Mr Watton Returns with his weekly blog here at simrace247.com. This week in blog #2 its all about the sim racing.
Here is my second blog for the sim racing community 25/03/21
There’s something about starting a new race series. Thoughts of who’s new? Do I change the car from last season? What new tracks do I need to improve on to stay competitive? I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder about the huge amount of commitment that goes into being competitive, so all of those thoughts soon get your pulse rising. For me, that meant two new race series, and the final of another, OMG so much to do!
So the start of my first race series was straight back into GT3s on Assetto Corsa Competizione. A blast around Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, you really need to know your braking points around here. Complex corners similar to Paul Ricard in my opinion, just messing up the start of one apex can ruin you for the next couple as well as the unforgiving high-speed drag after T16 but practice went really well.
I must have easily logged over 100 laps and for most that’s just a breeze in the park. The Aston Martin Vantage V8 GT3 really loves the straights so keeping up with others is relatively easy (says me) its just stitching all those corners together with no incidents. Roll on race mode and we were flying. Some great racing from the off with James Tumilty in my mirrors. I had a couple of incidents unfortunately here on in. Mainly down to tyres going off and being too frugal with the accelerator pedal yet there has been a noticeable improvement on the consistency.
That’s my keyword for this year if you hadn’t noticed, consistency. The last lap was going well until I got rear-ended on T7. This then left me a sitting duck, unable to get my car started in time and bang, a side-on impact despite being on yellow flags. Note to all, sometimes you need to be aware of flags around the track, that is my rant for today, haha.
Roll on GT4s! Yes were staying with the Aston Martin theme, but I like to stay in the same car across each series. This just means I can get to learn the characteristics of the car better over time instead of chopping and changing to match the crowd. Brands Hatch was another season opener starting from a solid 10th place after qualifying. I’m almost dizzy at the thought of being so high up the grid! Not a single spin or issue this time around here.
I know, I’m just as shocked as you. Being a bit of an old man means I know this track pretty well so I can apply that in-game. Again, a solid drive by all involved meant I could only gain 1 grid place this time. Seems everyone knows Brands Hatch well too! 9th to finish was fantastic however, it was great to see single digits for once. Podium next time?
Then we have the MINI racing! This is straight after the GT4s on a Friday, but this time its round 6 of 6. Being my own series hosted by Sim Racing Systems I get to choose the tracks, so knowing Jerez from AMS2 I was keen to get good! MINIs are just plain great on Assetto Corsa. I strongly encourage you to try them out, just look for F56 MINI JCW Challenge, you can thank me later. Sporting my latest Lando Norris McLaren outfit (my merch was in the wash), I managed to qualify in 11th place out of around 23 MINIs.
Jerez GP has some brilliant fast flowing corners that you just have to allow the car to cruise around. With the GP track however, be aware of the “Essess” as it’s so easy to tap those sausage curbs and kick the car up into the air. Again, another strong drive, some super close racing handle to handle or even wheel to wheel it was that close, but the gentleman drivers amongst us just knew about social distancing (car-style) 9th place was the final position here, and if you’ve watched the stream on my YouTube channel then you’ll see how bigger grin I have. Fantastic!
Caterhams 420Rs are the next series starting at Thruxton. They sound fantastic and hope they drive just as fun as the MINIs. The MINIs will be back another for another series that’s for sure.
Next week there are more GT3s, GT4s, Caterhams, Porsches and even some Chris Haye GT3 news at Imola…oh my…what have I let myself in for?
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