4 months, 8 events, 16 rounds; The Delta Online Racing Supermini Championship was a marathon of a series. Starting in the early days of Forza Motorsports 7 in mid October, the game struggled to viably host community league events but the great staff at Delta pressed, on determined to give us a great series. They delivered. We watched as some of Forza’s top talent turned out week after week, racing these little hatchbacks door to door through one of the toughest fought championships to date. On January 21st, we found ourselves preparing for one final showdown to decide who would be crowned the first champion of 2018.
In one corner we had TX3 Mitch555, coming in with 5 race wins and a lead in the points championship of just over 50 points. His Corsa had been in podium contention all series long and his consistency through the weeks had earned him the top place in the Drivers Championship points. In the other corner we had JSR Commando, he was also coming in with 5 race wins but his notorious bad luck had seen him fall behind ever so slightly in the points race. Hungry and determined Commando knew he had his work cut out for him in order to overtake Mitch for the overall championship but the result would be settled on the track where anything is possible. Having started the season as a part of TX3, Commando found himself in the unique position of racing his teammate turned rival for the Drivers Championship while remaining teammates for the Team Championship.
Rounds 15 and 16 would be held in the heart of California Wine Country on the iconic Sonoma Raceway Short Circuit. The dramatic elevation changes and winding curves of the Short Circuit were sure to challenge the drivers’ skills and provide thrilling battles for viewers.
In qualifying, Commando proved to everyone that he wasn’t ready to give up on the championship just yet, posting a blazing 1:21.092 and securing himself pole position. Not to be out done TX3 Mitch555 put in an excellent 1:21.122 to take second place in qualifying and ensuring that this championship rival would not be able to escape him. A trio of TX3 members, Tactical, RiiDGE, and Switch, claimed the next three positions to complete the top 5. Another notable qualifying result was TX3 Mellish who had failed to post a clean time and found himself starting last on the grid but trying to secure 4th place in the Driver’s Championship. He would have a hard fought race as he battled upward through the grid.
With a beautiful sunset on the horizon, JSR Commando lead the field off the line and up the hill for the first time closely pursued by TX3 Mitch555. The top half of the field had a clean run through the first sector but down the pack there was a bit of shuffling. A couple of slides and bumps resulted in cars off track or spinning at turn 1. This resulted in a safety car, as the DOR Vodafone Bugatti Veyron safety car picked up the field at the end of lap 1.
The restart at the start of lap 4 was much tidier than the original start as the entire pack made it up and over the hill cleanly. As they exited turn 3 and raced down the hill to “The Chute”, TX3 Mitch555 suffered a disconnect while in second place. This disconnect would result in a DNF and give Commando the opportunity he needed to close the gap to Mitch in the championship points standings.
TX3 Tactical would assume 2nd place followed by teammates TX3 Switch and RiiDGE while ACR Suprise would complete the top 5. Drivers in the mid pack would beginning diving into the long pit lane for their mandatory quick stops in search of a clean track. The leading four would then develop a gap over the chasing ACR Suprise and VSR GGracing. TX3 RiiDGE got a great run in his Clio down “The Chute” toward turn 7a, diving inside of Tactical and taking over second place. Tactical then found himself under pressure from behind as TX3 Switch searched for a way past. Tactical held strong and Switch was the one to make an error, going up the hill to Turn 2 a small slide and sim-steering twitch saw him off the track. Switch did a great job avoiding the tire wall and regaining control of the car. He managed to rejoin the track still holding 4th place but had lost significant distance on the leaders.
As the quick stops continued the majority of the field found themselves spread out and racing against the clock as they waited for the remainder of the pack to make their stops. JSR Commando developed a few car lengths gap over the TX3 trio as they squabbled amongst themselves. The mid-race quieted down as the drivers settled in after the frantic early laps. Going for the late pit stops, JSR Commando and TX3’s RiiDGE and Switch began to have to deal with lap traffic while TX3 Tactical found himself with an open track after his stop.
To the credit of all the drivers on track, blue flags were quickly recognized as backmarkers allowed the leaders past without much delay. Commando continued to control the point, holding a few car lengths lead over RiiDGE and Switch. The question for spectators became how well had Tactical’s undercut gone and where would be be once the leaders came into the pit lane.
