RACE REPORTS - AOR GLOBAL TOURING CARS LEAGUE - SEASON 1 | ApexOnlineRacing.com

RACE REPORTS - AOR GLOBAL TOURING CARS LEAGUE - SEASON 1


cafcvfr

F1 Triple Champion
Dec 11, 2015
822
356
Pre-Season Report:

Touring cars are one of the world’s most common racing series, and a stepping stone for many drivers into faster, more powerful forms of motorsport. Whist the regional differences between the series are noticeable, the formula for a touring car is simple. A street car that has been converted into an out and out racing car. Successful touring cars range from the Chevrolet Lacetti in the BTCC and WTCC, to the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore in the Australian V8 Supercars series. Now, ApexOnlineRacing is proud to announce that a touring car league has returned to the Forza scene.


The series will see the hugely successful Honda Civic take on challengers from Audi with the S3 and Mercedes with their A45. 30 races across 15 rounds will decide which team, and more importantly which driver will be crowned champion at the end of the season. Each car has 2 different liveries to signify the teams that will be competing in the league. Let’s take a look at the roster heading into the first race.


We’ll start off with the first of the Audi teams, Team Audi Sport. The drivers in this team are xHaryyyyyyyy, Morvic, Keithn222 & RC Iron STARK. Team Audi Sport have a real mixture of experience and talent behind the wheel. I think most would argue that RC Iron STARK is the strongest driver in the team, particularly given his affiliation with the Real Championship eSports team. It will be interesting to see if the drivers within the team gel over the course of the season, and how the chemistry between the drivers develops. If RC Iron STARK can aid the less experienced drivers, Team Audi Sport could be a formidable force to be reckoned with. One such developing driver is xHaryyyyyyyy. Being the youngest on the grid he has the least experience behind the wheel by a long way. However, he also has the longest time to learn, and is far from the peak of his career. It will be interesting to see how he improves as a driver as a result of driving alongside drivers at the top end of the skill spectrum.



The other Audi team is Team Red Bull Racing. Quaz Tornado, JAakob_Ross17, Bio42 and VN7 GT. Now as I’m sure you’re fully aware, VN7 GT is one of the coordinators for the ApexOnlineRacing World Touring Car Championship league, alongside ElseCrib. VN7 GT is a strong driver, expected to be on the cusp of a podium position. Consistency will be key for this driver to perform well. If first corner carnage can be avoided then a podium position is entirely possible. Another strong driver in the team is Quaz Tornado. In the pre-season test races he performed well, and is expected to start the season off just as well. Hopefully he can provide some close racing with the other drivers in the league. The Audi of course has a deficit in straight line speed, however through the corners is blisteringly fast. It will be very important for both sets of Audi drivers to utilise the strengths of the car in order to mitigate the effects of the speeds. Watch out for the Audi’s on tracks such as Lime Rock (Round 7) where handling is key and carrying speed through corners will make or break your race.



Next up we’ll focus on the Honda teams. Team Pirtek Racing are comprised of matt212, klaws60, McMUFFin and Crimsixties. This team have nicknamed themselves ‘GCSE Squad’ due to three out of the four drivers having taken their GCSE exams this summer. How this will affect the team remains to be seen. Will they struggle on pace due to the lack of time spent on Forza during exams? Or will the free time they’ve accumulated now exams are over make up for this? We’ll get our first indication as to the pace of the team during the first race at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit at night. The team certainly have the potential to be a championship winning team. Despite his young age matt212 is a veteran member of AOR in comparison to much of the field. This league will be the fifth he’s entered. Although he’s been around for a while, matt212 is still yet to achieve a race win. Will this be his season?



Honda will also see Team Repsol use the Civic chassis to compete this season. Team Repsol will see cafcvfr, RickyTan, Best1ale and ElseCrib team up. RickyTan is a very fast driver, one of the fastest in the game. His affiliation with Le Mans Rennsport represents his pace. It will be tricky for other drivers to keep him behind if they find themselves ahead. ElseCrib, the founder and coordinator of the league, will be hoping to improve on his form in other leagues held on ApexOnlineRacing. He was mistakenly called ‘Elsa’ by DeathDealerS199 when he first began racing in the Mazda Mx5 Junior League. However, he won’t be letting go of his position easily during each race. Finally, cafcvfr has been riddled with connection issues across his time on ApexOnlineRacing. If the internet Gods are on his side then he may be able to challenge for a midfield position.



And so we move on to the final two teams, the Mercedes cars. First up is Team MOMO Motorsport. Team MOMO Motorsport are a very inexperienced team, with three of the four drivers having joined ApexOnlineRacing within the past 4 months. The exception to that is everyone’s favourite South African, coldestginger. First seen in the Mazda MX5 Junior League, coldestginger is the most experienced member of the team, and so may have to help the newer drivers to get up to scratch with their racing etiquette. The Mercedes is another car that struggle with the corners, however it has monstrous straight line speed. If you have a Mercedes behind you on a rack like Sebring (Round 3) then you will struggle to keep them at bay down the long back straight.



And last but mostdefinitely not least, Team Strakka Racing. Team Strakka see a large range in the skill levels of their drivers. Newer drivers such as Lee, who has only been on ApexOnlineRacing for 3 days, may need extra support. Then again he may be very very fast, it’s difficult to say as we haven’t seen many drivers race yet, including Lee. The fastest driver on the team is definitely Turbyo. His affiliations with Limitless Speed Racing will make him a front-runner is most races. His experience will be a useful asset for the team, who hopefully will learn from each other.




The first round of the season will be at Le Mans, racing around the Bugatti layout at night. It will be comprised of 2 races, with a 4 lap qualifying session before race 1. Race 2 will be a random grid order. It will be a key race as hopefully we will learn lots about how the season will shape up based on how drivers perform. Make sure you stay tuned for my report of Round 1 in the coming days.
 

cafcvfr

F1 Triple Champion
Dec 11, 2015
822
356
Round 1 Le Mans Bugatti report:


Last night saw the opening round of the ApexOnlineRacing World Touring Car Championship. The races were held at the famous Le Mans Bugatti Circuit. If the elevation changes weren’t difficult enough, the race was held at night providing a real challenge for all who took part. The event saw lots of fantastic racing, heartbreak and excitement. Here’s a recap of the evening’s races.

Before the race we were aware that McMUFFin would not be able to attend due to him being pre-occupied with his year 11 prom. Best1ale was also expected to be missing as well as Crimsixties who has been battling an eye injury for some time now. We all hope he can get that sorted soon. As a result of the absences WidowedGraph738, Riddle U and l medal l all stepped up and took part in the race as reserve drivers.

Heading into qualifying the tension was palpable as the league has been a long time coming. The initial interest thread was set up back at the start of March, and yet here we are in June, having just completed the first round of what will be a very long season. But as the drivers slowly pulled away one by one, it was clear it was going to be close at the front of the grid. Matt212, klaws60, Ricky Tan and VN7 GT all set times fast enough for pole at the moment they set their lap. In the end it was matt212 who got pole with Ricky Tan just next to him on the front row.

As the countdown lead down to go the drivers prepared for the 14 laps ahead of them. The race was short enough that tire wear/fuel wouldn’t be an issue, so there was no need to pit. Ricky Tan got a strong start, jumping matt212 heading into the Dunlop chicane. From there it was expected he would run away with the race. However, matt212 was able to keep with him. Much to everyone’s surprise, on lap 6 matt212 got back past Ricky Tan going into the double right hander that leads onto the back straight. The move was fantastically judged and saw great respect between both drivers as neither made any contact with the other, nor was either driver squeezed off track. This move was key as it allowed matt212 to control the pace for the rest of the race.

Further back down the order connection issues for ElseCrib and cafcvfr saw them both leave the race unwillingly early on. That left a lone race coordinator in the form of VN7 GT. I spoke to him before the season began about his goals for this season. He explained “I’d like at least 1 top 10 finish”. To his surprise, VN7 GT found himself having beaten his season long target in the first race of the first round. Finishing in 6th place, VN7 GT has picked up vital points for Team Red Bull Audi. His teammate Quaz Tornado also had a strong race, finishing on the third step of the podium.

