Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cadillac CTS

Damn this is one heavy beast of a car. I've run a couple of races in both the fixed and open series for the CTS and I think I've got a decent feel for the weight and power of the car. It took me awhile to realize that I needed to be very careful about "pushing" my way around corners; I was able to set decent qualy times, but in the race my tires fell off the cliff at around lap 8. I've made a change to my driving style, really focusing on breaking and getting the car rotated before even thinking about getting back on the power.

Patience. That's the word which comes to mind regarding the CTS.

I'm enjoying the CTS is an "I'm an Australian so of course I like big V8 sedans" way. However, I'm not sure if my iRacing career is going to be based around this ridiculous monster.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

C License!

Spec Racer Ford

To kick off my little series detailing my first thoughts about each of the iRacing cars I've recently got access to, I'm going to start with the Spec Racer Ford.

I only had a little amount of driving time in the SRF before the latest update, those initial laps got me excited for the car in general but I didn't really get a good feel for it. The SRF's first stop in 2014 Season 3 will be Laguna Seca, so I've put in a few laps around there. I'm still very excited about running the whole season in this car, but I definitely need to tweak the setup to counter the off throttle over steer which I've found is the norm now with the baseline setup.

The difference in racing line compared with the MX5 is very noticeable. The huge amount of front end grip as you enter a corner but lower top speed makes me think that good lap times will come down to maintaining momentum. At Laguna Seca that means that T6 and the run up the hill will be crucial.

iRacing Stats

I've continued making solid progress on my little iRacing Stats project. I'm planning on releasing a beta version to the other iRacers who frequent the iracing subreddit. I'd like to have it ready to go in time for the start of 2014 Season 3, but that means finalizing the packaging of the application in such a way that it is stand alone. I've started looking into that process, but it's all new to me.

Anyway, here's what each of the tabs look currently:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2014 Season 3

With the 2014 Season 3 schedule being made available, I've made a few purchases to prepare for the new season. I have all the content to run every single race in the Grand Touring series. I'll be doing a few laps in each of the Solstice and Mustang to decide which of the two cars I'll focus on, but my thought it that I'll give the Mustang the most of my attention.

My purchases also give me 11 of the 12 tracks in used in the MX-5 Advanced series. I'm very keen to take part on that too. The track I'm missing is Road Atlanta which is the last race on the schedule, so I can grab it if I decide I want to do every single race.

I have 9 of the 12 tracks for both the Spec Racer Ford and the Global Challenge series. I figure I'll be popping my head into these races if I have a week with enough spare time. The SRF really interests me, so maybe I'll fall in love with it yet.

Update: Well, after a bit of thinking and trying out a few car and track combos I decided that I was going to buy some more content. I now have all the tracks required to run every single week of the following series:

  • MX-5 Advanced
  • Global Challenge
  • Grand Touring
  • Spec Racer Ford

    I also have 11 of the 12 tracks for the Corvette Challenge, so I went ahead and bought the C6R too. I have 8 out of the 12 tracks for the Skip Barber series.

    So here's the big list of what I've picked up:


  • Watkins Glen International
  • Brands Hatch
  • Circuit of the Americas
  • Mid-Ohio
  • Sebring International Raceway
  • Donington Park Racing Circuit
  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Interlagos
  • Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
  • Oulton Park Circuit
  • Phillip Island
  • Road Atlanta
  • Circuit de Spa Francorchamps
  • Mosport International Raceway
  • Suzuka International Racing Course
  • Sonoma Raceway


  • Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1
  • Ford Mustang FR500S

    Update 2: So I figured what the hell, I may as well just get all the C license cars since I now have enough tracks to do an 8 week season in any of them. Added these bad boys to the list:

  • Star Mazda
  • Radical SR8
  • Ruf RT 12R

    Over the next week or so I'll be giving each of them a thorough bashing around the first track in each series and will be posting my thoughts about each car.

  • iR Stats - More Progress

    I've made some good process on my little iRacing Stats project:

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    The First Graphs

    These are just really basic early graphs, but I thought I'd share the progress I've made today. I've got the graphing system all hooked up to the data which is collected in the local database.

    I'll now be focusing on creating an overview display which contains all the info which I currently have on the overview page on my spreadsheet.

    iRacing Stats

    Progress continues. I've completed the background script which grabs the data from the iRacing website and inserts it into a local database. I've also made big progress on the simple GUI interface which will be used to drive the data collection.

    Next up is to actually begin work on generating and displaying interesting stats based on the data.

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

    New Project

    While I'm very happy with my google spreadsheet based iRacing stats tracking setup, I haven't been able to stop pondering a different way of doing things. The downside of the current spreadsheet based system is that I need to manually download each CSV from the iRacing site and then upload and append it to the correct sheet.