RiiDGE would be the first of the leading three to pit, coming in at the end of lap 16. Commando would pit the following lap and concede the race lead to TX3 Switch, who would hold his mandatory stop until the last lap. As the last lap begun, JSR Commando had reclaimed the lead over the TX3 trio. Further back in the field, a battle for 9th and 10th between ACR Dunc and TX3 Mellish resulted in a collision at Turn 4a before the chute. This reshuffled the mid-pack as Mellish recovered to run in 9th but Dunc lost 10th place to an opportunistic GTR Widowed. In a moment of lapsed judgement, RBM Yachts would attempt to spin and cross the finish line in reverse, but a misjudgement of distance would result in TX3 Mellish sneaking past him to steal 8th. In the end, Commando would hold off the hard charging TX3 Switch for the win as TX3 RiiDGE would round out the podium in 3rd.
ACR Dunc and RBM Yachts would start on the pole as beneficiaries of their mid pack finishes in Race 1 but the focus was further back in the pack to JSR Commando and TX3 Mitch555. If Mitch could finished ahead of Commando he would win the championship. The challenge was that Mitch would start 21st, at the rear of the pack while Commando would be 10th on the grid.
As race begun, RBM Yachts and TX3 Mellish would get the jump in their Clios, passing Dunc up the Turn 1 hill. The YTMV Racing teammates, Yachts and Mellish would battle door to door for the first half of the lap. Yachts would assert his better track position and take the lead as Mellish fell back a few car lengths to battle with ACR Dunc. Running in fourth, TX3 RiiDGE would be the unfortunate man in the middle, receiving a bump from TX3 Tactical entering Turn 8. In his attempt to counter the slide, RiiDGE had a sim-steering twitch that flung him into the tire wall dropping him rapidly down the race order. TX3 Mellish would also have a close call through the S-curves but managed to keep it out of the wall.
The man to watch, TX3 Mitch555 had a blazing start and was up to 11th place before jumping into the pit lane at the end of lap 1. His championship rival JSR Commando stayed on track but was only a few positions ahead in 8th. RBM Yachts still held the lead followed by ACR Dunc, ACR Suprise, and TX3 Tactical. TX3 Switch would lead the chase pack of early pitters with Mesasphere, and Mitch555.
A small error by ACR Dunc in Turn 9 would see ACR Suprise go through to second as TX3 Tactical and JSR Commando would pit at the end of lap 2. While in the chase pack, Mitch555 had gotten past Mesasphere. TX3 Tactical emerged from the pit lane in front of TX3 Switch, then JSR Commando and Mitch555. That blazing start and immediate quick stop had done its job as Mitch now was right on Commando. Yachts would then pit, handing the lead to ACR Suprise with teammate ACR Dunc following in second. THR Chirpchirp was quietly putting in a strong performance running in third place.
Exiting the pit lane, Yachts would be in 10th place and hold the lead of the chase pack over TX3 Tactical. Later in the lap, JSR Commando would challenge TX3 Switch for position through the S-curves and have a slide after contact. TX3 Mitch555 jumped on the opportunity and passing Commando as he recovered. However, TX3 Mellish and ACR Dunc emerge from the pit amidst this battle and it appeared as if TX3 Mellish might have desynced at this time as Mitch555 was forced to take a peculiar line through Turn 2 allowing JSR Commando back past.
TX3 Tactical had caught RBM Yachts and they battled for half a lap until Yachts went wide out of Turn 10 and Tactical took the position into the hairpin. Closely behind, Mellish had a collision with Commando which also forced Mitch555 into the tire barrier, causing him to lose a position and significant distance of Commando. THR Chirpchirp would then emerge from the pits in front of Mitch555 making his task to catch Commando that much harder.
TX3 Switch got alongside RBM Yachts at Turn 2 finishing the move into Turn 3 to take 8th in the order. At the front ACR Suprise still charged on hoping to use the open track to his advantage and distance himself from the chasing pack. JSR Commando would be the next to challenge RBM Yachts as Tactical and Switch tried to distance themselves from the group. It would take Commando an entire lap to find a way past Yachts, finally making the move on the inside into the hairpin.
