variation is evil

i’ve spent last week preparing the new elise cup so that i can start a new season. i have limited the amount of fuel by resizing the tank so that the pack must pit, even for this short distance (22-25 laps) this will give the cup a more sprint series like feeling and i hope this will mix the field a little bit more, and well – it’s great entertainment for the visitors ­čśë

then i’ve started a practise session and even i’ve got a very comfortable feeling, i’m still more than 1.5 seconds behind the leader. i know, the ai in gtr2 is very strong in practise and qualify sessions but that the difference is that big is a little bit surprising on this 1:41 track. so i’ve started to analyze my lap and sector times to see if it is related to the setup or the line. by applying some of my 6S tools i’ve found that i’ve got some problems with consistency at 4 different positions of the track. the best consecutive sector times are about 1 second faster than my best lap and the theoretical best lap would be a 1:39xxx. so my goal was to get somewhere close to a low 1:40. by focusing myself to the 4 spotted areas (three┬ácorners and one straight). i’ve payed more attention to brake point and turn-in point and to the acceleration point. for the straight, i was looking if the variation comes from the last corner exit or from a wrong brake point with some idle phase until turn-in (funny, it is the start-finish line). since the turn before the straight was kind of constant i found that i’m exiting the turn at different positions and that the brake point varies for the first corner. by forcing myself to a better line for the last corner and by setting the brake point more towards trail-braking without using the throttle before the apex i’ve got kind of stable sector times. and viola, a few laps later, i was able to stay within the 1:40xxx range without many hazzles. by softening the front swaybar once more and┬ádecreasing┬áthe air inlet the car started to be very fast in bends as well as on the straights. so i went for the qualifying, keen on getting a start place somewhere between 10 and 20. fuel for 3 laps and heading to the track wasn’t a big deal. i forced the car thru the first lap to get the tires as hot as possible and by steering the car as sensitive as possible thru the last corner i flew on the start-finish line towards the first corner. brake point – perfect, turn-in – perfect, right-left-right and apex – a little bit disturbed by an other car but i tried to use the slipstream to get the car out of the bend as fast as possible. unfortunately, another car, same story, slipstream until corner 6 (the one after seat), outbraking, snip back onto the racing line just a meter in front of the opponent, hitting the apex synchron with the throttle and out for my weakest point, the last left-long right until it comes down to the last right corner. everything went fine, the outer tires were touching the curbs as best as possible and event the last right went close to perfect. shifting to 6th gear, flying to the finish line took endless seconds but then – new best lap – 1:39.534 – i was blown away. within 1 day an improvement by about 2 seconds, that’s what i call amazing. at the end of the quali session, i’ve got place 4 to start from and this was far more than expected. the race itself was really entertaining. since 22 of the 26 cars were able to stay within 1 second during the quali session, it was always tight, no chance for mistakes nor relaxing around the track. battle for a top 3 position forced me to drive a very aggressive line and so a visit to the gravel was unavoidable. unfortunately, the limited fuel wasn’t able to force the cars into the pits, since the race length is calculated by time, not by laps and the new elises are way faster than the original cup which decreases the lap count and so no need for pitstop. i have to change this for the next race. back to position 9, i’ve started to fight myself back to the top 3 but attacking the leader forced me again to leave the racing line but i wasn’t successfull and lost the 2nd place, to finish 3rd. whatsoever, i’m lucky with the 3rd place as well, it’s a cup and so more than one race.

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