Went to Interlagos today and raced with GPLBRASIL
My third race.
At the start the plan was to not crash, try to stay away from other cars, let things settle, make it around the first lap, get through T1 the second time with some space between the car ahead and the one behind.
Try to stay on track thru the second turn then flat out down to T3, that falls left off the slope of a hill and falls immediately into T4, closing onto a short straight before the first roundabout loop.
By the third lap cars nearby had given up challenging each other and for several laps we stayed close and maintained a steady pace. Followed two cars, one of which had let by rather than fight for position early in the race.
Both of them, just my big head opinion, would be passed without having to press. Of course there was no way of knowing what they were thinking about me, which could have been there was nothing to worry about.
But it did seem my car was slowly catching them.
Somewhere in the middle of the race a faster driver up ahead had some incident, maybe involving another car, and the three of us passed his car while he recovered and was then behind me.
Within half lap he had caught up so somewhere on the back side let him pass. Now he was inbetween me and the two cars I was hopeful of passing.
My guess was, they would yield to the faster driver or crash while challenging each other, so held back and tried to keep pace. He got around and again it seemed my car was very slowly catching up.
Then somewhere up in the curves the car in front spun off track to the right.
Braking hard, went way left and the other car came back across the track in perfect instant tangent alignment with the nose of the Lotus. Later, after the race, forgot to apologize to the driver for picking the exact wrong escape route. I should have gone right and missed him altogether.
The thump sent the off line car out of view while my immediate worry, after stupidly blowing the engine in the previous race, was about having to explain two consecutive DNFs.
The Lotus was still running and not damaged enough to keep it from rolling, so after some quick handling analysis and checking Prib for position got back on it and tried to focus once again.
About this time the phone rang. And rang.
Let it ring and it stopped.
Then it began again. Let it ring again.
The doorbell began ringing as well.
Someone was calling on their phone from outside my door.
This went on for at least one full lap.
Finally on the front straight glanced over toward the phone and while coming down off the big slope before the S/F line de-immersed myself enough to find the correct button, clicked it to pick up on speaker, then dropped it while trying to set it back on the table, right about the moment T1 was coming up again.
Made it though that and began yelling at the floor, "GO AWAY - I AM RACING! DON'T CALL AGAIN! GO AWAY! GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!" Then the phone started off-hook beeping and kept that up for at least one lap before going silent.
Still, there were two cars in front it seemed were within reach without pressing beyond realistic mode's limits. As each lap passed the car was closing in, and the three of us were closing up.
At the bottom of one of the loops my car caught up with the car in front just in time to see it spin, then get down under it and once past exit push for a few seconds distance between us before he got going and we regained racing pace.
Now only a few laps remained. There was still one car in front it seemed possible to catch if there was enough time and distance.
It could happen.
Anything could happen.
For a lap or so the car behind stayed near, then faded slowly. At one point got very close to the car in front, coming through T3, the big sloping turn off the side of the hill, thinking it was about time to pass.
But going into T4 the car went wide, off track for several yards, and by then the car ahead was down the short straight and with less than three laps to go, was too far ahead to catch and pass.
The car behind had settled into its pace, so with no danger of it coming up, the practical goal became to finish the race and do not let up and miss an opportunity, or get lazy and give up a top ten finish on the last lap.
Maintaining focus and force of habit after 40mins of racing sustained the brain for the last round, with the car finishing on the same lap as the winner, 1:55xx behind.
Started 10th on the grid and finished 8th. Two top tens in three races of rookie season. Complete surprise to me to finish at all.
So altogether, great hosts, great drivers, great time, too much fun...great race.
Edited by John Woods, Feb 19 2019 - 09:07 PM.