As the laps wore on ACR Suprise remained in the lead, while TX3’s Tactical and Switch lead the chase pack. Mitch555 managed to reel in RBM Yachts and TX3 Mellish and back the pass on both through the hairpin. TX3 RiiDGE was running a great recovery race after his first lap incident was running 8th behind Yachts.
It was now time for the moment of the race, while running in 7th, RBM Yachts made a mistake running wide at Turn 9. Tracking through the grass, his car hit a small bump that caused it to go airborne, the front splitter then caught the turf sending his Clio into a spectacular series of front flips, finally coming to rest on the opposite side of the track. Utterly destroying his car, Yachts would have to make his second stop of the race placing him at the rear of the field. TX3 Mellish would also drop out of the race around this time having realized the desyncing issue and not wanting to interfere with the championship race accidentally.
ACR Suprise still held the lead with Tactical, Switch and Commando giving chase. Tactical was defending fiercely as Switch searched for an opportunity to pass, finally finding his chance by diving to the inside while braking for the hairpin. JSR Commando tried to follow Switch through but exited the hairpin alongside Tactical. Commando applied a bit of a squeeze on Tactical through Turn 12 that unfortunately resulted in Tactical clipping the interior wall, sim-twitching, and connecting with the outside wall. This severely damaged Tactical’s Corsa and ultimately forced him to retire from the race. TX3 Mitch555 narrowly missed the spinning Tactical and continued his attempt to chase down Commando as the laps ran out.
Commando would continue to pursue Swift for 2nd while ACR Suprise continued to lead before taking a late quick stop. Mitch555 lurked behind the battling Swift and Commando but was just a little to far back to really get into the mix of it. As Suprise pit on the end of late 18, Commando came around to assume the lead for the last lap having made the pass on Swift on the penultimate lap.
As Commando crossed the line in first and Mitch555 followed him through in second, the Driver’s Champion results were in question. Had Mitch555 done enough to hold of Commando for the win or once the drop rounds were calculated had Commando plucked the Championship away in the last race? After a few moments, the staff at Delta announced that JSR Commando had outscored TX3 Mitch555 by just two points to claim the Driver’s Championship. A stunning come from behind victory. While the result is unfortunately effected by a technical issue like a disconnect this is the sim-racing equivalent to a mechanical failure in real world motorsports, simply coming down to bad luck and randomly affects all drivers. TX3 RiiDGE came away with 3rd place in the Driver's Championship and for the Team Championship there was no doubt who had won. The Virtual Drivers by TX3 team of JSR Commando, TX3 Mitch555, and TX3 RiiDGE took a dominating win by nearly 900 points over second place YMTV Racing.
This was a fantastic end to an excellent series that displaced some of Forza Motorsports 7 top tier talent in an epic championship battle that is sure to inspire rematches in the future.
Congratulations to JSR Commando on winning the Delta Online Racing Supermini Championship and being our first champion of 2018.
Thanks to THR Chirpchirp, Mesasphere, and VSR GGracing for sharing race replays this week. Also, a special thanks to our hosts, the Delta Online Racing staff and organization, it was a great season and we look forward to the Superminis returning in the future.
Recap Written By AJ "Ajax" Allen
For the penultimate round of the Delta Online Racing Supermini Championship, the drivers headed to Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires, home to the formidable, Circuit de Prague street course. Featuring narrow cobblestone streets, bridges across the Vltava River, and of historic views of the Czech capital. The most treacherous section of the short layout is the tight chicane near the end of the lap. Dubbed the “Medusa’s Gaze Chicane” by RBM Yachts for its curse-like ability to create chaos and destroy cars, it featured prominently in both races testing the driver’s nerves and skill every lap.
In the points standings for the Driver’s Championship, we had a handful of developing stories to keep an eye on. TX3 Mitch555 had developed a 48 point cushion over JSR Commando at the top but Prague has the capability to turn everything on its head in the blink of an eye, so Commando was hoping for a strong performance and a bit of luck. Looking further down the table, the battle for 5th between GTR Warwick and TX3 Switch was only being decided by 1 point and just below that AMS Murks and Mesasphere were tied for 7th with TX3 Tactical lurking just 4 points behind them. As the penultimate round, Prague was sure to shake up the standing and pressure the drivers to push their cars to the limit.
