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 ūüôā

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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.

Where Was I???

So, I got that race in the other night. 144 minutes in a 5-speed manual with two pit stops. I started in 22nd position (out of 22… don’t ask) and finished in 10th. I felt pretty good about the whole experience. It was fun getting back into my virtual race career on iRacing. I’m looking very forward to running in the iRacing 24 Hours at Daytona race next Saturday. Delta-V Racing will consist of 4 drivers that will attempt to get the Mercedes GT3 car around the track as quickly as possible, as many times as possible in a 24-hour period. If all goes well, and our pace is quick enough, we should finish quite well in the GT3 class next Saturday.

There’s other stuff that’s been going on. In particular, a lot of time is being used to work with a new puppy that we’ve had for about a week. Koji is just shy of 4 months old. He is a Sheba Inu. Interesting little gremlin. Needless to say, he is keeping us busy around here with all his needs and our desire to have him house broken and not requiring constant supervision. I will say, though, that he is damn smart and catching on to “the rules” quickly. I’m not what you would call a dog person, but he’s pretty cool. The rest of the family finds him to be quite the treasure.

I’ll keep this short – time for Koji to go outside again ;-P I’ll try and post again soon.

Bloggity, Blog, Blog

I am determined not to let this blog sit too idle.  Sorry to those that might actually be interested in reading this for not posting more often.

Let’s just say that I’ve been “cruising” through life since my last post. ¬†It’s a habit of mine to just coast for a bit after the holidays. ¬†I don’t know that it’s a good habit, but… ¬†I don’t know that it’s a bad habit, either. ¬†I’m not always “productive”. And while a feel some guilt – sometimes – for not being productive (outside of going to work daily), I don’t feel that guilty. ¬†Yes, time flies and all that, but I don’t consider it a bad thing to just exist now and then.

I guess I haven’t been too idle, though. ¬†My sim racing hobby has been a bit more in my focus since the holidays. ¬†I joined the Pacific Majors¬†league again this year. ¬†It’s a pretty cool league. ¬†It’s not without its drama and bullsh!t, but I enjoy it. ¬†We get to run in different types of races with different types of cars, so it is quite interesting having to learn the different race disciplines.

This next Sunday (2/26/17) I get to race in the Pacific Majors’ version of the Daytona 500. ¬†I’m looking forward to it. ¬†For some reason, I really like the restrictor plate racing, especially since I’ve had the opportunity to participate in it rather than just watching it on TV. ¬†It’s very intense trying to keep the car under control in a group of cars going ~200mph and only being inches apart. ¬†So much concentration is required… very intense ūüėÄ

I’ve been on “TV”, too… well YouTube. ¬†The Pac Majors league has the top 2 splits of these races streamed/broadcasted live by professional streamers. ¬†It’s kind of cool being able to go back and watch the race you were just in, and possibly seeing yourself (well, your car) and having your name mentioned. ¬†I just wish my name was mentioned more often for being fast and making it to the front versus getting into wrecks¬†ūüė≥ ¬†That’s something I need to work on a bit :mrgreen: ¬†Come watch a stream anyway, especially if you like auto racing. ¬†I’ll try to post the different YouTube channels where the streams will be.

Other than that… well… like I said, I’ve just been moseying through life since the first of the year. ¬†I think I’ll be getting more active on here again, though. ¬†It might be more about my sim racing stuff, but it will be something.

As always, let me know what you think.  Ask me questions.  Ask me to write about something.  This blog does not have to be a one-way thing.  I would very much enjoy hearing back from readers.

Later ūüėČ

Return to Normal?

So, I’m sitting here in my racing/gaming rig partially watching my buddy, his brother and another friend play World of Tanks on my buddy’s Twitch stream. ¬†I’m plugged into their TeamSpeak channel so that I can make comments… or not. ¬†I’m also listening to an album on Spotify that has music inspired by Fast and Furious. ¬†And now I’ve decided to start typing on this here blog thingy.

