A Very Merry(ish) Christmas And A Happy(ish) New Year!

Updated: Jan 10

Good afternoon, and as the title says, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!


I know it's late, but my goal for this blog is to leave as little as possible from 2021 to complete in 2022 - In an ideal world, that would just be university work and computer files - but I know there's going to be a little left in the "dust-trails" of the end of this year.


Wednesday 22nd December, 2021 - Advent Day 22: RACEDAY!


This Wednesday was my first Wednesday on the Island - which meant my first iRacing race-day on the island.


It's fair to say, that I had quite a lot of teething problems - and I probably should have been expecting these.


The first session I "joined", I joined at 2:48pm (for a 3:15pm start) - I practiced a bit and took a while to contemplate weather to start this race or not (as I usually jump on straight away at 2:45pm.


In the end, I decided to do the next round to allow me to have more laps getting comfortable to the car....unbeknownst to me (at the time) is that I left too late.


In the beginning (before the 22nd) I thought the entire half an hour session whilst the session is up, but session hasn't begun is purely open practice and doesn't count for anything - but it obviously does in the final two minutes.


As stated by rule 6.1.3. of the official sporting code "Anytime between the opening of registration and 2 minutes prior to the session start time, drivers may withdraw from the race session without Race Points or iRating penalty." - In the two final minutes (without a shadow of a warning) every driver registered for that session is drawn up and placed into a split - usually on iRating - but in rare circumstances like Week 13, it's done by time-joined.


No matter. I quit too late and iRacing gladly took 90 of my finest iRating - myself going from a very comfortable 1245 iRating to a mediocre 1155.


In that time, I had a lunch-break - and in that lunchbreak my dad asked permission to turn off the WiFi to plug it into somewhere new.


Whenever you do anything with the internet, even just blow on it, my computer usually has a melt-down - but strangely, when I came back to my computer, I still had internet access - weird - and it was the same WiFi that I had...interesting.


If the internet hadn't been disabled from whatever my dad did, it must be the new WiFi...right?


Obviously not - as when I jumped into my second attempt, I got until the sim put you into the ACTUAL race session before it said "Hold your horses sonny, you've got no secure WiFi Connection, how about you give this race a miss" and viola, just like that, another 90 iRating cruelly taken from me - let's just take it as a cracked drive-shaft.


SO! I restarted my computer and whilst I noticed there were 2-3 bars as opposed to 1, It still wasn't ringing from ear to ear saying "You can land an airbus using this WiFi!" (Blame Kevin Bacon).


No matter, I still joined a race and attempted to end the year on a high....

Turns out the only thing I'd be getting "high" on is frustration and bottom-split races.


After this last incident and now at an iRating of 982 (sub-1K for the first time since 31st January, 2021) I gave up on all things Zandvoort and promised that if I saw the track one more time, I'd unload Zandvoort Beach onto the circuit. #PettyThings.

Alas. Week 2 had gone far from planned and with Week 3 the final week of 2021 - I seriously needed a miracle.


By the end of my three attempts (3pm, 5pm, 7pm) it was about 8pm or so, and after dinner, I'd spend more time on my computer before heading to bed.


The next race following this would be on the 29th.


I was interested in doing the touring car series on this day, but sadly they were at Knockhill - exactly where the GT3 challenge was the previous week - so I gave this a miss.


Thursday, 23rd December, 2021 - Advent Day 23: Geeky Stuff.


I honestly don't know where the time has gone and how quickly it's flown by - but looking at my search history and realising I devoted a lot of time to different things (writing blogs, Kabort's Year In Pictures, making a map of where Kabort drivers are from) - with the additional planning of a 2022 End Of Year Meet-Up, it's now clearer where the time's gone.


As for the 23rd? Aside from the usual Blogging, Year In Pictures (album), a map of where KBM drivers were from, I also managed to update the Kabort website (www.kabortmotorsport.com) to reflect our new "circle-k" liveries Friday, 24th December 2021 - Advent Day 24: ADVENT!


