Information for New Drivers

New to the League? Welcome !

It is very important that you read the rules at:
https://www.igpfun.com/information/league-rules/

Every week you will receive a Private Message with the race briefing.
Read it carefully, there are often special rules for the track.

Most league communications and discussions are in our discord server, including help sections on iRacing, hardware, set-up, tracks etc.
The discord server also act as a ‘F3 officials discord’, with discussion on F3 officials calendar and more
Please join at
https://discord.gg/pAduK2q


Take it easy at race start

You must not look for passing opportunities at race start.
You can pass a car on ‘the other lane’ if that is the safest action, maybe because it had a slow start, but you must not try to outbreak anyone for the first few corners. The ‘no pass zone’ is defined each week in the race briefing.
Passing a car in your own lane is ok if required for safety, for instance because the car ahead did not start. No sudden lane changing either. Keep to your side of the track until after the first corner or until the first safe straight.
The idea is to keep a constant gap from the car in front and avoid sudden braking or change of directions. The more predictable we can be the safer the start.

Attempting a 3-wide pass in lap 1 is strictly forbidden.
As above, passing a very slow car or similar is ok, but you should not actively try to gain places by going 3-wide.


Early Race

Incidents in the early race are particularly frowned upon.
Be careful not to lose the car, an accident in a large field can be disastrous.
Avoid risks early on; it is a long race and you will have chances to pass.
The idea is simple: if in doubt, do not do it.
You will get a better opportunity soon enough.


No Dive Bombing

Generally speaking, you must be alongside the other car (wheels at helmet level) before turn-in to have right to the corner, otherwise the car in front can close the door and any contact will be your fault.
Conversely, the defender cannot close to the apex but must, instead, leave sufficient racing space if it has a car alongside before turn-in.
It is recommended to leave as much space as possible when driving side by side in order to minimize netcode issues.
Similarly, you should avoid following someone very closely into a braking zone unless you are planning an attack. Netcode contacts tend to happen in heavy braking zones. The safest course of action is to be staggered from the car in front or to be at a safe distance.


No Blocking

Blocking, defined as moving in reaction to the car behind trying to impede its progress, is harshly penalized.
Even a single move can be blocking.

Moving before the car behind is defending. Moving after it is blocking.
Blocking results in heavy penalties. Race and let race, it is more fun for everyone.


Spinning and Unsafe Rejoin

When you spin, immediately lock the brakes and then hold still until the track is clear, even if you are sitting in the middle of the track. It is much more difficult to avoid a moving car rather than a still one. Let incoming drivers worry about avoiding you, it is easier and safer. If you need to turn around, try do so off-track.
Always yield to traffic when rejoining the track. Wait patiently for a safe gap; use the relative box information (F3) to help you as needed.
Never rejoin crossing the track or perpendicular to the racing line.


Lapping and Being Lapped

Lapping requires patience and sensible driving. The single most important thing is being predictable.
Do not rely on voice or text chat (eg pass left): many drivers have the chat disabled when racing and chat is forbidden in iGPFun. I may not look at the chat but I will always look at your car, so make your intentions clear and don’t do anything sudden.

Lapping should always happen on a straight; it is safer and more efficient for both cars. Lapping in the middle of a corner costs time and carries a risk of contact.

If you are lapped, you must help the leaders through as soon as it is safe to do so.
This does not mean stopping, slowing down a lot or going off track. Safe usually means the first straight you encounter, and ‘help’ usually means lifting a little bit on the straight.

Do not lift on corner exit. It is unexpected and thus dangerous. Furthermore, cars are on the limit of control on corner exit and the lapper won’t be able to adjust his line to move around you.
Do not aim to be lapped in a braking zone, either. The lapper will have to take the corner on a sub-ideal line so he will be slower, and you too will be slow behind it.
Aim to be lapped in the middle of a straight. When the lapper is getting closer, move off-line to indicate your intentions and lift a little bit. After the car has passed you can move back on the racing line, but be careful not to hit it into the braking zone. This is the fastest and safest way to be lapped for both you and the lapper. Time can actually be gained, rather than lost, when things are done right.

