AOR Season 16 XB1 Oceania – Race 2 Review

Apex Online Racing’s Hype Energy F1 Leagues were back at it again last weekend as we swapped the bustling street circuit in Melbourne, for the desert lights of the Sakhir International Circuit, in Bahrain for Round 2 of the Oceania XB1 top tier.

As the sun set over the sandy dunes of Bahrain, the lights were switched on and the cars were out once again for their usual qualifying session. However, it wasn’t the qualifying session that everyone thought it would be, as it seemed that no one wanted to set a reasonable time on the red walled supersoft tires, with most of the drivers in favor the one stop strategy of starting of softs, as none of the times set by the drivers for the first fifteen minutes seemed quite like their maximum pace, the cars started to pile out of the garage to set their one and only run on the soft compound of tires, and in the end it was the reigning champion NzL Ryan who placed his Ferrari on pole with a 1:26.458, followed by DRC Jared in 2nd nearly 5 tenths shy of the prancing horse. The Williams once again showed their pace as both cars were on the 2nd row of the grid with Aitcho sitting just behind them in 5th, then it was the first of the supersoft runners of masterberzerk, and an unusual sight to see as Tiametmarduk could only get his Ferrari into 11th place, although it would favor him slightly as he could then start the race on a fresh set of any tire of his choosing.

As the cars gathered round for the sight of the 5 red lights going out, everyone got away well, but one person who managed to really make a jump for it was masterberzerk who went from 6th to 1st by the time the first lap was over, further down there was a lot of jostling and fighting for track position, and one person that came of the worst of all the drivers was BrockDoesStuff, fresh of his podium finish in Melbourne, he would find his Toro Rosso facing the wrong way coming out of Turn 3 and dropped to the back of the field, but that would only be the catalyst for what was the to, a race to forget for Brock

Another driver who’s fortunes didn’t favor them was Aitcho, as the midfield pack swooped down through the middle sector, it would appear that his Red Bull caught the kerb and was violently spit back out into the tire barriers, destroying his Red Bull and any hopes of him leaving with a decent points haul, by the end of lap 1, masterberzerk was making the most out of his supersofts as he tried to bridge a gap to the cars behind, those cars behind were the battling pair of DRC Jared and NzL Ryan, with the latter coming off better as he overtook the Mercedes on the inside of turn 4 and set his sights on the runaway Force India.

Meanwhile the other Ferrari of Tiametmarduk was making gains on his fresh mediums which he started on, making his way up to 8th by the end of lap 2, by lap 3 the focus had shifted away from the top 10 and onto the battling midfield pack of HarryRyan, QuickSilva and neontreedome, who were all jostling for p12 at the time, HarryRyan won that battle, but the kerb at Turn 12 had other ideas… This kerb has become notorious for its harshness, as any touch of the tire on it will send you violently spinning on the track, and unfortunately HarryRyan was the first to fall victim to it, as he dropped from P12 down to P17, now joining his Toro Rosso teammate in an attempt to climb back up the positions and into the points

It only took 2 more laps for masterberzerk’s supersofts to wear out, and NzL Ryan took advantage of that, sending his Ferrari up the inside at turn 1 and reclaiming his 1st place that was taken off him on lap 1, further back the other Ferrari was also making gains, this time passing the other Haas of ThatLaggyPerson into turn 1 also, seeing an opportunity RoscoArm decided to follow the Ferrari, but overcooked his entry and clipped the back of his teammate, sending him into a half spin and down to P13.

At the end of lap 4 masterberzerk look to have had enough of his supersofts and pitted early for a set of mediums, hoping to take them to the end and salvage whatever points he had lost, by starting on the faster compound of tire, after this the race seemed to settle down with only minor skirmished happening at the lower end of the field, this continued on until the soft runners started to switch out their tires for a fresh set of the medium compound of tires, the first to do so was Fendz and dropbear, who both rejoined in P8 and P9 respectively

Once the soft runners had pitted, Tiametmarduk inherited the lead, who was still to stop on the medium tyres, NzL Ryan was sitting in a net P1, just 11 seconds behind his teammate, masterberzerks strategy seemed to have worked as he took P2 from DRCJared and GREEKMASTER, Fendz and Dropbear having pitted some laps earlier to gain an undercut advantage found themselves in a net P4 and 6.