A difficult track for qualifying with the seemingly inconsistent track limits through the chicane section, the drivers had to find a perfect balance to avoid dirtying their laps. JSR Commando once again proved his quality taking the pole position with the only lap under 1:04 but his championship rival TX3 Mitch555 would start just beside him in second. TX3 followed up Mitch555 with the rest of their drivers seizing the next 4 positions on the grid. LazyDandy also had a great qualifying session coming in at 11th as the lone privateer to make Lobby A. Glaringly missing from qualifying was TX3 Tactical who sat 9th in points and internet issues would keep him out of the racing for this round.
The start saw the entire pack have a great launch without any major incidents. The first minor bump came around the final turn “Old Town Square” when in a mid pack battle, THR Chirpchirp and TX3 Bilysoo had a coming together resulting in Chirpchirp spinning and collecting VSR GGRacing. None seemed to gather any significant damage though a few drivers dove into the pit lane for a early quickstop.
After lap 1, JSR Commando held the lead followed closely by TX3 Mellish and TX3 RiiDGE. TX3 Bilysoo had fallen backward to 5th after his 3rd place start, racing behind RBM Yachts. TX3 Mellish relinquished 2nd place the following lap to make his mandatory quick stop and try to cover off his teammates Mitch555 and Switch who had also made early stops. Commando then developed a comfortable lead of a few hundred feet over RiiDGE while Yachts and Bilysoo battled for third. In the undercut group, TX3 Switch led the chasing cars of Mellish and Mitch555. AMS Murks in his debut for Alien Motorsports since switching teams was up to a strong 5th.
With Prague comes an expectation of early crashes and safety cars so there is the potential for dramatic undercuts. These undercut attempt come at risk of picking up damage and having to make a costly second quick stop later in race. VSR GGRacing was the first victim of this, when only a few laps after his early quick stop he clipped the wall after the Charles Bridge, picking up significant damage and causing him to retire from the race. The next victims were, TX3 Mitch555 and TX3 Mellish who had an incident that caused both cars to go into the wall, forcing both to have to take a second quick stop. TX3 Switch was then on his own to perform the undercut on JSR Commando
The best battle on track as the race progressed to about the halfway point was TX3 Bilysoo and RBM Yachts fighting it out for 3rd. Approached the Medusa’s Gaze Chicane they found 2 cars in the tire barriers. Yachts lifted off the throttle to be safe and TX3 Bilysoo pounced on the opportunity. Diving to the inside on the final turn into Old Town Square and winning the drag race down to Rudolfinum. The leader, JSR Commando, appeared to have been one of the cars involved in the chicane incident, unfortunately getting tied up with a back marker and eventually causing him to retire from the race. TX3 RiiDGE inherited the lead from Commando while TX3 Switch continued to lead the undercut group.
At lap 13, RBM Yachts took his quick stop and we got our first glimpse of the work Switch had put in with Yachts emerging over 1,300 ft behind the TX3 driver. Yet to pit were the leaders, TX3 RiiDGE, TX3 Bilysoo and AMS Murks. RiiDGE was the next to make his stop and emerged between Switch and Yachts, in what seemed to be 2nd place once quick stops were finished. Bilysoo and Murks would pit the following lap but Yachts would slot in between the them as they sorted out to 3rd and 5th respectively.
The Prague chaos would soon strike and an incident on the penultimate lap would see AMS Murks fall down the order having to make a second quick stop with damage with just before the final lap and relative newcomer to the series, LazyDandy, would assume 5th position in the running order. Then on the last lap, TX3 Bilysoo would get caught up in an incident with a backmarker while going through Medusa’s for the final time handing RBM Yachts the final podium position as Bilysoo limped home for 4th. This shake up in the final laps would see a few of the unlucky but rapid drivers earn results that would place them up toward the front of the grid for Race 2 due to the top 10 inverted start.
