Roar before the 24

The Road Before the 24 was a test race conducted by  the iRacing sim racing service. A full 24 hours endurance race. Over 400 team from all over the world participated including LZRacing. Here is a write up from one of our members, Russ Abraham.

Here’s my thoughts reflecting on the 24 hours:

I was so stoked to get it started I got up at 5am on Saturday. 5:15am I was behind the wheel turning laps to warm up and prepare for the race start. Mentally I was running laps in my head while eating breakfast, or anything I did that morning leading up to the race start. I logged into teamspeak and Jeremy was there setting up every last detail and working it out. We had a great group gathering at race start to kick this off with super strong support. I felt some pressure being the starting racer, but I wasn’t stressed I was super stoked to get it started.

Race start and on with the mayhem…first lap, first corner and the carnage begins. I made it through the first wreck and prepared for the early laps as everyone worked out the running order. Although stressful most racers were clean and focused on the entire race length. 3 laps in entering the bus stop I saw a HPD tumbling nose over tail at the bus stop exit. Naturally everyone bunched up and the tension rose again. Through the tense first stint Allen was an awesome spotter! Keeping me up to date on what I needed, and not chatting up the needless stuff. When I got out of the car after 2 hours I was relieved, stressed, and a bit tired…oh yeah, and I really had to piss! But above it all, I couldn’t wait to get back in. This was history in the making people! I handed the car off to Larry and went for some breakfast!

When I handed off the car we were up to 17th place. Larry was running some scorching laps! Larry has one speed…”balls to the wall” and he was showing it! Jon was spotting for Larry and they were working like a perfect team. By the time Larry got out of the car we were in the top 10! Allen jumped in the car next with Jeremy as his spotter and we expected big things…but an internet disconnect was not one of them. Once back in the car Allen was off to kicking ass.

Bryan jumped on and was pumped for some wheel time. He ran a very solid first stint and pitted without incident…until….he grabbed a drink, posted a picture from his phone and bumped the remote for his entertainment system…shutting off his TV and amplifier. He was able to get the TV back on, but not the amplifier. He ran his entire second stint without sound and only spun once! As his spotter I kept him focused and alert instead of freaking out from no sound. From that point on, everyone else was cheating if they had sound. LOL

Jon was next with Larry spotting for him and showed us how much he loves the MP4 (it was his setup we were running). Jon has something in common with Larry and that’s the single speed mode. Once again they worked as a great time and Jon was flying!

Next up was Sloan, pumped to put in his time behind the wheel. What he wasn’t expected was an internet disconnect one lap before getting in the car. Larry and Jon thought quick and Larry jumped in the car for a few laps until Sloan was reconnected. Sloan jumped back in to run only to find that he had some equipment issues. He was getting 70% throttle at best, so Larry jumped back behind the wheel for the remaining time on the fuel run. By then Sloan had discovered the issue and fixed it. He jumped in and ran a solid stint. I spotted for Sloan and once he got comfortable I decided to let him take the first half of my stint so he could run the full 2 hours. Sloan had the only major misfortune in the car, and it was a black and red HPD whose driver had recently recovered from a frontal lobotomy… Final turn before entering the banking this moran poster child decided to push between two GT3 cars, spin, and pin himself against our car. Sloan was quick on the brakes and got us out of it with a very minor fender wrinkle.

I took over for an hour and the car felt just as good as the start of the race. Everyone’s mind was at ease when we escaped without damage. While finishing my stint I talked Mike through what we learned from the earlier laps and how the car would transition through the fuel load and tire wear. Mike was so pumped for this he was almost nervous. I handed off the car and within 2 laps Mike was rocking some solid laps and was laughing that he felt nervous before. What we didn’t know is this was just the beginning of the marathon spotting for Alex. It was 10:30pm est and I jumped off for the night. After some time with the wife I went to bed at 11pm and set an alarm for 3am. We didn’t have all the details worked out for the early morning and I wanted to be available.

When I woke up at 3am I made coffee and started to read through all the messages throughout the last 4 hours. Allen was to finish the race, but his birthday plans turned out WAY better then he had planned and he wasn’t able to race anymore. Bryan offered to finish the race and quickly turned in for a refreshing 1 hour 45 minute “nap”. Jon was up for the 4am stint so I quickly jumped online to see what was going on. Alex was STILL spotting. Mike finished his second stint and jumped over to the main teamspeak room and debriefed me on the happenings. He told me the story of “old blue” passing him and him wanting to pass it back so bad, but Alex talked him back to a responsible frame of mind. LOL. When I texted Alex to let him know I could spot he said he was fine and was going to continue.

Once again, Jon laid down some awesome laps! In fact, Alex had to calm him down so he wouldn’t battle leading cars because he was faster.

Bryan woke up from his power nap and wanted to drive again. By this time I was awake, pumped and seriously wanting to drive again! Bryan jumped in and ran some super solid laps. As I spotted for him, we joked about the “Never Quit” racing team that had quit several times throughout the race. This helped to wake up Bryan, and fight my boredom. During Bryan’s second stint we were talking with Alex and Jon (who were committed to stay until the end) about our pit strategy. It turns out that we were a few minutes short on the hour for every pit stop and now we would be about 40 minutes short. Bryan and I “argued” who would run the last stint, but he decided that his back was ready to move to the sofa for a proper sleep. After soldiering through little sleep and running a double stint, Bryan handed the car off to me.

I jumped in and the car felt exactly as it did when I started the race. Through all this and all these drivers Jon made an amazing setup that transitioned through fuel load and tire wear and was unbelievably neutral. To think that a setup could be so stable for 7 different drivers was just amazing. As a team we had succeeded in preserving our car for 24 hours. Who would think this would be possible for a bunch of cartoon racers like us?!?! On 4 hours sleep I ran laps as quick as my first stint. As the race wound on, more and more of the wounded cars started showing up on track so they could run at the end. More and more LZ racers started showing up in the chat room to celebrate out first 24 hour race and it was F’n EPIC! As I crossed the finish line after 24 1/2 hours I was just blown away at the entire race. Not only had iRacing pulled off the first ever 24 hour hosted race with racers from all over the entire world, but LZ Racing was there! We all remarked how this experience had really brought the group together from fellow racers to a real team. We gave up our weekend/lives to race cartoon cars against other nerds from around the world doing the same thing. I personally will never forget this and can’t imagine changing anything.

LZ Racing ROCKS!!

For more here is our discussion thread.

 

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