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This is one of the best races I have ever driven, hands down. The only other races that I can remember coming close were when I raced in Eric Cote’s Sim Racing Mag events at the Nurburgring, using Grand Prix Legends. I remember I raced the Ferrari F2 cars, led every lap, made no errors, set fastest lap and won by a mile… The very next night I repeated the feat in the Honda Challenge event he organised.

I keep saying it, but I absolutely love this circuit. It does remind me of when I felt I knew the Nurburgring inside-out, it gives me the same thrill as I power through the blind crests, blind apex’s, well, blind everything – it’s a real challenge to do well on this track and that makes it all the more satisfying to have put the time in, and get the results out.

Anyway, earlier today I ran a qualifying session and managed to get my time down under three-minutes for the first time. I set a 2:59.895. I joined a Skip Barber Race Series event at 12:00 pm, but found myself running off the track because the Kittens decided they wanted to fight under my desk. With my race ruined I parked, sprayed them with water to stop them fighting, then rejoined so I could run some clean laps and keep my license looking healthy. The Kittens now decided they wanted to rub on my legs… So I had to quit the race and took a major hit to both license and confidence…

Joining the race at 2:00 pm, I was determined to have a good run, but knew I might find it a little difficult… I was the tenth iRated driver out of the thirteen starters and was almost certainly out of place on the grid, starting from second-place!

The green lights came on though and I made a good start, I could have probably taken the lead in the first turn if I had pushed, but decided I would stay in behind him and take second – but out of nowhere in my mirrors I saw a car braking very late – I had to stay to the outside of the turn and unfortunately lost two positions…

For the next few laps I was in a titanic struggle for second-place with two other drivers… We were so evenly matched, it was really close, but everyone raced clean and it was enormous fun…

As I continued to follow the two who had slipped by in the first turn, I knew that really it was going to be very difficult to get by, I felt that I was a little faster, but really found it hard to get close in the places it’s possible to pass!

On lap four of ten, the leader of the race spun his car coming out of the final turn and we all passed him, I was fairly close behind the guy who was now in second-place and was now more determined to make a move…

I managed to move into second-place on lap five when the man infront got a bit sideways and I took my opportunity, I didn’t slow down and pulled off a great little overtaking manouver into the next corner. As I pulled away, the former leader was now breathing down his neck and I was pretty pleased that I wasn’t the one in that position! He did eventually get past, but it took him until the beginning of lap nine.

Nothing else exciting really happened for the rest of the race, but I did make a rather large error on lap nine… I lost control of the car on the back end of the circuit while trying (and being successful at) closing down the leader, this dropped me to fourth-place and filled me with disappointment for a few moments until I realized that if I pushed hard I might be able to close the four-second gap to the man in third. I pushed really hard and was able to close him down, and got as close as eight-tenths from him, but finished one and a half seconds back when I realized it was a lost cause.

So, was I disappointed with a fourth-place? Not really… My license went up, my iRating went up, I proved to myself that I can do a clean race if I don’t push myself over the edge and really, that’s all I need to take away from it. I still seem to be getting faster and my iRating has been in an upward trend lately, it’s a big boost. :)

I lost four incident points total and set my fastest lap on lap six. It was my first time lapping under three-minutes in a race and was a 2:59.933.

2 thoughts on “2008S2 Week 11 – Skip Barber Race Series – VIR

  1. hehe, yeah. That accident taught me a lot and I got my first win in the next race! Made no errors at all. :)

    Was great fun, thanks for racing clean. :)

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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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