For the Reverse Grid Race, we saw TX3 Mellish on pole and DOR spartanfit after both had difficult showings in Race 1. At the start TX3 Mellish and TX3 Mitch555 lead the group around Malá Strana for the first time and through cleanly through Medusa’s. At the end of lap 1, TX3 RiiDGE was the man on the move working he way up to 4th from his 8th place starting position.
TX3 Switch was the first to make the jump to the pit lane, a difficult decision at Prague because while the clean track is great for pace the threat of a small mistake causing damage and forcing a second quickstop is always looming. Unfortunately for Switch he was the unfortunate victim of what seemed to be a disconnect on the following lap. Meanwhile, AMS Murks, TX3 RiiDGe, and THR Chirpchirp also gambled on the earlier quickstops while, the TX3 trio of Mellish, Mitch555, and Bilysoo held the leading positions.
The lone privateer, LazyDandy, was the first victim of the Medusa’s Gaze chicane, while in 5th place he carried a little too much speed into the bend and lost the rear end while bouncing over the curbs. As he limped around to the pitlane, Medusa claimed her next victim in leader TX3 Mellish, as a bit of understeer pushed him wide on the exit just clipping the last section of tire wall. A quick recovery saw him minimize the amount of time lost on track as he made his way around Old Town Square to the pits. TX3 Mitch555 then found himself in the lead of the race followed by TX3 Bilysoo, the undercut pack was lead by TX3 RiiDGE with AMS Murks giving chase. TX3 Mellish emerged from the pits just in front of RiiDGE and put on a hard block after the Mane Bridge past the Resistance Flag Monument. A slight touch caused a slide for RiiDGE giving Mellish the opportunity to reclaim the position as just behind Murks waited for an opportunity.
Back at the front of the race, Mitch555 and Bilysoo were comfortably leading but were closing in on backmarkers. LazyDandy’s run on poor luck continued, while he pushed for pace to remain ahead of the leader another mistake through the chicane saw him into the tire wall and bouncing back onto the racing line in front of leader Mitch555. In an effort to avoid the spinning car, Mitch555 dove to the right but was claimed by the tire wall as Bilysoo dove to the left and took over the lead. The very same lap saw, undercut group leader TX3 Mellish claimed again by Medusa’s as his Prague struggles continued dropping him to 9th in the order. Mitch555 emerged from the pits behind the hard charging TX3 RiiDGE and AMS Murks.
With only 4 cars left to make their mandatory quickstop, the best battle on the track was between AMS Murks and TX3 Mitch555. Mitch555 eventually got the better of Murks while coming through the chicane Mitch555 carried a bit more momentum and made a brilliant over under move on Murk through Old Town Square finishing the pass on the run down the Rudolinum Main Straight but a slide exiting the chicane saw Mitch555 yield the position back to Murks. Lucky for Mitch555 he appeared to have escaped the incident damage free and able to continue on.
With the race drawing to a close, TX3 Bilysoo appeared to be in the comfortable lead but TX3 RiiDGE was putting in a great drive for the undercut and it won’t be decided until Bilysoo took his quickstop. A clean consistent drive from RBM Yachts found him second in the running order but likely behind the group of RiiDGE, Mitch555, and AMS Murks who had all made their stops. A quality run from GTR Widowed after promotion had developed into a potential top 5 finish but a minor error after the Charles Bridge, clipping the inside wall and spinning just before the Medusa’s Gaze Chicane caused him to lose significant track position just before his quickstop.
RBM Yachts then dove in for his quickstop as TX3 Bilysoo held out until the last possible moment. Yachts emerged in comfortable 5th position behind the battling duo of AMS Murks and TX3 Mitch555 and in front 3 way battle for 6th of THR Chirpchirp, DOR spartanfit, and TX3 Mellish.
It was finally time for leader, TX3 Bilysoo, to make the last quickstop of the race and see if TX3 RiiDGE had done the work on the undercut. Exitting the pit Bilysoo retained the lead but RiiDGE was closing fast with momentum. As they rounded past Malá Strana, Bilysoo held a few car length lead over RiiDGE but that gap slowly closed over the following laps. RiiDGE ultimately managed to get past Bilysoo and steal the the win. Their teammate TX3 Mitch555 won his seemingly race long battle with AMS Murks to claim 3rd for a TX3 sweep of the podium.
