Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 S1 Week 2

I managed to squeeze in an ok number of qualy sessions and 7 races in between Christmas festivities. Pretty good considering. My first two attempts at races around Sebring Club in the MX5 Advanced series were dismal and almost turned me off even giving it a 3rd attempt and just declaring this as my drop week. I'm glad I did run it again, in the 2nd last race of the week as I was able to take out 3rd in a fairly strong field.

The first attempt in the Solstice around Jefferson Reverse was a similarly bad start. Not that I expected much more. I was surprised that the 2nd race was far better, though how I lost the lead was kind of annoying; as we approached a lapped car through the esses the guy who I'd been fending off bumped passed me. Oh well.

The Mazda Cup races were fun as usual.

I totally failed to remember to run a race in the Grand Touring series. I feel a little dumb about this one as I put in a bit of practice getting the Solstice around Mid-Ohio and it seemed like it was going to be good fun. Bummer.

I practiced getting the Skippy around Suzuka and even completed a qualy session but never found the time or inclination to complete a race. I was almost going to do one yesterday but after spinning a few times in practice before the race I decided to give it a miss. I really wasn't in the patient mood which I find the Skippy requires. The bad thing about this is that next up is COTA, which last time I tried it in the Skippy I found hideously unfun.

The downside of the week was that I again slipped below 2.0 Safety Rating. No stress as I have plenty of time to make it back up before the end of the season.

SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series33rd97
iRacing Production Car Challenge MC22nd83
Mazda Cup22nd95

Safety Rating:1.52
Corners Per Incident:22.22
Total Driving Time:3 hrs 56 mins
Race Starts:7
Race Finishes:6
Qualify Sessions:8
Time Trials:1
Podium Finishes:3
Top 5 Finishes:3
Average Finish Postion:7.7
Total Laps:103

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Assetto Corsa and F1 2014

Both Assetto Corsa and F1 2014 were on sale on Steam over the Christmas holiday and I snapped them both up.

I haven't done anything in Assetto Corsa beyond getting my wheel configured and getting things set up. I'm eager to give it some more play time in the new year and I'll post about my thoughts then.

I've spent a little more time in F1 2014. It took me a fair bit of tweaking the wheel config to get it feeling correct and I've started two profiles. One I'm playing on the difficulty level "Professional" and driving a Ferrari. With this combo I was able to win the opening Australian GP by some 6 seconds. I'll be using this profile when I just feel like jumping in and going fast.

The second profile I decided to treat like more of a career. I've found that the "Expert" difficulty level will give me a decent challenge without forcing me to spend the amount of focus on getting closer to perfect laps which "Legendary" would. I'll continue to reserve that kind of effort for iRacing. I decided to pretend that I was picked up by the Torro Rosso team, so I'm currently battling with JEV to see if I can out qualify him around Albert Park.

All in all I'm glad I grabbed F1 2014, just for another option when I feel like playing a racing game but don't want the stress involved with an iRacing session.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Left, left, left, left.....

Until now I'd never had any interest in oval racing, but over the last couple of days I decided to jump in and see if I could get out of Rookies this week. I've done 4 races so far and picked up enough decent finishes to get me out of the lower splits.

I've got my Safety Rating up to 2.79 so far. I expect I should be able to get my D license this week.

The main reason for this goal is so I can test my stats app for Oval racers. Until you clear Rookies you don't get you iRating recorded in the stats.

2015 S1 Week 1

I'm pretty happy with how the opening week of 2015 Season 1 went. I had some awesome races in the MX5 Advanced and Skippy series. I only had the time for one shot at each of the Mazda Cup, Grand Touring and Production Car races, but they all went pretty damn well too.

I gained a stack of iRating over the week which has pushed me up into the top split for the MX5 Advanced and Rookie races. This is great in terms of quality of racing, but it does mean that I'm tending to score less points than when I just blitz the 2nd split. Sort of strange that if I want to increase my chances of finishing in the top 100 in the Mazda Cup I would be better off dropping some iRating so I could avoid the stronger fields. I've decided that I'd rather enjoy tight mid pack racing than try and game the system to aim for the better end of season standing.

SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series43rd120
Skip Barber Race Series32nd82
iRacing Production Car Challenge MC11st73
iRacing Grand Touring Cup MC113th57
Mazda Cup12nd108

Safety Rating:2.34
Corners Per Incident:28.83
Total Driving Time:7 hrs 28 mins
Race Starts:10
Race Finishes:8
Qualify Sessions:8
Time Trials:5
Podium Finishes:4
Top 5 Finishes:4
Average Finish Postion:9.0
Total Laps:144

Friday, December 19, 2014

Going Slowly Is Going Well

I've already managed to put in decent results for the opening week in the four series I plan on focusing on in 2015 Season 1.

