on, locking in a decent points haul in both the Mazda Cup and the Production Car Challenge series. I then messed around with some oval racing before attempting two races in the Advanced Mazda Cup series. Oh my how badly they went.

    I spent a fair bit of time practicing in the MX5 at Oulton. I'd driven the track previously but not with the MX5. It is a tricky sucker but I finally found a setup and driving style which resulted in a decent qualy time. I started both races from 3rd on the grid. In the first race I found myself spinning on my roof after being involved in a crash; I lost the rear end and the guy behind me hit my rear corner and flipped me. Sigh. The next outting was just as bad, if more caused by my own mistakes.

    So I gave up and declared Week 7 my drop week in the Adv MX5 Cup. Bummer. On top of this, those two races really hurt my Safety Rating. I'm now close to dropping back below 2.00, which I would dearly love to avoid.

    NASCAR National Series3016.013.033-17-0.00
    Street Stock Series308.75.068480.04
    Production Car Challenge MC221.52.510166-0.01
    Adv Mazda MX-5 Cup205.518.018-84-0.20
    Mazda Cup111.01.0119850.04

    Safety Rating2.02
    Corners Per Incident23.30
    Total Driving Time2 hrs 40 mins
    Race Starts5
    Race Finishes3
    Qualify Sessions5
    Time Trials0
    Podium Finishes2
    Top 5 Finishes3
    Average Finish Postion8.4
    Total Laps56