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Automation D - First stage of touge battles! | Final race!


#102

CHAPTER THREE: Car journalist meets car enthusiast!

As soon as the second race of the night was announced, both Mike and Gavin got into their cars. They drove them to the starting line, stopped them and got out. They then walked towards each other and shook hands.

“Name’s Mike Conelly”. - Said the owner of the SHX 86, as he shook the journalist’s hand. “Gavin Anderson” - replied the journalist.

“Alright racers, let’s get racin’!”. After hearing the organizer’s words, both drivers got into their cars. As soon as they engines were started, the exhaust tone war prior to the race was fought. Mike’s 1.6 inline 4 screamed his way to 9000rpm, while Gavin’s 3.3L V6 growled deeply.

“We’re going to start the countdown! Nine, eight, seven…!”. As they organizer counted down, both pressed their clutches and engaged first gear. “Four, three, two, one…!”. Both drivers started releasing the clutch slowly, and revved their engines.


(As always, race’s theme!)

“GO!”. -As soon as the organizer yelled this, both drivers released their clutch pedals completely, and the cars launched. Both drivers launched pretty hard, but the massive power produced by Gavin’s Berlose gave him the upper hand at the first straight. He couldn’t believe it - was he really leading the race?

However Mike did not fall behind. He lined up his car with Gavin’s and drafted to avoid falling behind. Both drivers braked and entered the first corner. Both cars threatened their drivers to oversteer, but they managed to prevent that from happening and got out of the corner as fast as they could. As they approached the second corner, the same thing happened: it looked like both drivers still had to get the hang of their cars.

They approached the first hairpin. As they did so, the started downshifting. However, when blipping the gas, Gavin underrevved the engine and made his wheels spin, inducing some oversteer he had to fight. Mike took advantage of his rival’s error and closed the gap generated on the long straight. However as Gavin drifted the corner, Mike found himself unable to overtake and forced to drift too.

Both of them got out of the hairpin and accelerated as soon as their cars were stable again. During this first high speed section, Gavin could have left Mike behind, but he didn’t do so, trying to save his tyres; he limited himself to drive fast enough not to be overtaken by the SHX.

They got to the second hairpin. Gavin decided to grip his way through this corner to avoid wearing the tyres, and Mike did the same thing. As soon as they got out of the hairpin, the first fast section started. Gavin floored his throttle, hoping that it would be enough to leave Mike behind; of course, the gap widened, but the race was nowhere near finished. Mike kept up, struggling but finally keeping up before the third hairpin.

During the third and fourth hairpins, Mike didn’t have much of a chance to overtake Gavin: he either had more grip or blocked his attempts by drifting.

As soon as they exited the fourth hairpin, Gavin started accelerating again, but didn’t floor it: he wanted to widen the gap without losing too much tire grip. Mike could keep up this time, and tried to use the following corner to overtake Gavin. However, he braked too late, forcing him to use a slower line and losing some valuable time.

The situation remained the same up to the fifth hairpin: the pressure on both drivers started building up: Gavin found himself looking through the rear view mirror often and Mike started attempting more desperate attempts to overtake. When both racers entered the fifth hairpin, Gavin made a big mistake: he braked too soon, allowing Mike to get on the inside of the road. When both racers exited the turn, Gavin floored it, making his wheels spin for a short time; fortunately for him, the car did not spin out and he could recover his first place.

After this last fast section, the road would get a lot more technical. Gavin widened the gap during this section, but not by much: Mike managed to keep up by drafting as much as he could. Both gripped their way through the sixth corner, and pushed their way through the medium speed corners leading up to the five consecutive hairpins.

When they entered the five hairpins, Gavin found himself being constantly harrassed by Mike’s constant overtaking attemps; Mike, on the other hand, knew he would have to overtake him soon or else the race would be over. It did not take long before they left the fifth consecutive hairpin.

In front of them, there was the final hairpin of the course. Both had preserved their tires pretty well. It was time for both to give the race their all. Gavin gripped the corner, whereas Mike decided to drift it to try and push on the outside.

They got out of the last hairpin and entered the last short straight. Both Gavin and Mike floored it this time; however, this time, Mike started struggling to keep up even if he drafted the Berlose. “Am I falling behind? This can’t be happening!” - Thought Mike, whose SHX screamed as it approached the redline. They entered the final corners.

On the finishing line, the engines started to be audible. People heard the tires squealing through the corners, a fight being fought between two drivers taken to their limits. As the engines were heard closer and closer, everybody held their breath: the cars would appear any second now.

The Erin Berlose appeared first, with the SHX following it a couple of seconds behind; Gavin’s car crossed the finishing line first and, a couple of seconds later, the SHX followed it. Race was over.

Back at the summit, all of the racers were starting to pack up and go. The organizer reminded everyone that the following day, races would start at 22:00PM as usual. Mike and Gavin shook hands and went back to their respective accomodation places.