I don’t know if I’m tired or bored. ¬†It feels like tired, though. ¬†If I wasn’t tired, I’d likely be more enthusiastic about this and other things¬†I’d like to do. ¬†I guess I’m still adjusting to the longer work days. ¬†It’s amazing the difference that¬†adding an hour to the work day has made for me. ¬†That and the longer commute has me leaving early and getting home a lot later –¬†couple hours or more – each day versus when I had my 4-mile commute. ¬†I used to come home for lunch, too; another difference. ¬†Oh well, I’ll get used to it.

My daughter seems to have taken to being a college student living away from home quite well. ¬†She has found some friends to game with and seems to be getting along with her roommate. ¬†I’m proud of her… very proud of her. ¬†I think her academic success will continue.

So, Mind the Shadows and other things…

Yeah…

It’s time to get back at that writing thing. ¬†It’s not a secret that I’ve been distracted with all the changes in my life. ¬†But I no longer see that as an excuse to not be¬†writing. ¬†I do need to get the muse stoked again, though. ¬†I haven’t had good story thoughts in my head very much lately… hardly at all. ¬†So, suggestions are welcome. ¬†I guess I really could use some thoughtful feedback on Mind the Shadows, or maybe some thoughts on what y’all would like to see me try to write. ¬†Seriously, talk to me. ¬†I’ll likely crank crap out anyway, but your feedback might keep the crap from smelling too bad ūüėČ

I’ve been racing a little again. ¬†It’s good to be back turning laps on iRacing. ¬†I rep’d Ridin’ Shotgun Motorsports pretty well the other night. ¬†I won a league race. ¬†It wasn’t anything spectacular, but I kept the car clean and MOSTLY on the track. ¬†The leader had some issues and my steady run allowed me to cash in and take the top spot on the podium at the end. ¬†Dramatic or not, a win feels good.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. ¬†I like to keep my posts as short as possible for you guys. ¬†I don’t wanna bore you to death. Catch y’all next time.

Post Ass Whip…

Well that first week at the new job was an ass whip. But… ¬†It was a good thing. ¬†I like the new job. ¬†The learning curve is MONSTROUS!!! ¬†I’m gonna love some of the challenges. ¬†There is so much to learn and what seems to be a good bunch of folks to work with.

There is much less angst going to work now. ¬†Yeah, I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to dealing with new jobs. ¬†I guess it’s because I want to make a good impression as soon as possible. ¬†I want to be a valuable member of the team right away. ¬†Some of it was the other big changes that came with the job, a longer day and a much longer commute. ¬†I have less personal time during the week since I work a 9-hour day and have every other Friday off. ¬†The Friday thing seems kinda cool, but I’ll have to get used to 10 hours at work plus about an hour round-trip. ¬†I got very used to being 4 miles from work and having the opportunity to come home for lunch on a near daily basis.

I was actually looking forward to going to work today…

This weekend iRacing hosted the 24 Hours at Spa. ¬†With the new job and a week out of town the week before, I had no chance to prep for this team endurance racing event. But Ridin’ Shotgun Motorsports put a car on the grid and ended up doing quite well. ¬†There were some trials to be sure, but they worked out a podium (3rd place) finish. ¬†Nice going, boys. ¬†I can’t wait until the next endurance race. ¬†I am definitely wanting to get back into iRacing. ¬†I’ve… missed it.

Next on the list of shit to do is get the daughter to college. ¬†I’ll let you know how that goes…

Later ūüėČ

Distractions and Thoughts

Well, once again, it’s been a while since I posted. ¬†I apologize to those that actually give a shit. ¬†As for the rest of you… meh. ¬†I’ll apologize to you when you decide to care that I’m posting. ¬†How’s that?

I’ve let myself slip into a routine that involves coming home and gaming most every night lately. ¬†I have really been enjoying gaming with my best friend and the rest of that group. ¬†It really has been a good time. ¬†I suppose another reason for this, though, is the fact that it is a distraction from day-to-day life. ¬†There are some¬†big changes on the horizon for my family and me. ¬†So, it’s just been a preference of mine to come home, eat some dinner with my family, then plop down in my rig and play some games with friends. ¬†That way I can take my mind off what’s coming.

