Updated: Jul 27, 2021
On continuation from Part/Week 1 posted 11 days ago 09/06/2021 - Wednesday
The 9th was the day that iRacing went down at 1pm - the whole of Kabort (okay, like 5 drivers) guessed when it'd be back up and after guessing 17:30, it popped back up at 17:16 - I won. The only thing I ever won. Heh.
There was quite some juicy new updates to play with - the big headline acts being the Formula Vee car and the Red Bull Ring which holds the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix. or officially known as the "Österreichring".
This becomes the 13th circuit on the current Formula One Calendar to join the sim after:
Hockenheim (GER) Nurburgring (GER)
Imola (ITA/San Marino) Monza (ITA)
Interlagos (BRA) Circuit De Gilles Villnereve (CAN)
Spa Francorchamps (BEL)
Circuit De Catalunya (ESP)
COTA, Austin (USA)
To begin with, I tried these out (buying Austria, the Vee being free) before turning to the few new oval tracks that had come to AI Racing on the UI (User Interface) - be brutally beating up some F3 cars around Lanier.
It'd only be at 9:15pm that I'd finally get around to doing a race - I like having half an hour or an hour of mental preparation before getting into any race - so after a couple of hours of messing around with AI - and missing the (exact) opening of the race session, at 20:45 - 2 and a half hours after I would have liked to have raced, but hey.
The race went absolutely PHENOMENALLY - after a "very decent, but I've done better" lap-time during qualifying (putting me 5th) I had an absolutely stellar race.
Off the line, I lost a single position to the driver I shared the third row with.
Lap 2 saw me gain a position from K. Nickel who crashed out from 3rd, putting me back in the top 5.
The very next lap, the leader and driver he was battling with both crashed out, promoting me to 3rd place - a podium in my debut Week 13 race - my first since April would be a dream come true...
But I was under pressure - the #7 car of Kenny Pool had been on my tail for almost the entire race. Starting in 7th, he started on the row behind me and had been always been following me at a close distance - with the exception of the first lap - he had always been the car behind me - hunting me down and keeping me honest.
As we crossed the line to start lap 6, he had managed to slip by - but it wasn't all over quite yet.
The driver who was leading pitted, turning this into a fight for the win.
Kenny may have had the lead for the penultimate lap - but fate had Kenny in his jaws....on the final lap, there was a slow backmarker at the worst possible spot: the Esses. and Kenny was about to discover this the hard way.
One of three things could happen here:
1) Kenny could slam on the anchors behind the backmarker and I'd fly through, him still being a threat on the final lap 2) Kenny could hit the backmarker and I would fly through. or...
3) we both hit the backmarker and 3rd flies through....
Somehow it was the second by the narrowest of margins.
Although unofficial, I still won it and to win a race - (As they always say: to finish first, you must first finish) - so I may not be the fastest out on track, but to not crash and keep it together under pressure does still take some skill. and that skill I showed on this day.
And for me, wins are rare - so I'll take the win as a win is a win - official or not!
On Day 2 of resting off the Harlow Adventures, I did a surprisingly early race - one opening at 9:45am, racing at 10:15am.
I'd qualify 10th after an alright lap, pull off a fancy move down the inside on the exit of the downhill turn 4, before someone binned it on into the gravel, promoting me to 8th.
As another two binned it, and 6th dropped a wheel onto the gravel (same corner as last pass) I was quickly into 5th, hunting down 4th.
On Lap 4, the car in 2nd would spin it at the final chicane, only getting up to race speed behind me (me now being in 4th) - me still learning the track, I shifted down twice for the final corner - him ploughing into the back of me - fortunately, this only boosted me forwards and kept him behind, but he'd get the move on the straight after turn one anyways. This turning into a massive battle for third before the driver in this place dropped a wheel onto the gravel and spun on the straight before the final chicane.
Whilst this was happening, I was in the process of losing 4th position - 5th had my slipstream heading down into turn 4, braked later than me and almost had the move sealed before I had the inside and racing line.
Into turn 5, I stayed sealed to the Mercedes who got the better run out of the turn - before I got a shove up the backside, but used this to attempt a cutback into the chicane....howwwever, this plan foiled as the Merc slammed the door on me whilst I was still there and spun us both out - him recieving a hit in the door by the guy who punted me up the rear.....
Unnnnfortunately, this wasn't the end as I rejoined rather too "enthusiastically" and spun out - only to be hit by another Porsche. my rear end non-existent and me hobbling around like a blind amputee, I decided to call it quits and had no further motivation to race for the rest of the day.
