It’s been just over two years since my previous foray into the world of iRacing and getting back to it has been a challenging process. If you haven’t tried it before, iRacing is about as close as many of us will ever get to the experience of being an actual racing driver; the thrill of competition, the raised heart rate of risk (predominantly to the rating) and the challenge of consistency.
The driver rating systems are sensible, and in many ways obvious, but yet inspired as this system has barely been adopted through the history of the genre. It promotes clean racing, essentially like an academic streaming; the top pupils rise to the top and compete with others on the same level. Those that fail go down and cannot progress to the higher car classes. But it’s not just all about winning – being consistent and clean is just as important, so if you can’t keep up, run at your own pace and let the career take its course. However you race, as long as you follow that basic rule you will progress.
Taking into account that your driving can affect the careers of others adds a another level of pressure. You want to be fast and clean but not ruin the chances of others with rookie errors, and this is why iRacing is tough to get back into. It’s not hard to drive but it is hard work getting to the top of the time sheets and there is no way around extensive track time. The more time spent racing, the more you learn and in this regard nothing comes close in delivering actual race craft.
So with that in mind, I step into my first iRacing for a long time with some trepidation, driving a course I’m not familiar with in a car I’ve never been at one with. The Skip Barbar, or ‘Skippy’, as it’s commonly known, is a tricky little beast that uses basic techniques but emphasises those in producing an experience with high room for error – grip is low and throttle control in driving through the corner is key. Thankfully this suits my style, yet the snap loss of grip doesn’t, while track conditions have a major impact on how you drive. I came to learn this when pushing through the entry of the banked corner on the New Hampshire circuit (which is brilliant by the way), a long yet deceptive corner in terms of entry speed but as you slow toward the apex so the weight distribution moves toward the rear and controlling that balance is the key.
But enough of my rambling, I’ll be posting more of my experience in the coming weeks and months while revealing more as I learn it and you can see our exclusive joining offer here: http://www.iracing.com/teamvvv/