After having a bit of a lie in, I was awoken by the surprise of Felix (my brother) poking his head past the door - I hadn't seen him in quite a long time, so it was certainly nice to see him - but it did massively scare me as I only just realised how little time I had to wrap my presents for the family.


As soon as he left the room I leapt to my feet and quickly wrapped my presents for them.


After this, I continued to work hard on the things I had been doing. (sorry, memory gets a bit fuzzy here!)


Saturday, 25th December, 2021 - CHRISTMAS DAY!

For the first time in 6 or 7 years, Christmas fell on a Saturday - which meant one thing - for a number of people on iRacing, Christmas would be spent not with family, but with those closest to them - their team-mates.


In Week 1 of the previous season, (2021, Season 4):

44 teams entered LMP1's, 276 entered LMP2's and 238 entered in GTE's... Christmas this year? 33 entered LMP1's, 149 entered LMP2's and

148 entered GTE's...Lower, but still interesting how many spend Christmas day on the sim.

~

I've been noticing over the last couple of years that Christmas has undoubtly changed - The Pandemic perfectly coincided with me "growing up a little", asking for less, receiving less and Christmas obviously being a little less of a massive affair, which I guess I'm okay with - because I've never asked for an Xbox, Playstation or Dog for Christmas.


This year was another quiet affair, with just the four of us (mum, dad, Felix and I) and a small tree (moving house and dealing with a real tree would be just too much!)


For Christmas, I got a BANNERS T-Shirt, a Tom Grennan T-Shirt with the lyrics to "I might" on it. This is one of my favourite songs of his - and it appears he's only done two versions - a "Live Version" in 2017, and an "Audio" version for his Lightning Matches album in 2018.


In addition to this, I also got a fiddley octagon, a plush Rhino I asked for and a model of Fangio's car inspired by Jim Bamber - a cartoon artist who always used to a little cartoon in Autosport before he passed.




^ Only 600 were made!


I also got a stick of deodorant and shower gel from a friend's mum.


I gave Felix a little plush rainbow bird, my mum a 2022 Coastline Calendar and the family a "Guess How Much I love you" 2022 Calendar.


We tried a few board-games, but my rather low intellect (in both maths and English) meant that these games "could have been more enjoyable"


In the virtual world, a new Demo of the Titanic simulator "Titanic: Honor And Glory" was released - and whilst spectacular to look at - and jealousy I couldn't have seen it for real - my 5+ year old computer was really struggling with the modern graphics of today - hopefully T:HG is alone in this department and I won't have to upgrade for the moment.


VRS Endurance was also at Zandvoort on this weekend, but my answer was a very definite NO.

---

Looking back, I never once realised it was the final Saturday of 2021. Interesting.


Sunday, 26th December, 2021 - Boxing Day


Sunday 26th was a pretty calm day and with a bit of coaxing the parents got me out on a walk - and it was an absolutely stunning seaside walk - it was just a shame that when I was finally really getting into it - and let my mind explore the deepest and darkest questions that life could throw at me. We'd return to the car and drive home shortly after.


Monday, 27th December, 2021

I honestly cannot remember what happened on the 27th - I think I just blogged and sorted out the team's year in pictures.


All I can remember is some time behind the 24th and 27th, Felix helpd me with my cable management...but setting here on New Year's day, it's looking a bit sorry for itself! Tuesday, 28th December, 2021


On Sunday night, we were told to wake up early the following morning as we were headed to our cousins place for lunch.


I can't exactly remember WHEN it was, but I woke up, had breakfast and we were shortly in the car.


The 1hr journey to Southampton also meant two things - Firstly, I had ridden on 2/3 of the possible routes between the Mainland and the Isle Of Wight - all that remains now is from Fishbourne - Portsmouth.


The 1 hour journey also meant that I could continue/get started on the massive blog back-log that the Christmas Carnage had caused.