In the end, matt212 was able to keep Ricky Tan behind for the remainder of the race. They finished just 6 tenths of a second apart, setting the tone for the rest of the evening. The full list of finishers is as follows:

  1. Matt212

  2. RickyTan

  3. Quaz Tornado

  4. Klaws60

  5. RC Iron STARK

  6. VN7 GT

  7. l Medal l

  8. Morvic

  9. Coldhead

  10. VenturySimooV2

  11. Turbyo

  12. Da4thSuspect

  13. Keithn222

  14. xHarryyyyyyyy

  15. DeltaApexGT
Once race 1 was over it was time to head into race 2. Whilst there was qualifying for race 1, race 2 relied on a random gid order, meaning anyone could start anywhere on the grid. Winner of race 1 matt212 started the race in 9th, whilst Morvic was able to start in pole position. Heading into the first turn klaws60, cafcvfr, coldh3ad and DeltaApexGT were 4 wide. As a result klaws60 ended up in the gravel on the outside and dropped down the grid order. There was contact between coldh3ad and DeltaApexGT at the Dunlop chicane that sent matt212 off track. Fortunately he was able to make his way through undamaged and found himself in 5th just 500ft behind Morvic.

Contact seemed to define race 2, with a large and controversial impact taking place early on between l medal l, WidowedGraph and VN7 GT. l Medal l got sideways through the right hander and as a result was hit by WidowedGraph738. In order to avoid the accident VN7 GT got on the brakes, however was hit violently from behind by another driver. This knocked VN7 GT into WidowedGraph738, where he sustained serious damage. VN7 GT was forced to pit that lap, ending any hopes of a podium finish. Tire wear and fuel meant that he would be forced for a second time during the race. I caught up with him after the race to find out his thoughts on the incident.

“I'm a little disappointed as I felt I could have gone from P12 on the grid to a Top 5 finish, but it was a racing incident and these things happen. At the end of the day I come home with a 6th place & 10th place finish so I can't be mad, my goal coming into the season was to get one top 10 finish, I've already done that now so I'm going to have to change that goal to get at least one Top 5 finish.”

Matt212 was able to continue his charge through the field. cafcvfr had been forced to let Morvic back past after he had passed outside of the track boundaries. Matt212 saw this and lept up the inside of both of them into turn 1 and into 2nd place, with only RC Iron STARK was ahead of him. Later that same lap matt212 was able to get past RC Iron STARK who put up a fair fight. The two had been side-by-side for the majority of the lap, but mat212 made his way past and into the lead. From there he won a second race, albeit Ricky Tan tried his best to spoil matt212’s evening. Unfortunately tire wear saw him fall from second down to tenth in the closing laps. I spoke to matt212 after the race about his win and what it meant to him.

“Yes! It’s finally happened after over a year in the business. Practise is what has won me my first ever race. Although I felt LMR Hybrid was quicker than me, overtaking and pace are very different questions. But yeah it’s a great feeling, the car felt so good just around the final laps, and hearing tires falling of the cliff all around me in round 2 so just nursing them to the line!”

I was curious as to whether matt212 could have kept Ricky Tan behind had tire wear not been a factor.

“I honestly am not to sure really, I don’t know how hard he was pushing to catch me during the mid phase of the race but as proven in race one if he is ahead of me I can keep up so I think if he started showing the front end into the corners I could have upped my game just a bit”.

Looking ahead at Hockenheim I asked who he believed would win the race.

“Oh I think many people could take the win here in all honesty, drivers in the Mercedes could become very difficult to pass, LMR hybrid will be looking for revenge and I don’t think we've seen the full pace of people like Tornado, Klaws, Iron Stark, Turbyo and Morvic. Then we move into the complete unknows such a Best1ale and Muffin who unfortunately couldn’t make the first weekend. I think we could see many winners this season, just praying I can stay top of the pack.”

When I spoke to VN7 GT I asked him how he was feeling going into Hockenheim.

“Unfortunately I won't be able to race at Hockenheim next week as I am away doing some development work for Jaguar and their Motorsports programme. However I'm really looking forward to the following race at Sebring, have a cheeky feeling I can grab a podium. I think LMR Hybrid will be very quick, as always, and have a strong chance of winning at Hockenheim. I also think matt212 & klaws60 will be up there fighting for the win. I'm also rooting for my teammate QuAz tornado to have another strong race weekend and maybe even grab a win”

The full order of finishers was as follows:

  1. Matt212

  2. QuAz Tornado

  3. RC Iron STARK

  4. Morvic

  5. klaws60

  6. Turbyo

  7. cafcvfr

  8. l medal l

  9. coldh3ad

  10. Ricky Tan

  11. VN7 GT

  12. keithn222

  13. Da4thSuspect

  14. ElseCrib
The next round will be held at the Hockenheim National circuit on Friday the 8th July. Personally, I think Ricky Tan and QuAz Tornado will be in good stead to win.
 

cafcvfr

F1 Triple Champion
Dec 11, 2015
822
356
Round 2 Hockenheim report:

Ok let’s just address the elephant in the room here. I am aware that this happened a week ago and so no one cares anymore, but better late than never ay? Anyway, Hockenheim. A track that splits opinions like Marmite. And just like Marmite I hate it more than Nico Rosberg hates Lewis Hamilton. The kerbs are brutal and unforgiving. In order to be fast around here you need pin point precision and incredible consistency. Therefore, heading into round 2 there were some mixed feelings amongst the drivers.

One driver who loves the track in VN7 GT. I spoke to him a while back and he revealed his love for the German circuit. However, he also revealed his heartbreak at the fact that he would be missing for the race. Instead he would be away completing work experience with Jaguar in their motorsport division. A fair enough reason to miss a race if ever there was one. Incase you were interested he was able to disclose a few renders for an F-Type GT3 car which is one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever laid eyes on.



Moving over to drivers who are less fond of the track, cafcvfr quipped quite rudely about his displeasure whilst practicing. In general there were very few forum posts about people’s disliking of the track. However, in party chat the drivers were more than happy to complain about the kerb hell. I won’t dwell on this for too long so let’s move on.

Heading into the evening, the driver to beat seemed to be Matt212. Having won both races during round 1, anyone who wants a serious title challenge needed to take the fight to him early on. If anyone could do it LMR Hybrid would probably be the one. Having taken pole during qualifying at round 1, and then following Matt for the remainder of the first race, he seemed the most likely candidate for victory if Matt was to be stopped. However, klaws60 also showed great pace in practice, actually setting a time faster than Matt’s until just hours before the race Matt beat his time.

Qualifying came and LMR Hybrid had set himself up perfectly to beat Matt. Out-qualifying Matt by just 13 thousandths of a second, he started in pole position. Rockstar Matt, a new-comer to the league qualified a surprisingly poor 14th. If you follow the GTLM league you will know he leads by quite a margin over the other drivers, and is incredibly talented behind the wheel of a car. However, he was unable to guide his Mercedes around the track to set a competitive lap. Whether a lack of practice was the cause or his car is the source of much debate, and will be discussed later in the article.

Race 1 began with everyone’s favourite pensioner Sooty commentating in the party chat. Much to everyone’s delight, his quips and comments were very amusing and helped mask what was really quite a boring race. Matt212 passed LMR Hybrid early on, leaving him following. He was lining up a move until the fatal disconnection took him out of the race. Matt lead by a long way and finished 1st. Best1ale was able to come home 2nd as a result - a great finish considering he missed round 1. Cafcvfr came 3rd despite his lack of practice. There was a battle between ElseCrib, xHarryyyyyyyy, JAaKoB_Ross17 and Damien I 92. The four drivers separated by just 1.4 seconds at the end of the race. The full list of finishers was as follows:

  1. Matt212

  2. Best1ale

  3. Cafcvfr

  4. Morvic

  5. zoMcMUFFinzo

  6. ElseCrib

  7. xHarryyyyyyyy

  8. JAaKoB_Ross17

  9. Damien I 92

  10. Rockstar Matt

  11. Bio42

  12. Keithn222

  13. Da4thSuspect
That left LMR Hybrid everything to do in the second race. The random grid order was kind to Matt and put him second, whilst cafcvfr was on pole. LMR Hybrid began much further down the grid. This left him open to attack, and attacked he was. zoMcMUFFinzo and he collided, forcing him to pit earlier than he was expecting. Strategy was what had let him down in round 1, when tyre wear saw his 2nd place converted into 10th in the dying laps.