To be continued.


Times spreadsheet:


#103

Who’s running next though?


#104

That was much closer than I thought it would be. Good race, good write up.


#105

#End of day 1
######(Ram’s text is italic, Mine/Evan’s is bold)

Did you hear the results of the first race before? I know you were around the middle of the track, but I saw the ending. It looked like a dead heat, but closer inspection showed that Matt in the Marciel beat out Katsumi by 3-hundreths of a second. 3-Hundreths! Isn’t that amazing?

Damn. That really is lucky. I looked back at our creation. Y’know, maybe it doesn’t have to be all serious out here. We are on vacation, after all. Ram smiled. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? There’s a small trackpad that local drifters use in order to slide around. I nodded in agreement. Let’s burn some rubber.

We hooned for a few minutes; there was a few cameras out, and one of the people took this picture and were generous enough to share it with us. The shriek of the RB complemented the smell of shredded tires and the loud thumping of trap music from another car rather well; generally we had a great time.

The night was still young, so we returned back the course soon to watch the second race. The race was between the famed Gavin Anderson, who seemed to have came with a friend for photography. He was driving an Erin Berlose, a car I have personally never seen. I pulled out my phone and had to take a picture. The other driver was in an RM SHX, another car I’ve not seen. The variety of cars here is amazing. I was expecting a lot more JDM stuff like ours, I told Ram. You should remember people like to be weird. We did take a bit of a conventional route with this car. I remained silent for now; he was right, after all, with the huge aftermarket following the Helruna has.

The race was over pretty soon afterwards; we were told Gavin Anderson had won. I’m not surprised to be honest. He drives fast cars for a living, I can’t imagine this being too difficult for him. Agreed. Still, the other guy; I think Mike was his name; held up rather well. Anyways, I just got a text saying the night’s over; we’re meeting up here again tomorrow.

Oh well. We didn’t get to race today.
Maaaaan, I was really ready to rip up the streets. Our last-second tuning really showed during pre-race practice.
I thought. I think there’s still some stuff we can do; us not racing might be a blessing if so. I thought again. Doesn’t mean I’m not ready to kick ass.

Ram chuckled. Anyways, I’m so fucking tired. Let’s go back to the hotel and rest. Yeah, let’s.

Our drive back was fairly uneventful. We drove to some chill tunes. All that was on my mind was winning the next race, but I decided to wipe it from my mind and look at the wide-open road.

I pulled out my phone and plugged in the aux cable.

We got back to the hotel, washed up, and conked out on the beds.


#106

I have to say, based on these raw times being posted in had no idea my car would be that quick. It’s amazing what a bit of randomization can do. This is pretty cool.


#107

#Gavin Anderson’ Japanese Excursion - First Race

Training with Madoka continued. He was starting to get the hang of it, or at least he thought he was. She thought otherwise; the hope was gone of getting this bastard down this course in one piece, and oh my god, was he still flirting with her?

Another few emails from SAM, one from his boss, some others from his colleagues. One from his good friend and colleague Katie - “Mate, get in contact with Big Ed” - the nickname for the Editor - “He’s not happy”. That meant he was really angry.

As if by coincedence, Matt from the office suddenly appears at the competition. “Yeah, he’s been mentioning you quite a lot” says Madoka.

Evening comes in. It’s Gavin’s first race. Matt comes over - “Big car you’ve got there” he starts with. “I know” Gavin replies. Matt mentions that Big Ed knows. Gavin’s suspicious. He knows he isn’t supposed to be here, especially when Matt says that he’s actually writing an article on this. What if Ed thinks I tried to steal Matt’s article? Well this is going to be fun when I get back…

Technicians seem to be happier about me racing though. That’s something. And I’m finally getting my head around Big Mumma and working out how to drive her properly. Not much more I can do now; I’m being called up.

The race get’s underway. Big Mumma doesn’t hide her size or weight, but boy does she show off her power. Just about managing to keeping it under control - jesus christ, I’m actually doing this - despite how much he’s sweating. Across the line, in first. He’s only gone and done it.

30 minutes later, he’s speaking with the technicians. Even they’re amazed, especially after seeing what others have brought along. The car has somewhat of a chance though, even with Gavin at the wheel. Madoka comes over - “Nice one, yuppie” she says. Is she joking with me or being serious? Best to keep it simple. “Thanks” Gavin replies. They even manage to have a normal conversation, without Gavin’s, er, comments.

His thoughts turn to Matt and SAM. He was gonna get a bollocking from Big Ed either way, but could he make it better now that Matt was here? Or was he just going to have to reply to those bastard emails and suffer the wrath of Ed?


#108

CHAPTER FOUR: 2nd night.