    I'm currently actively updating my knowledge of the python programming language and figured that it would be a great language to create a more automated system with. I've made some good early progress; automated collection of iRacing event results and inserting these into a database.

    With all this info sitting in a local database, I'm now learning about various graphing systems available in python and will be working on replicating the same sort of "overview" page that the current spreadsheet system displays.

    I'll be updating here as I make more progress.

    Here's a teaser image:

    Thursday, July 17, 2014


    Preparing For My First Full Season

    I've been putting in a stack of time in iRacing, so much that I haven't been able to find the time to update this blog too much. As the 2014 Season 2 is now into week 12, the last of the season, I'm looking forward to 2014 Season 3. My Safety Rating is hovering around 3.50 and I'm all set to get my C license on promotion day on the 28th of July.

    I did have hopes of fast tracking to C this week, but running races with people who were unable to keep their cars on the track around Lime Rock kind of destroyed that dream.

    I got word that the Logitech G27 force feedback wheel was one sale at Amazon for $209 and I jumped on the chance to get myself one. It took a little while messing around with the setup, and a fair few laps to get used to driving with it, but I'm extremely impressed with it and very happy with the purchase. Initially I found that I couldn't lap as quickly as I was with my old cheap non-FFB wheel, I was losing a lot of time in slow corners. However I found that I had a WAY better feel for the car balance in high speed corners so I was back on pace pretty quickly. The force feedback definitely helps me feel where the edge of the grip level is and in general makes the whole driving experience more intense.

    I've been looking over the planned schedules for the 2014 S4 and it looks like my main focus will be on the Spec Racer Ford and the new MX5 Advanced series. I will of course still be grinding the Mazda MX5 Cup series. The SRF series has selected a good range of non-free tracks and purchasing 6 of them will allow me to get a taste of some of the other series I'm interested in; Star Mazda, RUF, Radical and Skip Barber.

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    Back to Back Wins

    I feel like I definitely have a handle on Laguna Seca in the MX5 now. I'm able to get around the track with out incidents at a decent speed. I'm slowly rebuilding my SR and iRating, lifting myself up out of the bottom splits.

    Yesterday I posted back to back wins.

    Feels good man.

    I'm looking forward to checking out Okayama as it is a track that is brand new to me. I might start some practice sessions today and tomorrow so I can get up to speed as quickly as possible.

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    Weekly Plan

    I had real issues getting a handle of putting the MX5 safely around Laguna Seca this week. I did a few test sessions and then a bit of practice, but like a newb I jumped into races too early. While I haven't had a single terrible race which single handedly destroyed my safety rating all in one go, small loss in SR have mounted up.

    Combine those difficulties with learning a whole new car, the Skip Barber F2000, and once again rushing into races too early the SR graph on my new stats system has steadily been moving downwards.

    I'm now down to an SR of 2.25. Yuck.

    With all this in mind, next week I'm going to force myself into a strict progression:

    1. Testing laps only until I feel like I have a good handle on the track
    2. Practice laps only until I'm consistently able to lap at around the 7% of expected pole
    3. Time Trial only until I'm able to successfully complete the requirements while lapping at a decent speed
    4. Qualifying
    5. Racing

    Friday, July 4, 2014

    Spreadsheet Update

    I have a few more additions on my todo list, once I have them nailed down I'll share the template for others to use.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    Yeah, I'm a Geek

    I've had enough hobbies in my lift that I am very aware of the stages which I go through as a get obsessed with something.

    My iRacing obsession has now entered the "create a spreadsheet to track it" phase.

    This is still a work in progress. It is all generated from the CSV files of your races which you can download from your iRacing profile. I will post up the blank sheet and instructions if anyone else is interested.

    Pro Tip: Start in the Pits

    Once the realization that I was generally among the 3 fastest drivers in all the rookie races I was being split into and more importantly able to consistently lap at that faster time I soon became frustrated at having to deal with the 1st corner madness which seems to be the norm in these rookie races.

    I'd read that if you don't click the "go to grid" button after warm up you can start at the back of the pack from the pits. Since my qualy time normally put me on pole or 2nd on the grid this was the option I was looking for.

    I've done this in the last 3 races and it has paid off massively. Protecting my safety rating and making my races way more enjoyable. Since I have no real thought of racing to win I take my time getting by all the crazy rookies, which generally means just following them around until they fall off the track on their own, and have made my way through to 2nd or 3rd ever time.

    Because of this I've easily made up the safety rating points needed to be promoted into a D class license!