Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Judging Track Styles

For a while now, I've been organizing tracks on my web site by the play style those tracks tend to favor.  In this case I'm judging tracks along the race-from-the-front and race-from-the-back axis of broad strategic choices.  All other things being equal, some tracks are just easier to hold a lead on than others.

Besides being interesting information, I like to use this data when picking tracks to use in a series.  Picking different kinds of tracks keeps the racing interesting from race to race.  I've also noticed that some drivers are just better at different strategic styles so a variety of tracks helps to keep the competition fair for everyone.

I've updated the table and some of the calculations that go into some of the scores.

How to Read the New Table
There is a lot of information below and in the key at the bottom of the track listing, but the top line are Raw Score and Adjusted Score.

Raw Score is my best guess based on results and Track Score of how a track favors play from the front (negative numbers) and play from the back (positive numbers).  A score over 1 or under -1 are suggestive of a strong lean.  Scores closer to zero are pretty balanced (or could favor middle strategies).

Adjusted Score is basically the same thing but relative to all the other tracks,  So where raw score tries to objectively describe a track, Adjusted Score is comparing that track to all the others.  Interestingly, there is less variation in those two things after using my new Layout Score than there used to be.

Measuring Tracks Based on Results
Ideally I score tracks based on actual race results from organized play.  In a perfect world I would ask each driver before the race how they were approaching the race strategically... instead I find proxies.  The two proxies I work with are qualifying position and start speed.

Qualifying position is an obvious stand-in for strategy.  Race from the front strategies like to start out front.  However, its not perfect.  There are times you make a pole bid hoping to end up one place only to end up somewhere completely different.

Start speed is another decent proxy in my view.  Race from the front people tend to like a 100 start speed.  Again, not always a perfect approach.  I've seen people take the 100 start speed not because they wanted to start with the lead but because they wanted to bid nothing and work up to the mid-field in a couple turns.  Some tracks are also laid out in such a way that 100 start speed may be of minimal value or hugely valuable regardless of overall strategy.

Certainly these two measures can produce mixed signals.  I've seen cars on the front row of a starting grid with a 20 start speed and cars near the back with 100 start speeds.  That said, I think these are decent tools to work with.

Basically I find the average number of points scored by people who started the race in the front 2 rows ("the front"), middle 2 rows ("middle"), and back 2 rows ("back").  [See the bottom of this page for how I score results.] I do the same for start speeds with "fast" being 100 or 120, "medium" being 60, and "slow" being 20 start speed.

I then figure out how much better front did than middle and how much better back did than middle.  Then I add those two numbers together.  A result of 0 means that middle was best or that neither front nor back seemed to hold an advantage, a negative result means that results favored cars starting in the front 2 rows, a positive result shows that results favored the back 2 rows.  Then I do the same for start speeds... negative results showing the high start speeds did better and positive results showing that the 20 start speeds did better.
( (Qbd-Qfd)*Q + (Ssd-Sfd)*S ) / (Q+S)
Q = the number races where I have data for qualifying
Qbd = Qb - Qm
Qfd = Qf - Qm
Qb = the average points scored by someone starting in the first two rows on this track
Qm = the average points scored by someone starting in the middle two rows on this track
Qb = the average points scored by someone starting in the last two rows on this track
S = the number races where I have data for start speed
Ssd = Ss - Sm
Sfd = Sf - Sm
Sf = the average points scored by someone with a 100 or 120 start speed on this track
Sm = the average points scored by someone with a 60 start speed on this track
Ss = the average points scored by someone with a 20 start speed on this track
In the end this is a track's score if I have enough data to feel good about that.  I'm not sure how many results makes me feel really good about this method, but for now I pretend to feel good at 10 races.

Before I get to 10 races, I also look at some elements of the track layout.  I weight the results score more and more as I get more and more result data.

Measuring Tracks Based on Layout
Finding objective attributes of a track that predict how it will play has proven difficult.  I started with 5 attributes based mostly on gut.  But recently I've reassessed how well those attributes predict actual results and that led me to find new attributes.

Originally I used 1) Long Straights, 2) Corner Density, 3) Width, 4) Longest Straight, and 5) Track Length to concoct a layout score.

