It’s been a little while since I wrote on here but in all honesty I’ve been struggling to find things to write about. You see, nothing’s happening. We are in this lockdown and work is odd at the moment. I have been in to work three times since 17 March. Those three times were supervising and not doing my real job but at least it was somewhere else to be. I’m in a couple of times over the next week and that might be more interesting. Working at home places really interesting pressures and thoughts on you. I keep trying to manage engagement with the time that I have. I’ve also spent time in a better world, my Minecraft world. Even though there are creepers and zombies and witches and I died in that world a few days ago, it’s a far more enjoyable place than the real world at the moment.
Each day I try and have two races on Gran Turismo. Sometimes I’m not in the mood but mostly I am. It’s a nice half hour distraction from the world and it can be really enjoyable. The issues with racing online still exist and the idea that you will lose because someone else is entirely incompetent is annoying but normally it’s worth it. Of the current daily races I have enjoyed racing around the Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst. I’ll probably write a little about my favourite cars sometime soon as I noticed I’d completed over 3000miles in my Mazda! That’s more than some people drive in the real world in a year.
Anyway, in a race yesterday I started in second position. My time of around 2’07” is pretty good but the person on pole had 2’05” and I’ve no idea how they got that. I’m not convinced I’ve really hooked together a complete decent lap but to lose a further two seconds from my time would be hard work. Also, I suspect there are people out there even faster. It looks as though GT matches you with people of a similar ability and time so I don’t know what the fastest time in the world is. Mind you, I guess there are people playing a lot more than me. I know I’ve been playing from 1997 ish but to get loads better at these circuits you just need to get practising.
For whatever reason at the start of the race yesterday the person in pole didn’t accelerate at the start and I zoomed past them. I was in the lead from the first corner and didn’t look back. Well, I did, I used my mirrors to see what was behind me but you know what I mean. The thing about being in the lead is that there’s a lot more to lose if you stack it going into a corner so it does make me more hesitant and cautious on corner entrances and exits. This can cost time and so I have to monitor the gap to the car behind. For this race it was around 1.8 seconds for the whole race and only moved by a few tenths. I sometimes get an adrenaline build up on the last lap as I get excited about winning. This time I calmed that and kept telling myself to keep a clean lap and remember where I tend to oversteer on the exit of corners when I put the power down early. Mount Panorama is a glorious circuit and very tricky, the section at the top of the mountain is horrible and fantastic at the same time.
Below is a screen video clip of the final positions along with my “win” celebrations and the delivery of my daily workout car. If you complete 26.6 miles in a day you get a free car. Most of these I don’t use. There are around 500 cars in the garage and I’m not fussed by them.
I’m pretty sure this was my first ever fastest lap in a race. I’m very happy with that. I don’t know what lap times other people got but it doesn’t matter. I was out in front with a clear road and that does make it a lot easier. You don’t have to judge what other people are going to do and brake slightly early because of the concertina effect. You can pretty much put down qualifying laps, just while hoping that you don’t get nudged or whacked by someone forgetting to break, or by someone who is just an asshole.
I am quite convinced that the physics of the car is different in the race compared to qualifying and I’m not sure why. I get a little more understeer during races and I suspect, but do not know, that it’s due to the air modelling the game does. Driving a car through mostly still air is very different to driving through disturbed air and I have noticed a very minor difference in steering and braking while racing in the pack with other cars around. There is a definite effect and the car doesn’t behave as it does on qualifying. It’s something I think I need to investigate.