Important Imola

As Week 13 progresses, I'm naturally getting more and more tired and the stress/strain of racing is getting greater - I've finished 8th, 9th and 14th. Time for Imola, I should enjoy this one, I finished 4th last time I was here... In practice, I had no such external issues, so could focus on racing, I qualified P20 (20th) again...the second time this week. What I discovered during this race was truly interesting. Whereas in my first Week 13, I only made it to Race 2 before having a Mental Health Breakdown (probably due to college work and other factors at the time), and this time I have 5 times the workload, but 5 times less stress - I am calm, I know that I can complete it, and I know I can finish it, and the beauty of the weekends are that there are 48 wonderful hours that you can spend slaving away at an assignment that a teacher just reads once and that's that. Anyway, back to the racing,

The Race

Compared to the last three races, I finally had a race where I did not wheelspin like a mad horse, I revv like normal, but then when the lights go out, I realise the accelerator by 80%, before then flooring it, ensuring I short shift. This tactic got me 3 places off the start line. Over this lap, I gained 2 places by overtaking spinners/crashers, but I got overtaken by three more. The third because I foolishly got on the grass after a kerb - destroying all my momentum. And it's at this point that I realised my biggest flaw - pressure. I mentioned it briefly in the Charlotte race, but I feel here I can delve deeper. My problem is, that when I am in a group/gaggle of cars, I think that I am at the same performance level as them - and can brake/accelerate in the same places they do - I think "If they can do it, surely I can do it". For most people, this will work, and does work, and is a totally fine strategy...but the problem comes in because of this little thing called "competition". A race or grand prix, is obviously a competition, and the goal of these races/grand prix/competition is to beat the others around/in front of you - so if I am already on edge trying to keep up with/match the guys ahead of me, my brain instantly jumps to "how do I beat them" - exactly the same mentality of athletes back in the ancient greek times, when they did the Ancient Greek Olympics... So now, to beat them, I am pushing harder, braking later, going wider...I have tunnel vision and it's zoomed in on the back of that Porsche in front of me...not corners, not where the track goes, That Porsche. This is when I make mistakes. Instead of settling for a decent 6th, and dropping back, I fight for 5th and then drop to 8th or 9th.

Me losing positions is frustrating, and therefore, to catch back up to where I was, guess what I do....push harder...and then it becomes this repetitive cycle of pushing, and falling. Below is a perfect example of this.

I know and can see the car behind me, but I want to get on the power early and try to stay side-by-side with him for the straight, unfortunately, as said before, there's grass after the kerb and I lose the position. Getting a run on him gives me confidence but with a combination of a crash ahead, him clonking the inside Kerb, and a rushed move from was all going to end in tears in someway or another.

Onward from here, I lost three more positions, however gained one back thanks to someone falling off the track. The proof that I push too hard whilst in pursuit is only more evident a lap later, as going into one of the last few corners I brake very late and go flying into the gravel bed. It can be seen that I am trying to catch the black Porsche ahead.

Another driver goes past, and I pass another crash/spin. The remaining laps are eventless....except for the poor soul of Robert Vliestra who runs out of fuel just meters from the finish-line...he will surely be kicking himself for that one!

Bitterly painful.

Porsche iRacing Cup, Imola, Week 13, Day 4.

E: 28

Q: 20th

R: 16th (Thank You So Much Robert)

F: 23

S: 25

SOF: 1903 - Explains It. Tsukuba

I am probably - sorry, will, jinx my luck here, but I am looking forward to Tsukuba - somewhat thoroughly. Tsukuba is a tiny little track, and these are big Porsche's which need room to wriggle, so whatever happens, It'll be fun - and I won't be alone! I don't care if I finish last, this will surely be mayhem! Edit: I did jinx my luck - I didn't do Tsukuba (Sat), Lime Rock Park Full (Sun) or Laguna Seca (Mon) due to workload.