Friday, October 31, 2014

iRacing Stats App Update

I haven't posted much about the progress I've been making on my iRacing Stats app, but don't be fooled into thinking that means there hasn't been a lot of work done.

The end of 2014 Season 3 saw a big update to iRacing which, among other things, added driver swaps. Part of this update included changes to the structure of the data which is available from which my application relies on. This forced me to make changes to get everything working again.

On top of that there was a new track added, which got me thinking about how I was handling the track list. I had included a csv file which contained shorter versions of the track names, creating a database table from this information. Obviously updating that for all users any time iRacing add tracks would be a pain. So I changed things such that I no longer needed the csv file. The one downside of this was losing the "corners per incident" stat, since the number of corners isn't provided by iRacing in a way I can easily extract.

Similarly I had previously included a csv file listing all the series names. I modified my system so it'll pull these details directly from the server; removing another thing I'd have to update manually each season.

Aside from these little "tweaks" I've also added Race Graphs which display lap times and allow you to compare your laps with everyone else in the event. It also shows incidents as dots. Here's a sample:

I'll record a fresh video demo of the whole app in the near future.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 S3: Star Mazda Championship

Overall standing: 224th out of 2,827

The Star Mazda proved to be my Safety Rating farm for Season 3. I lost a stack of iRating but had an extreme amount of fun. Week 10 at Road America was especially bad, as I mentioned in a previous update; the number of huge 1st lap pile ups was amazing. What was a fairly sane series for the rest of the season seemed to become infested with crazy drivers, drawn like moths to the flame which is Road America.

It took me until Week 4 to really get up to speed in the Star Mazda. By the end of the season I felt that I'd learned where safety and speed could be balanced such that I could actually get safely involved in battles. This will definitely be a series I focus on in Season 4.

Total Driving Time:32 hrs 46 mins
Total Points:2559
Podium Finishes:5
Top 5 Finishes:13
Average Finish Postion:7.2
Total Laps:1179

2014 S3: Spec Racer Ford Challenge

Overall standing: 165th out of 2,580

The SRF series was very up and down for me. You can see from the SR and iR graphs below that I really struggled to be consistent in this crazy vehicle. I did have a handful of very exciting and enjoyable races, but the vast majority of the time I found it very difficult to keep the damn thing pointed in the right direction.

I'm sure at some stage I'll return to the SRF, as it is a real challenge which feels very rewarding when you get it all right. But for next season I think I'll give it a miss.

Total Driving Time:15 hrs 19 mins
Podium Finishes:8
Top 5 Finishes:10
Average Finish Postion:6.7
Total Points:1207
Total Laps:502

2014 S3: Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup

Overall standing: 98th out of 1,931

Of the 4 series I took seriously for 2014 Season 3 it was the Advanced MX5 Cup which grew on me the most as the season progressed. In Week 1 I only completed one race and it was dismal. Compare that with the very last race I did for the whole season, where I scored my best points haul ever and was right in the mix for 3rd position in a 22 car field. This will definitely be one of the series I make time for in Season 4.

Total Driving Time:11 hrs 34 mins
Podium Finishes:4
Top 5 Finishes:6
Average Finish Postion:8.9
Total Points:1171
Total Laps:322

2014 S3: Mazda Cup

Overall standing: 167th out of 12,811

I feel that my results in the Mazda Cup do a good job of showing my improvement over the season. This is really highlighted by the graphs below displaying the iRating gains and the steady dropping of my incidents per race in this series. The Safety Rating graph is kind of bogus because it just happened to be two Mazda Cup races which saw my SR take two -0.50 hits when it dropped below 3.0. If you ignore that -1.0 the remaining -0.5 is easily explained by the couple of races where I was taken out by morons.

I'm kind of tempted to avoid races in this rookie series next season, because the SR hits will be even harder (since I'll be B licensed) and my iRating won't be high enough to ensure I'm placed into the upper splits. However, the fact that I can so easily farm iRating here combined with the fact that I really do enjoy driving the MX5 means that I'll probably do at least a couple of races a week in this series in 2014 Season 4.

Total Driving Time:15 hrs 36 mins
Podium Finishes:22
Top 5 Finishes:28
Average Finish Postion:4.5
Total Points:2488
Total Laps:649

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2014 S3 Week 13

My Safety Rating is sitting at 3.21. With this in mind I don't think I'll be running in the Week 13 MX5 Rookie series, its more important to me to protect my SR to ensure promotion to B License. Especially considering three of the days feature tracks I don't enjoy; Charlotte Road, Summit Point Jefferson Reverse and Okayama Short.