(Chapter’s soundtrack)

The following day, people were gathered at the summit at 21:30PM again. The same group of racers from last night started climbing the road on their way to the summit, where the organizer waited for them; they parked their cars on the side of the road and walked towards the crowd, who cheered for them again.

All the racers looked at each other; some of them had already raced, and would not race tonight, but everyone wondered who the next race would involve. They would soon find out; as soon as they approached the crowd, it was split in two to allow them to get to the organizer.

“Alright, people, calm down. Here they are! Now, racers, I’ll announce the first matchup tonight. Tora…you know, do your magic.” - As the organizer said this, the laptop man pressed some buttons and gave it to him after a few seconds.

“Huh, we have two interesting battles tonight. First battle will be…” - The man waited a few seconds - “…Martin Todd vs Harry Jakeman!”. As the man said this, both drivers got into their cars and aligned them at the starting line. People were suprised of the weird battle that would take place tonight: a tiny sports car against a racey MR.

The driver of the Criceto S got out of his car and walked towards Martin’s KHT; however, Martin wouldn’t get out of his car. He looked at the other driver.

“Name’s Harry.” - Replied the young man. The ex-KHT employee looked at him. “Martin. Don’t waste my time and get into your car again.” - The young man got into his car as fast as he could and got ready to launch. Race would start any second now.

To be continued.


#109

CHAPTER FIVE: Tiny or racey?

Both cars were lined up at the starting line. The organizer stood between the racers: race was about to start. “Racers, start your engines, I’m going to start the countdown!” - Both racers ignited their engines. Both I4s screamed their way to redline, unmuffled, the sound only dampened by the catalytic converter. Martin looked at his front, focused on the road; whereas Harry took a last look at his opponent’s car.

“Two, one…GO!”


(Race’s theme!)

Both cars launched pretty hard, squealing their tyres all the way through the first metres of the race. While Martin banged through the gears, Harry pressed the upshift paddle. Both accelerated pretty quickly, but the DCT transmission on Harry’s car, paired with a lower weight, gave the tiny Criceto the upper hand at the first straight.

Martin did not fall behind, though, and kept up during the first and second corners. Both cars powerslid their way through them, giving the spectators a good show of speed, technique and talent.

They approached the first hairpin, and started braking. As Harry pressed the downshift paddle, making the engine scream, Martin heel toed his entry into the corner, his engine roaring with every blip to the throttle. While Harry drifted his way through the corner, Martin used the late apex technique, gripping the road as much as his tyres allowed him.

“Looks like his style is pure street racing. By drifting, you block most of the persecutor’s lines, but it is not the fastest way to get around the corner.” - As Martin thought this, he pressed the clutch, engaged 3rd gear and released it again, upshifting.

During the following straight, both cars would be neck to neck. While Harry wanted to keep a good pace, Martin drafted to keep up with the lightweight Criceto. They approached the second hairpin carrying a lot of speed, and started braking again.

“Looks like this guy is no beginner. I have to keep the pace up if I don’t want him to overtake me…” - Thought Harry, as he entered the hairpin, accelerating and countersteering in order to keep the drift going. He looked at his rear view mirror: Martin kept pushing, gripping his way through the corners. They exited the second hairpin, and now it was time to face off at the first high speed section.

Both Harry and Martin floored it as soon as they got out of the hairpin and stabilized their cars. As the section went on, the gap between the Accursio and the KHT grew. “Looks like I’ll have to hunt him down at the hairpins. His top speed and acceleration is excellent, but he lacks technique at the corners.” - Thought Martin.

They entered the third hairpin. Harry drifted his way through the first corner, but he realized something mid-turn: he lost way too much speed drifting! He looked at his right; Martin had done the late apex technique again, and was overtaking him on the inside.

Martin exited the corner first. Harry could not believe it: did he really lose his position? Drifting should have taken all of Martin’s lines!

Meanwhile, at the top of the mountain, the news had already been spread by the organizer. Some people were shocked, while some other people were excited for the move Martin pulled out.

However, Harry did not panic out. He took a deep breath and started analyzing the way his competitor drove. They entered the fourth hairpin, and saw that Martin’s apex was not in the middle of the corner, but at the later half of the turn. Both drivers floored it once again. Despite Harry’s multiple attempts to overtake Martin, he blocked all of his attempts again and again. How would he overtake him back? There had to be a way, but how?

Harry attempted to overtake Martin on the second high speed section again, but he found himself being blocked by the Tsukuba again and again. He was starting to get desperated, but what did not now was that the pressure was also building up in Martin’s mind. Finding himself harrassed by the Accursio did not help him keep calm. As the later corners of the section went on, Martin fought Harry’s attemtps with nails and teeth.

They reached the fifth hairpin. Martin heel toed his way to 2nd gear, and gripped the road; but this time, Harry wouldn’t grip: he tried the late apex technique he had seen Martin use before. He gripped the road as much as he could and managed to keep up with Martin’s cornering.