As the race hit the halfway mark the focus was switched to the battling trio of RoscoArm, Pencilman and PresidentCosby, both RoscoArm and Pencilman continued to trade places each turn, with the Force India sitting patiently behind them, waiting for them both to trip over one another. It seemed as though his patience was awarded as RoscoArm misjudged his braking into the final turn, and ran into the back of the McLaren, causing himself front wing damage and both cars taking a trip to the run off area, with the Force India waltzing away with both positions, RoscoArm had to make an unscheduled pit stop which then saw him out of the running for a top 10 finish.

Eventually Tiametmarduk made his pit stop onto the soft tires and re-emerged back in P6, with just 13 laps left, he set his sights on a podium finish, in his way were the Williams pair of Fendz and GREEKMASTER, as well as the Mercedes of DRCJared. However the Williams weren’t interested in a pacey Ferrari that was 6 seconds behind them, as they set their own sights on a struggling masterberzerk, who was coming to the end of his tire life on his mediums, he held onto P2 for a few laps, but eventually GREEKMASTER found his way past the Force India through T8, with his teammate Fendz able to take the position with a little more ease and comfort as masterberzerk pitted for a fersh set of soft tires, re emerging in P9, during that time Tiametmarduk had found his way past DRCJared and up into P4, and only 3 seconds away from a podium finish, back down in the midfield, masterberzerk was making quick use of the soft tires, as he quickly disposed as both neontreedome and QuickSilva to move himself up into P8.

Meanwhile a race to forget for both of the Toro Rosso’s as BrockDoesStuff seemed to have had enough of Bahrain, and retired the car with 3 laps to go, his teammate HarryRyan only sitting in P12 and 33 seconds behind P10, however at the front it was smooth sailing for NzL Ryan who looked to be just out for a casual Sunday stroll, with a commanding 8 second lead over the chasing Williams pair.

Although GREEKMASTER was able to close the gap down to 5 seconds in the closing laps, it wasn’t enough to knock the Ferrari man off his throne as NzL Ryan took the win in Sakhir and a healthy 25 points in the championship. The Williams pair of GREEKMASTER and Fendz crossed the line in P2 and P3 to round off the podium, while Tiametmarduk made a stunning recovery drive to finish in P4, then the Mercedes pairing of DRCJared and Dropbear crossing the line in P5 & 6, DLG Gamble made up for his errors in Australia with a best of the rest finish in P7, closely followed by masterberzerk, who’s 2 stop strategy just didn’t seem the right way to go, closing out the points were QuickSilva in 9th and neontreedome taking the final point in P10,

This means that headin into Round 3 at the Shanghai International Circuit in China, Greekmaster held a 6 point advantage over NzL Ryan with both Fendz and BrockDoesStuffsitting on 15 points in P3 and P4 respectively, Tiametmarduk moved up to P5 with his strong finish in Bahrain, and with neontreedome snatching the final point in Bahrain, this means that we only have 3 drivers who are yet to score a point, those being ThatLaggyPerson, Pencilman & HarryRyan. I certainly hope we can see them in the top 10 very soon.

In the Constructors Williams lead Ferrari by 9 points, with Mercedes, Toro Rosso, Renault and Force India sitting in P3-6, all separated by just 6 points, with the remaining teams of Red Bull, Sauber, Haas and McLaren occupying the last 4 positions. Luckily though all the teams have at least scored a point already so there’s no need to worry about anyone finishing on 0 points, not unless someone wants to pull another spy-gate fiasco.

Apex Online Racing’s Hype Energy F1 Leagues next race is at the aforementioned Shanghai International Circuit on the 14th of October. You can watch all the top leagues live on AOR’s YouTube Channel, including Tier 1 Oceania at 11am GMT!

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