Introduction

Coming on the heels of the successful 2021 Ballast Point Entry Series is the 2021 Short Track Entry Series.

Starting Thursday, November 11th the Short Track Entry Series (STES) will run in November and December to finish up your racing year with plenty of action. The series will have most of the same rules that BPES ran. The car will once again be the iRacing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Entries

This series is for registered PCA Sim Racing Entry League drivers. If you are an Entry League driver you are eligible to compete! If you would like to join the series and have not joined PCA Sim Racing yet, learn more here!

Series Car

Participants will use the recently released iRacing Porsche 911 GT3 R. Since its release, the GT3 R has proven to be a favorite among PCA Sim Racing drivers. The GT3 R will use a common iRacing fixed setup, high-downforce-sprint with starting fuel of 40%. The starting fuel means all races will require at least one pit stop.

Schedule & Format

The 2021 Short Track Series will run at seven sim racing venues provided in the basic iRacing package. Drivers should not need to purchase any of the tracks in the 2021 STS. Should you not have all of these tracks in your inventory, please advise Doug Atkinson via DM on Discord.

Each event will offer an hour of practice, 10 minutes of qualifying then a 40-minute race.

Starting Time

Practice
8 PM Eastern / 7 PM Central / 6 PM Mountain / 5 PM Pacific

Qualifying
9:15 PM Eastern / 8:15 PM Central / 7:15 PM Mountain / 6:15 PM Pacific

Race
9:30 PM Eastern / 8:30 PM Central / 7:30 PM Mountain / 6:30 PM Pacific

All races will be held in the Entry League server, and only Entry League drivers are eligible to compete.

  • Race 3 – December 2nd – Tsukuba 2000 Full
  • Race 4 – December 9th – Oran Park Grand Prix
  • Race 5 – December 16th – Concord Tri-Oval
  • Race 6 – December 23rd – Summit Point Raceway
  • Race 7 – December 30th – Oulton Park Island Historic

Practice Events

There will be a practice race each Sunday and Tuesday prior to the “official” race. Starting time for the practice races is identical to the series races.

The Sunday practice races will follow the same time and format as the Thursday races.

The Tuesday practice will start at 8 PM Eastern / 7 PM Central / 6 PM Mountain / 5 PM Pacific. One-hour practice will be followed by qualifying, two heat races to practice starts and close-quarters racing, and a 30-minute feature race.

Series Points

Series Points are based on the IMSA structure for 1-30 places. Common points for positions 30-40. There is a 3 point bonus to the driver that sets the fastest in-race lap.

Entry Series Rules

This is an excerpt and edited version of the rules used for PCA Sim Racing Series Events. These rules will be in effect for the Short Track Entry Series.

Race Settings

Time of Day Temp. Sky Humidity Wind Prac. Track State Race Date Marbles Cleaned?
Morning 65°F Partly Cloudy 20% 1 mph 20% Actual Date Yes

Blue Flags

  • Blue flags are advisory that a faster competitor is following you, not a mandate or directive to pull over.
  • However, a driver who does not heed a blue flag for corner-after-corner is eligible for a blocking penalty applied by the Race Stewards.

Blocking

  • You can adjust your line one time if you have someone racing for a position trying to overtake.
  • After that, you must hold that line and allow the overtaking driver the opportunity to pass.
  • That does not mean you have to lift and let them pass, you just may not swerve back and forth to block them.
  • The penalty for blocking is a drive-through.

Rejoining the Track

  • After a spin or incident, drivers must rejoin the track safely and not affect an upcoming driver’s racing line. Be patient!
  • Do not pull back onto the track without a clear line of sight for the track behind.
  • If you cannot see far enough behind you, stay off-track in the grass and slowly drive until you get to a straight section of the track where you can see ample distance behind your car.
  • Drivers should not back their cars onto the track unless there is absolutely no option.
  • A one-second stop-and-go penalty will be applied if a driver is deemed negligent in unsafe track re-entry.

Passing

  • PCA Sim Racing uses Section 5 of the F1Metrics article, The Rules of Racing to address who owns the racing line.
  • The overtaking driver has the primary responsibility for the completion of a clean, safe pass but…
    • the driver being overtaken cannot alter his line to block the (faster) overtaking car.
    • the driver being overtaken cannot alter his line to impede the (faster) overtaking car.
    • the driver being overtaken cannot brake-check the faster overtaking car.
    • the overtaking driver cannot turn in and squeeze the overtaken driver that’s on the inside of a corner and force them off track.

