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An Englishman On The Ovals

Discussion in 'iRacing' started by Nick Brooke, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. An Englishman racing ovals?? How terrible i hear from the Americans, no seriously i was shocked at how many Americans actualy thought it was strange that i wanted to race ovals. How i saw it was i could race road stuff any time i liked in other games but oval racing is something not quite so widely available.

    Popular missconceptions abound about oval racing requiring no skill and the racing being totally boring, are these rumours true?. Well this Brit decided to check it out and see what all the fuss the Americans make about ovals was indeed founded or was it as the rest of the world see a total drag.

    So i am a rookie and i am given something called a Legends, what it is infact is a stock car that looks like its from the 50s and has about as much charisma as a spectacled wearing spotty teanager about to loose his virginity in front of his mates. Yeah this car sucks big ones, it drives like a mini and contrary to popular belief thats not a good thing after having 3 of them i can assure you they aint what most people say they are. I would go as far as to say driving one of these is about as much fun as a fart in a spacesuit. Ok so a few races with these was almost enough to put me off this strange round and round racing they call ovals but i thought i needed to give it a little more time. The tracks were small i mean small in fact i could have had more room to race around if i had taken the car to my local supermarket and drag raced up and down the aisles.

    I got my licence up to a D and got into a street stock car, well this reminded me very much of an old vauxhall chevette i used to own many years ago which was quite a loveable car. I instantly warmed to this old banger and started having fun. Yup the tracks were still about the size of a postage stamp but who cares this was fun. True enough i couldnt say my SR was having quite as much of a good time as me but what the hell. Vodka in one hand and steering with the other this was a blast over the weekend. After some shockingly rather good finishes which suprised the hell outta me i ended up in the C class within 2 days.


    The Big C, the big C indeed cause this was what i really wanted to try out the Trucks. This i was told was where the fun was and in fact the videos i had seen previously sure looked good. The truck itself looks like any other Yank Tank Truck to me but there again im English and our version of this is...is.... well we dont have one unless you buy from the jap market as there is no enlgish car industry anymore. So ok its a big pickup truck in reality which in fairness looks quite cool to me and i hate this sort of thing. Anyway asthetics aside what does the darn thing drive like? Well i jumped in and used the default setup iRacing supplied as this is the first real car you get in ovals you can really change. What a pile of dog doo i thought as i span the backside out faster and more often than a pole dancer shaking her booty. I decided there must be more than this so i headed off to the iRacing forums to see if there was a useable setup there that could mean at least i could get around the track once without putting my SR into single figures. Having found one i headed back to the track of the week Ponoco, the place sounded like a wooden doll with a big nose but that didnt put me off. With freshly painted overalls i pulled myself into the driver seat to see what this baby could do with a somewhat decent setup. Wow this thing can fly was my first thought and jesus it actually can go around a corner ( Another missconception about American cars is they do not go left and right only straight) and stay on the grey stuff.

    After a few practice sessions i figured id try a race out for size so i signed up for the next one and almost made a mess on my seat when i saw lots of B and A licenced drivers in the field. I sat out the warmup thinking if i crashed anyone out now i wouldnt hear the last of it during the race but if i took someone out in the race at least i could run away then lol. While waiting i figured it wouldnt hurt to watch the pole sitter running around to check his lines and glean a few tips. Soon enough though i was sitting on the grid sweat pouring from my brow in anticipation of the start and what would happen. The lights went green after the pace lap and i was soon passed my first truck heading into the first bend. I held it tight in and blasted out of it still ahead of the truck i had past and was gaining on the next truck by the second. Into the Tunnel i passed another two stranded trucks who managed to tangle and end up on the infield which then brought out a safety car and me a breather. The rest if the race was the same thing and i ended up 6th when starting from 18th and so i was hooked. Yup the rumours were true trucks were where it was at and my god i was gonna have some fun with these. I spent two days solid playing with the trucks before it was time to move on to the Michigan track and another setup hunt. After finding one however i was starting to get used to these things and was getting top 3 finishes more often than not. I have found my Nirvana my little heaven from the rest of the world which i could enjoy and be quite good at. A few days at this track and i got my B licence and then an A. The most fun i have had in a computer game in ages it has to be said