Meanwhile Matt212 held a fantastic move around the outside of turn 1 to take the lead - something he would keep for the remainder of the race. RC Iron STARK was working his way through the field and had caught up to 2nd place cafcvfr when he was let past. When questioned about why he let him pass it was revealed that cafcvfr had track extended a number of times and felt he would let RC Iron STARK past in order to try and beat Matt. A similar situation later arose when LMR Hybrid caught up with cafcfr. Once again he was let past, this time because they are on the same team. LMR Hybrid had been fighting hard since his incident and now was challenging for 2nd. The battle with RC Iron STARK was very clean and lasted a number of laps. He wasn’t able to find a way through however and finished 3rd. The full order of finishers was as follows:

  1. Matt212

  2. RC Iron STARK

  3. LMR Hybrid

  4. Cafcvfr

  5. Best1ale

  6. Morvic

  7. JAaKoB_Ross17

  8. Damien I 92

  9. Rockstar Matt

  10. ElseCrib

  11. Bio42

  12. Da4thSuspect

  13. zoMcMUFFinzo

  14. Keithn222
After the races a clear problem was identified. The Mercedes. Out of the 8 man strong Mercedes teams, only 1 driver showed up. The others have either left the league or no showed. That is telling of the discontent in the Mercedes camp. Different solutions were offered, ranging from axing the car entirely and replacing it with an extra Audi and Honda team, to replacing the Mercedes with either the Toyota or Chevrolet touring cars. The coordinators have decided the best plan of action is to leave things as they are for Round 3 at Sebring, where the Mercedes should be dominant with its straight line speed. If there is a second season then lots of the issues will be addressed, presumable including cars and balancing. It is worth remembering this is their time coordinating a league and it is difficult. Offer constructive advice rather than complaining about things you don’t like.

Looking ahead at round 3 I doubt Matt212 will be beaten unless LMR Hybrid can avoid a disconnection and has practised enough to take the fight to him. It should be an exciting race!
 

cafcvfr

F1 Triple Champion
Dec 11, 2015
822
356
Round 3 - Sebring short:

Round 3 of the Global Touring Car League brought the drivers to Sebring International Raceway. This track is steeped in history, in particular GT racing. Now, the Florida track can add touring cars to the varied list of motorsport classes to have raced on its tarmac. Originally a World War 2 airfield, Sebring is famous for its wide straights and narrow turns. It truly is a track that’s easy to learn, but difficult to master. This is no truer than at the unforgiving final turn - a tricky hairpin that requires just the right braking and turn in points, as well as measured acceleration. Too early and you run wide into the tyre barrier, too late and you compromise your run onto the long home straight leaving you defenceless to cars behind you. Add the fact that these cars are front wheel drive and you have a monumental task to achieve a fast lap time.


Heading into round 3 matt212 seemed unstoppable in his Team Pirtek Racing Honda. Having taken 4 victories out of 4 races, it was beginning to look like no one could bring the fight to him. LMR Hybrid had tried, however connectivity issues had squandered potential victories. Could this finally be the week where matt212’s dominance was ended?


Round 2 highlighted the weaknesses in the cars, in particular the Mercedes. It was decided to leave the cars as they were for the next race evening here at Sebring. The Mercedes drivers had displayed their displeasure with the car at Hockenheim by not showing up (bar 1 driver). There was a fear that the same may happen again at Sebring amongst the coordinators. The cars were supposedly balanced at Sebring due to its straight line speed advantage, however many drivers believed this wasn’t enough to warrant no balance of performance changes to the cars.


Heading into qualifying it appeared, just like at Hockenheim, that matt212 was not the fastest driver on the grid. Infact, it was VN7 GT who was lapping around 3 tenths of second faster than the next fastest drivers. It came then as a surprise when he only managed to qualify 6th on the grid. Instead, it was LMR Hybrid who got pole, with matt212 just 0.150 seconds behind. Further down the order, the less experienced xHaryyyyyyyy managed to qualify an impressive 9th place.


As the cars rolled down the start/finish straight the tension was palpable. Who would get a good start? Would anyone mess their start up? As it turned out, VN7 GT was the biggest loser, being demoted to 8th after a poor getaway. Meanwhile, the front 4 cars had managed to get a gap to the rest of the grid of around 150ft from the first turn alone. This was down to a collision between VNY GT, RC Iron STARK and ElseCrib that had slowed the whole pack down. The front runners were battling away hard until just 2 minutes into the race cafcvfr disconnected, promoting l medal l into 4th place.


Damien I 92 was having a fantastic battle with QuAz ToRnAdO, with the pair swapping positions, but also paintwork. The hard battling resulted in Damien I 92 becoming quite frustrated as he felt the contact was unjust and outside of the rules of racing. The incidents were reviewed by the race stewards, who issued a warning to QuAz ToRnAdO for his part in the contact. However, with the hard battling, Damien I 92 had lost a lot of ground and VN7 GT was able to catch up to the back of him. VN7 GT felt he was faster than Damien I 92 and so in an audacious move he sent the car sailing up the inside into turn 1. This came after weaving from Damien I 92 as his frustration with the Mercedes was released. However, the contact caused both cars to spin out - fortunately not damaging either car. Again, the incident was sent to the race stewards who determined the contact was a racing incident and that both drivers would receive a warning for dangerous driving. Speaking to VN7 GT about the incident, he had this to say:


“I would say it was a racing incident as the move was a little optimistic from me, but I also feel Damien should've given me a little more racing room.”


RC Iron STARK was battling a recovery race after the lap 1 incident with VN7 GT and ElseCrib. After battling his way up the field he found himself behind VN7 GT going into the final turn of the final race. He had to go for a move, and so a controversial lunge took place for 7th position. There was of course contact, however both drivers felt it was within the rules as this is touring car racing. As such, RC Iron STARK finished in 7th position, demoting VN7 GT to 8th.


Meanwhile at the front of the race LMR Hybrid had pulled away from matt212 from the start of the race. However, on lap 5 matt212 got a better run out of turn 1 and got alongside LMR Hybrid into turn 2. Having the inside for both turns 2 and 3 meant matt212 was able to take the lead of the race. This sparked a monumental battle that lasted 4 laps of non stop side by side racing. The two battled hard for the next lap, until finally LMR Hybrid pieced together a fantastic move that was set up a few corners before it actually took place. He was able to get his car alongside matt212’s and forced him to take a narrow line into the s section and forced his way into the lead. matt212 didn’t take that though and managed to just about place his car inside of LMR Hybrid’s down the long straight, despite vicious yet fair squeezing. matt212 went deep into the final corner, LMR Hyrbrid went for a cutback and made it stick. Until the next corner where matt212 held the outside and took the lead heding into turns 2 and 3. From there matt212 held on and took victory once again for his fifth win of the season from 5 races. Full race results found below:


  1. Matt212

  2. LMR Hybrid

  3. L medal l

  4. QuAz ToRnAdO

  5. Damien I 92

  6. RC Iron STARK

  7. VN7 GT

  8. xHarryyyyyyyy

  9. F1xSpeed

  10. Martijn Rutte

  11. Kurzawa

  12. WidowedGraph738

  13. Da4thSuspect

  14. DeltaApexGT

Heading into race 2 and the random grid ordering, drivers were hoping for a good placing. Matt212 found himself in 7th place, most importantly next to LMR Hybrid and with the inside line for turn 1. It was F1xSpeed who found himself on pole for race 2. VN7 GT had hoped for a win at Sebring as he felt he had good pace. However, race 1 had not gone to plan and so hoped race 2 would be his salvation. Unfortunately, he found himself in 14th place out of 16. Not the start he was hoping for.


