14 hours in;
“You were close to that wall.”
“I know, but I got round-just…”
“Don’t push it, take it easy, remember, you’ve already chewed the tyres up for my turn, don’t make it worse.”
“OK. Just don’t think I’ll preserve them.”
14 hours in;
Team Greasy Lightning
Fuzz groaned as he pulled himself from the Haneda. “Oww, my ass-bone.”
“Huh, I thought you sat on your ass in a car all day, donut-boy,” Jen ribbed. He muttered started to walk away. She reached out and grabbed the baton from him.
“Hey, that’s mine,” he protested.
“Yeah, well I’m requisitioning it.”
Fuzz scoffed. “Like you know how to use it.”
She gave him a quick whack on the backside, causing him to yelp. “How’s your ass-bone feel NOW?”
“Alright, alright, take it… Jeez!”
The Minerva roared straight off of the course, sliding right next to Fuzz in the Suzume. Amy looked over at him before trying to wrestle the all-steel safety-box away from slamming into yet-another-team’s car. She succeeded in not just keeping the car from hitting the Suzume, but also threw dirt all over it while trying to get back onto the track.
Trying to make up time, Amy slid right off the track in an impressive display of understeer at Brian’s Bend, and for a moment, she thought there was going to be yet another crash, until the driver of the Ferrain managed to avoid colliding with her car.
Several laps in, Amy radioed in to Luke, “Going to need a driver change soon. And I think the engine’s a bit upset with me, because those valves are getting loud.”
“Got it. Jake’s already in the racing suit, so just don’t wreck it before you get to the pits.” Luke replied.
As Amy approached the pit-lane, the Keika raced up the inside, and the two of them nearly collided as they went up the pit-road off-ramp two-wide. “Fuckin’ moron!” Amy yelled, not bothering with the radio as she hit the Minerva’s feeble horn, before refusing to give the Keika space. “I’ve driven in Chicago, shithead, fall back.” Amy yelled over the radio, before jerking the car at the Keika. Whether through fear, self-preservation, or a team-decision, the Keika slowed just enough to let the Minerva take the lead into the pits.
“Can’t believe that fuckin’ idiot in the shitbox tried to race up the pit lane. Gimme a tire iron, Luke, and I’ll teach them some fuckin’ manners.” Amy said, getting out of the car fuming. Jake slid into the seat, buckled in, slammed the door, and took off.
“I can’t let you do that, Amy.” Luke said, looking at her. “Remember, this is a race of amateurs, we’re professionals. Act professional. Now, if they come over here and make a stink about it, I’ll gladly give you the pipe-wrench hidden away in my leg compartment.”
(I know this round was so undramatic that it was almost boring, but don’t worry. I have done the drawings for the fifth round and it seems like it is going to be the worst demo derby this far!)
I’m expecting at least one third-to-reverse maneuver from the guy who can barely drive stick.
16 hours in the race and it’s time for the third bunch of drivers to drive. Everyone seems to be getting a quite good start this time, except for the mysterious driver in the Keika, Igor Onreadio in the Ferrain and Sam Neil in the Matteo, all starting with a great amout of wheelspin. After some laps, the IP seems to have big troubles in getting its speed down. The brakes seems to be on the limit for what they can handle, getting some fading problems, and Jenny Hansen has to cut down on speed for a while to be more gentle on the brakes. Trev in the AAAA is the next one having troubles, understeering a bit on Adams pass, it’s ending out on the grass and the lousy bonnet catch is causing troubles again. This time the bonnet is not as quick in falling down again, he has to wait for a while for it to close again. Kevin Jackson in the Sakura seems to overestimate the handling of the old beast, spinning off the track in the curve, we hear a backfire from the Birmingham, once again facing problems is the Birmingham, skidding a bit through the chicane.
