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Note: This post was created 4/10/2010 about a race which happened on 6/18/1999. 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 ten, but issues with the server meant it became round eight. I had missed round two at Zandvoort and seven at Spa.

This was the fifth 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 in the next race at Zandvoort.

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, second at Rouen and at Watkins Glen I would start second with a 1:05.79. Aubrey Windle took pole in the Lotus with a 1:05.77 – so I was just 0.02s off pole!

It’s funny because watching this replay I realized something about Paul Godfrey that I had wondered about at the time: At the time (in 1999) I felt, perhaps incorrectly, like Paul didn’t like me and after watching this server replay I can probably see why. I had a pretty good memory of this race and I remembered the incident which took Paul from the lead very well…

Because this race happened during the GPL patch fiasco (a multiplayer patch was released for GPL which for a little while totally screwed things), the multiplayer code was terrible at this stage and you basically had to give the position to anybody who got alongside you or risk contact. You can see some of the effects of it in this replay, you can actually see me driving through Paul’s car with no apparent effect to either his car or mine too!

Anyway, I got a good start, but dropped into third behind Aubrey and Paul. At the end of the backstraight Aubrey span into the hay and this left just Paul and I.

I followed behind Paul from midway through that first lap, matching him wheel for wheel, until lap 14 when I decided it was time to make my moves. I hoped to use a backmarker to block Paul in, but the backmarker let us by cleanly. I got alongside Paul into the final turn and couldn’t see him again until I saw his wheel on the right coming over to the left side I was running on. Looking at the replay I think it’s possible my car was invisible to Paul because he turned into me both in the final turn and on the front straight, the final contact sending him off the track.

So now I was in the lead. I completed another three laps before I went off at the same place Aubrey had on the first lap, ending my race.

The race was won by Richard Busch in the Eagle.


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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