ElseCrib managed to get the lead heading into turn 1, whilst LMR Hybrid snuck down the outside of the track. Matt212 was caught out by Keithn222 and drove straight into the back of him, sending his car sideways. He regained control, but overcorrected and flew into Define x Dream, essentially pit maneuvering him. Both Define x Dream and matt212 found themselves facing the wrong way at turn 1 - not ideal. Particularly when other cars are headed your way. Fortunately not many others were caught up in the drama, and a pirouette later matt212 was on his way again. VN7 GT was able to make his way through unscaved and found himself in 7th after turn 1.


Matt212 now had a monumental challenge if he wanted to catch LMR Hybrid, seeing as he had made it through turn 1 unharmed, whilst matt212 had dropped to 12th position. Going on to the back straight, matt212 got a fantastic run and quickly dispatched of RC Steve, before catching Define x Dream on the same straight. He stuck his car up the inside and was ahead before the pair even made it to the final corner. It is worth noting both drivers had damage so this made matt212’s job easier.


Meanwhile QuAz ToRnAdO and VN7 GT were working together to make their way through the field. The Red Bull Racing drivers found themselves in an accident as they went 3 wide with RC Iron STARK through the tight turn 3. Of course there was contact, and VN7 GT yielded the position he had gained. This made the field bunch up, with 5th to 10th within around 200ft of each other. At the back of this train was the hard charging matt212. He once again got a great run out of the corner leading onto the back straight and quickly passed xHarryyyyyyyy, before Damien I 92 blocked an overtake by weaving excessively, something he was later warned about by the stewards. This let xHarryyyyyyyy back passed, who careered straight into the back of Damien I 92’s Mercedes. xHarryyyyyyyy then let matt212 and Damien I 92 past, promoting matt212 to 8th, and right behind VN7 GT.


At the front of the race ElseCrib had been passed by LMR Hybrid. This let him go and do his own thing for the rest of the race, as by 3 laps into the race he was over 1,000ft ahead of matt212, the only person seemingly faster than him. Back with matt212, VN7 GT had been held up leading on to the back straight, meaning his speed was compromised compared to matt212’s. However, VN7 GT was already going for a move on F1xSpeed, and so into the braking zone matt212 had no way of getting past. Outbraking himself for the second time during the race, matt212 once again hit another driver into a heavy braking zone. This time VN7 GT came off worse and matt212 made his way past both and into 6th. Although VN7 GT made it back past matt212 at turn 1, matt212 aggressively fought his way back past and into 6th once again.


Battling between RC Iron STARK, Martijn Rutte and QuAz ToRnAdO had allowed matt212 and VN7 GT to catch up to the three drivers. Contact at turn 1 let matt212 and VN7 GT to get past Martijn Rutte. VN7 GT proceeded to stick his car inside of matt212’s, but locked up and clattered into RC Iron STARK. Of course, VN7 GT waited and gave RC Iron STARK, giving matt212 breathing space to focus on catching the top 3.


QuAz ToRnAdO had managed to damage his brakes, meaning matt212 could capitalise tremendously into braking zones. As such, matt212 quickly made his way past him and into 3rd. ElseCrib had managed to keep 2nd since the start of the race when he was overtaken by LMR Hybrid. However, the 250ft gap to matt212 quickly increased as QuAz ToRnAdO hit matt212 into turn 1 in a horribly timed move. After a beauty of a drift was held by matt212 he was on his way, with huge tire degradation. QuAz ToRnAdO let matt212 past and so once again he was hunting down ElseCrib.


l Medal l was down in 10th but driving quickly. As a result VN7 GT had a hard time getting past. However, he got past and soon made light work of Damien I 92 who was struggling for pace. On lap 18 VN7 GT pitted, whilst Damien I 92 and l medal l waited longer and pitted on laps 23 and 24. As a reuslt VN7 GT had a 1500ft advantage over the pair when both parties had pitted.


After making a move on ElseCrib on lap 12, matt212 decided to pit on lap 18. Other drivers ahead of decided to pit later, including LMR Hybrid, the race leader. He pit the next lap. After all of the pit stops were said and done there was a 1,100ft gap to the lead ahead of matt212. It looked unlikely that he would ever catch up.


Not much happened for the rest of the race. That was until on the penultimate lap QuAz ToRnAdO hit an invisble wall and ruined his car to the point he had to retire from the race. That left RC Iron STARK to take the final spot on the podium, whilst VN7 GT was promoted to 4th. However, most importantly, LMR Hybrid took his first win of the season and finally put an end to matt212’s dominance. Will this signal the demise of matt212’s title fight? Or will it instead be just a blip on an almost faultless record? We’ll have to wait to find out. Full race finishing positions found below:


  1. LMR Hybrid

  2. Matt212

  3. RC Iron STARK

  4. VN7 GT

  5. Damien I 92

  6. L medal l

  7. F1xSpeed

  8. Martijn Rutte

  9. Keithn222

  10. Da4thSuspect

Final words are looking ahead to round 4. It was decided that Road America West would be changed to Monza Short due to the lack of a pit lane at Road America West. It was also decided that the cars would receive a tune from l medal l. It will be interesting to see if the gripes about the Mercedes are lost now that the cars have been balanced.
 

cafcvfr

F1 Triple Champion
Dec 11, 2015
822
356
Round 4 - Monza Short:


The Autodromo Nazionale Monza has been on the Formula One calendar since the early beginnings of the sport. The 10km high speed oval played host to F1 greats Sir Stirling Moss and Phil Hill during the 1950s. Over the years the track was re-designed until the iteration of the track found just outside of Milan we know today was left. Unusually for most tracks found in Europe, Monza has an infield circuit of sorts. Although rarely used, it was decided that this version of Monza would be used for round 4 of the WTCC league here on ApexOnlineRacing. Originally, this round was to be held at the West Circuit iteration of Road America. However, due to the lack of a pit-lane on that circuit it was decided that a last minute switch to the Italian staple would be made.


A new factor to play with this week was a new balance of performance tune from l medal l. He took up responsibility of balancing the cars after complaints in recent rounds of the Honda being overpowered, whilst the Mercedes was underpowered. The cars now had their own characteristics. The Honda was now much slower on the straights - a key area of concern in previous races. Meanwhile the Audi received a major straight line speed boost. The Mercedes can now corner the best of the three cars, bringing it back into contention as a front running car. The concerns of course have not entirely gone away, however they should die out once the other cars begin winning races. Monza is of course a power track and so the Honda was expected to do worse here than at any other track - would that stay true?


Heading into qualifying, it was expected that matt212 and LMR Hybrid would dominate the session. Of course, this was entirely true with LMR Hybrid putting in a fantastic 00:50.876. This put him over 2 tenths of a second clear of matt212 in second place. In fact, for a power track the top 4 positions at the end of qualifying being held by Honda drivers. LMR Hybrid was on pole, matt212 in second, Klaws60 in third and finally Best1ale in fourth. Red Bull Audi teammates QuAz GiNgE and VN7 GT lined up fifth and sixth respectively.


Lap 1 was expected to be a little chaotic to say the least. The turn is deceptively narrow, with the wide main straight narrowing to a barely two car wide lane, it was assumed that there would be contact. And contact there was - most notably from LMR Hybrid, the pole sitter. He ran wide into the tire barrier, starting a chain reaction that caught out the majority of the field. Matt212 got through cleanly and essentially ran away with the win. He didn’t need to pit during race 1 and so from that 1 move was able to take the win. Further down the field it was a little more interesting however.


A big winner from the turn 1 carnage was VN7 GT who found himself in third by turn 3. However, the biggest position gain was from zoMcMUFFinzo who managed an impressive 13th to 4th jump in the first lap. However, zoMcMUFFinzo was struggling to adapt to his new car after the tune and so damaged his engine during the caranage. His race was essentially ruined as the damage got progressively worse, leaving him defenceless on the straights - particularly the Audi’s.


The theme of contact continued on lap 3 when Damien I 92 went for an audacious dive-bomb overtake into turn 1. Surprisingly, he made it stick, although he bumped cafcvfr into the tires. Luckily for him, he was able to continue driving and didn’t lose too much time. This did however slow down Morvic enough that cafcvfr was able to catch up to him - as well as Klaws60 catching up to cafcvfr. As a result Klaws60 tried to get the run on cafcvfr into parabolica. He wasn’t able to make his way through however and the positions stayed as they were.


