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The Rollercoaster Ride Of Robin's iRating...(Updated)

Updated: Dec 5, 2022


Prologue

I originally wrote this blog in late May 2020, when I was in a very difficult place with my iRating - and I wanted to process and explain (to myself and others) how I went from 1350, down to 620 and how I then since recovered.


Only when I hit 1K iRating in late August (2020) did I realise - "hey, I should probably include that in that iRating summary blog I did"


Two sequels later, I returned to the original, and decided to spruce it all up.


It's been two years since I wrote it, and my writing has come a long way since then, so, in November 2022, I gave it a little spring-clean and freshened the article up with slightly better wording and layout.


Enjoy.


~


The Debut It's March 9th, 2020. I've just hit a record low iRating of 620 - the "default" iRating one gets when they buy the sim is 1350 - where on EARTH did it go so wrong? I got my first ever iRating (promoted to Class D) during Week 8 of my inaugural season of iRacing (joined Week 5). The first race I got this licence, I was already losing iRating - dipping from 1078 to 1044.

The first screenshot I ever took on iRacing (Okayama - Feb '19 | S1, 2019)

The following race, less than a month after joining iRacing, I got my first podium!


I finished 3rd at Lime Rock Park - boosting my iRating to a respectable 1105 - and I did it in absolute style, finishing less than a second in front of 4th.


I was on a roll and I wasn't stopping there! Gaining over 100 iRating from 1044 (Week 8) to 1187 (Week 11) - a VERY successful debut bid if I do say so myself - never once finishing outside of the top 10! Further still, collecting Top 5's in 4/8 of the races! (3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th)


The next time I'd see a iRating this high (1187) would be two years down the line in February 2021! (Just an indication of how exactly things went...)

Next up was Laguna Seca...and it's fair to say, things didn't quite go to plan - after a storming start, I was punted from behind at Turn 1, dropping me to the back of the field - things only worsening from here as I finished the race with a disqualification.


This ended up costing me dear - and I finished my debut season on 1135 iRating.

My inaugural season was both a blast and a great learning experience (#3)

The following Week after Laguna Seca, I got to experience my first ever Week 13 - every 4 months, iRacing drops a load of new content, and W13 is a chance for this to be tested in a safe environment (no iRating affected) before heading into official racing the following week.


This way, bugs and glitches can be spotted (with the new content) - without posing a risk to anyone's iRating.


Since I decided to do 1 series per season, (Week 13 marking the end of one, and the start of another) - it gave me a great opportunity to decide what to do next season.


During Week 13, I competed in the unbelievably fun "Le Mans Lucky 7's - 777" (7 Days, 7 Tracks, 7 Cars) which was a 30 minute GTE Series, which instantly made me fall in love with not only the Ferrari 488 GTE - but the whole GT scene as a whole!


The best part of it all was the fact that in 777, iRating wasn't affected!

Celebrating the launch of the BMW M8 GTE on iRacing - the week-long series was chaotic, but very fun

I didn't quite have the licence for GTE racing - but having had such a blast, I thought GT3 would be the next best thing (and be very similar to the fun I had in 777).


The Trouble Starts (Season 2, 2019 - Ferrari GT3 Challenge: Below 1K I Go!) In Season 2, 2019, I competed in the Ferrari GT3 Challenge.

At the time, I was blissfully unaware of my iRating - and just considered it "normal" - at the time I was 1135.


It was NOT a good start to the season - in the first five rounds, I lost -74 iRating - not by retiring - but by finishing in the lower half - my best finish by Week 5 being an 8th.


After starting with a healthy 1135, I was now at 1061 - but I was in for a big surprise.

After getting involved in a massive start-line pile-up, I retired and lost a further 103 iRating (in just one race) and ended up with a appalling 958 iRating, dipping below 1K for the first time - the first of many to come.


As Katy Perry once said "After a hurricane comes a rainbow" - and I was curious how far up the grid I could get, had I not been taken out - so, I jumped into the next session - At long last, I had my first iRating gain - +24 for finishing 7th - not much, but a start - and a gain much needed after 6 races drastically losing iRating.


Laguna Seca (the next round) also went...alright, despite an infuriating spin from 4th (finished Lap 1 in 2nd!) - Laguna helped me back into the 1000's (1010) - but it wasn't to last.