Think ahead. For instance, if you have somebody approaching you on the start straight, try to help him by before reaching a twisty section where passing is much more difficult and dangerous.

A typical mistake is slowing too much to help one car, only to find yourself very slow in the middle of the corner or racing line when other cars are approaching. This is done out of kindness, of course, but can be very dangerous. Always be aware of the situation around you. You should know if there is an isolated car or a train of cars coming up to lap you. Ideally, lapping should be concluded with the minimum speed differential between lapper and lapped.

If you are lapping, be aware that cars are not required to slow down a lot and let you by as soon as you are in the mirrors. You need to get reasonably close to the other car, typically in draft range, and wait for a safe opportunity.
At times the leaders will have to sit behind a slower car for a few corners, waiting for a safe passing spot. This is not the end of the world, just learn to deal with it. You might even use lapped cars to your advantage, but we won’t get into that here.

Keep the race situation in mind.
For example: if there are two laps to go, you are leading with a 10 seconds advantage and are approaching two lapped cars battling for position, then it makes a lot of sense to sit back instead of trying to pass the lapped cars.
Conversely, if you have a 20 seconds gap to the closer car and two battling leaders are approaching you, it is a good thing to get out of the way and slow down a lot to let them lap you safely without affecting their battle.

A few examples:
– If you are being lapped and have a car close behind you on a straight you should never lift (or brake!). This will cause the other to crash into you. You can, instead, move off the racing line and gently ease off the throttle.
Please be advised that drivers will stay behind you as long as possible to exploit the draft.
The car behind starts gaining speed due to the draft when it is ~0.7 seconds away.

– If you are gaining on a slower lapped car approaching a corner, do not brake late and dive to the inside at the last moment. First of all it is not expected so the lapped car may simply close on you. Furthermore, lapped drivers often have less car control than the leaders, you don’t want to put them in a difficult situation and see them spinning just in front of you.

– A lapped car sees the leader approaching just before a set of difficult corners (the Esses at Road Atlanta, for instance). The best thing to do is to stay on the racing line and let the leaders pass only after the corners. If it will cost the leaders a second… so be it.
There is nothing worse than leaving the racing line to help the leader, lose control and end up crashing into them (it happens!).

– Lapping should always happen on a straight, never in the middle of a corner.
Side by side through a corner costs a lot of time; by contrast, passing on a straight has minimal impact.
A good strategy is for the lapped car to exit the corner normally and then lift slightly (possibly off the racing line) at the beginning of the straight, helping the leader through.
Do not lift on corner exit! The car is at the limit of adhesion on exit and the leader will have a hard time trying to change line to avoid you if you slow down.
Do not force the leaders to take an unusual line into a corner (side by side). It will cost time to both of you. Much better to lift earlier, on the straight, as written above.


No Chat during Qualify and Race

Chatting is more than welcome in practice. No talk during qualify and race, instead, not even to say ‘pass left’, ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’.
Briefly using chat to warn about a problem, like a driver blinking, is ok.


Give Way in Qualify

Traffic can be an issue in qualify, make an effort to help your fellow drivers.
Pay attention and do not hinder incoming traffic when exiting the pitlane.
If you are not on a fast lap, get out of the way of cars coming up from behind.
Contrary to the race, you must move away and lift when a car is approaching; do not wait for it to be close.
If you are setting a time yourself you don’t have to worry about faster cars behind you, instead.


Incident Points

Voluntarily driving off-track (1x) to gain an advantage is strictly forbidden.
There is an automatic drive-through penalty after reaching a certain number of incident points. The number changes every race.
Even if that number is not reached, post-race time penalties will be assessed to drivers taking advantage of off-tracks (defined as an excessive number of them).
Going off a few times by mistake is not a problem at all. Disregarding the track limits and getting a lot of 1x in places like Spa or CotA is often punished, instead.


