I hadn’t run any races at all during week one (moving house will do that for you), but decided that this season, for the first time since 2008, I intended to regularly run at least one series. As things stood, the Chevy Monte-Carlo SS was my favorite car in iRacing so it made sense for me to make sure that series would count! As things stood at the start of Week 2 I was already 94 points behind.
I did not qualify prior to the event and this put me 6th in the starting lineup with the number 6 race car. Theoretically I should be finishing in 6th place if the iRating is functioning properly as those with lower numbers should be faster than I am.
I got a good start but being on the outside knew I would have to lose some positions on the inside soon. I noticed a gap behind the inside car forming so around the first turn made sure to let him by so I could drop to the inside in 7th-place.
By lap 2 I had worked my way underneath the 6th-place car and started trying to work on the car ahead. He was car #7 so I expected to be fairly evenly matched.
I was pushing hard and had noticed that I was up to half a car width closer to the inside kerbing than other cars were running. I felt this risk worth it as there’s a lot of time to be gained running a slightly shorter circle, but on lap 6 it would bite me as I clipped the kerb and quickly found myself under pressure from the car behind.
By the end of lap 7 I was back in 7th and told myself to work on not making the same mistake again. I settled in and ran in 7th-place until lap 16 when I’d closed up right behind the man in 6th. I noticed I had a lot better mid-turn speed and was working hard to capitalize on that when I tapped the car ahead and saw his back end step out… I lifted and waited, hoping he would gather it back up so I wouldn’t feel so bad – and thankfully saw him get back in the groove. I gave him a bit of room and time to get back into a rhythm before closing back in again.
By lap 20 I had settled into a really good pace, I’d also started getting perilously close to the kerbing again but the car felt so good in that groove, I decided to keep it going again.
It took another two laps before I got close enough to make a move on the car ahead. With my car running so low on the track and the car ahead running high, I was actually able to make an extremely easy pass, moving into 6th.
For the next 28 laps I was defending my position, trying to make as few mistakes as possible. The car I’d passed on lap 22 stayed with me extremely tightly until the raced ended on lap 50, but he could not pass.
I set a 15.758 laptime during the race, which looking back on it makes my 6th-place kind of disappointing. I feel that if I had qualified I could have really scored a lot more points. I scored 64 points, which compares to the 101 scored by the highest scorer in my division for the week. Still, I was happy. I had good pace, I had a clean race with no incidents and I’d put a score on the board.
I did apologise to the person I tapped during my race, he said he didn’t actually think I’d hit him, but I had seen a zero-point contact penalty notification so knew I had…