Moderator & Best Coordinator 2017
- Aug 11, 2016
The first non-snow rally of the season in Greece saw a momentous first AOR Rally victory for VBR E-sport driver JasonMcrae, whilst Race Fanatic lost ground in the championship fight.
@JasonMcrae and @Banz shared the fastest stage times with three between them, however, it was the former who was able to maintain a stronger performance over the duration of the rally, to take the victory over the new championship leader by 16 seconds.
Here’s what the Frenchman had to say about his winning performance and his expectations following on from this:
"Grabbing the win here was difficult even though the surface is my favourite, Banz and Nico were really quick. It all came down to balance the risk and the reward, push as hard as you can within the limits because it's easy to do a mistake - and they're not forgiving. I'm thrilled I won the Greece rally, especially against such fast competitors.
I will give my best for the rest of the season, Finland will be tricky and I'm looking forward to UK which is also on my favourite surface.
Thanks to coordinators and moderators, they do a tremendous job. Vive le sport auto!"
Just two seconds behind Banz in third was the two time champion @Nico, who continued his consistent start to the season, but also an unusually long spell without claiming victory. Ford Motorsport’s main man so far this season has been @Race Fanatic, however, he could only manage to be their third best driver in Greece, behind wildcard @BEGUE in fourth, and @AddictivePenguin in fifth. Sandwiched by the Ford trio was @EpilepticToast, who will be needing a big performance in Finland to resurrect his championship hopes, as he slipped to outside of a race win (26 points) to the championship leader Banz. After his third top two of the season, Banz now has an 11 point lead over Fanatic, who remains the nearest challenger despite a troubled rally in the Greek mountains. Nico remains third, a further 9 points back, but now has Jason Mcrae for company only one point behind.
Meanwhile, in the constructor’s championship it’s almost as you were out at the front, with Ford Motorsport holding a sizable margin over Team AOR. Team AOR does though remain with two wildcards left for this season, whereas Ford Motorsport are down to just one remaining. Troubles for Japp Motorsport continue; both @C-FOGARTY and team manager @Tigerkart_22 were unable to attend the Greek Rally, which has consequently put them adrift of the other teams in a firm last place.
In the second tier of the AOR Rally league, the Pro Championship, it was @Sisuvoima10 who claimed the spoils. Four fastest stage times helped him create a 13 second gap to championship leader @RCFloOm, and peg back the gap to 14 points as he moved up to second overall. @RC Benkiwi85's third place meant that the top three in the championship shared the podium.
Here are the thoughts of Sisuvioma following his first triumph:
"Well finally I managed to win. It was close one in Sweden but I lost on the last stage. I wasn´t very confident when I started to practice for Greece but in the end all went well. I did a good setup and I felt confident in the car. I had a spun on the fifth stage and lost about 12 seconds but I had a good cap to second so I didn´t need to be too worried.
Next rally will be Finland. It´s a tough one. You need to be so precise with steering before jumps so that you don´t make a mistake. Next to rallies will be pretty strong for me. Finland is still so challenging because gaps are going to be so small. Germany have been really strong rally for me. I had my first podium there in AOR Dirt Rally league 2. I believe Wales will be the toughest for me from the last three. Now I just need maintain good pace and try not to do mistakes. I think I can win the championship but I can´t underestimate the other guys. They are very quick and will fight back when ever they can. It is going to be a close one."
The Pro Championship victor will also be driving for Japp Motorsport in the World Championship as their wildcard for the German Rally.
Greece has certainly spiced up both championships as we reach the half way stage of the season, and the next challenge that the 115 AOR Rally drivers will face is Finland. Arguably, Finland is the most difficult rally of the season. It is fiercely unforgiving to mistakes, due to the high speed nature of the gravel course. Four wheel drive will be a big aid to the competitors this season, although the nature of Finland will see cars soaring through the air repeatedly, to the redundancy of the wheels. This scary combination will be sure to claim many a victim, consequently meaning that survival of the Finnish rally is a victory in itself.
The only Wildcard driver who will have the unenviable task of completing this rally twice will be @Starving, resulting in Ford Motorsport team manager Race Fanatic opting to try and increase the gap on Team AOR further before the back end of the season.
The highlights from the World Championship are available on @FisiFan91's channel, at this playlist. Between highlight videos 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 challenging Finnish Rally, and a big thank you to @JasonMcrae and @Sisuvoima10 for their help with their interviews!
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