Season 1 Awards

Season awards as voted by the competitors.

 Highest Event Score – Jon Holman

45 points for Jon at Silverstone beat Darren’s 43 points at Donington Park, Round 1.

 

Race event of the Season – Silverstone

Three events (Donington Park, Thruxton and Silverstone) received the majority of the votes – with the action packed Silverstone finishing as favourite.

 

Driver of the Season – Darren Kirk

There were three names with multiple votes – Mark Winwood, Jon Holman and Darren Kirk. In the end, Jon and Darren tied for the result, but on closer inspection Jon had voted for himself whereas Darren hadn’t so by the smallest of margins Darren wins this.

 

Most Improved Driver – Sam Newland

Four drivers took the majority of the votes for this award, with the result being closely fought. Sam Newland finished with one vote ahead both Sanjoy, who in turn was one vote ahead of both Mark Winwood and Stephen Dye.

 

Surprising moment of the season – Sam Newland Surprise Victory at Thruxton.

70% of people voted for Sams surprise victory at Thruxton. Sanjoys 2nd place at Silverstone and Stevens 5th place both picked up 15% of the vote a piece.

 

Biggest Vehicular Bandit – Sam Newland

Four drivers were nominated but only one had 70% of the vote. Congratulations Sam.

 

Wooden Spoon Award – Sam Newland, Gary Watson and Sanjoy Chakraborty

Three drivers managed to bag double 10th places – Sam at Donington, Gary at Thruxton and Sanjoy at Brands Hatch on their debuts whilst they learned the nuances of the R8.

 

Drivers Championship

DriverNumberTeamWinsPodiumsFastest LapsTop 5RacesPoints
D. Kirk5Bandito Racing394910*154
J. Holman7Team Foxhole37288147
J. Thomas1Team Racelogic264910*130
M. Winwood3Team Yob1401010*124
S. Newland6Bandito Racing120710106
D. Fox8Team Foxhole00011064
S. Dye10Posh Stiffy Racing00011050
K. Bursnall4Team Yob0001840
S. Chakraborty11Independent0102838
O. Khan13Team Racelogic0102434
D. Cooke9Posh Stiffy Racing0000630
L. Cordell2Team Racelogic0000417
G. Watson14Posh Stiffy Racing000023
T. Hunter12Independent000000

 

Team Championship

PositionTeamWinsPodiumsFastest LapsTop 5sRacesPoints
1Bandito Racing41141610287
2Team Foxhole3721010228
3Team Racelogic2841210210
4Team Yob1401110195
5Posh Stiffy Racing00011086

 

 

Bandit Newland shocks competition with Endurance win

Bandit Newland shocks competition with Endurance win

 

The lead up to the Thruxton round was subject to much discussion. With Jon unavailable for the race despite having blistering form, a gentleman’s agreement was reached between the top four competitors (Darren, Jon, Julian and Mark) to only score their top four rounds to counter for Jon’s Diversity date. The step will not affect the rest of the standings but should provide an entertaining finale.

Talk of an elusive club, ‘the 1:09’s’ was touted heavily before the event, however during qualifying only two drivers managed to join the club, with Julian taking another pole position ahead of Mark and a resurgent Sam. Omar was 4th in the second Team Racelogic car with Darren languishing back in his lowest quali position of the year.

Race one had an entertaining battle between the top 5, with Julian taking another dominating victory in front of a hard charging Mark and Omar, with Sam narrowly missing the podium. Darren was sat behind this in 5th place but span and fell to 6th behind Sanjoy, taking his best position since starting. Dan was 7th in front of Kevin in 8th, followed by both the Posh Stiffy cars.

Race 2 started well with only Darren facing the wrong way after turn 1 after being caught out by Gary’s T1 cautiousness but managed to spin the car away from the field. Apart from the usual jockeying for position once the field has straightened out, Julian, Omar and Sam were involved in a battle for the lead, with Mark and Darren going side by side behind through Church at 150+ mph. Team Racelogic both span in the chicane

The following lap Mark was hit by technical failure and he was forced to reset and was guided back into position (albeit reporting a lap down) by a quick acting Race Control. At this point, Sam found himself in the lead with a 5 second gap to his Bandito team mate in second. Mark was behind somewhere in third with Julian/Omar 10 seconds behind in 4th and 5th. Despite one naughty straightlining of the chicane by Kevin, he finished a solid 6th after a battle with Sanjoy and Dan Fox for 7th and 8th followed by both the Posh Stiffy cars.

