DirtyDawg73's debut in the FSCS

Discussion in 'Tradition Racing' started by DirtyDawg73, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. DirtyDawg73

    DirtyDawg73 Walk On

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    Last week, I came across a post on ForzaMotorsport.net about an ALMS styled racing series called the Forza Sports Car Series, or FSCS. I checked out their website and it looked very interesting. One thing that I noticed was (nearly) all cars start as production cars (there is a list of 44 to choose from). To ensure parity, they have a specific baseline PI established for every car (between 685 and 715). Newcomers take a 10PI hit to keep someone from coming in and sweeping the field, but the site admin will grant additional PI to keep you competitive.

    There are quite a few rules, similar to the actual ALMS, such as where the series decals are to be placed, a number plate that must be used, etc. Once your PI has been established and upgrades are completed, you can tune your car but you are not supposed to make any parts changes (unless an additional PI change is indicated). Also, your race livery is not to be changed after the season starts. The only exception I am aware of is if you become part of a team. In that situation, team mates must run identical cars and the liveries must be as close to identical as possible. Oh, and the settings. How could I forget those? The ONLY assist allowed is ABS. Yep. No traction control, but, more importantly, no braking line. That was almost a deal breaker for me, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.

    There is a 7 lap qualifier before the actual race and these are endurance races (last night was 40 laps at Sedona Full, next weekend is 35 laps at Motegi). After the qualifier, the lobby hosts report the qualifying times for everyone in their lobbies to the admin. They then assign players to lobbies based on their qualifying times. If there aren't enough players for full lobbies CPU cars are used to fill them. Based on the results from their site, there are normally 40+ racers per event, though there were only 18 last night due to the hurricane and some folks having connection issues. A note on the CPU cars - the race admin has set cars that are to be used as field fillers, all set to "Hard". These are also to be used if a player knows they will have a scheduling conflict to "pre-race" the entire race distance. They then submit the replay to admin for review. Normally there would be a pace lap, but with the CPU cars they went to standing start and a 1 second roll off delay instead.

    Before I signed up to race, I test drove nearly every car in the field in stock configuration. I had a few of the series cars in my garage already, so those were the ones I was leaning towards. I worked on them a bit, then bought and tuned a few other cars trying to find one that fit me best. I ended up selecting the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and tuned it to 685. After signing up at the site I was told I could build to 700, so I put a quick setup together. I then shipped the whole package (sans car - you can't gift that car for some reason) over to Del and about 15 minutes later he sent me back an absolute monster (4 seconds a lap faster than my build).

    I ran a couple of 7 lap practice sessions yesterday afternoon with the admin and he allowed me a bump my PI from 700 to 714. I went to the garage, and that allowed me to add the race cam, which was nice because it didn't change the weight or balance of the car, so I only needed to tweak the final drive settings. I made some adjustments and ran a few laps (with the braking line on). Then, since I goofed and was thinking the start was at 7pm Pacific (10pm Eastern) when it was actually at 4pm Pacific (7pm Eastern), I figured I'd take a break then run some more practice laps with the braking line off right before the race. This was at about 6:30pm Eastern.

    When I got the call for qualifying had just finished dinner and I was nowhere near prepared. I ran 7 very dirty laps as I tried to figure out my racing line. I qualified 18th out of 18 drivers. I ended up in a lower lobby populated by a host, 2 other racers, and CPU cars.

    Once the race started, it took a few laps to get sorted out. A lot of braking early and accelerating late as I tried to find my line. Luckily, I was being conservative where others were not, so none of my off-road adventures resulted in damage. A couple of other racers in the room weren't quite so lucky. Being conservative certainly paid off as I was able to make the distance on 1 pit stop. In fact, I set my fastest lap of the race on lap 18 even with my tire wear over 38%!

    After over an hour and a half of racing and a few minor scrapes with CPU cars, I finished 5th in the room (highest finishing driver) and 13th overall with a time of 1:32:18 (6 minutes behind the winner, 3 minutes behind 12th place, and 3 seconds before 14th). That finish was good enough to put me into 48th out of 56 points racers for the season with 2 races left to go.
     
  2. DelZaster

    DelZaster Walk On

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    Cool im glad you liked what I did and it worked for you mate it was no problem at all. Just out of interest how did the tyres last compared to others?
     
  3. DirtyDawg73

    DirtyDawg73 Walk On

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    The tires held up better than I expected. I was the last to pit (on lap 22), and that was mostly due to the gas light coming on. It was a little slippery that last lap though. One other driver did 1 stop, another did 2, and the third DNF'd after getting taken out by the AI out on lap 3.

    When I get home tonight I'm going to start practicing for Motegi. That one should be real fun without the braking line on.
     
  4. DelZaster

    DelZaster Walk On

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    sounds good mate. I think 22 laps with no braking line on etc is pretty good.
     
  5. DirtyDawg73

    DirtyDawg73 Walk On

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    What really caught me off guard was the way the force feedback changed when the tires started wearing down. It got to the point where there was little to no resistance when I turned the wheel. I thought the wheel had crapped out, but it would still vibrate when I touched the rumble strips or pull if I hit the sand. Once I got fresh tires, it was back to normal so I was expecting it when the second set of tires started to wear down.
     
  6. Hellisan

    Hellisan Schemin 'em up

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    Sounds like a lot of fun
     
  7. DirtyDawg73

    DirtyDawg73 Walk On

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    Oh, it was fun. Only downside is I tweaked my back sitting in one position for so long. Of course I was sitting on a crappy futon/couch. I'm going to pick up an office chair this week. I'll just need to make some adjustments/modifications to my wheel stand.

    A few pictures of my car:
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    Note the props to Del on the quarter panel!
     
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  8. GoGators

    GoGators GT: KSherm

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    That's a sick car!
     
  9. DirtyDawg73

    DirtyDawg73 Walk On

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    This past weekend we raced at Motegi. What was originally scheduled as 35 laps was extended to 40 right before qualifying. I qualified 20th out of 25 with a time of 1:54.579 (with the time for P1 being 1:52.229) and finished 21st out of 26, less than 4 minutes behind the winner. That earned me enough points to jump from 51st in points to 46th, with one race left in the season - 17 laps at Nurburgring, a double points race with the grid set by reverse points.

    One thing to note is, depending on the lobby you qualify for, an additional time penalty is assessed toward your final race time. For example, in both races I have run I have qualified in the 3rd lobby (Lobby C), so I had an a 20 second penalty added to my final time. For the season finale, with the grid set in reverse, I will likely start in A or B lobby, so I will have either no time penalty or a 10 second penalty added while the points leaders will be starting in F lobby (depending on racer turnout) and will have to overcome up to a 50 second penalty.
     

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