Long straights was a weighted count of straights longer than 7 spaces.  Corner Density was the length of the track in spaces divided by the number of corners on the track.  Those two measures were meant to explore how tight and twisty a track is.  Are there a lot of short straights between tightly packed corners?  If so, this could contribute to a race from the front strategy.

For width I measured the percentage of 3-wide track against the total length of the track.  This is all about passing.  Two wide track gets bottled up and blocked a lot easier than 3-wide track.  So a higher percentage of 3-wide should be better for running from behind.

Longest straight and track length are exactly what they say they are.  Race from the front cars tend to buy wear and start speed at the expense of acceleration, deceleration, and top speed.  So long straights can hurt those kinds of cars -- and by extension, racing from the front.  Finally, the shorter the track the easier it should be to hold on to that lead.

However, after updating my data recently I ran some regressions to see how good I my layout scores were at predicting results.  Turns out... not so well.

Y-axis is number of long straights.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).
Y-axis is corner density.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).

Y-axis is the length of the longest straight.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).

Y-axis is the track length in spaces.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).
Turns out track length, longest straight, corner density and number of long straights really aren't very predictive of how these tracks seem to be playing out.

Y-axis is the % of the track that is 3-wide.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).
3-wide is better... although the internet tells me that 0.3 is considered a weak correlation so this still isn't terribly predictive.

So I took a bunch of other measures and made up some new ones to try and find more predictive track attributes.  Literally the only thing I could find that hit the 0.3 mark is the number of corners that are 3-wide (for corners that change width I count it as 3-wide if it ends 3-wide).

Y-axis is the number of 3-wide corners.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).
This makes sense.  Corners are bottlenecks and good opportunities to pass so having more room in the corner, especially the all important exit row, makes sense as something that would assist running from behind.  Interestingly, the raw number of 3-wide corners was more predictive than the percentage of corners that are 3-wide.  This also makes sense... more raw opportunities per lap is better.

I tried creating a new layout score just based on this metric as it had the best fit, but the result included obvious blind spots.  I added back in the percentage of the overall track that was 3-wide and that helped a little but it felt like I needed more attributes to round out this track-based score.  So I went searching for modestly predictive things.

Turns out the number of "medium" straights is more predictive than a lot of other things I can measure.  In this case medium straights means straights that are longer than 3 spaces and shorter than 10 spaces long.  Why?  Because that data ended up being the most predictive.  Why?  No idea.

Y-axis is the number of medium straights.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).
Finally, I tweaked corner density to make it more predictive by only counting the number of corners that have a speed under 120.  (When I assign a single speed to a corner this way, I use the fastest speed through the corner that is not obviously less efficient than other options.)

Y-axis is track length divided by slow corners.  X-axis is results score (lower favors play from the front).
So I created a new Layout Score based on these 4 things, but I weighed the score so that the first two things counted more than the last 2.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

CFR Organized Play 2019 Final Rankings

Don Tatum is the only driver to have finished Organized Play in the top 5 all three seasons.  He finished 2nd in 2017 and 4th in 2018.  This year he breaks through to become the 3rd CFR Organized Play Champion.

This was a season Don really ran away with.  Early in the season, it seemed that Tim Baker might give him a run (Tim ended the season 3rd) but by the time we got to WBC, really no one was in striking distance.

Don won 8 races this season (last season's champion Michael Polcen was 2nd with 5).  Don was also the only driver to win 2 events this season.  In the end he finished 50 points clear of runner-up Bruce Rae.  The 2018 season was decided by 6 points.  2017 was decided by 21 points.

Huge congratulations to Don.
2019 OP Top 20
Rookie of the Year
Bill Worrell raced for the first time in CFR Organized Play this season and won the Detroit Season including 1 race win and several more podiums.  He finished the season 5th.  

There were 42 rookies to Organized Play this season out of the 151 total drivers ranked.  Only two others finished in the top 50: Scott Cornett who ranked 22nd this season and Phillip White who ranked 41st.

Most Improved Driver of the Year
Stephen Peeples participated in a single Organized Play race last season and ranked 125th.  He participated in 6 this season, including 2 wins to rank 40th -- a jump of 85 spots.

