Posts from my blog about sim racing (old posts, page 2)

G27 Force Map

I read about the new force feedback forceMap option that was added to iRacing back in May 2016 on Ed Racing.

I was interested in checking it out. The first thing I did was generate graphs of the forceMap.csv file which David Tucker from the iRacing dev team released and the one which Ed created.

David's file:

!-- image g27-force-map_1.png --!

!-- image g27-force-map_2.png --!

Ed's file:

!-- image g27-force-map_3.png --!

!-- image g27-force-map_4.png --!

After looking at these two files and reading through David's posts in the thread I created my own. I doubled the number of data points in order to smooth out the transitions.

My file:

!-- image g27-force-map_5.png --!

!-- image g27-force-map_6.png --!

I've run a few practice sessions and races using this forceMap.csv file (save it into your /documents/iRacing folder). Like Ed's summation; I find driving when using my forceMap file I get better feedback as to what is going on with the rear of the car. Feeling when I'm on the edge of traction is a huge improvement. Along with this I get a better idea of weight transfer side to side in the car.

Honestly, it is a big step up.

Change of Plans

I found out two things last week and over the weekend;

1) I totally suck at the first and last corners of Sebring in the Spec Racer Ford.
2) Australian prime time participation in the SRF isn't as good as I thought it would be.

These two things combined led me to look around for another series to take part in. Unfortunately the site I used to use to check on participation across series has broken and the maintainer isn't interested in fixing it. The good news is someone else has stepped up to take it over, but the new site won't be up and running until next week (hopefully).

I had to do it the old fashioned way, it became apparently that if I wanted a series which I could always find a decent race Friday or Saturday night at around 8pm to 10pm my time I had a handful of options:

Global MX-5 Cup

I basically have zero interest in learning how to be fast in the new MX-5. I've jumped into it a few times and have found that I simply detest the baseline setup which is in place for this series.

Production Car Challenge

There is essentially zero people driving the Solstice in this series, which is a shame because I did enjoy that. While the MX-5 has an open setup and I could get it to a put that I felt comfortable I detest a few of the tiny tracks they use in this series; Jefferson and Okayama Short aren't any fun.

Formula Renault 2.0

The numbers for this series are amazing. I jumped in and really enjoyed driving the FR2.0 around Philip Island and I think that this really could be a series that I get involved in at some stage.

GT3 Sprint

Again, the massive participation numbers make this a strong contender. The downside is that I'm frustratingly slow in these cars. I'm sure with more seat time I would improve, but would I enjoy it enough to warrant the time and effort?

GT3 Enduro

There is a race Saturday 7pm my time. I'm actually pretty interested in this, but would need to find a team to run with. Perhaps something for 2016 Season 4.

Proto GT

I saved this one for last because it is what I ended up running over the weekend. Initially I jumped into the Ford GT and really enjoyed driving it around Spa. However it became obvious that I'd need to strap into a GT1 car or the HPD to actually get in a decent field. The HPD has never grabbed me but the new Aston Martin DBR-9 has been calling my name ever since it was added to the service. Participation in the GT1 class is pretty good and I took a deep dive into it over the weekend, putting in ~3hrs of practice and setup tweaking before taking part in two races. I'll do up a separate race report for that.

2016 Season 3 Plans

I spent some time over the weekend working out which series I'll be squeezing into the small amount of time I'm going to be able to set aside for racing each week. The winner is; Spec Racer Ford!

The crucial reason ended up being the fact that it seems to be the only series on the list of my interests which has decent participation during the times I'm going to be able to race. Of course, the fact that I'm really enjoying learning more about this weird vehicle was rather important too.

I had two very enjoyable races in the SRF around Watkins Glen over the weekend, one where I snagged a 3rd place finish after an intense 3 way battle over the final 5 laps. I still found myself pointing the wrong direction in both races, but these were outliers in otherwise rather consistently clean and quick-ish laps.

