Pace laps depend on everyone working together. When you are in the back half of the grid, the pace lap is harder for you than those in the front. Every little mph change in front gets compounded as it moves to the rear of the field. You need to be hyper-aware and more cautious the further back you are. Follow these guidelines and there shouldn’t be problems. Any 4x car contact during a pace lap will result in a penalty.
- Constant Speed: Don’t speed up and slow down on the straights. Keep the proper pace. When the pace car is doing 55mph and you are doing 65mph, you greatly increase the chance of rear-ending the car ahead of you. Also if you are doing 30mph, you increase your chance of getting rear-ended. Keep a constant speed.
- Plan Ahead: When you are in the back half of the pack, everything is exaggerated. Think of what is going on well ahead of you. If you are on a straight, remember that the cars way ahead are already slowing for the corner. Plan ahead and know you’re going to have to slow even earlier than they are.
- No Swerving: Don’t swerve back and forth thinking you are Mario Andretti. You aren’t and it creates havoc around you.
- Use Your Brake Lights: You may not be a left foot braker but this might be a good time to use that left foot. If you slow by removing your foot from the go pedal, it doesn’t signal anything to the car that is one or two car lengths behind. Instead, use light pressure with your left foot while your right foot is still on the accelerator. This signals to the car behind you are slowing. It also helps to heat up your brakes (or should if iRacing has that figured in).
- Alternate Through Tight Corners: This really helps reduce the side-to-side bumping that occurs when two cars try to go through a tight corner.
- Communicate! : You’ve got a headset, use it. If you see those ahead slowing quicker than normal, say something. Warn those around you.
- Keep Moving: Unless your car is disabled, keep moving. Even if you are involved in a pace lap incident, keep moving if at all possible or get a tow. Stopping during the pace lap is bound to cause problems further down the field.
The info tab in an iRacing session will tell you the pace car speed and pit road speed. If everyone keeps as close to the pace car speed, the chances of incidents are less.