Steward of the Year
For the last two yeas, Chris Brandt has run two different events -- the in-person PresCon tournament as well as the local DC-Maryland-Virginia season.  He is the only person to run two events a year and both grew this year.  Thanks Chris!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Organized Play 2019 Home Stretch

People have noticed that I asked if any one could overcome Don's huge lead at WBC and failed to answer.  So, lets do that.

Note that this is a bit of a guess.  The numbers of points people could get winning races and the WBC event itself will depend on how many people attend.  However, assuming a slightly larger attendance then last year three people seem like they have a chance.

Tim Baker, Brian DeWitt, and Bill Worrell appear to have a shot.  Each would likely have to win a well stocked* qualifying race AND the Finals.

Meanwhile, Don has pretty much maxed out his points potential.  Pretty much all he can do to defend himself is win the finals so no one else does.  Unless lots of people do show up and the races end up being worth more than I have guessed.

* Depending on the heat, WBC qualifying races can have 6 or 7 participants.  More will typically mean more value for the race.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Organized Play Update and Clarifications

The 3rd CFR Organized Play season comes to close in a couple weeks after WBC ends.  Don is 70 points above every one else in the rankings.  Can anyone catch up?  First a quick reminder of how scoring works.  Later this week, I'll get to some thoughts on how this season can end.

Each player's score in organized play is 5 parts race scores and 2 parts tournament scores.  When a player has more than 5 races or 2 tournaments under their belt on the season, the best 5 or 2 are picked for this purpose.

Race Scoring
Every place from 1 through 10 in each race is awarded points: 23 for 1st, 18 for 2nd, 15 for 3rd... Those points are then multiplied by a field modifier and a live event modifier.

For example, Don's best race shown above got him 38.13 pts.  That race was a win in the 1st race of the top series of this year's Redscape PBeM.  In this case the race win value of 23 was multiplied by a field value of 1.658 = 38.134.  The event was not live and so did not get a live event multiplier.  If it HAD been a live, in person event it would have gotten an additional 1.19 live event multiplier

For example, the highest values race so far this season was my win in the 1st DMV race this season.  It had a field rating multiplier of 1.522 but was also an in person event and so it also had a live event multiplier of 1.19 -- total multiplier of 1.806 (1.522 * 1.19).  That means my win that race was worth 41.54 pts (23 * 1.806).

What is the Field Multiplier?  Lets go back to Don's best race.  The field multiplier there was 1.658.  That means that the field of drivers was 65% better than the median field of any race this season or last season.

How is that Calculated?  Every driver has a field rating that is the sum of their top 5 race results (without multipliers) from this season and last season.  For instance, Don's field rating is 115 because his top 5 race results are all wins worth 23 points (remember, no multipliers here).  After adding up all of the field ratings of all drivers participating, that total is compared to the median total to generate a percentage.

What is the Live/In Person Multiplier?  Its a bonus meant to compensate for it being a lot easier to get a lot of drivers involved in a PBeM rather than having them show up in the same place and time for a live event.  It is calculated by figuring out what the multiplier would have had to have been in the past to make live and PBeM's roughly worth the same.  Note that there is a different live multiplier for races and for Tournaments.

Tournament Scoring
The last two bits of a driver's score in organized play is the score from their top 2 events of the season.  If I participate in an event, be it a PBeM series or a local season of races or a weekend tournament at a convention, I will get points for the races I participated in AND also for my final ranking at that tournament.

Scoring for events works exactly the same as for individual races.  Well, except for two things.

  1. The live event multiplier is slightly different... because individual races have been impacted less lately by the live vs. virtual divide than entire events have been.  So for this season the live event multiplier is 2.2.  
  2. Also, the field rating is calculated a little differently in that the field rating is multiplied by the number of heats in an event.  So an 8 race season will get more love than a 3 race tournament.

For example, Don's best result in an event so far was his win of the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) season.  The win being worth 23 points * .838 as the event had a field rating below the median (largely due to being fewer races than many events) * 2.2 since the event was a series of in person races = 42.4.