“What the hell? He has been anaylizing my technique!” - Thought Martin, who was impressed by how well Harry had taken the corner. “Now we’re talking”, thought Harry.

The engines screamed their way through the third high speed section; Harry kept pushing, and Martin started losing his concentration slowly. By the time they had reached the sixth hairpin, both Harry and Martin were neck to neck. The two gripped the road and got out of the corner fast.

Harry knew there was only going to be one more chance to overtake: the last hairpin. Knowing this, he focused on the five consecutive hairpins; if he wanted to have a chance, he had to survive them. Both cars gripped the hairpins, one after another; by the time they got out of them, Martin had widened the gap a little bit, giving him a little more room to breathe.

They were approaching the last hairpin at scary speeds. Martin knew he had to survive it in order to win. Harry knew he had to overtake him there.

They both entered the hairpin. Their hearts raced as they entered the turn; however, a few moments later Martin would realize he had made a mistake: he did not use the late apex technique. He turned his head to the right, only to see Harry’s car on the inside, the same way he had overtaken him minutes ago. They fought an acceleration race through the final straight, which, to Harry’s surprise, he won.

On the finishing line, the engines and tyre squeals were audible now. They had to be in the last section. Race was going to be over in a matter of seconds.

The Accursio Criceto was the first to exit the final corner, followed closely by the KHT Tsukuba. Harry crossed the finishing line first. He won, he couldn’t believe it. Martin crossed the line a couple of seconds later, still surprised by how intense the race had been. His heart was still racing.

Back at the summit, people celebrated yet another race. Harry celebrated his victory with the crowd; a few seconds later, the KHT Tsukuba would arrive. He lowered his driver-side window and looked at Harry.

“Hey, kid. Great race.” - After saying this, Martin parked his car somewhere he wouldn’t be an obstacle.

“Alright, people! Time for race 4! Tora!” - The laptop man brought it to the organizer yet again, and he nodded. “Race 4 will be…Yasmin Rodrigues vs Madoka Matsusaka! Racers, get ready!”.

To be continued.


Times spreadsheet:


#110

Oh wow, that’s a hell of a close race!


#111

Seriously good race! Writing style was perfect for conveying the tension of this duel.


#112

Reading this is more exciting than watching a Initial D battle! I could see the entire racing on my mind! Perfect writing, man!


Now into the character:

“Damn! I really wanted to race that KHT! Would be the perfect foe for my Surge.
Guess I’ll need to beat that Harry guy to prove my Surge is better then.”

Yasmin was disappointed with the result of the race, but kept taking notes:
“…don’t pass to early against Harry…”

As she ended her analysis of the race the organizers called to annouce the next battle:
“Oh! It’s finally me!!!” She screamed while trembling of excitement.
“Nice! Let’s go!”
And she runned to her car to prepare to the battle.


#113

#Matt’s Tour In Japan: Downtime…
This story arc takes places in during Matt’s downtime between the first and second night

Christ that was a long day. I havent been able to get any sleep at all. This morning I had to go to the nearby prefecture to report on a drift competition going on there. It was certainly very interesting, with plenty of smoke and the smell of burning rubber. It would have been mostly uneventful if it weren’t for a certain group called the Line Sixes. Apparently their best driver was the one I went up against last night, so that was interesting. Although I tried to ask them about the drift competition, they seemed more interested in how well I thought their best driver was. Personally, I thought she was okay, rough around the edges, but if she refined her abilities more she would have probably had a much easier time against me. Car wise I kinda felt that it was a bit too powerful for its own good. I mean, the Merciel only had about 290hp and seemed to do it fine, not too sure on how much power the CAC making, but it seemed to be overkill… anyway, enough about the race last night.

After meeting the other members of Line Sixes, I went back to my hotel to see the door was open. Curious, I walked into my room, albeit rather worried that some jackass broke in to steal my stuff. I was kinda hoping they wouldnt take my laptop. That thing has like a weeks worth of writing ready to send off to the editor, it would be hell to lose all that work. But, as walked in, I immediately noticed a woman going through my computer.

“Oi, how dare you try and steal my stuff when I’m not in my room!” I shouted. The woman appeared slightly startled and looked at me…
“Huh, that’s a familiar face…wait…aren’t you Airborne’s Representative? What are you doing here? But more importantly how did you get in here in the first place? I was certain this place was locked.”
But suddenly, the woman barged past me, with my laptop in her hand. I tried chasing after her, but you know, I’m 34 years old, I’m getting too old to be going on wild goose chases. Thankfully it’s surprisingly easy to find out where she’s staying. Gavin already told me which hotel he was staying at. So I figured she’d be staying with him to train him.

As I reached the hotel, first thing I noticed was her car, the Purple Seishi SR, kinda hard to miss. This was definitely the place.

