This being the first of 2 pre season races i wasn’t expecting much. Only had 30 mins of practice before the race started and hadn’t driven the car for a couple of days i was going in cold and blind. Luckily i had a League race the other week which i had built a setup for, so rather than cold and blind i was just going in cold.
With this being my first Official race in the car i didn’t want to get in anyone’s way at the start not knowing what to expect so i thought would be best to not qualify.
Race time comes and it was 1 split. 19 Prototypes and 8 Mustangs, 27 Total. Got into the session to find i was starting 15th on the grid and car number 15 but when looking at the times people had set in qualifying i know i could be up near the top guys but again i didnt want to push to hard and ruin someone else’s race that had started the season from day one. With that in mind i the race started, Pace lap nice and simple everyone had respect and left plenty of room, Green light and was shocked how far from the line i was. Turn one again plenty of respect shown, everyone giving room no one pushing to hard but hard enough. From the start i gained 2/3 spots with people spinning or going to wide and on the grass but i knew i was faster than those anyway.
A couple of laps later everyone was settled and in little battles. I found my self on the back of a little battle which was slowing me up slightly allowing some guys in front to get away which i would of matched my speed a little better. That said back markers started to come thick and fast which allowed me to get past one of the guys that was battling.
Few more laps went by and again back markers helped me pass the 2nd of the slower guys in front. Now with Clean air and around 4-5 seconds gap to the car in front i put my foot down and the lap times come with it. Soon enough i was on the back biding my time for a pass. At the point where i felt i had a run (corner before the back straight) he held his brakes that little bit longer causing me to throw mine on and sending me into a spin. Lucky that i kept it out the wall and now back to being on the back foot.
After the little spin i found my self 11 seconds down and some catching up to do. One thing i was hoping for where back markers slowing them down letting me get closer quicker. Sometimes that happened and others the back markers got me as well making me fight for a line that really shouldn’t of been open. Lap after lap the time was getting closer and closer untill lap 23 some confusion with both Mustangs and soon to be lapped Rileys i was making a pass though Gendebien which is where i also passed fellow team mate Conrad Venter. With me now back up to 9th and 8th .5 up the road about to lap another Riley they split into Sunset Bend letting me take my normal line and getting a run down the start finish to jump into 8th. Now with 4 laps to go and 7th (the guy that break checked me) just 4 seconds up the road it was time to really throw everything at.
The start of the last 4 laps where simple enough no traffic i got the gap to around 3 seconds. the 2nd lap i got held up by another lapped Riley making the gap drop back to 4 seconds but i still had half a lap to go. The start of the 3rd lap i was back to 3.5 seconds and pushing really hard. Every brake point was moved forward to give me that extra little speed and closing the gap down to 2.9 second for the start of the last lap. The hardest most heart pumping lap i have ever done on iRacing or any other game for that matter. i Took it from 2.9 down to just .3 when crossing the line. Also setting my fastest lap of the race with a 1.53.244.
This was a good starting point to work from. The prep i had for the race really helped me get the lap times down but nothing could of made me aware how slow the Mustangs where. Things look good for next season but for now its off to Silverstone.