Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TORCS Championship 2008 - Rehearsals

This year I've decided to take part in the TORCS robot endurance championships. I like driving in TORCS and - being a software developer - programming a robot shouldn't be that difficult.
At least that's what I've thought first. I've been looking at / modifying the tutorial robot for quite a while but some months ago Andrew released his 'locus' robot code. Trying it I saw immediately that it was so much superior than the tutorial one I really should spend my time with that code instead. So I finally entered a team (called Alba) based on his code and I'll try my best - to finish the races and collect some race experiment.
The guys involved voted to have some preliminary racing before starting the real championship events, just for testing the racing environments and setups, etc. I was late to enter the first 2 test races but managed to race the third (last) one. And it was sheer fun :)
The race itself was run on the CG-1 track, a short (2km) and not too difficult track - being an endurance race, a ~2km track yielded 244 rounds, which provided many possibilities for overtaking, overlapping, pits and such. My robots qualified #9-10 (out of 12) and kept that position until the finish line - luckily Miguel's robots (the Kiwi team) had some setup issue and they continuosly understeered in the double lefthander turn. Otherwise my robots could have been the filler-ups only :)
P├ęter was watching the race (about 2 1/2 hours) and enjoyed it too - but was urging me to make my robots quicker. Like if I didn't also want to do exactly that... :)
First real race will be early June - a lot to improve until then.