Wednesday, June 25, 2008

TORCS Championships 2008 - Monza

The first round of the TORCS Championships was held on a furiously fast track resembling the old Monza circuit, without that awful first chicane.
All in all 16 robot cars showed up, it was quite easy to set the race up and compile the robots. As it turned out later, I should have double checked if they copied all their setup files to the appropriate places, but as I did not see any error messages during the 'make && make install' phase I thought everything went OK.

I've started the race truely enthusiatic, P├ęter was in control of the views despite I've warned him several times it can last for 2+ hours, he was eager to see it happen. Qualification went quite nice, my robots finished 7th & 8th, few hundreths apart only. I was quite happy to see them positioned in the middle of the pack.

Then the race started and my robots quickly moved lower on the list, driving around places 12-15 or so after the first few laps. I saw one of JDI's Porsches fall out quickly, not finishing the first lap even. Then real disaster followed, when my robot 'Kilo 2' smashed into the wall right after Variante della Roggia, in lap 4. I did not see exactly what happened as we were looking at some other cars at that moment. But obviously while it only damaged itself to about 50% it just couldn;t evade the wall and spent the next 10 minutes reversing only 1 meter and then hitting the wall again. So it was stuck there until pulled from the race :( Damn...
The race went on, the USR robots of Andrew vrooming around and some nice movements in the pack behind, and then... in lap 15 my other robot, 'Kilo 1' joined his teammate at the wall and shared its fate, too. So it was a double out :(((
From then on, we had a nice race to watch like on TV, no robots to worry about :) We've seen some duels and USR's R.Giskard run out of fuel.

All in all, it was quite some fun, too bad my robots missed most of the action :) Bummer... I've got to work on the recovery code, and also try and make them a little bit faster - their lap time was around 1:22 and there were 4 robots slower than them, however they did finish the race :)

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