My iRacing Journey: Early Indy Exit

My iRacing Journey Early Indy Exit.jpg
iRacing is regarded as the gold standard for competitive SimRacing. No other simulation features a comparable, dedicated multiplayer system that treats the races like real events. RaceDepartment writer Yannik Haustein is taking his first, long-overdue steps in the sim now and takes you along with him – which can get frustrating at times as well, like at the Indy 500.

Special events in iRacing are highlights on the calendar every year, and for me personally, the Indy 500 has to be the most exciting – as a big IndyCar fan, this should not come as much of a surprise. Just for this event, I had set out to get my oval license up there to be eligible for the race – without at least a 4.0 D license, you would not be allowed to start. After I really started appreciating the fun in oval racing, I even got a C license.

Of course, the excitement was big before the event: It would be my first long superspeedway race, and I had been practicing alone and with opponents on track as much as I could despite time constraints. While it quickly became clear that lots of concentration would be needed, I felt like running stints alone would not be a problem. But lapping behind other cars was a completely different world, the dirty air effect was very noticeable in the corners. This means that a different approach is needed to not end up in the wall on corner exit.

Endurance Mindset for the Start
Still, I felt like I was well-prepared for the task at hand. The endurance mindset to keep out of trouble at the start of the race on the back of my mind, I started the race from tenth position. 32 opponents and myself went on a journey that would ideally last 200 laps – the race start was not made in rows of three like it is traditionally at the real Indy 500, but rather in standard rows of two. Not authentic, but probably better to avoid turn one carnage at the start.

Initially, this worked well, but after two laps, yellow flags were out regardless. Definitely not an occasion to visit the pits just yet, as neither fuel nor tires were used much by this point. At the start, I had tried to get going in third gear and lost four positions as a result, meaning I was in P14 when the race was restarted, and I stayed there until the second full-course yellow. After making my first pit stop then, I dropped back to 17th.

After this caution period, things started to unravel fast: A single moment of misjudging things saw me understeer into the wall. I was able to drag the car back to the pits – weirdly, the yellow only came out when I was already in my pit stall – but this meant that I was two laps down already. At least the damage could be fixed completely.

Early End at a Re-Start
The following re-start saw another caution right after the green, and when things finally picked up again, an opponent was too optimistic on the front stretch and slowed down to avoid overtaking before the line – which left me nowhere to go as I hit his gearbox. The result: Damaged suspension including a steering wheel that was tilted about 30 degrees to the left and another stop for repairs. This time, not all the damage was fixable, meaning I was about 20 kph (12.4 mph) off the pace on top speed. Carrying on would not have made much sense as a result.


Instead of doing 200 laps at the virtual Brickyard, my race was over after 42 laps. After all the excitement and preparation, disappointment set in in addition to the frustration that had already developed during the race. However, sulking would not get me anywhere – there was no second chance as I had competed in the only Sunday time slot of the event.

Looking Forward
Even though there was no decent result in it, my Indy 105 (42 laps of 2,5 miles each) was a valuable experience nonetheless – namely for the mental aspect of handling such disappointing races. Of course it was a shame that the event was over for me this early, but my thoughts quickly shifted to the 2023 special event, including the aim of doing much better in the next edition. Until then, I am looking forward to gain more experience regarding longer oval races in the Indy Oval Fixed championship. The lesson is probably summed up best this way: Look forward as soon as you can. You will not be able to change anything about a frustrating race anyway.
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Some leaders really mess up the restarts, especially early on (by the end of the race those guys probably wrecked already). When restarting the leader don't have to wait the green flag, it can go full throttle as soon as the pace car enters the pits (when the iRacing spotter says it). And this is what the leader should do, to avoid the accordion effect, as it happened in your case apparently, @Yannik Haustein .

Personally, I try to never restart behind anyone else unless we have less than 50 laps to go. So I stay in the middle of the track. This means someone can overtake me from the right. I don't care, full survive mode until lap 150 is the way to go for me. I only wrecked at Indy 500 once, in my second attempt, and have completed it more than 10 times, so trust me...

This is one of the most fun events in iRacing. I am not even a big oval race fan, but this one is different, special.

So don't give up, just try it again. Open setup edition this week.
 
