Le Mans: Update One – Three Hours In

July 19, 2011

Had to take a break due to the heat, but am three hours into the race.

At the start I dropped to 31st place purely because I was taking it easy. After all you don’t win the race on the first lap, but you can sure as heck lose it. Sadly two laps in it I got it all wrong at the Porsche Curves and slammed into the barriers, damaging the car. With steering brutally wrong I limped back to the pits, where 3 minutes of repairs awaited me. The frustration as I heard car after car storming past me was something I’ve never experienced before in a sim.

On rejoining I was, of course, dead last. However, ahead of me lay the entirety of two slower classes, so making progress back up the field was swift. Eventually arriving in 38th place when I had my first pitstop. After this a few cars in the fastest class retired. I was starting to think they would ALL go out but it must have been a coincidence as there’s still 7 cars going in that class from the initial ten.

At the three hour mark I’m in 21st place. I was fighting hard to gain a place in my class, only for the car I’d been fighting so long to retire. That was a disappointment as I had unlapped myself from him and was clawing my way back a few seconds a lap only to lose him. I was imaginging Radio Le Mans commentating as I chased him down.

I’ve just completed my second pit stop. By far the most fun is bombing down Mulsanne and having the top class GT40’s come blasting past you. The first time this happened I actually said “Wow!” out loud, it was that impressive to see.

On a technical note the AI isn’t causing problems. The AIW file for the track seems good and I’ve seen few incidences of cars getting stuck behind slower ones which is good.I also save regularly in case a technical gremlin turns up. In all gMotor2 games I have an issue where the game will randomly freeze up and mess all the textures up. Had this happen once. So I had to reload. Another time I over-revved at the end of Mulsanne and blew the engine. While I am all for realism, I am not starting the race again just to avoid that. In some ways maybe I should have as my Ferrari’s tyres are historically accurate and therefore akin to driving around with nothing more than duct tape for wheels. Actually I think Duct Tape would have more grip!

The faster class is lapping me, on average, every 6 laps. It’s fun to see the battle unfold as first and second, despite being three hours in, are little more than 10 seconds apart. I’m using GTR-XD to give more info on screen, like positions, but I can’t get it to show the entire field so I’m left to figure out the gaps for the faster cars when they whizz past me.

It’s starting to get dark at the circuit now. 7pm. For a while the clouds started to gather and there was very light rain which made the track slick for a couple of laps it seemed, but it passed and clear skies rule the day now as the sun sets over the Circuit De La Sarthe and I race on into the night…

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