Wednesday, 5 November 2014
iRacing: F*"$ing turn 9
I'm writing this post directly after my last race, I'm still absolutely furious with myself... and that bloody turn 9!
So here's what happened, I went back for another race, I started in 9th out of 11 people. I didn't qualify, but when that happens (as I understand it) is, those who did qualify go ahead based on their times. Those that didn't are placed on the grid according to their iRating.
So, the lights go green, I get a great start and manage to jump a couple of cars at the first corner by taking a wide line thus giving me the inside line on the next corner which leads onto a nice straight. So far so good, there are (unusually) no big incidents at the first corner, I think I saw one person spin off at the second turn, but otherwise it was a clean get away.
We all settle into our positions, I think by now I was up into 7th. I just try to take it easy, avoid any trouble and get myself into a rhythm. As the next couple of laps unfold, a couple more drivers lose control giving me some free positions. Up to 5th and other than my good start, I haven't really had to do anything other than stay on the track!
I'm now following another car, and I'm pretty close. I'm trying to keep a safe distance, but it's clear that I am faster than he is. The thing is, we're racing for position, and he doesn't want to give it up without a fight... I'm not really ready for a fight this early in the race so I just hold my position.
On a couple of corners he's a lot slower than I am and as a result I have to hit my brakes pretty hard to avoid rear ending him. I keep it clean though, and just sit behind him. My presence is obviously starting to make him nervous and he's getting a bit wild on his exits. The thing is, I'm equally as nervous behind him!
Eventually he goes wide on a corner and I am able to sail past to take 4th place, now I'm getting REALLY nervous! I've never been so far up the field before... 3rd position isn't too far away and now that I'm clear of the previous car I'm able to close the gap over the next lap and a half. By this point it feels like I've been racing for hours, but a glance at my OSD shows it's only lap 5 of 10.
Now I'm sat behind third and my pulse is really racing, I don't want to screw this up! I've also got the guy I overtook before in my rear view mirror. Again, I don't want to do anything stupid, I just sit behind him and stay safe.
Another lap goes by and a couple of opportunities arise where I get better exits and could challenge for the next corner. I don't, because I'm a chicken. As every corner goes by, I'm getting more and more nervous. I really don't want to mess up now, this is going to be an awesome finish for me at this stage, there are 4 laps to go. Just take it easy!
Then, third place gets loose on his exit of turn 7 and I get a clean one, I've got better acceleration and before I know it I'm right along side him with the inside line into turn 8. Unless I brake hard and give it up, there's no way he can keep his position. So I take the corner and he does the sensible thing and falls in behind me.
This is the turn that screwed me over in the last race...
Now I'm off line on my exit from turn 8, but I'm in 3rd! THIRD PLACE... While my mind is whirling with a mixture of excitement, nerves and adrenaline I miss my braking point and totally lose it in turn 9! Before I can blink my car is into the wall again.
Unlike the last time, the car is totally wrecked, I can't limp back. I have to call for a tow back to the pits. This takes about 2 minutes even though I'm just a few hundred yards away. Then I have to wait for the crew to fix the damage, another couple of minutes!
Finally I'm released, and now in 9th position (10th and 11th had obviously quit earlier due to having their races ruined). All that good work is lost and in my anger I manage to forget the pit lane speed limit. So I'm duly given a 15s stop/go penalty for that infringement. The temptation to rage quit at this point is very strong. I'm sure I've ruined my safety rating due to my crash and I have no hope of catching anyone. But I figure I might as well finish the race, the practise is all good.
So there it is, I had what could have been the most amazing and exciting blog post about how I finished 3rd! As it is, it's a tale of woe and I'm left feeling really annoyed with myself.
The thing that has struck me the most though, is how genuinely nervous I got racing that far up the pack. I rarely experience nerves, but this meant something. If I'd held that position, which I'm sure I would have done had I not got my line wrong from the overtake. If I'd just got out of turn 9 cleanly, I could have carried on racing at a reasonably comfortable pace for me and been faster than the cars behind me. I really could have had a third place finish!