Rui Teixeira Driver Diary 1.0
Virtual CTCC Round 1 Infineon, CA
GT: XPR Rooster
The Virtual Canadian Touring Car Championship idea was floating around for a few weeks within the team and looked to be a real challenge for builds. After a few phone calls between myself and series president John Bondar, the idea seemed to be becoming a reality. The guys over at XPLR.com worked really hard to find the right builds making sure all B-Spec and Super Touring cars would be equal. It’s safe to say they did a great job preparing builds for rounds 1 and 2 at Infineon. A few calls with Ben from Lombardi Honda Racing and we would be racing in the series with our real life liveries for the Honda Fit. GRANTHowzitgoin from XPR worked endlessly with limited time to create us a masterpiece replication for our fit.
I entered the series knowing it would be hard, but I was in for a shock to see the level of competition that would be racing. Coming from Karts and racing Forza casually I originally thought I had a chance. XPR Venom, XPR Colgate and XPR Roadrunner had me testing as much as possible in the few days we had to prepare for qualifying.
Due to my inexperience with the online race weekend of Forza, I wasn’t able to get back to my testing potential of a 1:56.617. My five lap qualifying session was getting better lap by lap, but simply ran out of laps as my fifth would end up being my fastest of a 1:57.0. Again with my inexperience to Forza, my fast lap was dubbed dirty losing my time and putting me to the back of the field.
Race 1 at Infineon would be my first taste of competition and it was a great one as I started in C lobby. I got off to a great start with my teammate XPR Colgate making the race! Taking to an early lead I was able to open up about a one second gap back to second place XPR Colgate. Holding my teammate off was like an Auburn 2014 BCS National Championship, Eventually you run out of luck.
Race 2 was a little more heated. Just as in race 1, I was able to get to a fairly large lead from lap one. In the distance I saw my teammate in the other fit coming up in second. I knew I had to stay consistent to even have a chance at winning this one. XPR Colgate was able to get by but this time I had to try something. After some wheel to wheel racing, and some heated lead changes, I was able to barely get by going into the final lap. One of the ST cars caught up with us early in the final lap and wasn’t able to pass until the last few corners. Going into the penultimate corner one of the ST cars had some contact with the other fit holding him from retaking the lead.
Overall thoughts of the entire operation were flawless. I know how much work the entire team over at XPR has done and let me say from personal experience that they work just as hard as anyone in real motorsports. The level of passion is through the roof, and knowledge for racing is enough to keep me on my facts. As a racer, I don’t see virtual racing the same way I did just a week ago. With Costs of racing these days higher and more expensive than ever, this could be a real stepping stone for talent. From a drivers view, heart rates are just as high if not higher than being on a racetrack. I would like to see more racers taking interest into the virtual world. I would like to see this lead to virtual drives making the jump to real racing. Again, Big thanks to everyone back at XPLR for the series simulation. Really big one for everyone at XPR for the introduction to virtual racing. John Bondar and CTCC for supporting the series. Lombardi Honda Racing for allowing us to carry the name, and Howzitgoin for the LHR Liveries.