Interestingly, here is a screenshot of the fastest lap times by the end of the evening. Anyone with a grey background made a step forward and improved, so Julian, Sam, Mark, Sanjoy, Kevin, Dan, Steve and Gary.

 

 

Taking Dropped Rounds into account, Darren has won the Championship but the battle for second is ultra-close. Working with Excel and a prediction spreadsheet, we are anticipating a Battle Royale for third place between Julian, Mark and Jon. Silverstone will be a crucial round for the three contenders as a strong result will be required and with other drivers like Darren, Omar and Sam potentially taking big points away from the other drivers.

Bandito Racing have now what looks like an unbeatable 49-point advantage over a resurgent Team Racelogic in 2nd place, with 15 points between Racelogic in 2nd and Team Yob in 4th. Barring a major catastrophe, Silverstone is likely to see Bandito Racing taking the Team Championship trophy.

Sam has proven that practice pays off…. However what will Silverstone bring?

 

Thomas visits winners circle

The Racelogic R8 GT3 circus travelled to Dijon-Prenois for an exciting third round of the championship.

Julian qualified on pole position, a tenth clear of Darren in second and Mark in third. Despite having a slightly sluggish start, Julian was able to retain his position with careful car placement into turn 1 with Darren having to lift off the throttle out to avoid a barrier and Jon and Sam making blistering starts to be 2nd and 3rd through the first corner. Darren overtook Sam for third Mark found himself deep into the gravel in Turn 1 after ‘Posh Clutch’ Dan tagged him on the way in along with Dan Fox.

With Julian taking the lead and placing his car perfectly, Jon spent 7 laps within a second and a half from Julian but unable to overtake for the lead resulting in Julian’s and Team Racelogics first win of the season. Darren was a second behind this battle in 3rd until a death wobble around the final corner dropped him off the back of the leaders and was followed by his team mate Sam in fourth. Mark rounded out the top 5 after a strong recovery drive. Sanjoy was 6th, a vast improvement from Brands Hatch and Omar followed in 7th, leaving Dan Fox and the Posh Stiffy cars bringing up the rear.

Inverting the grid for Race 2 always provides an exciting start and it was all going so well until chaos unfolded in Gauche de la Bretelle. I have no idea what happened as I haven’t seen the replay, but I can report that both Posh Stiffy cars disappeared off into the lead, followed by myself – and there was no sign of Julian, Mark, John or Sam on my relative board at the end of lap one.  Omar was facing the wrong way at one point, Jon was tagged and on the grass and that’s as much as I know at this point.

Sam was tagged by two cars during the race judging by the screams of protests, Mark drove a brilliantly controlled race to hold Jon at bay and pushing Darren towards the end but by this point, the race was over between the top few positions and that’s how it ended with Mark 2nd, Jon 3rd, Julian following in 4th and Sam 5th. Dan Fox redeemed himself with a solid 6th, followed by Omar in 7th, Stephen Dye in 8th Dan Cooke 9th and Sanjoy bringing up the rear.

  • Julian took his first pole position and first race win.
  • Darren failed again to score a pole position.
  • There have been 4 different winners in 6 races.
  • No-one has managed to achieve both wins or both fastest laps in a race evening.
  • Sam and Sanjoy scored their highest results with a 4th and 6th place respectively.
  • Dan Cooke realised that the left pedal is the clutch not the brake.
  • Darren’s +5 luck in the second race resulted in another overall win, but the luck has to run out at some point with Julian, John and Mark closely chasing behind.
  • Sam continued his blistering starts but this time did not hit anyone in Turn 1.
  • There were no steward’s enquiries.
  • There were no screams about blue flags
  • Omar joined the series with two 7th place finishes.

With Thruxton as the next round will we see a return of Lee Cordell and Kevin Bursnall, will Darren’s luck run out and will we see another new race winner…. It’s certainly shaping up to be an exciting end to the series!

