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


#122

CHAPTER SEVEN: The third night.


(Chapter’s theme)

21:00PM, Mount Haruna.

People was at the summit for another night. They were willing to see some good action, racing and how the racers burned rubber once again.

The now familiar sound of the engines soaks the ambient at the summit. People already knew some of the racers from the previous races; some of the spectators even asked the most famous people like Matt, Gavin, Madoka or Yui for autographs. The organizer did not announce the races this time, though; he seemed to be awaiting something.

However, an engine was suddenly heard in the distance; A V6, soaked in the whistling sound of a twin turbo setup. A white car approached the crowd, slowing down to avoid ramming into the people. He made its way to the organizer, who was now smiling.

“So, you’re here…“MrChips”. Listen up, people! We decided today’s first race beforehand. The mysterious “Mr Chips” will face…Luka Bogdanov!”. - As the organizer said that, a man dressed in a white racing suit, wearing an also white racing helmet, exited the car. He looked at the organizer, silent.

Luka threw his cigarette to the ground, and crushed it with the sole of his right shoe; he walked towards the man in white, who turned around and stared at the young Russian in silence. Luka shook MrChips’ hand. “I is of Luka Bogdanov namings. Watashi no namae wa Luka desu.” - MrChips did not reply, however. He just pointed at Luka’s car and got into his.

“Race is about to start, racers! Get ready!”.

To be continued.


#123

CHAPTER EIGHT: The mysterious racer.

Both cars lined up at the starting line. MrChips set the cooling system to low, to minimize drag, and checked that every system in his car was up and running, and finally checked that the seatbelts would stop him in case of crash. He looked at the front, focused on the road that lied beneath; Luka, on the other hand, took a look at the mysterious racer in the white CMW while he tightened his seatbelts. He then gripped the wheel and directed all of his attention to the road.

“I’m going to start the countdown! Nine, eight, seven…!” - As the organizer counted down, both racers held their breath; Luka pressed the clutch pedal, engaging first gear, while MrChips caressed the upshift paddle, getting ready to engage the gear as soon as the organizer gave them the signal.

“GO!”.


(Race’s theme!)

Both cars launched as hard as they could. As the CMW 786 revved up, cancelling the turbo lag, Luka was overtaken in the first straight. He kept banging the gears, though, not giving up just yet. Both cars entered the first corner, flooring it: the massive downforce both cars were generating allowed them to take the corner just fine, but Luka’s cornering was rougher than that of MrChips’: he had to constantly fight the oversteer his car generated. They exited first corner, entered the second one and exited it without any of the racers trying anything, trying to save their tyres for as long as they could.

They approached the first hairpin. MrChips started banging the downshift paddle, while Luka heel-toed his way into 2nd gear; MrChips and Luka showed very different styles, the masked man gripping the corner while Luka powerslid it. They got out of the hairpin and started accelerating again.

“This kid is not bad at all. But he has to stop drifting or else he will eat dust in the corners; gripping is faster, after all.” - Thought MrChips, as he pressed the upshift paddle again. “Dammit…this guy is good! I need to catch up somehow…” - Thought Luka, looking how his rival slowly increased the gap between the two.

They approached the second hairpin. Luka noticed the gutter, and got one of his wheels in there, trying to make his car easier to corner; however, MrChips realized this and dropped his wheels into the gutter too, cancelling Luka’s maneuver. Both exited the corner fast as a lightning, and entered the first high speed section.

Meanwhile, at the summit, people had already received the news that Luka failed at his attempt to overtake MrChips. Some people, who were rooting for the mysterious racer, celebrated this as if he had already won the race.

As the first high speed section ended and they entered the third hairpin, the racer in the CMW blocked another attempt to overtake from the Conte, drifting the car and blocking most of the lines for his competitor. Luka was starting to grow desperated. How was he going to overtake such a skilled racer? And he had to fight against his own oversteer too!

They entered the fourth hairpin, both gripping the road this time. MrChips smiled under his helmet. He was pulling a flawless run, blocking every attempt from the Conte and forcing him to follow his pace. He knew he had this; he only had to survive the overtaking attempts from his competitor and everything would be fine. He then remembered something, and took a look at the dashboard. “Engine: 50ºC”. It was still fine, no need to put the cooling into max power yet. They exited the hairpin and entered the second high speed section.

