Saturday, February 10, 2018

Star Mazda Aus Champs Season 6 Round 1

Season 6 of the Star Mazda Australian Championships (aka SMAC6) kicked off this week, with race 1 being held at Monza. I was super excited and felt really confident after posting the 3rd best time in practice. I qualified 5th and got an ok start.


I'm the 3rd car back in the train of cars on the right hand side of the screenshot. I was a little annoyed when the white car on the left of the screenshot made it 3 wide into the first chicane. But we all made it through and I was happy cruising along in 6th.


The front three guys skipped away as the drivers I was running with all decided that they needed to fight for positions right from the opening laps.... Sigh.


More pointless battling for position slowing us down. I was worried that the group behind us would catch up.


Mr "3 wide into the first chicane" spun out, splitting up the group and letting 3rd skip away. At this stage we were running 4th and 5th and I just sat in the draft and we put in some quick laps and worked on closing the gap to 3rd.


Here you can see the gaps; 3rd up on his own, me in 5th following 4th and not battling in order to let us both gain. Then the gaggle of cars behind who were still fighting and therefore letting us get clear.


Closer and closer to catching 3rd.


3rd pitted as we caught him and I decided I'd take a shot at a fast couple of laps before I pitted to see if I could get clear.


I made a mistake in the final corner and 4th caught me as we entered the pits. He was super aggressive on hitting the pit speed limit line and actually scared me into lifting off the brakes because I thought he was going to run up the back of me. The replay shows he was scared too as he turned to avoid hitting me. Unfortunately this meant I got stung with a 15 second penalty for speeding in pit lane. Bugger.


I came back out in 10th and got held up by someone who wanted to battle rather than work together to chase down 6th, 7th and 8th.


I got clear and due to some contact up the road found myself going to be gifted 7th. 5th and 6th were 6 seconds in front with 6 laps to go and I started pushing very hard to catch them. Too hard, as is shown in the screenshot above - I ran over the sleeping policeman and got popped up in the air, sending me sliding backwards into the tyres.


Gah. Now with huge damage front and rear I limped home the last 2 laps and finished in 10th.

A frustrating race for sure, but I'm happy that I showed decent pace and will hopefully find myself up the pointy end of the next 5 races in the season.

Here's a 5 minute highlight video:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pro Mazda League Racing

When I decided to focus on running the Pro Mazda in 2018 Season 1 I had planned on posting weekly updates with a wrap up of my official races but I found that since I'm doing between 4 and 8 races a week I haven't got the time to give a decent wrap up. Also, recent iRacing updates have completely busted my iRacing Stats App and I don't have the time or patience to get it working again.

However, I am also running in two Pro Mazda Leagues; the Precision Racing Pro Mazda League, Season 9 and now the Star Mazda Australian Championship, Season 6, which started last night.

The PRL league runs round 9 today, so clearly I've failed to give updates on these races. The dot point wrap up of this league is:

  • Damn I wish I didn't miss the first two rounds

  • I'm consistently in the top 5 in terms of single lap pace

  • I've had a number of podium finishes and a couple of wins, yay!

  • Everyone in this league is a pleasure to race with and hang out with


  • The first round of SMAC #6 ran last night and I'll make another post about that now and endeavour to continue posting updates as the season goes on.

    Setup Cheat Sheets

    Here's three setup "cheat sheets" I've found helpful:



    Thursday, January 25, 2018

    Donald Strout's Formula Renault Setup Articles

    Real life racing driver and engineer, Donald Strout wrote very interesting articles on how to set up the Formula Renault in iRacing.


    While some of the information is specific to the FR2.0, much of the explanation of how all of these factors affect the handling of the car can be used to gain a general understanding which will be useful no matter what car you're setting up.

  • Intro: "The Balanced Race Car"

  • Wings, Rake and Aero/ Drive Train - Part 1

  • Wings, Rake and Aero/ Drive Train - Part 2

  • Dampers and Springs/ARB

  • Differential Settings

  • Camber, Caster and Toe

  • Tire Pressure and Brake Bias

  • Asymmetrical Setups

  • Baseline Setups




  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017

    Pro Mazda

    During 2017 Season 4 I jumped around through a few different cars before settling into the Pro Mazda.

    I had originally planned on getting back into the Mustang in the Grand Touring Cup series but was frustrated to find that the number of people running the 'stang fluctuated so wildly. At one point I thought that since more people seemed to be running the Solstice I'd switch over to that, only to find that the races I joined in that car had heaps of Mustangs... Arrrgh.

    Next I ran a number of Ruf GT3 Challenge races and thought that a fixed series could be a good idea as perhaps not being able to "waste time" tweaking setups would be a good thing. This was fine until we came to a track where I felt the fixed setup was terrible.

    The main reason I finally jumped into the Pro Mazda was that a few of my team mates are running in the Wankel Australia New Zealand Championship league on Wednesday nights. Since I was looking for a new league to run it seemed like a good plan. It is a fixed setup league, so again I felt like it'd give me a good solid night of a practice session, qualy and race with out time spent tinkering with setups.

    I enjoyed these races and the seat time in the car that I obviously started running some official races and.... tinkering with setups. I've found that I'm generally quick enough to be battling for top 5 finishes due to my focus on just staying out of trouble. I'd say most top splits I'm in the top 10 on pure pace, but it has been my consistency and great passing on the opening laps which has scored me some good finishes.

    I've put together this little video collection of the first laps from a few races.