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Thank you for the advice, @Luciano Santos Filho! Don't worry, I will try again - I always appreciated oval racing but it has grown on me even more since I started my deep-dive into it.
Unfortunately, I will be busy for the open setup event, but I will definitely try again next year and get a bunch of oval races in the IndyCar under my belt in the meantime. And I'll make sure to put the restart advice to good use :)
 
Luciano nailed it. It's a game of survival until the final green flag drops. I don't race for position with anyone up until that time and just try to stay on the lead lap. If someone's riding my ass I just let them on by. Chances are they're pushing hard and trashing their tires (while I'm back here saving tires) and I'll blast past them in another 15-20 laps.

The thing that really screws up my strategy is the amount of cautions in just about every oval race in iRacing. My strategy is to play it cool, be consistent, not push it and save tires. This usually gains me a quite a few places when we can get in 30+ laps without a caution.

I got lucky and this strategy paid off for me last May and I won the Coca Cola 500 (2nd or 3rd split, fixed setup) at Dover. Never won a race before that, and haven't since, and it was by far my biggest accomplishment in sim racing. Or life, for that matter :p :p
 
I hopped on the iRenting bandwagon few weeks back. not even nearly as bad as people make it out to be. I was pleasantly surprised, i was expecting r3e level graphics and grid2019 physics but it was a lot better than that, especially after all the addons and irrffb etc. quite enjoying trying to get out of the meatgrinder that is rookie licence ;)
 
I hopped on the iRenting bandwagon few weeks back. not even nearly as bad as people make it out to be. I was pleasantly surprised, i was expecting r3e level graphics and grid2019 physics but it was a lot better than that, especially after all the addons and irrffb etc. quite enjoying trying to get out of the meatgrinder that is rookie licence ;)
Many people use some years old bad experience to have a opinion about something they can't judge. Jumping the bandwagon of being negative, because somehow they think it makes them look cool or whatever. iRacing is the real deal in many aspects.
 
judging by the sheer number of mistakes you've made in that event...
I have to say mate :unsure: you probably ain't a future champion material :D
I'm teasing you mate. :) keep up... we learn from our every mistake
although... some say that it's better if you learn from others mistakes
but what do they know eh ?


An old Swedish proverb: Nu jävlar!
after visiting some relatives in Sweden 3 or 4 years ago I've learned
that "javlar" doesn't mean anything very nice :x3: :D
 
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Many people use some years old bad experience to have a opinion about something they can't judge. Jumping the bandwagon of being negative, because somehow they think it makes them look cool or whatever. iRacing is the real deal in many aspects.
iRacing does get a lot of bashing, but in general I expericene a good level of driving and my irating is only 1100 - 1500 and have a C licesne. yes there are are incidients, but in the main if I watch the replay I can see that the incidnets are generally accidents rather than intentional, of course there will always be exceptions.

For me, being able to jump on when i have a spare 45 minutes and find a race is great, I even enjoy dropping into a pratice lobby, somehow it is more satifying than driving practice laps by yourself.
 
I hopped on the iRenting bandwagon few weeks back. not even nearly as bad as people make it out to be. I was pleasantly surprised, i was expecting r3e level graphics and grid2019 physics but it was a lot better than that, especially after all the addons and irrffb etc. quite enjoying trying to get out of the meatgrinder that is rookie licence ;)
I wont go into how good or bad the physics/TM is in iRacing - because I aborted my 5+ years membership exactly because of that - but...
But what I have been missing since is the possibility to practice online more or less 24/7.
Though I didnt exactly use all the full 24/7:roflmao: then more or less every day at about the same time of day(evening) I joined free practice on the track that was on schedule of my favorite car(s).
This possibility and the fact that at least in the more popular series you could allways expect others on track. :thumbsup:
Often many :)

CatsAreTheWorstDogs: I think I have said it here and ofcourse also in the iRacing forum that I got fast tracked from Rookie to A in about 2 weeks. I did mainly use TT and kept my SR almost on max the whole time. But I think I have since heard others who have fast tracked from R to A in a week.:confused:

@gspice198 you overtook me with the online practice thing. Great possibility :thumbsup:
 
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To join the OverTake Racing Club races I want them to be: (multiple choice)

  • Free to access

    Votes: 235 87.7%
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