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Before my race yesterday I had put in a 1:00.080 in qualifying… It wasn’t as fast as I had hoped, I wanted to get down into the 58’s or 59’s, but couldn’t. I joined the race yesterday and in a 14-car field would start 7th on the grid with an iRating that placed me 8th in terms of skill. If I finished in the position I had started, I would have been happy because a couple of days earlier I had made a mistake and hit someone in turn one – I really didn’t want that to happen ever again!

My start was a little slow in terms of reaction time and that is what probably saved me from becoming involved in a double-spin on the opening lap and opening turn. I just squeezed by and was delighted to see myself in 4th-place out of the turn.

Continuing to chase, I found myself running closely behind the man in 3rd and by the end of lap one felt myself in a position to make a move. The leader had spun on that first lap also, so my pass would be for 2nd! I tucked into his slipstream down the front straight and swung to the right attempting to out-brake him into turn one, but he closed the door aggressively and I had to back off… One lap later, he would lose the back end coming onto the same straight and I was able to drive by with my good exit.

I was able to hold position in 2nd and ran about two-seconds behind 1st and two-seconds infront of 3rd. A few laps later I noticed the #1 iRated driver coming up fast, he had moved into 3rd and was closing the gap to me, lap by lap. I pushed hard but eventually he got close enough and I just couldn’t hold him back anymore, he passed me under braking for turn one.

On lap nine I lost the back end under braking and although I attempted to recover quickly, the pack were right on me and I lost a position and was now 4th. I felt a little guilty because when I was still running slow, the people behind me were running two-wide and alongside me, that made three. The guy on the inside lost a few seconds after a little slide, but did get back on-track pretty quickly.

For the next ten laps I closed down on the man who had passed me after my spin. I was only about one-tenth faster so it was a real battle of consistency to get back on his tail. Neither of us put a wheel wrong for lap after lap and it was only when I got into his slipstream that I seemed much faster. He seemed to recognize this and when I approached his gearbox onto the front straight, he pulled aside and gave me the racing line into turn one. I was now 3rd.

Towards the end of the race, my good friend Damo was closing down on me, but he ran out of laps. :) I finished 2nd.

Sorry about the quality of this video, I forgot to setup the DVD-Ripping software that I use properly.

I had four incidents (for 5 points) in the race: I lost control on lap nine and went off-track (two of them over the kerbing onto the front-straight) on laps twenty-one, two and four while trying to keep ahead of Damo. My fastest lap was on lap twenty and was a 1:00.162.

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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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