Brands Hatch – Race Report

Simply Race Brands Hatch Record

As I mentioned in my last post, I have always found Brands Hatch Indy to be a challenging circuit. However, in the Audi R8, I’ve found my speed increasing and I currently hold the lap record, which I managed to move another 3 tenths further forward.

Despite having a clear pace advantage, I severely struggled in qualifying finding space in the traffic to get a fast lap in – I was blocked on several laps which meant I was unable to challenge Jonathan Holman for the overall pole position.

One issue we have seen with the WCP version of Brands Hatch is the non-working light gantry for the starts. Relying purely on a set of beeps, we had several false starts before the race got underway. I momentarily fell back to 4th in the sprint race behind my team mate, before getting the inside for Druids hairpin and settling down behind Mark Winwood and Jonathan Holman. On lap 3, Winwood ran wide in clearways promoting myself to 2nd. The chase was on behind Jonathan and despite closing up I couldn’t find a decent position to really attack, so I decided to keep the pressure on. Coming out of Graham Hill on the 11th lap, John ran wide and span, gifting myself 1st place with a 5 second lead. From then on, it was a case of keeping the tyre temperatures under control and making sure I didn’t have any issues with the backmarkers, crossing the line in front of Mark, Jonathan and Julian. With Marks penalty promoting Jonathan to second the next race was going to be crucial.

Winning the sprint race gives the privilege of starting last in the endurance race. Knowing that Jonathan, Mark and Julian would all be starting ahead – I wanted to ensure that I didn’t lose too much time off the lights.

I managed to avoid the druids carnage and come out of the hairpin in 5th place, in front of all my rivals, – it was at this point disaster struck, with one of the other drivers managing to drive onto the grass, spin and collect me through Graham Hill forcing myself into a excursion across the grass and into a spin. After getting back on track, and seeing that I was about 20 seconds behind the leaders, I knew I couldn’t afford to have the others scoring vastly more points at the end.

This sparked perhaps the best race of my sim racing career, chasing down the field and eventually being within 2 seconds of the lead in third place on lap 27 out of 28, then my tyres eventually overheated enough to cause me to run wide in Paddock Hill. I would not have been able to take the victory, but to be able to come back in the race and finish behind Mark taking his well-deserved maiden victory and Julian.

Looking back at the lap times, I managed to run a series of 44 and 45 second laps through the field and also through the back markers.

Endurance Laps

Endurance Laps

Our next round is Dijon-Prenois, which I have never raced on before. I go into the race with a 9 point lead in the championship ahead of Jonathan but a bad race will close the championship up.

Sam Newland, my team mate, also improved hugely from Round 1 and finished with two 5th places – contributing towards Bandito Racing taking the Team Championship lead by 1 point.

 

You may notice another lap record set in the Scirocco R. Looking at the data, I can see at least half a second in that lap time – this was a quick practice for the Simply Race Touring Car Championship, which is run over 6 Sunday evenings starting in November. Mark Winwood and I have entered a ‘VBOX Motorsport’ team to see how we get on.

Simply Race SRTCC

Simply Race SRTCC

‘Win’Wood takes honours at Brands Hatch

Mark Winwood provided one of the unexpected surprises of the season at Brands Hatch when he took a well-deserved overall victory after finishing second in the sprint race, followed by victory in the endurance. Mark didn’t have it all his own way, as a postrace stewards panel deemed Mark to have jumped the start of the sprint and received a 10 second time penalty, forcing him down to fourth, however he showed his determination and quickly bounced back and after 28 laps crossed the finish line to take his and Team Yobs first win of the championship – followed closely by Julian Thomas.

