DISCLAIMER!!!!!!!!!!!! You do NOT have to practice alone for hundreds of laps to enjoy sim racing. Quite the contrary. BUT the fact that a sim racer who…
- is not insane (for this purpose at least)
- has no interest in hotlapping or leaderboards ; for whom wheel-to-wheel action is a must
- is a gentleman racer (doesn’t have to win ; content to mix it up with racers anywhere in the field) and therefore has no need to maximize preparation
… can do hundereds of laps without committing suicide ; in fact, willingly did hundreds of laps ; in fact, was unable to stop doing laps…
… should be testament to the power, magic and infinite opportunity of sim racing. So on with the story…
The next race for a league I was administering was at my favorite location and also a very popular location. Expecting a very large turnout, I wanted to have a good showing (1) as the admin for league credibility, status, whatever purposes, (2) because, for whatever reason, it was more important because it was my favorite location and (3) if there was a race I was going to concentrate on, it might as well be at my favorite location because that might help “lessen the pain” of the “excruciating” process of formal, lonely and structured race preparation that only mentally unstable or unhealthily competitive sim racers engage in.
So I psyched myself up as much as possible, gritted my teeth, and got to work…
… hundreds of laps later, I can’t stop. Every lap, there was one or more turns I didn’t hit just right or something else I wanted to try. I was addicted ; utterly out of control with both curiosity to try new things and determination to precisely execute on the endless lap plans that revealed themselves –> only to be transformed again as new lines for various turns impacted the entire lap –> only to beg the question of whether the entire lap
would be faster with the change –> which required perfect execution of the new lap plan and the cycle continued…
I didn’t even know I was physically capable of driving this long…until I could no longer. Fatigue finally set in and I was no longer able to make progress. What was I to do?
Well, take a nap, of course, and get back to it! Which is exactly what I did.
Eventually, I forced myself to stop lapping and do several AI races to practice opponent awareness, incident avoidance/mitigation, etc. and proceeded to host the most successful and enjoyable event of the season ; for me personally and for many of the competitors.
I never thought about sim racing the same way after that.
What’s your story?
Stay tuned for part 3 of this n-part series, The Wide World of Sim Racing