Many of the new drivers seems to have gotten a bit too confident in the handling of their cars now, the Sakura, Espyo, Caliban and Ferrain is all entering the chicane with a too high speed, causing some troubles. We see the Oldman spinning around wildly, being into a couple of crashes already, something seems to have taken its toll on the suspension, Sam Neil in the Matteo is doing his best to avoid the spinning Oldman but both cars end up on the grass, undamaged. The next car to end up on the grass is the LSV Buccaneer, now he is getting back on the track, but Alex Mitchell in the Nohda is failing to see the Buccaneer that’s reentering the track, and the cars hit each other. The damage on the Buccaneer is mostly cosmetical, but the Nohda has to get into the pits with its bumper and headlight dangling. Next one to skid of the track is Jenny Hansen in the IP. As a writer for Trafikjournalen, her husband is very familiar to us and we guess that he doesn’t call her Lady Leadfoot for nothing…
The Oldman clearly lacks stability when going forward and in the curves it’s switching between under- and oversteer like crazy, probably nothing in the undercarriage is straight anymore. Speaking of switching between under- and oversteer, the Sakura is entering Banhammerhead with a crazy amount of understeer, all of a sudden bursting out in oversteer again, sending the car with high speed tail first into the barrier. The Caliban and the Espyo has to do its best not to hit the Sakura in the side but they escape with just a minor loss of speed. The Minerva is as usual in trouble getting through the chicane, boy does that car have something against turning in the bends…
The clutch in the Matteo is still slipping every now and then and we have some worries that it will not cope with the rest of the race, and as we see, Tim in the Oldman is not having an easy time keeping the car on the track. What surprises us is that the Southend or bust team seems to have less troubles in handling the Erin after the driver change, it’s getting better lap times again. Instead, we start to wonder if the suspension of the Nohda tok a hit after the crash with the LSV, since it seems like Alex Mitchell is having a harder time wrestling it around the bends now. Speaking about the LSV, it seems to have some issues with high speed stability, so the question is, was the crash damage really only cosmetical? Getting out of the pits after a refuelling, it seems like Jen is getting a surprise out of the Suzumes turbo lag, spinning the tires a bit. The Keika is slowing down before Adams Apex, so does the Sakura or at least it tries to, but probably due to some brake fade issues it’s not slowing down nearly as much, hitting the Keika from behind. The Keika is mostly jolted forward and the damage to the Sakura is also minimal, but still being quite dark outside, the headlights going out is reason enough to go back to the pits. We wonder if Ana rested enough, being back in the Caliban her driving doesn’t look nearly as sharp as in the first stint, Crashtor Nardo in the Espyo does seem a bit unfamiliar with the fast car, not slowing down enough before the bends he’s probably underestimating the speed. Next car we see facing problems is the Bogliq, understeering a bit through the chicane.
One thing we can see now is that the Buccaneer is entering Adams apex with WAY too high speed, this is never going to end well! And yes, it’s wildly spinning around, Jen in the Suzume and Kevin in the Sakura are doing everything they can to avoid the spinning Buccaneer, but the speed is simply too high, both cars end up in the barrier and has to head for the pits. Another car ending up on the grass is the Ferrain, but at least the drivers have avoided what could have been a massive car pileup! Trying to get the Minerva in higher gear after Caswals carousel, Jake Storm are facing some troubles, we hear some nasty grinding from the gearbox and the reverse lights keep lighting up, finally he has lost so much speed that he has to go back in third gear, it seems like getting it into fourth gear again goes better this time. Lucas in the TSR is probably being too enthusiastic going back on track after a refuelling, entering the track with spinning wheels and the back end skidding a bit. Jenny, or Lady Leadfoot, in the IP could really be more easy on the pedal, she’s on the limits what the little beige coupe can handle, so are Trev in the blue AAAA. Ana seems to suffer from fatigue still, her driving clearly is worse than it was the first 8 hours of the race.
Again, we hear the Minervas gearbox grinding and we see its reverse lights glowing in the early dawn, it’s clearly something very wrong with that thing, they were at least not THIS nasty from the factory. Lukas Nilsson in the TSR is probably getting a bit too enthusiastic, entering Brians bend with high speed, releasing the pedal and getting some heavy lift off oversteer. After him comes the Oldman, driving off the track at Banhammerhead, and it seems like the reason is a blown tyre, so it’s heading back to the pits for a change. The Espyo and the Sakura is also having some trouble there now, as well as the Birmingham that’s also ending up outside the track.
Getting back on the track, new tires haven’t helped the handling of the Oldman at all, it’s as bad at keeping its course as it was before. The next car trying to get out of the pits is the Minerva, but once again, we see it reversing, hear the gearbox grinding, see it reversing again, and it continues for a while until it can finally leave the pits. Every old fault seems to be repeating itself, we’re not only seeing the gearbox troubles in the Minerva, but also the slipping clutch in the Matteo and the fuel delivery problems in the Revero and the Sakura, giving both cars a fair amount of wheelspin when getting its power back. Oddly enough, the other bad gearboxes in the Erin and the IP have been quiet for a while. Another thing repeating itself, the understeering Bogliq in the chicane.
Tim is once again locking up the rear brakes on the Oldman, making it spin around, and forcing the LSV Buccaneer off the track one more time. The Ferrain, Matteo and AAAA is avoiding getting into what could have been another massive car pileup, good driving! For some reason there is strange sounds coming from the Bogliqs engine bay, let’s hope it’s nothing serious!
The drivers have done half of the last run, only four hours remain of the race, and the results are now coming in…
- Espyo Rusp, lap # 539
- Matteo Miglia, lap # 522
- Caliban Thunder, lap # 514
- Keika hop, lap # 512
- Nohda Bop, lap # 505
- Ferrain UtiPick, lap # 505
- Revero IRO-1, lap # 490
- Birmingham 8000, lap # 489
- TSR Kansai, lap # 487
- LSV Buccaneer, lap # 482
- Suzume Haneda, lap # 468
- Bogliq Kitten, lap # 456
- PMI Usurper, lap # 456
- AAAA V200, lap # 452
- Erin Lomaron, lap # 451
- Oldman Series 1, lap # 440
- Sakura Duchess, lap # 435
- Minerva Bullet, lap # 432
- IP Pandora, lap # 414
Damn, 100 laps down. That’s actually impressive.
