Gaming, GT Sport

GT Sport : FIA Championship | Manufacturers Cup Season 18, Race 3 (13/03/2018)

Today’s Manufactures Cup race took place at the Dragon Trail – Seaside circuit.

Unlike the race on the previous day, I decided to not rush out of the pits and instead hang back, letting most of the field out to try and give myself some clean air and space to put in a good lap or two.  By the time I crossed the line to start my first flyer however, I was closer to the car in front than I would have liked, but I managed to keep the gap and not really get bothered, with a 1:44.3.  I proceeded and improved by almost a second on lap 2, despite finding myself in traffic.  I managed to find clean air again on lap 4, the last one in Quali, but by that point the tires had gone off and I was almost half a second off the pace, so I abandoned the lap.  My lap put me in 9th position out of a grid of 20.

I started the race “cautiously”. I was gaining on the 911 in front of me down the straight, but tucked in behind into turn 2. My line was compromised slightly, which almost caused an accident, when a car took a spin at turn 3.  By turn 5 however, lap 1 had gone completely to pot, when it seems like “Robwood56” behind me, totally missed his breaking point and punted me from behind, sending me off the track and down to 11th place.  Confidence was a little lost in the fast chicane section and I lost another place.  There was however a sizable gap back to 13th (~3 seconds) so I knew for the time being, there were going to be no more dive-bombs / punts for the time being.  The next few laps were all about settling in and finding a rhythm  and mistakes from other drivers saw me back up to 10th at the end of lap 3.  I wasn’t really challenging much or being overly aggressive, but I was keeping with the Ferrari ahead of me, watching and waiting to pounce.  By the end of Lap 5 however it was me that was being pounced on, as the car behind had caught me and was within a tenth crossing the line.  However by the time we reached turn 2, I’d caught the car in-front and had to switch to the inside, which seemed to be unnoticed and contact was made, which ultimately handed me a 2 second penalty.  I held onto 9th until turn 5 when an nice move from the car behind on the inside saw me slide down the order once more.  Fuel was looking good at this point so I stayed out for one more lap than the cars in-front. I was running p6 until we reached the seaside section and someone came from a long way back, down the inside, running off the track and down to 9th.

I made sure I did the maths at the stop today, and fueled my car with the right amount of laps (6) to finish the race. I rejoined in 14th position, behind the 911 I’d had battles with at the start and I felt I had pace, but was nervous to make the move. They made a mistake into the hairpin at the seaside section to give me the place, but 3 corners later, I took too much on the inside and was handed a penalty, but moving off the line to slow down was clearly the wrong thing to do, as the car behind hit me, spinning me and losing me 2 places (sigh) back to 15th.  At least the gap back to 16th was over 10 seconds so maybe I can focus and still get something from this race.  By lap 12 I was back to 13th place, following other’s misfortunes, but got it completely wrong in the high-speed corners before the downhill into the sea front section and lost the car on the grass causing a massive spin, losing 2 places.  I instantly gained one back, as 14th place went wide on the hairpin, only for them to re attack me on the final corner and take the place back.  As the final lap began, the car in front seemed a little aggressive, like their life depending on the position, so I didn’t try anything silly into T2.  I almost lost a place to the car behind, when I lost control briefly on the exit of 5, which distracted the car behind, but I kept it together to come over the line in the end 14th position, as the car ahead had an outstanding penalty.

 

I tried really hard in this race to be courteous to other drivers, however it’s really hard to take when no matter how “nice” you drive, others don’t show you the same respect.  You can get an idea of the lobby by taking a look at the SR ups and downs on the race’s timing screen at the end.  I could really use a bit of luck and some like minded drivers for once, but hey, that’s online racing for you!

My Next Race: Round 6: 17 March, 2018 (Saturday) – Gr.4 / Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Gaming, GT Sport

GT Sport : FIA Championship | Manufacturers Cup Season 18, Race 2 (12/03/2018)

Today’s Manufactures Cup race took place at the Nurburgring GP circuit and I was looking to run very well here as it is a track I know very well from my early F1 days

I felt like I had some good pace around here in the practice session, putting in a lot of laps before entering the lobby. But as always, trying to find space on the track for a good qualifying run was my downfall.  I was compromised on the exit of my first lap when the 2 cars in-front of me had a moment out of the final corner, despite trying to find myself some space down the back straight. The second lap was ruined by the Spaniard that was battling me for track position, who ultimately rammed me from behind and my final lap I had a slow car in front was battling me like it was for the the WDC.  SO all in all I had to settle for 9th on the grid.

I was always concerned going into the race, as I was starting behind the fiery Spaniard from qualifying, but I think I kept my calm in the opening exchanges and was even making ground on the leader for a start, chipping away at the delta to P1. It all started going wrong when I foolishly tried to defend around the hairpin on lap 4 which handed me a 4 second penalty. After that I felt like I was in battles and couldn’t really show my true pace, although the racing was fun. I was undecided whether to pit or not at the end of lap 6, as I had the fuel to carry on and the tires weren’t to bad, but I pitted and made 2 vital mistakes. Firstly, I hit the wall on the pit entry and secondly I thought there were only 4 laps of the race left so I under fueled the car by one lap.

Once the race resumed for me, I was In a pretty nice battle with the cars around me and even made a daring lunge up the inside into the hairpin, which ultimately paid off for me as I managed to build a gap and get on the pace, setting the Fastest lap on lap 8, although this was later beaten, it re-enforced to me that I did have pace around this circuit.  By lap 10 I was kind of cruising, not making in roads to the group ahead, but slowly pulling away from the car behind.  Just as I was starting to make ground on the 2 in front, the message of DOOM appeared to tell me I’d under fueled the car and only had 0.8 left with over a lap still to run, so it was straight down to lean with plenty of lifting and costing.  I think the car infront was also suffering from a lack of fuel as they dropped of and I was able to take 8th.  The last few corners were very nervous for me. I conceded the place to the fast car behind but then also totally misjudged my braking into the final chicane to hand me 1 final penalty in the race.  I didn’t manage to get rid of it all before the line, but I did managed to hold onto 9th place.

Nothing Gained, but nothing lost either.

Points to take into the next race

  • Be better at mid-race Maths to avoid having to back off on the final lap
  • Think more carefully about moves on slow corners

Next Race: Round 3: 13 March, 2018 (Tuesday) – Gr.3 / Dragon Trail – Seaside