Going Faster with iRacing!

I’ve been logging into the iRacing service almost every night since my last racing-related post. Over the period, I’ve got into TimeTrials and achieved a high enough safety rating to be ready for Oval license promotion by the end of the month.

It can get a little boring circling a small oval like Lanier or South Boston every day in the same fixed car setup to try shave tenths of seconds (or even milliseconds) off lap times. Luckily as your safety rating and license improve, more options open up like StreetStock time trials so I tried my hand at that. I also added some Road TimeTrials into the mix.

iRacing events since June 25 2011

On the small ovals, I’m maybe .5 seconds off the leaders. It’s a large amount considering I am struggling to improve my fastest lap time by even a tenth of a second and in order to be close to the “aliens” (fastest drivers) you have to consistently put in 10 fast laps in succession.

As an example, my fastest lap on Lanier Speedway in the Legends is now 15.959 seconds. This is an improvement of 7 hundredths of a second since 27th of June and I’ve done hundreds of laps trying to improve the time.

For Road TimeTrials, the skill gap is magnified (and it may be the same story on longer ovals when I get to them): now we’re talking about 6 seconds difference between my best lap and the fastest average by the aliens and I’m struggling to find tenths of a seconds per lap or hit my current personal best on a consistent basis.

I’m not complaining. I love the challenge. It’s really satisfying to hook up a good lap and maintaining concentration and accuracy long enough to post a good time-trial result is very pleasing indeed. If you’d told me a few months ago that I’d be pleased to knock a hundredth of a second off my fastest lap time or fastest average, I’d have laughed you out the room but nowadays it’s a true achievement.

some recent iRacing awards showing how much I've been driving lately

Given I’m so far off the pace and the training resources I had were either too condensed (iRacing driving school videos on the site) or way over my head (e.g. the car setup sections in the iRacing Paddock book by R Bryden), I ordered Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving by The Skip Barber Racing School.

Received the book today. Have just finished the intro. So far it’s looking to be a good read. Really hoping it will help me go faster. With the plethora of stats available on the iRacing service, I’ll sure find out soon enough!

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