Luka drafted behind MrChips in order to keep up. His engine was tuned for high end performance, and once he got to the higher rpms, he started closing the gap slowly; MrChips looked at his rear view mirror. “Hmn. Looks like he’s still fighting…that poor bastard.” - Thought MrChips, as he started downshifting for the medium speed turns before the hairpin.

Luka heel-toed as he chased the white car into the corner. He drifted into the turn, while MrChips used the late apex technique, and both exited the corner neck to neck. MrChips was starting to get desperated too, but he tried not to let his rival feel that. The last high speed section started.

MrChips floored it, with Luka drafting behind him. He looked at the dashboard again. “Engine: 63ºC”. Huh. He had better watch out for the engine temperature, but he would still not set the auxiliary cooling to max power. He wanted all of the battery power to be delivered to the engine, so he could still outrun the car behind him.

They entered the the last hairpin before the five consecutive ones. The Conte tried dropping his wheels into the gutter, but found himself being mimicked by the CMW. Luka gritted his teeth: he was running out of chances and this guy wouldn’t willingly be overtaken. He started sweating; however, MrChips started feeling the same pressure: the red car wouldn’t get of his ass, and stop harrassing him. He found himself changing lanes and pace to more uncomfortable ones to avoid getting overtaken.

They finally entered the five consecutive hairpins. Both fought with nails and teeth through the five; drifting and gripping their way through them; dropping their wheels in the gutters; drafting and using the fastest lines. They were really neck to neck by the time they got to the final hairpin. The positions did not switch during the hairpin; however, when the driver of the CMW got out of the corner, something on his dashboard started beeping. “WARNING: ENGINE EXCEEDING 70ºC”. Bollocks! He would fry his engine! He hurried up and set the auxiliary cooling to max power mode, without thinking it twice.

However, a few seconds later, he realized that the energy the fans were draining from the battery were making his engine lose some power; he looked at the right. The Conte had already caught up.

Everybody at the finishing line were biting their nails, hearing the tyres squeal their way through the final corners. They would be here any second.

The Conte appeared first, followed by the CMW. Luka crossed the finishing line, still not believing how lucky he had been; MrChips, on the other hand, sighed looking at his dashboard: “Engine: 68ºC”. He set the cooling to low again and dropped the revs.

At the summit, people celebrated how intense the race had been. Luka and Chips would arrive not too late, and both got out of their cars. The man in white shook Luka’s hand and patted his back before getting into his car again. “Good drrrive” - replied Luka.

“Alright everybody, silence! I’m going to announce our next race…Jürgen Pfeifer & Suzette L’Angelier will race against Nicholas Justinian! Racers, get ready!”

To be continued.


Times spreadsheet:


#124

These are very nicely written and quite enjoyable but reading about heel and toe seems to get a bit repetitive.
To shake it up you may want to mention an inertia drift at the slow right, fast left sequence!


#125

Heel and toe is probably the most common technique for people who actually know a bit about performance driving techniques, so well.


#126

Edit. noticed massive gap. Sorry for complications to anyone, don’t cause problems. :frowning:

After the Luka’s race (Chapter 8 intermission)

After all the hype around Luka was done, Madoka runned to him full of enthusiasm and was shouting, and laughing at the same time

  • Luka, Luka! Look here, damn Ruski bastard!
    When Luka has responded they’ve started the conversation (which is of course in japanese).


Luka Bogdanov and Madoka Matsusaka talking.

