About three weeks ago I received my old friend the G25 racing wheel in the mail. My parents had sent it to me on my request. I barely used the wheel in the two-ish years that I was in Holland: my desk was just too unstable to make racing an enjoyable experience. My current place, however, is perfect. So for the past weeks I've been racing down the Nordschleife once more in netKar, trying to keep the car on track. Whereas I used to play netKar 0.99 namie and a very buggy version of the Nordschleife, it's not easy to get it to work on Windows 7 so I've moved on to netKar pro and a much better conversion of the track. The experience of driving netKar's Nordschleife in the middle of the night with cheap Eurobeat blaring through my headphones is as close to meditation as I'll ever get.
As it turns out, it was good practice as well, as shortly after I received my wheel, Potato announced a go-karting event. Woohoo! I hadn't done go-karting in years but was eager to get some serious racing in. As you can see from the picture above, I emerged victorious at our outing at the Tower Bridge karting track, and I am way too pleased about that so I must mention it here on this blog many many times :D
The actual racing experience was just plain weird. I've raced go-karts before in Holland, Germany and Japan, indoors and outdoors. In all my previous races the experience was one reasonably close to driving a car, and very close to driving some simulation race games like netKar and LFS. But if I had to describe tonight's race I'd have to say that the physics were all wrong. It was like driving on soap. The surface had absolutely no gripping power and the karts were sliding all over the place, even departing from a standstill. Controlling the karts was ridiculously easy though, so you could pretty much drive the entire track in a massive drift without ever hitting anything. It was incredibly fun actually, and the race was hugely challenging. It was the first time I've ever done a proper race, with practice, qualifying and then a race with a grid start. I was a great experience racing with my colleagues, and I found out that some of them are in fact also quite interested in racing sims. I'll have to pursue that a bit further.
A good evening. I'm back in the race!