We have completed our first couple of iRacing races! There were definitely some highlights and a few lowlights. Overall, it was great experience just to get out and start running against other people instead of just the clock. What we found too, be ready for the unexpected!
We are going to share our thoughts and what we went through in each of our first iRacing races.
It was really funny to get butterflies for a video game
Erik’s First iRacing Races
I decided to make my debut race at Charlotte. Even though Indy would be my “home track” as well, there is at least a connection to Indy with the races on Memorial Weekend! The Dallara Dash was a 30 lap event. I ended up qualifying for the race in P19 (of 22).
D.J. ran his first couple of races a few days before I did my first one. I learned a lot from what he did in those races. My main goal was just to turn some laps and see how it was racing with other cars. My other goal was to hopefully not do anything dumb! I would also like to think I had a slight disadvantage since I am using a PS4 controller instead of a wheel. I would like to think I more or less accomplished both goals.
Green Flag Drops!
It was definitely a little chaotic on the green flag. 22 cars all going for the same real estate. This is where I was happy I started toward the back so I could just watch and get up to speed without too much traffic. I was hoping to not get caught up in anything early. I did have a close call at the start/finish line of Lap 2! Trouble did hit in turns 3/4 of Lap 5. I was working to keep low, having a car to my outside. I ended up getting onto the apron and sent to the outside wall. After getting the “tow/repair,” I got too anxious to get back on the track and accelerated a little too early on pit lane and drew a black flag for speeding. When coming in to serve the penalty, I may have slid through the box!
After those early mishaps, I was able to run fairly consistent for the next 11 laps. I’m pretty certain my next incident doesn’t happen if I had a wheel. I was moving to the outside on a pass and brushed the wall between 1 and 2. It caught just enough to start sending me towards the inside wall. With the controller, I just couldn’t bring it back and ended up hitting the inside and flipped on top of the wall. The car got towed in and just had too much damage and could not go back out to finish the last 6 laps.
Overall impression after Race #1
Overall, I am happy with the first race. I ended up 11th overall. The race was a lot of fun, just a bit more difficult to maintain ultimate control without the wheel. It will be interesting to see the difference when the wheel comes in. I am waiting for the Logitech G29 to arrive. Hopefully within the next week or so!
Like Erik said above, it’s pretty weird to have nerves and anxiety over what some define as a “video game”. Going in to my first iRacing races of many, a quote from baseball Manager Joe Maddon stuck with me, “Try not to suck.”. Overall I wasn’t great, but I think that I achieved the goal of not “sucking” at my first race. I have an advantage over Erik as I do own a Logitech G920 race wheel and have a month of practice. It definitely comes in handy when you are in a race for position with someone.
As an Indiana native, I felt that making my debut at my “home state” track would be the most fitting way for me to start my career. I attended the track countless times over the year for various events and it was a great “homecoming”, even though it was virtual.
Qualification did not go well. In the two lap event, I had a slow time for lap one (40.917) and I actually wrecked on lap two. The lap one time was good enough for me to start P20 (of 25).
D.J.’s First iRacing Races
The race ran ten laps and if you wreck your car, you get to continue on, but you’ll have to sit in the pits for a period of a “tow time”, the time it takes you to be towed back to the pits and the repair time. Obviously this is not realistic to repair a broken IndyCar in 45 seconds, but in a ten lap race, we have to suspend reality a little bit.
My initial start was not good. I started too slow and waited until I saw the green flag before trying to accelerate. The biggest lesson learned here was get yourself up to speed on the front stretch before the green flag and hope the person in front of you doesn’t do what I did.
I took a pretty conservative approach to racing and did not attempt to push the limits and pass anyone, which worked out to my advantage. Since I didn’t fully know what to expect, it allowed me to watch the cars in front of me wreck each other and sit in the pits, while I cruised around the track without incident. Thanks to taking advantage of overly aggressive drivers wrecking each other, I was able to work my way from P20 to P7 and finish as the slowest car on the lead lap. I still finished on the lead lap and I am thrilled about that.
D.J.’s Lessons Learned
Let’s first clarify that it wasn’t the famous “Shaun White” who finished 23rd in our race. While I was slow, it worked out in the end because I was able to avoid all the incidents, even though I had a couple of very close calls. I definitely need to work on improving my green flag starts and holding a more consistent race line as I did slide around the track a bit. We’ll start looking into adjusting the car configuration in a few weeks. We’re excited to have the first iRacing races out of the way as we look to improve our performance and end up with a podium finish!
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