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2022 ChampCar iRacing Series: Round 7, Watkins Glen - 5/18/2022, 5/25/2022


Rapido
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Heading up to the Finger Lakes of NY State this round, for a 2 hour race at the famous Watkins Glen road course. Walls are close and racing can be tight, so take your time. The practice round will feature another iteration of our testing of using an iRacing AI class, this time in a faster car than the "real" field. Please only register for the Mazda; if you register in the AI class you will be removed from the session.

 

Session Details

 

  • Practice Round: Wednesday, 18-May-2022
  • Championship Round: Wednesday, 25-May-2022
  • Practice Start: 6:30pm ET
  • Qualifying Start: 7:30pm ET
  • Race Start: 8:30pm ET
  • Car: Mazda Miata NC
  • Track: Watkins Glen International (Boot)
  • In-Sim Session Date: Saturday, 28-May-2022
  • In-Sim Session Start Time: 12:00pm
  • In-Sim Time Multiplier: 1x
  • Weather: Auto-Generated
  • Setup: iRacing Baseline Setup with 6.4g Fuel
  • Fast Repairs: 1
  • License Requirements: Practice Rounds (None), Championship Round (>D2.0)

 

Useful Links
 

ChampCar iRacing Series - League Application

ChampCar iRacing Series - Discord Server

2022 ChampCar iRacing Series Schedule

2022 ChampCar iRacing Series Broadcast Information Form

2022 ChampCar iRacing Series Protest Form

 

Guide to iRacing and Hardware

How to create your own iRacing paints

iRacing Tips and Resources

Edited by Rapido
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I don't know if anyone else cares, but I am not a fan of multi class racing which was further complicated by having AI of inadequate skill.  Having Jean slip in to an Audi, I was able to compare and contrast.  Every pass from him was clean and predictable, which the AI was not.  The AI of lower skill level were very hard to predict.  For instance one was catching me up the climbing esses, then it was sheepish about deciding when to pass, only to make the move just ahead of the braking zone, then overbrake going into the bus stop. 

 

Also, the leaders having to deal with cars that are 10 seconds a lap faster is not a common occurrence in a real CCES race. 

 

As far as the rest of the race, I was doing reasonably well til I made contact with Tim Weyer on the back straight - he was trying to pass for P4.  I think I was drifting left to get a better entrance to the bus stop I should have just let him go through.  After that I was at the end of a four car train trying to keep the draft and I ran wide going into 12, and had to make a second pit stop for a fast repair.  The got me out on track a good distance behind Lee, but I was able to reel him in and make the pass.  I really thought I could get away but he was in the draft and we were going to race for it until an AI got in there and our race broke up when he had contact with it and he went off on the inside of turn 7. 

 

At the start, there were a couple drivers who really laid back and got a huge running start, causing some three wide going into turn 1 on lap 1.  Is this something we allow?   

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Thank you all for your feedback on the practice round. A few key points to note below before the championship race on Wednesday.

 

Fuel capacity limit (ie, total tank size) has been reduced to 73% (9.3g) for the race - this should be sufficient to mean that 2 stops for fuel will be necessary to complete the full race distance

 

Rolling start procedure should be the same as described in the iRacing code of conduct - maintain a constant speed until the car ahead of you accelerates or the green flag is waved. Anybody who hangs back from the car behind in order to gain an advantage by accelerating early could definitely be held liable if protested, particularly if said move results in contact or material gain of position

 

AI remains a work in progress. The only change made on the field from Daytona was to turn on the option of the AI "actively avoiding contact with drivers". From what I saw whilst spectating the practice race, this resulted in a lot less aggression from the AI field but with less decisive driving causing a bit more frustration. That said, every piece of contact I saw could have been avoided by the non-AI driver involved. We'll continue testing this in select practice rounds and tweaking other parameters to see if we can get it into a state with positive feedback from the community, but it is certainly not ready for championship rounds at this point.

 

Finally, the CC BoD meeting is tomorrow and will be livestreamed. There is a brief update on the CCiS included in the materials that will be distributed, and I would encourage everyone who is interested in eventually joining the series on track to review these and to take interest in the operation of the series, and please keep sending me feedback on the iRacing series with suggestions on tweaks and improvements that might be incorporated into our championship.

