iRacing Daytona 24 Lessons Learned

iRacing Daytona 24 Final Post
image from Daytona 24
Racing on Lap 355.

Several months ago, a question was posed to us asking if we were interested in running the iRacing Daytona 24. The Daytona 24 is exactly what it sounds like. It is a 24-hour team endurance race. At the time, we had essentially just begun in iRacing and weren’t too sure about it. Neither of us had done much road racing, let alone even drive in one of the GT3 cars. After mulling over the idea, we decided not to give it a shot! Naturally, we turned to look into the drivers of Wednesday Night Dash to see who may be interested in doing the event.

The Team

There was luckily quite a bit of interest early on from the drivers in the league. As time progressed a small group of us were fully committing to the race including Wednesday Night Dash Drivers Mark Vicars and Hunter Hughes. D.J. decided not to run and instead controlled the broadcast segment of our race split for Stadium Scene TV. There is a minimum of two drivers required for the event. We ended up with 4 drivers. The schedule ended up with two 3-hour driving stints per driver. This worked out pretty well as a full fuel run was just shy of an hour. The team was formed.

The power of social media also played a factor. We, unfortunately, found out one of our drivers wasn’t able to go a couple of days before the race. A search went up on Twitter and Instagram and within just a few hours, a replacement was already reaching out to us! Luckily, he had already been practicing in the car that we were going to race as well. Shoutout to Andrew Hewitt for saving the weekend!

Practice Time

The part that made this just a little easier, other than keeping a car moving for 24 hours, we had time to get practice in. Especially with road courses, there is a lot to learn about braking points, landmarks, shifting, etc. At least for me, the first few laps were lucky if I just stayed on the track. As familiarity grew, the laps got better and then they got faster. I am not sure I want to know the number of practice laps that we ran as a group in the lead-up to the event.

Three of us also ended up running two races in one of the iRacing Series. These were 3-hour races at Mid-Ohio and WeatherTech at Laguna Seca. The two races only featured the GT3 group of cars. Each race we ended up driving a different car. For Mid-Ohio, we opted to go with the Mercedes AMG. While at Laguna, the Ferrari was used.

For the iRacing Daytona 24, the Porsche was the car of choice. In the final lead-up, there were a lot of solo practice laps, and multiple AI races to get other cars on track, and one of them even competed in the Roar Before the 24.

WND Special Event

The week after the conclusion of Season 4 of Wednesday Night Dash, we ran a special event as a thank-you to all of our drivers from 2022. We set up a 45-minute sprint race with the GT3 cars at Daytona. There was a little bit of a dual purpose for the race. We wanted something different than what we had just done with Wednesday Night Dash and a kickoff of sorts to prepare for the iRacing Daytona 24.

iRacing Daytona Set Ups

Within iRacing, there are two options with the races. There are fixed setup and open set-up races. In a fixed set-up race, everyone runs the same thing with small adjustments possible with in-car settings. The iRacing Daytona 24 was an “open set-up race”. For those not familiar with iRacing, there is a pretty extensive garage section of the simulator that allows you to fine-tune your settings just like a real-life race car. Some drivers/teams spend hours testing and fine-tuning setups.

We used setups from VRS and Major’s Garage. Ultimately, we used the setup from Major’s Garage. At least for my extremely limited experience in the car and this type of racing, I enjoyed the setup. It had a good balance in the turns and good speed in the straights. The one adjustment I made to it was increasing the brake bias.

The iRacing Daytona 24 Hour Race

The race overall went fairly well. The team had some high points and also some low points. We had two primary goals going into the race. The first was to keep the incident count as low as possible. The second goal was to be running at the end of 24 hours. We accomplished both of those! Maybe could have avoided a couple of incidents during the race. For all four drivers, it was our first Daytona 24. For the three of us, our first race was longer than 3 hours. At the end of the day, we can’t complain!

This is part 1 of 3. It had to get split due to the length of the race.
Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3

The iRacing Daytona 24 Broadcast

This section was written by D.J. Fluck

The nice part about owning a broadcasting company like Stadium Scene TV is that having an established audience and platform to broadcast to. Erik and I made the strategic decision to put the TV-style broadcast following our entry and free up the F-R Racing channel for Erik to in-car stream and interact with viewers as he drove.

Tip #1: Overbuild your next gaming PC. You’ll never know when you need that extra push

From a technical standpoint, the stream went extremely well. I overbuilt my PC and it was never at risk of overheating or failing. My CPU usage never exceeded 15% while running a stream via OBS and the iRacing broadcast.

Tip #2: Make sure you have a decent Internet setup

I’m fortunate enough that my area has pretty reliable gigabit Internet so I was able to run a stream, display the race from iRacing, and my kids could stream their favorite TV shows on Hulu and Paramount+ without the quality of the stream being impacted. If you have 300mbps Internet or higher you should in theory be able to handle a long stream and not have all your Internet bandwidth hogged by the stream.

Tip #3: Decide your broadcast style and practice

I am not a broadcaster nor do I pretend to be. I let the stream do the talking for the most part, provided periodic analysis of what was going on, and interviewed the drivers after their stints. Personally, I have the most fun with interviewing people and letting them share their thoughts with the audience.

Future Changes

This year’s race was a big learning experience. If we are to run this event in the future, we will make a few changes. Having a bigger race team overall would be the first goal. At worst, if the team was too big, we can run multiple entries! Getting in more team practice sessions would also benefit the race. All four drivers this year, kept average lap times within a 4-second range. Over the course of 24 hours, that difference adds up. This would help with overall consistency between the drivers.

Working on a team setup would probably be our other big goal. This way we can fine-tune what we want and get practice in at the same time. It would only help us drive the car and the track that much better.

Be on the lookout for future races and events with F-R Racing! We have some fun plans coming up and would love for you to be a part of it! In the meantime, be sure to check out our sponsors. They are wonderful and help us bring the content and racing to you!