Madoka Matsusaka’s text is in Bold
As I knocked on her door. A voice came from within.
"Dare ga iru ka?(Who is there?)"
“Watashi wa Matt…I dont speak Japanese”
"Anatahadare? Anata wa Gavin dono yō ni shitte imasu ka?" (Who are you? How do you know Gavin?)
“Ich spreche kein Japanische. So please speak English.”
Suddenly the door opened, and there was Ms Matsusaka.
"I said who are you and how do you know Gavin?"
“Ahh yes, but first could I please have my computer back?”
"No, I need to know who you are and why you are here"
"You know who I am. Matt Sierra. Journalist and former rally driver. Heck, Im pretty sure youre driving in the ‘Touge’ Tournament too?
So what brings you here and how do you know Gavin?
“Why else? Im now a motorsport journalist. It’s kinda my job to report on motorsports all over the world. As for why I know Gavin, well he’s a guy I worked with a couple of times. He asked if I could do the review on the new Zavir Espada and the Erin Berlose during Geneva, and I helped get in contact with Merciel to let him be driven around in Merciel Rally Cars. Now, can I have my laptop back?”
"Oh so thats why…wait, have you told his boss? Does he know about this?"
“Oh you mean Ed? Yeah he already knows…”
It was at that moment I noticed a slight fire burning in Ms Matsusaka’s eyes…I dont think she took that news well
“Well, Gavin’s editor figured it out pretty quickly. He tends to lurk about websites looking for these kind of events, so it was inevitable he would find this event with Gavin’s name on it and piece the two together. Look, Im not here to drag Gavin back to London. Im here to write an article. Now could I have my laptop back please?”
Begrudgingly she handed me back my laptop and apologised for the inconvenience she caused me.

"I can trust that you wont tell anyone about what I was doing."
“I’ll try to keep my mouth shut…just kidding. Dont worry I’ll let this slide this time. Just dont do anything like this again. Anyways, good luck with the race tonight.”


#114

After two cigarettes in a row and an engergy drink Martin’s heart was still pounding, and rage built up. He could not believe he got knocked out in the first race he entered, and against somebody he was sure he’d beat. People turned around and walked away as he started beating up the guardrails with his feet shouting. An empty can of drink soon got thrown in anger into the ground. Venting over, he walked back to his Tsukuba to notice that the “Apex Predators” club sticker was ripped off his rear window and thrown on the ground beside the car. It did not need to be explained to him, he was expelled form the club. Another cigarette got lit as he got into the car, and a few flicks of safety switches later the Tsukuba left the meet obeying all traffic laws.


#115

Suuuuure…


#116

The guy is beat on all fronts. Nothing much to do but turbocharge the thing and run laps on C1, or return to the track days


#117

LineSixes Headquarters

Katsumi was working on the 260 GT While Karumi walked in. Apparently after her race at Haruna she went went for some late night drifting at an undisclosed location to burn off some steam from the race. Katsumi was a very humble leader, and always tried to soak up whatever she could from her opponents as she constantly improved her skills. The late drift gave her the space she needed to clear her head and regain her composure, even if it meant revving the 260 gt so hard it blew an head gasket. Anyway, she was doing the repairs herself when Karumi, her number 2 came in to offer a hand:

Karumi: Hey, you need a hand with that?
Katsumi: No, I got it thanks. I’m just tightening a few bolts.
Karumi: I was at the race last night, seems like it’s going pretty well. There are some extremely fast cars up there.
Katsumi: yea I heard.
Karumi: I also overheard this Luka guy saying some old man told him that the car was too much for you, and that the rally driver was better than you. But I bet they didn’t know you forgot your Racing shoes and was wearing heels the whole time.
Katsumi chuckled: Oh yea, I didn’t even remember about that.
Karumi: I also overheard some talk about the car having too much power.
Katsumi: Well it is powerful, but not overly. It’s a shame they didn’t know that it was even way more powerful and had to be nerfed before the race, but that doesn’t matter now anyway. 371 horsepower is sufficient for the tongue and I was pulling 1.5 gs on some corners, so we had the suspension set up right. But maybe the rear was a little bit too stiff, we can try to adjust that the next time.
Karumi: What did you think of Matt?
Katsumi: he did pretty well. Obviously he’s good on tight tracks due to his rally skills and I found him a worthy opponent. The Marciel had some solid tuning behind it and was very light and nimble, that made it very competitive. Our car had more power, but more weight so it was punishing the tyres quite hard, but still put down anow extremely fast time even after my mistakes. So I think Matt deserved his win, he’s a good driver and that’s what won his race.
Karumi: hmmm, I see. Okay well, ready to go watch the other races?
Katsumi: Hell yea! Let’s go!

