Updated: Jan 29
I hope you are all well!
It's been a while since I've written a blog and it's certainly high time that I did.
A lot has happened since I did my last blog, so let's get straight into it.
Wow. Writing this on the 24th January, quite a lot of time has passed - and quite a lot has changed!
After doing the Nurburgring Screenshots on the 11th, the 12th was my weekly race-day.
That day, it the GT3 Challenge was at Silverstone. At 983 iRating (after the success of Philly) I was hoping to get quite a lot closer to 1000 iRating.
After 30 minutes of practice, I was pretty comfortable and confident at Silverstone was ready to attack it with some great force.
Okay, the great force was...not as much as I was hoping - but I had just graduated into the penultimate split (as opposed to bottom split), so the competition was naturally going to be tougher than before.
I qualified a mediocre 11th of 12 whom did laps - the race was long(ish) and there was plenty of time to make passes.
With three laps to go after a tightly-fought race, I had made it up to 8th place...and then made this incredible pass....
That would have been enough for 7th place...but I still had a looooong lap to go.
I'd eventually spin into either Brooklands or Vale - I can't remember which - although I wasn't hit, I lost pretty much all the progres I had made and finished the race in 10th (from 11th) - very irritating indeed.
I gained a measley 4 iRating - had I stayed in 7th, I would have been looking at double digits - this not quite being enough to reach 1K - but certainly a great deal more helpful than the 4 iRating I got for 10th.
13/01/2022 - 14/01/2022
Thursday and Friday were both INCREDIBLY productive, whilst the house was pretty much all but completed (in terms of boxes and unpacking), the garage was a different story - boxes piled for as high as the eye could see - on Thursday and Friday, I swiftly sorted these boxes and re-organised the garage to neaten it up a bit and have the main centre of the garage clear of clutter.
On the 13th, I also had a time-constrained exam for Media, News and Ethics. Under normal circumstances, it would be 2 hours, however given it was online, they gave us 72 Hours to complete it - I managed to complete the exam in the time allocated.
It wasn't only a good day for real Robin, Virtual Robin, who works for Löckelle Teardown Services also managed to pass some pretty darn difficult missions - spending hours wading through water to steal some very important documents!
With Teardown PT. 1 Complete and roughly 12 hours before the ROAR 24 (the lead up to the Daytona 24 Hours) I decide to test out the Honda Civic TCR, which is nice, but on hearing the Hyundai Elantra TCR, I'm pushed slightly towards the South Korean marque.
I did do a rather last-minute purchase, to see if it was any better - but the Elantra had one glaring issue: The dashboard.
After every shift, the screen/rev counter would flash red. I don't drive the Audi RS3 because of flashing displays, the Hyundai was swiftly loaded up onto a container ship thrown into full throttle and the captain and crew jumped overboard. So there's now a ship in the ocean at full throttle with no-one at the helm - either it'll get lost at sea, crash into an island or another ship - point being is I'm never going sea that Hyundai again - which is what I pretty much do with all of my unwise purchases.
Anyway, at about 00:04, I look at my other options - the three TCR's are out of the question due to various reasons (Audi & Hyundai flashing dash, Honda not overly pleasant to drive) - the BMW M4 GT4 understeers like a dog and has some SERIOUS downshift protection (you can't shift down into 3rd/2nd unless you are at like 0 RPM) - I didn't own the Cayman - and had already spent about $12.00 on a car - so that too was out - so, all that was left was the McLaren GT4 - it was a good looking car, had a lovely "whiny/whistle-y" engine noise and honestly felt better than any of the machinery I had previously driven.
Half an hour later, I was dead-set on driving the McLaren for the 2hr 25 minute race and asked for some setups...after PM'ing a couple of people, I was inundated with setups - 2 drivers sent 4 setups in total - 2 race setups, and 2 qualifying setups...it was going to be a long night...
After multiple hours, I found the setup I was going to use and was very comfortable with where all my reference points were.
The ROAR Before the 24 was about to become my first ever solo special event...
In short, it went absolutely sublimely - started much higher than I expected and finished in much the same way!
With the ROAR completed, it was time to look at the other events that weekend - on Friday I organised with Tom that I wanted to do the IMSA Endurance Series at Daytona (practice for the Daytona 24hrs) as well as the VRS E race at Silverstone - with only a single spin, I was pretty comfortable with Silverstone's layout/how to drive it in a Lambo.
It was also a second hit of nostalgia - I got it whilst practicing for the GT3 Challenge race and I'd probably get it again during the VRS Endurance race - there's something about racing at Silverstone in a GT3 car, knowing I've been to Silverstone and seen GT3 Racing on multiple occassions - it's weird - it almost "hits home" if you will.
At 4pm, as I wasn't doing any racing that evening, Will asked me to spot for him at his attempt at the ROAR Before the 24 - despite qualifying 3rd (better than me), he finished 4th - although this doesn't say anything as we were in two completely different splits against different skill-levels of competitors.