The next few laps went by with little action, until the end of lap 5 when a little bump from Morvic saw cafcvfr sail wide into the gravel.There was nothing malicious about the move - infact the contact was minimal. Instead it was cafcvfr looking behind to see how close Morvic and Klaws60 were that lead to cafcvfr driving straight off the track. A rookie mistake was very costly, as cafvfr released Morvic and Klaws60 and saw him fall to 11th place from 5th.


The rest of the race was mostly uneventful. Best1ale made contact with zoMcMUFFinzo whist lapping him, allowing VN7 GT and Damien I 92 to pass into 2nd and 3rd. As much as Damien I 92 tried, he couldn’t catch up with VN7 GT and so the results were as follows:


  1. Matt212

  2. VN7 GT

  3. Damien I 92

  4. Best1ale

  5. Klaws60

  6. QuAz GiNge

  7. Cafcvfr

  8. TheMorvic

  9. MartijnR2702

  10. LMR Hybrid

  11. xHarryyyyyyyy

  12. Casey Legend99

  13. Da4thSuspect

  14. zoMcMUFFinzo

Race 2 saw matt212 once again, starting on pole. This seems to be a theme of this season, as matt212 has had many favourable starting positions in the random grid race 2. VN7 GT has also had a season like a broken record player. He started dead last in race 2. However, more contact into turn 1 left zoMcMUFFinzo to let VN7 GT through to 12th place. Meanwhile the scrap behind was getting feisty. Position changes were frequent as the majority of the field was bunched together like tuna in a fishing net. Unlike in Finding Nemo, they weren’t able to work together, instead they crashed into each other fighting to get to the front.


Once again, zoMcMUFFinzo found himself stricken with engine damage and so was unable to complete the race, ultimately retiring on lap 26. However, before that he ran around the track being lapped multiple times and generally getting in the way of the other drivers.


LMR Hybrid and matt212 where having a ding dong battle on lap 4 and 5, staying within around 50ft of each other. Cafcvfr was pummeled off track by a wayward advertising board, before Best1ale and he had a coming together. Best1ale essentially pit maneuvered cafcvfr causing him to lose many positions. Cafcvfr decided not to take it to the steward spanel although was quite vocal about his displeasure at the move. He had lost 5 positions in 2 laps, finding himself in 9th. VN7 GT was distracted by his headphone cable falling out, causing him to drive straight on at turn 1. Cafcvfr was caught up in his incident, leaving him threatened by xHarryyyyyyyy. He stayed ahead, only to be spun by xHarryyyyyyyy on the very next lap in a very similar move to the one from Best1ale. Morvic and xHarryyyyyyyy went side-by-side into turn 1, causing VN7 GT to get caught up in the accident. Subsequently VN7 GT was found himself in 8th.


From lap 11 onwards people began to pit, with Damien I 92 being the first. His early pit strategy put him at risk of severe tire wear at the end of the race. LMR Hybrid pit from second on lap 19, with matt212 pitting on the very next lap. Matt212 was able to stay ahead at the pit stops. The rest of the field had pitted by lap 30, bar Morvic. He stayed out until lap 32.


LMR Hybrid had found his way through on lap 28 and was leading the race. Meanwhile Morvic had managed to stay ahead of cafcvfr at the pit stops, meaning he would come home to take the final place on the podium. Damien I 92’s early pit strategy paid off as he came home 5th. The full race results are as follows:


  1. LMR Hybrid

  2. Matt212

  3. Morvic

  4. Cafcvfr

  5. Damien I 92

  6. Klaws60

  7. QuAz GiNgE

  8. MartijnR2702

  9. Best1ale

  10. VN7 GT

  11. Da4thSuspect

  12. Casey Legend99

Overall round 4 was very eventful and exciting. LMR Hybrid recorded his second win of the season, however mat212’s dominance still remains. It will be interesting to see if he can keep the lead, or if his lead will be challenged further down the line. Next round takes place at COTA this Friday, and will mark the ⅓ of the way through the season mark, and the beginning of the front page articles from me covering the league.
 

cafcvfr

F1 Triple Champion
Dec 11, 2015
822
356
Round 5 - COTA West Circuit:

I swear this is getting worse and worse every week. This report is literally coming out AFTER round 6 has taken place. I’m very sorry and will try to get these out a lot sooner in the future. Anyway, moving on, round 5 has brought our plucky bunch of racers to the Texas race track modestly named the Circuit of the Americas. A Circuit that defines the whole of 2 continents must provide some spectacular racing in order to live up to its name. Heading into the evening that was just what we hoped for.

To give you some background, the Circuit of The Americas was purpose built for Formula One. The pinnacle of motorsports, F1 cars race where aerodynamics is king. The same cannot be said of the converted family hatchbacks that the 24 drivers in this league race in. Designed by the same man who envisioned the Bahrain, Sepang, Shanghai, Istanbul and Yas Marina circuit's, this ‘TilkeDrome’ (named after the designer Hermann Tilke) divides opinions. Whilst many enjoy the track, others think it is too artificial and doesn’t flow like the tracks it borrows corners from.

The WTCC league found itself using the less commonly used ‘west circuit’. This cuts out most of the second sector by turning left after the s-curves directly onto the back straight. In recent years this has been used by V8 supercars when they visited the states back in 2012.

Championship leader matt212 went into the race with 456 points. Staggeringly, second place (LMR Hybrid) was only on 341 points. Somehow matt212 has managed to gain over a 100 point lead on the rest of the field. In fact, third placed RC Iron STARK was on 248 points, meaning a nearly 100 point lead was between third and fourth.

Of course matt212 was the favourite to take pole and the two race wins here at COTA. During qualifying however, it was his Pirtek Racing teammate klaws60 who nabbed pole position. LMR Hybrid took second and matt212 was down in third. Damien I 92 took a particularly positive fourth place on the grid whilst the highest driver who wasn’t in a Honda was VN7 GT in his Red Bull Audi in sixth. Best1ale was starting in last due to a qualifying ban for dangerous driving at Monza short, meaning he had something to prove heading into the race!

Turn 1 at COTA is a very tight hairpin, so contact was a given. 16 into 1 is not going to work. And true to form carnage ensued. Best1ale tried to be cautious but that resulted in him being spun round by drivers he had jumped off the line. Lots of other bumping and rubbing took place but there was no other heavy contact like Best1ale sustained which was promising to see, apart from matt212. He was spun by Damien I 92 after an optimistic dive bomb from QuAz ToRnAdO in a very similar move that Best1ale endured. After a lightning start matt had found himself up the inside of Klaws60 and was about to take second. However his spin compromised his exit and he ended up fourth.

VN7 GT managed to avoid the contact and moved from 6th to 3rd at turn 1 alone. He is a driver who has been riddled with bad luck this season, and so was naturally excited to have found his way into a podium position. Meanwhile LMR Hybrid was completely untouched and so lead the race with around a 50ft advantage over klaws60.

Damien I 92 ended up 7th after turn 1 as a result of the carnage. However he fought hard and later on on lap 1 he went side-by-side with cafcvfr for a number of corners before finally making the move stick and taking 6th. Contact between VN7 GT and klaws60 let VN7 GT into 2nd, and allowed matt212 to pass klaws60 for third. However QuAz ToRnAdO spun matt212 into the next corner which saw matt212 lose lots of time and positions, dropping to 5th. He quickly repassed Morvic and Damien I 92 for 4th.

Lap 3 saw VN7 GT lose lots of time after being overtaken by Klaws60. He ran wide at turn 8 allowing matt212 to pass him without a shadow of a chance to stop him. A lap later and klaws60 did exactly the same thing VN7 GT had done on the previous lap. Once again matt212 got past klaws60 and was in 2nd. Whilst this charge for the lead was going on, Damien I 92 and VN7 GT were battling away. A real ding dong fight with positions being swapped left right and centre.

The bane of any Forza players existence is auto-spin kerbs. And unfortunately for matt212, he was subjected to one on lap 5 coming into the final corner. He careered straight into the tyre barrier completely unable to do anything to stop his slide. He lost a ton of time and was down in 6th from 2nd in 1 corner. All of this was allowing LMR Hybrid to run away with the race. Luckily for matt212, Damien I 92 and VN7 GT made contact at turn 1 and lost enough time for him to and QuAz ToRnAdO to catch up. In fact, matt212 was able to complete a triple overtake going into turn 1 as a result!