  • Advanced MX5 Cup: 120 points (27th of 381)
  • Mazda Cup: 108 points (56th of 1356)
  • Skip Barber Race Series: 82 (189th of 870)
  • Grand Touring Cup: 57 points (80th of 250)

    I plan on having a few more runs in the Skippy and Solstice (in the Grand Touring). I think it'll be hard for me to improve in the Skippy by much, as it is a very competitive series but I thoroughly enjoyed the one race I've run; where I finished 2nd. There were only 5 drivers running the Solstice in the one Grand Touring race I ran, so I'm hoping I can get into a race over the weekend which has a larger field and pick up some more points.

    I've enjoyed the close, if slow, racing so much I'm considering jumping into either the MX4 Roadster or back into the Solstice in the Production Challenge series too.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    2015 Season 1 Goals

    I've been putting thought into which series I want to focus on in 2015 Season 1. Of course my primary focus will be on my beloved MX5 in both the Advanced and Rookie Cups.

    Along with these I'm considering driving the slowest vehicles on the service. This would mean the Solstice in the Grand Touring series, the Skip Barber and the Spec Racer Ford. I feel that these slower cars lead to closer racing. I've checked out the schedule for these series and think they look pretty good, except for week 1 of the SRF being at Okayama Short. I'll give it a look, but I can't see it being a lot of fun.

    I have all the required content for this plan except for two tracks; Zolder and New Hampshire.

    I would really like to finish in the top 100 in the Mazda Cup. If I could win Division 4 of the Advanced MX5 Cup and finish in the top 50 over all I'd be thrilled.

    I'm confident I'll be able to crack 2000+ iRating. Lets see how high I can get it.

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    No Demotion

    I pulled my Safety Rating back up to 1.85 by running and winning 4 races at Summit Point in the Week 13 MX5 Cup, and today ran a few qualy sessions at Jefferson Reverse to pick up the final points I needed to get back up over 2.00 and out of demotion range.


    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    2014S4 13th Week Mazda Cup

    Safety Rating:1.85
    Corners Per Incident:27.43
    Total Driving Time:5 hrs 27 mins
    Race Starts:7
    Race Finishes:5
    Qualify Sessions:9
    Time Trials:0
    Podium Finishes:5
    Top 5 Finishes:5
    Average Finish Postion:5.0
    Total Laps:118

    Standalone iRacing

    Over on the iRacing subreddit, BaconHunter posted up a standalone firefox build which has been configured to do handle all your iRacing website needs. It has a number of greasemonkey scripts which makes the site easier to use and means you can kill off your regular web browser to cut down on the amount of RAM in use.

    I'm really impressed by it.

    Standalone iRacing

    2014 Season 4

    I took a break from iRacing over the last few weeks, when I did find the time to have a gaming session I found myself firing up Grid: Autosport or Wreckfest for some stress free racing. More often though I found myself launching Civilization: Beyond Earth, and then Civ 5 when I realized that Beyond Earth simply wasn't as good.

    I did attempt a few races during the last week of the short Season 4. This turned out to be a huge mistake. Both the MX5 Rookie and Advanced series were at "rovals" (ie: the road course of an oval circuit) and I was quickly reminded why I hate them. My safety rating plummeted as I was involved in stupid accidents which I didn't cause but simply could not avoid. 5 races in a row. Sigh.

    I can't see myself finding enough time during the next few days to pull my safety rating back up over 2, which means that when the new season kicks off I'll be demoted from B license back down to C. I've thought about this and it really doesn't concern me. I won't be able to drive in the GT3 series, but I have decided that sticking to the two MX5 series seems like the smart choice.

    SeriesRacesBest FinPoints
    Mazda Cup161st85
    Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series101st92
    13th Week Mazda Cup41st85
    GT3 Challenge Series44th73
    Star Mazda Championship36th60
    World Sports Car Series MC210th51
    Skip Barber Race Series110th37
    iRacing Grand Touring Cup MC14th67

    Safety Rating:1.27
    Corners Per Incident:19.07
    Total Driving Time:22 hrs 4 mins
    Race Starts:41
    Race Finishes:28
    Qualify Sessions:25
    Time Trials:4
    Podium Finishes:9
    Top 5 Finishes:14
    Average Finish Postion:8.3
    Total Laps:568