(Originally posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011)

An intense weekend of racing around the roller-coaster circuit which is Road Atlanta brings to an end a highly enjoyable (and successful!) début season for Torque Freak Racing and everyone involved in both the Multi-Class and Fixed series.

Close shave! Steven leads away from P1 in the toughest MC race of the week. Toby narrowly manages to maintain position and avoid Elias' Radical as he starts from the less than favourable P2 slot on the outside of the final corner.

Steven had all but wrapped up the championship before arriving at Road Atlanta but he went out in style, continuing his recent 100% record and taking a win in the strongest Prototype & GT Challenge series of the week on Saturday at 5pm. Toby kept him honest in the early stages of the race but ultimately could not match Steven’s mighty pace and consistency on the day. Steven won 11 of the 13 races he took part in and did not finish once outside of the top 5. He wins the Prototype & GT Challenge series with 1702 points ahead of Aurelio on 1452 and Toby in third place with 1380 points. Massive kudos to Steven on winning this championship and I’m sure he will agree that after finishing 1st and 3rd with our TFR machines this season, we already have our work well and truly cut out for next season with plenty of fresh blood as well as experienced rivals returning to the series!

Mind those curbs! Steven leads the field through the esses for the first time.

As well as taking 3rd in the Prototype & GT Challenge series with 60 starts, 29 wins and 55 top five finishes, Toby also managed to secure a competitive 4th place overall in the GT Championship (Fixed setup) series. Results from Road Atlanta were crucial as Toby finished with 1102 points ahead of Ilkka and Teemu both on 1099 points and Lucian on 1095 points. Doesn’t get much closer than that! Congratulations to Aurelio, Brandon and Henning who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively in the Fixed series, you’ve been great competitors all season and it’s a pleasure to race with you all. Toby had very similar results in the Fixed series to the MC series, with 65 starts, 22 wins and 55 top five finishes. Based on the quality of drivers, his goal will simply be to maintain top five finishes in both series again next season – no easy task!

The Corvette C6R GT1, now available in all colours! Anders drifts out wide at Turn 5 whilst pushing hard in the warmup session for a fixed setup race.

John and Ian both made great progress in Divison 2 this season, finishing 3rd and 7th respectively in the Prototype & GT Challenge series. Both drivers claimed class victories at some point in the season and delivered solid results throughout, finishing top five in class in over 75% of the races they contested. There was more success in Divison 2 of the fiercely competitive Fixed series as well with both drivers finishing in the top 10 at the end of the season. Only 6 points over the course of the season separated John in 6th place from Ian in 8th. There will doubtless be more impressive results to celebrate and great races to enjoy for both of these drivers in Season 2 which gets kicked off at Sebring on Tuesday 3rd May.

DO NOT LIFT! Toby and Ilkka pass either side of Greg between T5 and T6.

The schedule for Season 2 remains relatively unchanged with just Infineon dropped from the schedule in favour of the new Okayama International Circuit in Japan which should be released imminently and free of charge to all current iRacing subscribers. Until then, we will have a new build and a 400km race at Okayama to keep us entertained! For now, I wrap up our reporting for Season 1 with some action shots from the daunting (yet great, I think!) Road Atlanta circuit.

 

(Originally posted Monday, April 25, 2011)

Highlights video of a close race at Spa between Rens, Aurelio and Toby.

 

(Originally posted Thursday, April 21, 2011)


New tyre model, night racing on road courses, new circuits, new cars (Ford GT!!), graphical/shader updates, improved damage & pitting system for all cars, cheaper and longer (6 hour) hosted sessions, endurance racing and driver swaps.

6 hour night race at Sebring with driver changes, anyone?!

Get the full details HERE

UPDATE: Screenshots of Sebring at Night have been released!


Full size screenshots (and more of them!) can be found HERE!

 
Road America T1

Rens leads the Vette drivers into T1, (too?) closely followed by Toby and Steven

Steven continued his fantastic run of form in the Prototype & GT Challenge series, winning both races he contested, with Saturday’s 5pm race once again producing the strongest field of the week and thus awarding him the most points available to any driver in the Vette class all week – 245! It wasn’t all plain sailing though, Steven had to avoid a L1 T1 incident involving Toby and Elias (the lead Radical). He then made an excellent pass on Rens after immense pressure had been applied throughout the race. Without meaning to curse things, this all but wraps things up for Steven in the overall championship standings with just 1 round to go, the points tally’s read as follows: 1st-Steven 1591, 2nd-Aurelio 1452, 3rd-Toby 1358. Well done to Steven on getting another great result. You are doing TFR proud, sir!

John chases Steven around the seemingly never ending Carousel

(more…)

 

(Originally posted Saturday, April 16, 2011)

Toby set a new PB in qualifying for the Prototype and GT Challenge MC series this morning. Video below with internal and external views. 3 races attempted so far, 1 podium, 1 crash and 1 blown engine. I think it’s now time to work on a consistent race performance!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klZh_fyPw1I

 

(Originally posted Friday 15th April 2011)

(Above) The beautiful Spa Francorchamps circuit from the air

Steven continued his 100% TFR win streak at Spa, impressively dominating both the 3pm and 5pm Saturday races. He started both races at the very front of the pack, probably the best place to be when the first corner is Eau Rouge on the ‘classic pits’ configuration! Steven was the class of the field, running relatively untroubled throughout and winning the 3pm race by 50 seconds ahead of Toby, making an excellent TFR 1-2. Steven also claimed a mighty 215 points for his 5pm race victory ahead of PJ and Toby in a very high SoF race. This has allowed Steven to close within 10 points of Aurelio at the very top of the Vette class standings for the MC series as we head to Road America next – with the final round set for Road Atlanta!

