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I grabbed IRL 2002 from my games libary today and hell yeah, it is amazing. I recently started an IRL 2002 Carrer with #2 Team Menards Car and will report you here about it:

Arriving for the first time ever in Florida the qualifying at the Homestead/Miami Speedway was pretty good. I drove with a really agressive setup, 13.5° Wings, the lowest possible setting and it felt good from the first moment on. My Warm-Up lap was really shitty, driving around 194 mph, while in my first qualifying lap I got around 198 mph. But my second lap was the best I ever made: doing Miami Speedway with more then 200 mph felt amazing! Also it secured me the 3rd place in Qualifying, a never expected pace for a European Rookie, so I was quite happy with the result.
The Race was amazing to drive. I started alongside one of my all-time favourite drivers, Eddie Cheever jr, and was able to defend myself until Lap 2 - then he took me and just as I wanted to gain P3 back the yellow flags came out, forcing me to stay behind Cheever and going into the pits (as everyone else did too). Unfortunately I made the error to let my pit crew put on new tyres on my car, also I changed the Wings down from 14.0° to 13.5° again which was a big mistake. Because of the tyre change I lost three positions during the pit stops and due to my cold new tyres I was forced to let Billy Boat pass me too. After that I had an amazing battle with Al Unser jr, Scott Sharp and Laurent Redon for P7-8-9-10 until the end which I won what means that I ended up 7th, while Castroneves won in front of Hornish jr and his team mate Gil de Ferran.
Of course the 7th place was not what I expected, but I'm still quite happy with the result and now I'm looking forward to the next race at the Phoenix International Raceway.
Okay here we go, I already continued with my career, this time driving at the Phoenix International Raceway.

Just in training I recognized that I hate this circuit. I never figured out how to get around the slow parts of Corner 1 and 3, but surprisingly I qualifyed on P6.
During the race a crash happened again, forcing all of us to pit at the same time, but this time my crew did an amazing job and I got from P8 to P1! My first leading lap in the IRL! But still I was the slowest car on the circuit, giving Barron, de Ferran, Wheldon and Hearn the best opportunity to overtake.
When Hornish jr tried to overtake me aswell in the last lap I had my first touch with another car in the IRL ever. He tried to overtake me in Corner 1, misjudged it and wedged his car with mine. To avoid crashing in of Jeff Ward had to break hard and sliding into Castroneves on the outside, taking himself out of the race and giving Castroneves heavy suspension damage. Thankfully the yellow flags came out so I was able to save P5, while Hearn won in front of Barron and Wheldon. Castroneves is now leading the drivers championship together with Hearn (both 60 points and 1 win) just one point in front of Hornish jr, while I am on P5 with 56 points.
Race 3 of the 2002 IRL Season at the California Speedway:

Once again (as every Circuit) a new Circuit for me and finally I made it. What I've achieved you can read below Wink
The qualifying itself was the baddest I had up to yet, securing me P12 for the race alongside Japanese Hattori, but surprisingly in front of Championship leader Helio Castroneves.
The race was pretty exciting, even if I nearly lost control at the start I was able to fight me up to P5 until lap four. The leading pack within Hornish jr, Rice, Cheever jr and de Ferran was more then a second in front of me, so I had no chance to close the gap between me and then. But once again my pit crew did an amazing job and I was close to them after the pit stops, giving me the opportunity to overtake one after another. Two laps to go I was in the lead, defending hardly against an aggressive Hornish jr, but after Cheever jr passed him things were clear - I was able to cross the finish line on P1! I've won my first IRL race ever in front of Cheever jr and Hornish jr. This also gave me P1 in the drivers championship with now 105 points while Hornish jr is now 2nd with 95 points and Cheever jr is 3rd with 87 points. I'm now really much looking forward to the next race at the Nazareth Speedway!
Race #4 of the 2002 IRL Season was the best possible weekend I could have. In Soccer everyone would say that it was a Hattrick what I achieved!

In training I felt quite confident about my pace and still with the good feeling after winning my first IRL race I told everyone that I'll get on pole and win the race. The bigger ones, in fact Helio Castroneves just laughed at me and simply said "we will see."
In fact he was the one to see who's in front of him. I gained P1 in Qualifying, more then 4 mph faster then Castroneves and de Ferran. In the race I was able to go more then a half second faster as everyone, even I lapped down one lap everyone from P10 to P24, including Eddie Cheever jr and Ryan Sharp! So I won in an astonishing way the Nazareth Race and I think I'm in love with the circuit. Castroneves finished second in front of surprisingly third Felipe Giaffone.
This means I was able to extend my chamionship lead to now 160 points while Hornish jr is still second (125 points) in front of Castroneves (119 points).

Now, with two wins in my bag, I'm really much looking forward to my first Indy 500 appearence, hoping to give the all-time favourites a hard time!
Wow, this looks pretty good and is interesting to read. Good luck to the next races.
Interesting... I played both IndyCar Series (which featured the 2002 IndyCar Series season) and IndyCar Series 2005 (which weirdly enough featured the 2003 IndyCar Series season) and I used to win a lot of races, even online when the game was still hot. Both are amazing games and it's sad that Codemasters didn't continue developing games for the IndyCar Series, especially since the series began to race on some road/street courses as well in 2005. Good luck with your career!

I have to say that I know very well how to set up your car perfectly in both games, I ran a 37.9xx once at Indianapolis, something which I never ever repeated again. In common, I sucked in qualifying but used to dominate the races. Big Grin
schumacher180 Wrote:Interesting... I played both IndyCar Series (which featured the 2002 IndyCar Series season) and IndyCar Series 2005 (which weirdly enough featured the 2003 IndyCar Series season) and I used to win a lot of races, even online when the game was still hot. Both are amazing games and it's sad that Codemasters didn't continue developing games for the IndyCar Series, especially since the series began to race on some road/street courses as well in 2005. Good luck with your career!

I have to say that I know very well how to set up your car perfectly in both games, I ran a 37.9xx once at Indianapolis, something which I never ever repeated again. In common, I sucked in qualifying but used to dominate the races. Big Grin
late reply here Tongue

IMO, the biggest problem of ICS 2002 was basically the race AI - while it was unbeatably fast with a clear road ahead and by that unbeatable in Qualifying, it just sucked racing in the pack, always outbreaking each other. Still, this game was way ahead of it's time in terms of simulation. Need to grab it again!

Btw, guess I've lost my career, unfortunately. :/