Updated: Oct 10, 2021
Good afternoon, I hope you are all well.
Monday 12th July I returned home on Monday 12th and had a small chat with my parents, before going off and doing my own thing as it was already 5.30pm when I arrived home.
To date, this is the longest journey I've done in a week or so, but I don't expect it to stay that way.
Tuesday 13th July
Tuesday (13th) was my first full day at home, and it was pretty lazy - just finishing the Part 4 of the Harlow Blogs (The Final Days In Harlow) and buying a new headset because my current one (at the time) was broken - this was expected to arrive on Friday (16th)
In particular, the right hand side headphone/ear-covering was on the blink - meaning I only had audio coming through on the left, unless I bent my neck 90 degrees to the left, held the connector cable above my head and sang a
There's more in my previous blog here
Wednesday, 14th July
Wednesday was a rather lazy day, with the exception of making my iRacing Official Race Debut for the first time since May 29th and marked the first blog to not start with Harlow News.
My first race since May (29th) was the GT3 Challenge at Imola - Imola being a good track for me.
Unfortunately my headset was playing up...big time. My right ear/side was not playing audio...unless either it - or the volume/mute adjuster was exactly in one position - if it was close it'd go in and out of playing audio, but it was very much tilt your head 90 degrees to the right and hold the wire above your head to just get it to work.
Long story short, Practice I was trying to get this angle right or to work at all, I did consider quitting/not racing, however as it worked in the last two laps of practice, I said "RIFAB" (Risk It For A Biscuit) - the biscuit in this case being race experience and iRating/Safety Rating Qualifying it was still playing up - and in quali you need full concentration on your braking points and turn in points and no unreliability - the headset putting me off and putting me deep into a few crucial corners - this only being good enough for 10th.
It was my second to worst qualifying - only qualifying 11th two times prior.
For the race, my headset decided to behave itself, and I was able to haul myself up the order - from 10th, to 5th, and then passing 4th place as the white flag fell along the start-finish straight - this being my 3rd best result in the series behind a 2nd & 3rd - but I'm sure over the summer, there's plenty more results to come!
I also completed the F3 Announcement blog.
In addition to this, I finally got a spare wheel for my Kia - it's been a long time coming and I needed a lot of pushing, but eventually I ordered one...and it arrived.
The 15th was a surprisingly productive day - having a list of a fair few things to sort out, I ticked off sorting car tax & insurance and even booking both of my vaccinations....twice due to a slight clash of events.
This day was also pre-occupied by sorting out my google drive - after I think I was having some techincal problems (or something) I moved every single computer file on my computer onto google drive - if all my files were to be deleted, I wanted some way to access them or make my computer work again or if it says "XYZ is missing, I could just access it from the google drive which hadn't been deleted - so I basically spent the day deleting the program files from my google drive as they didn't need to be there since my computer worked completely fine, and all my computer files were replaced (since my pc is operating fine) - so now I just have random windows and Microsoft program files in my drive, which I don't need, so I've just slapped them in the trash. Took a while and I'm still not done.
One Month ago, I'd return to my friend's (after Week 13), to stay until 12th July - the span of almost a month.
The 16th was another pretty lazy one - I tried to get ice cream for the family, but sods law struck harder than Karma striking a villain.
First I couldn't find my bike key (was on the floor, under some clothing) then I couldn't unlock my bike key (one of these very good, secure ones) and then it was about 5pm and too late for ice-cream, so yeah, that was fun.
I also went out to collect my Ebay order from Argos, however they didn't have it.
I thought this was something to do with (the image above), but Argos simply said that they were the middle-man between Ebay and their customers - so simply received items to give to customers and were only informed that they (the items) had come through shortly before.
As I had the ARL F3 Championship race the very next day, I didn't want to risk it and bought a cheap, £20(ish) "Turtle Beach" branded one and headed back home.
This day had also been the hottest day of the year thus far - reaching a very comfortable 26 degrees Celsius and this was only the start of the good week of weather for Britain!
Raceday! But first, I had news/confirmation that my Ebay order had indeed been successfully delivered to Ebay, so, as it was 11am, I headed off and out - first to Argos to pick up the head-set, then to Asda (next door) for 3 magnums, ASDA didn't have the ones I was searching for, so I went a little more local and found just the ones.
