A few laps in the closing stages of my most recent race in the Formula/Star Mazda series over at iRacing.com

This is at lap 34-35 of a 38 lap race where I'm making my way through some lapped traffic still in pursuit of the leader.

I started the race in 6th position and had a good start only to be foiled at turn one where I had to slow dramatically to avoid a driver who had spun from the cold tires. Myself and a few other cars were put off a bit, but it was made up quickly w/o a real loss of time. After that incident I found myself in 2nd spot running with a roughly 0.500 second gap to the leader when I dropped a tire and went for a ride on the back straight sliding from turn 9 all the way to the bridge though it was controlled and I didn't hit anything.

I'd lost a large portion of time the leader and I had made over the rest of the field with the incident (we had 10 seconds in hand from running together so closely) so with the massive closing speed and only about 3 seconds gap to the rest of the field I had to wait for a clear opening since this is the second fastest portion of the track being significantly above 200km/h without drafting. These cars are insanely quick doing 100km/h in just under 3 seconds but that still would have had the cars approaching with more than double that speed causing extreme danger to say the least. I wanted to make sure that I didn't get hit and all drivers had room to race so I moved my car back just slightly to get clear of the racing line.....but I didn't remember the tire wall right behind me in the very dark shade of the trees and bridge and nudged it slightly causing damage to my upper rear wing element.

That made a significant change in the handling of my car but I didn't need to pit as I felt after driving a lap with the damage that I could still drive the car competitively at this stage so I set out to get back as many spots as I possibly could now starting down in 7th spot.

Luckily the incident was early in the race on lap 3-4 so I'd have a bit over 30 laps to make the most of the race and push as hard as I can with the car in it's condition. Happily I still had enough car left to make my way through the field and found myself in 2nd spot about 20-25 laps later keeping my nose clean. The leader had made a mistake as well so I was well within 14 seconds from the 33 seconds I'd lost to him.

This is where you join me going through the field still in pursuit of the leader just in case there was another mistake I could capitalize on. It didn't happen and I finished 2nd but I was extremely happy for that anyway, he had more speed than I did in his car anyway. Had I not been in a damaged car who knows how fast I could've gone but I still managed a 1:06.1xx multiple times during the race.

It was an excellent race and very clean driving from all with great awareness and heads up by all involved as you'll see in the video. The cars being lapped did a great job of keeping their battles going while not holding the front runners up during theirs. The Formula Mazda series has truly top notch drivers.

Even when I was coming up on the battle for 3rd spot there were no problems with traffic. The battle for 3rd was a 3 car battle when I got there (3rd, 4th, and 5th) all running nose to tail very cleanly...turned into a 4 car battle once I'd caught up and we still had to be mindful of the lapped traffic up ahead. I made it through all of them without any incidents and we all had a great battle.


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