It was just a suggestion that could be considered. I'm not precious about it. If nothing changes, we have some excellent racing using the current format. But equally, change can bring renewed interest and fresh challenges.
I like the idea of a pressurised qualifying with just 1 or 2 chances, but it's difficult to achieve with a format similar to our current format; with elongated qualifying period and limited time on race day. That's where my suggestion aimed to fit into that current format.
In respect to the timeliness of drivers, I'm aware of the current hold-ups due to drivers not getting themselves ready in time. Drivers who are ready shouldn't be penalised by them, therefore having strict start times, with the option for a driver to arrive a few minutes late and only penalise themselves is more fair.
I'm happy to get involved later to discuss this or other suggestions when the time comes.
The F1 qualification format has been tweaked over the years, and maybe it is time to build a little more into the OLFSL qualification system. The quali server works well (for the majority of the time), and it enables drivers to put in their qualifying lap at a time which suits them, so I wouldn't change that part of qualifying. My suggestion would be to make the qualifying on the quali server determine just the race pool, and to have a new and very short qualifying session just before the race.
So, I would do my laps on the qualifying server, and perhaps get into pool 3. On race day, the session would start with a short qualifying period during which I might have time for just 1 or perhaps 2 qualifying laps; say 5 minutes max. This would determine my grid position within the pool race.
The start time of qualifying would be fixed, and anybody joining late can join until the end of the qualifying period, at which time the server would be locked. This would stop any hold-ups from waiting until drivers join the server, which can happen currently. Drivers joining during the qualifying session might not get a lap in, and would therefore start at the rear of the grid.
If possible, there should be a rule to prevent anybody returning to the pits (whether by alt-p or driving to the pits), therefore drivers would qualify on their race setup, and if they crash on their qualifying lap and damage their car, they would be starting near the rear of the grid. The race would start straight after qualification, with no returning to the pits in between.
This format would perhaps add an extra level of pressure and excitement, and on occasions might lead to a less predictable grid order, which would then lead into an interesting race for those out of position.
I flipped on lap 10, but before that I was running hot tyres. When watching how others were fairing, I noticed that they were all driving with much cooler tyres. Same tyre type, but somehow keeping it cooler. Oh well.
Attaching a setup for the race. All I've done is taken a set from http://www.setupgrid.net/ and modified the front tyre camber and pressure.
If pushed too hard they still go a little red, but treated well they are ok for the distance we need to go ... although be warned at least the front left may need to be changed to get through race distance.
The setup was geared towards another Fern Bay track, but it was similar to the one we are racing today.
Pool 2 happened smoothly even without you Sami, thanks to our Mr Cool, Solar Hydro.
I know there's been a lot of comment in chat since the race, but for me this car and track was a really good combo. The drivers around me were lapping very consistently close lap times, which made overtaking maneouvres a long term strategy.
I'd dropped to 18th in the first few laps, after a mistake in T1 saw me go into the edge of the gravel and lose 5 or 6 places. But then I kept my nose clean and brought her home in 7th. Yet again I saw that consistency is the key to good results.
Hard luck to Ant, who struggled on with a broken pedal.
I had an absolute ball for the whole race. For the first hour I was in the fight for 5th to 8th position, with me mostly in 8th place trying to keep in touch with the other 3 cars.
After my pitstop at the hour mark, which took forever with the fuel and forced tyre change, I was then in an epic battle with S Leemet for the last hour.
I made a few attempts to pass, but each time I lost the position again. Then with 40 minutes to go I was making a pass at the top of the hill, we touched and I was pushed onto the grass. I recovered ahead, but was told later to give the position back. I didn't agree with the decision, but gave the position back straight away.
10 minutes later my screen minimised itself as I was going through a twisty section. By the time I had got the mouse and resized the window, I had some damage and was 5.5 seconds behind S Leemet. Lots of quick laps later I finally managed to catch and then pass him with 3 laps to go. Then it was head down to come home 6th.
Congratulations to J Pickard for his fine win. For me, I was glad to be mid-pack and to have had such an entertaining 2 hours.
Thanks for all the organisation guys, it was great fun.
Unfortunately I will not be able to make the next round though. I have an overseas business trip that has just recently been arranged, and I'll be flying out on the 22nd March.
I'll be around for the following races until the end of the series though.
Good luck with everything. Hopefully you'll see some more people on track. One way to attract people would be to organise one or two practice sessions. If people are on a free server then others tend to join and could be asked to join the series if they're interested. Just a thought.
After having an incident in race 1 that took me out before the first turn (which turned out to be a rather innocuous contact by somebody driving past), I was determined to have a better start in race 2. As I came into turn 1, I had a car to my left so I slowed to ensure we both got through the turn. As I got to the apex, car 29 performed a very optimistic manoeuvre, taking the inside line. Before the corner there was no overlap. As he came through on the inside, contact was made that sent my car into a spin.
I have been in many series now where if you make contact with another driver and gain advantage, you should wait for the innocent driver to regain their position. This did not happen in this case.
I know car 29 went on and had a very good race, with some excellent close racing. My lap times were very consistently similar, and without that turn 1 incident I would have been in the close battle for position 2 and 3 in the Fox class. I think that this series has an excellent future, but I would like drivers to be aware of how to drive on lap 1, especially turn 1, to ensure a good race is had by all.
An alternative that you might consider is to let the FO8s go out for the first 5 minutes alone, and then the FOXs can join for the remainder of qualifying. This worked successfully in the GFC events, and means nobody is waiting around too long. The FOXs were allowed into the pit lane, but could not join the track until the first 5 minutes were passed.
You were second from last. I stayed behind you. I was slow turning around after my 'moment', but would have waited anyway. There wasn't much I could do once my car lost traction coming into the turn, but it's never pleasant to know that I've hindered somebody's race.
That was a great last few laps. I've had some close finishes, but that one was inseparable. I think I got it on the alphabetical name order rule
I was very impressed with the driving standard last night. In the first few races of the series I found that starting at the front on the feature race (as I invariably do) was a disadvantage, as I was getting buffeted and damaged by drivers too eager to pace. Last night was so much more gentlemanly. Intense at times, but always fair.