A year ago, I did a blog describing how my first 50 days have compared between 2020 (first year) and 2021 (second year) and what I got up to in those 50 days.
2020 - 2021:
Had I returned to University, I would have started on the 19th September, 2022.
A week prior to this, on the 12th September, 2022, over a phone call, I'd be given the choice of either:
A) Re-Taking my entire second year B) Re-Taking the courses I had failed in the second year.
2020 was already difficult enough. I only failed Public Affairs (politics etc.)
I don't know if it was the fact that everything was online, or I just got on/understood the work much better - or indeed it was the "easy" first year to get people enticed.
As far as I can remember, come the end of Year 2 (May '22), I only passed two (possibly) courses. The issue was that I couldn't re-take Year 2 and study Year 3 simultaneously - there simply wasn't time (lecturers have lives too!)
It left me in a difficult position - because, admittedly, I loved Uni - Wolverhampton was picturesque, I had a daily walk, I got the chance to live independently, the 3 Years (+ another one if I had done a masters) meant that I didn't have to stress about moving out.
I think it boiled down to two main things.
1) I have NO self motivation - I could procrastinate for years on end - and University is very much "self-dependent".
2) The work changed. Year 1 was very much about writing reports and was very much theory/writing based - Year 2 (with the easing of the restrictions) was very much practical based - and I've found out about myself that I don't like interviewing people.
If I failed Year 2, then what did Year 3 have in store - hell, what did the Masters have in store?
Sorting My Life Out.
The fortnight of the 5th - 19th September were probably some of the lowest months of my life.
Week 13 was going abhorrently (unenjoyable races)* The Queen passed, my PC stopped working and I was informed that I had failed my University Course.
Four problems, four different solutions.
But first, I had to end the week.
I participated in the London To Brighton Off-Road bike ride - which was nice - it got me outside and it took my mind off things - and I beat my time by about 1hr 30/2 hours, so that was nice - and there were actually cyclists behind me, so another major win there too.
It was difficult though, as it was likely the last ever Bathurst 1000km on iRacing using the current-gen Supercars (Holden Commodore and Ford Mustang) before they are replaced with GT4-esk Mustangs and Camaros (nothing too Aussie about them).
Week 13 (W = Day)
*W1 - Enjoyable (Le Mans)
W2 - Started P4 (second row) - Finished 19th due to jump start (Spa)
W3 - Great race at @ Road Atlanta, marred by the day's news (Queen passed)
W4 - Was crashed off the line (Rudskogen)
W5 - Boring race (Twin Ring)
W6 - Missed due to PC launching for 10hrs
W7 - Decent race, marred by news I failed Uni course (Road America)
Due to it being the Queen's funeral (After 10 official days of mourning), I delayed going to the job-centre until the following day.
On Tuesday (20th), I attended the Job-Centre and, I suppose "get on the ladder to a better future" - they were INCREDIBLY friendly and VERY helpful - I entered not knowing WHAT to expect - and I left with a stride in my step.
They first took my details and got me onto Universal Credit before organising a "Commitment Meeting" the following Week.
The following week started well - I met my "work coach" (I think that's what they call them), I filled out more details, and we narrowed down exactly what jobs/type of work I was looking for (retail etc, not carpentry/mechanical or something hands-on).
Upon coming home, I took my PC to Currys to see why it would fail to boot (Blue Screen Of Death type thing) - and it turned out that my E: Drive had broken and all my data on E: had been lost.
Upon coming home, I walked among the debris-field and took stock of the damage/s (files I had lost) - fortunately, it was mostly steam games (easily re-downloadable - game save-data is elsewhere), Replays (didn't watch them anyway ) and some other files I'm currently living (just fine) without.
All they had to do was remove the E: Drive and she fired straight back up.
On the 28th September, it was Week 3 of the iRacing Season, and my first race of the season/since the PC died.
That season (after a mighty successful ROAR Before The 24 bid), I decided to do GT4.
6th (Thoroughly Enjoyable battle)
21st (Single Split)
8th (Shared race with Dominik)
23rd (Didn't Qualify)
DNE - Pitch black and I couldn't even drive the track in the day.
(Oooh! Fancy table! Look at me!)
My mood was improving by the day - having news of The Queen not constantly in the news also helped matters.
+ The national week of mourning had passed (we could all move on)
+ My PC was back in working order (meaning iRacing & Blogs) + I had booked tickets to go and see Tom Grennan perform in 2023
+ I had a short-term fix for my future (Universal Credit helping me financially and with where to start looking/applying for jobs - and anything else I needed)
+ The GT4 Challenge was turning out an absolute blast after a dreary last season and woeful Week 13.
Universal Credit understood that even as my nearest Job-Centre, they were still 30 mins + away, so on every other week, I'd have a phone call, so I wouldn't have to drive to Newport weekly.
During this week's meeting, I asked Universal Credit/The Jobcentre if they could have a look at my CV and have a discussion/review of it with me.
On iRacing, things were going from "well" to "immense" as myself and an American friend of mine (made friends through Kabort) managed to somehow finish 2nd place at the iRacing Petite Le Mans - my first special event podium - and something I'm going to keep close for a very long time.
On the 10th October, I returned to Newport and had a very insightful conversation about my CV - Instead of the age old "it needs work" - they told me exactly what I needed to do to it to improve it/make it appealing to employers.
For the second weekend in a row, I had a thoroughly enjoyable race.
Since it was the final round of the Nurburgring Endurance Championship, myself and Dominik (German driver I've become very good friends with) decided to take the GT4 out for a spin and had one of the most chaotic, yet enjoyable races we've ever had - finishing in 5th in class after starting 4th in class.
