Wednesday, 15 October 2014

First track attempt at blipping the iRacing Ruf C-Spec

The plan was to spend a couple of weeks working on blipping. Yes I have been using auto blip this season. In my defence - not that I really feel the need to defend the practise - I wanted to get the basics down of actually driving the Ruf C-Spec before I put time into working out how to blip the thing.

At the weekend I had a brief look at it on the Centripetal track. Which is basically a glorified skid pan. That made me realise - after getting a basic feel for not having auto blip and auto shift on, because they come as a package - that I really should practise on an actual track.

And so last night I put about an hour in at Oulton Park. Partly because it was the last track I drove in the car, but also because I just love that track.

It's still a work in progress, but I did find it changes down with a small amount of throttle, to the point I'm not really aware I'm doing it. But that comes from my Skip Barber experience. The only real issue I had was at turn 16 - the vicious slow speed right hander before the start and finish straight. The car could be a little unpredictable through there, and I'm guessing that's because it really does need a larger blip in heavy braking sections.

Overall I was quite happy with the progress. Another tenth from my personal best to 1.39.3, and my optimal down to 1.38.1. Quite a discrepency, but that tells its own story about my lack of consistency. Those two chicanes continue to alternately trip me up.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

iRacing Ruf C-Spec race at Oulton Park

I really thought I was going to better a 1.29.5 this week. To be absolutely honest I did - but that was only with a 1.29.4. That's surprising given the fact I have a 1.28.3 optimal, and I'm never that far off my optimal times. A half second is probably about the average.

But that just goes to show how I struggle with consistency around Oulton Park. If I don't mess up the first chicane I mess up the second. And when I rarely get them both right I mess up another sector that I've previously been pretty good with.

It's not that I don't know how to drive the track. The optimal speaks for itself. It's simply that chicanes are still a work in progress for me. And the only way to fix that is practise, practise, and more practise.

Having said all that, I did get my mandatory race in on Saturday evening. After about fifteen minutes of practise just to get back into the proper mindset I found myself in the second split of a two split race. Here's what happened.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

iRacing, and parking the Ruf C-Spec at Brands Hatch

At this point I'd love to post a race video from Brands Hatch. I love that track. Whatever car you're driving it's a thing of beauty. But I'm not going to post a race video, even though I did enter a Ruf C-Spec race yesterday.

The reason is simple. I parked it after twelve laps. After several laps trying to pass a much slower car - you could argue he would have been smarter to have let me pass rather than hold us both up to be caught from behind, but he was well within his rights, and I just couldn't get a good enough run out of certain corner exits to make a pass stick - I was jumped after a small mistake and at that point I resolved to do another lap to confirm half distance and then pull over.

It's no secret iRacing physics are, well, sub standard. In particular grip on the rear wheels has always been poorly modelled. If you're familiar with the iRacing forums you'll know what I'm referring to. As the tyre model has progressed this has been improved, but it's taking far too long to resolve it.

What makes that worse is clear weather. You really need overcast to get it feeling planted. You might think iRacing upon recognising that would avoid clear weather until they have this dealt with. Not a bit of it. And that's my real criticism of iRacing. They're just constantly asleep at the wheel. There's a real lethargy about their development that can be excruciating. And that's bad enough, but they don't seem to have any awareness of the issues members experience. We just have to soldier on. But that level of apathy is contagious, and that's what had me park it at Brands Hatch.

If iRacing doesn't appear to care, why should their members?