Saturday, November 24, 2018

Fanatec DD1 and ClubSport Formula 1 Rim

Following on from my upgrade to the ProtoSimTech PT2 pedals, which I am very impressed with, I have made pre-orders with Fanatec and look forward to getting my hands on a DD1 wheel base and ClubSport Formula 1 Rim.

I'll be waiting to find out the pricing of the Podium Advanced Paddle Module to see if I'll be adding them to my order too. I'll have to evaluate how much the dual clutch paddle, 2 extra levers, and magnetic actions are worth to me.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

ProtoSimTech PT2 Pedals Mini Review

I've received my PT2 Pedals from ProtoSimTech and after building myself a new mounting box for them, setting the mechanical config and then calibrating the pedals using DIView, I've had the chance to turn a decent number of laps and can share my thoughts.

From the moment I bolted them onto the mounting box, I attempted to set my expectations with regards to how long it would take for me to adjust to them and get back to the pace and consistency I had previously with my Fanatec CSP V1's......

Amazingly it only took 2 laps before I was matching my previous times.

I'm seriously stunned. I'm no alien, but I'm pretty quick in a few different cars and found that I was right back on pace.

The brake is just incredible. I quickly realised that I was no longer even thinking about "how much to brake", just 100% instinct of edge of traction, and no thought required on "how" to react... just "react". It made me think that maybe I never had the setup of the loadcell in my CSP v1's dialed in correctly... because I still had a fair bit of travel with them; I had them rigged up such that my initial braking was movement + pressure, then I'd ease off the pressure for threshold braking. With the PT2's I have very minimal travel, just pure pressure.

The clutch is magical. Being able to configure it so that the bite point in sim is matched up with the change in tension in the pedal is just incredible.

I knew ProtoSimTech had a great product from the reviews I'd seen, and the build quality really lives up to the high standard which everyone raves about. Yet even with my high expectations I'm still stunned. Zero "buyers remorse". I can tell these pedals are going to deliver me many many years of joy.

Pro Mazda @ Road Atlanta

Saturday, September 1, 2018

ProtoSimTech PT2 Pedals

Stage 1 of my "this is getting serious" sim racing upgrades was a new PC built around an Intel i5 8600k and Nvidia 1080ti, which I've been running for a few months now. Stage 2's purchase has just been made; a set of the amazing PT2 Pedals from ProtoSimTech.

The fact that this latest batch of 46 sets sold out in under 2 minutes clearly explains how quickly these pedals have become well known for their quality. I can justify handing over a pretty decent chunk of cash because these should be the last pedals I ever need.

Next on the list is a direct drive wheelbase. I'm edging closer and closer to pre-ordering a Fanatec DD1....

2018 Season 3 and Le Mans 24hr

I had grand plans of really focusing on the Pro Mazda for iRacing 2018 Season 3, and did a decent job for the first half of the season..... then... not so much. Due to a number of factors I wasn't finding the time required to put in enough practice to give me the confidence to jump into races.

One thing which took my out of my usual practice schedule was the Le Mans 24 Hour event, which my team entered two cars in. I took the leading role in preparing our HPD entry and spent the two weeks leading up to the race putting in 16 hours and 370 laps of practice, building the setup for the team.

I ran the opening 4 stints of our team, having an excellent 3 hours of fun. I worked my way from our starting position of 7th up to 4th in class before making a stupid mistake and disabling the pit limiter as I left the pit box at the start of my final stint. I had to return to pit lane and serve the 15 second penalty for speeding. This dropped us back to 10th in class. I hustled our HPD back up to 7th before handing over to the rest of the team.

Alas about midway through the race an LMP1 car ran us over and we needed a tow and 15 minutes of repairs. This lost us 4 laps and any hope of fighting for a podium. Still, the team had a blast and it was great to finish the race, even if it was down in 13th.

For me personally it really highlighted how much I enjoy these endurance events. Not just the actual race session, but the focused preparation and practice involved too. The Petit Le Mans event is up next on October 7th, I think I'll be running in the Ferrari 488 GTE.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

iRacing Series Stats

I've been creating a system which collects up the results data from a season of an iRacing series and generates tables of some interesting statistics from the season. Here's a sample of the output showing the stats from 2018 Season 2 of the Pro Mazda Championship:

I've been posting these on the official iRacing forums for each series. One feature which I'm really proud of is that I'm able to have the system include extra drivers in the tables, allowing comparison against the top drivers for each section. Here's the same Pro Mazda season stats with some of my favourite rivals highlighted:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Automatically Highlight Your Results

I've created a userscript which will highlights the rows of your entries in the iRacing event results table.