In the following two weeks, I lost 105 iRating - 21 at Monza, and 85 for a retirement at Montreal - heading into Week 10/12 with just 905 iRating.

All was not lost though, as I made a friend whilst battling hard at Sebring (and then subsequently Imola - we were right on each-other's pace - and also struggled with iRating.


Between when we met and late 2021, he never nearly touched 1K iRating - but it's so good to see him back on track (and doing well) - even if we haven't raced in years - he's since hit 1K and is currently at 1.4K.


After our final together race, he continued racing in GT3 (and a sprinkle of GTE), only raced in 5 races during 2020, and does the occasional special event endurance race.


As of late (2021/2022) - he's raced a significant amount in the LMP2, where it's overtaken GT3's as his most driven car. He was last seen in February.

Part of our friendship was compounded by an incident in which I lost 4th position - but it was a friendly rivalry/banter as we had such a good battle for the two previous races.


(He braked earlier, got on power earlier, I braked later & harder)


As a result of two great races at Sebring at Imola, I was now at 956 iRating.

The livery was an incredibly fitting tribute to the late Niki Lauda who passed away the same month

Looking back at the Sebring race, his iRating was only at 580 - so maybe we'd been travelling the same story?

Despite only seeing it for two races, Kiyan's livery was Iconic - and I still long for the day we can both race one another once again...

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to attend Bathurst (on the same day as me - raced 1 day before me) - and I wasn't able to have a legendary battle.


Instead, I got involved in a massive start-pile up - and then got wiped out at Skyline - undoing all the hard work and returning to 881 iRating. 13/20 retired. (leaving 7 to finish)


During that season's Week 13 - having enjoyed my time in the Ferrari GT3 Challenge, I decided to race in the aptly named "13th Week Ferrari GT3 Challenge" - and whilst it didn't start so well (lowest of 803), I managed to pick up the pieces and finish Week 13 on 943 iRating - after a largely positive experience.


Season 3, 2019: More Of The Same


Having enjoyed the Ferrari (GT3 Challenge) (in both the previous season and W13) - I saw the opportunity to drive it more in endurance racing.


Granted, Kabort's debut ended in disqualification at - guess where: Laguna Seca - (couldn't have been anywhere else!)


Despite this, I/we still gained iRating as we finished in the top half (24/37) - only 14/37 making it to the finish!


This pushed me up to 949 iRating. "a gain is a gain"


Kabort's debut season was rather a mixed bag - both gaining and losing a fair bit.


--> Gained at the first two races (+6 each race) and further gained at Glen 6hrs (961 max)

--> DSQ in race 3, only -1 iRating lost

--> +30 iRating gained from an 8th place finish (from 19th) (990 IR)

--> -9 iRating for finishing 7th/7 finishers in the race before Spa 24hr (same day)

--> Spa 24 Hours went well, 12th w/ +12 iRating gain - (993 iR)

--> +8 iRating at Mount Panorama, pushing me over 1K iRating for the first time since last season.


--> Last three races (W9, W10 & W12) added up to a total loss of -39 iRating - ended the season with 962 iRating. W12 (Suzuka) ending in a double Disqualification for Kabort


Following an exciting debut season, iRacing very much took the back seat as I focussed hard on college work (iRacing was certainly competing with studying time)

The Spa 24 Hours was - and always will be - one of the biggest highlights of my career

It was Week 13 again - and this time I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a Audi Touring Car.


Whilst waiting, I participated in two Mazda races and an "Industrifahrten" Race (my first at the Nurburgring Nordschliefe).


By the start of Season 4, 2019, I was at 964 iRating, I had a bit of work to do, but not a lot of time to do it.


Following this, I managed to squeeze out two more races before hanging iRacing up for a month. The Bathurst 1000KM was next. In the V8 Supercar up Mount Panorama, I knew this was going to be one hell of a challenge - but with the help of William Hunt, Kelson Penn and Gas Cohen - we absolutely smashed it, finishing 7th - leaving me with 923 iRating - repairing the damage of yester-race.

Everything went according to plan...

Then the new season rolled around - The Endurance Le Mans Series was our (Kabort's) series of choice for the next 6 Weeks - 6hr races in GTE's...sounds exciting - but for me?