We eventually land on the other side and my dad drives us up to Surrey, where my cousins are.


In the beginning, I'd say hello to everyone and have a bit of a chat about how and what I was doing in my current life and studies. After running out of conversation, I went into the lounge and continued to blog, before being asked to come on a walk with "TYG" - The Youngest Generation - usually it was the parents/older folk that had to drag us offspring on a walk, but this time we just upped and left - walking "around the block" - literally a loop behind my cousin's house.


During this walk, I was incredibly surprised to see a Hummer, Austin A10, Porsche Taycan/Panamera and one that's completely escaped my head - Possibly an older Porsche.


After the walk, we'd return to the house and have a massive lunch - carrots, pigs in blankets, parsnips, - and I'm pretty sure there were other options, I just can't remember them - no matter, the point being that it was delicious.


After lunch, I'd continue a bit with my blog before we handed out presents/received them - I got lots of chocolate and two Costa Coffee gift cards.


I thanked them and we returned to the dining room where we played some games on the computer - although it was more like "Kahoot" where there's one monitor facing everyone and we all use our own devices.


The game was from a bigger company called "Jackbox Games" but we started off with "Quiplash (3)" and then went onto a game about drawing - I much preferred Quiplash and would love to play it more often - it's just a same-room multiplayer game (unfortunately) - I'd definitely buy Quiplash if they found a way to make it compatible for online/wider multiplayer usage.

After the drawing game (mentioned), we'd all say our goodbyes and head back to the car, before heading back, dropping Felix off and then returning to the Island.


I don't know, for once I was actually sad to be saying goodbye to Felix - Something about not being the only off-spring/young one around me - in Surrey, I constantly visited those of a similar age of me, but with the cost of the ferry - except to see family and go back to the Isle of Wight, that's simply not possible - maybe when 2022 comes around and I eventually hit the track, I'll meet and make some new friends and friends I can nip over to.


We'd eventually get back and I'd eventually hit the hay.


Wednesday, 29th December, 2021 - The Final Wednesday


It took until Wednesday (29th December) for me to finally realise that it was the final week of the year. Christmas Day (Sat. 25th), Boxing Day (Sun 26th), Monday (27th) and even Tuesday all went by and I didn't have a clue that I was experiencing my last days of the year - Tuesday saw the final Week change in 2021 - I hadn't even noticed - All I did notice was the fact that this was my final race of the year and I was hoping for it to end well to end the year on a high.


That didn't quite happen.

As a result of this, my aero was decimated and so in turn was my straight-line speed and indeed my race.


I eventually finished last of the runners and got slapped with a -58 iRating result. Not Helping Matters.


If I had been at 1,200 - hell even 1001 - I probably would have quit and joined the next race - but going from the 800's up to 1K again seemed like much too hard work - and I bit my tongue and kept dawdling around.


I guess it was this desperation that made me realise "hey, the steering's straight - let's limp this baby home" - even still - if 19th got hit with -98 iRating for retiring on the first lap, I'd much rather take the -58 and a shite race.


It always seems to be the case when more than just tits go up that on my second (or third) attempt, things go spectacularly well - and the same happened during this race too.


My last ever qualifying lap ended in a 3rd place - I was on a faster lap on my second lap, but I ran a bit deep into one corner and threw away the entire thing.


Maybe I'm not quite ready for my first GT3 pole yet!


No matter, off the line I was on the inside line and I stayed there - I had been shunted up the rear in the first attempt, and the further I could keep away from the others, the better.


The leader went to the outside to defend into turn one. Due to those behind him getting slipstream, into the braking zone of turn one I was in 4th position. Thankfully though, the driver who started behind me (who used the slipstream) ran a little deep into T1 and gave the place back.


He'd keep me honest/me aware of my mirror for the first 4-5 laps, but after that, I think my consistent pace was a little bit too much or his "groove" was a little slower than mine.