The 24 hours of fun events are:

  1. Silverado @ Gateway
  2. VF Commodore @ Bathurst
  3. GT3 cars @ Spa
  4. FR500S, MX-5, SRF, Jetta, Late Model @ Watkins Glen Cup
  5. Super Late Model @ Lucas Oil Raceway
  6. FW31 @ Donington Park

My thoughts on those are:

  1. Oval, no thanks.
  2. Sounds good, but I'm not buying the VF Commodore (maybe when the new Ford V8 is added).
  3. Yes please! Will be my first outing in the Ford GT GT3.
  4. I might jump into either the FR500S, MX-5 or SRF for this.
  5. Oval, no thanks.
  6. Do not own the FW31

Purchases To Prep for Season 4

I used up the credits I had from the recent "$100 for $75" deal and Season 3 participation credits to grab everything that I'll be requiring for Season 4. The list was:

  • Barber Motorsports Park
  • Circuit Park Zandvoort
  • Silverstone Circuit
  • Twin Ring Motegi
  • Lotus 79
  • Ford GT
  • Dallara DW12
  • Lotus 49
  • HPD ARX-01c

    I already had all the content required to complete every week of the two series I enjoyed the most in Season 3; Star Mazda and MX5 Advanced. Beyond those I was keen on giving the GT3, World Sports Car Series and the Lotus 79.

    I made the decision to buy the Ford GT as it would allow me to run the GT3 version in the GT3 series and also run the GT2 version in the WSCC. Silverstone and Twin Ring Motegi are the opening tracks for the GT3 series, they're both popular on the service; they were no-brainers.

    Barber is being used in the WSCC and Zandvoort in the Spec Racer Ford. While I don't think that the SRF will be a huge focus for me in the next season, I definitely did have enjoyable races last season. I figured it was worth while having all the content required, just in case.

    Considering how much I enjoyed the Star Mazda, I decided to continue with the open wheelers. The Lotus 79 will probably be the one I put the most time into, but I figured I'd add the Lotus 49 and DW12 just for shits and giggles. The L49 has already delivered both shits and giggles in just the first 20 minutes of trying to keep it on the track. My initial playing around in the DW12 hasn't scared me off from considering trying a few Indy Road races.

    Finally I decided to add the HPD to the purchase, figuring I could give it a bash in the WSCC too. I'm already glad that I did, oh boy what a fun vehicle.

  • 2014 Season 3 Wrap Up

    Today is the last day of iRacing 2014 Season 3 and I don't think I'll get a chance to do another event before it all comes to an end. I had hoped to get in one decent race in the Spec Racer Ford because the one attempt I made this week was a shocker and I just needed a 53 pointer to jump a position in my division. Oh well.

    The upside of not doing another race this season is that the last race I did was one of the best I've had; a 4th place in the MX5 Advanced series at Road Atlanta which netted me a 96 point haul. I was car #19 of 23, meaning that only 4 people in the race had lower iRating than me. Beyond the pride of completely out performing my iRating, it was an awesome race. For most of the race I trailed close behind two drivers as they battled it out for 3rd and was able to slip into 4th when one of them failed to make a clean pass through the chicane and copped a course cut penalty.

    Below is the overview of the entire season. I'll make separate posts for each of the 4 series which I competed in. In those posts I'll do a bit of analysis, it becomes pretty clear which series saw gains / losses in either Safety Rating or iRating. One overall trend which I am very happy with is the Average Incidents graph has trended downwards from a peak of around 10 per race down to 5 per race at the end of the season. As is the fact that I finished in the top 5 in over 20% of races.

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Star Mazda Championship681st63
    Mazda Cup471st82
    iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge311st59
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series291st72
    iRacing Global Challenge610th52
    Skip Barber Race Series210th42
    iRacing Grand Touring Cup MC210th65
    iRacing Global Challenge - Open112th21

    Safety Rating:3.21
    Total Driving Time:80 hrs 5 mins
    Total Points:7743
    Podium Finishes:39
    Top 5 Finishes:57
    Average Finish Postion:6.9
    Total Laps:2834

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    2014 S3 Week 11

    I didn't get a chance to put in many races for week 11 (and managed zero time trial sessions). The races I did run were very enjoyable and I really wish I had of got to put in more time at Mid Ohio in both the MX5 and the Star Mazda, as I really came to love the track. Its a tricky bugger, especially in the Star Mazda, and therefore is very rewarding when you hook up a good lap.

    I only did one race in the Spec Racer Ford around Summit Point but it really reinforced my feeling that its currently my favorite "free" circuit.

    The most satisfying part of the week was getting my Safety Rating back up over 3.0 and holding it there easily. I just need to maintain it for week 12 and avoid spewing it off during the week 13 fun and I'll be promoted to B license for next season. GT3 here I come!

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Star Mazda Championship36th41
    Mazda Cup21st76
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series22nd56
    iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge12nd51

    Safety Rating:3.50
    Total Driving Time:3 hrs 24 mins
    Total Points:296
    Podium Finishes:3
    Top 5 Finishes:3
    Average Finish Postion:7.6
    Total Laps:127

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    B License Here I Come

    After having my Safety Rating drop down below 3.0 a few weeks back I'm glad to report that yesterday I finally managed to get it back up to 3.5. I'll need to hold it above 3.0 through to the end of the season in order to be promoted to B license. Getting to B is important to me because I want to give the GT3 series a go next season.

    Of course in order to lower my rate of incidents I had to ease back a little, which had the downside of impacting my iRating:

    All in all I'm happy to see that my rolling average incidents graph continues on a nice downward trend: