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I have to say, I really enjoyed this race. I didn’t win, nor did I lead a lap, but I felt a lot more ‘in control’ than I had done previously at VIR and made only minor errors. I also managed to improve my iRating and battle with those holding a higher one.

I’d qualified earlier in the week with a 1:18.341 and having run a few races in the Skip Barber Race Series already, I knew I wasn’t having too much trouble with consistency, but wasn’t having much overall luck at the place either!

I joined today’s race just on the spur of the moment. There were 15 entries and this split the field into a race of 7 and a race of 8, I ended up in the field of 7. This left me feeling pretty good as just lately in the bigger fields I have been overwhelmed at the start and always seem to get passed by everybody… Smaller fields I seem to be more confident into the first turn and don’t usually lose as many positions.

The iRating was obviously working perfectly once again as the qualifying times of the three cars on the grid ahead were all higher – as was their iRating. I would be starting fourth in car #4.

I got a pretty good start and held fourth into turn one. As we came out of turn one the person ahead of me lost their connection and wouldn’t return until a lap later. This put me into third place.

For the next ten laps I was behind the man in second place, he seemed just slightly faster than me on race-pace and I consistently lapped about 0.1s slower, lap by lap. On lap eleven he spun into the final turn beneath the famous Virginia International Raceway’s oak tree and I was able to get by. He slowly closed me down again and we had a great little two-lap battle! My tyres were quite badly worn by this stage and I felt like I was sliding around on the track a lot more than normal… I half-expected for the man racing me to crash into the back of my car, but he reacted wonderfully, he slowed whenever I was slow, gave me room and I did the same whenever he got alongside. It was great fun!

A good race really helps you get over any issues you’ve had in your race week… It’s pretty funny how that can happen. Any bad race can be wiped from memory ten-times over by a good one. :)

My race was pretty clean all-in-all, I just ran wide (on the same turn) four times – all in the second half of the race when my tyres were going away – and I’m pretty happy with that. My fastest lap, which beat my qualifying time, was a 1:18.173.

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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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