And judging by your stats after all the crashing, you’re the one that is facing the largest risk of ending up with a “DNF”
Man… Maybe I should have started with a Kaminari. after all this bashing, it would end up as a Haneda.
Now this Haneda’s about to be downsized to a Wren…
These sounds, they don’t resemble this:
By any chance?
Jake Storm gripped the wheel firmly, knuckles going white as the Minerva’s tires wailed and shrieked, before hearing the scrape of grass and gravel under the tires, and more screaming tires soon after. “This thing understeers like a bloody boat, guys. What the hell did the two of you do to it?” Jake complained over the radio.
“It’s just that bad. You’ll get used to it soon enough.” Amy replied.
A few laps later, Jake found himself fighting the Minerva’s really dodgy gearbox. The stick was stuck halfway between reverse and fourth, and trying to engage fourth gear threatened to lock the whole gearbox up instead. “Come on, you fucker.” Jake cursed.
“Your reverse lights are lit up, Jake.” Luke said.
Jake looked at the speed as it kept dropping, then furiously rammed the stick home into third gear and floored it. The second try for fourth worked almost flawlessly, with just a clunk and a shudder from the engine.
As the sun started to rise, Jake lined up on the straightaway, went from third to reverse, and let the clutch out. The front tires locked up, the engine stalled, and Jake panicked. “Clutch, second gear, release the clutch.” Luke said, almost instantly. Jake stomped the clutch in, dropped the Minerva in second, and dumped the clutch. Almost instantly, the Minerva’s four-banger barked back to life.
“In the industry, that’s called a bump start. If you’re quick enough, you won’t lose much time.” Amy said.
“Got it. But these tires have flat spots, so we need new ones.” Jake said.
Jake pulled into the pit lane, where they took on four new tires and more gas. He tried to leave the pits, only to face the irritation of pulling first-to-reverse several times. “It might be faster to drive the car backward at this rate.” Jake said, kicking the firewall after restarting the engine for the fifth time. The car mercifully made it back onto the track, and Jake tried to keep pace with the rest of the racers.
The fuel delivery problem:
“You said these reveros were built like tanks, so why does the engine keep dropping power?”
“Not sure, it did that for most of my run.”
All of a sudden, the car began to run like new. What was going on here?
“It’s fine now, what the hell is it?”
Oh I’m getting closer and closer to the Bogliq.
Mid Ohio flashbacks?
Oh man, where to start?
Seriously though… I had two cars burn in Vic’s competitions and my ASCAR caught fire too! I wouldn’t be surprised if my clunker spontaneously combusts or something!!!
It’s a conspiracy
Team Shitbox Brothers
4 hours to the last lap
It’s been four hours, this last stint is starting to wear Ana’s focus out. She’s has been driving for four hours, as well as the first 8 hour stint. The only thing keeping her awake and minimally focused is the fresh dawn breeze that finds its way through the shattered wooden panels.
Alejandro (over radio): “Alright sis, you’re doing great. Third place and only four hours to go. Anything wrong with the car?”
Ana: “Not so far, appart from, well, part of the body is fucked, ya know.”
Alejandro: “Hang in there, we have the power to haul ass and the economy to outlast these guys.”
Ana: “I don’t think so. The Mateo Miglia is crazy quick. I don’t think we’ll catch them.”
Alejandro: “Go for the podium. You can do this.”
Tim (in car): Not again!..Round and round shes goes! Car comes to a stop
Barry: Stop clowning around.
Tim: You try driving it. We’ve got some major problems. The steering wheel is half a turn left, and the car’s fighting to turn right!
Barry: You do know she’s buggered, right?
Tim: Yeah, Baz, I noticed.
Tim looks at the driver of the little “babycino” beside him on the grass, smiles and waves.
Tim (still in car): Didn’t that car pass me before?
Barry: Yeah, I think they all did.
Tim: We’re not last, yet, dickhead.
Tim takes a good line through Brian’s bend, then stands on the loud pedal, hoping to get closer to the TSR. Pretending to be brave, he goes wide early hoping to come in under the TSR through Banhammerhead (or, as he calls it, banana-head). Instead of success, he manages to almost tear the right front tyre apart. there’s smoke, there’s noise, there’s no control… like that party he was at last week. Then there’s the crawl back to the pits…AGAIN.
The Oldman rolls out of pit lane:
Tim (still, still in car): Way-hey! Why does it feel like I’m only driving on three wheels now?
Darren: Maybe 'coz you are. I think you bent the chassis trying to be a hero. How’s the steering?
Tim: Straighter…ish. And, I’m not the one who hits things. Bent the chassis, go fu…(indistinct muttering)
Chestnuts roasting on an open Bogliq… er… fire…