Towards the end of December 2021, I talked about racing development and the need to just run laps. It would be difficult to say mission accomplished in just three months, but there has been a marked improvement. In the last iRacing season of 2021, I ran about 30 races (with mixed results). For Season 1 of 2022, that total has more than doubled. Among those 90 races, around a half dozen have been ranked. Both the average start and finish positions improved. Starting position went from 10.69 to 8.0. Finishes improved from 8.31 to 7.13!
The best thing that I did, is to go back and watch the top finishers in the cockpit view. It doesn’t necessarily show the throttle and braking, but you can hear what is happening from the sound of the engine. Doing this really helped in figuring out racing lines and throttle. I would attribute this to helping in continued development.
This is not to say that I still don’t get caught up in an accidents. It at least feels that it is usually getting driven into by someone not holding their line. I will still have an occasional wall tap, but I am also able to keep going afterwards and not spin out. The two ranked races with the IR18 were fairly decent, except for one mistake in each race that I would want back. Both of those were just trying to push a little too hard instead of staying patient.
Mix Up Your Racing
There are times that it can come to feel repetitive. Feel free to mix things up a little bit. Running the same thing over and over can become tedious. There is nothing wrong either with taking a break for a couple of days.
The Time Attack Competitions are a fun way to see how you stack up against others on a particular track. You don’t have to worry about another car wrecking in front of you either! There is a fun feeling when your time climbs up the leaderboard or hit your first World Champion time bracket.
The races in the current series will run for a week. Pick a day or two during the week to get away from your usual races and try something different! For example, the Rookie Legends series is fun to drive in. It is still competitive. The Legends car drives a lot different than a Nascar.
Another way to mix things up is to run solo laps. Look ahead at the calendar of your favorite series and see what track is coming up next. Work on a new racing line to help in passing. You can also gauge how tire wear may affect the handling or through the turns as you progress in the run.
Patience is Key in Racing Development
Patience may be the one of the most important things of all early on in your career. It seems that staying patient in the unranked races will pay off by the end. I have picked up a couple of wins simply by not crashing. It is like March Madness basketball, survive and advance. Being patient may not work in every race. You may still get caught up in a wreck. It can increase your chances of success however!
Early on in a race, instead of sticking your nose underneath a car to try to pass, just stay in line and wait for a better opportunity. Most of us aren’t professionals and will probably make a mistake at some point. This will also let you watch the driver in front and take advantage later. This also helps as you learn a track and know where the trouble spots are.
Staying patient as also helped with running consistent lap times. This way you are not overdriving the car. Some tracks it isn’t just holding the gas to the floor. There is still plenty of room to grow. Confidence and comfort level continues to build when running around others. Instead of worrying about not messing up someone’s race, it is now how to keep them behind or to pass.
A great test of patience was just running the recent iRacing Indianapolis 500. Staying focused and watching other cars and learning was a fun experience.
There are still a couple of things to remember as your racing development continues. You will have good days and bad days. Even in a video game, racing is unpredictable and anything can happen. The other is to keep having fun. There will probably be points of frustration (most likely from other drivers that may struggle). It is ok to step away and take a break. If you have read this far, you are probably like me and not a professional being paid large sums of money to race!
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Wednesday Night Dash
If you are still working on your racing development, then Wednesday Night Dash may be for you. It is an 8 race series ran on Wednesday Night for one hour each night. It is designed for those short on time or not quite ready for the bigger and longer races. There is a $50 entry fee, but you can win cash and prizes for finishing in the top 3 of individual races or season championship! Late registrations are accepted.