Further back in the pack, DOR spartanfit and THR Chirpchirp had an incident near the end of the lap and Mesasphere made a great move in his Mini to pass both around the outside through final turn of Old Town Square, claiming 6th place.
It was a tough weekend for a handful of the top contender's and shook up the points standings in the top 10 of the Driver's Championship. Looking forward to the finale this coming Sunday at the Sonoma Short Circuit, we have a 3 driver showdown for the podium positions between TX3 Mitch555, JSR, Commando, and TX3 RiiDGE. Mitch555 holds the lead with 2245 but JSR Commando is just 51 points behind closely followed by Riidge who only trails the leader by 76. In a series were a win counts for 200 points, it should prove to be an exciting final weekend with the championship not being decided until the checkereds fly.
Special thanks to THR Chirpchirp for sharing his replay. These replays are vital for the creation of this content, so remember to save and share.
Recap by AJ "Ajax" Allen
Rounds 11 and 12 of the Delta Online Racing Supermini Championship featured the historic Lime Rock Park. Using the South Chicane track layout, drivers would be separated by 100ths of a second, pushing within inches of treacherous tire walls.
JSR Commando showcased his rapid pace and technical prowess with a stunning time of 52.278 to snag pole position by just .05 of a second over TX3 RiiDGE. With the top 13 qualifiers being within a second of each other, we were set for door to door technical battles in both races.
Race 1 -
As the drivers set off, TX3 Riidge had a great start in the Clio and was alongside JSR Commando for the lead into turn 1. Most of the cars made it through the first turn cleanly but a slight coming together of the Remnant Racing Minis of DOR spartanfit and ForlornBear2717 caused a bit of reshuffling at the rear of the grid. Commando held strong and made it to the South Chicane first with TX3 Mitch555 slipping past RiiDGE for second. As the rest of the pack came through the narrow chicane, a slight touch between VSR GGRacing and Mesasphere saw a chain reaction collecting several cars resulting in a safety car.
On the restart, JSR Commando maintained a slight gap over TX3 Mitch555 and RiiDGE. At this time drivers started taking their mandatory quick stop in the hopes of finding room out of traffic to achieve an undercut. A few laps later, an error from GTR Warwick while running in 5th caused a bit of a road block at the chicane allowing the top 4 to break away from the rest of the pack.
An minor mistake through the chicane for JSR Commando gave TX3 Mitch555 the opportunity he needed to get alongside and ultimately seize the lead. As Commando tried to recover RiiDGE got a better run down the Sam Posey straight and made the pass into turn 1, pushing Commando down to third with TX3 Mellish right on his rear bumper seeking a way past.
JSR Commando and TX3 Mellish dove into the pits together while Mitch555 and RiiDGE stayed on track in front. Forza luck struck the unlucky Commando again with him losing significant distance during the quick stop resulting in him coming out alongside Mellish and ultimately losing third position around the first turn.
As the mandatory quick stops concluded, the order remained Mitch555, RiiDGE, Mellish, and Commando. With the race drawing to a close, Mitch555 had developed a slight gap to RiiDGE while Mellish and Commando battled for the last place on the podium. A slight slide from TX3 Mellish in the last turn gave JSR Commando the run he needed to reclaim 3rd down the Sam Posey Straight beginning the last lap.
In 5th, RBM Yachts defended VSR GGRacing but a slight touch going into the South Chicane for the last time caused a few cars to stack up. Yachts, ForlornBear, and DOR spartanfit unfortunately ended up in tire walls, losing positions. THR Chirpchirp skillfully dodged the chaos jumping from 8th to 5th. The duo of Remnant Racing ForlornBear2717 and DOR spartanfit made out the worst dropping from 9th and 10th into the relegation positions of 11th and 12th as TX3 Bilysoo and GTR Warwick got a bit of luck managing to dodge relegation on the last lap.
My "Driver of the Race" is TX3 Mitch555 who battle forward from third place for the win, expertly driving on the razor's edge that is racing quick at Lime Rock.
