I am literally a video game addict. Fortunately my wife supports my addiction. I have been playing games since 1978 when I got my first Atari 2600. I never looked back. I havnt played every game out there... but I sure have played more than my fair share.
We live in the Florida Keys where we enjoy biking, boating, kayaking, swimming, and of course driving as fast as I can...hehe
Lately I have felt a need to play something different. So I decided to try some PC gaming for a bit and take a break from my Xbox360.
I have always loved the Lord of the Rings series and being that I have a couple freinds that already play the game I figured I would too. So After downloading and installing and getting my account set up, I was all ready to delve into Middle Earth.
I began my trek as an Elf Hunter. I have always preferred the Nukers in MMORPG's. I can sit back at a distance and just pick off my enemies. Most of them don't even get a single hit on me before they are simply decimated.After my first day of playing my character is already to level 10. Not bad for a few hours of playtime.
The one thing I had never liked about the usual RPG is that the game has an end. Well in MMORPG's that isn't the case... the game just keeps going. I have always hesitated in the past to subscribe to one of these games because I simply felt that I would lose myself in them. Never to be seen again in the Xbox360 world. But Now that I actually have one of these games; I think I can make room for both.
The graphics are pretty decent even on my old beat up PC. And the musical score is not to bad either. The controls, however are taking a bit of getting used to. I didn't realize how long it had been since I played a PC game. Talk about rusty. Well needless to say after a couple hours I was starting to get back into the feel of the mouse and keyboard combo.
Overall I think LOTRO is a pretty fun game and I am glad that I got it for a Christmas present. Thanks Ma :)
And thats about all I have to say about that. Hope everyone has a great holiday!
Well I have finally finished laying down banker laps for all of B class for Forza3. For those that dont know what a banker lap is, I will explain. A banker lap is just a lap to get in the books... it is by no means a top lap.
But even with the banker laps finished I am sitting in the top 20 overall in B class. 18th is my position and I can certainly knock off a substantial amount of time in this class. Not too bad considering my wheel is broken and I am a lot slower with the controller.
Now what class to attack next? Do I go up and use faster cars...like A, S, and higher classes... or do I go slower with C, D, E and F classes. I think I will go with C class next.
If you want a good tuning set-up thats made for no assists then head over to my storefront. I have tons of tunes for B class.
Well, thats about it for today... hope everyone has a great weekend and Ill see you around the track ;)
Well being that my wheel is broken; my hotlapping has been put on hold. But I still cant get enough car porn. So, yesterday I took a couple classics out for a spin around the Benchmark Tracks for a bit of playground fun.
The first car was the 1950 Chevrolet Corvette. What an insanely beautiful automobile. A true classic.
This car was super easy to get drifting around the course (as you can see from the pic above). She was a real blast to drive and really amazing performance for a car that is about to turn sixty years old!
Second, we come to the 1957 Ferrari Testarossa. With its jaw dropping beauty this car was a real piece of art. All the way down to the wood finish steering wheel.
Maybe there's some good to come from my wheel being broken after all. I mena now I am playing forza a whole different way then I ever would have with my wheel in working order. Usually, I spend most of my time chasing (and sometimes beating) the worlds fastest ghosts. With a constant influx of cars from one of the games greatest tuners (Richie Roo) I have little time to spend actually just playing with the cars in their stock format. But with the controller I am now much slower than with the wheel so I figured I would spend some time playing around and maybe take a few pics.
Both cars were a joy to drive around like a lunatic. And I suspect that I will be doing quite a bit more of it over the next couple weeks whilst I await my new racing wheel.
As many of you have seen I havnt been around too much these past few weeks.
The reason is simple: I had to move and also we were in the midst of changing owners in our business. So, as you might expect, this has taken an extremely large amount of my time and energy.
But, no worries as I am now back in action again. I will be finishing my Nurburgring stories as well as some new adventures coming in December.
