Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 S3 Week 9

I really enjoyed week 9! Once again the Star Mazda races were my highlight, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is an excellent track for the car. Putting the MX5 around Donington was also good fun. More of a challenge was keeping the SRF pointed in the right direction while attempting to complete laps around MoSport.

As well as racing I put in a heap of work on my stats program, doing a complete refactor as the code had become pretty hard to deal with. I've learned a heap of python since I started on the project and it was good to clean up some of the poor choices I made early on. The export of this week's stats will look a little different.

SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
Star Mazda Championship72nd58
iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge43rd50
Mazda Cup31st71
Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series27th68
Skip Barber Race Series112th5

Current License:C
Current Safety Rating:2.60
Current iRating:1318
Current ttRating:1470
Total Driving Time:7 hrs 15 mins
Total Points:647
Podium Finishes:3
Top 5 Finishes:4
Average Finish Postion:6.0
Total Laps:257

Friday, September 26, 2014

100 Hours....

The data collection and analysis system I've been hacking around on as part of my intense iRacing addiction is telling me that I have been at the wheel during competition sessions for 99 hrs 33 mins.

In just one more race, I'll click over the 100 hours of racing, qualifying and time trials sessions. I can clearly recollect 5 races which were utterly amazing and well worth battling through a lot of the rookie carnage early on.

Some of the rookie carnage was caused by me. I've learned a lot and best of all, I've thoroughly enjoyed the process of learning. The community around iRacing is a real positive,

I signed up for iRacing in July.

  • I have driven 3,804 laps
  • I have started 344 races (finishing 302 of them)
  • I have finished first 17 times
  • I have stood on the podium 55 times

    2014 Season 3 is my first full season and I've competed in 7 out of 8 weeks in the following series: star mazda, spec racing ford, mx5 advanced, mx5 rookie. I listed those in order of enjoyment.

    I am focusing on earning my B license before the start of the next season. I suspect I'll drop the mx5 rookie and look at continuing on the open wheeler path. I hope I can bend to the set times of one of the lotus series.

    GT3 us tempting too though.....

    Current License:C
    Current Safety Rating:2.60
    Current iRating:1416
    Current ttRating:1447
    Total Driving Time:99 hrs 33 mins
    Total Points:8254
    Podium Finishes:55
    Top 5 Finishes:78
    Average Finish Postion:6.1
    Total Laps:3718
  • Thursday, September 25, 2014

    2014 S3 Week 8

    I focused on racing the Star Mazda around Okayama last week. It was the first time I'd put any real time into tweaking a setup to get it just right, rather than just finding a nice "easy drive" setup from the forums. Because I already knew the track the learning phase of the week was available for getting super comfortable and confident, rather than learning all the ways you can gain incident points.

    I made some big gains in safety rating from the Star Mazda races, which I then proceeded to bleed off as I spun out in the Spec Racer Ford trying to negotiate Rivage, the turn 8 hairpin. Once I got the hang of that No Name (turn 9), cost me more safety rating points. Eventually I got the hang of it, being very glad for learning a couple of important tips about the SRF.

    Those lessons have already made this new week's learning MoSport in the SRF a much easier task.

    Here's the stats:

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Star Mazda Championship91st57
    iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge73rd56
    Mazda Cup14th57
    iRacing Global Challenge116th4
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series113th10
    Total Driving Time:7 hrs 51 mins
    Total Points:711 
    Podium Finishes:4 
    Top 5 Finishes:9 
    Average Finish Postion:7.9 
    Total Laps:246 
    IDFin PosPointsSOF / iRFast/Avg LapFPR

    Returning to Summit Point in the MX5

    When I originally signed up to give iRacing a shot, back in July, Summit Point was the current track hosting the rookie MX5 Cup. The number of times I spun out attempting to get around turn 4 with any sort of speed and momentum would be a scary large figure.

    I ran 39 races that first week. Slowly I progress from sucking terribly to scoring my 1st win. I still sucked quite badly, but my iRating was so low I was able to beat people by simple being able to keep the car on the track. Even knowing that it was an empty victory, that first win was very satisfying. Mostly because I'd choked twice while comfortably in the lead.

    The first contested win, a battle which lasted many laps and continued right to the last lap, well that win was amazing. It made me realize that iRacing was going to be something that I would be doing a lot in the future.