No Driving Outside the Racing Surface

The racing surface is delimited by solid paint lines, usually white.
Voluntarily driving outside such lines to gain an advantage is against the rules and punishable (usually post-race), even if the driver does not get a 1x.
Exceptions are allowed and usually specified in the weekly race briefing. For instance, driving on the outside of Turn 1 at Watkins Glen is allowed.
Driving on the grass/sand is always illegal and will result in disqualification. This does not apply to corner exit.
Driving on surfaces like the green exit curbs present in many tracks is also ok.
The purpose is to avoid exploits, not to punish mistakes.


Penalties

Overall philosophy.

  • mistakes happen, they may get warnings (see below)
  • repeated mistakes can cause penalties
  • voluntary actions (e.g. blocking or driving off-track) are punished without warnings.
  • incidents in a pack (typically lap 1) can be penalized. Causing an accident by taking unnecessary risks early in the race, in a pack, may result in harsh penalties.
  • unsafe rejoins, typically after a spin, are sanctioned, please pay attention.


Incidents Report and Safety Points

Incidents reports are posted after the races.
The purpose is for all of us to learn from mistakes, not to punish or shame anyone.
If you want the race stewards to look at something, you must send a Private Message to Luca Varani, indicating driver name and lap (and corner if you can). No replay is necessary.

The Incidents Report shows warnings, penalties (if present) and safety points.

Safety Points are just a gross indication of the severity of an incident. They are not points deducted from the standings; there is not a fixed amount of points resulting in a penalty or else. They are also used as quick reference for stewards.
Incidents leading only to safety points are not extensively analyzed and are not discussed by a panel of stewards. If you got a 3 and think it should be a 2 (see below), don’t worry: it does not impact anything.

Generally speaking, Safety Points represent:

1 – a small mistake resulting in an accident. For instance, a driver gets 1 SP if he spins by himself and is collected by another car.
2 – the driver caused an accident directly but due to a minor mistake. A legitimate pass attempt ending in contact, for instance
3 – The driver caused an accident with a significant mistake. A late attack causing contact; squeezing the other driver off-track; rear ending another car at apex etc.
4 – A significant infraction to the rules. Blocking, pushing another driver off-track etc.
5 – Something really bad, just don’t do it 😉 Intentional wrecking would get a 5, for instance.

WARNINGS
Warnings are a way of telling a driver to have a look at what he did.

  • Minor warning, or ‘watch’: a small error causing an accident. There is something worth learning from the replay
  • Warning: you did something wrong, please don’t repeat the mistake. A bad pass attempt generally falls here.
  • Major warning: you did something very wrong; next time it might be a penalty. Corrective actions need to be taken
  • Penalty. Details are indicated. They include DQ (zero point in the past race); skipping qualify in the next race; race suspension (you cannot attend the next race) and similar.
  • Warning Lap 1 – This is a special case. You did something wrong, even minor, in lap 1. Being in the early race, it carries a more severe slap on the wrist. The purpose is to avoid troubles in the early race, when an incident can be catastrophic in a crowded field.
    If you spin on lap 1, for instance, you will get a ‘warning lap 1’ even if you only get 1 safety point (innocent mistake).

Warnings are not heavily scrutinized by a panel of stewards. If you think you should have not gotten a minor warning… just live with it; it is not a problem and it will not affect you.
By contrast, penalties are always discussed by a panel of stewards and replays are watched at length.


Broadcasts and Donations

Every race is broadcast live by ApexTV.
This is very expensive, unfortunately. Donations are required to cover the costs.
I am really sorry having to ask for this and deeply thank any donor.
Donors can

Briefly: if you want to donate EUR, use paypal or direct bank transfer to Luca Varani;
if you want to donate USD use paypal to Andy Flint
if you use any other currency I recommend transferwise (now wise), it is significantly cheaper than paypal.

Thanks again for your support!