August: An Adventure A Day (PT. 3)

(Written On: 19th August)


Hello from Madeira!


I hope you are all well and are enjoying the sun! (assuming there is any back in England/wherever you are reading this from)


I’ve rested for a few days, feel partially reset and rejuvenated (need more time) and now I’m ready to start blogging again/writing my most recent blog to date (this one)


My previous blog ended on Thursday 11th August, 2022.


Friday 12th August, 2022 – Day 12: Island Living And Racing


On the evening of the 11th August, after looking at the Ferrari Dealership, I’d return to the island (The Isle Of Wight) and spend the night there.


After being pretty much flat-out for the entire week (up until that point), it was nice to have a little break.

I had both the 12th and 13th off/to myself before another week of craziness would kick off.

In that time, I’d play some of my favourite titles – BeamNG.Drive, iRacing (AI), Mini-Motorways and Teardown – having fun and completing missions in all games.


Looking forward in my calendar, I saw that for the next two weeks, I would be busy – and on my return (from being busy), It would be the final week of the season.


As the GT3 Challenge was at Suzuka (a very technical circuit in a car that doesn’t like turns), I decided to only race in GT4 that week.


During my official iRacing career, I’ve only made three prior appearances in a McLaren GT4:

1) ROAR Before the ROAR (4th) – this inspired my latest GT4 adventure

2) Lime Rock Park practice session (teasing paparazzi)

3) Road America GT4 Challenge – (6th) - 4th until final laps, finished 6th.

This was also my first race donning the Kabort Motorsport livery.


That week, the GT4 Challenge was at Brands Hatch. I qualified 14th and finished (the race) in an incredibly tight 10th (0.034 seconds at the line)

It was after this, I tried a bit of RFactor 2


The Return Of RFactor 2

Back in December 2018/January 2019 (I was 17-18 Years old) Will, a mate of mine, was planning on doing a 24 Hour Race (I believe for charity) on RFactor2 (a sim competing with iRacing).


Somehow, I got involved, and I’m not sure how it was going to run, but we were going to do a 24 Hour Race together.


During practice, I was moaning about finding a sim that had touring-car style racing (close and competitive - I think Grid wasn't cutting it), which is when he recommended iRacing to me.


3 Years and 7 months later, and I came full circle – RFactor 2 was offering me things which iRacing wasn’t - and couldn't.


In late January/early February 2022, RFactor announced that they were going to be hosting “Official” races, (called their "Competition System") whilst keeping the multiplayer in a separate section.


Up until that point, RFactor had two main modes – Single Player (where you could do hot-laps/time-trails/AI Races) and multiplayer (where you could host races with you and your mates.)


Back in 2019, with the amount of people hosting practice servers, it was easy to be overwhelmed.


The “competitions” feature changed that and had a “PQR” (Practice, Qualifying Race) format with a schedule (track changing every week) and races on the hour which you had to wait for.


With one “session” every hour, per series, the competitions feature was very easy to navigate and had a little something for everyone – a low-powered Alpine series for rookies, an open-wheel series for F1 wannabes, and GT racing for those who liked…well GT racing.


On the 4th August, RFactor announced the BOTH the Caterham Academy – a low-powered, front engined “go-kart with a roll-cage” and GT (solo) endurance racing in an Aston Martin, but I was more interested in the former.


Onward from here, on the 8th August, RFactor announced their Season 5 schedule – and come the 12th August, I was available to try it.


After a bit of faffing about with calibrations and settings – I was ready to hit the track!


This week (8th – 14th Aug), the race was at a track I had never heard of before called “Autodromo Di Mores” in Italy.


From memory, my first race went pretty mixed – I qualified last/second to last (of four cars), got a bit trigger happy before the lights went out, jumped the start – and didn’t know weather RFactor wanted me to do a stop-and-go (penalty) or a drive-through – I took the worse of two evils and my pit-crew never released me, so, whilst I technically got a podium (someone didn’t start the race), I didn’t finish to be classified.


I’d try another race later on (I think the next day) and I’d finish last of the runners – after leading/being P2 for a portion of the race.


At the moment, the only form of customisation to one’s career is setting a username and nickname, but I hope to see licences/licence progression make an appearance eventually.



Saturday 13th August – Day 13: The Calm Before The Storm


Saturday was an incredibly busy day for the Isle Of Wight Ferry, and as there was a risk that I’d potentially not get on one (with the limited availability), I was told to head to Felix’s the next day.