The first big change is my daughter heading off to college. ¬†While it’s been my wife and daughter doing most of the prepping for this, it has definitely been on my mind. ¬†I’ve been paying attention even when I’m not directly involved in the preparation. ¬†I’m the one looking over shoulders and trying to figure out how all this is going to make it to the college, making sure the vehicles -especially the one going with my daughter – are in working order and thinking about how to make all this happen in as simple, safe and sane of a manner as possible. ¬†I just want to make sure that her move into a dorm room is as painless as possible, so that she can settle in and focus on dealing with college.

The other big distraction is the fact that somewhere in the midst of all this, I decided to change jobs. ¬†I was contacted by a colleague that left where I’m currently working a while back, and he offered to put me in touch with his boss who happened to be looking for a engineering technician. ¬†As someone who makes it a point to never pass up the possibility of bettering my situation in life, I decided to go for an interview. ¬†The interview led me to an offer for something that¬†appears to be a better opportunity for me. ¬†That, of course, prompted me to start the process of accepting the¬†offer, thus going through the hiring process and then giving notice to the place where I’m working now. ¬†I have no problem admitting that I have been dealing with some angst over this whole process which, by the way, is not quite over. ¬†I don’t start the new job until the first of next month. ¬†Needless to say, I’m nervous about this change. ¬†It’s a different industry and a little bit different employment situation than anything else I’ve dealt with over the years.

The decision to change jobs was not ¬†easy, but I have come to the realization that my situation where I am is not what it could be. ¬†So, I decided to take a chance on this new thing. ¬†I’m hoping for the best. ¬†Wish me luck?

I haven’t even been racing. ¬†I definitely needed a break from it, but it has not been easy for me to get back into it. ¬†I’m not sure why, either. ¬†Part of it is being busy and distracted by everything I mentioned. ¬†I guess I feel it takes a level of focus and commitment that I didn’t feel like I could and/or want to give… until just the past couple of days ūüôā

Today, I kind of insinuated myself into spotting for one of my fellow iRacers and his teammate for an endurance race. ¬†Clark, I apologize if I pushed myself into the situation without permission, but I had a lot of fun up to the point I got called away. ¬†Thanks for letting me hang out and “help”. ¬†Since that, I’ve done some practicing. ¬†I guess in spite of being distracted and nervous about life events, the “dust” is settling enough for me to want back into the race ūüėČ

To my buddy and gaming group: I may not be gaming with you guys as much. ¬†I hope you’re okay with that. ¬†I miss my hobby, and I think it’s time to get going on it again. ¬†I still plan on trying to be around for Survival Sunday and a couple nights or so a week.

Now for Mind the Shadows…

I haven’t lost interest. ¬†But I have gotten a little lazy with all this other shit on my mind. ¬†I need to put some time into that, too. ¬†It may be fewer and further between for reasons, but I definitely want to continue the story.

With my daughter leaving, I want to make sure I’m around for my wife. ¬†She is far more sentimental about my daughter going off to college than I am. ¬†Don’t get me wrong. ¬†I’ll miss her, too, and I am concerned with making sure this college thing¬†goes as well as possible, but I’m a bit more… forward-thinking? ¬†I am the type of person that looks forward to the “next part of life”, if you will. ¬†I would not change having my daughter and raising her for the world. ¬†It has been awesome. ¬†But I won’t lie and say that I am not looking forward to being an “empty nester”, either. ¬†It will be nice not having to plan my daily life around what’s going on with my daughter in grade school. ¬†I enjoyed it all for sure, and I’ll even miss it some. But like I said, I’m looking forward to not having to make sure something my wife and/or I want to do isn’t¬†interfering with some school event. ¬†I’m looking forward to seeing my daughter become her own person and take charge of her own life, and I’m looking forward to having the freedom that gives me. ¬†I guess I’m just always a little curious to see what happens next…

Well, enough for now. ¬†I’ll try not to let it be so long again before I’m jabbering about life shtuff again.