Thanks to all those who have supported me during this strenuous time. It is greatly appreciated and its good to be back ;)
Dont forget to head over to vvvgamer.com and see whats going on.
Tone's Rush to Forza3: Nurburgring Extravaganza What the Hell was I thinking? 500!!
Episode 12: Fifty laps in one day?!?!
As some of you may have read in my previous installments; I had driven twenty laps in one day a few times over now. Those events, distractions included, took me the majority of the day for each run. So what the hell was I thinking when I decided to try to do fifty laps in one day?!
With the Ring being around 13 miles in length that amounts to just over 650 miles in 24 hours or less. I was pushing for less; unless, of course, I wished to fall asleep at the wheel (again). Being that I had no desire to use the wheel as a pillow I set off bright and early. The wife was ready to help support me in my endeavor and she made me an awesome fruit smoothy for my morning energy needs. With Strawberries, bananas and Pinapple and loaded with vitamins and minerals. I was now set to begin my day of driving.
But, wait a tick. What the hell was I going to drive for fifty laps? After almost a half hour of interanl debate and browsing; My selection brought me to my all time favorite car: The Lambroghini Countach LP5000 QV. Sure I had already driven it for a lap earlier in this challenge. But, thats exactly why a picked it for a long distance run. When I drove this car in its single lap in one of my previous episodes, I remembered why I fell in love with this car to begin with. The sound of that big V12; the look of timeless 'supercarishness" (yes I think I just made that term up); The witdth of those tires. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies as a kid "Cannonball Run".
Now before we get out on the road here are the stats on this magnificent automobile:
Country of origin Italy
Chassis number KLA12700
Numbers built 657
Produced from 1988 - 1990
Body design Marcello Gandini for Bertone and Horacio Pagani
Configuration V 12
Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
Construction alloy block and head
Displacement 5.167 liter / 315.3 cu in
Bore / Stroke 85.5 mm (3.4 in) / 75.0 mm (3 in)
Valvetrain 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Bosch K-Jetronic Fuel Injection
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Chassis/body aluminum and composite body on steel tubular frame
Suspension (fr/r) double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock-absorbers, anti-roll bar
Brakes Girling ventilated discs, all-round
Gearbox 5 speed Manual
Drive Rear wheel drive
Weight 1568 kilo / 3456.8 lbs
Length / Width / Height 4240 mm (166.9 in) / 2017 mm (79.4 in) / 1070 mm (42.1 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2473 mm (97.4 in) / 1535 mm (60.4 in) / 1606 mm (63.2 in)
Power 425 bhp / 317 KW @ 7000 rpm
Torque 500 Nm / 369 ft lbs @ 5200 rpm
BHP/Liter 82 bhp / liter
Power to weight 0.27 bhp / kg
Top Speed 295 km/h / 183 mph
I was so excited as I started out. I mean I had a full day with my favorite car from childhood. I was going to make the most of it. So I began my Run at 7:32 am and as the clock struck 7:41 I crossed my first lap. Nine minutes. I was off and away, but not at a blistering pace. I began to plot numbers in my head while I was on my second lap. how much driving time would it take me to do 650 miles? At 9 minutes a lap and each lap being roughly 13 miles; I crunched the numbers in my head. I was shocked that my trip at 9 minutes per lap was only going to take seven and a half hours! Also, at 9 minutes per lap I was had an average speed of roughly 86 mph! I crossed the line on lap two at 7:49. A lap time of 8:37 seconds.
But I remembered my single lap with this car and I knew I had a 8:23.xxx and I had to start pushing myself. So I did. The next 4 laps got progressively faster. By lap seven I had managed to crawl within 2 seconds of my time of 8:23.
Lap 8 was not an improvement as I pushed to hard through the edge of the second carousel and I scooted just off of the tarmac. No harm was done; save my lap time.
Lap nine was over almost before it began. Why? Well, many of you know that first straight at the start/finish line. At that moment my mind was so focused on the speedometer that I missed my braking point and almost totaled the car of my dreams!
