I second David's comment, that it was good to hear Jason on the broadcast again. Jonatan is a great broadcaster, but there's an added something when the pair get together. Plus, there's just something about that slightly disappointed tone Jason has when discussing my shit driving sometimes, something that drives me to [one of these days] do it better
Big thanks and a ton of appreciation for our broadcast crew!
Like Raul, my setup failed me somewhere along the line. Unsurprising, considering I was running a variation of the setup he posted earlier in the week. I made quite a few adjustments, and in the limited practice time I had I managed to pace comfortably, even for extended periods of time.
For me, the car felt great out of the gate. The field was being quite cautious and I was even having to back off for safety, rather than trying to run quali laps each and every lap, which I've felt I've had to do in prior races this series.
Somewhere along the line though, the car started to get a bit sketchy. I eventually half spun it in the final corner, and while positioning the car to get back on track, I managed to back into the wall and took what seemed to be slight damage to the rear wing. It didn't seem like much, but it threw the balance of the car off tremendously. From that point onward the hell began.
I spent the remainder of my time fighting the hell out of the car. Never have I fought a car so hard just to keep it going the right direction. The snap oversteer mid corner, the unpredictable torque steer on exit, the sudden changes of direction, some that almost seemed "weird"....it was tough. I was cursing the car nearly every corner....my focus started to wane.
At some point in that, I think I may have squeezed Gerard off the track. I can't be sure, he was trying to come around the outside of me after we'd passed a slower car, I simply could not stop the car enough to give sufficient room. Not sure if he went off on his own getting too far off line, or if he moved off because I didn't give room, but if that was my fault, I'm sorry.
I looked back to see if I'd caused him issue and managed to spin the car in some strange fashion...looked quite strange on the broadcast, and Jonatan noted as much...but it wasn't me being distracted, it was me being concerned that I'd caused a problem and screwing up further by trying to check that
After that, I had 5 or 6 more offs. I never really hit much, just mowing some grass...but it was getting old.
I just couldn't get the rears cooled down, a problem I hadn't had in my testing..but the track temp seemed perhaps a bit higher and maybe that factored in.....or maybe I was just driving the car a bit too hard, though I felt I was, at times, giving the tires time to cool and I was actively slowing at times, being easy in the corners, to aide in that...it just wasn't enough and they were being toasted.
In comparison, the fronts wanted to stay too cool. Coupled with the slight damage and the roasted rears, that was a recipe for frustration.
I was hell bent on finishing the race...thought that even with the troubles I'd maybe manage a point or two. But it was not to be. A few more spins and now I'm just seeing red.
Final spin that finally caused my exit saw me spinning very near some front running cars that were lapping me. I saw this and decided not to come back on track, I escaped out and left the race. The car was simply uncontrollable at that point, I had fallen out of the top 10, and I didn't feel comfortable staying on track knowing that the slightest mistake could cause me to take out another car or cause other issues for them.
On top of that, I simply ran out of energy. And that factored into my decision to retire the car, perhaps even more than the other things.
Never have I felt such pain in my shoulders and neck from sim racing as yesterday. The fight I had with the car was absolutely brutal from my seat. The ever constant snaps and corrections had me aching in ways generally reserved for hard manual labor. I left the race feeling like I'd been in a street fight...
Huge congratulations to Jundt on the win...very well done, and deserved!
Congrats to the podium finishers as well......and to each and every finisher that survived this one. If the race was anything like it was from my seat, congratulations are definitely in order for sticking this one out and finishing it.