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I was pretty excited about this race. I know the track, I know the car, what could go wrong? Not much, really. My race went OK.

The pre-race and the participant numbers were marred by race joining issues. The league admin had said that we would go with 8 runners, and that’s what we got.

Qualifying I don’t feel I ever put down a very good lap, but I was very happy to be starting in 4th. My time was 1:21.840 compared to the Pole by Joern Hoormann of 1:20.015.

I got a great start, better than the 2nd-place starter Rob James ahead of me, but was crowded out and unable to carry my speed. I held position around the first lap, benefiting from the spin of a closing Neville Britton behind me to end the lap. On lap 2 I gained 3rd-place from a spinner, but lost that place again on lap 4 after losing momentum when I ran a little wide.

By lap 6 I was starting to settle into a rhythm but spun coming off a kerb when running a little wide. It sent me gently into the inside armco and lost me a bunch of time. I had to reverse away from the barrier and eventually got going down in 7th.

My spin had flatspotted my tires and I could feel vibrations in the wheel. I also started to slide a little into braking zones, it felt like I had lost a massive amount of grip.

I tried to settle myself back down, started to push hard to catch the couple of cars who had passed me. I caught them very quickly, but found it a lot harder to pass than I expected. I am not sure if catching them had worn my tires out, but the car felt awful.

I watched as Britton passed Nils Jordan, then just drove away from me. I had tried to follow him through, but just couldn’t find the grip to make it stick. I felt stuck behind Jordan, but also didn’t have the pace in the right places to be able to pass him.

I eventually worked out where I could make a move, so tried to setup a pass into turn one… It probably was a bit of a dive bomb, but it worked because Jordan was aware enough to give me space and I slipped through, gaining 6th on the very same lap that Britton retired, handing me a 5th place that I would hold to the finish (despite a couple of near misses with the barrier on horribly worn tires).

Fin Sta Driver Interval Led Fast Lap
1 1 Joern Hoormann 26 laps 13 1:20.645
2 2 Rob James +8.871 13 1:20.551
3 3 Christian Baxmann +26.526 0 1:21.395
4 6 Peter Ridley +56.292 0 1:22.536
5 4 Timothy Wheatley +1 Lap 0 1:22.497

Sorry about the audio. I didn’t realize I had double recorded the same audio in the same track until I was done, and I wasn’t going to capture all the footage again. :)

You’ll notice I recorded myself racing this time. Not sure why, just thought it’s an interesting angle to show. But I didn’t want to just show a single screen, so I ran the race using three screens and SoftTH. Worked quite nicely, though I really need three monitors of the same size, and maybe a racing cockpit rather than a desk, to take full advantage! My video card is more than capable.

I can’t say I am happy with my performance in this one, but in a best case scenario I think I only would have finished one position higher.

Next race is at Poznan, I don’t have much experience there. I did accidentally practice there instead of Putnam a couple of weeks back, so maybe that’ll help!

Official league race report.

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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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