  • Your win was incredible! Congratulations! - Madoka said to Luka, smiling constantly.
  • Thank you, Mado-chan. - the Russian responded. - However, it was not easy to beat this anonymous guy, but as far as I know his car is a rolling computer, so I bet something had malfunctioned in his vehicle.
  • Yeah… This „Mr. Chips”… Anyway, he tries whatever he can to keep his winning streak, or anything, I don’t know but I’ve seen his car in the action – This guy came prepared like it was Super GT Championship Finale mixed with Tron movie. Pathetic. - Madoka responds and opens can of green Lipton Ice Tea, drinking it after.
  • But, wait Madoka. Where have you found this info? - Luka became suspicious when saying those words.
  • burp Observed the car
  • Nice. But, what do you think about the race actually?
  • Chips isn’t really a rival that I would race. He relies too much on complicated systems that are making his car more similar to spaceship than actual touge car.
  • Luka thought for a while, then responded You’re actually right. I’m not sure, but I’ve seen his rotors under the car to actually spin on different speeds.
  • This is what I am saying. I’ve seen he also did a flawless run, but that isn’t worth a single fuck since all the driver’s errors were corrected by his computers. - the Japanese girl responded.
  • Okay… What about your race with Yasmin Rodrigues, Mado? - Luka asked like it was nothing.
  • Well… Madoka went upset - I could beat this cheating piece of shit if I wouldn’t have that much mercy to her… yell Fucking idiot!
  • W-What has she done to you?
  • Actually nothing special. If you haven’t seen, Yasmin wasn’t racing clearly like it should be, she did all sort of trickery – cleaner or dirtier. But, she went too much on last turn to right. When it was clear that she will lose, guess what has she done – she pulled exactly in my route to cause double crash!

Luka, listening to that had made serious face expression, but Madoka continued:

  • You NEVER should block lanes of your opponents if it’s obvious they can’t brake, especially in way like that. If I hadn’t stopped for a bit I guess Yasmin would be dead. But, of course, only thing she did was to shake her hand with mine and she went away. And people call her a professional track driver… My ass. She knows nothing about track racing and basic rules of it.
  • Wow… - Luka was speechless, but after a while he said – That are some rude words. But, as I think about it, you’re right. Yasmin does not deserve to win.
  • Yeah. - Madoka responded – Anyway, good luck with racing your next opponent. Sadly I won’t race in this jokey tournament anymore. I’m happy with it, I did my job and I’ll just be here to watch.
  • Your call, Mado-chan! - Luka responded. - Hey, there’s a race of this strange Western duo with Nicholas Justinian, or however the guy from Shromet is called. Want to watch?
  • Right. - Japanese said.

After that, Madoka threw her Lipton can into nearest trash can and walked with Luka to the “secret first row spot” with clear view on full touge road to watch the race


#127

The car shuts down, only the sound of the turbochargers spooling down fills the cabin as I unstrap the belts. I will have to find a way to shove a larger intercooler into this car, I think to myself, if we ever want to be competitive.

I clamber over the door posts of the roll cage and make my way into the crowd of people surrounding the little red coupe. We shake hands magnanimously; while I am disappointed at my loss, it was a hard-fought and fair competition between both drivers. As the crowd disperses in anticipation of the next round, I approach Luka once again, flipping up my visor to give the young man a hint of just who I might be.

“Mister Bogdanov!” I call out, my voice still muffled by the helmet. Luka turns and gasps; it seems the glance into the open visor of my helmet has clued him in to who I am. “I just want to congratulate you on an excellent run - you know, I could use someone with your talents at ChipsWorx, or in my other…concern…” I pull out a business card and hand it to the awestruck young driver. “If you’re ever looking for a change of pace, give us a call.”

“You’re…you’re…” Luka stammers, at a loss for words.

I smile under the helmet, then put my finger to the front hoop of my helmet, as if to ask for his silence on this, then dash off to my car and head off into the night.


#128

I got a question.
How do you chose who races who? I’m asking this because (and I’m eliminating the RNG here, to go with raw stats only) you’ve already eliminated times like 261, 258 and 256 seconds, whle 255 258 and 258 are still running in the championship. You want to have the fastest cars to have an easier battle in the beginning of the tournament. So the car that ran 256 seconds should have been paired off against a weaker opponent, to face off the faster guys later on, to provide for a more interesting finale. As it stands now you could have a finale where the 255 and 261 cars face off, and that could lead to one car just casually walks over the other, with no drama what so ever.


#129

It’s all about randomization


#130

As in “it’s random”?


