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Indy Car Driver (Pro IV)
 
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Joined: 08 Apr 2002, 9:45 am

Post 05 Dec 2020, 10:05 pm

Please post your race comments here.
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Rally Racer (Pro III)
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Apr 2020, 2:21 pm

Post 06 Dec 2020, 4:25 am

Sitting on the grid : Joining me in the back 3 of the grid with 20 starts were Mike and Rando and I was worried about tripping over each other as we all tried to negotiate the pack. Next to me but not for long with his 100 start was Don, 3 serial winners amongst a high class field, this was going to be a tough race worthy of a series finale!
Lap 1
Turn 1 : Like most I pushed the start, and like most I made it with a little skill, so far so good.

Turn 2 : Already the field splits into 2 packs, I'm right in the middle of the chain that makes pack 2.

Turn 5 : Get an unexpected slip off Kevin.

Turn 6 : We now have 3 packs, the front 4, the middle 5 and Mike on his own, it sure is crowded on this track, should I glide through some corners and save some wear for later like Mike?

Turn 7 : Rando really has rotten luck and breaks his brakes, in 3 recent races with him this has happened very early on lap 1 but I've also seen first hand how adept he is at nursing a wounded car for an entire race, with that and his win in the previous championship series I'm not counting him out yet but it's a boost to my chances.

Turn 9 : Plotted 120 and spent a wear with the intention of going 180 next time around.

Turn 10 : Chicken out of the 180 as don't want to roll on the brakes yet, so wasted the wear, hopefully not cruicial.

Turn 12 : Only now does it dawn on me how Tim’s 3 big skill chips could be a game changer as he clears the hairpin in 1, could my fellow Saturday qualifier be the favourite?

Turn 15 : As the leaders cross the line Mike lines up behind me looking to chew up a serious amount of spaces next turn.

Lap 2
The wear counts come in, I've used 8 of my 23, not ideal for a race from behind strategy especially as I've made no headway through the long 2 wide, I'm doubting my build

Turn 16 : Decide I'm not going to be able to clear most of the pack in the final lap so plot 200 and make both rolls with a skill on each. Giving Mike a double slip was far from ideal with his big car, we’d be here again!

Turn 17 : I hadn't really planned on doing 200 in the race so didn't have the brakes I'd have liked with the inevitable wall of cars as we re-entered the 2 wide. Have to overbreak to slow from 200 but make it with the skill. I don't really seem any further forward than a few turns ago though, this isn't looking good and the pack bunches again.

Turn 18 : I question my next move, for sure I'm only going to be able to move 6 spaces through the 120 corner and ending a bit short of Millstone. An appropriate corner name given the moral dilemma I had, as I wouldn't be blocking the corner I decided to plot 100 knowing I'd get a slip to make the 6th space but denying Mike a slip of his own, which would give me a free row next time and a less complicated corner entry.

Turn 21 : Struggling to make any ground through all this 2 wide, in fact getting absolutely nowhere, while Don's breaks take a hit, another strong rival is hamstrung but Rob is starting to break free at the front, if we all keep tripping over ourselves maybe this is the end of the race for 1st and the start a battle for 2nd?

Turn 23 : 3 packs again now, Rob, a chase pack and the rear pack, at least I'm at the front of this pack now rather than the middle.

Turn 25 : Rando breaks his brakes, bad luck but it means Redscape will see a new TTS series champion!

Turn 26 : Need to throw in my last skill chip for a late break due to this never ending traffic, I feel like I'm stuck behind a French lorry driver rolling road block.

Turn 27 : Possibly messed that up as I went inside and will potentially miss out on a slip from Don.

Turn 28 : The mistake went in my favour as there wouldn't have been room for a slip so I get track position over Tim.

Turn 29 : Make another positional error as I should have ended outside to avoid giving another double slip next time around.

Turn 30 : Double slip for Chris, maybe in hindsight this was a benefit for me as it helped keep the pack tight together, but crucially I was now heading the chase pack with Don as we tried to reel in Kevin and Rob.