Results - Current points leader TX3 Mitch555 took the victory followed closely by teammate TX3 RiiDGE. Pole sitter JSR Commando finished in a strong third place but allowing Mitch555 to gain a few valuable points over him in the battle for the Drivers Championship.
DOR Spartanfit, ForlornBear2717, ACR Suprise, Mesasphere, and newcomer lord nebhavers were the unfortunately victims of DOR's relegation system dropping down to Lobby B for Race 2. TX3 Switch, VSR Rush, LazyDandy, EpicSmudge19, and F1NBAR 1 were the drivers promoted to Lobby A. TX3 Switch put in a great drive for Race 1 in Lobby B, having missed qualifying Switch started at the end of the grid and battled his way through to take the win.
Race 2 - Top 10 Reverse Grid
GTR Warwick and TX3 Bilysoo found themselves on the front row with VSR GGRacing, ACR Dunc, and RBM Yachts. The raw acceleration of the Clio saw Bilysoo jump to the lead passing Warwick after a drag race to Turn 1. The always interesting reverse grid race is amplified at Lime Rock due to the difficultly to pass with the faster cars from Race 1 struggling to find a way through to the lead. Newly promoted to Lobby A after winning Lobby B, TX3 Switch started in 11th place by after one lap found himself in 7th.
The trio of TX3 Mellish, TX3 Mitch555, and JSR Commando were the first to dive into pitlane seeking an open track in hopes of making up positions via the undercut. As the other drivers took their quick stops the leaders of TX3 Bilysoo and GTR Warwick developed a comfortable gap over the chasing pack that eventually saw TX3 Switch move to its lead, a stunning 11th to 3rd performance very early on.
Meanwhile, TX3 Mellish led the undercut group with TX3 Mitch555 and JSR Commando in tow.
As the laps wound down, few battles formed in the undercut pack with Mitch555 catching Mellish and the duo of Switch and RiiDGE emerged from their quickstops door to door just behind JSR Commando. At this point, it was just the leaders TX3 Bilysoo and GTR Warwick left to pick with TX3 Mellish moving up to inherit 3rd place leading the chase.
GTR Warwick exited the pits in 5th place but a slide from JSR Commando saw Warwick challenge for 4th. A tiny mistake while braking into the chicane with the left rear tire on the grass gave the chasing TX3 RiiDGE and TX3 Switch the opportunity they needed to file past as Warwick did a great job of saving his Mini Cooper. Unfortunately, another mistake into the South Chicane saw Warwick make contact with the inside tire wall and lose multiple positions without the time needed recover, a similar mistake was made by VSR GGracing a few laps later dropping him from 8th to 10th.
The battle for 2nd through 6th continued with JSR Commando swapping TX3 Mitch555 3rd & 4th positions numerous times which Switch and RiiDGE looked for an opportunity. A brave move from TX3 Switch diving to the inside of JSR Commando on the run down to the chicane saw him gain 4th place.
TX3 Bilysoo took his mandatory quickstop at the white flag and retained the lead with a significant gap to the chasers. TX3 Mellish under intense pressure from the pursuing TX3 drivers of Mitch555, Riidge, Switch and JSR Commando led the train of 2nd through 6th into the final lap. With a clinical lap he was able to expertly defend earning himself a podium position with teammate Bilysoo and Mitch555.
My "Driver of the Race" goes to TX3 Mellish who fought hard all race long and earned himself a deserved 2nd. TX3 Bilysoo ran a great race but was ultimately never challenged for position.
Results - As the checkered flags waved, TX3 featured the talent of their roster with 5 of the 6 top positions being TX3 drivers. Newly signed TX3 member, Bilysoo, took his firsts win of the series sharing the podium with teammates TX3 Mellish and Mitch555. In the fight for the Driver's Championship, TX3 Mitch555 with his 3rd place performance was again able to gain a few points over rival JSR Commando who put in a 5th place result.
Recap By AJ "Ajax" Allen
Special Thanks to DOR spartanfit for the Race 1 replay and TX3 Mellish for the Race 2 replay.