    A licence holder now and i figured id try Americas answer to F1 the indy Car, This little car goes like stink and is great fun so after a couple of practice sessions and a time trial i signed up for the next race. This track is about as big as my local Asda car park and as tight as my ex boss and i am thinking you just cannot be serious. Driving this fast car around such a small track is nuts, then i remembered it was an American track so hell yeah it was gonna be nuts wasnt it. Damn what fun this race was, i took the time to qualify and got a 6th on the grid. In warmup most of the field was faster than me but i had track position and on a small track like this i knew i stood a chance. The start came and it was mayhem all around cars flying off left right and centre. After 5 restarts the race finaly got underway proper and it was so fast and furious and also so much fun. I managed a few passes but when the pit stop came i forgot to sort out my fuel and so lost a couple of places in the pits. Back out and running i managed to pass a couple more cars before being 5 seconds behind the leader and bagged a 5th place. I was so happy with this as i had only about 1 hour to get used to the car and track for the very first time and to beat all those A class drivers it was something to remember.

    So here i am thinking i cant wait to get home from work to do some more trucks and indy cars, are ovals fun? damn yeah they are such fun its untrue. Does it take skill to race them?, yeah it does but its a different kind of skill to that of road racing and obviously it suits me. All i can say is if you have never given ovals a try or just gave them a brief look then get in the driving seat of a truck and tell me its a bore. You will have a smile that almost splits your head in two i can assure you.

    The Englishman tries Ovals and loves them and as one American gentleman said to me the other night your damned good for A LIMEY. I think there was a compliment in there somewhere.

    Written By Nick Brooke in the hope others join this wonderful fun series of ovals.
     
  2. Yeah ovals are a blast. Be the fastest really doesn't matter. As long as your consistent lap after lap. I tend to start at the back but by the end I am a threat for the top 5 and sometimes the top 3.
     
  3. Nice writing Nick. I primarily signed up to iR for the oval racing as it's limited in the other sims. Didn't have quite as quick a time getting to A as you, but will probably stick with the trucks as i'm poor at setting these things up (mostly because I don't have the time) ans there's alway a few borrowed sets that I can tweak to get decent results in the middle splits. Funny in a different tack i though that the legends were fun. Too dangerous for SR tho'. What I really wanted was to get onto the 1.5 milers and aboves. That's where the real skill comes in!

    I'll second Nicks thoughts, join the ovals and race yourself dizzy
     
  4. Well Willie in fairness mate i just downloaded from setup sites to set my trucks up, the thing i notice to change the way the back end slides is the weight. Either lower it on the back end or raise it and you will find without touching anything else it changes the whole dynamic of the truck. I touched nothing else at all as i am no setup master myself but it was enough to get 2nd place a few times and almost a win. I was pulling times of 42:4 42:5 almost every lasp of Michigan and my best being 42:1 so not too shabby.

    I am gonna sit out the trucks this week however as the track is so small i dont want my SR to crumble, hell i cannot even get arouynd the course on my own without hitting the wall for more than 3 laps so god knows what the chances of me actually having a clean race are.
     
  5. They really should give double +SR and half -SR for Bristol...
     
  6. I'm having this week off as bristol is a killer, its more fun in the SK's and the late models tho!
     
  7. Very true, meanwhile I'll work on my road license!
     
  8. Good read thanks Nick.
    I'll give em more of a go.
    Only got 3 races in week 13 in the stock car around somewhere....
    Still, upped the licence in all 3 so cool. : )
    George
     
  9. The trick to bristol I think is to let the car in front make a mistake and go wide. Be ready and when it happens take the inside and keep it, then you are home free for the position most of the time. I didn't mean too but once in an official race there I did that very same thing however the two trucks in front of me both went wide and by the time I got there it was two wide. So I got to them a bit faster than I thought I would and took the inside lane to make it three wide. I lucked out and they could hold their line as could I and none of us touched... haha
     
  10. Cheers ! I never played iRacing but I find it entertaining to read things like that :p

    I'm not crazy about SuperSpeedway as it takes no skill (Hold the pedal to the metal, draft, be draft, side draft, hold line, etc... If you're not drunk you should be okay)

    But Short tracks and Medium/Short tracks are very fun and challenging !

    Only problem though is that some people are overly agressive and are not careful about what they are doing... That's why there are sooooo many crashes... People can drive fast, but can they race ?
     
  11. Hehe... I can honestly see where people would think that, but after racing a truck at Daytona, maintaining control and keeping it together within a couple inches of the truck in front/back, while it's skittering over the bumps in Turn 4 and getting aero-tight all at the same time ended up taking intense amounts of concentration. The slightest wrong move and *boom* half the field gone. The passes must be planned and executed perfectly, and usually require at least 2 of you to coordinate the whole thing together.
     