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Thanks for the updates and clarification.

 

In the future, would it be possible to share information like fuel tank sizing, starting fuel load, any other special settings in advance of the practice race?  I practice fuel strategy in the practice races and the strategy I picked for last week's race will not work with the configuration you have selected for the race.  

 

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That is always the goal, in this instance my calc was too generous when setting up the practice round and it was possible to make it on one stop - I had to go back to work out a more sensible restriction to ensure that two would be required. For future reference, all 2 hour races will be set up to require a minimum of 2 stops to complete the full race distance.

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I'm bummed I won't be able to make the race tomorrow night (and the real one this weekend).  I'm travelling to Charleston to see my son graduate from his 2nd (of 3) Navy schools.  Will be my first miss since starting at the beginning of 2021.  Good luck to everyone!

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Spent a fair amount of time prepping for this one so I had high expectations.  Made a quick lap early in qualifying which got me P1, though it slide back to P6 by end of qualifying.  In the race I went a bit too easy in turn 1 lap 1 and more or less got freight trained by about 4 cars before the bus stop.  On lap 2 the same thing happened – at that point I decided I wanted to deploy the clean air strategy so I pitted early and topped the car off.  While I went to last place, this had the desired effect and I had a good chunk of time with no cars in sight.  Some time around lap 25 Shane Cameron came out of the pits and he was a little ways behind.   On fresh tires he hauled me in fairly quick and made a clean pass, though I was able to hang on in the draft.  I almost lost the draft but he had a close encounter with the wall on exit of turn 9 and that kept me in range.  I stuck with him til I had <1 lap of fuel and pitted at the end of lap 31.

 

Being in the back so early made the whole two hours a steady climb up the standings.  Some time around lap 40 Orlando came out of the pits and he was like 9 seconds back.  At this time I was P10 and really wanted to hang in the top 10, so I really had to up my game.  My mechanics for braking and cornering were definitely not my best – this is hard to fix mid race – but necessity was the mother of invention and I started executing better to try and hold the gap.  He reduced the gap quite a bit at first with the fresher tires but then it leveled off.  Going into the last few laps the gap was solid 3.8 second I figured I was good.  During this effort to stay ahead of him, I actually closed the gap on John and Ian by a second or so.  On lap 52 Ian was trying to pass Lance (P22) at the bus stop and he went off, recovering but his 5 second advantage on me was gone.  By now I was P9 and P8 was in range.  Mostly I wanted to keep what I had as Orlando was not ceding any ground.  Lap 53 I was in Ian’s draft and chose to follow into bus stop rather than pass – I figured he would just return the favor on the last lap.  So on last lap I was unable to navigate the pass as Ian had caught back up to Lance just before bus stop and I just didn’t want to try and stuff it in there.   Orlando was able to close up the gap but not enough to threaten for a pass so I ended up P9.

 

I finished 1:19 behind P1.  In 2021 I would have been happy to be that close to the leader after 1 hour, but here I’m a bit disappointed as I know I’ve done better with the car and the track.  Another 5 seconds somewhere could have put me in P6. 

 

Unofficially  we have 32 still eligible for the participation award at the end of the season

Edited by mostmint
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I watched some of the broadcast while waiting in Detroit for my delayed flight.  It was commented on during the broadcast, and I noticed several lapped cars not easily allowing cars on the lead lap to get by, as Andy mentions above.  It would be different, or more acceptable if the lapper were also in a battle for position, but that wasn't the case during this race.  I think it would be beneficial for the field to receive a reminder of this prior to the next race.

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I was driving at the Glen this weekend, in a car fast enough to win. I would occasionally lose 3-4s per lap due to traffic, even though I was on the lead lap. I guess the question is - should the CCiS try to accurately reflect/recreate the on-track experience at a CCES race, or should it be a separately regulated/controlled experience that operates in partnership with ChampCar but remains more focused and targeted?

 

I'm not being facetious - I don't know the answer and I don't have a strong conviction in either direction (yet) - some of the louder feedback in recent weeks leads me to think that the latter is more preferable, but it would be good to know the thoughts of the other racers. I'll be holding a mid-season survey/feedback opportunity after Round 8 so that will be a good opportunity to get some more input when we look at planning the 2023 season.