Incident Points

  • Drivers will be allowed unlimited incident points during each race.
  • After 20+ points (e.g., 21), each driver will receive a drive-through penalty.
  • A drive-through penalty will be applied for each additional 10 incident points thereafter.
  • Because iRacing works on “no-fault”, both drivers involved in a contact incident will receive incident points.
  • Race Stewards reserve the right to disqualify any driver who is driving intentionally recklessly or intentionally driving in a retaliatory manner.
  • A driver intentionally driving recklessly or intentionally driving in a retaliatory manner may be reviewed by the Race Stewards.

Race Incidents

  • Incidents will be reviewed and penalties applied IN-RACE by Race Control.

Penalties

The following penalties will be applied in the race by iRacing AI and/or Race Control.

A drive-through penalty

  • blocking
  • more than 20+ iRacing incident points during a race

To clear a drive-through penalty, a driver must enter the pit lane under green track conditions with no other black flags, and pass through the whole pit lane without stopping in their pit stall. This action will clear the drive-through penalty as the driver passes the pit exit.

A drive-through penalty cannot be cleared if entering the pits while the track is under caution, but if a caution comes out while a driver is already in the pitlane trying to serve a drive-through penalty, the penalty will still clear successfully.

A one-second stop-and-go penalty

  • unsafe re-entry onto the track

A one-second stop-and-go penalty requires the driver to enter their pit, stop at their pit for one second then exit.

  • The penalized driver is prohibited from servicing the car at this time.
  • Drivers must uncheck all pitstop mechanics in the black box on iRacing, e.g., tires, fuel, etc.
  • Each penalty requiring a stop-and-go shall be considered as separate and distinct infractions and shall not be combined.

A ten-second stop-and-go penalty

  • causing an accident.

A ten-second stop-and-go penalty requires the driver to enter their pit, stop at their pit for ten seconds then exit.

  • The penalized driver is prohibited from servicing the car at this time.
  • Drivers must uncheck all pitstop mechanics in the black box on iRacing, e.g., tires, fuel, etc.
  • Each penalty requiring a stop-and-go shall be considered as separate and distinct infractions and shall not be combined.

Retirement from the race

The following items will be justification for a driver’s retirement.

  • unsportsmanlike retaliation on voice comms or by driving directly into a competitor
  • a major, unresolvable problem with a driver’s Internet connection
  • intentional wrecking or spinning of another car will not be allowed

Serving & Clearing Penalties

The Steering Committee and eDE instructors conducted an extended testing session to simulate all possible scenarios that may incur a black flag penalty. We confirm that the method to which a penalty should be served is aligned with what is already stated in the series rules. Given however the complexity of penalty mechanics by iRacing AI we provide additional context and directions for serving a penalty as follows.

To Serve a Penalty Successfully

A. Follow the penalty instructions iRacing tells you to do.

  • If iRacing tells you to “Drive-Through”, do exactly that.
  • If iRacing tells you to “Stop and Go” for x amount of time, do exactly that.
  • If you receive a Drive-Through penalty but decide to stop at your pit box, iRacing AI will NOT clear your penalty and it will force you to actually “drive-through” without stopping next time.
  • If you’re using Crew Chief, when in doubt – do what iRacing tells you to do, not Crew Chief.

B. Do not service your car under a black flag penalty.

  • By “NO SERVICE” we mean: “Uncheck” all the boxes in the service/fuel black box (F4 & F5 keys). Make sure you do not take tires in the “tires” black box. Taking service of any kind will add time to your penalty.
  • A driver may not receive service when the driver is serving a black flag penalty (all services unchecked meaning… fuel, tires, the windshield tear-off, and fast repair… are unchecked at the pit box).
  • Doing so may subject the driver to additional in-race or post-race penalties.
  • iRacing AI will assess additional time specific to the track and race conditions if a service is taken while serving a black flag penalty. This additional time is the same regardless of whether you’re just taking a tear-off or a full pitstop.
  • Example 1: You receive a 30-second penalty but as you enter the pits, the windshield tear-off box is checked – you’ll be held for an additional time (as assessed by iRacing AI). If that additional time was 50 seconds, you’d serve a total of 80 seconds.
  • Example 2: You receive a 30-second penalty but as you enter the pits, Crew Chief automatically activates your auto-refuel. Unless you uncheck the fuel before you stop, you will refuel and iRacing AI will assess an additional time penalty against you.
  • Example 3: You receive a drive-through penalty, but decide to stop in your pit, and take fuel. iRacing AI will not clear the drive-through penalty because you’ve stopped and serviced your car. You will need to drive through the pits again to clear your drive-through penalty.
  • C. Do not assume that Race Control has any idea of the reason for your penalty if it was applied by the iRacing AI system. Race Control will see a penalty is applied by iRacing, but will not know the reason for it until after the race has completed.