Up front, I was very much in no-man's-land - the leaders having a legendary battle, and P4 too far behind to be within contention

On lap 3, the pole sitter (who ran wide at T1, and lost the position) caught back up to the leader of the race - Unfortunately, he wouldn't have such a great corner and the leader would pull a gap.


Despite catching the leader by Lap 5, the first move would only be attempted on Lap 9 when the leader ran deep into the downhill corner that I stuffed up during quali - but this was only a look, and not a proper attempt.


On Lap 11, P2 FINALLY got past the leader after he ran wide at the penultimate corner. Despite an attempted divebomb (which both somehow survived) - the polesitter would keep the lead whilst P2 was on catch-up duty - P2 being better in the corners (later on the brakes), the new leader pulling a gap on the straights.


On the penultimate lap, P2 made a mistake at the same corner both me and the leader had - which put me all over his tail - with so little time to go in the race, I upped the aggression and made sure my presence was known.


This worked...to an extend - P2 running wide on a couple of occasions, only drawing me nearer and nearer to the Ferrari.


I honestly think, had I had one more lap, I would have had him on slip-stream.

I eventually finished 0.303 seconds behind him, P4 a further 3 seconds behind me.


It was my first podium in quite a while - and put me up to 985 iRating - 2022 (hopefully) starting with 1K - but we'll see.


Thursday, 30th December, 2021 - Final 48 Hours of 2021.

Other than downloading the new ProMods update, I have no idea of what actually went down on the 30th - although I do remember trying to find out which Robin's I've actually raced against - this eventually got very tedious (in team events you have to click on the team name to open it up and see the drivers who raced for that team - doing this for every endurance race since 2019 got rather tedious and I eventually gave up.


I also (pretty stupidly) decided to have an all-nighter on the 30th - 31st - granted my body handled it much better than I expected - but I saw the clock/date and saw that I was incredibly behind on pretty much everything - Blogs, Year In Pictures, an assignment, pretty much everything.


I stayed up powering through the Team's Year In Pictures - I didn't want a repeat of last year, finishing them in February.

Friday, 31st December, 2021 - Final 24 Hours.


I'd eventually have a bath at about 8am to freshen myself up as I was a bit "meh" after the lack of sleep.


After breakfast at about 11, I had an afternoon nap, waking up at about 1pm - the power-nap did the trick - however I missed Kiribati (the furthest country ahead in terms of time-zone) celebrating new year.


I tried to get at least 1 thing done and dusted from 2021 to start the year with a new, clear head, yet I wasn't- in the hours leading up to midnight, I was writing up my year in review Facebook post - and condensing 365 days of chaos, fun and action into something people could actually consume and read was pretty much impossible given how much I went through that year.

I honestly relate to this meme so much in so many ways.


At 23:30 I eventually came downstairs and made myself something to eat before watching the BBC's broadcast of the New Year's Fireworks - and for the first time in probably a year or two - there was a sizeable crowd listening to the live music - which (also for the first time) was a musician I actually knew - Olly Alexander from the band "Years&Years".


If I was to do a diagram of "time spent happy, unhappy and sleeping" it'd likely form a Mercedes logo.

I don't know, going into a new year with a back-log of quite a few things from the previous year is a bit disheartening and like "you say I'm going into a new year, but this honestly feels like December 32nd - and the only thing I'm celebrating are these fireworks.


I also had Schloer - which is a catch-22 drink - it's the same colour as white wine/champagne, which makes me feel like a proper alcohol-drinking adult, and we only ever bring it out at New Years, making it a special sort of drink (even the bottle looks like a wine bottle!) but for whatever reason my body refuses to like sparkly drinks - so it was more of a case of "finish this drink" - as opposed to drink it, enjoy it, celebrate with it.


It's the same with mint - of everything on this planet that I could have a problem with - it had to be mint. The one and ONLY flavour of toothpaste that actually does its job - and if I had a bad experience brushing my teeth because of the flavour the previous time, I'm going to be hesitant/relucant or downright refuse to do it the following night. It's not so much a case of "I don't like it that much" - it's more of a case of "I have to force myself to drink sparkling/use toothpaste.