Katsumi and Karumi went to meet up with the other LineSix members after she finished tightening up the engine head. The evening erupted with 6 straight 6 engines bouncing off the Rev limiter and going sideways through the city. Upon reaching the city centre they saw Gavin Anderson choking on sushi in a restaurant, with a waiter behind him squeezing his torso. Thankfully the waiter was an expert as he’s seen it happen many times and was able to get him to cough it up… The LineSixes didn’t bother stopping for that event and make their way to the top of Haruna to see the next race.


#118

20/06/2017, minutes after Madoka’s encounter with Matt

Madoka is seen in her apartment doing some stuff on computer, eating sushi with her fingers instead of sticks and analyzing recorded footages of Gavin’s and Harry’s races on Youtube on her TV. Then, she thinks:

Wow, thank God this guy has not seen what am I working on… (brings out pendrive and sticks it into her PC) – now, Matt, honey, show what have you got there…

some files appear on screen of opened portable drive folder, Madoka opens some letters from SAM to Matt with a context to actually punish both Gavin and her – Gavin for street racing and Madoka for involving him in such a thing, also affecting Airborne Automotive as result. Letters were of course sent by Splendid Auto Monthly’s boss.

  • Oh f*ck - says quietly Madoka, meanwhile she hears opening door and instantly closes her laptop’s screen. The stranger is Gavin, who is a little suspicious why the woman is acting like that.
  • Hello – he says with suspicious face expression.
  • H-H-Helloooooooooo… What do you need here? - Madoka, saying those words sweats pretty heard and has confused face. - I’m busy, I ask again, what do you need?
  • I’m just here to thank you for your training, Mado-chan. - Gavin responds, trying again to impress the Japanese racer. - You may think that I’m not a person who was listening, but I was listening, I was also practicing pretty hard and I guess I know this Berlose pretty well. I still have problems due to constant oversteering, but in a car like this it’s normal.
  • Fine Gavin. I’m also surprised that you won, but actually, I have one question. Does Matt Sierra work with you in the same company?
  • Right. Why do you ask? - Gavin became suspicious.
  • I’m afraid he has found out that you are here, your boss too.
  • I know about that. Anyway, thanks for warning, I’ll try to play it cool, don’t worry. - Gavin smiled – Bye, I’m going to take business of my stuff.
  • Bye – Madoka said, and after Gavin closed the door, she started to analyze the documents back, after that she watched TV with the replays of those racers.

When watching, her thoughts are:
I watch Gavin in action, and he’s damn impressive. He could easily win with that Hachiroku, meanwhile his driving was also very good for the concrete block that Big Mumma is in handling. I don’t actually know where he had learnt blind attack technique that he used on fourth hairpin, but he executed it perfectly. slight smile Maybe he isn’t as bad and annoying as I thought… No. Madoka, girl, Gavin is not your focus. Your focus is to train him and in meanwhile drive as good as you can.

Then the woman skips to Harry and Martin’s race, and as she analyzes it, she cames to conclusion in her mind.
I wouldn’t even consider Jakeman as a winner here – everything that I’ve calculated was on side of Martin Todd – he had better car, much more experience, knew the route better I suppose. Meanwhile Harry was a newbie who just jumped into one of less known italian kei cars and had beaten this guy. Slightly, but still. Damn impressive. But this is an advantage of more powerful car and dual clutch gearbox, also smaller dimensions and much less weight played a role there.

After the analysis, Madoka closed her laptop, shut the TV and went to the parking where Gavin left his Berlose. She grabbed the keys to the Big Mumma and drove it out on Haruna touge to check how much mayhem to the tyres Gavin did. Surprisingly, there was no harm to tyres done, in meanwhile she passed Merciel and drifted in front of it. Matt, driver of the rally car when has seen the Berlose he noticed that Gavin isn’t driving it because he has entirely different style – while Gavin tries to drive with maximum grip usage, here the Berlose did high speed drifts with low angle. That would lead to further controversies in future relations and another problems.

After the test drive, Madoka drove to AIRJAP Gunma, rented their platform to work on cars and applied some tweaks to suspension and brakes that definitely will help the Brit, and after 2 hours she was done and brought the car back being unnoticed by the owner of Erin.


#119

CHAPTER SIX: Experienced street racer faces experienced track racer!

Yasmin rushed to her car, excited. She ignited the engine and drove the car to the starting line; people could notice she was looking forward to start by how throttle happy she was, revving the engine like she was trying to test it. Madoka, on the other hand, drove her car to the starting line using just the necessary amount of throttle.

When both cars were perfectly lined up, the drivers got out of their vehicles and walked towards each other. They shook hands. “Name’s Yasmin Rodrigues.” - Said the younger woman, with an enthusiastic tone. “Madoka Matsusaka. Let’s go.”, replied the other woman, in a more relaxed tone.

Both drivers got into their respective cars. The engines started growling, unmuffled; people cheered, and the organizer stood once again between both vehicles.

