Race Day! When’s Game Night?

Hey.  Wassup?  I hope shit’s going good 🙂

I guess things are going okay for me.  There are few complaints, I suppose.

Anyway, I decided to “bark” a little bit about the next couple of hobby things going on for me.

First, is my next endurance race.  iRacing is putting on its yearly version of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this coming Saturday (tomorrow, actually), and Delta-V will be in the BMW M8 GTE car.  I know y’all aren’t all that into auto racing, so I’ll keep this short.  I’ve been practicing this week, and I think I’m ready to turn some laps.  The possible problem the team has right now, though, is kind of a lack of team.  As of this moment, there are only 3 of us getting ready to race Saturday.  The other members of the team have been quiet.  There has been no chatter from them about their availability, if any, for some stints throughout the 24-hour time period.

I think we can complete the race with 3 guys, but it’s gonna be tough.  That’s a lot of time in the virtual race car for each of us plus time one of the teammates puts in as support/spotter while another is driving.  I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep Saturday :-/

Second…  the D&D game.

I think this next week I will break my “silence” and question my two estranged players about their situation in relation to returning to the “table” for D&D game night.  If there is no reconciliation between the two, I am going to take steps to acquire a replacement player for at least one of them.  I feel bad that they cannot work things out, but I am no longer going to hold off for them.  The other player and I want to game.

I’ll keep you up to date.

As always, I appreciate questions and/or comments.  Thanks for taking the time to “listen”.

Post Race Report

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We done good… mostly  😉

12 Hours of Bathurst (see my previous post)… Well, we could have done better.  We qualified 6th position out of 51 cars.  The race team was feeling pretty good about this.  We were confident that we had pace and skill enough to keep the car in the fight for the entire 12 hours.  The truth is that should have been the case.  We were looking at a top 5 finish given our pace and consistency… until

This time it was my turn.  One of the others had a misstep at Daytona.  I guess it was my turn to make things more “challenging”.  I was at the end of my second stint and was getting too comfortable in the car.  It bit me.  You see, the simulation has day/night transitions.  These transitions occur in real time over the course of an endurance race like this 12-hour race.  We started the race before sunrise in cool temperatures.  A cool track means good grip, and you can do things in the car that you can’t do as the track gets hotter.  Now that would not have been a big issue accept for the fact that I let my confidence turn into comfort in that virtual race car.

I was at the end of my second stint, and the sun had come up in the simulator about 90 minutes previous to my “mishap”.  The grip on the track and the tire wear took advantage of my lack of attention.  I over-steered a turn and got up on a curb.  At over 100 mph, hitting this curb “upsets” the car.  I tried to catch it, but the tires must have gotten a little air under them from the bump.  So, I suddenly had no grip and could not steer.  An instant later, the front tires grabbed asphalt.  That would not have been a problem except for the fact that I was trying to recover my misstep.  I had over adjusted my input and it basically “launched the car into the opposite wall.

Broke Merc Bathurst 020919

Yep, that crumpled “beer can” you see is because I got too comfortable rather than keeping my focus razor sharp and paying hyper attention to the changing conditions.  I thought I knew what to expect since I had already done one stint, but that had been a couple hours previous (we were swapping during each pit stop).  So, the sun was higher in the sky and the track was warmer.

After about 20 minutes in the pits, the virtual crew was able to do some repairs.  The car was drive-able, but we were about 2 seconds a lap down on pace because of aerodynamics and handling issues.

We got back out on the track in 27th position with about 8 hours to go.

Our 3-man team drove that recently converted “hooptie” for 8 more hours.  I even had 2 more stints in the car.  We dodged another couple of accidents.  We raced a couple of cars.

We finished 8th.

It was not the top 5 we thought we could get, but a top 10 finish was nothing to sneeze at.

Between this and Daytona (24 hour endurance race), we decided that this one was more fun.  It was.  It was harder work because of the substantially more technical track.  Maybe we are gluttons for punishment… real or virtual.  But we felt like we got more out of it.

It would be nice, though. to keep the car less damaged for the duration of one of these races.  Maybe next time

Stay tuned for the 12 Hours at Sebring 😉

12 Hours… 12 Days

Well, the number 13 Delta-V Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 car and her team find themselves at the virtual version of Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit this week. We are getting ready for the 12 Hours of Bathurst race on iRacing this Saturday. This track is a beast. It is literally on a small mountain. You race up to the top through some undulating twists and turns, then come down another set of undulating twists and turns to, hopefully, find yourself and your car in one piece crossing the start/finish line in as little time as possible. This is gonna be a loooonnngg race, me thinks. I haven’t gotten much practice just yet. I have turned a decent lap time… a few times… BUT I GOTTA DO IT ABOUT 30 LAPS PER STINT… 4 STINTS… WITH OTHER CARS ON THE TRACK!!! Don’t get me wrong. This track is a blast, but I’ve never had great luck here. My skill is… well… I feel it’s lacking when it comes to this track. I’m going to make make my best effort – it’s all I can do. I just hope it’s enough. My team has done a good job of setting up the car. It handles really well. I just have to figure out how to make use of that in a manner that gets me around that track for nearly 120 laps (my 4 stints out of 12) so that the car is handed off to the next driver in good shape.

