Today was raceday for me. It’s week 6 of the iRacing F3 Championship and we are at Okayama in Japan (virtually, of course). The F3 races are designed to last about 30 minutes, so this one was set for 20 laps of the 2.3 mile circuit.
The big news is that I decided to break the mold and run the qualifying laps to get a position further up the grid. I know, I said I wasn’t going to, that I would start every race from the back to avoid the mayhem, but I know this track so well that I had to take the chance. In the end, it was probably the right choice as I ended up in a pretty low strength of field split of 964. Before the race my irating was 1169. So, not too surprisingly, my qualifying time put me 3rd on the starting grid.
Now most crashes happen during the first lap or two of a race when everyone is bunched together, with the first few corners being the most dangerous. I got off to a reasonable start, but as we reached turn 4, Attwood Curve, someone spun in front of me. The only way for me to avoid hitting him was to go onto the gravel. This cost me a few places, but I was still in the race. The same thing happened on the second to last bend and this put me off line for the final bend and I was back on the gravel again and lost several more places. I ended lap one in 16th place. All I could do was dig in and try to catch as many as I could. I caught up and passed 3 or 4 cars and some others must have crashed out ahead if me as I finished the race in 9th place. Not great, but I gained a minuscule 6 rating points to 1175, and 36 championship points, taking me up to 54th out of 299 having completed 4 races. The next race is at Interlagos in Brazil and I will be competing once again.