Monday, April 29, 2019

WBC Tracks Announced

The 20 space-long straight at Hockenheim

It is that time again, time to announce the tracks for WBC -- the last event of the 2019 Organized Play Season.  This is a great event and one I always recommend.  It is the largest single weekend event in CFR.

Chris Long continues his fine stewardship of this event and has selected the following tracks:

Q1 (yellow tracks -- favor running from the front)

  • Suzuka (PDF map) was the finals at WBC last year
  • Francorchamps 2007 (PDF map) last seen at WBC back in 2014
  • Sakhir (PDF map) last seen at WBC back in 2013

Q2 (green tracks -- balanced)

  • Speilberg (PDF map) never before seen at WBC
  • Yeongam (PDF map) last seen at WBC back in 2016
  • Silverstone 2010 (PDF map) never before seen at WBC

Q3 (purple tracks -- really favor running from the back)

  • Sochi (PDF map) was the finals at WBC in 2017
  • Shanghai (PDF map) last seen at WBC back in 2016
  • Sepang 1999 (PDF map) last seen at WBC back in 2016

Finals (blue tracks -- favor running from the back)

  • Hockenheim  (PDF map) last seen at WBC back in 2017
More Information

Monday, April 22, 2019

2018 P1 PBeM Season Recap

The latest season of my CFR PBeM P1 is over.  Lets review what happened.

A quick reminder that P1 is structured as a pyramid league (the bottom drivers from the top tier are demoted to the next tier down which is composed of more races and drivers than the tier above it... shaped like a pyramid).  P1 is the top tier.  Divoll and Reilly are the two 2nd tier races.  Ascari, Clark, Fangio, and Moss are the four 3rd tier races.  The winner of P1 in any given season is the league champion, so lets start there.

P1 Race 1 at Montreal [Full Race Report]
Don, Bruce R, and Tim B qualify 1-2-3 in a bit of a preview of the rest of the series.  Dennis qualified 4th and ran in 3rd for most of the first lap but he started the race with less wear then rest of the first 2 rows and started to feel it when Tim B passed him through the last corner of lap 1.  Tim B did a great job staying out of the traffic and ahead of the mid-pack.

Bruce spent 10 of his 22 starting wear in lap 1 to hold the race lead but Don crossed the line to start lap 2 only 2 spaces behind Bruce.  Bruce spent another 10 wear in lap 2 which built him a full turn lead on Don and Tim B but also left him with only 2 wear to nurse through his last lap.  Meanwhile, Tim B caught up to Don through lap 2.  Don and Bruce were both running cars with 20 accel and 20 decel (a set-up that does seem to work well at Montreal).  Tim ran a 40-40 car and that was where he was able to claw 3-4 spaces back from Don on lap 2.

A Championship Deciding 2 Corners

Turn 20, Don is Dark Blue, Tim B is Teal
One of the key decisions in this race came on turns 21 and 22.  Don and Tim B were side-by-side 4 spaces from the last corner of lap 2 on turn 20.

Don decided to go 120 and spend 2 wear in the corner.  Tim went 100 and spent 1 wear -- falling a space behind Don but saving a wear.

Turn 21

The next turn, Tim pushed his acceleration to go 160 into the first 120 space of the first corner of the last lap -- spending 2 wear.  Don went his top speed of 140 to spend 1 wear.

Turn 22
The two drivers would back off to maintain that wear expenditure on the next turn, but since Tim spent more wear to start the corner, he maintained a higher speed the next turn and passed Don.

Turn 23 -- Tim B into 2nd
Now with the same wear and a slower car, Don was never able to repass and Bruce looked like a sitting duck with his 2 remaining wear.  Although Bruce was able to stay in front until Tim eventually passed him through the hairpin (2nd to last corner of the race).  Don was never able to get past Bruce and finished 3rd.

