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Twin Ring Motegi - A race of two halves...

Twin Ring Motegi was the first race we ran since a large amount of people left Kabort. I hate to keep bringing it up and bringing attention to it - but it's impossible to miss, and has really shaped the team as it is today - much like if Billy Monger were to write a blog - he'd include a segment about his leg. It hasn't disabled him, it's just changed his life slightly.

Also prior to this race, I trialled out the Porsche iRacing cup at Interlagos and Nurburgring, to see potential options for next year...and despite being taken out of both of them, the cars being quite hard to drive as well as my iRating disappearing too, I enjoyed it and may or may not be doing the Season 1, 2020 Porsche iRacing Cup alongside ELMS.

In this race, we ran new-comer John Taylor in the GTE, and Bathurst returnees Jaehan An, Yu Sung Yune and Kyle Jeong. "Kabort Korea" (as it was referred to then) Qualified in 8th place, with mad-man Yu Sung Yune behind the wheel, whilst the GTE car Qualified 27th overall (19th in class)

from here, it was very much a race of different stories. Tim started us off, and unfortunately out-braked himself at turn one, bumping into the car ahead of him, both spinning out, the car was not too badly damaged...or so I thought.

After rejoining the track, weather it was intentional or not, the driver that Tim hit "drifted over" into us, spinning us into the wall and giving us a very large amount of damage - which had to be repaired. After this, the Kabort GTE team just ran around in last place, only picking up positions from those who did not finish. Ironically, me and the leader were split by EXACTLY 44 laps - meeting the LMP1 leader/winner on the start finish line, and hence only just missing out on having to do a white flag lap...but I did one anyway....

Meanwhile, on the LMP1 side of the garage, the Koreans managed to keep the car within the top 10. These consistent drivers only marginally shifted up/down a couple of positions throughout the duration of the race, the last quater spent chasing down the top 5. A 4th position was incredibly respectable, and one of Kabort's highest finishes!

Or so it would may seem...there are reports that the Kabort LMP1 car was disqualified due to too many off-track incidents, yet they kept 5th due to the proximity to the end of the race. Endurance Le Mans Series, Twin Ring, Week 5 ET: 33


Q: GTE: 27th (19th In Class) (John Taylor) | | LMP1: 8th (Yu Sung Yune)

R: GTE: 24th (17th in Class) | LMP1: 5th

F: 24 (Including LMP1)

S: 30

SOF: 1828

Post-Race Scuffle

After the race, I was sent a lengthy private message from a driver called James Andrew, and It read:

"Hi Robin,
I know you're really active on the forums and I respect that - it helps with the community spirit. I also know you're a youngster and not hugely experienced in simracing. So this will be just a friendly, advice-laden message. Though I did swear at you on my team radio today!
I could see you were trying to get out of the way and let faster cars pass, but as you no doubt realised part-way through today, it wasn't working too well. Allow me to give just a few basic pointers.
I ended up spinning off beside you today mainly because you failed to actually let people pass. Both for me and my teammate later, you pulled over on the straight, nice and early (good stuff) but then either didn't lift off the gas pedal or you didn't let off enough. Basically, while you showed INTENT to let people through, you then failed to MAKE IT HAPPEN. If you go so far out of your way to pull over, then you have a responsibility to make sure the pass happens quickly and cleanly - and at YOUR expense because you were the one who pulled over.
You need to have the other car pass you before the braking zone, so you can then pull back onto the correct line and brake and steer through the next corner safely. A number of times today I saw you stay side-by-side with a car right into the apex. If you want to let them pass, give it up quickly and save yourself and everyone the panic.Everyone loses time if we're looking around saying "am I past? did he let me go or not?". That leads to uncertainty and contact and spins, so let people by and get back in their mirrors quickly so they know they are past.
One of my temamates is fast but has almost no experience of traffic, so I have not picked him to race when we had prototypes to race against. It isn't easy to learn, whether it's prototypes or just faster GT cars. But the keys are recognising the closing speed (and thus where the pass will happen) and learning to drive your car in such a way as to send "body language" messages to the other drivers. Get good at that and you won't need to pull over on the straights, you'll just be letting people know when and where they can make a move that you will be waiting for.
Keep driving, keep learning. Take care."

