iRacing SRF Challenge 2013 Season 3 Week 1
I’ve been on iRacing since the start of the year and I’ve raced in the VW Jetta, Star Mazda & Riley DP mostly. I decided however to extend my experiences to other cars and series that I haven’t even given a thought before and where better than to start in the D class series with the iRacing Spec Racer Ford Challenge. I’ve relied heavily on my team mates in the past two seasons for set ups on cars and running these two series will help me to understand not only the cars better but also the the setting up of them and hopefully in the process make myself just that little bit quicker and more competitive. I have to make it clear though that I’m not the or even close to being one of the quickest drivers out there but I do pride myself on running clean races which has proved fruitful on multiple occasions. I will attempt to bring to you my experiences over the next twelve weeks and hopefully that will carry on into next season when I move on to a new car.
Week 1 of the Spec Racer Challenge took place around Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, a very challenging track that offers the driver a bit of everything. The aim for this week was just to familiarise myself with the car, qualify and do a few races without getting caught up in any major incidents. Like I mentioned Laguna Seca offers a bit of everything from the long double apex turn 1, hard braking zones, medium speed corners and the famous corner from hell, the corkscrew. The track presents a great opportunity to find out where I am in regards to keeping it under control.
I set my qualy time fairly early in the week. I set a very modest time of 1:43.493 but I figured I’d rather take that and race people with my pace as supposed to finding myself further up the grid and racing against people who are on race pace a lot quicker than me. The purpose of setting the qualy time was also just to get ahead of any non qualifiers. Being new to the car I really didn’t need more people around me than was necessary.
The week couldn’t have started any better. My debut race placed me on the front row of a fairly low SOF race which helped me to record a win and a handy 84 points, probably not because I was the fastest but avoiding placing the car in the wall or spinning certainly helped. It was a good introduction which gave me the confidence to chase a few more points in my next two races. Race 2 again saw my placed 2nd on the grid but a bad start meant I dropped down to 7th by the end of the first lap ultimately finishing 5th. My 3rd and final race saw me 5th on the grid, another bad start relegated me to 8th by the end of lap 1 but what followed after is a testament to how far you can get with just keeping the car on the black stuff and not trading paint with other cars. I managed to get back into 5th by lap 2 and into 2nd place by lap 6. The thing that pleased me most about that drive apart from the 95 points is that I only had to battle one car for position, the track helped me with the rest by catching my fellow racers out mainly through the corkscrew and the right handed turn 10 which penalised drivers heavily for either entering the corner too fast or running wide out of it. Week 1 as a whole was a great success for me. 3 races, 3 top 5 finishes and the decision to run in this particular series justified. Next week we move on to a racers favourite, Watkins Glen (Classic configuration) which should again see good participation. Time then to work on drafting and close wheel to wheel action.
See you on track 🙂
Division 3: 9th