However, he now needed to fend of QuAz ToRnAdO and catch klaws60 and LMR Hybrid, the later of which was nearly 2,000ft ahead with less than half the race to go. Unsurprisingly he didn’t manage to catch up, and came home 3rd. Klaws60 recorded his first podium of the season and LMR Hybrid took his third win. After fighting his way past cafcvr and Morvic, Best1ale managed to take the checkered flag in 8th place, very respectable considering he started last. Full race results can be found below:

  1. LMR Hybrid

  2. Klaws60

  3. Matt212

  4. Damien I 92

  5. VN7 GT

  6. QuAz ToRnAdO

  7. LewisCentral

  8. Best1ale

  9. Cafcvfr

  10. Morvic

  11. WidowedGraoh738

  12. zoMcMUFFinzo

  13. Martijn Rutte

  14. CaseyLegend99

  15. xHarryyyyyyyy

  16. Keithn222
Race 2 of course has a random grid ordering, so every driver was hoping for a good slot to start the race from. Matt212 has been very lucky with grid positions so far this season, starting near the front in all but 1 of the races. VN7 GT however has been the most unlucky, starting last in 1 and near the back in the rest.

Therefore he was not happy when the race began and he found himself at the very back of the grid. And once again matt212 found himself at the front, in fact the very front. He started from pole with Keithn222 alongside.

Matt212 made the better getaway and was well ahead by turn 1. This was in part down to the contact between the Scotsman and LMR Hybrid. The two seemed magnetically attracted and fell right down the order. A huge dive-bomb from zoMcMUFFinzo sent matt212 wide and allowed cafcvfr to sneak past. He was issued an official warning from the stewards for dangerous driving for this move. More contact further down the field saw klaws60 get half-spun and lose lots of positions.

There were so many position changes on lap 1 it was impossible to keep up. The field was very racey and some, shall we say, interesting lines through corners were taken. There was also lots of contact. The big talking point was a number of large collisions that the stewards deemed worthy of being investigated. It was determined that 1 lead to the other.

To begin with, QuAz ToRnAdO cuts a corner to complete a cut-back maneuver on CaseyLegend99. He gets alongside and turns directly into CaseyLegend99 at the next corner, causing both drivers to spin. Before CaseyLegend99 could react, QuAz ToRnAdO had left the scene of the incident and returned to the track immediately without regard for oncoming traffic. As a result, he hits Morvic and spins him in a T-Bone style attack. The stewards deemed this dangerous driving worthy of a qualifying ban for round 6.

Later on in the lap klaws60 corner cut and hit CaseyLegend99 and a wall in order to avoid contact with VN7 GT. He was awarded a warning for dangerous driving. And finally Martijn Rutte received a warning for squeezing Damien I 92 out of the track boundaries causing Damien I 92 to lose many positions. And that was just lap 1…

Going into the final corner matt212 went up the inside of cafcvfr and was able to pass him for second. This left matt212 to hunt down zoMcMUFinzo. Damien I 92 was fighting his way through the field when he also came up to cafcvfr going into the final corner. The auto-spin kerb that had affected matt212 did the same to Damien I 92, except he was able to bounce off cafvfr and continue racing without a spin.

After a few laps of battling, cafcvfr allowed klaws60 and Damien I 92 to go past as he felt he was just holding them up unnecessarily. He was much slower and was prohibiting good racing. Lap 5 saw zoMcMUFFinzo run wide at turn 7, forcing him the long way around the tyre barrier. Needless to say he lost the lead to matt212.

Working his way up the field was LMR Hybrid. After lap 1 carnage with Keithn222, he was in 3rd by lap 5 after cafcvfr let him past too. zoMcMUFFinzo had lost so much time going off-road that LMR Hybrid managed to get past him too, leaving just his rival matt212 ahead. His pace was uncanny, catching matt212 by lap 7. Whenever these 2 are around each other there is fantastic racing, but this time their battling had gotten so hard they were joined by zoMcMUFFinzo, Best1ale and klaws60.

It was around this time that VN7 GT had his race ruined after an unfortunate incident with xHarryyyyyyyy. Different braking points meant VN7 GT flew into xHarryyyyyyyy’s rear, damaging both parties. VN7 GT decided not to pit to ensure he could stay on a competitive pit strategy. However, this lost him lots of time. He didn’t pit until lap 11 but the damage was done. And as if his race couldn’t get worse, lightning struck twice. This time going through the esses VN7 GT once again ploughed into xHarryyyyyyyy’s behind and damaged his car. This time the damage was worse. However, only a few laps from the finish he decided to deal with the damage rather than pit. WidowedGraph738 was forced to leave the race, gaining another position for VN7 GT, and xHarryyyyyyyy was involved with a bizarre crash which saw VN7 GT gain another position. He claimed 9th place, nowhere near where he could have done. Speaking after the race he said this:

“COTA was a mixed weekend, I improved my results in qualifying, which I am pleased with. Race 1 went well, and I am content with the result. But, once again Race 2 was awful, this time worse than I could have imagined. Bad luck seems to be an emerging pattern for me this season, can I do a Hamilton and pull it back? All I know is that I will give it my all and I guess time will tell if I can recover from these multiple seemingly endless setbacks.”

The fight for the lead continued between the 4 front runners right to the checkered flag. However it was Best1ale who was victorious, earning points for his championship and his first race win. Contact on lap 20 between LMR Hybrid and matt212 had allowed him to pass for the lead, which he would hold for the final 4 laps of the race. The battling for 2nd went right down to the wire, with matt212 coming out on top. He finished just 0.480 seconds ahead of LMR Hybrid. Klaws60 came home in 4th and Damien I 92 rounded off the top 5. Full race results can be found below:

  1. Best1ale

  2. Matt212

  3. LMR Hybrid

  4. Klaws60

  5. Damien I 92

  6. zoMcMUFFinzo

  7. Cafcvfr

  8. Morvic

  9. VN7 GT

  10. xHarryyyyyyyy

  11. Martijn Rutte

  12. CaseyLegend99

  13. LewisCentral

  14. WidowedGraph738

  15. QuAz TorNaDo

  16. Keithn222

The next round takes place at Laguna Seca on the 5th August. Is matt212’s dominance finally coming to an end? We'll have to wait and see!
 
Last edited:

VN7 GT

F1 Champion
Apr 16, 2016
734
199
NOTE:
@cafcvfr is away on holiday for both Rounds 7 & 8 of the championship. As a result you're stuck with me doing the Race Reports until he's back. Apologies for the Race Report for Laguna Seca not being posted yet, we'll get it out to you as soon as we can. :)

The AOR Global Touring Car Championship circus descended on a sunny Lime Rock Park for Round 7 of this chaotic season so far. Going into this race Matt212 was running away with the championship, over 100pts ahead of his rival LMR Hybrid. Things were still all to play for lower down the standings though, with Damien l 92, Morvic, VN7 GT & Klaws60 all looking to show that they are the best of the rest behind the front two. The Red Bull prepped Audi cars and the Momo Motorsport Mercedes cars had gorgeous new liveries heading into this race, making the grid look more vibrant than ever this season.



The Drivers headed into qualifying with varying levels of practice round the Alternate layout of Lime Rock’s legendary circuit. As always VN7 GT had put in the most practice of anyone, accumulating 150+ laps before qualifying. Other drivers such as l medal l headed into qualifying blind, having not done any practice laps. There were some drivers absent, notably LMR Hybrid & Morvic, this would provide an excellent opportunity for their championship rivals to gain some all important championship points on them. Returning for Round 7 were RC Iron STARK and ElseCrib, both had had to miss the last few races due to other commitments. The league further saw some Debutants at Lime Rock Park, including AOR Neuville in his first time out in the Pirtek Honda and Shisui in the Momo Motorsport Mercedes.