Lap 3
The final wear count, I've used another 8 leaving just 7, so I needed to make more places and use less wear. The good news was the front 2 didn't have much as did Don who was next to me, Mike still had a healthy pile though and that big car, Stephen, Chris and Tim all had good wear but I hoped now I was finally ahead of them my bigger car would keep me there.

Turn 31 : Paranoid about losing position and getting sucked back into the washing machine that was the pack around the 2 wide I went inside for the approach to turn 1, not efficient as I gave up the lines but needed to get closer to the leaders and race 4 of the Saturday series was fresh in my mind where I'd entered lap 3 with a wear advantage but not made it pay by getting stuck behind Chris K.

Turn 32 : plot 140 and spend a wear in each of the corners, it's got me where I wanted to be but at what cost? It's clear to me now I probably have 3 rivals, Kevin and Rob in front and Mike 1 space behind and now with a 1 wear advantage.

Turn 33: I plot 100 and can spend 2 to pull level with Kevin or 1 and risk the feild coming by again. Worried I needed to save some wear as Mike still has lots and a big car, I choose the later and hope for the best.

Turn 34 : My choice paid off as hampered by broken breaks and low wear Don plotted low and I went high to get 3rd place 1 row behind Kevin and Rob, Mike seems to have been caught out and is few places back, Tim spins and another challenger chances seem to be gone.

Turn 35 : Get level with Kevin 1 behind Rob, it's costing me wear but I'm finally getting position.

Turn 36 : Get the line into Echo Valley forcing Kevin to shed a precious wear.

Turn 37 : Pull level with the leader Rob thanks to my bigger engine, I feel I now have control but am warry of people picking up the dice.

Turn 40 : Dilemma into hairpin will Rob chance it? Thoughts go back to Abu Dhabi where my safe play and Rando's chance roll possibly cost me the win, do I risk it this time? I consider plotting 80 thinking Rob will take a chance roll at 100 leaving me with a late brake, last minute change of mind I'm going 100. Rob to my relief goes 80, I now have the lead but no wear, but it should be enough. But wait, Mike takes a naked chance roll into the hairpin and makes it, this is going to the wire!

Turn 43 : Into the last corner, 120 or 100, what will Mike do? I have a big car, but I'm up against the only driver in the field with a bigger one, not ideal. I don't want to be level or behind so plot 120, originally thinking I might chance the final corner which if successful should get me the win. Mike flips a 100 and I go for the slightly safer naked late brake roll, made it with a 6, should have stuck to my guns! 1 turn to go, Mike in a slip position!

Turn 44 : What will Mike do? I have no idea, I'm sure he's going back through his mental notes on RM'ing me last season to pick my likely strategy. What will I do? 160 or 180, one is safe the other needs a roll. What will Mike do? 180 or 200, one is safe, the other needs a double roll. WHAT WILL MIKE DO? I decide he'll go 180 and avoid the double roll, I put down my card. Oh I hope this is the right call. Mike puts down his, what did Mike do? I flip my 160, as I stare nervously at his green card, it turns, its a 180!! We both get a nose across the line but with the inside I take the narrowest of wins.

I only managed one race win in the series, but at least it was the final one and certainly the highest quality of feild I've prevailed against.

Thanks all for a great race here and in the heats and to the RM's across the divisions and finals. See you in 2021, Merry Christmas all!
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Indy Car Driver (Pro IV)
 
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Joined: 08 Apr 2002, 9:45 am

Post 06 Dec 2020, 9:20 am

Track: I picked this track for the finals because it looked hard and might lend itself to different race strategies. Nailed it!

The Field: Much like navigating the back alleys of Mos Eisley Spaceport, this most wretched hive of scum and villainy would represent a serious challenge. The tournament set-up proved to consolidate some of the best drivers in the world onto one track: Five drivers in Doug’s top ten rankings will be setting up on the grid.