  12. Thing is, most people use wayyyyyy too much steering lock on Speedway...

    In real life they use a low amount so they can be more precise and not turn too much has you would do at these speed and close to eachother like they are it comes in handy :)
     
  13. It the truck is set up properly, there's no steering involved wedge offset will bring it round on the bankings
     
  14. Whoa... Not that much thank you ! O.O

    You still need to steer a little, but it was more in case you want to make a pass or something, lower steering lock will make you as smooth as possible so you will have a better time in tight situation and you will loose less speed than being "twichy" with a high lock and risking a wreck because it steered a tiny bit too much...
     
  15. Excellent write up, Nick!

    As an American who teased you about circle-trackin', I'll just say that I see most non-American's gripe about oval racing saying it's "not hard", it's "just turning left", it's "boring", it "takes no skill", so my assumption was that if you're not some American country bumpkin, Oval was seen as a joke. I think it's great that you enjoy it and are doing so well, and even better that you're extolling it's virtues for all to see. More road trackers should give it a chance, and not a 10 lap spin fest before deeming it stupid. Get a set, get some practice, and run a 100 lapper door to door and see if you can not love it. Consider it my official challenge because I think it would be impossible to hate it.

    I am a little sad about your impression of Legends, and how iRacing has implemented them. I do agree that they should be a Rookie level entry car, but I just wish there could be some way to give them a proper chance (like a D or C class only league, in addition to a Rookie) My local short track features these Legends as well as Street Stock, Late Model, SK's, Tour, and GN trucks (GN trucks are to NASCAR (iRacing) trucks what SK's are to Tour Mods). Those Legends are, by a large margin, the fastest cars on the track (ave 20+mph faster than even Tour Mods), with fields 30 deep. If they weren't burdened by stock setups and relegated to primarily Rookie drivers, I think the Legends would be a highly desirable car in the game. Ah well...

    Bristol makes me sad too. IRL, I love it because it harkens back to the ol' Saturday night shootouts. Big cars on small tracks banging doors, where we can get away from all the science of perfectly formed fenders and aerodynamic properties. But on iR, the SR alone is enough to greatly discourage what the track is all about, and even if you had the +2, -.5 someone mentioned, most people couldn't handle the bump-and-run, or 8-wheels-are-better-than-four moves that tracks like that are famous for. Of course, I havent actually ran a proper race there yet so my opinion may change, but from what I hear I am somewhat cautious as to getting excited about it. My buddy just got done with a 150 lap hosted race there in the Williams (!!!) and said it was a blast, so maybe there's hope yet.
     
  16. 150 laps, in the Williams, at Bristol...



    dude...
     
  17. That's what I said. I thought he was having me on, like he typed "it was awesome" when he meant "it was bloody awful and should never be done again in history". But no, he said it was great. 11 second laps, easy to control, just a riot. I don't think i'll be seeing for myself anytime soon. Sounds like one of the 7 levels of hell to me...
     
  18. Carl i know you were teasing me mate, but i honestly had a couple of people seriously not understanding why i wanted to do ovals lol. Yeah ovals are so much more than foot to the floor and more skill than most give credit for.

    The legends i think felt a little too much like rookie to me, maybe this was due to the fact that most who drive them use them as a bumper car and so did not really allow for much enjoyment. I was howeveer using a little artistic licence in the way i wrote the section just to keep people interested. I have enjoyed my oval racing more than i ever thought i would and i hope my little write up may make people stop and think about giving it a proper go.

    I am glad most of you liked the way i wrote the thread and found it entertaining that was the idea :)

    I gotta say though i ran indy cars on a very small track and my god it was fun so i can see the williams on a small track could be too because they hold the road so well and everything is so fast.
     
  19. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    I'm in the my second season of IndyCar Oval now and it's getting more interesting everyone. The car is probably the hardest to set up on the oval side of iRacing due to the interplay between downforce, suspension and tyres as opposed to just the latter two in most stock car series. The speed makes it awesome at short ovals. It's a thrill to get so close to the walls every time at the speed the car moves. However that also makes it a bit random in terms of crashes and being wrecked. Once someone around spins, only luck can save you.
     
  20. Depends on the car :). The Dallara isn't easier at a SS, as it is a devil to find the speed in. The car can feel fine but still be slower than the competition.