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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

A Beginner’s Guide to the Art of (i)Racing

by Katier Scott on November 15th, 2012

So you’ve always wanted to be a racing driver, you’ve decided to turn your back on arcade games and concentrate on one of the most inexpensive forms of full-on motorsport: iRacing.com.  But you’ve never raced against other sim-racers before. The question running around your head, therefore, is just when should you actually line-up on a grid and go racing?

The straight answer is sooner than you might think.  But before you even join a practice session it’s worth doing some preparation.

1)    Read the Sporting Code paying attention to the sections on communication, protests and most importantly iRating and Safety Racing (SR).
2)    Watch ALL of the driving school videos.
3)    Turn off voice completely.
4)    Turn off text chat in races – both of these options are in the setup options in-sim so you will do this when you first enter the sim.
5)    Understand the series and how they work. The Rookie classes are fixed setup to help make things easier to get into but even once you move to class D or some Class C setups are pretty universal, track to track.

Before racing with dozens of other drivers, practice on your own running clean and consistent laps for full race distances.

Now practice!  Join a practice session using the relevant option for the series you want to run (Mazda MX5 on road and Street Stock on Ovals) then practice until you’re able to string full race distances together with minimal incidents (one or two for every 10 laps is fine at this stage) and no spins while maintaining a consistent laptime. At Lime Rock for starters, lap times in the 1:02 is fine as long as all your laps in a race distance run are within 1-1.5s.

Consistency is the key at this point.  If you’re consistent and putting in solid times then you’re ready to race . . . and you may as well race sooner rather than later because right now you’re learning. Ratings, race wins and being simply fast don’t matter anything like as much as actually learning to race!

If you read the forums, and once you get in races, you’ll see people saying “I’ll just let you past” or “I’m here for SR.”  IMO both of these are pointless. It’s iRacing not iCruising or iHotlapping, and as such the only way you can properly improve is to race!!

Firstly run a qualifying session and set a time. Given you’re not a front runner this may seem weird, but the trickiest corner on any race track is Turn 1 on Lap One and by qualifying you reduce the chances of being involved in someone else’s mistake.

The trickiest corner of any and every race is the first one . . .

Another thing you’ll see is drivers being advised to start from the pits. While there is some logic to that, again it’s just not worth it. The only way you can get used to the starts of races . . . is to start races!!

Now it’s obvious that early on you’ll make mistakes, spin under pressure, crash during passing moves or make any number of other mistakes.  This is where you need to separate yourself from emotion and also be prepared to analyse. Should you crash your car (or be taken out) in Rookie and Class D, you are eligible to get a new car.  Always take advantage of this by using Shift-R to tow to the pits. Then complete the race; if you keep the rest of the race clean you’ll probably gain Safety Rating.

The forums are your friend at this stage as more experienced racers will be more than willing to advise where you went wrong should you be involved in an incident. Use their advice, take it on board and improve your driving because of it. Remember to save replays after each online race so you can cuts bits out and attach them to forum posts.

At this stage you shouldn’t be thinking about advancing to the next license levels, although a few fairly clean (4-5 inc/race maximum) complete races will soon get you a D-Licence.  My advice is to focus on learning your trade a bit longer before moving up. The other thing that will happen if you’re consistently finishing races is that you’ll soon find yourself in higher splits.

As you advance to higher rated splits and license levels you’ll make fewer passes owing to other peoples’ mistakes.

On the road side especially this will mean that you will not be able to rely on people falling off to improve your finishing position. In your initial races you will probably have finished mid-pack or higher, simply by being able to run consistent, clean races. As soon as you hit higher splits this happens less frequently and the fact you have been practicing racing means you have a better chance of achieving good results in these higher splits.

Before we get that far, however, it’s worth at least understanding some basic theory.

Overtaking

Early on, most of your overtaking will be simply taking advantage of other drivers’ mistakes.  Thus most of your early involvement in passing moves is likely on the receiving end. Initially, just concentrate on sticking to your racing lines; later on as your situational awareness improves you’ll start looking at more advanced lines and then my article on http://www.iracing.com/inracingnews/iracing-news/the-art-of-racecraft is vital reading.