#131

Just random match-making


#132

That is what I thought. Which means we’re having these great battles now, close and edge of your seat stuff. But the further the tournament, the higher the stakes - the less interesting the battles. I mean I’m sure MrComputah could do action packed recap of a race, there’s enough proof in this thread about it. Im not certain you could make an action packed version of “it just driven away” :slight_smile: and if that were to happen in the finals - it would be a let down.

You know, food for thought when you’re doing the next tournament. In my experience some things are evident instantly when you run a challenge, some are getting out during a pre-season test, and some only really show up during the season itself. All you can do is finish the challenge and fix the thing next time. I know King of Drift is getting a complete scoring overhaul to remove the chance of min-maxing for example.


#133

Thank you for the feedback. I’m well aware of many stuff that could be improved for future challenges, and I appreciate all the advice I’m being given to do so. I know there’s already lots of stuff that needs to be revamped - budget and depreciation needs to be less confusing, the calculations need some improvement too - but every time you guys point out something that could be improved, you’re helping me improve the rules and regulations. I definitely appreciate your thoughts and constructive criticism, and I hope you guys are enjoying the tournament! :wink:


#134

CHAPTER NINE: Zen driving.

Both cars lined up at the starting line. Nicholas got out of his car and walked towards the couple, who had also got out of their car, both hands together, and were doing some kind of meditation ritual. They looked at Nicholas.

“Name’s Nic-” - Nicholas tried to present himself but was interrupted by a hissing sound. “Take our hands. We need to harmonize our souls before we can race.” “Not race, honey…we’re going to make our cars dance, slip over the tarmac with unmatchable elegance…the tyres being the shoes of a expert dancer who tries to express himself through the art of dance.”

The crowd didn’t know what to think of this. Nicholas did not either, and he got into his car and waited for the couple to end this weird ritual; a few minutes later, they got into their car too and lined it up with their rival. The organizer stood between them once again, raising one of his arms. “We’re going to start the countdown! Nine, eight, seven, six…!” - As the organizer counted down, Nicholas looked at the couple with a completely neutral expression. The co-driver, Jürgen, was meditating, waiting for the car to launch, while Suzette caressed the steering wheel. “Where did these weirdos come from?” - Thought Nicholas.

“Two, one…GO!”.


(Race’s theme!)

Both cars launched as soon as they were signaled to. Nicholas pressed the upshift paddle at the same time Suzette was releasing the clutch, and an acceleration race started, which Nicholas won. The small FF drafted behind the Shromet, but was starting to fall behind. They entered the first turn, with the AAU gripping its way through it while the Shromet powerslid it.

“They are falling behind. I guess I can hold back a little bit to save tyres, I don’t know if I will need them later on. I better be careful.” - Thought Nicholas. Meanwhile, in the small hatchback, the driver had already started taking the second corner. “Suzette, think of the road as a stream…you’re the water that flows through it, eroding it, taking its minerals…as the water, you want to turn to the right now.” - Said Jurgen, focused on the road at the same time he gave instructions to the driver. “There’s a hairpin right after, meaning our life is going to change completely”.

Nicholas drifted into the corner, followed by the purple car which gripped the hairpin once again. Nicholas looked at his rear view mirror, convinced that they were going to try something, so he would need to save tyres for the later parts of the track; he did not floor it, he just accelerated enough to keep the lead. They would now approach the second hairpin, and Nicholas decided to grip it this time, without drifting. The AAU followed him.

“Honey, don’t tell me what you see through the windshield…tell me the ideas behind what how the road layout is changing…don’t trust your eyes. We don’t perceive the world as it really is.” - Said Suzette, as soon as she entered the first high speed section.

Both cars floored it here. As the cars started reaching their top speed, the gap between the Shromet and the AAU was starting to grow. The AAU could barely keep up thanks to drafting, and, by the end of the section, the Interval had already gained a couple of seconds. Both cars entered the third hairpin, gripping it, and using the late apex technique.

“Alright, honey, let’s start putting some pressure on him. Go ahead, he is your prey…you are the predator. Fourth hairpin…that is where we’ll catch him, then block him.” - Said Jürgen, focused on the Shromet.

