If ever there was a race where I thought I've had it with GPL, this was it. I almost parked up and walked away for good such was my frustration. I was at a loss to explain what on earth was going on. The race stats says I started 7th and finished 7th but that doesn't even begin to tell the full story. I put in quite a bit of practice for this race, I run quite a lot of full race runs and managed to scrape into the high 1.31s (albeit on fumes) in offline practice. I could lap in the mid 1.32s in practice with the setup I found online and felt I could do alright although not threaten the podium or anything like that - it's the Honda afterall, all revs, overweight and going nowhere fast!
I even had a 20 lap race run on the server on Saturday morning just to confirm fuel consumption. Then come qualifying, I couldn't get out of the 1.33 bracket. I was fine with that, some of us tighten up on race day and we run into traffic etc. No big deal. I'm calm, I'm chilled.
Race start... what on earth just happened to my car? I have zero grip, I mean zero grip. Ok, this is to be expected, just take it easy. I hang on grimly in the opening laps sliding everywhere. The tyres remain stone cold and the car (despite no changes being made to the steering or suspension or diff between the end of qualifying and the race) is over-rotating way too much at turn-in and it's catching me out again and again. I have to keep the brakes on all the way to the exit and be so gentle on the power to get any stability. It doesn't make sense and it's very slow. Even in the short server race I took part in, I wasn't getting this odd behaviour. For instance, I was crossing my arms on the steering at the apex of the tight turns in practice but in the race, I didn't need anywhere near the same amount of lock to turn in. I was scrambling around in my head trying to learn how to drive whatever it is I've got.
How can doing the same things yield different outcomes if the inputs are pretty much the same? I've noticed this in the past on multiple occasions and I'm sure I'm going to sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist by saying this but I have a theory that the player car physics fidelity isn't always consistent between offline and online and the 'loss' in fidelity (whatever it may be!) seems to worsen with number of non-AI cars on the grid. The more cars, the more the effect. I guess it's just me because everybody else was driving around happily (I presume) so the problem must be me!
My first spin occurs 3 laps in and I drop from 8th to 14th. The spin occurs at a pathetically low speed. The annoying thing is, I'm not even on the limit, nowhere near it. Ok, let's make this our only mistake and carry on, I think to myself. By lap 6, I'm up to 12th and up with Roberto in another Honda. I spin again but this time I can take it because it's my fault, too eager on the power trying to get close to line up a potential pass at the end of the back straight. I gather myself together and continue only to have another spin at walking pace a few corners up the road. By this time, I'm really losing my sense of humour. Same lap, barely a corner or two later and another bloody spin at walking pace! I'm positively livid by now at just crap the car is handling. This was when I almost parked up and walked away but I was just past the pits so for whatever reason, I decided to continue around.
By now, I'm down to 17th and utterly dejected but I can see some moving cars in the far distance and something in me says, let's chase those cars down. I think I had learned to drive what I had by now, basically, drive like I'm on ball-bearings.
By lap 19, I was up to 11th due to a mixture of overtaking, extremely generous driving by Messrs. Nilsson and Busch who seemingly let me past and mistakes from others which took them off-road. I was still making my own little mistakes but no spins - yet. By now, I was up with Roberto and we had quite a good scrap for several laps which was nice.
Lap 24 and the leaders were coming through. I could see John, Tames and Claudio were very close together so I slowed right down and let all three go as I did not want to get involved. I had to do this around the twisty bits and it cost me dear because Roberto disappeared up the road. I noticed in the replay that John acknowledged my moving aside which was nice to see. Ever the gentlemen, Mr. Hammonds. The leaders got by Roberto on the straight more or less at the end of lap 24/start of lap 25. Roberto and I were back together again soon much to my surprise because he had to slow to let Simpson through in the Eagle. Game on for 9th and 10th!
I dived down the inside at the end of the back straight but unfortunately 36fps GPL decreed that we had made contact. I do not believe we touched at all but the end result was, we both spun. Luckily, we both got going again and in a sort of natural justice, Roberto got away first. Fair enough, I was just relieved to be still running with all four corners seemingly intact. While recovering, Hutchinson and Chapman got by/lapped me. Mr. Chapman was obviously having a very good race in the Cooper! He was quicker in clean air but I could hang with him in some sections. I followed him for a wee while until we both caught Roberto (yes, him again!).
Roberto was shown the blue flag very late when the Cooper was right up his backside, this was going into the last tight right-hander before the pit straight. I think Roberto slowed quite a bit (surprised perhaps by the sudden blue flag?) and the Cooper had to dive out of the 8-wheel formation to avoid rear-ending him. I was caught out by how much those two were slowing down and was forced to go three wide and execute an overtaking move I wasn't planning on. When the Cooper moved out, his front right very lightly touched my rear left (if GPL is to be believed!) and I was deflected into Roberto. Sorry again mate. It took him into the sand pit but again, much to my relief, he was able to continue (no doubt cursing that bloody idiot Cheeseman!). This was at the end of lap 26/start of lap 27. I kept the Cooper in sight more or less as a means of keeping my concentration although he was slowly drawing away.
My pit board had me in 8th by lap 31 with Mr. Down just ahead of me. Like Roberto, he too was in a Honda and so naturally, battle ensued. It didn't last long though as I spun again (how many times now?). I resigned myself to 8th place until Mr. Hutchinson unfortunately misplaced a grenade (pin removed, obliviously) and said grenade found its way into his V12. I was up to 7th. Very tough luck for Andrew but I was now back to where I started.
Make of that long rambling story, what you will. I actually like Adelaide; it's one of those circuits which demands the car is chucked about - and I quite like doing that. All arms and elbows signifying nothing! I'm not sure I want the RA300 for Interlagos. It could be a nightmare keeping the back-end from swapping ends on a track like that.
PS: I loathe GPL sometimes and want nothing to do with it during such moments of intense dislike but sometimes, I'm ok with it.
Edited by cg7aa, 04 March 2018 - 04:50 AM.