closeThis post was published 17 years 9 months 23 days ago.
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Note: This post was created 4/9/2010 about a race which happened on 6/4/1999. 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 eight, but issues with the server meant it became round six. I had missed round two at Zandvoort.

This was the fourth 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, second-place at the Nurburgring, fourth at Monaco and at Rouen in this Eagle-Weslake only event I would start second with a 1:59.81. Paul Godfrey got pole with a 1:59.68.

I got an excellent start but lost second to Matteo Calestani into turn one. Matteo tried to pass Paul into the hairpin and it didn’t work out, for Paul at least. I moved into second while Matteo took the lead.

I felt a little faster than Matteo and closed in on him over the next lap, but pushing too hard on lap two I put two wheels on the grass… I slid into the chicane and t-boned Matteo. We both fell far down the order. I stopped and waited after I got going, then thinking I had let Matteo by started going again (though it turns out that it wasn’t him I let by!) I was now down in 11th place.

I set about my way and charged through the field, setting the fastest lap of the race – 2:00.01 – in the process. I had engine damage and pitted mid-way through the event and made a few mistakes here and there that kicked up plenty of dirt, but eventually held third-place and was delighted by my comeback drive.

Unfortunately, the engine demon struck again and I had my second (this time terminal) engine failure of the race towards the end of lap 15. I tried to coast to the pits like I had at Silverstone but it wasn’t to be, I had to quit. I finished in seventh place, three laps down. I really didn’t understand why I couldn’t get the engine to the end of the race while other people could!

The race was won by John Simmons.

Watch on Youtube.

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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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