My iRacing journey started perhaps a month ago, but I had never made the decision to prioritise the service over others. With South Africa’s lockdown in full swing, on the 31st of March I decided to take iRacing more seriously and try to get through the ranks and arrive at the top, it will definitely take time.
Week 1 was basically taken up by driving the Mazda MX5 cup car at Laguna Seca for the ‘up next’ series of hourly races that you compete in to up your rankings. Predictably, many of these races ended prematurely with ‘hot-shot’ drivers launching impossible lunges and attacks that played out just as expected…
In between lots of wins in MX5 Cup and lots of being taken out, I’ve started practicing with the F3 car at Spa getting my eye in on how the open seater car actually works, with the South African iRacing league powered by ROK having a race there I could compare my lap times with other South African drivers and set myself targets, my PB ending up at a 2:11.8.
Week 2 of iRacing with Kewyn Snyman
After being upgraded to a D license, and finally being able to drive the F3 car, I started my journey in the F3 ‘up next’ hourly races, which was at Lime Rock Park Grand Prix. From start to end with the F3 at Lime Rock Park Grand Prix I managed a PB of 46.916. I found the best way to get through races was to push hard at the beginning and get away from chaos, and manage it – or if there is someone faster, try follow them and get towed away from the chaos. The tight one line character of the track was a mess for passing with an open wheel downforce car. I started the Lime Rock series on: D2.46 and iRating 1468 and ended on D2.48 safety rating & 1294 iRating. Unfortunately the amount of times I was taken out overcame the successful heats making the gains really small from this 10 races.
F3 moved over to Brands Hatch Indy for the ‘up next’ hourly races on 7 April 2020
The new rotation got off to an interesting start after qualifying 5th and being taken out on lap 1 from behind. Thus I decided to change my plan from aborting mission when I get taken out and continue the race and try to not get in any more trouble, hopefully having a good affect on my ratings – which it did..taking my safety rating to D2.54 and iRating to 1311, proving that finishing safely does matter – even if the finishing position isn’t high. I spent the rest of the day doing fun races with a group of South African drivers, with all the free content on the game, getting a race win in a road legends car at Tsukuba in an action packed race.
Week 3 of iRacing with Kewyn Snyman.
A week of driving around Brands Hatch with the F3 car in the daily ‘up next races’!
I started the week out on D2.52 and 1255 and set out to achieve my goal of moving to the next license category. It always feels like a natural progression that will be easy to achieve… until you get stuck in!
I have basically come to the conclusion that I am going to take the second of two options when it comes to trying to gain license points, and rather push hard to maximize gains, even though it’s risky. After a full week (Tuesday- following Monday) of driving Brands Hatch Indy in the F3 car, 17 heats in total, I came out the other end with license ranking D2.80 and iRating 1270.. the week was filled with 2 kinds of races; being taken out on the one line styled Brand Hatch Indy layout, or just simply making a break and winning the right way.. by a mile!
On the very last day of week 3 I also discovered another class that I completely overlooked in my F3 excitement – the Fanatec Global Challenge, which uses a very tricky Cadillac touring car. It’s the first class I have driven in any game that I feel I gel with the style of the way that is needed to race it, the races are longer (25 mins) than usual and tyre management is a part of the thinking – which I like! These races also seem to have a big influence on your license, boosting me to D3.39 and iRating 1353 in just one race!
Moving forward into week 4, the plan is to focus on the F3 championship which moves to Donington Park, and do as many Fanatec Global Challenge Races as possible at Spa.
The consistency is coming, and I am starting to understand better how cars actually want to be driven. A lot of help coming from the recent videos posted by the Australian V8 Supercar drivers which really proves that squeezing harder into and out of turns doesn’t actually make you any faster, which is the opposite to how I am wired from motorcycle racing. Smooth is fast.