Nicholas entered the corner, completely relaxed, seeing that the couple couldn’t keep up. Mid corner, however, he heard a buzzing sound from the inside of the corner, and he looked there: the AAU had dropped its wheels into the gutter, overtaking him. They tricked him!

At the summit, a group of hipsters were celebrating the overtake. People who rooted for Nicholas, however, were not too happy about; the rest of the crowd, and the organizer, on the other hand, were completely silent.

Both cars entered the high speed section. “We’re the prey now…don’t let them have us.” - Said Jürgen, as he took a look at the rear view mirror. The Shromet tried to overtake several times, being blocked by the AAU again and again. Nicholas gritted his teeth. “You tricked me? Well, I’m not having any of this!”.

Both cars entered the fifth hairpin. The AAU gripped the road once again, but the Shromet drifted it this time; as both cars exited the hairpin, they mashed the throttle. The AAU experienced some torque steer, and the Shromet had to fight against some of the oversteer the car generated, but they managed to control their cars.

“The track is aging now…from the last high speed section onwards, the track turns slow and technical…just like life, we stop being hasty and start tasting everything that happens around us as we age.” - Said Jürgen to Suzette. As the high speed section went on, the gap between the two cars was finally closed, and they were now neck to neck.

They entered the sixth hairpin; as they did so, both cars dropped their wheels into the gutter and pushed through the corner at vertiginous speeds. They exited the turn; the high speed sections were now over, and now a cornering fight would start.

As they finally approached the five consecutive hairpins, Nicholas put more and more pressure on the couple. Suzette found herself being thrown out of her most confortable lines again and again, until finally, at the fifth consecutive hairpin, she forgot to use the gutter. Suzette turned her head to the left: Nicholas did not forget the gutter. He was on the inside now, and exited the corner taking the lead again.

The last hairpin was near and the cars approached it swiftly. The gap between the Shromet and the AAU had grown and was still doing so; Nicholas entered the hairpin and the couple followed him. However, as the purple car got out of the corner, the blue Shromet was not visible anymore. Had they…lost the car?

The people at the finishing line could now hear the tyres squealing and the cars accelerating and braking. However, the sounds from both cars were off, desynchronized. Something was wrong.

The Interval appeared first and crossed the finishing line; after 10 seconds, the AAU finally appeared and crossed it too. Nicholas won. “Huh, been a piece of cake” - he thought. Both cars turned around and started climbing back to the summit.

There, the same people who were celebrating when Suzette overtook Nicholas, now remained completely silent, packing all their stuff up, as the rest of the crowd was doing. The organizer told everyone that the following day races would start at the same hour.

To be continued.


Times spreadsheet:


#135

#Morning of day 4
(Ram’s text is italic, Mine/Evan’s is bold)

I woke up at 4:55 AM to the sound of rustling. Still sleepy, I sat upright in my bed, leaning on the wall. Looking to my right, I see an empty bed, devoid of any signs of life; the bathroom light on the other side of the hotel room, however, was on. Ram? Are you okay? I asked. Yeah, I’m great replied Ram with dignity. I was confused. Why are you awake so early? Oh, didn’t you hear? Our race is today. I was confused. Yeah, I know that, but… Get some damn sleep or something. I can’t. I’m too excited. I sighed. “Of course he is,” I thought. Well, I can’t really go back to sleep myself now, with the commotion you’re making. Ram replied simply, sorry.

I sighed again. Might as well do something about it. I got up and went to the bathroom. Now, he looked at me in confusion. What are you doing? What does it look like I’m doing? I said, filling a cup with water. I’m getting ready to go out. But… Where are you gonna go? I rolled my eyes. What do you mean, “you”? You’re coming with me to practice on the mountains. I saw a grin stretch across Ram’s face. Let’s do it!

We rounded some new buddies of K-Tuning. Our chase car was a Subaru WRX-STI blobeye; what I remember most, though, was the stunning early morning sky. Combined with the subtle hum from the Inline-6, a serene trip to the mountains was not one I’ll ever forget. Ram and I got a lot of practice that morning; we learned a lot about our car and the mountain pass in the process. Moments like these will never escape my memory.

While we were going down the pass, I plugged in my phone into the aux jack.