“I’ll start the countdown! Nine, eight…!” - Both racers looked at each other, as if they were trying to intimidate the other driver, hoping it would affect their concentration. “Four, three…!” - Madoka got her right hand ready to press the upshift paddle; on the other hand, Yasmin pressed the clutch and set the gearbox to 1st gear. They were ready to launch. Any second now. “Two, one…!”. Yasmin slowly started releasing the clutch.


(Race’s theme!)

“GO!”. Both cars launched really hard; most of the people attending the event hadn’t seen anything close before. As Yasmin banged through the gears and Madoka pressed the upshift paddle, the acceleration advantage in a DCT showed, giving Madoka the upper hand before the first corner.

Yasmin’s car was no joke, however. She kept up with Madoka; both entered the first corner, squealing the tyres all the way through the turn and fighting the oversteer their machines induced. They then entered the second corner, still carrying most of their speed. They both gripped the second corner, and were now approaching the first hairpin.

“I read she has track experience. Explains why she has been able to keep up with me.” - Thought Madoka, while she pressed the downshift paddle, braking to get ready to enter the hairpin. “Looks like this is not going to be easy. She has skill.” - thought Yasmin. She started braking, and as soon as her revs dropped, she heel toed her way into 2nd gear.

Both cars took the first hairpin using the late apex technique. As soon as they got out of it, they applied gas and pushed their way through the high speed corners towards the second hairpin.

As soon as they reached the second hairpin, Madoka located herself on the outside of the road to take the corner. She look at her rear view mirror; Yasmin remained on the inside of the road. “What is she trying?” - Thought the Airborne driver. “Our lines are going to cross!”. The Airborne started turning despite how risky the Gamma’s move was.

Yasmin started braking as soon as she saw that Madoka was not changing her line. “Dammit, she did not fall into the trap.” - She heel toed and gripped the road as much as the tyres allowed her. Madoka looked at the rear view mirror, nervously. Why did she try that? She could have caused an accident!

They entered the first high speed section; Yasmin drafted and kept putting pressure on Madoka, who on the other hand defended her position with great expertise. As the section went on and the third hairpin got closer and closer, the drivers started letting off the gas, and a few seconds later they started braking and rev matching their way into lower gears.

Meanwhile, at the summit, people kept silent, only talking when it was absolutely necessary. The news that the people there receive were that both drivers were neck to neck; both were doing their best, be it defending the position or trying to overtake. Tension was noticeable.

Back at the road, both had already entered the third hairpin. Yasmin tried to push on the outside; however, Madoka avoided her attempt to overtake by clutch kicking and drifting her Seishi. Yasmin gritted her teeth. It was the first time someone managed to survive her overtaking attempts that long. Where did this woman come from?

Things did not change much by the fourth hairpin; both drivers kept gripping to the road and using the late apex technique. However, even if Yasmin wasn’t able to overtake Madoka, Madoka was not able to leave her rival behind; they had kept neck to neck so far.

The second high speed section went pretty fast, and they soon found themselves in the high speed corners leading up to the fifth hairpin. Madoka looked through her rear view mirror; Yasmin was steering her car towards the right side of the read. No way she would willingly be overtaken; she steered to the right as well.

However, a few fractions of second later, Madoka looked at her rear view mirror again and; Yasmin was not there. She turned her head to the left: Yasmin was overtaking her by the left side of the road. “She tricked me!” - Thought Madoka as Yasmin passed her.

Yasmin turned into the hairpin as soon as she could, blocking Madoka; unable to do anything to prevent it, she had to brake to avoid crashing into Yasmin. She gritted her teeth: How could have she pulled that off?

They pushed their way through the last high speed section. Even if Yasmin could not widen the gap between Madoka and her, she kept her position. Madoka tried to overtake her two times during the section, using the same technique Yasmin had used; however, she was unable to.

“Dammit, I can’t make her fall into her own trap. I’ll have to try something else.” - Thought Madoka. She had to overtake Yasmin, but how? Wait. They’d have to face the five consecutive hairpins now. Maybe she could try something there…

Both cars braked their way into the first consecutive hairpin. Madoka gripped the road; whereas Yasmin drifted to block any attempt to overtake her. She repeated the proccess in the second hairpin.

However, third hairpin would be different. Yasmin braked way too late, and Madoka got her car into the inside part of the road. Yasmin looked at her right - she made a terrible mistake! She looked at Madoka’s car, overtaking her as they exited the corner. Madoka defended her position for the rest of the consecutive hairpins.

They were approaching the last hairpin. Yasmin knew it: if she wanted to recover, it was now or never. She drafted behind the Seishi. Yasmin tried to overtake Madoka once again using the late apex technique; however, she failed doing so, as her rival drifted to block her attempt once again. Dammit. She would have to try something at the last section…

At the finishing line, people were putting their attention into the sounds of the tyres squealing and the engines growling. They would be here soon.