My goal for 2016 Season 3 is to run at least 1 race each week after putting enough enough practice time to be safe and consistent. I feel that if I can focus on keeping the car pointed in the right direction I can happily battle for top 5 finishes and enjoy racing in the mid pack behind the actually quick guys.

One thing I realised over the weekend was that no one seems to run the Solstice in the Production Car series any more, at least not at the times I'm racing. That makes me sad. The upside is that it'll force me to invest more seat time in the SRF rather than jumping into random Production Car races.

End of 2016 Season 2: Road Career Stats

To be honest; I was kind of amazed that my iRacing Stats application still worked. I'd noticed that the devs had made a number of changes to the stats on the members pages and figured that this would have included changes to the data which my app pulls. Turns out they didn't. Yay.

I figured I'd post up a full career stats dump, mostly to highlight how very little time I've had to put into iRacing since the end of 2015 Season 2. That was when we moved back to Australia after living in the United States for 3 years.

For the up coming 2016 Season 3 I do hope that I can set aside two hours each week so I can compete in a series. Most likely it would be Grand Touring, but the couple of Spec Racer Ford events I've stumbled into this weekend have been a real hoot.... Perhaps even the Ford GT in the revived Proto/GT series? Basically it'll come down to participation levels at the times I can set aside to drive.

With that in mind, the hugely popular GT3 or Formula Renault 2.0 series need consideration. The downside of both of these is that my iRating would put me in the top split and it'd be a very humbling couple of races each week. The upside is that I'd be sure to get some interesting mid-pack action every time I strapped in for a drive.

Series Races Wins Avg PTS Avg Start Pos Avg Fin Pos Avg iR Avg SR
Mazda Cup 177 21 47 3.3 5.6 11 -0.02
Adv Mazda MX-5 Cup (MX5-C) 76 3 53 6.7 9.0 -2 -0.03
Star Mazda 73 1 37 9.2 9.4 -9 0.09
Grand Touring Cup (FR500) 70 27 77 1.9 2.7 18 0.05
Prod Car Challenge (SOL) 36 19 90 1.9 1.9 42 0.04
Spec Racer Ford Challenge 34 2 42 6.4 7.3 2 -0.05
Skip Barber Race Series 22 0 32 11.7 11.0 -27 -0.05
Grand Touring Cup (SOL) 22 6 71 3.0 3.1 18 0.04
Ruf Cup 17 0 36 6.6 11.7 -54 -0.06
13th Week Mazda Cup 15 5 57 3.0 8.1 19 0.04
Blancpain Endurance Series 12 0 35 16.7 17.8 -37 0.15
Global Challenge 6 0 28 13.3 13.3 -34 -0.03
13th Week SRF Challenge 3 0 45 13.0 12.3 -46 0.22
IMSA Sportscar (R12C) 3 0 39 2.3 3.0 -46 0.04
IMSA Sportscar (FGT) 2 1 34 3.0 3.5 -24 -0.04
Prod Car Challenge (MX5-R) 1 0 60 1.0 3.0 -3 -0.24
Road Warrior Series 1 0 76 21.0 8.0 0 1.83
Adv Mazda MX-5 Cup (MX16) 1 0 2 1.0 17.0 -131 -0.11
Global Challenge - Open 1 0 21 10.0 10.0 -38 0.03
Corvette Challenge 1 0 36 3.0 4.0 -50 0.10
Formula Renault 2.0 1 0 70 20.0 14.0 -7 -0.02 MAZDA MX-5 Cup 1 0 0 11.0 11.0 -90 -0.01

License C
Safety Rating 3.28
Corners Per Incident 27.67
iRating 2591
ttRating 1733
Total Driving Time 304 hrs 47 mins
Race Starts 575
Race Finishes 459
Race Laps 7845
Race Incidents 3785
Disqualified 15
Disconnections 101
Wins 85
Podium Finishes 209
Top 5 Finishes 277
Average Finish Postion 6.8
Qualifying Sessions 290
Qualifying Laps 2067
Qualifying Incidents 1325
Time Trials Run 44
TT Laps 907
TT Incidents 473

3000 iRating

Yesterday I had the opportunity to run a whole stack of races in the Production Car Challenge and Grand Touring Cup. Good results in all my races resulted in me completing my little "how quickly can I get from 1350 to 3000 iRating". The answer was 50 races.