I regard the 11th June probably the most bitter-sweet day of them all - despite submitting my (Radio News Production) assignment and my lecturer SOMEHOW marking the assignments at that exact time, I felt absolutely sht -battling headache, stomach ache and just general ("miffiness") - I slept half the day and just hoped I was well enough for Castle Combe the following day.
I went to Castle Combe on this day - arriving at about 9am, and driving home at around 5pm - I'm going to do an individual blog for UWRacing on this one.
It was another lucky escape as I thought I would have to buy Chicago Street Circuit, but fortunately - being at Castle Combe - I did not!
It was also round 2 of the ISRC Championship at Imola - I hope there's still enough time for me to compete in the final round!
Whilst I got sun-burnt at Castle Combe, Joost (NDL) and Tim Perry (GBR) got a P6 at the 6 hour ISRC race at Imola.
Whilst there were a few (hosted) 24 Hour races here and there (as iRacing hadn't announced theirs), Kabort had no official entries into these.
It was also during this week that iRacing would hold a version of the Le Mans 24 Hours - however, to get around ACO's rather difficult road-block, it's been included in a 24 Hour Series - every two weeks a 24 Hour race running - Le Mans coincidentally being among these during June!
Woke up at about midday - had breakfast - or brunch, wrote the first part of this blog and at about 4:45pm - finished up until today (yeah, it took multiple days to write) and at about 5:45pm entered the day's Week 13 race at Red Bull Grand Prix Circuit.
It was surprisingly tough. Qualifying 13th to Finishing 7th - I really pushed on my qualifying lap but still I struggled to keep up with the pack - not sure why.
The final week of the most stressful week on iRacing, Day 6/6 - Week 13 - the final chapter.
It was at Long Beach, and understandably, it went to absolute tatters.
I qualified in 14th, not terribly - got deeply involved in the turn one car-park and attempted to catch up with those ahead...
I'm not super confident when it comes to street-circuits, so whilst I survived, it was only a P7, which wasn't TERRIBLE, it just "could have been better if circumstances were different"
After Saturday at the races (Castle Combe) and admittedly getting rather burnt, I sort of kept Sunday (13th) for myself and to recover from the previous day.
On Monday however, I was back in action - first finishing up the Long Beach race (bit of a disappointing end to W13) before heading back up to Harlow for a previously arranged meet-up.
Somehow I found myself in the middle of June. I don't know how - last time I checked the calendar it was March maybe? It's terrifying how time just Does. Not. Stop - and this isn't even the end of the blog!
On the 15th, myself and the friends I was with had Kiara cleaned (only for heavy rain to be correctly predicted for Thursday! But it was a fun experience and I always love going through it - it's weirdly exciting!
The 15th was also the start of Season 3, 2021 on iRacing - However, being up in Harlow, the racing would have to wait.
Surprisingly, the last two months or so have seen an incredibly limited amount of cockpit time.
Before returning home from Uni, my most recent race had been on the 10th of April (European Endurance Series) - after this, and Uni, I made my comeback on the 29th May (COTA race mentioned in previous week) followed by days 2, 3, 6 and 7 of Week 13 - Day 7 being my most recent race to date on the 14th June, exactly a week on Monday.
My last official remains on May the 29th, but when I return from Harlow, I will be more than happy to budge that IR line and budge it above 1.2K!
The 16th June was a pretty quiet day with only a trip to Staines and disappointing Evie (standard stuff).
It was also the day that I found out that my parents were about to go into self-isolation.
I won't go into details, but before going into hospital on the 23rd of June, I found out my dad had to take a COVID test 72 hours prior to this - meaning a test on the 19th of June and between the 19th - 23rd, self-isolating and not seeing everybody.
As I was a free birdy, I decided that I'd stay up in Harlow with my friend where I could be a free birdy without any restrictions.
During this day, we (myself, friend and two of her friends) would go swimming - firstly in the kid's pool to get used to the temperature before venturing into the "big" pool with swimming lanes - by big, I mean in terms of width and length, not in depth - the lane we were in was pretty shallow from shallow end to deep end - allowing me to fully stand at both ends with my shoulders out of the water.
Amelia and us had a blast - so was certainly worth it!
After this, my friend informed me of a special event occuring - firstly telling me it was later on in the day, then on the weekend, and then on a later date the following month.
With this on my mind, my stress level slowly began to increase.
