ISEC2016 – Daytona Test race

It has past 8 whole years since i ever really raced something serious online. Last time i was driving in USC (Ultimate speed challenge) championship in F1 with people from all over the world where i won 5 out of 6 races. That’s it. Never ever drove anything more serious since then. Never had the time never had the nerves. But this time i said let’s try it. A guy with initials M.T. from US approached me and asked me if i wanted to race for his team. Okay. But i think i still wasn’t that much serious. Didn’t knew any info about the championship only that the first race is at Silverstone and i am driving Ferrari 458 Italia in the GT3 class and probably i have a teammate from Brazil. And yes that the race will be between 25th 28th of February.

It was peaceful saturday morning. One week before the first race of ISEC 2016 in Silverstone. So i said, let’s do some testing in order to create some decent setup for it.
I turn on the PC i install the steering wheel the pedals and there is like i asked for him my friend from neighboring country Serbia, Nikola Simic on facebook, ding ding (sound) he tells me that he found a seat for the ISE Championship alongside some real driver in Renault Clio European Cup and they will be competing in the LMP2 class. I am about to drive for TR Motorsport in GT3 Class, with the Ferrari 458 Italia, of which i posted two videos (one two)before of my short testings. He(Simic) says: hey i drove faster than you with 3 laps and smiles. We had few jokes and i say “okay i go back to beat yours” then he says, there is a race now. At Daytona.
– I said: What?! Daytona? Race? Now!?
– He says: Yes yes! Weren’t you following? There is a test race. Everybody are joining right now.
And i just got from bed half an hour ago! In that hurry what i missed was the word “test” race. So i was really afraid i will fail and i will disappoint my team as well. Daytona? What track is that i say in myself, i have never drove there. Crap!

I joined immediately on the server and there are all. But i just got when they finished with testing. Restarted the session and i tried to get out and do few laps. To prepare. They told me to park the vehicle back in the PITs because LMP1 class was doing qualifying test. So i returned back. I had no laps whatsoever with the car on the track. I said in myself “this is going to be bad” then “okay, just cruise and don’t spin” but it’s harder than me. I cannot cruise…

Everybody leaving, 5min later everyone joining in again. There was 1-2min warm up and i couldn’t do one single lap because i didn’t know where to turn in what direction to go as i didn’t knew the track at all. I thought i need to go to the left and it was to the right. I spun 360 and hit a coming car out of nowhere. I said in myself “leave before it’s too late, this is embarassing!” But nope, it’s harder than me, i won’t quit. Let’s see what happens – i said.

So they moved the session again and with only brief 2 minutes we were in the race. Till this point i thought this was an actual race haha. And then one of the guys on the server says “okay guys take it easy, this is a test race” and that was the first time i read that this was only a test. Nothing will go in the championship and i said okay! Everything is okay let’s have fun!

So, the race started and although i said “im gonna cruise and go safely” something inside wouldn’t agree. So there i was in the first corner in the first barrier. Screenshot_3

The red Ferrari in the back? That’s me! I would do it safer, different second time (i don’t think so) Following the car in front, like blind, started braking later and locked the wheels. No returning.

It was only after the race that i found out that actually that test race that event would be livestreamed on youtube and actual commentators were in place commentating the race. I bet they have very bad thought about me now but that’s something i am going to repair in the 1st race at Silverstone this week.

So what happened. Well what could’ve happened if you hit a wall with 150km/h? In real life you’d end up in a hospital probably. Here i drove another lap. Entered the PIT to repair the damage on the car. Missed the spot while doing it. Returned 5meters backwards just enough so i am not disqualified. Did the repairs that took almost a minute (52sec) and i rejoined the race, +2 laps than the LMP1 and almost all LMP2 cars. The cars in my class with whom i was racing were +1 Lap ahead. So it’s a test race isn’t it, well let’s use it and let’s work on the setup and of course, learn this track.

So i went lap by lap trying to improve to learn the lines, the corners, little details about it, and so on. See how tyres work how fuel is used etc. It would be useful when actual race will take place wouldn’t be?

By lap 10 i spun several times. I locked wheels on hard braking points and i would lose control on fast corners where the stability of the car while changing direction was crucial.

Lap 11 came and by then i was nothing faster than high 1:47. And i was pretty much, positive since the guys who knew ALL about this event and i am sure driven many many laps more than i ever did at Daytona circuit were nothing much faster. Perhaps second or second and a half at most. At least from what i could see at the time. And there were only 3 or 2 other cars in my GT3 class. Then i lost internet connection.
Returned 4-5min later and continued. Probably that connection failure was good otherwise i was so into the laps and going as long as i could on those tyres that i wouldn’t have returned to the pit to tryout something different with the setup of the car.

So, upon returning i changed few things and i think, just think it was better. In the next 5-6 laps i was nothing worse than high 1:46 and catching up fairly fast the competition of only one if i am not mistaken or at most two cars(Only in my class). I quickly realized they both were probably not as good as i thought they were. Since one of them was doing almost but the same mistakes i did.  Anyway i really couldn’t care less where i was but only to try and to my best.

Screenshot_5That red car in the background, that’s me in world of my own

The day out was really sunny and really beautiful. This test race caught me totally unprepared and totally without guard. I had to go so i said let’s do another two or three laps to try and enter the 1:45.

After only 30 laps and not more than 30 if not less, i managed to do three very low 1:46 one after another , after 6-7 laps on the tyres. The last lap 1:46.0. It was enough and i left space and motivation for next time to come and do more.

Below you can see the video:

 

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