Stewards dismiss claim of traction control on Dan's car
by Dan Robichaud
When I first started practising Imola, I thought the AI cars would be impossible to beat, but after a lot of practise and coming up with an amazing setup for my car, it turned out to be probably my best race for the season.
After a lot of tinkering on my setup, I made one final adjustment to my front roll bars that brought my car into "the zone". With very low downforce, I could still manage to take tamburello flat out without so much as a squeek coming from my tires. At most circuits, my tires usually sqeal a little in the high speed corners all around the track. I thought that was normal. But I discovered at Imola that it doesn't necessarily have to be that way (Sigh, now if I could only find setups like that for the other tracks )
In qualifying, I managed to string together an amazing lap which I don't think I could ever repeat, even if I tried. My 1st split was in the 14's, the middle section went well, got through the chicane at Variante Alfa fast but clean. Crossing the start/finish I knew it was going to be a good lap and thought I might just break into the 1:25's but I was quite shocked when I saw 1:25.577. In practice I had managed some really low 1:26's (1:26.1XX) but I was sure that was as much speed as I could find.
After qualifying I noticed that my pots were a little dirty. When I floored the gas with the car in neutral, the RPMs were "jittery" rather than just maxing out. I went out and bought some electrical contact cleaner and thoroughly cleaned both the "gas" and the "brakes". It made quite a difference and took some getting used to before the race. I found I was getting a lot more wheelspin than I was before. My only explanation is that the jittery-ness was acting like some sort of traction control system at the top end of the RPMs. (Maybe I should have just left well enough alone )
As for the tire usage, I did notice during practice that after 4-6 laps, half the tire would be gone. I did a race simulation to test tire wear (2 stops, soft tires) and they held up the entire race. During my actual race I used the same strategy and I did 12 laps on my last stint and they managed to take me to the end without any severe problems. Could it be that the tire wear isn't linear? Maybe they wear out quicker at the beginning and wear out slower at the end? I've never taken the time to examine the tire wear in the garage after that many laps...
I've also experienced quirky problems with fuel amounts when you come in for unscheduled stops. After getting screwed that way a few times, I was under the impression that maybe when I set the fuel to, say, 50, that rather than add 50 litres of fuel, they would top you up to 50 litres. Does anybody know the answer to this? It is defnitely very frustrating. I remember once having broken a front wing, and even after signalling the pits that I was coming in, I pulled in and... Nothing! They didn't fix my wing. Could it be that pit crew errors are programmed into the game if we stray from the original strategy?
This isn't the 1st time I've heard what you said about accelerating time through qualifying. I'm definitely going to make it a habit to let the time run out naturally!
Posted on Apr 10, 2000, 1:36 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206