Both cars entered the last turn. Madoka started turning to right, only to find out Yasmin diving into the corner and braking late. “Dammit, I’ll have to brake now!” - Thought Madoka.

The late braking technique Yasmin used was succesful. She got on the inside of the road and pushed outwards, getting in front again. The cars appeared in front of the finishing line, the Gamma Surge crossing the line first and the Airborne Seishi second. Neither could believe what had just happened; the race was intense at the very least.

Back at the summit, people packed up; the organizer told everyone that the following day races would start at 22:00PM as usual. Madoka and Yasmin shook hands again; it had been a great race after all.

To be continued.


Times spreadsheet:


#120

After she crossed the finish line Yasmin couldn’t believe for a while and didn’t leave the car for a few seconds.
“Oh, maaaaan…” she tought, “I… I won!”

That was a really good night, she didn’t get any sleep for excess of adrenaline and went for some more driving and fine tuning after the meeting was over, she must prepare for the next race.


#121

"…and with the updated projections from the Asia-Pacific region, this should bolster the company’s profit margins well into 2020. Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased with your work on this project, though I suspect not quite as- "

A knock; I look up and one of the mechanics is standing in the door, trying to get my attention; “Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Span - the race director has given us first notice.”

"Thank you, Pironi, I will be along shortly, " I reply, turning my attention to the video conference screen. “Ladies and gentlemen, if there is no further business, I would like to adjourn this meeting, so I can go race one of our fine sports cars!” I say with a wry smile.

“No further business from Toronto.” One of the video feeds announces.

“No additional business from Koblenz - viel glück, Herr Span!” The other feed replies, after a short delay.

I smile at the well-wishes as I pull my racing gloves on; “Thank you, Doctor Muller…from what I’ve seen so far I’m going to need it, my opponents and their cars are very strong - world class in fact.”

“Well, you’re in the right car for the job!” a voice from Canada adds in. “Make us proud, sir…no pressure or anything!”

“I’ll talk to you all tomorrow for the engineering review. Japan out!” I say as I snap the screen shut on the computer. I pull my balaclava over my face and put my helmet on, the signature black and white helmet that I’ve worn since I was young. In that moment, I am no longer Christopher Span, the CEO of the CMW Group, and I become my “alter ego”; the anonymous “Mr. Chips”, gentleman racer and owner of ChipsWorx Tuning, the largest and most famous race and tuning shop for CMW cars.

I step out of the office in my mobile home and into a flurry of activity under the bright lights of the tent; up on jacks and surrounded by a team of mechanics, the bright white CMW 786 stands, its door open, the black interior a contrast to the stark white paint. The instrument cluster glows inside, lit up in red, the status lights for the car’s various systems almost pulsating, bestowing an almost living quality to the machine. I clap the lead mechanic on the back, as an affirmation of my satisfaction at the job she’s done preparing the car, as the staccato report of an impact gun driving home a wheel nut splits the cool night air. Across the parking lot, I can see some specatators and a few of the competitors staring at our little hive of activity; it seems to me that our team has drawn a lot of attention to ourselves, not just with the pristine white motorhome and transporter we brought, but also with the mysterious character driving the car - me, of course. I’ve heard some of the speculation as to who I am, in hushed whispers around the parking lot, and in the hotel…if only they knew who I actually was, I muse to myself as I fold myself over the roll cage and into the narrow, hard racing seat.

The lead mechanic leans in and helps me with the harness, tightening the belts to the point I feel I am now one with the car, giving the other safety systems one last going over as she gives me some last-minute advice; “Make sure you go through all the gears at least three times on the way up the mountain before you start,” she says, tweaking the shoulder harness, “and if the charge temperature goes above 70 degrees, flip the auxiliary cooling fans to HIGH instead of LOW this time. We don’t know who your first opponent is yet, unfortunately; we will call you by radio when we find out who it is. Have a good run!”

I nod as she slams the door shut, and just like that, I am in my own little world, away from the frenetic pace, both near and far alike. I take a deep breath and squeeze the steering wheel, going through the road in my mind for the hundredth time, visualising every corner, every straight…where to pass, where to hang back. Suddenly, the radio crackles to life in my ears; “OK, Chris, radio check, how do I read?” The disembodied voice asks.

“Um, five by five, how me?” I reply.

“Five by five. Prepare for engine start,” the voice commands.

“Understood.” I reply. The car hisses and lurches hard, the integrated air jacks slamming us to the ground. I flip the master ignition and fuel pumps, giving a quick three count to build pressure in the system before I hit the starter button. The starter whirrs briefly before the engine barks to life, settling into an angry, whistling idle. One of the mechanics motions to marshall me out of our spot; I pull the sequential shift lever backward, feeling the thunk of the transmission as it slides into gear. With a gentle brush of the throttle, the car moves forward as we crawl toward the road, onward to begin this adventure…