Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TORCS Championships 2008 - Adelaide

It was the second race on this year's schedule of the TORCS Championships, held on a track very very similar to the late Adelaide street circuit.

There were 18 robots starting, installation went without any trouble. The qualifiers went OK again, my robots came mid-field, at position 9 and 12, separated only by some 6 hundreths. Then the race...

As it could be expected, the first corners were frantic and there was a huge crash involving 6-7 cars, only the first half of the cars survived it. So that and the following pit visits mixed up the order quite a bit, causing early overlappings and big fun to watch. My robots were set up using a low-downforce, highspeed setup, which made them suffer very much in the 90-degree corners, but they gained back quite a bit of time each lap on the straigth sections. In fact, they were quite hard to overtake, being speedy (3rd-4th in top speed competition). If one missed his chance in the corners, my robots were out of reach for him on the other parts of the track.
"As usual", the USR, wdbee and Simplix robots were fighting for top positions, closely followed by the Dummy team. Team Kiwi was fast again, but one of its robots did not stop to pit with no fuel left, so that meant the end for him, while his own teammate smashed into the small queue that formed behind his mate just slowing down.
My robots had a nice clash with the Inferno team and gained a shared 11th and a 13th position in the end. It could have been better even, if my better robot, Kilo 2 hadn't spin about 10 laps to go, as it was closing in on Inferno-C quite fast and could have overtaken him - but well, this is racing :)
Team JDI had improved quite a bit, better watch out for those blue-green Porsches next time. Too bad Berniw didn't have time to imrpove the robot code obviously, so his robots weren't competetive this time.

So it was an eventful race, and clearly showed the areas where I should improve the robot behaviour: smarter overtaking, faster recovery, working together as a team.

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