Updated: Feb 15
January 13th, 2019: After a recommendation from a friend, I join the service - that afternoon/evening, I set up my wheel and come that very evening (after some solo practice) I decide to join the fray and join my very first open practice session.
Between 7:15pm and 7:45pm, I'd join a few sessions, yet remain in the garage (or begin to attempt out-laps - not sure)
In the 7:45pm session, I complete my very recorded lap on iRacing (private testing sessions aren't recorded/lap-times aren't permanently kept).
It's a 1:01.500. By The end of the 2 hours, I've managed to get it down to a 1:00.118, about 2 seconds slower than the driver in front of me in 15th.
Come 8:45pm, I've got into the sub-1 minute laptimes - my fastest ever lap-time even beating one other competitor!
I did a 59.170, he a 59.284.
After a night of well-earnt rest, 4:30pm on the 14th January, 2019 came along - and so to time for my first race.
A mythical system determines splits - and for the rookies (with no iRating), this can be almost impossible and a lottery draw for some. I was in split 4/7 - the higher splits doing 54's in qualifying, this split doing 54's - 57's.
Qualifying didn't go EXACTLY to plan - qualifying in last (of those who completed laps) - slower than P9 by two whole seconds (eek).
The beauty of iRacing is that in your first ever race, iRacing rolls a dice to determine splits and who gets to race with who in which split. Of 7 splits, I was in split 4 - as this was the first rookie race for many - splits were (almost) randomly generated and the early races decide your division - saying this, the higher splits were doing 54's in qualifying - mine were doing 56's - 58's.
The cars are given numbers based on iRating - and I (surprisingly) was elected car #1.
As this was rookie racing, to avoid a massive calamity at turn one, grid-sizes were at a minimum - each of the seven splits ranging between 11 and 13 cars.
In my split, I had 12.
Of those 12, 11 would complete a lap and 10 would finish.
I'd pleasantly finish in 8th place (8/10 who finished) - not bad for my first race - especially as I didn't get lapped!
I even managed a new personal best - a 57.962 - had I done that in qualifying, I would have still qualified last (of those that completed laps), although I'd be less than a second off the driver ahead compared to two seconds.
In 2022, my current fastest lap around Summit Point (Jefferson) in a Mazda still stands as that 57.962.
To this date - 11 of the 12 have progressed out of Rookie licence.
-Four of those who raced me in my very first race are D-licence, with one being below 1K like myself
- This leaves 7 remaining.
Three of whom are C-Licence drivers (one at 876 iRating).
Just three are above C-Class/C-Licence (two not including myself) - one of whom is a B-Class/licence driver, and the other is an A, making me only one of two drivers in that race to achieve the highest non-professional ranking in iRacing. To beat Daniel, I'd need 1.6K iRating - obviously I should probably figure out how to get to 1K first!
The B-Class/licence driver was 2K iRating anyway, so I'll leave him to his business.
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!