Build: There are no efficient lines on this track for any build. Good – that would give my ‘from-the-back’ strategy a chance. My on-track plan was to use my super-flexible car to conserve wear until the last lap. With 5 brake rolls in the master plan, I even considered 80 brakes but just couldn’t find a way to make 15 wear work. Master plan… heh, as if you can maintain one of those for a whole race.

Bid: Zero for me – I actually wanted to be alone for the first half of the race. With four 100 ss cars in the field, I was hoping for a bidding war at the front. The only 100 car not to bid high was Don – good, because when he gets out in front, uncontested, we all have problems.

Start: No need to push the start with my big engine. Almost everyone else pushes & that's fine by me - I was hoping for clean air in the back. Kevin misses his 2nd start roll in a row (Daytona).

Lap 1: Was I ever happy to see Rob & Chris run a rolling roadblock out front. I know it was not an intentionally collusive effort so bravo to being on the same page. Though I’m never cheering on bad dice (well, maybe a little bit internally), a less aggressive Rando with busted brakes bodes well for everyone else. I sweat a bit on T12 – I had caught up to some traffic and you absolutely have to clear the Hairpin in two turns. In hindsight, I don’t think I had to worry as much as I did. Kudos to Tim for clearing it in ONE turn. The only way to do that is a chance roll. I suspected that’s why he loaded up on skill. I followed my lap 1 plan exactly as prescribed. Finding James’ tail after Arents was a bonus. A double slip into lap 2!

Lap 2: Time to go off script. I should have stuck with the master plan on T19 and not spent a wear in Millstone – all that achieved was putting me into heavy traffic. Any pace I earned with that wear was ceded on the East Straight and some unplanned late braking. Nothing was really gained in this lap. However, I felt pretty good with the leaders low on wear - one of whom is on broken 20 brakes - and the drivers in my vicinity having weaker cars. James was looking real good right now with more wear and a strong car two spaces ahead. His Achilles’ heel might be those weak brakes.

Lap 3: I was going to make a move on the Main Straight in T31 and parlay my big car into a couple of spots on the leaderboard. Chris had other ideas, pushed his engine, and took MY spot! I push 200 only to late brake back to 180. Jeesh. I was demoralized and that shows in subsequent turns. I decided to claw back that useless Lap 2 wear from Millstone on T33. I’m not sure if it was the right idea but I knew my car could make up space on the long straights as long as I don’t get blocked in on the narrow track. I totally miscount the spaces to Colasante on T35 and get lucky with Phil not contesting position. Another mistake to not plot 120 in T37. I spend a wear at 100 anyway and could’ve been one space forward at 120 (note: I took the pic after Stephen cleared the board and an accounting of the wear confirms it). My big engine puts me up with Chris before the bend. I outgun him to the bend, followed by a naked brake test, and use one wear in the corner. There was no point in using two wears there, I only had three left and would need two for the Hairpin. Kevin’s slow play in the Hairpin forced my hand in T40 – lay up and fight for third or roll the dice for a chance at the win. It’s the finals – go big or go home. I narrowly pass the naked chance roll with a six. The 160 and slip on T42 allows me to pull even with James. I figured he would protect his position with a 120 plot and late brake so I went 100 on T43 to set up a classic game theory ending. James outwitted me but I honestly felt I was lucky just to be in the position to have that 50/50 chance of victory. You ran a great race, James. Congratulations!

This was one of the most enjoyable races I’ve had the privilege of being part of in the entire tournament. It was a great track and a top-notch field. You guys were fun to race with and I couldn’t be happier with how the season ended.

Onto the next series: Winter is coming!
Rally Racer (Pro III)
 
Posts: 81
Joined: 07 Jan 2019, 8:42 am

Post 06 Dec 2020, 10:24 pm

Not the finals I was hoping for, but it was a tough field and a tough track. Let's take a look and see what I learned.

Track: Spent some time analyzing the track. As usual, my investigations lean toward "running-from-the-front strategies". Apparently that's in my DNA. Time to learn some new tricks. Although to be honest, with two-lane track on most of the circuit, I don't think I would have EVER decided to try it. Hardy congrats to James and Mike who were willing to try it, and pulled it off.