The most enjoyable part of yesterday's races was that in 3 of them I had very tight, very clean, very exciting battles for the lead. For the majority of races in the 50 I've run during this experiment I've basically been running time trials. Most of the time I've just been lapping out in the lead on my own and the only "excitement" has come when people I'm lapping do stupid things.

Now that I've climbed my way back up to where I believe my skill level is I'll probably start running more MX5 Cup races and will find myself in more tight battles.

Series Races Wins Avg PTS Avg Start Pos Avg Fin Pos Avg iR Avg SR
Prod Car Challenge (SOL) 24 14 74 1.3 1.7 41 0.03
Mazda Cup 9 3 70 3.3 4.2 9 0.10
Prod Car Challenge (MX5-R) 8 5 87 1.2 1.5 40 -0.03
Grand Touring Cup 6 1 74 4.5 3.5 21 0.23
13th Week Mazda Cup 4 0 45 3.0 10.8 -29 -0.04
Spec Racer Ford Challenge 1 0 77 5.0 3.0 40 0.10

License C
Safety Rating 3.56
Corners Per Incident 33.26
iRating 3052
Total Driving Time 21 hrs 4 mins
Race Starts 52
Race Finishes 49
Race Laps 701
Race Incidents 271
Disqualified 1
Disconnections 2
Wins 23
Podium Finishes 43
Top 5 Finishes 45
Average Finish Postion 3.0
Qualifying Sessions 10
Qualifying Laps 88
Qualifying Incidents 29
Time Trials Run 0

D Class Challenge Stats

I'm attempting to answer the question of "how long would it take me to get from 1350 iRating to 3000 iRating?" I'm running only D class events, mostly focusing on my pet series; Production Car Challenge. I've sprinkled in a few races from other series, most recently running the Solstice around Bathurst in the Grand Touring Cup.

Series Races Wins Avg PTS Avg Start Pos Avg Fin Pos Avg iR Avg SR
Prod Car Challenge 26 15 69 1.2 1.6 41 0.04
Mazda Cup 12 4 52 3.6 3.8 7 0.09
Grand Touring Cup 6 3 46 3.8 3.2 9 0.16
13th Week Mazda Cup 7 3 26 2.1 6.6 -17 -0.03
Spec Racer Ford Challenge 1 0 77 5.0 3.0 40 0.10

License C
Safety Rating 3.44
Corners Per Incident 30.73
iRating 2744
Total Driving Time 16 hrs 44 mins
Race Starts 42
Race Finishes 39
Race Laps 583
Race Incidents 219
Disqualified 1
Disconnections 2
Wins 19
Podium Finishes 34
Top 5 Finishes 35
Average Finish Postion 3.3
Qualifying Sessions 10
Qualifying Laps 88
Qualifying Incidents 29
Time Trials Run 0

iRacing Stats App Update

I've been able to get a bunch of work done on my stats app over the last week. Here's a dump from the change log:

  • sync process: improvements to the way the progress bar is updated

  • sync process: improved logging, display % completion of results collection

  • changes to hide / show timing when updating a tab to avoid flickering

  • fixed bug making previous / next buttons on all tabs not work

  • general tab: updated html layout to match updated GUI layout

  • corners per incident graphs now start at 0 like all others

  • fixed crash bug with stats button on all tabs

  • removed a bunch of debug code

  • general tab: series list entry for each car if MC

  • general tab: skip graphs with no content, reformatted general stats

  • fixed bug where All Oval/Road Series menu option displayed when not required

  • refactored messaging between sync thread and main GUI process

  • fixed bug with normal completion of sync

  • only update track and car lists if counts are diff

  • improved aborting sync

  • kill sync threads on close, disable sync button during sync, enable on complete

