OPINION: Competition | ApexOnlineRacing.com

OPINION: Competition

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Stevie

Super Moderator
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Super Moderator
iRacing Coordinator
Aug 26, 2014
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There's a saying in motorsport that the sweetness of the victory is measured by the level of competition. Is winning just winning? Simple as that? Is winning sweeter when you've had to really fight for it? Does it matter if you win by 4 tenths or 4 minutes? Is it just a victory?

I bring this up really because every week in the comm box with @King-kodiak, I am consistently staggered at the level of competitiveness up and down the grid in this league.

Let me give you some stats here:
● The biggest winning margin this season was 4.653 seconds.
● In the past 3 races, the top 5 finishes have been separated by 10 seconds or so.
● In qualifying it is 'normal', that approximately the top 30-35 drivers are separated by no more than 1.5 seconds.
● Twice so far in the 4 rounds we've had, the gap between 1st and 2nd in qualifying has been separated by less than 0.004 seconds.
● We've had 4 different winners from 4 races in EVERY CLASS.

Need I say more?

So I wonder. Last season we had the utterly dominant force that was Eero Nomm who won 5 of the 8 races he contested. One of which had his largest winning margin of 18 seconds. Does that kind of winning mean any more or less than the wins we've had this season, all of which have been won by less than 5 seconds?

This week's topic then is about the level of competition. How do you approach racing? Is winning everything? Is it about searching for competition with those around your skill level? Is a dominant force in any class more or less impressive than those close and hard fought ones? Are you thinking about the championship or is it just race by race? What do you consider 'a good race'?

GO GO GO
 
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King-kodiak

AOR Head Commentator
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F1 Coordinator
AOR Commentator
May 10, 2016
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The harder the fight, the more meaningful the prize. It might carry the same value in terms of points, but carries greater respect if you've had to earn it, as opposed to running off into the distance. I mean no disrespect to those that have won by disappearing off, if they've done a better job in preparing then everyone else, they deserve it, but the win (in my opinion) isn't as big as a scrap for every inch of track over your competitors.
 
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Bucefal

AOR iRacing GTE 2 time Pro-AM Champion
Premium Member
Sep 2, 2018
178
129
From spectators and commentators view it's obviously more interesting to see battles on track. Eero's domination last season was outstanding. It has been less entertaining for sure, but I don't think it has less valor. Being dominant is a performance that as to be recognised, especially because he had to compete against drivers who can't be called slow drivers... But yes, it's great to see battles upfont and as a spectator, the more battles, the better the race.

From a driver perspective now... In official races I'd rather finish P5 and have a great fight than winning with a 10sec margin because I do those races for fun mostly. Here in AOR, it's a bit different. As I said last season, Pro/Am championship is what matters for me. It's obviously more exiting to be involved in a track battle, I love to feel my heartbeat raising, sweat, etc... But for the championship, being smart is more important sometimes. Taking that P2 in class out from nowhere at Suzuka was a great feeling. From my side, a good race is a race with no major mistake and where my pace match more or less those of my skills.
 

Ycoms

Double AOR iRacing GTE Champion
Staff member
LM24 Event Coordinator
Mar 4, 2015
2,118
1,815
I think what I learned over the years is that it is most fun and enjoyable to race with like-minded people. If you're the only one putting time into it and dominate it's not fun and falling through the field because you can't put as much effort into it than others isn't either. Fighting at the front is obviously cool, but it's not everything. The most important thing to me is to see myself improving, from whatever starting point that is. I feel like I'm driving soooo much better and faster then back in Season 3 and 4. I love this season so far, especially since you need to be completely on top of your game in every single aspect as noone has just completely dominated one race so far. I think it's hard to evaluate how these close fought wins stack up in comparison to Eero's domination last season. To be honest, I also believe that many of us have upped their game quite a bit, there were a few who weren't as strong last season as they are now, so even if Eero would be around, I'm most confident he wouldn't win by 10+ seconds in almost every single race again. Personally, I liked my Spa win last season the most so far, think it's the best I've ever driven in this league.

I always kind of evaluate myself based off on practice experience, exceeding those expectations is considered to be a very good race and being below it is considered to be a bad one. For example: At Road America and Suzuka I finished 4th in both races, in both I made costly mistakes which took me out of the equation to battle for the win. At Suzuka I wasn't mad at it at all as I wasn't expecting to be in that position anyway, at Road America it was completely different. Therefore, even though I said earlier my Spa win last season was the best race for me, Silverstone two weeks ago felt sweeter as I was totally not expecting it.
 

Stephan

AOR iRacing GTE S3 AM Champion & Super Mod
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Oct 19, 2016
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It’s always about competition, sometimes against others, sometimes against yourself :)

This league is getting stronger race by race, season by season and competition is tougher up and down the grid than it has ever been. I love it.

My first season was S3, where I was 1s off the pace of the second to last car. For me, S3 was all about finding my footing in iracing and slowly improving my pace. Luckily I already had my consistency then, so I scored the AM title without overtaking anyone all season. My competitors just didn’t finish the races.

In seasons since, my focus was on pace and race craft. Now, this season, I’m still not at the pace of an AM tier front runner but I am finding people to race every race.
I’m learning to better attack, better defend and stay calmer while being pressured.
All while improving pace. Shame really, everyone around is improving at the same or faster rate.

This season is for me about battles, race craft, finding my seasons nemesis and battle it out each week :)

No idea where I’ll end up in the AM standings - and this season, I don’t even care.
 
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Deerladog

Premium Member
Premium Member
Aug 24, 2017
527
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For me it depends where I am. If I'm winning, I'd rather disappear off into the distance, my poor little heart can't deal with a race long battle for the win :(

Anywhere else and I want to fight for it. I'd rather finish second to last (not last though, that's sad times) and fight for it than finish second and have nobody to fight all race.
 

Zonerouge12

Formula Karter
Oct 3, 2018
66
21
" To conquer without peril we triumph without glory ! "

A victory is a victory is the most incontestable thing, but when the competition is tough and a victory is won, it is all the more beautiful.

I join Ycoms, it is only in adversity that we can improve !
No pain No gain (it's the american football currency) !!!

:whistle:
 

Rin Hato

AOR Space Race Champion
Oct 17, 2016
987
896
I think the "ideal" race for me is one where I have to drive my best for the whole race to get a good finish, but without excessive battling. Driving 100% on the limit to keep an opponent behind you is simultaneously the most exhausting and exhilarating part of, because you always know one tiny mistake can have huge consequences. Fighting with a skilled opponent is great fun, but of course you lose time... it can sometimes be a mix of happiness and frustration when you have a hard fought battle with no side giving in, but you look at your lap times and see you could have been 10 or 20 seconds up the road if the fight hadn't happened, and you think about what could have been. Conversely, finishing with a 30sec gap to the car behind can end up being boring even if the finishing position is great - fighting tooth and nail to finish second by a bumper-length is more fulfilling than cruising by yourself to win by a country mile.