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iRacing - An Englishman on the ovals (1)

Discussion in 'iRacing' started by Nick Brooke, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Racedepartment sent one of its staff members to iRacing in an attempt to disspell the myth that oval racing is not fun and requires no skill. From Vauxhall Chevettes to spotty teenagers it all links in to a great read.

    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.
  2. Great read Nick :)
  3. Good read... Oval racing is definitely different... I like to compare road to oval as road being pretty much a individual race, while oval is a team sport, requiring pairing up, helping each other, and avoiding the big one.
  4. nice read Nick
  5. Bram

    Administrator Staff Premium

    Exactly the reason why I enjoy oval racing with friends wether that is in ARCA or iRacing :)
  6. brilliant read and very interesting! I really haven't seriously tried ovals with my iRacing account yet...that may change :)
  7. The new tyre model on the truck and Impala's takes oval racing to a new level
  8. Well Brian if it makes one person have a go at ovals i have done my job :cool:
  9. Chris Butcher

    Chris Butcher
    Red Bull Gridsters 2012 Champion

    Very interesting - I doubt I'll ever make it as far as you, I don't have the patience with the SR system - far too often have I been hit by someone else and lost points myself as a result :p
  10. It always amazes me how someone that is not a fan or oval racing thinks it is just running around in circles, and no skill is involved. How many times have road racing aces tried oval racing only to not find the same level of success? Lets be respectful here and see there are different types of racing, and different types of skill sets and that people should not bash the likes of others just because they either do not like, or understand the race.
  11. Bram

    Administrator Staff Premium

    Where do you see the disrespect in the comments above you. Just out of curiuosity?
  12. Not in this thread, however in my experience on boards like this, regarding this topic, you just sense it might be coming.
  13. The reason i wrote the article in the first place was to nurture feeling of wanting to do oval racing and to have good active communication on this very subject.No one here at RD has degraded oval racing in any way shape or form and it simply would not be allowed. Sure its not for everyone but not liking it and not being respectful are differing thingsNick
  14. Well its good to see another brit in the fold.
    I always say don't hate if you have never tried it.
    GET-R-DONE. lol