Roger showed excellent pace at Spa, setting a blisteringly quick 2:12.192 in qualifying but unfortunately, in a hectic weekend away from the circuit, he was unable to make the starting grid for any of the MC series races. This pace must however give him great confidence for future races as he continues to hone and adjust his skills to this beast of a vehicle. His TFR teammates had better watch their backs!

(Above) Eau Rouge is a daunting place to start with a packed grid

Ian had a fairly brief but very strong visit to Spa, competing in a single race in each series and claiming valuable podiums in both! His performance in the MC series on Thursday night was particularly impressive, finishing in 2nd place, just 7 seconds behind the class leader after a full hour of racing around the fast and challenging 4.35 mile circuit, having started 5th in class.

John had a tough start to the week after being severely hampered by technical issues, plus a killer hangover from Friday night! However, some technical compromises did not prevent him from claiming a 2nd place in an 18-car strong fixed series race on Wednesday night, his reward being a solid 128 points which ensures he remains extremely close to Ian in the division 2 points standings. John is now just 6 points ahead of Ian as they sit at 5th and 6th places respectively.

Toby managed to pretty much destroy his safety rating whilst pushing hard around the winding circuit. There were good results too, though! Toby competed in no fewer than 7 races on Saturday and Sunday, finishing lower than 4th in only one race after a racing incident battling with Bashkim for the lead of the race. His most satisfying outing was Saturday’s 9pm MC series race where he took the class win after pitting from 3rd but narrowly emerging in 1st place after the pit stops and then focussing on just bringing it home! The win was made sweeter by finishing ahead of Aurelio and Rens, both of having driven aggressive but fair races throughout, with passing and re-passing in the opening stint. Toby appears to have now secured a top 5 finish in the MC series overall, which was his target for the season, although the title now looks well beyond reach. Nevertheless, Toby will fight on at the final two circuits and attempt to finish as high up as possible to aid in Steven’s shot at the overall title. It should be an exciting climax to a hugely enjoyable season.

 

(Originally posted Monday, April 4, 2011)

Steven, new driver this week in the TFR team, got his team account off to a cracking start at the Brands Hatch GP circuit with dominant back to back class-victories in two of the busiest MC series races of the week at 3pm and 5pm on Saturday. Congratulations to Steven – quite a way to christen his new TFR liveried Vette!!

Toby could not live with Steven’s pace on the day but was content to bring the car home in 2nd place on both occasions. John could have potentially made it an TFR-only Vette podium in one of those same races but he struggled to stay consistent over the 45 minute race distance, despite showing great pace early in the weekend with a superb lights to flag victory in the fixed series on Friday night, winning by over 4 seconds on the road and also taking fastest lap by over 0.4s on that occasion. John did however pick up the consistency later in the weekend, taking two well earned 2nd places on Sunday night, one in each series, earning him 117 and 123 points respectively. Just as John found his groove, Toby lost his and was duly punished! Toby appeared to endure a season’s worth of incidents in his final two races of the weekend, but with the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit just around the corner, maybe getting all of your incidents out of the way in advance is a good thing!

(L) Toby and John set off 1st and 2nd in class for Saturday’s 7pm race.
(C) The unsighted Paddock Hill Bend kept drivers on their toes all weekend.
(R) Tight and twisty Brands ensured overall victory belonged to the Rads.

My sincere apologies for no photos of Steven in his new car taking the wins. This was due to a slight technical oversight on my part (forgetting to save the replays – doh!) but he should take this as an extra incentive for a repeat performance in the near future! Keep em comin’ Steven!

Next stop, the Ardennes. Perhaps the only minor blessing is that iRacing does not currently have dynamic weather conditions… (yet) …

 

(Originally posted Monday, March 28, 2011)

There’s always a lot of flat out running and slipstreaming at Watkins Glen, particularly on the Classic Boot layout. This, along with a fairly forgiving track, helped make this week’s visit to the Glen a busy and very closely fought one!

Ian kicked off in style, competing in two mid-week races, finishing 4th and then 2nd, claiming 107 and 88 points respectively in the fixed setup and multi-class series. He now lies in 9th place in the fixed series and 6th place in the MC series of divison 2.

John also scored his best results in the earlier part of the weekend, including an epic battle with several drivers in the Friday 10pm GMT fixed series race where he brought the car home 4th after getting swamped by some slightly over-eager drivers at the start. You can see some screenshots below or even watch the full first 3 laps from onboard with John in our ‘Video Highlights’ section on the right of this page. Another highlight was his 3rd place finish in the top split of the 4pm GMT Saturday race, normally the most competitive of the week, which netted him an impressive 139 points. That elevates John to the top of the division 2 MC series standings with just 4 weeks to go. However, more strong points finishes will be needed to see off his competitors for the division 2 title as several of his rivals currently have a race or two in hand, since only your best 8 results from the 12 week season are counted.


John battles (L) and passes around the outside (C). Toby can’t catch Ilkka (R).

Toby had a strong and consistent week at Watkins Glen, one of his preferred tracks. In a jam-packed weekend he took part in no fewer than 9 races at the Glen, 7 in the multi-class series and 2 in the fixed series. He won 7 of those 9 races, finishing 2nd to Ilkka in a multi-class race and also in 2nd place behind Teemu in one of the fixed races. However, since both drivers he ‘lost’ to were Finnish, you can’t really hope for much more! One of the winning drives in the MC series earned him 197 points, his second highest score ever in iRacing thanks to some consistently quick driving and a SOF of 3151. Those strong results mean Toby leaves the Glen lying 2nd overall in both series but realistically the target for the season remains a top 5 finish in both series since many drivers miss out tracks they don’t like along the way and only 8 race weeks have been completed so far.

Next stop, Brands Hatch GP! Several fast blind corners that require maximum commitment should separate the aliens from the merely human.