The plan is to definietly do GT4 in NEC next year.
The 17th October was when things got a little bit hectic.
Between the 17th - 23rd October was an iRacing special event called the "SCCA Run-Offs", and in so many words:
The drivers with the Top 40 most points at the end of the week do a race
There were about 8 different series you could enter. (you could enter multiple)
At first, I dismissed it, knowing I wouldn't be in the Top 40 - as I knew that people would be doing every race they could to score points - but it turned out rather unexpectedly.
As Wednesday is my weekly race-day, I decided that (since there weren't too many entries), after my weekly GT4 race, I'd try and enter the SCCA Run-Offs for the GT4 series.
My weekly GT4 race went...mediocre - it was my first race racing in the same race/split as Dominik - he finished 3rd, I finished 8th after losing 3 positions due to running deep at a corner - the rest of my race was clawing back positions.
The SCCA race was...bizarre - to say the least.
The catch was that if there was less than 7 entries, the race wouldn't be official - and no points would be scored.
Races were at set times during the day (or night) - and being the Sports Car Club Of America (SCCA) and the track being American, meant that the majority of the entries were from America - and the "wave" of activity came during the 10pm or 2am session.
As I raced (the GT4 race) at noon (GMT), the race went unofficial, and I saw no reason to race (there was one other entry, he left).
I then entered the 10/11pm race and finished 10th/12th (1 DNF, 1 DNS)
By the end of this, I was 41st - If I scored just a couple of points, and one of the drivers just ahead of me didn't, I'd be in the Top 40.
I knew time was tight. I was out for the rest of the week (until "The Big Race Day")
I entered the 2/3am session - finished last (of the runners) and ended up in 48th. I was fine with that.
I had been absolutely decimated on both occasions and it wasn't in front of a live broadcast/crowd.
I went to sleep that night happy knowing that I tried my best, and that the broadcast wouldn't have a Rover Metro trundling around the circuit.
For the next four (now five) Weeks, I had weekly trips to the mainland.
(20/10/2022) - W1 Seeing friends/helping friends out on the mainland
(27/10/2022) - W2 Major Service for car (that week, I attended a careers fair). Universal Credit phoned whilst I was at car service, their next availability was the following Week (W3)
(04/11/2022) - W3 - Went to both Woking and Essex Fireworks - Woking, my former home-town, Essex, where my friends live.
We went as a group of 4 (+2 infants) and it honestly made me feel so lucky to have a group of friends I could go out to an event like this with - since secondary school, I always felt like the weird outcast, but the fact that there was 4 people who were enjoying a night out with me (no alcohol!) was honestly such a nice feeling - and the fireworks were one hell of a show too.
An "acquaintance" of ours (from the local area) also joined us for the fireworks.
The Essex fireworks were a little more "difficult" as we left a bit late and parking was practically non-existent. We finished the night with a McDonalds.
Earlier in the week, I went to Newport to show the jobcentre/Universal Credit my CV, and my work-coach was impressed with it (or acted impressed), and gave the thumbs-up to start "going wild with sending applications" (my words, not theirs).
(11/11/2022) - W4 - This Week's adventure takes us out of the country into Wales for the Race Of Remembrance.
This year will be my 4th in attendance - attending in both 2017 & 2018, before attending in 2021 to do a piece on The University Of Wolverhampton Racing Team for a university assignment.
It'll be the first time since 2018 that I'm attending as purely a spectator (not lugging camera equipment around) - 2020 being the only year not run due to world events.
As nice as GT3 racing is, it's really refreshing to see some cheap, but cheerful shitboxes (MX5's, Citroen C1's, Toyota Aygo's, Caterhams etc.) being ripped around a picturesque Welsh Circuit for 24 Hours (x2 lots of 12hrs) all whilst supporting Mission Motorsport - a charity for injured service men and women.
Unfortunately, this year, there's no Volkswagen Caddy Van or Honda CRV - but there's a Honda Civic FN2 (favourite Gen of Civic) and a handful of Lotus Elise's - so should be good watch.
Rain is...almost definite - which, whilst not nice for me - spices up the action on track.
Back on iRacing, and on the very same weekend as the Race Of Remembrance, it's the last endurance special event of the year: The iRacing Suzuka 10 Hours - early sign-ups show that we're looking at a minimalist entry list, even one team looking a stretch at the moment.
2021's rendition of the event (the debut) saw just two entries. Hopefully we'll get a bumper entry at the 2023 iRacing Daytona 24 Hours after Kabort has a well-earnt Christmas break.
The Sprint Into Christmas
With 50 days gone, there are about 50 days until Christmas that remain (46) - and it appears that I'm going to be flat out right until December!
11th - 14th Nov: Race Of Remembrance
18th Nov: (BBC) Children In Need
19th - 20th Nov: European Endurance Series 6hr of Le Mans (Saturday Race)
19th Nov: Newport "Day Of Christmas" 20th Nov: Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Season Finale)
20th Nov: Comicon
25th Nov: Matilda The Musical, IMSA E @ Imola & VRS E at Indy Road
30th Nov: Week 12, GT4 @ Laguna Seca
1st Dec: "Blog A Day" starts
3rd - 4th Dec: Final 3 Permit Sessions (Winter N24) - After the 3rd session, if you're not in the Top 15 (in class), you can't race in the Winter Nurburgring 24 Hours
6th - 12th Dec: Week 13
13th Dec: Season 1, 2023 kicks off on iRacing
16th Dec: Avatar Releases
17th - 18th Dec: WINTER NUBURGRING 24 HOURS 2022
24th - 25th Dec: Christmas
Exciting times, let's 'ave it!