Note: This post was created 4/9/2010 about a race which happened on 5/14/1999. IGPS was the first simracing league I ever joined and this was my second season. It should be noted that the video is created from the server replay and that my ping to the server was probably about 0.3 seconds at the time (I was located in England, the server was somewhere in the United States). This meant that the movements of the car were exaggerated and at times unrealistic to the view of the server and other drivers (some others also had a ping over 0.3s – meaning an in-race lag of 0.6s or more was common). The basic rules of the league (which changed for this second season) were that you could reset (get a fresh car) only if you did it in pitlane.
This race was supposed to be round six, but issues with the server meant it became round four. I had missed round two at Zandvoort.
This was the second race I ever did using manual gears, the only problem was that I was doing it wrong and had no idea. I was ‘flat shifting’ – which means I was not lifting off the throttle when I clicked the upshift button on my wheel. This led to a lot of engine failures and a lot of frustration until I discovered my error later in the season.
The switch to manual gears had really unlocked my speed. My first ever race with manual gears and I put the Honda on pole position at Silverstone, in this second race I qualified second on the 14-mile Nurburgring with an 8:29.44 – a very fast time as at this point in GPL history, the world record for the Honda was 8:17.
I got a great start and pulled alongside Torsten Kuhnel into turn one. I made a clean pass but (probably due to lag because he was in Germany) Torsten hit me in the rear after I’d made the pass. This sent me onto the grass and sent Torsten into John Simmons. As we exited the start/finish complex Paul Godfrey led from John Simmons in the Brabham, with me recovering in third, but John and Paul made contact, spinning Paul and putting John into the lead. I followed John for a few turns but he eventually spun, putting me into the lead and dropping John down the order.
I made a few minor mistakes on the first lap, but crossed the line in the lead setting a time of 8:55.71. I was so far ahead that I couldn’t even hear other cars coming into the start/finish complex before I left it.
Towards the end of lap two and a long, long way ahead of anybody else I had what I would describe as a ‘nothing’ off, sending me into the fence. I lost a wheel and going into the next turn slid into the hedges. I was not happy to have thrown away what felt like a certain victory and at this time I still had not realized I was shifting incorrectly as the engine evidence had not yet built up in my mind.
After the race I found that my turn one pass had resulted in a bad pass penalty and a deduction of 20 points. At the time I didn’t have the replay to prove my case, but looking at the server replay John had when administering (used to make the video below) I’m pretty confused at how he could say that was my fault… Oh well!
The race was won by Paul Godfrey in the Cooper.
I grew up in a household where waking up at 2am to watch races in Australia or Japan were the norm. We were huge fans of motor racing, so playing racing games seems like a natural extension of that.
My first racing game addiction was with Geoff Crammond's 'Formula 1 Grand Prix' released in 1992 on the Commodore Amiga. This game kept me going for a long time thanks to various editing tools which were available, and I continued to play it until I owned a PC. After that, I played through most of the Papyrus and Image Space Inc. titles, but have most fond memories of Grand Prix Legends.
I founded a major sim racing site that led to my employment at iRacing, Image Space Inc. and later on, Studio 397. The difficulty in working in the industry is how little time you often have to play your own games. Quite often I escape with space games instead!
Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.
He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.