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1 hour ago, Rapido said:

I was driving at the Glen this weekend, in a car fast enough to win. I would occasionally lose 3-4s per lap due to traffic, even though I was on the lead lap. I guess the question is - should the CCiS try to accurately reflect/recreate the on-track experience at a CCES race, or should it be a separately regulated/controlled experience that operates in partnership with ChampCar but remains more focused and targeted?

 

I'm not being facetious - I don't know the answer and I don't have a strong conviction in either direction (yet) - some of the louder feedback in recent weeks leads me to think that the latter is more preferable, but it would be good to know the thoughts of the other racers. I'll be holding a mid-season survey/feedback opportunity after Round 8 so that will be a good opportunity to get some more input when we look at planning the 2023 season.

It will be interesting to see what feedback comes in on this point.  At the core, CCiS runs 1-2 hour races with individual drivers, and all drivers run the same make and model of car each race.  CCES runs 7-24 hour races with teams of drivers and a wide range of vehicles.  These are significant differences that will be hard to change to accurately reflect the on track experience of a live CCES event.

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I enjoy the challenge of passing and being passed as well, it's part of racing (unless your the GBU Corvette, then it's just passing).  I think the TCR or Mustang (if available in AI) it great if we are in the MX5 to get the experience of getting passed by faster cars and the MX5 as the AI when we are in the Mustangs to practice passing slower cars.  As far as the Slowstice and the Jetta, I'm up for what ever.   

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Here are some other items to consider for realism:

 

I would advocate for these:

1) there is no qualifying in CCES, just a random draw of starting location from pit stalls

2) single file starts

 

Not sure I advocate for these, but differences nonetheless:

3) there are FCY in CCES, but we do not have them in CCiS

4) almost all the cars can go 90 minutes on a tank of fuel

5) driver changes

6) there is a special driver meeting for rookies (have not done one in a while so maybe no longer?) 

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3 hours ago, mostmint said:

Here are some other items to consider for realism:

 

I would advocate for these:

1) there is no qualifying in CCES, just a random draw of starting location from pit stalls

2) single file starts

 

Not sure I advocate for these, but differences nonetheless:

3) there are FCY in CCES, but we do not have them in CCiS

4) almost all the cars can go 90 minutes on a tank of fuel

5) driver changes

6) there is a special driver meeting for rookies (have not done one in a while so maybe no longer?) 

I like the idea of a random starting position.  It would be more challenging for those aliens that always start and run up front in most of the races to have to deal with some of the mid and back of the pack starting shenanigans.  

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23 hours ago, mostmint said:

Here are some other items to consider for realism:

 

I would advocate for these:

1) there is no qualifying in CCES, just a random draw of starting location from pit stalls

2) single file starts

 

Not sure I advocate for these, but differences nonetheless:

3) there are FCY in CCES, but we do not have them in CCiS

4) almost all the cars can go 90 minutes on a tank of fuel

5) driver changes

6) there is a special driver meeting for rookies (have not done one in a while so maybe no longer?) 

I think some of these things would be fun for a practice round or for a special event but I don't think they would work for the current series, especially with the prize on the line. I think for the random draw it would be up to someone (probably Tom) to manually set the grid order if that's even possible. I do know that iRacing allows you to invert a certain number of drivers from qualifying but I again think that this would only be good for a practice race or a longer enduro since it could lead to sandbagging.

 

We did a few long enduro races during the pandemic that included full course cautions and driver changes. It would be nice to have another one of those races assuming we can get enough teams interested

 

I think it would be helpful to provide some guidance on how to let the leaders by when you are getting lapped. Things like lifting / braking early into a corner which allows people to get through without severely compromising both drivers' lap times. Fortunately this hasn't been too common an issue for me but I know it has impacted others.

 

Overall I'm happy with how the league is run / broadcast and look forward to future races. I'm hopeful with improved support from Champ Car we can increase the field size and popularity of the series. I think it's the best way to get people interested in the sport and eventually participate in the real world series.

Edited by Justin Hall
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