I planned this to the absolute tee - coming home at just after half-past 5, eating said ice-cream, giving me 10-15 minutes to shoot upstairs and leap into the rig.
After a standard update and getting the paints system to work (Not TradingPaints) I leapt into my Formula 3 car and participated in the Hockenheim round of the ARL (Apex Racing League) Formula 3 Championship. Take a look below: (video will start at beginning of live footage)
(Second Race at 48 minutes) - although I rarely make an apperance - so here are my highlights:
Okay, other than appearing on the graphics, in the background and in a shunt, I wasn't seen too much - but whilst I may have looked like a menace on track - or not a menace, but a back-marker, I believe that it was a lot better of a debut than many make out or I showed.
At the start of the session, I was in the 1:35's, by the end, I was doing the fairly occasional 1:33 - and before my two "feck ups" I was running in the top 15 overall - and 5th in the Am (Amateur) class - for a debut, that wouldn't have been a half bad finish at all! From the cockpit, it look like a bit of a (excuse my french) shitshow - being slower than I would have liked, then having two moments - a clumsy crash in race one (pushing too hard) and a spin in race 2 (braking too late) - but looking at it from a basic point of view - I was not as bad as I thought I was - I did not qualify last (second to last, but still working on that - and lap 1 put me 15th before the second lap) and 15th/16th position before cock-ups were made - if I keep it on track at Philly (not a favourite circuit), who knows what I can achieve!
I just hope it cools slightly because racing in the heat is hard!
On the topic of achievement, my YouTube channel has also been blowing up massively, usually YouTube only notifies me if I have a reply to a comment I've made on some music video or the such, but recently, my emails have been pinging - both for an already popular video "Romain, It's James" (parody of Valterri, it's James) - Mercedes' Team orders "disguise" from Sochi 2018, telling Bottas to let Hamilton by.
With now (somehow) 67,000 views (1.2K views on 4th March, 2021 alone) it's become by far my most popular video, and the algorithm has loved it.
My second most popular video (and only other one above 1K Views) is one where I've edited the audio from the WTCC race at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in 2008 (?) onto a video I made of a couple dozen BMW M4 GT4's doing exactly the same thing at Silverstone (Week 13, no panic)
Romain It's James
Comments: 62 Likes: 1.4K (49 Dislikes)
The Guy Who Designed That Corner
Likes: 129 (2 Dislikes)
At about midday on the 17th July, I realised it was the NEC (Nurburgring Endurance Championship) on Sunday, so I asked around if anyone wanted to do it andddd nobody was availible or free. Ouchers.
Fortunately for me however, there was man who could - a man my age, with my sort of experience: Dominik Gahlow.
As a German, he had the Nordschliefe in his blood and veins - and as he was the only one free to do the race, we agreed a setup, team, time and date and at 1:30pm on Sunday we were ready and raring to go.
I got in the car first. Sitting down in the Merc marked the first time since (23rd) August, 2020 - At the time, I was hanging around the 1.0K iRating mark.
I'll admit, I may have hogged the car a little bit during practice, but not having done an endurance since April (3 months ago) I needed as much practice as I could get.
After dying one many too many times, I handed the car over to Dominik, him doing quite considerably better than I did, we'd discuss who would do qualifying, after getting back in and finding my groove, I offered.
Rule #01 Of Motorsport: Never Let Robin Qualify.
29th. Eek. After a messy opening few laps, Truswell eventually got his head in the zone and began to catch up with the field - the combination of other's retirements and Truswell's new-found pace pushed him up the order considerably. In the first lap alone he went from 29th to 19th, before progressing up to 17th before a clumsy mistake.
From 22nd, he'd then push all the way to 8th at his pit-stop (between first and second stints)
In his double stint, Dominik did exactly as asked - fend off pressure from behind, and bring her home - managing to even come home and steal 7th place.
It was an absolutely exhilarating four hours with many highlights - so many in fact that I spent the next four days or so piecing together a highlights reel/video.
Other than the 7th place, we were also ecstatic with the gains we got out of the race, experience and confidence no doubt, but also our ratings - myself in particular gaining 31 iRating (Dominik +32) and a heap of safety rating.
Already on quite the roll - this success broke my all-time personal best iRating - the new record standing high and tall at 1278 - only 22 iRating away from breaking the 1300 barrier.
That evening, other than resuming Glee (since I now had a working headset) in was a pretty calm evening in with nothing to report.