Throughout August, I also made MASSIVE progress on Kabort’s Year In Pictures (yes, I’ve already started that) – after getting stuck on Will’s ROAR Before the 24 pictures (I had so many!), I smashed through February – May – my next challenge being June, specifically mid-June, when I made my iRacing return after university.


I think possibly on the 12th/13th I completed my final Teardown mission before stopping on a big heist – I was due to leave soon and the heist required a fair bit of planning with targets being spread out across a vast map on a (wide) range/variety of levels and floors.


Sunday 14th August – Day 14: Giving a Brotherly Hand…Or Wheel

Earlier in the month/last month, Felix, my brother, booked me/my services out between the 12th and 19th August.


Fortunately (for me), this was shuffled back a few days – as on the 11th, I had only just returned from the mainland – the 13th August was also a pretty packed day for the ferry, so the 14th guaranteed a spot on the ferry.


On the 14th, I got an early ferry from the Isle Of Wight to Lymington/the mainland – I could have arrived earlier, (first ferry of the day) but I didn’t want to arrive whilst everyone was still sleeping.


Eventually I got on the 8am ferry (arrived at about 7:25am or so) and then drove to friends of Felix’s (where he was staying), had a short drinks break, before loading up the car with Felix’s stuff and headed off towards Falmouth.


I had only been to Cornwall a few times prior – once to Camelford and another to Land’s End – but on both occasions, I took a southernly route down, but as I was coming in from Reading, I took a new, more Northernly route, before recognising where I was near Mitchell.


Along the way, we made one stop for food, before continuing on our very long road-trip.


On arrival, we were both pretty shattered from the day of driving.


From memory, I think we unloaded the stuff Felix had bought from reading, got the keys to the new place he was staying at and then returned to his current flat to sleep.


Monday 15th – Tuesday 16th August – The Week(ish) With Felix Begins


Whilst Monday and Tuesday were “quiet” days, they were by no means lazy. Over the course of these two days:


1) I began work on the August Blog (uploaded 17th Aug) and watched a couple of episodes of Motorway Cops – one or two even with Felix!


2) Felix emptied his ENTIRE flat – and him and I took his belongings to his new residence.


3) We tried to find both a Wetherspoons and parking, but there was no parking (either illegal or space filled) – and the Wetherspoons was closed for maintenance, luckily we found a rather lovely American restaurant called “Boo Koos” and I had a hot dog oozing with Americanness.


4) I also visited the drive through Maccies.


5) We also visited a storage “locker” where Felix kept his camping gear (among other stuff) – although this was our very last stop before heading out of Falmouth.


On the 16th, it was our final night at Falmouth, we then returned to Reading, to the exact same house I picked Felix up from, except from this time he, and his friends all had their camping gear out and ready.


The second “errand” Felix needed me for was to take him and his friends to a camp he was leading.


From the 16th – 17th I stayed over at Felix’s friend’s house, I stayed in the spare bedroom on an air-bed mattress on a fold-out bed after a very entertaining evening and meal.


18th August, 2022 - The Penultimate Day

On the 18th, myself, Felix and I drove to pick up two of the people attending the camp, before heading to the camp itself.


After arriving, we’d all unload the boot, and I was given a few provisions – a ham and chicken sandwich and some squash.


I was offered a snack, but I refused as I didn’t want to eat all of their resources.


After “lunch”, I was given the address to a hotel and drove there.


Felix had gone all out for me, booking me a night at the local Premier Inn!

Upon arrival, I knew I wanted food – so I looked through my bag for my wallet/card…and realised that I had left it at Felix’s friend’s place, which was a fair old drive away.


I couldn’t remember if I had updated my card on the Wetherspoons app – or even if there was one nearby, so I ordered a Maccies to the Premier Inn – because I fortunately had a way of accessing my card through the JustEat app.

I don’t know what the rules are regarding takeaways and rooms, but if they don’t tackle me to the ground, I’m going to have one.


After being fed, I headed to bed, (poet and I know it!) and fell asleep – the next day marked my final day of giving Felix a hand.


Friday 19th August 2022: The Final Favour And Heading Home!

The 19th was a biggy.


It was the day that the campers (not the leaders) headed to camp/camp started. Me job was to head into the heart of London (specifically: The City Of London) and pick three people up and take them either to camp, or another station in London (tube strikes) – it was very much a catch-22 situation for me.