#136

#Night Four

Yui arrived at the summit at 20:38, parked her Yajiri, and as usual waited for the next race to begin. Before driving to Haruna, she updated her “travel log”.

"I haven’t had a lot of time for writing on here lately, since i spent most of it doing some more test driving with the Yajiri, i need to be 100% ready for my race. I’ve seen some really skilled drivers…

Speaking of races, the ones that already took place were rather amazing. I still can’t believe how the move Jasmin Rodrigues attempted didn’t cause a serious accident, let’s hope whoever i’m facing doesn’t get both of us killed.

If there is one car i didn’t expect to see here it’s that DSRA-era AAU M2083, driven by some really odd hipsters… they raced a Shromet Interval, a pretty damn fast one. Looks like the karmic flux planes of quantum mechastrology didn’t quite align, or something like that.

Tonight it’s my turn, my chance to put my circuit driving experience to the test."


#137

The first round of competition has been very intense so far, but there is still a long way to go for the remaining entrants…


#138

CHAPTER TEN: 4th night.


(Chapter’s theme)

Mount Haruna, 21:00PM.

People are gathered once again; all of the racers were present and the cars were parked. The organizer didn’t start the races with a car meet as usual; instead, he told all the people present to gather and listen.

“So, I have an announcement to make. Tonight, we end the first round. From the 16 racers we had at the start of this, 4 days ago, only 8 will remain after this night. So, I wanted to say thanks to the brave racers that took part in these dangerous, blood-pumping races in the downhill. Thank you for making this possible.” - As the organizer said this, the crowd erupted in applause.

“Alright, people! Still two races to go in round 1. Tora, gimme your laptop.” - The laptop man gave it to the organizer, how pressed a few buttons. He nodded, and looked at the crowd once again. "First race will be that anonymous woman! " - He pointed at Ciara, who wore a racing helmet, next to her Mk2 Pulga - “against the Kimura duo, Ram and Evan! Racers, get ready to race!.”

As the organizer said this, Ram and Evan got into their Helruna. It growled its way to the starting line, and Ciara’s Conte followed them. Both cars lined up at the finishing line. The racers got out of their cars, and walked towards each other.

To be continued.


#139

22/06/2017, Meeting place on Mt. Haruna, 20:30

Gavin and Madoka arrived at the place quite early, at 20:25. Now they’re sitting on the guardrail and watching cars passing by, including racers ones. They also talk about races that were actually done, those to come and about contestants.

  • Madoka, yesterday’s race was just… strange. - Gavin started.
  • Yeah, you’re right. This wasn’t even a race. I’ve been watching with Luka and it looked more like cruise. - Madoka replied. - Actually, I think Nicholas was very bored with those hipsters. But, well. Instead of racing, or just important things they were babbling about positive energy, chakras, ying yang and other stuff. It’s no surprise that they lose.
  • Actually, Mado, it was also a duel between small, slow front-wheel-drive econobox from days of totalitarian Anikatia that was forcefully tuned to show up here and time attack monster.
  • Yeah, it was quite unfair to me too, but if the driver will focus on driving, not in talking shit about energy and being high as hell even a car that can be as slow as AAU was can be competitive to souped up Shromet Interval. - Answer of Madoka was very calm and clear.
  • Well… - Gavin said that and started thinking for a while if he should even ask for this kind of stuff – Mado, I need to ask for something.
  • Yes? - Japanese became curious.
  • Actually, you lose in first round. How do you feel with that?
  • Nothing special. I wasn’t interested in this round anyway. - Madoka stopped here, and took a massive breath, then continued – However, losing to someone who’s strength is just trickery, not skills is just a joke. I’ll get Yasmin sometime anyway.
  • Also, Mado, were you changing something in Berlose? It drives and brakes differently.
  • Ah, yes! - The girl smiled. - I’ve actually replaced brake pads to more reliable ones and did some suspension tweaks to handle better braking force.

Meanwhile, Yui passes with her Yajiri in front of Madoka and Gavin.

