Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TORCS Championships 2008 - Alpine-2

Winter. Snow. Slippery roads. 20 mad pilots.
That was the Alpine-2 race of the TRB championships. As the track is quite slow (and narrow), I've expected the race to be well over 3 hours and indeed I was right.

Kilo robots finished at #17-18 while Dots were #15-16 after the qualifications. They made a good start, fighting with the JDIs, when those 2 decided to wreck eachother so we could take them over and go after the Kiwis.

But then disaster came (as usual) and all 4 of my robots collided with eachother when Dotty tried to fight the Kiwis' Arina:
So - time to get working hard and find our way back. This is the scheme I seem to follow this year it seems :D
Kilo 2 seemed to be in best position, with less damage than the others. Dotty made a pass over Arina however - too bad it had to pit the same lap to refuel.

I was testing a refuel strategy code with my robots, making fast pit and frequent pit stops, refuelling every 10-15 laps to make more speed. I am still undecided whether it worked or not.
Berniw robots were slow and - unusually - very hard to overlap, this resulted in quite interesting moments and some damage to the leading robots, too.

Well about 30-40 laps into the race it seemed Kilo 2 can catch a Kiwi (Ohiana), and all others would follow the JDI Porsches. Not a good result but... well...
A big pile-up determined Kilo 1's race, due to heavy damage, also ending one Berniw robot's race:
Fuzzy Foe made an interesting pit stop, not caring about Dotty being there already, so he had to quit the race shamefully:
Then we lost dummy's 2nd driver the same way:
At the middle of the race Ohiana made a spin and had a hard time to recover and that proved lethal for his position, Kilo 2 had a target and from then on slowly beat poor Kiwi, with short refuels and fast, un-disturbed laps (yes, that part is true luck):
A JDI spinned at the entrance of the tunnel and was completely destroyed by the arriving USR bot:
As a result of these events, the positions were like this: #11 Kilo2, #12 Ohiana, #13 JDI2, #14 Kilo1, #15 Dotty, and in fact it didn't change until the finish. During the closing phases Kilo 2 was quite faster than Arina, the other Kiwi, too bad there was 2 laps' distance between them...

All in all I've enjoyed the race, Kilo 2 moved from start position #18 to finish at place 11. We lost Fuzzy due to a silly error (I must investigate that). Kilo 1's race was simply unlucky, with 2 big crashes and a lot of time spent in the pits.
As for what happened at the top... I don't really know, I was concentrating on the middle section. Sorry Andrew, Wolf-Dieter and Eric, it is too boring to see you win all the races :D :P