The truth is that we stand a chance to do really well here, if we keep our heads about us and not get too aggressive. That is much easier said than done when the object is to be the first team to cross the finish line 12 hours after the green flag drops. But it appears that a strategic race will pay off much bigger than trying to race door handle to door handle with every other GT3 car out there. Any race that I’ve seen here in the real world or in simulation appears to have a great deal of attrition. This track is tough, and it will slap a driver and race car hard for just a simple mistake or lapse in concentration. There are hard walls on the technical parts of the track. The track is arguably not that wide, either. This place can have a “pinball” effect on cars that lose it. And the lack of width combined with close racing can create some… traffic jams.

Anyway, I just wanted to let y’all know that I’m hopping in the virtual race car again. I’m looking forward to it in spite of the angst. I think the nerves might be part of the fun… go figure.

Until next time 🙂

We Made It…

iRacing’s 24 Hours of Daytona

The #13 Delta-V Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 car gridded P15 in class on this past Saturday morning. The green flag dropped on a rolling start that entered turn 1 cleanly for the entire field. Alan, Adam, JR and I took turns driving this beast around Daytona International Speedway’s road course for 24 hours as quickly as possible. Our goal? Finish in as high a position as possible in the GT3 class.

We finished in 8th. It was a hard earned 8th position for sure. The car did not look this clean and this free of damage at the end. Mistakes were made and we paid the price in a loss of top speed and a reduction in handling capability. We had to learn how to drive the car again after a couple of on-track “altercations” had changed the handling of the car. The virtual pit crew could only repair so much, and we, the drivers, were stuck with the remaining damage.

But pushing through fatigue in the middle of the night, trying to stay focused, in general, while making the same turns over and over again and dodging the traffic in the form of classes of cars that were much faster than us were signs of our determination and desire to endure to the end.

It would pay off, though.

No, it was not a spectacular ending. No, we didn’t win… even if we had, there was no trophy (maybe an “atta boy” from other drivers) to be had. There were just memories and the satisfaction that we had taken our hobby of sim racing to the next level and drove our team car – like those in real life – from the day through the night and back to the day. And at the end, we finished the race with the car in one piece (mostly) as a team.

Mind Racing >>> Sim Racing

So I mentioned in a previous post that I was getting back into iRacing after a much needed break.  Well, the December race didn’t happen for me.  I got sick.  I caught a nasty little cold that kept me down for a few days – one of those days was race day :-/ .

The new year has brought on the addition of some plans that my one friend and I have concocted for sim racing “careers”.  He created a race team for him and I and a likely rotating list of others that will join us periodically.  Our primary purpose for this team is to run in the team endurance events iRacing puts on throughout the year.  Enter Delta-V Racing…

He came up with the name and logo (I’ll try to remember to post some car pictures soon. I don’t have access to them currently), and we started making some plans to run in the endurance sim racing events this year.  Our first is the 24 Hours of Daytona.  Yep, it’s similar to the actual Rolex 24 that IMSA runs every year.  Multiple classes of cars will compete within there class at the same time out on the track for 24 hours.

The goal of such a race?  Well aside from the obvious (winning, of course), the goal is to survive and finish the entire race.  It is preferable to survive with an undamaged car.  I’m here to tell you that is no small feat.  Winning is something even more spectacular.

The hitch is that these different classes of cars are all of varying speeds and handling capabilities out on the track.  So, you have to contend with traffic while trying to be the first one in your class to get around the track each lap… for 24 hours.  Then on top of that is the fact that it’s a team event.  Multiple drivers in the same car throughout the race.  When the car comes in for fuel and tires, we swap drivers.  Some of us are faster.  Some are slower.  Some handle traffic better.  We take turns knocking out laps throughout the entire race with that same set of goals… survive and try to win.  The strategies at play become quite complex.  It’s not always the fastest car in class that wins, either.

I’m looking very forward to this first race.  We’ve got our race team.  We have a planned schedule for who drives when.  There are four of us: me, my buddy and two other mutual sim racing friends that have joined us for this race.  Yep, 24 hours of racing and 4 guys to get it done.  I am running 6 stints; that’s about 6 hours of driving in the car.  I won’t do this all at once.  We have planned to run 2 stints at a time and swap drivers to give us all breaks.  The race starts about 8’ish on Saturday (January 19th) morning.  I’m not actually scheduled to be in the car until about 3:30 or 4:00 that afternoon.  Then I’m back for 2 stints from about 7 pm to 9 pm.  And, finally, I’ll be pushing through the early morning hours from about 3 am to 5 am.  My friend that “owns” the team will be starting the race on Saturday morning and then finishing the race on Sunday morning.  The other to drives will handle the other 12 hours.  Got to stay awake.  Got to stay focused.

