Practice sessions are one of the most used and enjoyable modes offered by iRacing. You have dynamic weather conditions, you have your rivals on track and you are able to compare your times and improve your knowledge over the track and the car. It is a mandatory step before to enter a race. It is a mandatory step to know the people and to see how different everybody thinks.
Usually I’ve had many good experiences in practice mode, people behavior has become better over the time and good manners and common sense tend to prevail over the wild and aggressive behavior. These undeclared rules could be summed up in the following points:
- Out lap: you are supposed to let the people pass. Faster or slower they are trying to stay in race pace and probably you’ll need a few corners to get the pace before to match them.
- Relative: f3 key, relative should be always on on your screen. It shows where the people are and how fast or slow they are. Check it before to enter the track, after a spin, when a faster car approaches, etc. Mandatory use.
- Faster car: sometimes you jumped in practice even before to get know the track. Sometimes you are simply out of the pace. A much faster car approaches, just ease the pass getting out of the line using a wide corner or straight.
- Slower car: opposite case, you are much faster trying to hotlap or getting race pace. Slower car in your sight, just act how you’d do it in real life. Go wide next corner or wait for a straight to pass. Stay out of the problems and lift if needed.
- Racecrafting: not everybody wants to battle in practice. Anyway if you do it, try to finish it within a few corners, don’t ruin you (him/her) more than one lap without a mutual understanding.
- Measuring gap: blue flag in race is showed within last 1.5 second. A faster car would have to lift if you are not giving him/her a clear pass within the last second.
Politeness, courtesy, good manners, common sense… summarized: “Do to others what you would want them to do to you”
Here we have some other advice and tips.
The practice sessions I’ve had so far have been reasonable experiences. There are a few thrills and spills as you’d expect. People sometimes being a little too impatient, which is an interesting thing to watch and learn from.
Perhaps it was just hitting some busy sessions tonight, but two things really bothered me. The first things I do when jumping into the car are to hit tab and F3, so I can monitor my own times and see who is around me.
When I exit the pit lane I’m looking for people coming down the start and finish straight, mostly from the relative standings but I’m also checking the mirror, mostly for other people coming down the pit lane behind me. If there are people coming down I’ll wait until they pass and then join behind them on clear track.
What irritates me is if I see someone coming down the pit lane behind me they’ll climb over my rear, weave around to overtake, even hit me. One particular individual repeatedly rammed me. At that point I was attempting to double check the mirror to make sure it was clear – all I could see was a mirror full of an angry and impatient driver.
And the flip side of that is coming hurtling down the straight when someone darts out of the pit lane and I have to jam on the brakes and work out how to get around this person safely as they weave about off the racing line.
So, if you’re a rookie, please hit F3, check your mirrors and especially in practice don’t be so impatient to get onto the track that you throw something else out of their flow.
My practice time is limited, as is that of all of us, I guess. I get on, run around, make tweaks to a setup usually ‘borrowed’ from Craig Carmichael or Silas Yip. I’ll run maybe 5 laps, make a tweak, run 5 more, make a tweak and so on. I also understand that some of us – no names here because it’s not ethical during a non-personal whinge – take our simming a little more seriously than others, looking on practice like a time limited thing where the very best needs to be extracted from the car in that one session. I ALWAYS take note, where possible, of those who are behind me when I exit the pits starting a run, and ALWAYS make sure that on my ‘out’ lap, I give them room where I can. I think that’s courteous protocol. I also understand that some of us have spins & loses in front of others and kill off what might be a quick lap. Shit happens, you reset & go again.
And last one:
When I leave the pits I watch out for traffic and let them pass.
I don’t let faster guys pass if I’m running a stint. But I’m not blocking or do stupid stuff. When I make a mistake and my lap is ruined I let others go. Does not hurt me.
I hate guys who are on their hotlap and try to run through other cars. That’s respectless.