P1 Race 2 at Melbourne [Full Race Report]
The second race of the season took us to Melbourne -- another rather tight track that played to in front runners' favor.  Tim B, Don, and defending 2-time P1 champ Doug G all built the same 40-40-160-8w car and all bid 7 or 7.5 for pole.  Doug took pole with Don rolling better dice than Tim to end up 2nd on the grid.  Bruce started the race 10th with a different strategy and ended the race 10th to seriously damage his title chances.  Doug maintained the lead after lap 1, but had 4 less wear than Don who sat only 2 spaces back.  Tim was a turn back and in 5th at this time.  Tim B got a big break mid lap 2 when Chris L spins from 3rd.  With Tim M running low on wear, Tim B moves up 2 spots on track in the first half of the lap.  Don also spends his extra wear to over take Doug for the race lead at roughly the same time.  Tim B's wear advantage pushes him past Doug G in the beginning of lap 3.  But with the same 4 wear at Don and the same car set-ups, Don is never really challenged for the race win.

Second is enough though for Tim B to enter the final race of the season 5 points ahead of Don.  Bruce R was the only other driver with any chance to claim the title and only if Tim B finished 10th or worse.

P1 Race 3 at Sepang [Full Race Report]
Sepang is a very different track than the first two this season but Tim B still bid and took pole.  Don started 5th and Bruce started 8th.  However, Tim got swallowed up at the start when Dennis and Chris A both went 120 to his 80.  By the time they left corner 1, Tim B was 4th and Don was up in 2nd.  Mid-way through lap 1 Bruce ended up in the race lead, Don was 4th, and Tim B 5th -- all within spitting distance of a title.

Don was the first to see his race go south as he damaged his brakes heading into the Hairpin for the first time.  Tim B would then damage his brakes into the first corner of lap 2.  Mid way through lap 2 Bruce still led but he had been burning wear doing it and Chris A was right behind with 7 wear more.  Don was starting to fall back as he was low on wear in addition to his now 20 brakes.  Tim B still had some wear but also was hampered by 20 deceleration.

As the final lap began, Bruce was still leading but Chris A had 5 more wear and was close behind AND Tim B was showing no signs of finishing 10th, especially with Don now bringing up the rear in a seriously damaged car.  The end of the race would end up being very dramatic as Bruce crashed half-way through the lap which eventually set-up a drag race between Chris A, Rando, and Tim M -- which Tim M won.

The lead Tim B had built up in the first two races held up despite his 8th in the final race.  Congrats to Tim B for winning the 2018 P1 Season.  Don would end up 2nd on the season despite his 9th in the last race.  Tim M's dramatic race win at Sepang would catapult him to 3rd on the season only 2 points behind Don.

P1 Overall Champ: Tim B (1st, 2nd, 8th)
Rest of P1 Podium: Don T (3rd, 1st, 9th), Tim M (6th, 5th, 1st)
Demoted: Mario A, Chris L, Dennis N (Chris A retired after this so only 3 needed to be demoted)

Now lets give some love to the lower tiers.

Divoll, Tier 2
Jeff H won the first race at Montreal by managing his wear before overtaking Chris on lap 3.  John would also pass Chris to take 2nd and force Chris into 3rd. [Full Race Report]

At Melbourne Jeff H and Kevin H led most of the way with Kevin taking the checkered flag and Jeff finishing 2nd to enter the final race of the season 11 points ahead of Kevin.  Franklin moved up from the back of the pack at Melbourne to finish 3rd. [Full Race Report]

Jeff's dominance over the first two races meant that he only had to finish 5th to guarantee being one of the top two in the series and get promoted to P1.  The second spot would be contested by other podium finishers Kevin, John, Chris and Franklin as well as Mike (who had a 4th and 5th) and Fabio  (who had only a slim chance to get promoted after two 7th places).

A lap in, Jeff was doing just enough to make sure he got promoted sitting 5th.  Meanwhile John was leading the race and looking like the contender who would also get promoted.  But in a couple turns, Franklin emerged from the pack in 3rd with 11 wear to John's 4.  Franklin would pass Fabio and John down the back straight on lap 2 and then drive off into the distance never to be challenged for the race win.  That put Franklin in the driver's seat to be promoted next to Jeff (who had now worked his way up to 2nd for a strangle-hold on the season title).  Kevin was the only driver who could over take Frankin on points without winning the race but he was mired down in 6th, eventually being overtaken by everyone on track before blowing up his engine within sight of the finish line. [Full Race Report]

Season Champ: Jeff H (1st, 2nd, 2nd)
Also Promoted: Franklin H (5th, 3rd, 1st)
Demoted: Scott H, Tony L, Mike H (only 3 demotions because only 9 drivers were in Divoll and a P1 driver retired).

