Updated: Jan 16, 2021
The government announces the very first national lockdown for the UK. Whilst everyone's in fear and terror, I breathe a small sigh of relief - college wasn't going too well and this lockdown gave me an opportunity to clear my head, and escape the carnage that was the coding assignment for BTEC ICT.
Now in our third lockdown (second one happening in late October/early November) the tables have turned quite drastically - instead of escaping from it all, January's lockdown has turned everything upside down and decided to press on the gas (accelerator) pedal...it's mid-January already....where on EARTH has time gone?!!?!
Even more terrifying is the fact that in FOUR days time I'm no longer going to be a teenager - I'm going to be a "proper" adult. No, not mentally - but my bones are. I'm going to be entering the second of 8 or so decades in my life...I'm not ready to be 20!! Take me back!!
Alas, enough crying myself to sleep - this month has been incredibly crazy.
It's just crazy - I write one blog, close the lid of my laptop and then 20 different apocalypses happen and I sit there like "What Even Just Happened" and then write another full-length blog!
Right, enough rambling, let's begin - there's a lot of news to break down
Let's start from the very beginning.
Season 1, 2021: An Adventure Every Race
Starting on the 15th December, 2020 (before 2021 properly began) I've had a month of absolutely batsh*t crazy races. At the bottom of each section will be the start/finish positions of each successful race.
(18/12/2020) Race 1: Laguna Seca
The sim crashes before the race, resulting in me having to close the sim, lose iRating and start all over.
(24/12/2020) Race 2: Sebring
I'd get loads of Slowdown Penalties (much to my annoyance) plummeting me down the order - it was like every other lap I was getting these!
(30/12/2020) Race 3: Nurburgring
It'd take me three attempts at races to complete not only the race, but a single lap.
The first attempt, I'd jump the start and get a drive through/stop-go penalty before getting heavily rear-ended on entry to the pit-lane
The second attempt would consist of getting caught up in a multi-car start-shunt - before retiring due to damage, and the third would be my lucky streak and a fortunate escape.
(11/1/2021) Race 4: Donington
In one absolute blast of a race I'd go from 14th to 5th on one of my all-time favourite circuits. This would be my best result in a Formula 3 car to date.
(13/1/2021) Race 5: Catalunya
After receiving UWRacing's (Uni's racing team) livery on Friday, 11th Jan, I decided to have their "debut" (them only really using the livery/F3 car for testing) at the Circuit De Barcelona Catalunya.
Weather the car was/is lucky or I was/am on a streak, I don't know - but in the end I'd finish in 5th - likely the liveries' first Official finish and Top 5. (the livery could have been used previously for officials, I'm not sure - but it's good marketing for the University Of Wolverhampton Racing team!!)
A few thoughts went around my head whilst practicing.
Firstly - that racing cars are pretty much mobile advertising boards, all the sponsors being out on display to everyone - and if someone sees a University paint or other sponsor they'll be like "what's that?" and search it up - just like I did with the "Huski Chocolate" on the back of the McLaren.
Secondly the fact that I'm legally allowed to drive with this livery - they have given this to me.
This means that I'm a part of something - it's like a sense of belonging and like "yes, I am part of them and belong with them and work with these guys"
No, I don't drive the UWR F3 car in real life and other than a loose "journalism" connection I don't work on any of the mechanics or engineering and am not a part of the course - but I have strong links and I don't know...it's nice to know that this was made by the uni/for the uni and I can be a part of that and am the only one driving a UWR car.
The Rest Of This Season
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has (pretty much) confirmed that lockdown will go on until at least late March - this season ending in early March...which is fantastic (for me)
Coming up are some truly great circuits - first of all Zolder, starting next Tuesday, followed by the deathly walls of Detroit (Belle Isle) with icons such as Okayama, Interlagos, Road Atlanta and Monza sprinkled along the way - ensuring even more chaos, overtakes and wild races are on their way
January In Real Life
Almost perfectly following on from the last blog where I regrettably did two EES races in one weekend (the retirement from the second allowing me to do some Uni work), Monday strode along.
Monday 11th January, 2021
Monday (11th Jan) saw me recieve the Uni's F3 Livery, finish a new personal best 5th at Donington Park in the F3 and an estate agent having a poke around our house.
This will really separate those who read the blogs and those who don't! Those who read will ask "Why's an estate agent over?" whilst those who don't will just continue their normal lives.
To be clear, we are - I mean, they/the parents are not immediately selling the house - it's just so they can get an idea of what the house is worth before one day dancing off to the Isle Of White or so to live the rest of their days, whilst I sit at uni pulling my hair out!!
The 11th (Jan) was also the day that my first assignment of 2021 was due - the Four-Part Newswriting Assignment I briefly mentioned in previous blogs.
Tuesday 12th January, 2021
Tuesday saw me see my first friend in 2021 - and saw my first steps out of the house in at least a century.
Somehow managing to find the one clause in the restrictions that allowed me to meet this person ("you're allowed to exercise outside with one other person than your household or social bubble") we went on a little (felt little) walk and chatted about life and how we were - she enjoyed it and so did I. I'm not sure if she wants her name dropped, so I'll keep it anonymous for now.
We both had a laugh (hadn't seen each other for a while - and found ourselves in some seriously thick mud) and weather it was spending time outside (fresh air), seeing someone other than my family or enjoying her company it felt relaxing and good and I felt almost "rejuvenated" by it. If Annie lived closer, 110% I'd go on not just one, but daily walks with her!
Wednesday 13th January, 2021
Despite it's unlucky connotations, the 13th January was a surprisingly good day for me - it marked the 2 Year Anniversary of my edition of the "Valterri, It's James" meme - "Romain, It's James" where Romain takes out Alonso for overtaking him.
I don't know from WHERE but this video has somehow amassed over 1,000 views - that's being onboard the trend express for you!
Another anniversary on this day is my iRacing account creation date, however I always celebrate this on the 14th Jan, since that was the date of my first race.
This day also saw the first usage (to my knowledge) of the UWRacing Livery (in an Official Session) - the 5th place bringing me just 27 iRating off the magic 1000 at a somewhat whopping 973. With a further 3 more months at home...it seems 2021 may actually be a good year for my iRating.
January 14th, 2021
The next day was the 2 year anniversary of my very first race on iRacing and with nothing else (except a rather large update) I hosted two "Birthday Bashes" around Summit Point (Jefferson Circuit).
The first got interrupted by the update and had one single attendee - the second, I was all alone - but didn't get interrupted. Just like the real world - Quarantine Birthdays Suck....or maybe I need to do it at a better circuit?
My first podium came on the 8th February, 2019 - maybe I should host again (since Summit isn't as popular/liked).
January 15th, 2021
So that brings us to now - 04:36am on Friday Morning - half way through the month and all caught up on this week's antics.
Wednesday isn't too far away and neither is 1K iRating.
Other than my last weekend as a teenager/19 year old (Birthday on Tuesday) and ISRC 6 Hours Of Road America for the ISDAK (Insanely Skilled Drivers At Kabort) it's a rather calm weekend with the final two assignments of the semester to push through - both are going to go to shit, I can feel it - but trying is the best thing I can do Until next time/blog - which will probably be from some Alien Spaceship, see you around!