I eventually got to sleep on Monday morning at about 4am - a tough night as well as feeling "limp" at one point, made it incredibly difficult to sleep.
Monday itself (after waking up) didn't go too badly, helping out a relative of a friend with a little shopping spree - and also the day on which restrictions eased quite a bit - the "big breaking news" of this being that wearing masks stopped being mandatory...
Although on the subject of this, I'll admit, I have entered a few shops prior to this day having forgotten my mask, or not forgetting to buy one in the car.
The most common of these being fuel stations...me rocking up to the fuel station without a mask in the car, not exactly having enough fuel to go and get one - or filling up prior to finding this fact out - and then having to walk into the petrol station without...
The person in the store being put in the position of "he doesn't have a mask - but where else is he going to go for fuel - plus if Shell doesn't get any money (because multiple people have forgotten their masks, and I've refused sale) then I won't get paid either.
But, no matter how expensive, I always buy a mask on my way out to show that I do care about the mask rule - I just was a numpty.
Other rules in the July 19th were the lifting of all restrictions on the number of people doing activities like weddings, funerals, concerts, theatres, sport-events, and worshipping
Other restrictions meant that pubs and restaurants could expand from just table-service, Night-Clubs opening and the 1 Meter + social distancing recommendation being scrapped.
The Uber returns to Surrey! The 20th saw my first request - or request that I could accept - and I accepted it, giving my friend a lift from her house, to my house (via a quick trip to Tesco to get food)
During this trip to tesco, we saw many nice cars - this being a lovely Tuesday, and the sun being out, everyone was in their finest automobiles - including a chap in a a classic Convertible.
No, it wasn't like SUPER SUPER nice stuff (like the longer trips we've done), just "nice for Surrey" kinda levels - the sort of level of a parked black McLaren MP4-12C
When we arrived at mine - I figured the time of my first vaccine (the time being 12:47, the vaccination being at 2:30pm) and she plonked herself down on my rig and turned the wheel left and right.
Being the gentleman I am, I offered her a go....
Being brutally honest, having never touched iRacing - or indeed a racing simulator before in her life - she did pretty damn well - learning how to start the car, leave the pits within just a couple of hours!
Between 12:47, when we left at 2:02pm, my friend managed to do a lap and a half of the Hockenheim circuit in a Formula 3 car - no ABS, no assists - pretty (excuse my French) fucking incredible!
The best part of all this is that not a day later she asked if she could come around and play iRacing again...this is it. I've got her hooked! I just hope she doesn't get sucked in like myself - before the end of the year, I guarantee she'll have a wheel and an account of her own, watch out Suzie Wolff and Claire Williams, my mate is after your records!
At 2:02pm, we left for my local vaccination centre, when we arrived at the car-park.
She needed to get something from ASDA, so I gave her the key, told her multiple times to lock the car (verbally and over messages - I'm a scared little boy!) and headed to the vaccination centre.
Originally being messaged on the 14th June (over a month ago), I eventually got around to both booking and attending it - me being at a mate's house being the only thing stopping me (Harlow being a little bit of a drive from my local centre).
It was split into 5 sections.
Entry: On entry, you were given hand-sanitiser and someone welcomed you in and told you to wait by the front door
Registration 1 - At the first registration table, you are given your vaccine "card" and some paperwork along with it.
Registration 2 - You then go to a second table where they check your details and the time of your vaccination, this table also chose weather you were taking Pfizer or AstroZeneca.
after you are registered, they gave you a little raffle-card (which acted as an "order" number - first people who arrived got it first) and they'd tell you to sit in one of a number of socially distanced chairs.
The Pod - The Pod was where you actually got the injection itself - after asking me about potential reactions to the jab (fainting etc.), she went ahead, me quickly asking her to talk about F1 to distract me - she being quite a big F1 fan too, so that was nice.
The Cool-Off Room - Before getting on with your daily life, you had to sit in a room for 15 minutes, just in case you had affects after the injection, like feeling tired or fainting or being sick - none of these idea whilst driving or at work - which those at the centre most likely were and are.
My Side Affects.
