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.