June 18th, 2013 by JaimeB
It’s hard to believe that the first and second quarters have both come and gone in the iRacing.com Global Challenge Series. Over the next few days followers of this series can look forward to updates recapping the action from the first half of the season. In this article, the finale for my three article series, I’ll be sharing my perspective on difficult it is to gain and maintain a competitive edge, and how the process can be made easier. This is based off of my experience so far in the Cadillac CTS-V class.
One of the questions I ask myself each week is, “How can I do better than the week before?” Many drivers would automatically give the answer that “practice makes perfect.” I would echo the same sentiment, however as the season progresses I find myself falling into the category of iRacing.com members who don’t have the time to dedicate to long practice sessions. My schedule outside of iRacing.com seems to be getting jam-packed with more activities each week. So how can I gain an advantage over my competitors with limited practice time?
Xavier Cuartero Silvente was among the top three point scorers during the first three weeks of the season. He recently posted on the iRacing.com Cadillac CTS-V forum thread, “I think [the baseline setup] is very good and you can [run] very good times with practice.” Nathan Moore, another front runner in the series championship, stated that “people have to learn that the baseline [setup] can pump out great times.” When it comes to adjustments, Dylan Sharman and Bruno Linden Muller, top series drivers in the Cadillac CTS-V class, have both stressed the importance of adjusting the rear camber towards the positive side if the rear end feels unstable. In addition, many racers only start the race with enough fuel in the car to get them past the finish line.
Why did I say all of that? If you are struggling to find time to practice extensively (like myself), those quick adjustments (rear camber and fuel load) can give you a push in the right direction towards being more competitive in this series.
“People have to learn that the baseline [setup] can pump out great times.” – Nathan Moore
The top drivers in the iRacing.com Global Challenge Series can’t be wrong when they say the baseline setup is in fact a competitive setup (with a few minor tweaks). If that doesn’t help, there are always drivers on the forum willing to share their setups, but it is still encouraged to take some time to practice with that setup before jumping into a race.
The forum is a great resource for drivers that need help improving as the second half of the season gets underway. Many of the top drivers can be seen posting often, as well as creating threads just for setup tips and setup sharing. Also, many of them are more than happy to assist a fellow racer who sends them a message asking for some help.
As we move forward, what can be expected during the second half of the iRacing.com Global Challenge Series season? Racers will see high participation numbers at tracks like Okayama and Lime Rock Park. Summit Point is also a stop on the schedule, and is set to offer up lots of tight racing in both the Cadillac CTS-V class and the KIA Optima Class. The season then draws to a close at Interlagos (Week 11) and Virginia International Raceway (Week 12), two of the longer circuits on the schedule.
From my perspective, overall I’ve enjoyed the iRacing.com Global Challenge Series thus far. The second half of the season is set to bring more action near the top of the championship standings and I look forward to simply being on the track with some of these great racers. When I can get more practice time to really hone in on a weekly basis, watch out! In the meantime, I’ll watch the championship battles unfold in both the Cadillac CTS-V and the KIA Optima. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came down to the final races of Week 12 for some drivers to make a final push towards the top.