Build: I thought I nailed it. When it was the only triple build, it confirmed my thought. But that's when I should have gotten worried.

Bid: Biggest mistake of the race, and it happened on Wed night. I added a wear to my bid because of the triple build. If I'd thrown in the 3s chip, I would have been on the front row. It would have been a different race. More on that later.

But before I leave this topic. It was the Hairpin. I desperately wanted to clear the Hairpin in one turn (2w+chance-3s, like Tim did twice!) But it was not to be. I was ready and willing to take a chance if needed (Go big or go home!) But it was not to be.

Start: Start was fine, until I ran into the rolling roadblock.

Lap 1: My plan was to burn 10w on the first lap and get to clean air. Rob and Chris killed me. They followed my plan for lap 2-3 perfectly, but did it in lap one and completely stopped me in my tracks. It was like it was team racing and their crew chiefs were coordinating every move. 7 slips I earned, that couldn't be used. 7!

I didn't respond well. I stayed on their bumper waiting for the chance to pass. The race hinged on getting away. There was no way my puny car would hold off the monsters in the back. If I had been in the front row as mentioned above, I would have been thrilled if I'd gotten away and Rob and Chris had their roadblock BEHIND me. Of course, me being ahead might have changed their strategy and we would have all three bounced around burning wear.

I had used 7 of my 20 wear and was behind even my 5w plan for laps 2-3. An awful first lap, but I was in second for now. Unfortunately, I knew a chance to win the race was gone. So I worked on maximizing my finish. I expected the three from the back to all make it to the podium, with Don as a challenger. So I was racing for 5th at this point.

Lap 2: Now Rob and I are the rolling roadblock. That's ok by me, but we aren't completely on the same page. I maneuver to the inside and the lead on the second lap of the championship race. It wasn't to last. Turn 20: I dropped a 100 into the Colasanta Corner and Rob dropped a 140. He was expecting me to drop 120. He late braked to 100 and blocked the line. I kept battling, but my race was completely shot now. You can't afford spending two turns in these slow corners. Too much wasted energy. Congrats to Rob for forcing the issue.

Now the pack is on my puny car. Here I was a little stubborn. If I'd burned the 2w in the "Bend", I might have stayed on Rob's tail and stayed with Kevin. Or even after that I could have tried 2w+chance with 1s. Honestly, I was "on tilt" and just going thru the motions. So three turns in the Hairpin compounded my earlier problems.

I did salvage two slips on the Main Straight to keep me in the pack. Although another mistake awaited at the beginning of Lap 3.

Lap 3. It didn't even occur to me Saturday, but pushing to 160 in turn 31 would have been huge. I would have been with James and Don going into the Hansgen Turn. It would have only been important if I had followed it up with a 160/lb140. Would I have? We'll never know.

So in reality (instead of "what if""-world), I followed the pack and tried not to test brakes or burn extra wear. I was trying to save 3-4 for the Hairpin and Arents Turn. Fairly innocuous, but I think I managed it well.

Pushing 100 into the Hairpin was tough, with everyone else (except James and Mike) running out of wear. But those 2w got me to challenge for 4th. The final wear in Arents Turn won 4th for me. So I was proud of the effort on the last lap to pull myself off of "tilt" and race home.

There were chances to move up further. Go Big or Go Home home leads to that. If Mike hadn't made his roll in the Hairpin, there would have been room on the podium. Of course, The Hairpin would have been even more clogged, so I might not have made it through at all.

Summary: Congrats to our champion James! Great job. And congrats to our RM, who finished 2nd by a hair. And congrats to Rob, who won the race among us triplets and claimed a podium. Great Job you three. And Congrats to the rest of the field for making it to the finals. Let's meet back here again in April!

I will echo Mike's comments. Great group to race with. Enjoyed it tremendously, even though I did not perform the way I wanted to. See you on the Track!