Sticking to your racing lines is also important if you’re being lapped. Lapping is a unique form of being overtaken (or overtaking) and the best way of handling it is to let the car lapping you ‘make the move’ – once it’s clear the driver is looking to overtake then you can brake a touch early or lift slightly to aid them in the move.  But don’t move off line unless you can telegraph the move early. As such, for a beginner just drive your own race and stick to your lines.  Don’t worry about the other drivers.  Force them to work around you.

When you do want to make a move on a slower driver, then patience can be useful. But the key is understanding how to overtake. Overtaking in a pass for position is a complex beast, but in simple terms it can be broken down into before, mid-corner and post-corner.

Before a corner is when you’ve had a run on a driver, maybe in the form of a slight tow, moved offline and braked later than your competitor. This form of overtaking is known as ‘out braking’ and should always be basically completed at the point of turn-in. If you force an overlap after turn-in, it’s most likely a divebomb – see the art of racecraft for more information on that . . .

“Divebomb” is short-hand for “forcing the issue.”

Mid-corner passes can and do happen, usually when a driver has missed an apex, run wide and given the following driver room.  Or when two drivers have gone in side-by-side and the overtaking driver makes a move around the outside.

Post-corner usually occurs when the overtaking driver gets an overspeed through the corner and makes a move under acceleration — sometimes assisted by a draft. As such it is the simplest form of making a passing move.

As you gain experience you’ll start to learn that while overtaking is based on the above, it can be a lot more complex, a beast, in fact. It’s common for closely matched drivers to execute passes that take several corners. Situational awareness and a cool head – make that two cool heads — is the key to those “multi-corner” overtaking maneuvers.

Situational Awareness

This is one of the most vital skills in all of racing, as without it you cannot pull-off overtakes, work-out strategies and adjust your driving to changing events.

There are two parts to situational awareness.  Both are equally important, but one is much harder to achieve well compared to the other.

The first part is the overall race position. Are you gaining/losing time with respect to the cars ahead and behind? Where is the leader? Is the leader likely to lap you?

You only need to worry about these questions once a lap – or even less than that if things are changing more slowly. F3 allows you to get an ‘overall’ view of the cars on track but I generally run with F2 as my main blackbox view as I prefer its information. F3 is then flicked up on the tracks longest straight to see if I need to worry about other cars.

“Immediate” situational awareness is vital when running in close quarters.

The second part is more immediate awareness and, again, this is a skill you can only fine-tune in racing situations. One of the most important tools is your spotter, as he will call when a car has an overlap and which side the overlap is.

In addition, use your mirrors.  If a car moves through your mirror in a forwards direction then the assumption must be that they have an overlap.  As such give the car space on that side of the track.

This kind of awareness is an art and not something a newbie will instantly pick-up. But it is something to be aware of and this ‘local’ situational awareness is the biggest skill any driver needs to learn once they know how to drive the car consistently.

Spotter

A quick point about spotters: There are now two types of spotter, the automatic spotter is the one that has always been in iRacing and ‘calls’ slow cars, lap times and cars which have an overlap. It should always be enabled as it is a crucial element of close hard racing.

Human spotters were enabled in the latest build (November 2012 ) but should be treated in a strategic sense, rather than for instant, real time decisions: the lag caused by the Internet means that overlapping and similar calls are just not fast enough to be practical. This is purely the result of the technological limitations of the internet as a whole, and would be the same if the spotter was using something like Teamspeak instead.

As such human spotters should be used to give pitting information (although the auto-spotter does call leader pitting), incidents such as major pileups a corner or two ahead, how many laps drivers have done on tyres and other useful but ‘slower’ information.

As you can see racing is a complex beast and the fact is drivers make mistakes throughout their career. Even world champions make mistakes, so anyone who is a rookie will make mistakes.  But the important thing is to not be scared, try to drive smoothly and concentrate on consistent laps before you worry about matching the times of drivers who have 1000s of laps under their belts.

Above all get out and race and have fun!

One Comment or Trackback

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  1. Don Warrenburg
    November 15th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Very good and informative article. Great Job