I get up every morning just like most people and I have a plan. That plan is carried-out based on the events of the day, what I have to do and when I have to have it done.
Now, I can see that funny look on your face already, one that says “What does this have to do with iRacing?”
What this has to do with iRacing is this: It’s all about management. We manage tasks in our daily lives. We know when to give a task everything we have and when giving a task a little less is enough.
Sim racing is no different.
iRacing has advanced in so many ways that we are now forced to manage our resources during a race. We have to think about when do we go three wide, drive a little deeper than normal into the corner, or when to make that last adjustment to be the best when the checkered flag waves. On the older tire model if you could drive a car extremely loose then you had a good chance of being successful. With the new tire model it’s all about taking care of your tires and not using them up early in the run.
Managing a race is often a product of two things: a driver’s personality and how he/she choose to set-up their car. I can only give you my concepts on how to manage a race. The average official race that I run is 90 laps. I feel like the first 45 laps are simply a battle of survival. I know the adrenaline is pumping, I’m guilty of it at times as well, but you can’t win a race on Turn One of Lap One. I’ve learned in my years of sim racing that giving- up a little to enter a corner will usually get me a nice run down the backstretch. I know it doesn’t feel good watching someone dive into a corner and make a pass, I’ve been there, but it’s all about the big picture. Passing is generally preferred going down the backstretch anyway. I’m not saying you should lay back and let people pass you like an interstate highway, but I am saying to be aware. Just because you’re faster than the guy in front of you on Lap 10 doesn’t mean you will be faster than him on Lap 90.
How many times does the fastest car in practice when a race? Not often. It comes down to who has something left at the end. Just last night I watched three guys ahead of me hit the corner three wide on Lap Two. I thought to myself, ‘What are these guys trying to accomplish?’ In order to win a race on Lap 90 you’ve got to be on the track and in competitive position; sitting in the garage isn’t going to gain you anything but your favorite beverage.
I’m not saying every race is chaos. I’m saying, because the cars are more evenly-matched, drivers seem to be in a more ‘take now and give later’ frame of mind. Racing doesn’t work that way.
Racing in a simulator or real life, it’s never about where you start, it’s where you finish. Take care of your equipment; relax that right foot a little during a race. The path to Victory Lane might just be a little shorter that way.