Beginners Introduction To TMR Game 2011
Last year, I entered and won the excellent Too Much Racing Game on Patrick Wooton’s Too Much Racing web-log. It strikes me that those who entered last year learnt a few things as we went such that newbies will be at somewhat of a disadvantage in earlier weeks, so I thought I would write this guide to help get debutantes into the swing of it sooner. I hope it does not seem so bewildering that it puts people off. The intended agenda is some general advice followed by some brief ideas and reference pages for the individual series/events that may prove useful for a quick or more detailed check on weekly selections depending on inclination. It should be noted that this is entirely Patrick’s game, but I am just very interfering, and take the whole thing way too seriously.
Obviously the two skills required are picking the likely suspects for each event for a particular week and how best to split the choices when there are two or more events. My first piece of advice is to choose the drivers (or teams in sports-cars) that have the highest probability of doing well based on available information (primarily previous results) and let the splits between the different series follow that. If it is a jam-packed week with four or five events, why would you want to pick any driver that you would not be slightly surprised by if they did not finish on the podium? If only a couple of events, then maybe consider which ten drivers are most likely to finish top-ten. It is worth taking a look towards the bottom of the last score-page* I did for last season at the accumulated efficiency figures for different series (which only cover the last third of the year). DTM was the most predictable series with seven drivers that finished top-ten at least eight times in eleven races, and with only eighteen cars, a minimum score of 12 points barring a DNS or DNQ result. NASCAR was the most unpredictable with only two drivers managing better than 60% of top-ten finishes, and it being by no means that exceptional for top-runners to only get one point when a week went wrong. Surely in a DTM-NASCAR week, chosing the ten drivers most likely to get the highest points would lean the selection towards more from DTM (ignoring the fact in the last such week 5-5 splits filled the top-three)? In fact, my advice would be to be very selective about NASCAR-picks, and to reiterate, pick the ten most likely to do well whatever their series (subject to the seven-driver-per-event rule).
(*I tend to do my own scores on A4, and to save Patrick and I differing on totals after the results-posts are up as happened occasionally we decided to compare notes so I post my version via my blog for Pat to look at after doing his own adding up, and they became a regular feature. Hardly anyone (except Jackie) looked at them, but I think an advantage that Pat and I had last season was both doing our own score-tables and thus better understanding why selections did better or worse, so I do recommend glancing at them if Pat continues to provide links.)
My second area of advice might seem blatantly obvious, but bear with me. Do not pick bad drivers. Most weeks there tend to be some drivers that do so well so often that it is a surprise if anyone does not pick them. Then there are drivers I would describe as solid, that they are unlikely to do badly. Generally when finishing off a selection, avoiding drivers likely to generate bad results is much more important than which of the solid drivers are chosen (since after the obvious choices, which of the solid drivers do better is much more to do with luck than anything else). Do not pick drivers you think are due a good result, or you hope will do well, or because you have heard of them. Pick drivers that in the last few comparable events have done pretty well. Do not pick nine very good to good choices and throw in a wildcard that might just make it your week; much more likely that tenth driver will not suddenly throw in a good result, whereas a bunch of solid drivers that have usually done well in the previous ten races will do more to help you win weeks or overall. My philosophy is pick drivers that even if they do have a lousy weekend, I can still feel there were good reasons for picking them. A driver that has a lousy weekend will generally do more damage to your score than the good a driver that does a bit better than expected will benefit your score, so a mindset of avoiding bad results will average better than a mindset of rolling the dice for good results.
I very much doubt anyone wants to get as involved in this competition as I have, and appreciate that people want to sort out their selections more quickly (besides most of the lead I finished with last year was caused by a few weeks when I just had outrageous luck), but below I provide the links to results-pages I would use which I hope might be helpful. Ideally, considering the last ten or more comparable results would be best, but I understand other people have lives, so maybe just have a quick glance at the results-table on Wikipedia for each driver and sack anyone that has weak results too often. I usually give some weight to how a driver did at that circuit last year, but usually more as a tie-breaker on close decisions. As the year goes on, the championship tables in each series become more indicative, although whether more or less biased to consistency-verses-outright-results than the TMRG-points is an issue. Earlier on, how they did overall last year is a stronger guide, but it helps if they did not change teams, but just try and make sure they do not have a weak record.
Even with the 80% rule, it really is not a good idea to miss weeks since differences are difficult to make back. There is absolutely no rule against making changes before the deadline, so last year if I wanted to have the benefit of the latest information before finalising my selection, for example F1 Friday practice times and the latest weather forecast, I always thought it made sense to stick in a provisional entry sooner in the week and to fine-tune it subsequently, so even if I forgot to it was not a non-entry.
Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona
This kicks off the competition and stands alone as the only Grand-Am race included in the competition. The best source of information on form is probably last year’s DP-class results table with the DIS (Daytona International Speedway) column the result for this race last year. It should be noted that DP-cars filled the top-seven overall with all other DP entries classified behind droves of GT cars, so it might be (probably not) worth a glance also at the GT-class results table, with a view to maybe including one or two. However, both classes had a very mixed time at Daytona last year with the circuit a real car-breaker, making any selection a bit of a lottery, and just hoping to get half-decent points on the board in Week One is maybe the best philosophy. (Note: Brumos have moved down to GT.)
I presume most if not all of us are well informed on F1. Who knows which of the new cars will be the more competitive, and if it will be a season of mixed results for all the top drivers like last year, or one of those years when one or two teams dominate. One of the more consistent to predict, even last year.
The TMRG-points are closely based on IRL points so the points-rankings are better quality information than others. Also, since from last year they have sub-championships for road/street results and oval results, with different drivers shining to different degrees depending which. I suspect it is worth going back over a lot of results for ovals. (I also suspect Castro Neves’s success at Indianapolis is coincidence, that if the last couple of decades were repeated his multiple wins might occur at another venue.) More predictable on non-ovals, less predictable on ovals.
Frankly, NASCAR is a bugger to predict, but with so many NASCAR rounds, even if a player is selective about choosing NASCAR picks, they really add up over the season. The following is only a rough, rule-of-thumb guide. Restrictor-plate (Daytona/Talladega) races are lotteries liable to feature big pile-ups that wipe out a cross-section of top-runners. Of the other ovals, there is a broad tendency that shorter tracks are easier to predict (relatively) and longer tracks more random in results. For road-courses, probably best to go to the NASCAR site that week and look out for an article on drivers that go well on such circuits. With the standings and round-results pages, clicking on a drivers’ name will give stats on his performance at different categories of circuits and for that weekend’s venue.
All based on Le Mans rules with multi-class fields. Pick out the reliable LMP1 cars and decent results should follow. The Peugeot and Audi works teams usually dominate the events they attend, but supposedly rule-breaks for petrol-cars might help Aston Martin keep up. The ALMS effectively combine the LMP1 and LMP2 classes apart from Sebring and Atlanta, and I did well in points in that series with minimal research, (that was with being able last year to pick more than one driver from the same car) but I believe the top-two teams, Highcroft and Cytosport, are switching cars this season. The LMS domestic teams lost me points with not great reliability. I have found it difficult to find a good news service for sports-cars, more than once regretting picks because there was info I lacked until too late.
I understand this is some form of motorised bicycle racing. Not my cup of tea. It seems Rossi is recovering from injuries, but as far as I can gather, so are all the other riders to varying degrees. That exhausts my knowledge.
(I feel awkward about allowing commenting as this is an extension of Patrick’s work. If you want to leave anything, could you please do so on the page this links from, perhaps in reply to the link comment?)