I came to a screeching halt just before the track ran out into the right hand turn that brings you into the pits. I stopped for a seconds and regathered myself. I took a drink and a 420. Reflecting on the fact that I almost lost myself to the "Green Hell"; I was resigned to paying a bit more attention to the road and not worry so much about getting that final mph out of the car in the long straights.
These laps went on without incident and I spent most of the time cruising at around 8:45 seconds a lap and singing Bob Marley songs. Feeling Irie I's, ya know, mon.
Lap 22 brought me back to reality as the haze in the room began to clear; so to did my mind. I realized I had driven 273 miles. I looked over at the clock and it read 10:42. So I had been driving for 3 hours and 11 minutes. I was still averaging 9 minutes a lap. Which at first I thought was kinda slow. And it is, if your trying to get that one fast lap. But this was about endurance. Finishing lap 22, I decided to pull over and have a stretch. After all 286 miles were now under my belt. I only had 364 miles left...almost half way!
I was now in uncharted territory. The only time I had actually driven this long in my life was when the wife and I drove from the bottom of Florida (our home in the Keys) to Maine. to visit her family. We left the night prior and got to North of Orlando and got a hotel for the night. The following morning we drove from the north Florida to Mass in one day! And that was going through NY and the GW bridge at midnight or so. anyway, I was thinking of that very day as I was rounding the last turn and finishing my 30th lap. But unlike the trip to Maine; I was driving all alone on a great track and not stuck in traffic through the Beltway in DC.
I was tiring. And I needed to pull over for about a half hour and take a good break. My eyes were red and dry and irritated and it wasn't from the greens. So I stepped outside into the sunshine and after about 15 seconds decided going outside in the middle of the afternoon in South Florida was not the best idea. So inside to the fresh AC and my comfy bed for a few minutes. the time was 12:24pm.
Two and a half hours later I awoke to see 2:56pm staring back at me. Slightly cursing myself I gathered my carcass off the bed and made my was back to the cockpit. After watching the above "Cannonball Run" clip again and putting on some grooving tunes; I started off again for the continuation of my trek.
After working out the cobwebs from my nap; I was able to keep a steady pace for the next few laps. My time was averaging around the 8:35 mark and I was making up for some of that lost time as a result of my slumber. 4:10 PM.
I rounded the last turn and realized that the time was approaching 4:20pm. So I pulled off to the curb and took a small break to honor the herb. As the clock struck 4:21pm I pulled back onto the road with Peter Tosh Singing the main Chorus to "Wanted Dread and Alive".
With a great mood and refreshed vigor, I began my final assault on the completion of this 650 mile run of insanity. I was flying through the laps now with an avg time of 8:29 seconds. What a great car this had been. I only had one lap left!
One thing had been noticeably absent throughout the day. I had not been interrupted by the cat. I hadn't even thought about it. Fortunately, fate was with me today as my feline friend had already been fed by the wife and was sleeping it off over on a pillow in the corner. Thankfully, I was able to pull my last lap with only 3 seconds of penalty and a lap time of 8:41. The time was 5:09.
I had actually made it through 50 laps in one day! 9 hours and 37 minutes. With roughly 7 hours of actual driving time. Also I was alot closer to my goal of 500 laps. I now had 260 laps finished. Over half way now.
Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed this episode of :Tone's Rush to Forza3: Nurburgring Extravaganza 500!! We will see you again next time.
]Tone's Rush to Forza3: Nurburgring Extravaganza 500!!
]Episode 10: A Day with the BMW M3 GTR
So up to this point I have been driving a different car for each lap. But today I felt like something a bit different. I wanted to take a single car and just drive. So I picked one of my all time favorite cars: The 2002 BMW M3 GTR.
The BMW M3's roots begin in 1986 with the first model of the BMW M3 series. Previously there was the BMW M1. However, the M1 was mired with a myriad of problems from production to performance.
