Alex Championship runner-up & 1-time GP2 Champion
- Sep 30, 2014
I'm still in your top 5? That means that I will be outside it again.:banghead:
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the race preview for the fifth round of the Xbox One GT3 Pro Championship.
It’s been a fantastic week for many, with good news coming from the BMW camp as Orange Tiger receives his long-awaited car upgrades and Devastation is still relishing his podium finish last time out.
This week, we head to the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya for Round 5 of the championship, the half-way point of the season! This 2.8-Mile 16 turn circuit is a very popular track amongst the drivers, although some are not feeling too confident.
It’s a circuit which tests all aspects of a driver’s skill, high-speed corners, low-speed corners, fast straights with hard braking points and a couple of small but tricky elevation changes. It should certainly be a cracker of a race, and one that will provide the spectators with plenty of entertainment throughout the day. Speaking of which, this is the first daylight race we have had since 2 rounds ago at Donington back in the UK, therefore we might see some of the regular front-runners back to their dominating performances.
Last time out @FTW ShadowDemon took a dominant victory from pole position to take the lead in the championship. He now has a 17-point lead to rival @FTW XtremeStorm . It was heartbreak for Demon’s team-mate @Adam Tierney , who ran into an issue early on in the race and was forced to retire. This left him with a 42-point deficit to the leader, not far off a race victory. However, I am confident he will bounce back this week. The star of the show was @Devastation , who brought home his Mercedes in a brilliant 2nd place finish.
This week we are going to be concentrating on the teams and their overall packages, and as we approach this halfway point who is looking likely to take that manufacturers title home.
Let’s start with McLaren. It was a decent result for the British outfit in Japan. @Smithycity99 managed to bring his car home in 4th, with @t3hmightymidg3t following close behind to take 5th. Further back, @Joe XD struggled in both qualifying and the race, crashing on the final corner and ended up further down the field than he perhaps should have done with a no-stop strategy. @Wizard , the Season 1 Champion, closely followed his team-mate home in 8th. This week isn't looking that promising so far, with themightymidget crashing in practice and Smithy potentially missing the race due to illness. Leaving just Joe XD and Wizard. Although every single one of these drivers can bring home strong points week-in, week-out if they are going to mount a challenge for the title being one of the full teams this season, they will need every point they can get.
Mercedes next. The maverick in the merc showed the midfield drivers how it’s done in the previous round after finishing in second place. Demonstrating you don’t need to be the fastest driver to have a good result. Riding the waves from this finish, he’ll be looking to keep this consistency going and score as many points as possible. Being one of the three independent drivers this season, in each race he’ll probably be concentrating on just beating the other two. However, with Tiger’s M3 receiving upgrades this week, that might be harder to do in such a competitive field.
On the subject of the independents, let’s look into the newest team on the grid, Audi. It was a difficult start for them this season, in the hands of Rookie @Rick O Matic they were lapped twice on what can only be described as a race to put behind them, and push on through to the second half of the season. I personally don’t think we’ve seen the best of what the Brit can do, and I think the next round in Spain will give him the perfect opportunity to do just that.
BMW (Z4s) then, how to open this one. I think it’s fair to say that so far this season the team as a whole has underperformed, they have 4 very strong and very fast drivers, with @FTW XtremeStorm so far boosting their weekly scores up. As it stands, they are in a close battle with McLaren just behind them, as well as Aston Martin at the top. But in order to catch Aston Martin, the remaining 3 drivers aside from storm are probably have to step their game up. @Dejaeger22 conceded some penalty points this week after it was deemed by the stewards that he had caused a collision at Turn 1 on the opening lap at Sakitto last week, and @LONEST4R BK messed up his chances of a podium due to an error in strategy. Whilst @Paclik46 once again didn't race. These are mistakes which could cost them that title, especially with the midfield being as competitive as it is.
Onto RUF! As a team that were so competitive in Season 1, performances have certainly dropped so far in Season 2. Both drivers failed to make the race last-time out and between them have only scored 34 points, sitting behind two of the independent teams. In the ideal world they should be in 4th just behind McLaren, but so far they haven’t been able to capitalise on their car number advantage. Hopefully we will see them return to the grid this week in Spain.
Aston Martin are so far stealing the show. After being pretty much non-existent in season 1, they find themselves leading the manufacturers championship after 4 rounds. They have won the previous 3 races, been on pole in every round and have had drivers in the top 5 scoring really strong points. The result last week potentially could have been very different if Adam Tierney had managed to make it to the grid, as well as @Rearwing . Aston Martin look set to take the title so far, but the second half of the season may be a different story.
Finally, to the lone BMW M3 and @Orange Tiger NL . As I’ve been stating throughout this preview, this week we will truly see what the Dutchman is capable of. According to my sources, his car is now at least 1 second faster than it was previously, and if that’s anything to go by we might see him challenge for victories on a regular basis, perhaps even start to dominate. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, this week is still going to be a challenge for them, around a circuit which a lot of the field enjoys and will more than likely be very fast at.
I think this week will be the closest race we have had to date and it’s going to be really difficult to call a top 5. With my track-record not being so great so far I need to start getting some guesses right, so here is my Top 5 and pole position prediction.
Pole: @Adam Tierney
1: @FTW ShadowDemon
2: @Adam Tierney
4: @FTW XtremeStorm
5: @The Genius
*Obviously I know some of you couldn't make the race, I write it like this to make it all a little more authentic, so please don't be offended by anything I've wrote.