Taking them to the other train station would mean a shorter journey for them and I, and would mean I could head back to the Island quicker – however, it would have been a lot more stressful driving around London, and a bit more of a hassle for them to get to the camp.


Taking them to the camp would mean a slightly longer journey (I like driving), however would mean that they were literally AT camp and didn’t need to faff around with trains.


On the 19th, I woke up, missed breakfast (Premier Inn were only serving cold breakfast/croissants) and then headed out to London.


Long story short: Drove into London, the station didn’t have parking outside it, a bus had broken down in central London/the heart of London, traffic was a nightmare – there was nowhere to park, I found a multi-storey car-park charging £20 FOR UP TO TWO HOURS OF PARKING!!!


Admittedly, the worker who saw me stop in front of the gate was very friendly and showed me where I could wait for Felix’s Friends, and lifted up the barrier to allow me to turn around – he didn’t know why it was so expensive either – but it just goes to show that people hike up costs because they can.


I was in constant context with Felix throughout, and he gave his friends my location/where I was parked, so I could pay for parking (probably shouldn’t have, given I was IN the car and could drive away from any Parking Wardens, but I was just being safe). Felix’s third friend eventually turned up not five minutes after the other two.


Whilst they all messaged me that they wanted to go to the other station, and said to me in the car that they did, I just had enough of London and wanted to get out – sure it would have been quicker, but we were on the road now, so no turning back.


On the motorway, I started to regret my decision – the traffic was fine, but it was my planning that was becoming undone.


The difficulty in all of this was that the very next day, it was the 2022 iRacing Le Mans 24 Ho- sorry I mean the “Global Endurance Series race at Le Mans that happens to be 24 Hours”.


Ever since crashing out of the Peach Tree 3hrs at Road Atlanta (in the first 18 minutes), I wanted another chance to properly stretch the Corvette GTE’s Legs.


Due to availability (of myself and others), the first proper chance I had to drive the Chevrolet (Corvette) was the Le Ma- Global Endurance Series Race At Le Mans.

Initially, I did a bit of practice, but after seeing a “brake blipping issue” I had continued (brakes flicker when on throttle/not brake) I stopped to try and rectify the issue – by which time, time was running out and I was being called to help Felix.


Sorry, we are about two tangents deep – TL;DR – I wish I dropped Felix’s friends off at the station, so that I could return to the island to further practice for a (special) 24 Hour Race I had for that weekend.


Anyway, we all arrived safe and sound at the camp, they unloaded the car, and I waited for Felix to give me the go-ahead to head home, say goodbye and thanks and all. About 10 – 30 minutes later, after sorting everything out, he came over and gave me my thanks.


Since I was on a family holiday when the camp ended, they didn’t need any help returning home to Falmouth.


Now, I couldn’t just race back to the Island - I had my wallet to worry about. So I drove from the camp, to Felix’s friends house, and then further onward to the port.


Since I had a pocket of time and wasn’t going to get on the ferry any earlier, once in Lymington, I decided to pull over and have a look at an Iron Age Hill Fort. I don’t know how much I’d see – but I love anything to do with ancient civilisations (hence the impromptu trip to the Cornish Ancient Village in Penzance back in June).


After being LOUDLY greeted by a dalmation, I eventually made it up an embankment and looked at the Ancient fort. Yes, it was all overgrown and wooded, but it was still very interesting to look at a wooded area.


I took a quick walk around the base of the fort (the fort itself was just a grassy field, but I didn’t explore due to time) and then headed back to the car and lept on the 8pm ferry.


At this time, I had about 11 hours before the race start – and I still needed to get some sleep.


Race-blog tomorrow.


Before I do finish this blog, The 19th was the one-year anniversary that I achieved my highest iRating to date. Since then (and even before then) it’s been a wild old ride!


iRating on the 19th August

2018: N/A (Didn’t have sim)

2019: 982

2020: 865 v

2021: 1339 ^

2022: 1171 v

2023:


Hopefully higher than 1171! The 19th August marks Day #1 of the adventure up to 1340! It’s like Mount Everest – I’m currently sitting at my computer on the Isle of Wight.


Following the 19th August, it’s Week 11/Week 12 on the 23rd August – however I’m on a family holiday until the 29th August, with Week 12 starting the very next day.


As per usual, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next blog



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