Heading into Qualifying, Quaz Tornado already knew he would be starting from the back, having to re-serve his qualifying ban after an error by the co-ordinators last time out at Laguna Seca. Damien l 92 had to miss qualifying as well as Race 1 due to other AOR Commitments. Matt212 & Klaws60 dominated qualifying, over half a second ahead of the rest of the field. However it was very close between the two of them and was anticipated to make for an exciting Race 1. RC Iron STARK qualified 3rd, just over 1 tenth of a second ahead of VN7 GT, who made an error on his final lap at the penultimate corner, which almost certainly lost him the chance of starting 3rd on the grid. Newcomer Shisui qualified an impressive 6th place on the grid followed by a returning ElseCrib. xHarryyyyyyyy also put in a solid performance to qualify in 8th place. Sadly l medal l disconnected from the qualifying session, putting him at the back of the field behind QuAz Tornado. The full qualifying results are listed below.

  1. Matt212 (00:58.163)

  2. Klaws60 (00:58.177)

  3. RC Iron STARK (00:58.717)

  4. VN7 GT (00:58.826)

  5. Best1ale (00:58.965)

  6. Shisui (00:59.156)

  7. ElseCrib (00:59.283)

  8. xHarryyyyyyyy (00:59.427)

  9. AOR Neuville (00:59.664)

  10. McMUFFin (00:59.872)

  11. WidowedGraph738 (00:59.987)

  12. Keithn222 (01:01.152)

  13. Da4thSuspect (01:02.960)

  14. QuAz Tornado (Qualifying Ban)

  15. l medal l (Did not set a time)

Now it was time for the first of two races here at Lime Rock Park. The drivers would have to complete 21 laps of this tight technical circuit, famed amongst Forza racers for the dreadful Triple Chicane. Whomever crossed the line first after 21 laps would be crowned victor and take away a vital 40 championship points.

It was a very exciting start to Race 1. Klaws60 originally had the jump on Matt212, but the 2nd phase of Matt212s launch was better than his pirtek teammate so he was able to retain the lead. Best1ale had a stellar getaway from 5th, accelerating right up behind the side-by-side Audis of RC Iron STARK and VN7 GT. ElseCrib was close behind, too close. As Best1ale darted to the inside for the braking zone into Turn 1, ElseCrib touched his rear corner, sending him sideways, sliding out of control on the grass inside the entry to Turn 1. Best1ale could not slow the car down at all, just catching the front of the Audi Sport car driven by RC Iron STARK. This caused all the cars behind to check up, all rubbing and bumping each other. xHarryyyyyyyy was pitched into a slide and was almost pushed by the rest of the pack round Turn 1. He demonstrated masterful car control to keep the car on the track and prevent a pile-up. What a chaotic start!

VN7 GT found himself in 3rd place, managing to avoid the drama at Turn 1. Meanwhile the two Pirtek Hondas remained in front, with Matt212 leading the way from Klaws60.

At the end of Lap 1 Best1ale had managed to recover to 9th place, after falling to 13th after the Turn 1 melay.

A few laps later, the front 3 remained as they were, but it was all hotting up behind them. xHarryyyyyyyy was now in 4th, he was closely followed by ElseCrib, AOR Neuville, who was doing a sterling job running in 6th, WidowedGraph738 in his new Mercedes, McMUFFin. Best1ale was now right on the back of this group of cars too. Reserve Driver l medal l was not far off this scrap either.

Inevitably there was an incident, and of course it would be at the challenging Triple Chicane. Best1ale dived down the inside of AOR Neuville upon entry into the chicane, however AOR Neuville did very well to stand his ground on the outside. In the middle part of the chicane there was slight contact, causing AOR Neuville to graze the tire wall, slowing him down. Best1ale was taking a shallow line, and as he sawed at the wheel to avoid the final tire wall on the right hand side, he collected AOR Neuville, pitching both of them into a slide. McMUFFin was left with nowhere to go and clattered into the Repsol Honda of Best1ale, causing the Italian to spin. Best1ale tried his hardest to get going again as quickly as possibly, yet he was still out of control and ended up parked against the Armco barrier on the right. After managing to get going again, Best1ale had dropped to the back of the field, after only a handful of laps, he found himself falling to last after starting 5th in the grid.

A further 10 laps later, there was once again drama, only this time for 6th place. Exiting the Triple Chicane, WidowedGraph738 was under intense pressure from xHarryyyyyyyy, with McMUFFin, QuAz Tornado & Best1ale right up behind them. Heading into the double-apexed right hander towards the end of the lap, xHarryyyyyyyy made contact with McMUFFin after they both got past the Mercedes of WidowedGraph738 up the hill. This contact saw xHarryyyyyyyy slide wide onto the grass. QuAz Tornado was challenging on the inside of WidowedGraph738 into the braking zone, but Best1ale positioned his battered Honda down the inside of the both of them! Unfortunately for the Italian, he went slightly deep, where he was then collected by WidowedGraph738 causing the both of them to run wide onto the grass, following xHarryyyyyyyy. Exiting the penultimate corner, there was further contact between WidowedGraph738 & Best1ale, with the Mercedes driver turning the Italian into the wall inflicting heavy damage. McMUFFin & QuAz Tornado were able to scamper off unscathed, and they would both finish the race in 6th & 7th.

After the 2nd collision with WidowedGraph738, Best1ale was forced to pit, ultimately re-joining right in front of Keithn222 in 12th place.

You thought the drama was over didn’t you? Well there is even more! This is just the first race! On the penultimate corner of the final lap, 5th place ElseCrib made contact with the backmarker of Da4thSuspect, this allowed Best1ale (yes, he wasn’t half in the wars in race 1) to pounce and snatch 11th position from the unlucky Brit.

In the end it was the Pirtek team-mates of Matt212 and Klaws60 who topped the podium, with the championship leader taking the win. VN7 GT brought his Red Bull Racing prepped Audi home in 3rd place, but it was a little tense at the end with intense pressure from RC Iron STARK on the final lap, who came home to finish a fantastic 4th place following his troubles at the beginning of the race. The full Race 1 results are listed below.

  1. Matt212

  2. Klaws60

  3. VN7 GT

  4. RC Iron STARK

  5. ElseCrib

  6. McMUFFin

  7. QuAz Tornado

  8. WidowedGraph738

  9. xHarryyyyyyyy

  10. AOR Neuville

  11. Best1ale

  12. Da4thSuspect

  13. Keithn222

  14. l medal l

  15. Shisui

Now it was onto Race 2, both WidowedGraph738 and l medal l failed to start Race 2, however we were joined by Damien l 92.

Race 2 is a whole different ball game to Race 1, with 42 laps, one mandatory pit stop, and a random grid order, famed for never working out for VN7 GT as well as favouring Championship leader Matt212. However things were different this time around. Klaws60 was very lucky in the random grid draw, starting 2nd. Both VN7 GT & Matt212 were towards the back, starting 10th and 12th respectively.

McMUFFin made a blistering start from 9th, flying past Keithn222, Da4thSuspect & xHarryyyyyyyy before the braking zone for Turn 1. Matt212 was able to jump VN7 GT off the start, choosing the outside line into Turn 1.

There was plenty of rubbing and bumping once again through Turn 1 and the Red Bull driver VN7 GT took full advantage, scything his way past Damien l 92, Keithn222, Matt212 & QuAz Tornado. His Red Bull team-mate was not going to let the position go easily though, challenging VN7 GT on the inside into Turn 2, they were side-by-side, giving each other jsut enough racing room. VN7 GT was finally able to claim the position on the exit of Turn 3 onto the back straight, following a bump from Matt212. QuAz Tornado lost time and as a result both Matt212 & Damien l 92 followed his team-mate through. Not a great start for the Brit.

Matt212 then dived down the inside of VN7 GT for 7th place in the braking zone for the Triple Chicane, both drivers were smart and avoided contact and lost minimal time ot the cars in front of them. Matt212 continued on his storm through the field, overtaking xHarryyyyyyyy for 6th place through the double apexed right hander towards the end of the lap.

On the following lap newcomer Shisui ran wide onto the grass in his Mercedes along the back straight, allowing RC Iron STARK to breeze past. This also created an opportunity for Matt212 to do the exact same move into the chicane he did to VN7 GT a lap earlier. That’s exactly what he did, and just as cleanly as well, kudos to Shisui for spotting the move and driving smartly.

