Last night, I took to the wheel of a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Roadster. My livery was prepped. The Logitech G920 wheel and pedal set were on and responding. And my computer was running smoothly. In short, I was ready for virtual Class C Lemons glory. That did not happen, and I’m clearly bad at this.
To start, I even managed to mess up the livery. You can create your own designs with Photoshop and a provided template, but I forgot to turn off the wireframe guide when I saved the file. That means the wireframe was shown on my car. It’s not the one in the picture above, that was a first-take on the livery which I used during practice sessions. My race livery had a lot more Joe Exotic.
So let’s back up and talk about the Lemons iRacing race. The track was packed. You have 60 cars across three classes all crammed on to iLaguna iSeca. Class A drivers can run the Street Stock Camaro or a Ford Mustang FR500S. The Class B field is comprised of current-gen Mazda MX-5 Cup cars or Volkswagen Jetta TDI race cars. And finally, Class C, the class in which I iRaced, is supplied with a choice between the Pontiac Solstice Club Sport (eww) or the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Roadster.
All I wanna do is race, daddy!
I was slow in practice. This was noted by our own Eric Rood, who thankfully pointed this out to the entire live stream. As the race started though, I was holding my own. But soon I lost it in a corner and headed into the pits. This means you have to wait about a minute and a half or so for the virtual tow truck to do its thing. Also, when you come into the pits they automatically do a full tire change. I did not know about this, and you can turn this off. That would save a bunch of time. But that first trip into the pits brought me way down in terms of position. Later in the race, I had another off and it was all over at that point. I finished near the bottom of the field.
There’s a lot for me to learn from this experience. The biggest problem I have is with the braking. There are adjustments to be made because I’m either braking WAY too early, or trying to push it and locking them up. I can’t quite get the proper feel through the pedal and I’m searching for it the whole race. That’s not a good way to turn laps. I’d also like to play with the wheel feedback levels a bit and what can be done there. That part is far less important, to me at least, compared to the braking though and that’s my focus going forward.
Work to be done
This race last night reminded me of the last time I tried a wheel and pedal setup. It never felt real enough for me and I gave it up pretty quickly. This time, however, I’m committed to tweaking, testing, and tuning and working this thing out. And I am going to do so without throwing more money at this to get “better” equipment. People win races with less/worse. It’s not the gear, it’s the driver and I’m going to adapt.
Regardless of the outcome last night, I did have fun. It felt great to grid up for a Lemons race even if it was a virtual one. The racing was strong considering that a number of folks hadn’t used this platform before and were competing against others who were really good out there. So, in a few words, it felt very much like a real Lemons race.
Also, you should watch the stream above if you need a time filler today. Eric Rood and the other commentators were great. Thank you to everyone involved in putting this together. The Lemons iRacing experience is awesome.