brands

The sprint race was a tightly contended affair, with Darren Kirk coming out with the victory, followed across the line by Mark, John and Julian. After the penalty, the order changed with John second, Julian third and Mark fourth. John took the overall fastest lap. Sam made a surprise improvement to 5th place, followed by Stephen Dye with a career best 6th. With the grid inverted for race two, Sanjoy and Kevin found themselves on the front of the grid. After a smooth first corner, carnage broke out in Druids causing a lot of cars to try and claim the same piece of tarmac after some very late braking (we’ve been reliably informed that the brake was applied, albeit gently) from Lee Cordell. Going into Graham Hill, Stephen Dye took the ‘alternative’ line across the grass and span, sending Darren Kirk across the grass, into a spin and dead last, 20 seconds down on the leaders. Julian, John and Mark quickly took the top three positions after the pack and shaken out a bit. After a few lead changes between the top three, John made a mistake in Druids and was surprised to see Darren charging through the field and up to third. He would eventually catch up to within 2 seconds of the lead on lap 27, taking the fastest lap, before his tyres went through Paddock Hill but managed to hold third in front of John. Once again, Sam crossed the line in 5th place, equalling his best result with Dan Fox in 6th, Lee in 7th and Kevin in 8th. Posh Stiffy had their own battle at the back with Stephen Dye besting his stand in team mate Sanjoy after Dan Cooke decided to spend his evening in sunny Portugal with an overheated laptop.

Overall standings for the event left Mark with the victory with 38 points, with Darren with 37, Julian 34 and John with 30.

Mark Winwood

Mark Winwood

Darren extends his lead at the top of the championship to 9 points over John, with Julian and Mark within 18 points of the lead. There is a bit of a gap before the tight midfield, with just 14 points covering 5th – 10th.

Drivers Championship

DriverNumberTeamWinsPodiumsFastest LapsTop 5RacesPoints
D. Kirk5Bandito Racing394910*154
J. Holman7Team Foxhole37288147
J. Thomas1Team Racelogic264910*130
M. Winwood3Team Yob1401010*124
S. Newland6Bandito Racing120710106
D. Fox8Team Foxhole00011064
S. Dye10Posh Stiffy Racing00011050
K. Bursnall4Team Yob0001840
S. Chakraborty11Independent0102838
O. Khan13Team Racelogic0102434
D. Cooke9Posh Stiffy Racing0000630
L. Cordell2Team Racelogic0000417
G. Watson14Posh Stiffy Racing000023
T. Hunter12Independent000000

Bandito Racing overtook Team Foxhole in the Teams Standings, with just one point separating the two teams.  Team Yob and Team Racelogic find themselves only 3 points apart, with Posh Stiffy Racing bringing up the rear.

Team Championship

PositionTeamWinsPodiumsFastest LapsTop 5sRacesPoints
1Bandito Racing41141610287
2Team Foxhole3721010228
3Team Racelogic2841210210
4Team Yob1401110195
5Posh Stiffy Racing00011086

 

Fitbits & Lap Records

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the various ‘wearables’ which have appeared on the market in the past few years, but it was only this weekend I made the decision to pick up a FitBit Charge HR.

I’ve always liked the look of the Microsoft Band – especially for the Golf tracker, but as soon as social media is tied into a wearable the battery life of the band seems to rapidly decrease.

I settled for a FitBit Charge HR – firstly to persuade me to continue to remain active, and also for the Heart Rate function.

We’ve just returned from Simply Race for the practice for second round of the R8 Championship at Brands Hatch. I’ve never been a fan of Brands before, I remember having a few good results in GT3 on the full circuit on iRacing, but every time Brands came up on Race 07, I would struggle.

Not yesterday. Not only did I manage to qualify in pole position, I’ve managed to set the lap record for the Audi R8 at Brands Hatch @ Simply Race. I have no doubt this time will be shattered next week, but for now I can bask in the glory of my first ever ‘Lap Record!’

Simply Race Lap Record

Simply Race Lap Record

The quality of the competition was strong as well, with two real life racing drivers in the field – Julian Thomas (Fun Cup and Classic E-Type) and Goofy Pirro, son of Emanuele Pirro (ex F1 driver and 5 time Le Mans 24-hour winner.)

I did record my heart race for the race we did at the end, it peaked at 121bpm during the start, but dropped to about 80 throughout the race.

Heart Rate

Heart Rate

I’m pretty certain this will never happen again, so I’m going to make the most of it. However it is next week where it all counts and I’m expecting a strong challenge from Jonathan, Julian and Mark who are just behind me in the championship.

Round 1 + 2 – Donington Park

The dust has settled at Donington Park after an exciting first round of the Audi R8 Championship, we come to reflect on the event and the drivers performances.