  • threadify sync process

  • warn user of things that can take a while

  • fixed installer not creating appdata folder

  • fixed main process left running on close of window, added exe version info

  • fixed how multiclass races are detected and fin pos in mc events

  • packaging complete; app installs into program files, user files are in appdata

  • fixed uploading to blogger; moved to new version of google api lib

  • db filename now uses custid

  • new build system, fixed avg fin pos graph for MC events

I'm now able to easily create a user friendly and well polished release version of the application, packaged up with a simple installer. I've done significant testing for fresh installs and brand new users. I'm pretty chuffed with how things are going. I feel like there isn't much more user testing required before I make a version available for wider use. One thing that definitely needs some work is the branding.

Road 2015 Season 4

Here's a dump of the stats from my initial come back races. I had a few ugly incidents as I got back into the swing of things, which took a large chunk of safety rating and dropped me back down to B license. Oops.

Series Races Wins Avg PTS Avg Start Pos Avg Fin Pos Avg iR Avg SR
Mazda Cup 10 2 41 3.8 3.5 3 -0.14
Production Car Challenge 4 1 35 5.2 6.2 -0 0.04
Skip Barber Race Series 1 0 5 14.0 15.0 -105 -0.08
Grand Touring Cup 2 1 28 9.0 8.0 -4 0.07
Ruf Cup 3 1 9 3.0 8.3 -28 -0.06

License B
Safety Rating 1.51
Corners Per Incident 22.16
iRating 2882
Total Driving Time 4 hrs 34 mins
Race Starts 10
Race Finishes 6
Disqualified 0
Disconnections 4
Qualify Sessions 10
Time Trials 0
Wins 0
Podium Finishes 2
Top 5 Finishes 4
Average Finish Postion 9.3
Total Laps 112
Incidents 55

I'm Back!

After a longer than expected hiatus I've finally got my sim racing rig back up and running. I was dreading that any skills I had built up would have withered away, but I was quite happy to find that I with only a few laps of practice I was able to secure a third place in a top split MX5 Cup race.

I also turned a few practice laps in the Ruf with the Team Ruf guys and was somewhat amazed that I was able to post a very competitive time around Lime Rock.

I'm very eager to get some seat time in the new cars I'd purchased but hadn't had a chance to drive yet; the Aston Martin and the Kia.

2015 Season 2

Season 2 of 2015 is complete except for the Week 13 craziness. I'm missing out on that fun and also missed out on Week 12, as my gaming PC and wheel were packed up and shipped off to Australia. Sadly I won't see them again for roughly 12 weeks, meaning I'm going to miss out on virtually all of 2015 Season 3.

It also means that I don't have a PC to run my stats app on, so I can't even post up my pretty graphs for 2015 S2.

There were only 3 things which mattered anyway and they are:

  • I'm still B licensed, with a Safety Rating of 3.34

  • My iRating is 3052

  • I finished 11th out of 1089 Mustang drivers in the Grand Touring Cup

I could have been promoted to A License, but decided not to complete the MPR. I have no interest in racing the Williams Formula 1 car, so there simply isn't a need for me to worry about going to A.

I'm very proud of getting my iRating up over 3000, as my goal for this season was just to stay above 2000 and try out some new cars. Obviously I fell in love with the Mustang and really struggled to get a feel for the Ruf C-Spec. I basically gave up on the Ruf Cup mid way through the season as I didn't have the time to practice and increase my skill enough to feel comfortable in races.

At the start of the season I had no plans on shooting for a good overall finish in the GTC, but it became clear that I was decently quick in the Mustang and I really enjoyed racing it. By the end of the season I was bummed to miss out on the final week's races at Road Atlanta. That absence saw me slip from 9th to 11th in the overall results and from 3rd to 4th in division 2. When I get back up and running I'll be looking to improve on those results and get firmly into the top 10 Mustang drivers.