In the last post I said I wasn't going to concentrate on getting a promotion. Well I didn't, but I got one anyway! I guess I've progressed fairly quickly, I've become a lot better at keeping the car on the track and therefore not picking up silly penalties for off-tracks and loss of control. It was rare for me to hit people before anyway, so with my driving improving, my Safety Rating (SR) started to rise quite quickly. Normally you need to get above a SR of 3.5 at which point you will get a promotion at the end of the season. That's not for another 2 weeks yet, but there is a way to get promoted instantly, and that's to get you SR above a 4.0. So, about a week ago, that's exactly what happened. After a run of very low incident points I got my Class C license in road racing!
This of course means I've now got even more cars and series available to race in. So that opens up the Radical Racing Challenge, Grand Prix Legends in a Lotus 49, the Corvette Challenge, the Advanced Mazda Cup, the Star Mazda Championship, the iRacing V8 Supercars Series and finally the Ruf Cup.
The thing is, I honestly haven't touched any of that stuff yet. I'm perfectly happy honing my skills in the little Mazda MX-5 Roadster. When the season ends in a couple of weeks I think I might include the Spec Racer Ford Challenge in the next season.
Just to show how much I have improved, my record on the track is starting to speak for itself. I've now clocked up a total of 6 wins and I've got 41 top 5 finishes. This translates to a win percentage of 6.9% and a top 5 finish percentage of 47.13%. I'm really happy with that, I think I can improve on my top 5 percentage, but having 6 wins so early makes me very happy.
|Click to enlarge
|Click to enlarge
The title of this blog is "more gear and more of an idea", well I've covered the latter part of it, but what about the more gear bit. Well, I've installed an upgrade to my pedals, the brake pedal to be exact. The Thrustmaster T500RS comes with a fairly nice set of pedals, they are well constructed. The problem is that the brake pedal is a potentiometer-based sensor, so the further you push the pedal, the harder you brake. This sounds okay, but it's not very realistic. What I've installed is a load-cell sensor, this means that the harder you push the pedal, the harder you brake. It's a subtle difference, but it makes everything so much more realistic. The brake pedal actually feels like a brake pedal now, you can really stand on it. Before it was just a spring and the force required was the same throughout its travel. With a load-cell sensor it's much easier to be consistent with the brake because it's easier to feel how much pressure you apply compared to how far your foot travels. As a result, lap times come down and my consistency has improved. I took a lot of photos when I installed it, so I might make a separate post on this at some point. But here's just one photo to show what it looks like.
|Installing the load-cell sensor with pedals stripped down.
Having installed the mod I found that driving full races was pretty hard on my feet. The metal pedals and the added pressure needed to brake left my feet feeling sore. I started to wear slippers when racing, and that helped a lot, but my slippers are quite big and are the slip-on style. This meant it was far from ideal for driving in! So I started to think about buying another pair of slippers, but then I saw a pair of racing boots, with a nice rubber sole. So they would protect my feet, but still give a good feel for the pedals, something normal shoes with thick soles don't allow.
As the price of the racing boots was more or less the same as a new pair of slippers, I went with that option.... and here they are:
|My racing boots with the upgraded brake pedal (it looks the same)
Think that's all for this update, I'm sure I'll be back with more soon.