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Like Throwing a Pickle Down a Hallway....

Discussion in 'iRacing' started by Carl Abrams II, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. This rather vulgar euphemism has been running through my head non-stop for a day now. Kind of a weird way to start a thread, but it's not what you think...

    See, I showed up just in time to be too late for my first race of the night. Not wanting to wait an hour for Legends or MX5 to open back up, and with SK's a whole 16 hours away, that left only the Spec Racer/Solstice mix race at Okayama Full. I've only ran Okayama Short and only in the MX5, but hell, I figured it couldn't be that much different and I wanted to race NOW.

    With so much griping about 'The Slowstice', I hopped in the Spec Racer and immediately realized that the 20 minutes or so that I had to practice was not enough to figure it out to the point that I could run safely. With the SRF completely out of the picture, the Slowstice was my last chance at racing this hour.

    I gingerly exited the pits and around T1, floored it to T2, and realized that here is where Full is different from Short and put it into the gravel :). I got it out and tip-toed through the wide open essess, noticed the upcoming hairpin, dove into it like I was on a WWII Japanese torpedo run and back into the gravel I went :eek:. I got her back onto the track with my foot pressing the gas into depths unknown down the long straight, seen the second hairpin, attacked it like a blind, dumb and drunk Ken Block,...and into the gravel I went :mad:. Only 12 minutes left to practice and I haven't made a single proper corner. I eventually crossed the finish line in a red mist as 2:48:xxx blinked in the bottom right corner.

    I decided to just granny-track the whole circuit. Forget how fast and in what gear I can do with the MX5, just drive it like your mom's saloon. Nice and easy, keep it on the track, learn the line and the limits of the car. Still, it was a mess. The wide open esses after T2 I was idling through in 3rd gear. Any corner approached with speed was a long, slow, trundling slide, one that kills the speed and somehow hurts the turning at the same time. I managed to get around the whole thing without an incident point, but in the bottom right corner, 2:02:xxx. :facepalm:

    3rd lap now, and as I again lolligag through the fast esses, I give way to a passing Slowstice and get my first look at the car. It was at that moment that the visual of that car and the way I was driving it caused my epiphany....me in the Solstice was like throwing a pickle down a hallway. If you were to take a gherkin out of the jar, tack some wheels on it, give it a heave down a hallway and record it, then super-impose the video over a vid of my laps, the likeness would have been uncanny. They're nearly the same shape, nearly the same speed, and the only thing keeping them going in the direction they're tossed is the walls on either side :wink:. This crazy train of ridiculous thoughts stopped me from racing...and started my driving. By the time I pushed the pickle racing idea aside, I had made it through both hairpins, the following 3 left handers, and was coming out of the right hander before the final turn....And I hadn't been off track!

    I focused on just driving and realized a very important thing, the Solstice is a uni-tasker. You can only really do one thing at a time. Going forward, it does fine. Braking, also fine. Turning, just as fine. Try to do one or more at the same time, and it all goes to hell. And it doesn't like surprises. If you're going straight and just turn, you end up facing the way you came. If you go straight and just barely turn the wheel, kind of say to the tires "Attention, Sirs, but we are about to head this way now. Please stay in line and in single file" you can then begin to crank deep into a turn. I started braking earlier, getting nearly completely off the brake before loading the outside tires, then releasing the brake as I jammed it into the apex....and it felt like racing again. Good thing too, the screen was now flashing "please exit, event about to begin".

    I started near 12th in a field of 15. The race was awesome, everyone playing very nice, even one memorable front stretch moment where I watched it get 4 wide all the way to T1 with only 1 - 2X resulting. That got me 2 positions. 2 guys fell back from the jump, aparently working on SR. I didn't push the issue, barely being out of my Solstice diapers, but was well attached the the back of the main mob for a good while. 2 of the 5 SRF's lost it in the esses, and a few random Solstices lost it in the tight 2nd gear lefts after the hairpins. Suddenly, I'm not doing too bad. By lap 4 of 10, I'm not just turning laps, not just driving, I'm starting to race! And man, it felt gooooooood.

    I ended up finishing 9th out of 15, ahead of the 2 SRF's who never recovered from their spins and a good number of guys who could definately put down a faster lap time than me. And of all the spins, the 3 and 4 wide, the running kind of with the pack, I had but 1 - 1X from a wicked save that could have easily been at least a 2X Loss of Control or more likely a MultiX spin, crash, pile up combo. My race results coupled with the fact that I had a whole 12 minutes of practice experience and seeing that +0.26 SR as I shut down the race page left me with those jittery, feel-good feelings we pay the money for.

    In all, "Slowstice" has a new meaning for me. Whereas before it was an insult, a demeaning term meant to discredit the car, it's now become more of a pet name. In a way, it's kind of like that old friend you talk smack to in a never ending game of 'snaps'. He might get you with a zinger and you call him a sodding pillock, but with a smile and a laugh. Kind of like when the Slowstice does one of it's excruciatingly long slides just to spite you. Then you come back with a zinger that cuts to the bone and he calls you a bleeding tosser, akin to you pulling off the perfect slide that drop two tenths of a corner. Someone and something you wanted to embrace one moment and punch in the face the next, smiling all the while. :wink:

    This is my Ode to the Slowstice, a car that gets too bad of a name by most for how good it is, yet is too well loved by some for what a bastard it can be. I F*ing Hate You, Slowstice, and yes, we're still on for tonight. I wouldn't miss it for the world.:cool:
  2. i'll have to read this tomorrow :D someone wrote a book :p
  3. Hehe, sorry about the book :frown:. Creative writing took over and it turned into story time. Just wanted to share and create some dialog, and if there ever were a car in which to wax poetically, the Slowstice is it (for me, anyways)
  4. Good one!
  5. Ever written a real book? with writing like that you could be a novelist, Slowstice i have never tried yet but maybe after reading this i will
  6. thx for this Carl, interesting read indeed
    haven´t drived Solstice for some time but do remember those few times I tried it on Summit, Watkins, Road Atlanta (all non-rookie tracks), I had blast with it
  7. Hmm, never had problems with the Full Okayama, if you remember it as TI Circuit Aida, and I know it well enough. Also, I drove the Solstice as Rookie several times and got some class wins, also fighting SRF at Charlotte for example. I had quite fun with it.

    Nice write-up there:)
  8. Thanks all, glad you enjoyed it :D. Yeah, Nick, I had a blast. I haven't yet gotten to Skippy land, but the way it's talked about kind of reminds me of the Slowstice. It really teaches you racecraft, you can't just toss it around like, say, the MX5. In fact, after a race and TT in the Slowstice, I ran an MX5 race and consistently ran .5 seconds faster lap after lap. A great teaching tool if you have the patience (which it will undoubtedly test :D)
  9. See guys, the OP is how to compliment, or gripe about something in iRacing... hahaha Very nice Carl!!!