 

With rumours of discontent with the track selection, the organisers have decided to open a vote to the competitors on which track should replace the Norisring. The rest of the tracks include Oulton Park, Dijon-Prenois and another round up for discussion – suggestions are welcomed and should be submitted!

 

Unfortunately, we lost the replay of Race 1, so the only highlights on offer are the following from Race 2. Next time we will have both replays!.

 

Highlights:

 

Team Mate Wars

The first person you need to beat is your team-mate.

 

Team Racelogic

Julian Thomas: B+

Lee Cordell: C-

Two solid third place finishes for Julian despite making a mistake to lose 2nd in race 1 on the last lap. Cruelly denied the opportunity to fight for the win in Race 2 due to unfortunate circumstances (Sam). Lee was involved in the endurance race wars and finished in 9th in both, certainly not a bad result considering missing out free practice compared to his competitors.

 

Team Yob

Mark Winwood: B-

Kevin Bursnall: B

Despite scoring less points than Mark, Kevin wins the Team Mate wars for over achieving with a 5th and a 7th place. Mark narrowly missed out on the podium and two fourth place results proved frustrating.

 

Bandito Racing

Darren Kirk : A

Sam Newland: F

1 win, 1 fastest lap and a second place on one side of the garage, a drive through and two 10th place finishes on the other. Bandito Racing are 10 points behind Team Foxhole in the championship, and Sam’s contribution to the points haul was appreciated by the entire team, as shown in this pie chart.

 

Team Foxhole

Jonathan Holman: A

Dan Fox: B-

Despite under-performing in Race 1, Dan recovered in race 2 with a top 5 position. Jonathan’s win, 2nd place and overall fastest lap however seal the TMW victory for John.

 

Posh Stiffy Racing

Dan Cooke: C+

Stephen Dye: C+

The closest score in Team Mate Wars – with both Dan and Stephen performing well for the team making good progress through the field. Dan closely pips the award for slightly less spins, sportsmanship for waiting for Kevin after an accident and with two six place finishes, compared to Stephens 7th and 8th. Stephen did provide stiff competition for the midfield despite trying to squeeze into a few small spaces.

 

Drivers Championship

With just two points separating Darren (43) and Jonathan (41) at the top of the table, Julian slightly behind on 30 points and Mark on 24. The midfield battle looks exciting, with just 5 point separating 5th to 8th.

[table “” not found /]

Team Championship

Team Foxhole stand proud at the top of the Team Championship, 10 points clear of Bandito Racing. 2 points separate Team Yob and Team Racelogic, with Posh Stiffy 11 points behind.

[table “” not found /]

Pre-Season Form Guide

As we approach the start of our season, a few alterations have been made to the championship to keep it simple.

  • Tyres and Fuel will remain off. Tyre heat will remain in play, so be careful about overheating your tyres. This is the same as our practice session yesterday.
  • Please all try and re-join the track in a safe manner if you have an incident or go off track.
  • Race 2 will be a reverse grid based on the results of Race 1.

The championship itself is looking to shape up nicely, with the teams looking very well matched. We’ve put together a tongue in cheek form guide based on the initial event and last night, and at the end of every race we’ll do an update with results.

 

Form Guide

 

Team Racelogic

Anthem:

 

Julian Thomas

Grade: A

F1 likeness: Michael Schumacher

As the only real life racing driver with the experience of winning several championships, Julian has the most amount of experience on a real track and will be watched closely to see how this translates to the virtual world.

 

Lee Cordell

Grade: C+

F1 likeness: Max Verstappen

An extremely strong showing from Lee in the initial practice with no experience at all, Lee will be looking to build on this experience after missing out on pre-season testing.

 

Sanjoy Chakraborty

Grade: C

F1 Likeness: Giedo Van de Garde

Jumping in the deep end in replacement to Lee, Sanjoy, like Giedo, finds himself as the 3rd driver in a team of two. Sanjoy showed a vast improvement from the start to end of the session, not far off the pace of the more experienced drivers and will be ready to jump into an empty seat should one arise.

 

 

Team Yob

Anthem:

 

Mark Winwood

Grade: A

F1 likeness: Kimi Raikkonen

Preferring to do his talking on the track, Mark has the speed to win and will be looking to maximise opportunities to visit the top step of the podium more than once.