Race 1 -
The trio of TX3 Commando, Mitch555, and Tactical displayed their pace in qualifying by taking the top 3 positions by 3 tenths of a second over FTR Riidge and F4H Diablo. At the start of the race, the TX3 drivers quickly developed a chain and created a gap to the chase pack as F4H Diablo, FTR Riidge, FTR Banks, and RBM Yachts got involved in an intense battle for 4th through 7th.
As the pitting sequence began, we saw an early pit from RBM Yachts which looked to be a great move to get some open racing room and perform the undercut on FTR Riidge. Unfortunately for Yachts, a wiggle through the first turn chicane on cold tires lead to a sim steering twitch and catastrophically damaged his car effectively putting an end to his race.
(Replay needed to complete recap)
After race 1, EpicSmudge19, DOR spartanfit, ACR Dunc, Tiggerwoo, and RBM Yachts were relegated to Lobby B while TX3 Mellish, VSR GGracing, ACR Suprise, EVR Ajax, and DOR Fuzzy Racing earned promotions to Lobby A.
A reverse grid start with the 10 top finishers of race 1 being inverted. iRacer 7plus and GTR Warwick found themselves on the front row for the start. Warwick with a blazing start got the jump on 7plus and found himself leading after turn 1. A bit further back EVR Murks001, TX3 Mellish and VSR GGracing found themselves falling downward through the order after separate racing incidents going into the tight turn 1.
Warwick led the pack across the line but the man on the move was FTR Banks moving up from 7th to 4th through the chaotic first lap. A few laps later iRacer 7plus was the unfortunate victim of the first chicane curbs as a spin resulted in him rapidly falling downward through the racing order.
At the head of the race, FTR Banks found a way alongside of GTR Warwick and through the final turn they both pushed wide trying to maximize their speed down the main straight. F4H Diablo with a great late apex move dove to the inside making a 3 car drag race down to turn 1. Bank's Clio had the speed over the Minis and solidified his grasp on the lead as Diablo slipped into 2nd. Warwick in 3rd was now in the sights of the rapid TX3 trio of Tactical, Mitch555, and Commando. Tactical and Commando progressed their way past Warwick but a battle between Mitch555 and FTR Riidge gave Warwick a brief relief from the pressure. The top 4 began to form a breakaway chain as the order remained FTR Banks, F4H Diablo, TX3 Tactical, and TX3 Commando.
As the pit sequence worked itself out, the TX3 drivers found themselves to be the biggest beneficiaries with Tactical and Commando getting past Diablo and Mellish moving up to 5th after the lap 1 incident found him far down the order. The train formed as the first 4 cars broke away from the rest of the pack. FTR Banks defensive skills were on full display as Tactical searched for any opportunity to get alongside. As the laps remaining began to wind down so did the patience of TX3 Commando in 3rd as he began to challenge his teammate Tactical for 2nd position, as Diablo watched opportunistically just behind them. Banks took this brief relief in pressure to quickly develop a gap of over the trio battling for second .
With 2 laps to go battles could be found throughout the top 10. Second through fourth being contested by Tactical, Commando, and Diablo. Another battle for 5th through 7th was on between TX3 Mellish, FTR Riidge, and TX3 Mitch555. GTR Warwick and EVR Murks001 were competing for 8th, and Mesasphere(F4H) was being pressured by EVR Ajax, VSR GGracing, and ACR Suprise for 10th place.
As the final lap begun, TX3 Commando made a dive to the inside of F4H Diablo into turn 1 to regain 3rd place while FTR Banks and TX3 Tactical had develop a few cars lengths gap ahead. TX3 Mellish claimed 5th as TX3 Mitch and FTR Riidge's battling slowed their pace slightly with Riidge ultimately beating Mitch555 to the line. GTR Warwick managed to hold of EVR Murks001 with some great defending over the final laps to take 8th. Possibly the best last lap battle was for 10th through 13th where Mesasphere was held off VSR GGracing and ACR Suprise for 10th after EVR Ajax was pushed wide in the last sector falling from 11th to 13th.
My "Driver of the Race" award goes to FTR Banks for the master class of defensive driving he displayed holding of TX3 Tactical, TX3 Commando, and F4H Diablo for seemingly countless laps before ultimately seizing the victory.