College.


Even with college just around the corner, there was still enough time for me to lose chunks - and straight off the bat, I lost 55 because I joined the Le Mans Series race at Barcelona instead of the Endurance Le Mans Series race (6hr) at the same track/same time. I once again returned to the 800's. This would very much set the theme for the season, a month later, I lost a further -3 iRating at the ELMS (Endurance Le Mans Series) race at Le Mans the following month


Late that season (W8 onwards), I'd try out the Porsche 911 Cup (for the first time) to see if it would be something I'd be interested in racing (in the future) - but each attempt ended in loss.


In total losing -131 iRating in only three races.


Out of 10 races I entered that season, I only finished half.


During Week 13, I further tested the Porsche 911 Cup to...mixed results - gaining a fair bit!


W1: 766 (+45)

W2: 819 (+53)

W3: 846 (+27)

W4: 879 (+33)


The following season was once again "plagued" by college - and with the exception of two races (tried to join friend in server), I only did Special Events.


Jan - Daytona 24hr (DNS - Guy joined wrong team)

Feb - Bathurst 12hr (Hot-Seating with William) - 749 iRating (+15 iR gain) Week 13 returned again - and I jumped into my newfound love...wait, no, that sounded really really bad!


I jumped into the Porsche 911 Cup, as it was tricky - but fun to drive..but only did more damage to my iRating.


W1 - 708 (-41)

W2 - 698 (-10)

W3 - 725 (+27)

W5 - 662 (-63)

W6 - 669 (+7)

W7 - 620 (-49)

She looked, handled and sounded sweet - but she was a killer


The Rise


Things happened pretty quickly thereafter - after hitting my lowest EVER iRating, I swore not to touch the 911 Cup again - and have stuck to my promise, (bar one race after this), not even driving the newly released 992. (2022)


In total, driving the 911 Cup has lost me an eye-watering -294 iRating. Never again. (for context, I gained 192 - a difference over 100 iRating!)


Season 2, 2020 was also the last I focussed on endurance racing - after watching my iRating plummet, and saw how I annoyed fellow competitors by battling them whilst (they) tried to lap me, I decided I needed a break from endurance racing.

but before I hung up the team-focus, I had one last season to complete - and with a 6-race iRating (gain) streak - I was certainly going to be back...just not yet.


2020 iRacing Sebring 12hrs - 622 (+2)

--> ELMS Sebring - 629 (+7) (Endurance Le Mans Series)

Nurburgring Endurance Championship (R1) - 638 (+9) Final race in 911 cup - ended in flip


--> ELMS Monza - 641 (+3)

NEC (Nurb. End. Champ) (R2) - 666 (+25) - 3rd Place - 2nd career podium, 1st enduro

2020 iRacing Nurburgring 24 Hours - 681 (+15) - 8th

NEC (R3) - 680 (-1)

--> ELMS Le Mans - 708 (+28)


Season 3, 2020

--> ELMS Le Mans - 709 (+1)


At the same time something SIGNIFICANT was happening in the real world.


This SIGNIFICANT event meant that the commentator friends of my dads were stuck at home - so, one decided to create a Skip Barber league.


Okay, I may have been reckless and caused A few incidents - but it massively shone a light on the Skip Barber - and answered my conundrum of "Where do I go...which isn't endurance racing?"


Switching to the Skip Barber was probably one of the smartest career choices I've ever made and a season that had absolutely everything.


(Missed Round 1)


R2 - Spa Francorchamps- Started 2nd, Jump-Started, fell to 9th, up 2 - 714 iR (+5) R3 - Mosport - Started 9th, Finished 3rd (3rd career podium) - 775 iR (+61)

R4 - Zandvoort - Started 5th, Finished 4th - 835 iR (+60)

R7 - Donington* - Started 7th, Finished 1st (first career win) - 931 iR (+82)

R8 - Nurb. Nords. - Started 9th, DNF (got killed) - First IR loss of season 832 (-99)

R11 - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - Started 3rd, Finished 2nd (turn 1 crash, couldn't catch P1. - 954 (+81)


R12(/R13) - Started 7th - Finished 4th, 1022 - First time hitting 1K in 10+ Months.

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