Robert Graf’s Talladega… day?

Following recent disappointment and exclusion from the race at Bristol, Robert Graf‘s simFlight liveried virtual Chevy Impala has made it back into action in the Deutsche Online Meisterschaft/German NASCAR League of iRacing.

In spite of a mid-field start, not only did Robert manage to advance through the pack for a much improved finishing position, he also managed a couple of other firsts and increased his series points tally nicely. Well done Robert!

To read his race report, please click “Read more->” below.

“Since I was banned from Bristol, I was very motivated for Talladega. A small break here and there is a nice change. Also, Talladega has to be one of my favourite tracks, I normally finished quite good in the test races. But in qualify I got the first damper already; 22nd place on the 38 car grid put me right in the danger spot. It’s here where the first crash of the race normally happens.

So I started with patience, picked my line and looked for my teammates. First yellows passed without a hitch and quite soon I was driving in the TOP10. Then the field found its rhythm and we had to make green flag pitstops. Without a drafting partner pitting with you, this could be dessastrous. So I stayed out there with teammate Andreas as long as possible and got my first leadlaps. The stop itself went smooth, back on the track and still in the TOP10.

With the next drafting partner, I went as high as 5th position. Now the leader and the driver in 2nd started to bumpdraft and pulled away from the field. But most of the drivers believed this wouldn’t work over a longer distance, because the engines would blow. I thought different, with a good drafting partner you could run these engines right on the edge and make the loss during the changes so small that you would gain quite an advantage over normal drafting. So, I went to the high line hoping for a bold enough partner and indeed Yves just had the same thought. In the following laps we left the field so far behind us, even the necessary swaps every two laps were no issue any more.

With 12 laps to go, I was going for a 3rd or 4th place finish, either in front or behind my drafting buddy. But in the back of the pack there was another accident and the field was brought together again. With 9 laps to go, I was in 3rd place, right behind the leader. But then my lack of experience in driving at the front of the field showed and I was outgunned by the pros and shuffled back to 7th. With 2 laps to go there was a crash right in front of me and I collected two more places. So, after 108 laps I crossed the line in 5th place. A race full of firsts: lead lap, TOP10, TOP5. And my penalties are now zero, what a race!”

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