RC Iron STARK was now challeng McMUFFin for 3rd after getting past Shisui, diving down the inside of the Pirtek Honda and nudging his way past at the long right hander. However he got a poor exit out of the penultimate corner, which allowed McMUFFin back through into 3rd. It also meant Matt212 could challenge for 4th through the final car, with a less compromised line, it was an easy move for the man in the bright orange Pirtek sponsored car.

At this stage in the race, Klaws60 was running away with it, having made a solid getaway and overtaking ElseCrib. The Hungarian was being hunted for 2nd place by the 2 Pirtek Hondas of McMUFFin and Matt212, with McMUFFin leading the way. RC Iron STARK was running in 5th place still right with the Hondas in front of him. VN7 GT was running in a solid 6th place, a little while off of RC Iron STARK.

Later on in that lap McMUFFin had an awful run going through the triple chicane, allowing Matt212 to close in on him and get past exiting the penultimate corner. At the same place one lap later, Matt212 had a great run on ElseCrib heading down the hill towards the final corner. Matt212 elected to move to the outside, ElseCrib gave him a squeeze, but he made an error. Ultimately this meant Matt212 almost turned the Hungarian, but instead causing him to go off onto the grass on the outside of the final corner. Matt212 slowed to allow ElseCrib back past, consequently allowing McMUFFin & RC Iron STARK past, however in the end the PIrtek driver would not have needed to slow down.

The Repsol Honda of ElseCrib rejoined the track halfway round the final corner, almost at a right angle to the approaching cars. VN7 GT was lucky to avoid contact, swerving to avoid the Honda, thankfully losing minimal time. However the cars behind would not be so lucky, a gigantic 5-car pile-up ensued, reminiscent of a certain incident during the British Touring Cars at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago. Many cars were left with damage, with Damien l 92, Shisui & ElseCrib forced to pit earlier than they would have hoped going into the race. Best1ale did a great job to dart his way through the calamity to gain numerous positions.

Onto Lap 6 and the battle for 2nd place was really hotting up, with RC Iron STARK, McMUFFin & Matt212 bumper to bumper through Turn 1. McMUFFin made an optimistic lunge into Turn 3, causing him to run wide upon exit and allowing Matt212 to cruise past down the straight heading towards the triple chicane. On the following lap RC Iron STARK mysteriously let Matt212 past along the Sam Posey straight, perhaps due to Matt waiting earlier where in the end he didn’t need to.

Fast forward to Lap 9 and Matt212 goes to deep into the triple chicane, narrowly avoiding the tires. As a result, both RC Iron STARK and McMUFFin gain heaps of time on the Brit. RC Iron STARK was able to blow past Matt212 up the hill with a far better exit from the chicane. McMUFFin makes a move into the penultimate corner, but accidentally turns his teammate around. VN7 GT was able to fly past the both of them, narrowly avoiding the slow Honda of McMUFFin rejoining the track. Matt212 fell even further down the field as the two Audis of QuAz Tornado and xHarryyyyyyyy were able to get past him as he was rejoining the track.

One lap later and the battle was hotting up for 5th place. QuAz Tornado challenged Best1ale down the inside, but they both got a sub-par run out of the penultimate corner, particularly the Red Bull Audi driver who got a torrid exit after being forced onto the grass. Behind them Matt212 had overtaken xHarryyyyyyyy into the same corner, but the Audi driver got a superior exit and was able to pull back ahead. They were rapidly approaching the slow Red BUll Audi in front of them, xHarryyyyyyyy elected for the outside line, while Matt212 chose the tighter inside line. Bring back memories of Hakkinen and Schumacher?

It was 3-wide going into the final corner, QuAz Tornado was forced to lift as xHarryyyyyyyy recklessly sliced across him, the two Audi drivers narrowly avoiding contact. Matt212 kept it on the inside, but xHarryyyyyyyy had more speed and moved forward into 6th place, closely followed by the championship leader.

The 3 drivers were now back on the rear of the Italian Best1ale, and Matt212 darted up the inside of xHarryyyyyyyy into Turn 2. But the youngster was having none of it, squeezing the Brit onto the grass on the inside. Through the following turn he fought back, taking a masterful line and simply outclassing the Audi driver, overtaking him into the braking zone for the triple chicane.

Matt212 then elected to pit early on Lap 14, perhaps anticipating drivers holding each other up and planning to get past them using an undercut strategy. Klaws60 waited till Lap 22 to make his pit stop, while the Red Bull driver VN7 GT did the same. The Pirtek Honda of McMuffin would pit one lap later on Lap 23, meanwhile Best1ale would wait till lap 24 and the frenchman RC Iron STARK would run a very long first stint eventually pitting on Lap 25.

After the pit stops, one thing became clear, VN7 GT had lost a lot of time. He was now behind Damien l 92 as well as Matt212. Furthermore after overtaking McMUFFin shortly before he brought his Audi into the pits, he had now lost about 400ft to the Pirtek Honda driver. But the driver he lost most time to was Best1ale, who gained 1000ft on him during the pit stops! The Red Bull Driver’s out-lap and in-lap weren’t off the pace either! Once again bad luck struck the Brit, who’s season has been plagued by misfortune. But if he thought this was bad, wait until he saw what happened later in the race.

Matt212 had a collision with Best1ale at the triple chicane on Lap 25, demoting him down behind VN7 GT. But, he wouldn’t have to fight to hard to get past his good friend in the Red Bull Audi.

Approaching Turn 1 a few laps later, VN7 GT suffered a telemetry issue, causing his car veer to the right just before Turn 1, clattering the wall and completely removing the front splitter and undertray from his car. While he did manage to resolve the issue, he had now fell over a lap behind the leader klaws60 and found himself down in 11th place. We would play you the Team Radio messages, but to be quite honest I don’t think our bleep machine is good enough to cope with the language used by the distraught Brit.

A few laps later fellow Brit Damien l 92 suffered a similar telemetry issue in his Repsol Honda exiting Turn 1. This caught his team-mate Best1ale off guard who clattered into the back of him, allowing Matt212 to catch right back up to the Italian. The Repsol Honda driver had a poor exit out of the next corner, going wide on the curb. This gave Matt212 a run, however he hit the back of the Italian infront of him, sadly damaging his front splitter and rupturing a brake line.

With 5 laps to go, klaws60 was still way out in front, with the frenchman RC Iron STARK in a lonely 2nd place. QuAz Tornado had just overtaken a limping home Matt212 for 3rd. The championship leader was struggling with tire wear too, having pitted several laps earlier than what was recommended.

The Championship leader would come home in 5th place, bringing his run of 13 podiums to an end. His teammates Klaws60 and McMUFFin would finish 1st and 4th respectively, bringing home good points for the Pirtek Honda outfit. The Repsol Hondas of Best1ale and Damien l 92 came home 6th and 7th respectively. The Strakka Racing driver of Da4thSuspect came home in a stellar 8th place for the team, capitalising from others misfortune. One of those drivers was VN7 GT, who came home in 9th place. The Red Bull Audi driver was very dejected after the race, heading straight for the motorhome.

The complete set of results for Race 2 are below.

  1. Klaws60

  2. RC Iron STARK

  3. QuAz Tornado

  4. McMUFFin

  5. Matt212

  6. Best1ale

  7. Damien l 92

  8. Da4thSuspect

  9. VN7 GT

  10. ElseCrib

  11. AOR Neuville

  12. Keithn222

  13. Shisui

  14. xHarryyyyyyyy

We came away from Lime Rock Park following a highly eventful race meeting. Matt212 has extended his championship lead over LMR Hybrid, despite having his streak of consecutive podium finishes come to an end. Klaws60 has emerged as a very quick driver, currently sat 3rd in the championship standings. The Pirtek Racing Honda Team have now also taken the lead of the constructors title from Repsol Racing Honda.

Next time out we go to Silverstone, the home of British Motorsport, for what should hopefully be some great and exciting action out on the track. With Matt212 absent, who will stake their claim as the next best driver at Silverstone? Will VN7 GT finally have some good luck?

Until next time here in the AOR Global Touring Car Championship, I’ve been Ant Gibbons and thanks for reading.