Moderator & Best Coordinator 2017
- Aug 11, 2016
The Swedish Rally saw an incredible fightback from Banz, to claim parity in the championship with Race Fanatic after this season's snow events.
Down in fourth position after two stages, @Banz was able to defy expectations and streak four success fastest stages, and claim victory of the Swedish Rally with a time of 21:45.428, a dominant twenty four seconds ahead of the nearest challenger @Race Fanatic. @Nico was able to claim his first podium of the season in third, narrowly ahead of his long term rival @EpilepticToast. This resulted in both @Banz and @Race Fanatic being on forty five points, with both @Nico and @EpilepticToast closely following on twenty nine points. After locking out the top four spots on both occasions this season, the spoils look set to be earned by one of these drivers at the end of the season.
This is what @Banz had to say about his Swedish success:
"Winning is always fun, winning after hard work is even more fun. Sweden is very natural for me to drive as a Finn. In the first stage I spun once and it made me lose a bit of confidence because of that I drove the second stage very nervous. I knew I made myself a mountain to climb with first 2 stages but I did believe in comeback and I gained my confidence back. After 4th stage I got the lead due to Race Fanatics unfortunate mistake. Rest of the rally I just enjoyed going fast in the lead. I'm really happy how the season is going. Now I just have to keep it up!"
Elsewhere Japp Motorsport wildcard driver @RCFloOm was able to be the best of the rest, albeit nearly a minute of @Nico in fourth. This ploy by team manager @Tigerkart_22 rescued what would've been another disastrous performance for Japp Motorsport, but this still wasn't enough for them to move off the bottom of the constructor's table. Ford Motorsport managed to slightly extend their gap to twenty points over team AOR with another great team display, whilst Team Lamp post were able to jump up to third place with the use of a wildcard, in the form of team manager @RBOS_00. Following two points behind is both McRae Rally and VBR E-Sport, who both have the ability of an extra wildcard still.
Out of the eighteen attending drivers in the World Championship, just two were unable to finish. As aforementioned the first was @Tigerkart_22 in stage four. Additionally, @Edwinsimo proved victim of the icy conditions for consecutive weeks in stage five, making it a disastrous start to the season for the McRae Rally driver.
Meanwhile it was @Th3HolyMoose who narrowly saw off the competition to win the Pro Championship event, with only just over a second's breathing space to @Sisuvoima10. All the stages fastest times were set by these two drivers, and with a two-four deficit in this department it was consistency across the stages that paid dividends for @Th3HolyMoose. The victory moved him up to second place in the championship, sandwiched by the PSRC1 drivers @RCFloOm and @RC Benkiwi85 who werely closely matched yet again in fourth and fifth. The remaining podium slot was filled by @Starving in third, resulting in the Swedish top five claiming the top five spots in the championship, albeit with sixty points back from championship leader @RCFloOm to @Starving in fifth.
After such a nail-biting win, @Th3HolyMoose earned himself a wildcard selection for McRae Rally and took the time to answer the following questions about this season's action to date:
Q) How did you feel you drove in Sweden?
A) I'm happy with my performance in Sweden, it's by far my favorite location and with the 2001 Subaru... It's always a pleasure! I managed to maintain a good pace and had only a few minor mistakes, a perfect way to finish my home event.
Do you feel you'll be able to maintain this form until the end of the season and challenge for the title?
Sweden is one of my strong points, and I'm not sure I can keep that pace for all locations. However I hope to continue to compete at the top for a chance at the title.
You officially are the wildcard for World Championship team McRae Rally this season, how do you think you'll fair against the elite drivers of AOR?
Driving against the elite drivers will certainly be interesting, especially since I haven't played around too much with those 2 specific cars. I'm planning on running simulations of the Monaco and Sweden rally in the car I will be using for my wildcard runs (the Ford) to see what my relative pace is to those guys. It will be an interesting 2 events, and I hope I can do good for the team!
What challenges does the Greece rally represent to you?
The Greece rally is very tricky in the 2001 Subaru from my past experience. The car doesn't handle too well at low speeds, plus it's a pretty big car which can definitely be an issue in the tighter sections of Greece. I hope I can get some time to spend on creating a setup to better the low-speed handling, but there's only so much a setup can do.
What rally are you most looking forward to this season?
Sweden was definitely the event I was looking forward most to, both because I enjoy it a lot and because I knew it was gonna be a strong point for me. From now on though, I'm not sure! While I think Wales will be my second best run, Germany can be a bit of a question mark for me depending on the car, however I'm comfortable with the Subaru there, and now I just have to hope that I can get the Ford to my liking for my wildcard run there.
You can see how @Th3HolyMoose managed to acquire victory in Sweden in the Pro Championship from his POV.
The next challenge awaiting the drivers lies in South Eastern Europe, for the Greek Rally which hosts the first appearance of gravel this season. The drivers will be able to push the limits of their cars more in Greece, with the new grip available to them. As ever though, this is rally, and the Greek Rally poses threats unique to any of the six destinations this season. In particular, rocks line the edges of the stage, and will be unrelenting to any driver that oversteps the mark. There are also drops on the side of the course in various places, making this one of the harder rallies to complete this season.
The unfortunate drivers who will have to survive the event twice this week shall be @BEGUE, @VBR Dast and @mallucm whom will be the wildcards for Ford Motorsport, VBR E-Sport and Team Lamp Post respectively. After this rally all teams but for McRae Rally and Team AOR will have used a wildcard, though Team Lamp Post will be the first team to redeem all of their wildcard options this season already.
The highlights from the World Championship are available on @FisiFan91's channel, with the Monte Carlo highlights ready for viewing already. Between highlights you can learn more about the World Championship and the Pro Championship in the forum threads linked. Remember that sign-ups will be open throughout the season to the Pro Championship here.
Good luck to all drivers for the Greek Rally, and a big thank you to @Banz and @Th3HolyMoose for their help with their interviews!
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