I was very lucky to "escape" with only a slightly sore arm - but was medium to minor and has all but gone by the time I wrote this blog. (22/07/21)
Upon leaving, I spotted a very orange Kia Stinger
It was also on this date that I found out when my family planned to move out - house or not, the new people wanted to move in on the 1st September....all things considering, that's really not a lot of time at all! ~
On the way home, after dropping my mate off, I decided to have a little bit of a last-minute adventure - I always drive past a Porsche dealership, so this time I decided to pull in and have a nosey....Turns out there was some pretty nice pieces of kit in there...
Later on, I saw a lovely Ferrari FF parked at the side of the road, so naturally, I parked up and took a few pictures...Yes, it may have been behind a hedge in front of someone's house, but with a car like that, you're sort of asking for people to stop, stare and take a picture, because FF's aren't usual to come by...at least, not in these areas.
To end, I'd send a fair few companies job applications.
Wednesday and race-day rolled around once again.
After completing some tasks on my computer, I decided to do the 15:15 GMT race - which turned out to be the 4:15pm race (UK is BST, GMT+1).
Things didn't actually start too badly - qualifying 7th after COMPLETELY missing the Apex to La Source on both attempts.
The start was a little confusing as the field didn't know whether to use La Source as Turn 1, or Eau Rouge as Turn 1, and Radillion as 2...
no matter, we figured it out and by the time I crossed the line to start the second lap, I was already in 4th, after claiming 6th due to having the outside line into Eau Rouge, 5th due to slipstream on the Kemmel Straight, assisting an overtake, and being gifted 4th due to 2nd overtaking the leader off the line and earning himself a penalty.
It was only a waiting game before the next two would fall behind the green Kabort car - 2nd place overtaking the leader at Pouhon, only to spin out at the very next corner, taking P3 out when he re-joined - this gifted the Kabort car 2 positions and put Truswell in a very nice position for a podium...
Truswell would stay in this position for a further two laps, before devastatingly crashing out at No Name - putting a serious dent in the day....and the rear of his car.
After 3rd place found a way past along the Kemmel straight, Truswell was hot on the heals of the Ferrari ahead, before the Ferrari caught Truswell unawares, Truswell braking a little too hard and spinning out.
Though he re-joined in 10th, the driver behind would get the move done the corner before No Name (Bruxelles?) and Truswell would finish in 11th, disgruntled at himself and what could have been.
Truswell would also later continue to practice for Spa 24 Hours.
Finally on this day, I'd get another response from one of the places I had applied for, unfortunatel I wasn't so successful this time.
The 22nd was a very good day - at 2pm finishing sorting the Google Drive (deleting folders) - the next job being to transfer the photos from the drive, to an external drive, to give to the parents to deal with - but all that in good time.
It was also the day that the Ferrari was mentioned in terms of a car to race for Spa - very quickly this was confirmed, and we got everything set-up and were ready to rumble... neither the Merc (recently dumped at the side of the road) nor My Baby Lamborghini were too impressed - but if I'm comfortable and safe in it - then so be it!
My previous-most race at Spa saw me lose 7 iRating, so I'm ideally aiming to get back on track and head towards 1.3K once again.
The 22nd was a pretty uneventful day, neither my black box picking up any activity (since 21st) and neither my phone location services either (same date) - these days have just been pretty lazy, sitting on my rig - having a pyjama day, sorting files, this blog and taking it easy.
Damn. Exactly a week before I start my new 2021 - 2022 academic calendar - the one I'm currently one seeing its final week - it's seen a year of lows and highs, important notes and doodles and has definitely seen better days - but, the same will be said about the 2021 - 2022 one come this time next year.
The day started early with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony kicking off at 11/12 in the morning - I'd watch until the first 50 or so countries came out in the stadium, after that it got a liiiitttle repetitive, and I did something else.
As I did so, time slipped away, and then I was rather abrutly interrupted by my mother telling me that those visiting the house (future buyers) wanted to measure something in my room.
My room was in the fair old state, so I piled things from wall to wall to make it look like I was a functioning human with a clean-ish room.
Other than the fact I was in my pyjamas and was having breakfast, it went pretty well, and I think they got what they needed, I'd shortly return to my room and return to the land of blogging and practicing.
During this practice, I had quite the experience - barely missing a wall and witnessing a rather large group of cars all practicing together (I don't usually see this)...
And that brings us to the end of this blog, thank you ever so much for reading, sorry it's been a rather long one - quite a few days have passed and I've been struggling to keep up, but I hope you've enjoyed it, and I will see you next blog.