Alright, it’s game on! Take place in your sim rig, tell your friends your not home, blind the window and feed your cat. It’s time for a brawl of virtual endurance racing!
Endurance racing is not easy. Turning 25 laps, a typical stint length, without an incident is surely within reach. But the moment is going to come sooner or later. That small dip in concentration. An unexpected move of a backmarker or that curb that didn’t unsettle the car a lap ago like it did now. The barriers are close. Fifteen minutes repair time and all is lost. Well not all because you will not be the only one. Statistically seen the top 3 will always have none or few incidents. until one of them has one, the car behind will move up a place and will be among the ones with the least incidents in that race. Of course, we are still talking about a competition to finish first here, so the question is; where lies the right balance between defensive driving style and ultimate speed?
"There’s something magical about endurance racing... driving long stints and the rhythm you get into, passing and being passed, night driving, adapting to changing conditions, dealing with problems, strategy and teamwork, and finding the perfect compromise of seating and handling setups between drivers" - Ross Bentley
Let’s do the math. Lap 5, the car gets loose, a small off-track moment and losing 20 seconds to get the car back facing the right direction. Your stint is 25 laps long. Now to only make up for this mistake you made, you need to make up 1 second every lap for the upcoming 20. This would bring you in the same position as you were before the incident. It’s a lost battle.
The same counts for squeezing out every last tenth of a second per lap. Looking at the big picture what does it bring you over 20 laps? 2 seconds. Is it worth the risk? Probably not. Finding the middle ground where the risk of incidents is minimized and ultimate speed isn’t severely compromised, good chance you will find yourself high up in the rankings when crossing the checkered.
- Before attempting an endurance race always do a full stint to see how the tires and setup are holding up, taken over a full stint.
- Practice pit entry and exit
- Setup your car neutrally with a full tank AND empty tank.
- Fight your battles in the pits, not on track.
In the case of a Multi-Class event, managing your vehicle becomes even tougher! Within the first 10 laps groups battling each other, slower classes can be ripped apart by passing trains of faster classes. The rule for overtaking is that the faster class is responsible for a clean execution. Practical tip: anticipate the worst.
That is it, for now, I am off doing some laps! 🙂