I suppose not drinking sparkling drinks has it's benefits like I don't drink soda/coke/pepsi or indeed beer or any alcohol/spirit - which in turn protects my teeth from the worst of the worst - I mean, my favourite drink is juice/squash - and that's got fruit in it - be that apple, orange or summer-fruit.


Anyway, I digress.


January 1st, 2021 2022 I stayed up watching TV for maybe half an hour/an hour more before returning upstairs and finishing the year in review post on Facebook - at about 1am or so, I started getting tired and headed to bed. I still had a fair bit to do.


After waking up, I'd continue on where I left 2021 off. I think the only mildly interesting part of the day was 7pm when I attempted a VRS Endurance race with Dominik.

The 1st January fell on a Saturday - which was (funnily enough) was the day that the VRS Endurance races were on (as mentioned).


There were three sessions - 7am, 7pm and a Sunday 2pm.


I missed the 7am session, so 7pm it would be.


After a podium on Wednesday, I thought "yeah, why not - let's do a VRS Endurance race at the same track - should go alright"


I eventually picked my partner - Dominik - Dominik and I joined iRacing within 24 hours of eachother (him joining on the very next day after me) and were always in a banterous "fight of the Low iRatings" - as of late though, my rather massive and continuous iRating slump has meant Dominik has been dominating in this battle.


Dom warned me about the dangers of the Red Bull ring - but I insisted that it was going to be okay.


It wasn't okay. Right from the off it was a shit-show - me almost registering for the sprint series (and not the endurance series) and then me almost registering Dominik to a KBM Team he wasn't a part and to top it off - I registered a McLaren, instead of the Lamborghini we wanted. Amazing.


I couldn't unregister the team - and I was stuck in the car I was in, but fortunately, I found a way to leave the car and session, and join the car that Dominik had registered.

Due to me being EVER so slightly faster in practice (hundreth of a tenth) I decided to qualify - and expectedly, I qualified a measly 33rd out of 54.


With Dominik being a little bit more nervous than I, I offered/suggested that I do the double stint, and he does the single stint

Off the line - in fact BEFORE the line - I was making quite a few positions - before the formation lap had even begun, someone didn't manage to start their engine/start and pulled to the side of the track. our formation line eventually got going after this.


As the green-flag fell, the BMW in front of me span out (not even making it to the final corner) and though I just clipped him, the sim didn't register it, and we were alright. (no damage/incident point).


In the first 20 laps, I made position after position after position - only rising and rising up up the order - all the way to 17th. That was until my first pit-stop. Oh Boy.


The incident speaks for itself - I'll let you make your own decision on fault - but as I slid after I was hit - and didn't have enough fuel to complete the next lap - when I did come in (cutting the pit entry) I was given a 40 second penalty. This pretty much decimated our race and put us out in 38th starting the 23rd lap.


By lap 54, I had climbed to 25th - but oh boy, this race had one last surprise for me...a spinner at the final corner. Watching the replay, it was honestly SO stupid of me to go behind him - I should have gone in front of him....where there was actually room....anyway. I hit him and that was our race pretty much done - with less than 2 hours left in the race, we would have come out of the pits in plum last and even more laps down. Certainly a weekend to forget and move on.


Seems Season 1, 2022 isn't being overly kind to me - of the 6 races I've done, I've finished 2 of them. What a fascinating stat - this better not be the trend for the rest of the season because I'm already in the low 900's. I am going back to university this month, so I better sort my shit out quickly.


Not all too much happened yesterday - other than working on this blog.


This blog is long enough, I'll leave it here.


Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it - and I hope your 2022 is going slightly more successful than mine - because I have an assignment coming up tomorrow - and with all going on at the moment - it's just another thing to worry about. Oh well. Happy New Year, Robin.













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