You'll need to first install the Tampermonkey extension for the web browser that you use to browse the iRacing website. Grab the Firefox extension here, or the Google Chrome version here.

Then you can install my userscript from the following link: iRacing My Results Highlighter.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Star Mazda Aus Champs Season 6 Round 1

Season 6 of the Star Mazda Australian Championships (aka SMAC6) kicked off this week, with race 1 being held at Monza. I was super excited and felt really confident after posting the 3rd best time in practice. I qualified 5th and got an ok start.

I'm the 3rd car back in the train of cars on the right hand side of the screenshot. I was a little annoyed when the white car on the left of the screenshot made it 3 wide into the first chicane. But we all made it through and I was happy cruising along in 6th.

The front three guys skipped away as the drivers I was running with all decided that they needed to fight for positions right from the opening laps.... Sigh.

More pointless battling for position slowing us down. I was worried that the group behind us would catch up.

Mr "3 wide into the first chicane" spun out, splitting up the group and letting 3rd skip away. At this stage we were running 4th and 5th and I just sat in the draft and we put in some quick laps and worked on closing the gap to 3rd.

Here you can see the gaps; 3rd up on his own, me in 5th following 4th and not battling in order to let us both gain. Then the gaggle of cars behind who were still fighting and therefore letting us get clear.

Closer and closer to catching 3rd.

3rd pitted as we caught him and I decided I'd take a shot at a fast couple of laps before I pitted to see if I could get clear.

I made a mistake in the final corner and 4th caught me as we entered the pits. He was super aggressive on hitting the pit speed limit line and actually scared me into lifting off the brakes because I thought he was going to run up the back of me. The replay shows he was scared too as he turned to avoid hitting me. Unfortunately this meant I got stung with a 15 second penalty for speeding in pit lane. Bugger.

I came back out in 10th and got held up by someone who wanted to battle rather than work together to chase down 6th, 7th and 8th.

I got clear and due to some contact up the road found myself going to be gifted 7th. 5th and 6th were 6 seconds in front with 6 laps to go and I started pushing very hard to catch them. Too hard, as is shown in the screenshot above - I ran over the sleeping policeman and got popped up in the air, sending me sliding backwards into the tyres.

Gah. Now with huge damage front and rear I limped home the last 2 laps and finished in 10th.

A frustrating race for sure, but I'm happy that I showed decent pace and will hopefully find myself up the pointy end of the next 5 races in the season.

Here's a 5 minute highlight video:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pro Mazda League Racing

When I decided to focus on running the Pro Mazda in 2018 Season 1 I had planned on posting weekly updates with a wrap up of my official races but I found that since I'm doing between 4 and 8 races a week I haven't got the time to give a decent wrap up. Also, recent iRacing updates have completely busted my iRacing Stats App and I don't have the time or patience to get it working again.

However, I am also running in two Pro Mazda Leagues; the Precision Racing Pro Mazda League, Season 9 and now the Star Mazda Australian Championship, Season 6, which started last night.

The PRL league runs round 9 today, so clearly I've failed to give updates on these races. The dot point wrap up of this league is:

  • Damn I wish I didn't miss the first two rounds

  • I'm consistently in the top 5 in terms of single lap pace

  • I've had a number of podium finishes and a couple of wins, yay!

  • Everyone in this league is a pleasure to race with and hang out with

  • The first round of SMAC #6 ran last night and I'll make another post about that now and endeavour to continue posting updates as the season goes on.

    Setup Cheat Sheets

    Here's three setup "cheat sheets" I've found helpful:

    Thursday, January 25, 2018

    Donald Strout's Formula Renault Setup Articles

    Real life racing driver and engineer, Donald Strout wrote very interesting articles on how to set up the Formula Renault in iRacing.

    While some of the information is specific to the FR2.0, much of the explanation of how all of these factors affect the handling of the car can be used to gain a general understanding which will be useful no matter what car you're setting up.

  • Intro: "The Balanced Race Car"

  • Wings, Rake and Aero/ Drive Train - Part 1

  • Wings, Rake and Aero/ Drive Train - Part 2

  • Dampers and Springs/ARB

  • Differential Settings

  • Camber, Caster and Toe

  • Tire Pressure and Brake Bias

  • Asymmetrical Setups

  • Baseline Setups