That weekend was the Glen 6 Hours (first running of the event since 2019), French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, inflatables day at the local pool - and (at the time) still the potential for the special event to be run.
We started the day with a trip to a Krispy Kreame shop nearby - more flavours and types of donuts and milkshakes/smoothies being sold here.
Whilst my friends went swimming again, (same pool), I headed down to Surrey to have a little evening with Evie after the Special Event Plans were changed and she wanted a chat with me about life.
During this, I met J, Evie's new boyfriend and right from the off we got on like a house on fire - he was a super friendly guy - who (for the first time ever!) paid attention to not only Evie, but myself too - making the impromptu trip to McDonalds not a third-wheeling adventure.
J was also quite the car-guy - being knowledgeable about cars and knowing his stuff - and just like myself, he had a 5+ year old car.
After this, I quickly dashed home, grabbed my suit (for the wedding) and then headed back up to Harlow.
On the 18th and final day of my parent's freedom, we all headed down to my house to grab everything I would need for over a week in Harlow including the laptop for blogging and more, my two academic calendars (reaching the end of my first) and many, many clothes.
On our way down, Kiara got a little hungry:
We'd end the day by heading down to London, Yes, it was late...hella late...but the views of London at night were SPECTACULAR!
(Obviously I didn't take a Camera, so iPhone had to do...)
We'd arrive back in Harlow at about 4am and just crash.
I awoke to Amelia crying, at first I just thought she was hungry, but she continued for quite a while, so at 8am or so I went down and investigated...she appeared to be alone - so I played with her until 10am or so before she fell asleep firstly climbing onto the couch, before falling asleep again on me. The day would continue in positivity as we'd take a trip to a cute Turkish/Greek restaurant in the centre of Harlow where I had a DELICIOUS sausage and Bacon burger (and chips).
Following this, we'd next head to Halfords - not specifically for myself, but since Halfords was near, I had a little nosey at my dream bike - a Carrera Vengeance - and there she stood in all her silver beauty - less than £400 and an INCREDIBLE off-road bike too - just a shame I missed the entry-date for the 2021 Offroad London To Brighton Cycle, but hey, it what it is - but I have a sneaky plan to get a Vengeance in my garage...legally.
Whilst looking in Halfords, we (my friend and her friends) also picked up some bits and pieces for Kiara including a steering wheel cover, charging devices and a device which held my phone in a place where I could easily see it - meaning I can now use Waze as opposed to Kiara's map from 2014 - Waze knowing where the quickest routes and closed roads are...live!
We'd also have a cheeky wetherspoons on this day!
We'd finish the day in London once again as the British City That Never Sleeps called us once again, and we went to the very same place as we did last time - this time we were treated to some locals' music.
Once again, we'd arrive back home at past 4am in the morning.
Further up North, Will would complete his road-trip from East to West (seeing if he could get to the west before the sun rises) - the sun unfortunately beating him on this occasion.
A Ferrari 458/488 was also spotted as well as a Huracan (or two) but these were the "ones that got away" (not my fault the drivers had enough dancing at 2 in the morning!
For future reference, I was down at Embankment/Southbank (us crossing Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Golden Jubilee bridge over the course of both nights.
The 20th was rather lazy day with just a trip down to Staines filling up the day of activity.
I also saw a rather nicely done up Jaguar F-Type on this day.
The 21st of June was an incredibly lazy day with two trips up to Tesco and that's it - the second being where I may or may not have spent a little bit of money on a few diecast models - I'll likely do a photoshoot of these when I get the chance
And after over 20 days (10 the first, 12 the second), I've finally caught up with real time - it's been one hell of a month (29th May - 21st June) full of adventures and journies....and we've still got another two or so to go before I head home.
And with that, It's time for me to devour some Chicken Choi-mein and ribs!
Ta rah and see you soon!
Dirty Torque Racing League Race History
23/05/2021 - Oulton Park: Attended
30/05/2021 - Lime Rock: Didn't Attend (Beach)
06/06/2021 - Hell RX: Didn't Attend (Busy, Tyre Blow-Out)
13/06/2021 - Silverstone: Only realised that it was on wayyyy too late
20/06/2021 - Laguna Seca: Didn't Attend (Busy @ Georgia's)
27/06/2021 - USA Speedway: " "
4/07/2021 - N/A (Postponed To Next Week, Independence)
11/07/2021 - Okayama Short - Final day @ Georgia's, Unavailible.
18/07/2021 - Detroit - NEC, Sorta forgot.
25/07/2021 - Langley - Oval & Incredibly busy weekend