BMW redeemed themselves with the M3 series. But The M3 has never been as "bad ass" as the 2002 M3 GTR. Truly a car that performs head and shoulders above the rest.
The BMW M3 has had a storied racing career as well with then following under its belt:
* World Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1987)
* European Touring Car Championship; 2 titles (1987 and 1988)
* British Touring Car Championship; 2 titles (1988 and 1991)
* Italia Superturismo Championship; 4 titles (1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991)
* Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft; 2 titles (1987 and 1989)
* Australian Touring Car Championship; 1 title (1987)
So I set out on what would surely be a long day around the ring. After all I was setting out on a momentous task. 20 laps around the ring in one day! The day was young, however, as I was up before the sun. So at 4:20 in the morning I fired up my Forza2 and sat down to what was going to be over 275 miles of driving.
As I began, I fired up some Bob Marley on the PC for some driving music. I simply cannot drive without some good tunes to mix with the sounds of my engine and brakes and tires. With the music now pouring out of my speakers; I was now able to sit back and start cruising. The first lap went of without to much trouble as I began to warm up. Taking the corners with a decent pace, but not blistering, I Felt the car and I were instantly bonded. I could feel the grip on the road and easily made short work of my first two laps.
Lap three, however was another story. As I was heading down the first set of S-curves I went in a bit too hot and lost control. fortunately, I didn't hit any walls. I merely spun around a couple times. After almost releasing my bladder, I gathered my wits and put the car back, rightly, on the track. The rest of the lap went on without incident.
Laps 4-8(94-98) went pretty smooth. This was mainly due to the fact that I was now driving with a bit more trepidation; thanks to the spill on lap three.
Lap 9 (99) I decided at this point that I was going to try to pick up the pace again. So I began to increase my pace just a bit. Fortunately, I was spared another crash. and I also increased my lap time from the lower mid 8:30 minute mark to to an 8:17.
Laps 10-13(100-103). As my Bob Marley CD wound down and my Frank Zappa kicked in; I began what I can only describe as sort of a "trip" I completely zoned out. I can only vaguely remember even going around the track during this time as my mind was lost in a myriad of sound that came from "Frank Zappa's Night at the Roxbury" I found myself comparing the complexity of Frank's music to the complexity of this amazing M3. Sure none of the comparisons I was making in my mind would make much of any sense to anyone here... but I thought them just the same. If you ever drive this car around the Ring while listening to "Penguin in bondage" you'll know what I mean.
After lap 13 I pulled over for a few minutes to take a stretch. After all I had just driven 179 miles already. I had, after all, been driving for almost 2 hours straight. So I stretched the legs and had a little 420 to get my mind back into gear. For those of you that don't know what 420 is... well, you'll just have to figure that one out on your own. Then I proceeded to slowly cruise my way around these two laps.
With a good buzz now going I thought I was flying. The key word here being thought. because after looking at my lap time for the 16th I realized that I was going a lot slower than I had thought. My lap time had dropped to a 8:45! What the hell was I doing? I wsa almost a half minute off my pace! So I set myself into concentration mode again and pushed the car as I had in the previous laps. This went pretty well as I had an 8:20 on lap 18. But then disaster struck! Coming in to the first carousel I turned in just a touch too late and the car jumped out of the bowl and flew straight into the barrier. I was ok but the car had to be taken into the pits.
After what seemed like an eternity, the car was fixed and running enough for me yo finish my laps for the day. After all, I only had one lap to go. Unfortunately, the car had had its best laps already come to pass. I got around in a decent time 8:23, but was far from my best time of the day.
So there I was finished a twenty lap stint with the 2002 BMW M3 GTR and I must say that this car is a real one of a kind sports coupe. It performs much better than even the number indicated. If you ever wanted a car that can stand with the best; this is that car.
Thanks for stopping by this week, We hope you have enjoyed today's episode and we hope that you'll check back next week.