To which I responded:

"Hi James,
Thank you for your message, first "advice mail" I've ever recieved hah. hah.
I just thought it would be polite to reply to you since you spent time on a message to me. First off, I'd like to clarify that I am in no way perfect, and this is my first season in ELMS (With LMP1's/traffic). I also admit to being "a little bit naughty" with traffic. Being 30th after a clumsy start crash was annoying, but we were determined to finish, because that's what iRacing all about - and I admit, when there is a chance, I don't immediately give up the position - because I am a racing driver and want to race (and I know this is wrong). Weather it's an LMP1 or GTE, I want to have a little bit of "fun" instead of obediently giving up the position - which I accept and understand can cause problems.
Another challenge to contend with is the darkness - for maximum realism, I keep my relative/radar off (but mirror on) - so all I have to guide me is a mirror, and headlights can be deceiving at times.
My final "excuse" (if you will) is the fact that Motegi isn't the most "overtaking friendly" circuit on the calendar - yes I should make it easier for everybody, but It's also difficult to overtake in general.
Usually my tactic for dealing with traffic is, if it is a straight, stay exactly where I am, and let them zoom past, if there's corners I let them catch me/pass me, but if no advancement/pass is made, I take the racing line and then let them past after the corner. This can be misunderstood and I can cut people up, frustrate, and lengthen the overtaking process
I must take this moment to apologise for any bad driving, or if I caused you to spin. (although I am unsure of when I spun your team-mate)
My team mate also bumped into an LMP1 and during my last stint I made it very difficult for Guy Bourassa in particular, by having a battle with him
Don't worry about swearing at me over Team Radio - I have all forms of chat turned off for the duration of the race - so it's really Nim you've got to keep an eye out for!
As inconvenient as this was, It was incredibly fortunate that we were both in GTE's. Here are a few stats:
My Lap | My Driver | Your Lap | Your Driver | Corners Taken To Pass (starting from when I am the car in front of you, in your headlights) Lap 60 | Robin Truswell | 70 | James Andrew2 | 5 Before Spin Occurred (I went wide, but did scare you by going side by side. Apologies.) Lap 61 | Robin Truswell | 71 | James Andrew2 | 4 (Overtaken @ end of straight) followed by interesting weave lol Lap 95 | John Taylor7 | 105/106 | James Andrew2 | Had Sights on him since 105/106 eventually caught and passed: 109. end of straight Lap 179 | Robin Truswell | 192 | William Woodland | 8 (Pass under braking)
Given the rare amount of times we met over th 6 hours, I am just curious why you were the one to send me the message, unless you were watching me ruin everyone elses race? Either is completely fine, and I am completely open, and welcoming to improvements/advice, my question is then, why me? Did I stand out? And I understand you are trying to help me, and have a concern for other drivers and I fully appreciate that and will take on the advice, but if they had a huge problem (with me in particular) surely I would be aware (via text chat, more private messages or other means) To end, I'd like to ask a question - and I don't want to cause offence, but: If you did not have the replay option, of switching to the other cars, and you only had the view of your car, would you've messaged me?
Thank you for a great race today and all the advice,
Robin Truswell"

To which he responded:

"Thanks Robin. Good that you replied and engaged. I know you're not a bad guy.
I wanted to write back before today but there's just so much in our last two messages, so I might reply in bits.
I do understand the urge to "play" with cars coming through, but the sooner you can control that urge, the better.
So much of the endurance lark is experience, so it will come. But I'm sending my own inexperienced driver to race in the lower multi-class series over the next few weeks so he can get used to the principles at lower speeds and in shorter, less-important races.
Bye for now (still at work, technically!)"

How very exciting!

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