 

Kevin Bursnall

Grade: C

F1 likeness: Marcus Ericsson

After a vast improvement was shown in pre-season testing, Kevin will want to get involved in the midfield scrap and with consistency is likely to spring a few surprises on his competitors.

 

 

Bandito Racing

Anthem: 

 

Darren Kirk

Grade: A

F1 Likeness: Juan Pablo Montoya

Fast over one lap, but does he have the consistency needed to win? Span in two of the preseason events from a strong position and left to fight through the field on recovery drives, if the mistakes can be eliminated should be challenging for the drivers’ championship.

 

Sam Newland

Grade: C

F1 likeness: Pastor Maldonado

Quick at times but rather inconsistent. Will we see a return of his banditing ways, or has Sam elevated himself firmly into the midfield? Odds on favourite for first into the gravel trap.

 

 

Team Foxhole

Anthem: 

 

Jonnie Holman

Grade: A*

F1 likeness: Sebastian Vettel

Winner of three practice races, and fastest lap in practice, Jonnie is going to be the firm favourite for the drivers’ championship from race 1.

 

Dan Fox

Grade: B

F1 likeness: Valtteri Bottas

A strong midfield candidate with excellent race craft, Dan will be looking to cause an upset in a few rounds and will be fighting for podiums, as well as adding solid points towards the team championship.

 

 

Posh Stiffy Racing

Anthem:

 

Dan Cooke

Grade: B –

F1 likeness: James Hunt

Despite Dan’s commitment issues, if he sticks at the championship and finds some more speed out of the car, Dan should be knocking on the door of the podium on more than one occasion.

 

Stephen Dye

Grade: C

F1 likeness: Andrea De Cesaris

Specialist in the wet. Tense and stiff behind the wheel at first, Stephen Dye is starting to loosen up and find some pace… snail’s pace, but pace nonetheless. Stephen will be looking at capitalising on any chaos in front and will prove firm competition towards the end of the races, rising up the order. Performance can be severely affected by alcohol.

 

 

Simply Race R8 Championship – Teams

Starting this month, I will be competing in an Audi R8 GT3 Championship which will take place at Simply Race, a simulator centre in Milton Keynes. Simply Race is set in a large industrial unit, featuring 10 connected pods running rFactor, triple screens, bass shakers and G27 wheels, as well as a bar and race control.

For the past few years I have competed exclusively on iRacing and usually in organised championships. I no longer have the time and/or motivation to learn a new car every 13 weeks in official racing, which in general changes and makes previous setups invalid. I do enjoy well organised tournaments, like the NEO Endurance Series, which I will be looking at participating in some way in season 2. My motivation has dropped with iRacing and its physics. Don’t get me wrong, iRacing does many many things right and well, however the driving experience can leave a lot to be desired at times.

We visited Simply Race with work and took part in a private race evening. Despite having some misfortune on track, I won the first race, and was 2nd in the second race. Hit by every car in the final, and then a drive through for car contact, I came 5th overall in the final.

The experience of racing in a room with other people cannot be replicated. Rivalries have already started to form and the talk in the office after the event meant quickly deciding to go back to do a 5 race championship against the same work colleagues. rFactor is an old sim, but the variety and driveability has brought back a love for competing again. The social aspect is pretty awesome too, instead of sat in a man cave with a headset on, after you race you can get out the rig and talk immediately to your competitors whilst watching back any contentious moments on the big screens.

The series itself brings back what I loved about sim racing in the first place – a pure test of each individual drivers skill under the conditions – all cars are the same apart from livery, running the same setup and with the same fuel levels. Tyre management will play a part in the endurance race and it will be interesting to see how the season shakes out.

Dean has once again worked his magic and designed the skins for the five teams which will be entering the championship.

racelogic

Team Racelogic
#1 Julian Thomas
#2 Lee Cordell

yob

Team Yob
#3 Mark Winwood
#4 Kevin Bursnall

bandito

Bandito Racing
#5 Darren Kirk
#6 Sam Newland

foxhole

Team Foxhole
#7 John Holman
#8 Dan Fox

posh

Posh Stiffy Racing
#9 Dan Cooke
#10 Stephen Dye




Contact me

Contact me