Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Silverstone, the Skip Barber, and the death of common courtesy

There are seriously times I think iRacing just isn't worth the time and effort. You can say what you like about AI, but at least it gets out of the damn way when it should.

I went to the time and trouble of qualifying - which is another bone of contention right there, why on earth do fast guys not bother and annoy everyone else by moving through the field at the start? - and put in a mediocre time. Silverstone is not a track I'm overly familiar with. I'm swamped at the start. I have no idea how to start well. People push past in cars made out of cardboard. I don't have the courage to do that. I'm looking at a poor finish, but it's my poor finish.

And then, with four laps to go, I'm coming around a right hander. It's either bridge or the corner after bridge. The spotter warns me about a car in the dirt. As I round the corner he's in the middle of the track, moving slowly. There's plenty of room on the racing line, so I go right. For whatever reason he decides, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was trying to make it easy for me, he moves right, too.

The end result is I have to jump out of the way, spin to avoid him, and, well, it's pointless to continue at that stage. I quit out. Absolutely pointless to restart it because I'll be tail end charlie with no hope with four laps to go to improve my position.

All he needed to do was stick to the middle of the track. There was plenty of room on either side. And he was going at the speed of a sloth.

I know it's painful to lose places like that, but you screwed up - don't ruin someone elses race in your frustration.

Having said that, I don't know if it's iRacing in general, or just the Skip Barber series. I have to say right here and now that I'm becoming totally frustrated with the experience. I'm not the kind of person to stack up a million races a week. I don't have the time. I will stretch it to do two in two series at most. And that's it. So when I'm taking out by someone not following the basic courtesies then that kicks the stool out from under the whole thing.

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