If all goes well, we’ll just click off the laps and run by the planned numbers.  Heh, yeah… right…

Wish us luck 🙂

Still Around…

Some time has passed since my last expulsion of verbiage in the general direction of this blog thingy.

My apologies to those that take any measure of pleasure and/or joy reading my posts.

My condolences to those that wish I would just quit typing…  eh… no… tough shit 🙂

I’ve been passing most of my recent time working during the day and gaming/goofing off with friends in the evening and weekends.  The wife and I have spent some good time together, too.  I went to visit family and friends in my home town since my last post – it’s most always time well spent there.  Otherwise, I’ve just been… living daily life, I suppose.

While it is nothing spectacular, I really have not felt compelled to lodge a complaint about being bored or not being some sort of extraordinarily productive member of society.

Don’t get me wrong… my ego would very much like hearing that something I’ve written or done has had a great effect on some people.  Let’s face it, it’s a good feeling when something you’ve written gets a good reaction from even just one person.

That being said, however, I stick by my previous statement of being okay with my humdrum life as of late.  I have not felt very compelled to do more.

Now it hasn’t all been “Groundhog Day” for me and the wife, especially very recently.  But it’s nothing serious and nothing worth posting about, either.

The only significant “change” I have made since my last post is that I have “officially” taken a break from my virtual racing career on iRacing.  I guess I just need a break.  My enthusiasm has waned significantly.  I found myself getting angry at small mistakes way too easy during practices.  I even rage quit a race – something I typically don’t do.  So, I’ve decided not to get on iRacing until after the first of the year.  I may already be looking forward to getting back on there, too.  That’s a good thing.  The bottom line is that I need a real break from my hobby.  My recent half-hearted attempts to compete with my race team have not been good for me, and have done absolutely nothing for them.

My mind has been lingering on tabletop gaming (RPGs) lately.  I think I would like to throw my hat back in the D&D ring for a bit.  If I start gaming, I promise to make posts about the game/characters and the story.

I’ve started streaming again a little bit while playing 7 Days to Die (fun game).  This can be fun to watch since I’m doing this with my best friend and a small group of friends.  I’ll put the links below.

I have found myself enjoying playing the game Cities: Skylines.  It’s a city building simulator. I find the creativity and manipulating the infrastructure of a city oddly relaxing and satisfying.

So, that’s the 10,000 foot view.  Sorry it isn’t something more spectacular.  Maybe it’ll get better?

Thanks for “listening”.

Race Team: Ridin’ Shotgun Motorsports

Twitch Stream: www.twitch.tv/myrok9

 

I’m not dead, I was racing… again ;-)

Sorry for the silence…

I’ve been busy and distracted; sometimes separately, sometimes all at once.

So, anyway, I went to the iRace4Life.org 2016 seminar last week.  I had a blast.  It’s always so much fun.  It’s a great experience getting together with a bunch of folks that are into the same hobby.  I get to meet folks from all around the country, and even a few from other parts of the world.  I get to attend presentations about software and gear that supports the sim-racing hobby.  There are even presentations from a couple of the top sim-racers.  They pass on their knowledge of driving technique and setting up cars to help us get better.

The best part, though, is hanging out with the guys I race with on a regular basis.  I might get to talk to them online, but it’s a lot of fun hanging out with them in real life.  Some of these guys have become pretty good friends.  I believe we all had a lot of fun there.  I can’t wait to do it again next year.

This all got started by this guy, Sion Alford.  To call him a great guy is a major understatement.  He put this whole seminar thing together a few years ago, and he has continued to make sure it’s great every year and free.  Yeah, the whole 2.5 day seminar is FREE.  We get to bring our rigs, hook up to the venue network and power, get to race for prizes, attend the presentations and get fed breakfast, lunch and dinner for free.  It’s completely awesome.  I can never thank Sion enough.  He turned his hobby into a great experience he shares with others and made a charity (iRace4Life) out of it so that iRacers can give back to charities of their choice.  Go check out the site.  I linked it above.

My “icing on the cake” this year was receiving a wonderful gift.  I was given the base and “frame work” for a sim-racing rig.  This one guy I race with in Texas Club offered it up to anyone that could go pick it up, and I jumped at the opportunity.  It’s very well built.  This guy makes part of his living by building sim-rigs and it doing a great job.  The one he let me have is one of his older rigs that he no longer had use for.  I now am customizing my very own sim-racing rig; taking my hobby to the next level.  My wife, among others, things I’m nuts… maybe 🙂  I still have some work to do, but I’ll be back on iRacing soon.  My hiatus – something I considered a good thing – is now over, I think.  I’m looking forward to bringing the #90 back to the track.

Thanks once again, Carlos.  And anybody interested in this hobby needs to check out his work.

A L Racing Simulators on Facebook

A L Racing Simulators site