Reilly, Tier 2
Consistency was hard to come by over the first two races in this series.  Michael P followed up his race win in Montreal with a 5th in Melbourne.  Bruno blew up his engine at Montreal only to win Melbourne.  Luca finished 2nd at Montreal only to end up 10th at Melbourne.  Doug S followed up an 8th place at Montreal with a 2nd at Melbourne.  Scott M was the only car with two podiums in the first two races with consecutive 3rd places.  Consequently those 5 drivers all had decent chance to get promoted -- in fact a race win for any would guarantee promotion. [Montreal Race Report] [Melbourne Race Report]

At the important entry into Sunway Lagoon, 5 cars were hoping to clear the corner before the back straight.  Interestingly that pack included only 1 driver who entered the race in the top 5 -- Doug S.  Kalvin, Doug S, and Jim O were the only three to clear Lagoon.  Then Doug S used the outside lane to take the Hairpin faster to overtake Kalvin for the race lead to start lap 2.  Doug S kept the lead the rest of the race despite some challenges -- mostly due to having a wear advantage over those challengers.

Meanwhile Michael P kept slowly moving through the pack having qualified in 10th.  He was 6th half-way through the race and ahead of the other top contenders for promotion.  Near the end of the race Michael over took several more cars to end up finishing 3rd and comfortably in promotion bu 2 points behind Doug for the series championship.  [Full Race Report]

Season Champ: Doug S (8th, 2nd, 1st)
Also Promoted: Michael P (1st, 5th, 3rd)
Demoted: Pepe S, Kalvin M, Jim O (only 3 demotions because only 9 drivers were in Divoll and a P1 driver retired).

Ascarii, Tier 3
After the first three races, three drivers sat atop the season standings -- Ciccio I, Palmiro M, and Turyko) separated by only 4 points.  So it looked like they would fight over the two available promotion slots although Stephen P had a shot -- especially if he won at Sepang.  [Montreal Race Report] [Melbourne Race Report]

Stephen started out on row 1 and quickly grabbed the lead.  Meanwhile Turyko, Ciccio, and Palmiro were all down in the bottom half of the grid.  If the race stayed like this Stephen would get promoted.  By the end of lap 1, Turyko had moved up and taken the race lead but Stephen was still lurking in 2nd with a lot of wear.  As the season's final lap began, Stephen was back out front with a lot of wear, Turyko was sitting in second with a bigger car, Palmiro was back in 7th and Ciccio was languishing in 10th.  Palmiro and Ciccio would have to get up to 3rd to dislodge Stephen from the 2nd promotion slot.  By half-way through the last lap Ciccio had thrown in the towl but Palmiro had worked his way up to 4th and looked to have the wear to get past Christina and/or Turyko.  A couple corners later Palmiro was 3rd and Stephen was left to hope either Palmiro or Turyko lost a place.  They did not and Stephen missed promotion by a single point.  [Full Race Report]

This ended up being a very competative group as two race winners (Stephen and Ciccio failed to advance).

Season Champ: Turyko S (1st, 4th, 2nd)
Also Promoted: Palmiro M (2nd, 2nd, 3rd)

Clark, Tier 3
The first two races of the season had the exact same podiums: Justin S, Dave L, Dave B.  [Montreal Race Report] [Melbourne Race Report]

This meant that Justin was guaranteed a promotion regardless of what happened at Sepang and Dave L had a leg up on Dave B for that 2nd promotion.  Dave B had to finish top 2 and hope Dave L finished 6th or worse.  At the end of lap 2, Dave L was languishing down in 6th but Dave B was running low on wear and took a chance through the hairpin resulting in a crash and Dave L's promotion to tier 2.  [Full Race Report]

Season Champ: ?S (1st, 1st, 6th)
Also Promoted: ?L (2nd, 2nd, 3rd)

