So the iRacing Daytona 24 is complete. Per iRacing:
16,651 Declared Drivers
1 BIG Event
So with so many drivers/teams, iRacing does splits. They use the iRating, which is the system’s rating system for a driver’s overall speed based on previous results. The teams iRating is an average of its drivers.
There were 3 classes running
LMDh/GTP: Fastest class of prototypes. Recently released on iRacing, so the 2nd most popular class.
P2: The middle class as far as speed (between LMDh and GT3) but turned out to the the least popular class.
GT3: Slowest class, but the most popular class by a pretty big margin.
Our team ran a GT3 Lambo, and had an iRating maybe an SD or so above average. The way iRacing does the splits, we ended up to 15 LMDh with an iRating below average, and 35 GT3 teams with an iRating above average.
I went through all of this so my teams story makes sense. We scored a 3rd place podium, not because we were fast but because we stayed clean. Our fastest driver qualified 9th. The start was very clean, but what we noticed as we got in the race was
- Many of the GT3 teams wanted to run 10/10th and were racing very very hard from the drop of the green. We dropped from 9th to 15th in the first stint and this was our fastest driver. However he was driving well within himself and was NOT racing others hard and was not taking chances. Our other drivers were doing the same and our setup was not super fast but was super stable.
- Deeper in the race we saw a lot of the LMDh drivers really were not very experienced in multiclass racing, so they would dry to make stupid passes and more than once you would leave them a hole but they’d still spin themselves. So you have to give them a super-wide berth.
I think by the 1/2 way point we noticed most of the remaining field was solid, ie most of the teams (but not all) of the teams with idiots had wrecked out. The track was less busy, and most of the people left were solid so you could have alot more confidence when they were close. We had raced back to 12th by mid-race but then started picking up places. By ~hour 21 we had been dicing between 4th and 7th depending on pit stops, but through solid driving and further on-track incidents we made back a lap and now we were dicing with 3rd place coming to the last pit stop. However disaster struck our competitor right after the pit cycle and instead of a very close battle they had a reliability issue that sent them to the pits and down a lap (in real world, they had a computer crash)
Here is a late race pic of our #79 car, filthy from 24hrs.
But there is no way to run an event this big without some controversy. The spark of controversy was some high profile prototype teams running on the apron of the trioval to gain an advantage. On twitter, Indycar/IMSA driver Tony Kanaan called out Williams Esports driver Alexander Spetz for getting pole by driving on the apron
iRacing’s qualification sessions for the Daytona 24 are private, so I have no idea if anyone drove down on the apron (I guess the William’s driver was broadcasting). However I do know we had a few prototypes go below the line to pass us, which frankly was scary if they had lost it. As a simracer I hope iracing closes this gap somehow.