That evening, Tom told me he didn't feel up to do the VRS Endurance race at Silverstone - partially to do with focussing primarily on the Daytona 24 Hours and GT3 racing at Daytona.
Sunday rolled around - but there was no time for snoozing as there was races to be done!
The day's agenda was:
2pm - IMSA E (Endurance) @ Daytona
5pm - VRS E @ Silverstone
I had a slight problem with IMSA E, in the fact that two different people wanted to drive with me - but this was sorted about half an hour before the session opened as the second driver didn't manage to get the required licence in time and therefore couldn't compete - meaning me and Tom could race with no worries of "I wanna drive with you, but I also want to drive with him at the same time..."
In short, IMSA E went to shit. - Instead of explaining it, I'll just place a video of exactly what went down....
Following not long after this was VRS E at Silverstone - I've raced with Dominic Ryser on a couple occasions - most notably in the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours (*ahem*) and more importantly in the Charlotte 4hrs 2021 Special Event - he's one of the only Swiss people I know - and one of the friendliest.
On this occasion, he qualified us 26th and we finished a very respectable 9th - me being a healthy dose of +36 iRating, pushing me up to 1096 (he got +18 for his single stint at the start, I needed it more since he was already at 1.5K!)
It appears I don't have any screenshots from Silverstone, but with 11 incidents from me (off-tracks) and a single one from him - it's pretty fair to say it was a very clean event.
Unbeknownst to me, Monday 17th January, 2022 was my last Monday on the Isle Of Wight in quite some time
On this day, I updated a spreadsheet which contains all my iRatings since the day I was promoted to Class D - this being adding dates to iRating results - I know it sounds boring - and it probably was - but that's all I can remember.
I also made important dates more visible such as Highest iRating Per Season - don't worry, it gets more interesting..eventually.
The 18th was very much the same - but I woke up with a sudden realisation that I was about to be old....like 21 is a proper adult old. Terrifying.
Tom Wallace had also been on iRacing for 5 months - now there's an interesting fact.
19/01/2022 - MA BIRTHDAY!
Right! Onto a considerably more interesting day! My Birthday!
I actually remembered what happened on this day!
After waking up and going downstairs, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a small but sweet pile of presents - at 21, to still get presents on one's birthday was incredibly nice to see and nice to see that the day was stilll celebrated, even if it was a much quieter affair.
This year, some clothing (jumper and joggers if I remember correctly - (I was VERY low on jogging bottoms that fit me and a large Nurburgring Rug that I had been asking for for a year or two.
After a brownie (baked by mum) I went back upstairs to attempt that week's GT3 Challenge race.
The race was held at Sebring and I had a little livery to go with the package.
This year and the last were the only two times I've raced on my birthday.
There's an unwritten rule on iRacing which says "don't race on a Tuesday" - not so much because of morals and ethics - but more due to the fact that it's the first race-day of the (iRacing) week and nobody's had a proper chance to practice the track/car combo - resulting in a poor standard of racing - last year, I did exactly this (because I was trying to get to 1K iRating) and I DNF'd from my Birthday Race after tangling with P3 - Let's hope the same doesn't happen today (19th).
It was a Wednesday, so that was a start.
I put in the lap of my life during qualifying - pushing as hard as I could and eventually qualified 5th.
After a decent start, P4 spins out along the back-straight (not the start/finish straight) before P3 then lets me by/has a poor run out of the final corner - by the 2nd lap I'm already in 3rd. I just had to keep it together.
Whilst I kept it together, there were others pushing on forward - like the Porsche behind me who managed to dive down the inside of me at turn one - two laps later, he'd spin up the rear tyres and get all out of shape - not spinning, but still allowing me past.
The very next lap he shook himself up, woke up and got down the inside of me at a different corner - Despite successfully passing him around one corner, following a straight, he'd get me back - this was turning into a very fun battle.
The driver in 5th was also looking very fiesty and after getting my slipstream on the backstraight (after being under my wing for a few corners, he too found a way past - down the inside at the penultimate corner.
Though I had a look on the start/finish straight - his defending was on point and he kept the position.
P3 would have another spin (a battle with the Lambo that had only just overtaken me) and I kept 4th until Lap 9 (the penultimate lap) when an Audi would get down my inside.
This result was pretty humorous as I qualified 5th and finished 5th in car #5 - it was meant to be!
It wasn't the world's most exciting race, but it was still fun - still fun to try and get back past the Porsche and challenge him - even if it led no-where.
Out of this race, I got +35 iRating which put me at a very decent 1131 iRating - breaking into the 1100's before uni kicked off! Nice!
That evening, my friends asked if I could come over and assist with moving some furniture - I agreed.
I've got a lecture, yet I still want to publish this blog, so, since it's the 26th January, and I have enough content for the next week of blogs - I will leave it here, and catch you very shortly.
I hope you've enjoyed the Blog.