Monday, January 28, 2008

Kyalami - 26/01/2008 - Round 1


I was amped, but it was quite disappointing. I was struggling with the brakes all weekend, it seemed something had gone amiss in my front suspension after eliminating several possibilities and wasted practice sessions.

These cars are violent under braking, usually if you brake too hard, the wheels start vibrating and shake the entire front end of the car like you have to ease on the brakes a bit at first. Mine started to vibrate like it wanted to kill me, no matter how I braked. Seriously, on some corners it would be so bad that my hands would be thrown off the steering wheel and my knees were bruised from being bashed around the was basically undriveable. I was 2 seconds a lap slower than I had been the last time I visited Kyalami. How lame. At least the gearbox was fine...

Played around so much with the setup to try get rid of the vibrating wheels that I hardly had time to work on my racing lines and such. I qualified a hopeless 8th, with a laptime slower than when I first visited the circuit. We changed some things for the race, and I had to somehow nurse the brakes and race against other drivers...was so cool!! I had epic battles, crazy fast and violent too. I didn't really care how slow I was going in the end...I should have had 7th in the 1st race, but I was penalised and pushed back to 9th - there was a safety car period during the race, and James Leach had overtaken me as the yellow flags were out. He waved me passed, and I took back my position...which I was not supposed to do. So I got a penalty, yay. The 2nd race was legendary, I fought my ass off till the very last corner of the race, it was really tricky to drive like that but it came off okay. I ended up looks like some of the slower guys gained a miraculous 2 seconds a lap with the new tyre compound...I really need money badly!

I definitely gained time by trying a few different lines, and a better strategy while dueling with other drivers. Even though I was 2 seconds a lap slower than I achieved last year. Next race is in Port Elizabeth, I hope I find sponsors in time so I can make that race and try apply things I am still learning from simracing. I also really need a video camera on my car to capture the insane battles I am having basically every race!! hehehe :)

Edit: Looks like I got 5th in the 2nd race....someone jump-started!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kyalami Preparation

What have I been doing wrong in 2007? Basically everything, it's been a shocker and I'm ashamed to admit it.

With these low powered cars, concentrating on exit speed is KEY. KEY KEYKEYKEYKEYKEYKEYKEYKEYKEYKEKYKEYKEY

I followed an ex-champion around the track in the final session of the year, and I wanted to vomit. I haven't been using all of the track. Sounds daft, but there's always more, even use the damn grass sometimes if need be. The killer instinct is not there....and trust me I'm pissed off.

I've loaded up the Beetle mod in rFactor for's okay. Bounces a lot, but the gearing is almost perfect when set to the shortest diff ratio. I've learned a lot by driving this thing for a few laps...and possibly where to change down to 2nd gear where I'm using 3rd on the real track. Also I've been using my right foot to brake, in some places where I don't change down a gear and use the clutch I'm going to use my left foot to brake....which is difficult in a real car, the sensitivity of the left foot is usually non-existent, after mashing it all the time on the clutch pedal. But the extra tenth gained will be crucial.

I reviewed my laps on MoTeC, and the 1st thing I noticed was that my pedal hasn't been pushing 100% throttle for the past week or so since I last checked it. Nice. The main things I could see was definitely brake earlier and set yourself for the corner apex, and get on the throttle ASAP, slide if need be, it's better than overdoing the entry. Again, a simple concept. But its really accentuated at a lower speed, and you can see it like night and day in MoTeC. The concept is easy to abuse when you're on track, you don't notice it at all. I really need to have my receptors out and about good and proper this weekend to pick up any screwups I'm's just so easy to do, I have to consciously remind myself every corner I think. EVERY corner because I am SO ANGRY. I know it sounds simple, but if you're a simracer, actively try and do this from now on and you'll find more time guaranteeeeed.

I'll see how it goes, have to make the best of a not-so-good situation. I'll aim for top6 and top5 as a miracle. I don't like being 2sec off the pace as I was last year at Kyalami, I have to change something drastically, and always try even though I may end up slower.

Bye and see you on the other side.

My strict ritual before every race - Listening to music alone

We all have our own way to focus before every race. If you see me with earphones on sometime before a race, please leave me the f#%k alone.

I have different songs for different moods....I play the 1st few songs usually, though.

Queen - We Will Rock You
Dr Stephen Baysted - GTR_Monza_Grazie (from GTR2)
Booker T & the MG's - Green Onions

Muse - Piano Thing
Rob D - Clubbed to Death

...and currently on the top of my list as a change for 2008, thrashy death metal. I'm in quite a mood to kill, destroy, eat alive, and such:

Opeth - Advent
Opeth - In Mist She Was Standing
Non-Human Level - Instincts <---- OOHHH yes, bring me success oh beautiful beast of a song.

Season 2008

Hello there.

I haven't realised the amount of people that read this blog, and I haven't really had the time to update it. Apologies. I'll try keep this going every race, and as brief as I can! (hehe)

I finished my 1st season in racing on quite a high....getting competitive, knocking on top5 for quite a while...just wished I had sponsors to get things constantly repaired :P I finished the 2007 Formula Vee Championship in 7th place out of 26 point scorers....yay. They awarded me with Rookie of the Year which was real nice....

This year I'm in desperate need of sponsors. Lotto have stopped the sponsoring of development drivers in Formula Vee, so I'm on a serious search. One would have thought that being non-white, and achieving Rookie of the Year in a first ever season of racing would get some interest....I've had NONE after some very intensive proposal planning and preparation. Which kind'a sucks, as I'd need serious backing to make every one of the 10 proposed races on the calendar. Pray for me....or even better, if you know someone REMOTELY interested, let me know and I'll be on them like a hound....well, as much as my time allows me. No such thing as giving up a dream.

Leaving for Kyalami tomorrow morning....I am extremely focused. I was embarrassed in the last Kyalami race in 2007, when it had occurred to me how pathetic my racing lines were. What exactly was I doing all year? USELESS AND PATHETIC. There is no excuse for being a dumbass, especially since I thought I learned the trade in simracing.

Not quite.

I'm on a real drive to push harder, even though I really did push my arse off last year....I am keen to pick up on things, but also ready for any disappointment that would possibly (and probably?) result from the weekend. No money, old tyres, dodge seatbelts and a damn gearbox which I hope has miraculously fixed itself. I'll see. Time to polish my helmet...