    Now that we're back at Summit Point in the MX5's I became vividly aware of how much I've progressed since that first week. No longer is the focus simply on keeping the front end pointed forwards and the back end correctly towards the rear. Now I'm trying to get back on the power a tenth sooner. I'm dynamically adjusting my breaking points to suit the tire wear and fuel weight of the car. Most enjoyably of all I'm fainting down the inside to make the guy in front of me compromise his entry and set him up for an undercut 3 corners up the road.

    I'm still not good.

    But damn I enjoy attempting to be super clean and battling away for position.

    Star Mazda Okayama Tight Final Lap

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    2014 S3 Week 7

    I had a week full of races which destroyed my iRating and Safety Rating.

    The 3 MX5 rookie races I did weren't too bad, though I really didn't enjoy racing at Okayama Short. I found it very difficult to get by slower drivers, basically having to wait for them to mess up the final corner so I could get by them on the straight. Every other corner on the track just seems to be a "dive bomb and pray they give you room" corner.

    My usual trick of relying on Star Mazda races to rebuild SR lost in other series really failed hard this week. The main problem being that I've become very comfortable in the car and this week was Donington, which I really enjoy. I clearly pushed too hard in basically every one of the 7 races I ran, or if I was keeping it clean I got crashed into by other drivers. I hit the incident limit in 2 races. I averaged 10 incidents per race. Yuck.

    I had 2 starts in the MX5 advanced series, only managing to finish once. That was pretty frustrating as I really enjoyed putting the MX5 around the Oulton Park track.

    The saving grace of the week was the final race I ran. It was in the SRF around Lime Rock and I started from 2nd on the grid, taking 1st before turn 1 and leading the entire race. I lapped everyone from 5th down and was reeling 4th in.

    Here's the gross stats:

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Star Mazda Championship74th56
    Mazda Cup35th66
    iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge21st66
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series27th33
    Total Driving Time:4 hrs 50 mins
    Total Points:489 
    Podium Finishes:1 
    Top 5 Finishes:3 
    Average Finish Postion:9.1 
    Total Laps:211 
    IDFin PosPointsSOF / iRFast/Avg LapFPR

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    2014 S3 Week 6

    I basically had a week off racing. I was interested in putting the MX5 around Mount Panorama (in the Advanced MX5 series) and the SRF around Suzuka. Unfortunately I only found the time to sneak in 1 quick qualy session and two races in the MX5 at the mountain. I just couldn't get the time required to learn Suzuka, so unfortunately I skipped the SRF this week too.

    My 1st attempt at getting the MX5 around Mount Panorama failed massively on lap 3. I was sitting in 2nd and lost it over the top of mountain and took a heap of damage. I was able to get it mostly repaired and limp around to salvage some safety rating. The 2nd race was amazing. Probably one of the most enjoyable events I've had on iRacing. For the 1st 5 laps I was involved in an epic 3 way battle for the lead, before one of the other guys hit the wall and damaged his steering. I ended up finishing 2nd after cleanly battling for the lead for the whole race. I had a grand plan on making a pass down Conrod on the last lap, but messed up through Forest Elbow and let the leader get away from me. Still, a wonderful race.

    I had basically zero in interest in racing in the rookie MX5 series around the Charlotte Road course. The week of Oval racing in the Star Mazda didn't warrant the purchase of the Milwaukee Mile track, considering I do not plan on ever racing ovals in the future.

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series22nd65
    Total Driving Time:0 hrs 47 mins
    Total Points:92 
    Podium Finishes:1 
    Top 5 Finishes:1 
    Average Finish Postion:9.0 
    Total Laps:17 
    IDFin PosPointsSOF / iRFast/Avg LapFPR

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    2014 S3 Week 5

    I thoroughly enjoyed racing the Star Mazda around Interlagos over the past week. While I didn't have any great finishes, it really helped my Safety Rating; it is now sitting at 3.50. On the other end of the scale, I really didn't enjoy racing the MX5 on the Jefferson track at Summit Point. I also struggled with consistently lapping around Sebring Modified in the Spec Racer Ford.

    Here's the week's report from my iRacing Stats application:

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Star Mazda Championship95th70
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series36th42
    iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge29th56
    Mazda Cup27th52
    Total Driving Time:6 hrs 47 mins
    Total Points:676 
    Podium Finishes:0 
    Top 5 Finishes:2 
    Average Finish Postion:9.2 
    IDFin PosPointsSOF / iRFast/Avg LapFPR