This weekend heralds the first major motorsport event of the year kicking off with the Daytona 24 hours. As ever, lots of big names have turned up to the event, including the track return of BBC commentator Martin Brundle, the 51 year old qualifying his Riley Ford within the top ten with a more than credible performance.
As ever, iRacing are in on the act, and are currently running an MPR free series known as “The Daytona 2.4 hours”, where pilots can take to the track in the Riley prototype or Mustang GT car and wrestle them around in a field of up to 40 cars.
It’s a lot of fun, and the latest update has brought some welcome changes to the vehicle dynamics model that have made the Riley much more communicative under brakes and in traction zones, and given that the infield section of the Daytona international Speedway is pretty much all that, it makes for a welcome change.
Check out this video I took of a single flying lap run in the middle of a practice session packed with cars:
The Riley bottoms and skips about on the bumpy, banked, oval section, drivers not paying attention can easily be thrown off line. No resurfacing here (yet)!
Multi-class racing also adds a great deal, with the Mustangs being quite a lot slower than the Riley one has to judge apprach speed very carefully, and the Mustang drivers have to keep a very close eye on their mirrors. This makes for some entertaining time amongst traffic, and iRacing’s outstanding netcode gives us all a chance to enjoy some close racing in 40 car fields.
All this is making me very wistful for some sportscar racing, and so I am considering looking into some multi-class racing in iRacing’s latest season. The heavier Riley is a change from my usual addiction to single seaters, but the more I drive it the more I seem to get from itm which is pleasing because when it was released over two years ago I was not so enamoured by the beast.
Still, for now, let’s see how Daytona works out, Ganassi for the win!