Thursday, July 2, 2009

TORCS Championships 2009 - E-track-4

E-track-4 mmmmmmmmmmm

I love this track in TORCS. The curves are challenging to negotiate right, the long straights are speedy but the bumps won't let you fall asleep. I was quite happy to see it on the event list of the TORCS Racing Board Championship. The qualification saw wdbee's Los Lobos rocket time of 1:33.03. Even the USRs were half a second slower, while Kilos could just hardly get under 1:35. Interestingly the Dummies were not that fast this time at all.

The start also saw a newcomer, EJ and his dandy black trb-5 cars. After the start the Kilos and the Dots held on to their positions in a fierce battle with EJ and after the straights even fought dummy 2 who has dropped down significantly due to some clashes of which I saw only the skidmarks. Kilo 1 managed to overtake and was riding the same laptimes as the JDIs and Hymies.
In lap 10 R.Giskaard took a spin after the backstraight and dropped back to #13. Dotty got the first lap from Los Lobos while Kilo 1 was #8, Kilo 2 #11, in a battle with the JDIs and Dummy 2.
Then in L19 Dummy 1 spinning out, Kilo 1 found himself in position 6... The JDIs, Dummies and Kilos were about the same speed, only difference between them were seen when overtaking or lapping an opponent. Too bad my robots lost places during those maneuvers. Meanwhile Lupo and Lobo were drafting in the lead with R. Daneel following them a little bit behind. The Hymies were a bit more back but running nice & smooth.
Some people reported strange behaviour of the JeDIs but I haven't noticed that - until now. Looking more closely at the screenshots you can see their front suspension quite high - maybe that was the reason for their strange dance :)
In L32 Los Lobos lost the race. While trying to overtake a berniw-jdi-kilo triplet Lobo Malo had a spin and suffered some damage. While it was recovering quickly the USR hunter grabbed its prey and found the weak point. Later Lobo spent 26 seconds in the pit doing repairs and was never able to get back to the leading group. Something must have bugged their logic as from then on they simply performed bad (in their own content), constantly loosing time against R.Daneel. Or maybe Daneel was only more lucky with overlapping?
In L44 Kilo1 was knocking on the fuel meter with his index finger, then knocking some more but it was no gauge misfunction - fuel was out for real. So it was a slow ride back to the pits, loosing position 7 - until his own teammate Kilo 2 arrived from the back and smashed straight into the rear, KO for Kilo 1 and about 4000 damage for Kilo 2...
Then nothing really happened to my robots until the end of the race, except for a spin performed by Fuzzy, in lap 54. USR, Hymies, Lobos, JDIs, Dummies shared the leaderboard in peace, my robots in #11-13. I will show a screenshot of a nice sliding turn though:
The last laps Lobo Malo almost ruined Kilo 2 but the strategic decision was to go on and not repair the damages - it was a good decision. Interestingly both Hymies had to stop for fuel in the last-1 lap. Lobo Malo finished #10 after all the hard times he had been through, Kilo 2 #11 with 0.1l fuel left, while Dotty and Fuzzy followed.

The race was fine, results are here. Had there been no accident between the Kilos it would be a quite good result but the silver lining is that they could fight JDIs and Dummies and produce similar laptimes. Dummies were slower than usual for some unknown reason.
On the other hand, I think I will give up experiencies with low fuel laps. It is a valid tactic with cars like those in F1, where the car is 600kg and fuel can add 100-120kg, about 20% of the weight of the car. But it seems the TRB1 class with its 1150kg car weight and maximum 94kg fuel is not producing such big difference in lap times with maximum and minimum fuel load that would make it worth doing more pitstops.


  1. Nice review. Yes, TRB doesn't reward low-fuel strategies. I think it'd only help if your robot was so good it never took any damage, and none of them are that good yet :)

  2. Hmm what if they start flying low then? :)

  3. What's your fastest lap time for this track? Mine is 01:28:29

  4. I don't drive myself, I just write robot code. For the robots we use a special car set, and you can see the results for the fastest laps of each robot.
    Mind though this is *not* comparable to a human driving another type of car.
    For further info please see the TRB website:

  5. Cool -- so you are the kind of person who creates the excitement on the race course!! :D Do you know of a site where I can compare fastest lap times by humans?

  6. I don't race there but SpeedyChonChon's site is exactly for this purpose:

    cheers, kilo