Welcome to the first week of the Oppositelock Miata Championship. This preview will contain some information about the track, race admin notes (rule changes, caution areas, etc.), and a few tips and tricks to make sure you have a good race.
RACE ADMIN NOTES
- Race Start: 9PM EST, Wednesday, November 28th
- Race Duration: 1 Hour (plan on finishing around 10:10PM EST)
- Practice: 8PM EST to 8:50PM EST, 50 minutes
- Qualifying: 8:50PM EST to 9PM EST, 10 minutes
- Format: Open Qualifying
- Originally qualifying was suppose to begin a half hour before the race and conclude at race time. Qualifying will now take place for a time period determined by race officials to allow drivers multiple attempts to put in a qualifying lap. These times will be disclosed in the race preview and will not exceed 30 minutes.
- For example, 10 minutes of qualifying time should allow drivers to complete ~5 to 8 qualifying laps for Lime Rock Park.
- This rule was changed to facilitate drivers who wish to not qualify; so they didn’t have to wait around, and lower the chances of on-track issues with qualifiers vs those practicing.
- No yellow flags will be displayed within 10 minutes of race completion. This is to ensure that the race will not finish under yellow.
- Points have been adjusted to allow for anyone who starts the race to earn a minimum of 1 point.
- The points for the championship will be handled by danlisa.com and will be posted in the event summary.
This section details the areas and/or situations where yellow flags will be thrown if there is an incident. For any incident to facilitate a yellow, it must either be observed by a race admin or called out by multiple drivers.
There is 1 caution area in this event...
- Turn 5 Exit - Due to the blind hill at the exit of Turn 5.
As always, Yellow flags will be thrown for...
- Any incident of several cars consisting a large percentage of the field
- Any incident that blocks the track or cause major hindrance to race traffic.
Yellow flags will not be displayed unless there are multiple reports of a severe incident. Yellow flags will not be thrown for single car off-track incidents. All yellow flags are displayed at the discretion of the race admin.
Lime Rock Park is the staple of the iRacing career ladder. Every single road racer on iRacing has raced Lime Rock Park at some point in their progression. This makes Lime Rock the perfect place to start the Oppositelock Miata Championship.
Lime Rock is a very easy track to learn and is especially fun because of its high speed nature. Drivers will be able to throw their car into the deep braking zones of turn 1 while also powering through the hill at turn 5 to setup for the sweeping Turn 7. Be careful though as for much of the lap the car is unbalanced and oversteer is very common. For a preview of an amateur road racer lap, watch the lap preview video below.
For a more professional preview of the course: Click here.
Unlike the official Rookie races which occur every month at Lime Rock, this race is nearly 3 times longer. Add up to 62 cars to the mix (>5x more than a normal race), and chaos can ensue. Remember that road racing is as much about you versus the track as it is you versus the other cars. The balance between patience, strategy, aggression, and perseverance will win out. Lime Rock is not a very wide track requiring drivers to get in line or face running (or being pushed) off track. It is paramount to learn give and take, and know how to effectively pass cars.
One way to eliminate the need to pass cars is to qualify up front. With up to 62 cars in the field, shortening the distance between you and the pole winner is a necessity if you want a chance for the podium bonus points. Pole time is expected to be in the high 57 second range. This is achieved through smooth throttle and steering inputs and maintaining car control through the trouble areas of the circuit. It is not as difficult as it seems.
The average racers lap times throughout the race will average about 1 minute. The large field will play a heavy roll as traffic will become an issue slowing the fast cars down. If you are worried about being off pace, I have found that in road racing if you are within 3 seconds of the fast guys, you will be okay. You may not win the race, but the probability of finishing in the top half of the field is very high. The points are designed so that if you run consistently well, you have just as much of a title shot as the ones who “win or crash.”
Finally, pit strategy. Fuel is restricted to a maximum of 40 minutes which forces a pit stop and presents you with 2 options
- Stop with ~20 minutes left in the race after your tank is empty.
- Stop with ~40 minutes left in the race and fill up about a half tank.
Each strategy has its own merits and pitfalls. Whichever you choose here is a helpful note. Most Miata races don’t have pit stops, as such, they don’t have quick pit crews. Filling up the car should take approximately 30 seconds. In that time you should be able to change 2 tires without penalty; 4 tires may add about 15 seconds to the stop (Note: I need to actually test these). Tire wear should not be a big issue during this race; however, there may be a difference in car handling with fresh rubber making it easier to dive into corners to make late race gains. The choice is yours.
I don’t want to outline a strategy for you. So in conclusion, we are excited to host the first race and hope to have a large turnout. As a bonus I will be streaming the race from my vantage point as both a racer and admin. Feel free to follow along <link provided later>.
Also if you have iRacing and want to join Team Oppositelock, find us in the Teams section. All Team Oppositelock members are granted admin rights for all Team Oppo events.