Fangio, Tier 3
Stephen E won the first two races of the season to clinch a promotion with a race yet to go.  Bruce L had a leg up on everyone else for the 2nd promotion slot after finishing 3rd in Montreal and 2nd in Melbourne.  But if he faltered at Sepang literally everyone had at least some chance for promotion.  [Montreal Race Report] [Melbourne Race Report]

John G was the first to take the reins in this race and spent some wear to take the race lead and 2nd place in the season standings up through the last corner of lap 1.  Will K out accelerated John across the start/finish line to being lap 2 in the race lead and now Will was 2nd in season points.  All this time, Tom F had been lurking behind John and then Will and conserving his wear before over-taking both of them through Berjaya at the half-way point of the race.  That put Tom just barely in 2nd on the season.

As the cars exited corner 1 for the last time, Tom was a turn ahead of everyone and would not be caught.  But his promotion would depend on where others' finished.  Stephen and worked his way up to 2nd and had enough wear to hold off John and Will (who could have gotten promoted with a 2nd).  Bruce was in 5th and needed to get to 3rd place to beat Tom on season points.  Bruce managed to work his way up through the field during the 1st half of the last lap before finally passing John for 3rd through Berjaya.  Bruce was then able to set himself up to clear Sunway Lagoon a turn ahead of the pack and would coast to 3rd and promotion -- only 3 points clear of Tom.  [Full Race Report]

Not to be lost in his early clinching of 1st on the season, Stephen also had the most successful run this year in any series with two 1sts and a 2nd.

Season Champ: Stephen E (1st, 1st, 2nd)
Also Promoted: Bruce L (3rd, 2nd, 3rd)

Moss, Tier 3
Keith R, Dave I, and Mikael M entered the final race of the season within 4 points of each other with two other drivers behind them also having a chance for promotion (Federico S and Robert R). [Montreal Race Report] [Melbourne Race Report]

Most of the smaller field would stay in a pretty tight pack until the start of of the final lap with previous race winners Keith R and Dave I 1-2 in this race and the season and in line for promotion.  By the time they reached the back straight both were a full turn ahead of the field and seemingly locked into promotions -- until Keith broke his damaged engine.  That knocked him from what looked like a guaranteed 2nd  and guaranteed promotion (Dave was going to pass him down the back straight but I'm pretty sure no one else could).

That added some drama to the end of the race.  Mikael inherited 2nd on the season when Keith DNFed but Mikael got passed by two cars down the back straight and Robert had worked his way up to 2nd -- putting Robert tenuously in 2nd on the season... until Mikael out accelerated Federico across the line to regain a position, a point, 2nd on the season, and a promotion.  [Full Race Report]

Season Champ: Dave I (4th, 1st, 1st)
Also Promoted: Mikael M (3rd, 2nd, 5th)

Friday, January 4, 2019

CFR 2019 Rankings Begin

Lets start the new year by getting some Organized Play rankings out.  I've been behind getting races recorded but caught up recently (well, mostly).

Our current top 10 shown on the right.  More detail and all the drivers here:

117 drivers have participated in a race so far this year.  Already more than participated in all of 2017.  Interestingly, average field size has grown to just above 10 drivers per race after 5 consecutive years of decline.  Last season a race averaged 9.2 drivers.

More importantly, lets look at Don's crazy 1st half of a season.

Four wins (most so far) in nine races and every win has been against good competition.  From each of those 4 quality wins, Don picked up at least 30 pts.  No one else has more than two races where they got 30 or more from their win.

On a related note, I added something to the race list.  I now list the points gained by each driver that podiumed in every race so you can get a sense of how people got their race points.  I'll duplicate this for tourney once a tourney ends.

Speaking of tourneys... no driver has any points from them yet because I have not gotten results from any (well, actually I just got results from the Detroit series, but don't have the final race for that season yet).  When those come in things may get tighter up top.  Despite Don's impressive run, Tim Baker is doing almost as well but has just participated in fewer races so far.  Tim's two wins have been worth 30+ points and Tim is leading Don in both the P1 and Redscape online series which have been two of the top three series the last two years running.

Still lots of racing to go so it will be very interesting to see how things progress.