  • What do you think about her? - Gavin asked.
  • Nice woman. I’ve talked to her a bit during one of car meets, she seems like a person who actually knows what’s about. - Madoka calmfully replied.
  • Good to know, she seems like a very good driver and her car isn’t also the slowest one.
    Actually, I can’t wait until she races.
  • Me too. - Gavin stopped there, took out his phone, checked few things for like a minute or two, and continued – Could we also hang somewhere, maybe?
  • Maybe. - Madoka was clearly focused on passing cars, including CAC 260GT and a roster of Skylines from Line Sixes crew, then Kimura Helruna with Kimura Duo, Ciara North making her way some centimeters from guardrails in her Pulga, as well as Orbistani freak jumping through bumps on the road with Zherebenok and others.
    Also, she heard from some spectators that AAU has bumped into guardrails and it’s bumper and left headlight are broken.

After the conversation some spectators asked Mado and Gavin for pictures, autographs or posing with their cars for pictures and then these two went to meeting with organizer.


#140

CHAPTER ELEVEN: FF or FR?

Ram and Evan shook the woman’s hand. “We’re Ram and Evan. Nice to meet you, err…helmet-wearing woman.” - The woman did not reply to them. She got into their car and pointed at theirs; Ram and Evan looked at each other and got into their car, strapped themselves to the seats and ignited the engine.

The organizer stood between the cars, and lifted both arms; before counting, he took a glance at both drivers, to check that they were ready. “Starting the countdown! Nine, eight, seven…!” - As the organizer counted down, both drivers blipped their throttle pedals and then started revving their engines. The launch control systems kicked in. “Three, two, one…!”. Before launching, both drivers looked at each other, before putting all of their attention back at the road.

“GO!”.


(Race’s theme!)

Both cars launched forward, diving into the track. As the cars slid their tyres through the first metres of the straight, their exhausts backfired. The cars finally gripped the road and started accelerating; the faster response from Ciara’s SCT sequential gave her the upper hand against Ram, who banged through the gears in his manual car. Both cars approached the first corner.

“Alright, Ram, first corner is a fast one to the left. Stop accelerating, and grip it; if you understeer, blip the brakes.” - The cars pushed through the first corner fast as a lightning, both engines screaming into the night; Ciara stopped throttling as she approached the second corner, letting the weight transfer onto the front tyres, cancelling the understeer that FF cars produce. Ram followed her neck to neck, gripping his way through the corner, and fighting a hint of oversteer their car produced.

Both cars approached the first hairpin. Ciara pressed the downshift paddle three times, engaging 2nd gear; Ram, on the other hand, heel toed his way into 2nd gear. As both cars entered the hairpin, the small Pulga suddenly started sliding through the corner. “Evan, what the hell was that? How can a FWD car do that?” - Said Ram, suprised by what had just happened. “It’s called liftoff oversteer, Ram. She lifted her right foot sharply, making all of the car’s weight transfer to the front. As the rear end had no grip, it kicked out.” - Replied Evan.

As soon as she got out of the corner, Ciara throttled again, taking advantage of the fact that her car was FWD; the rear wheels came back together, cancelling the oversteer. Ram followed her, but the gap had widened a little bit. Both drivers floored it on their way to the second hairpin.

“Alright Ram, drift this one; once you get out, floor the throttle, we will catch her up in the first high speed section.” - As Evan explained this to Ram, he entered the corner, clutch-kicking to make the rear end slide; Ciara, on the other hand, followed her line, gripping and sharpening her cornering blipping the brake pedal with her left foot. Both cars exited the corner and entered the first high speed section, where the more powerful Herluna closed the gap between him and the tiny hatchback.

Both drivers entered the third hairpin, powersliding their way through it. “Alright, Ram, try to analyze your opponent’s weaknesses. We need to overtake her at the five consecutive hairpins, so try to preserve the front tyres.” - As Evan explained this to Ram, he fought the oversteer his car induced during the corners. “These guys are not bad at all. They’re still keeping up with me.” - Thought Ciara. “Alright, I need to lose them at the five consecutive hairpins or else it’ll be game over for me”.

Both cars gripped the fourth hairpin; Ram avoided oversteering by holding back when it came to the throttle. On the other hand, Ciara left-foot braked her way through the corner, sharpening her trajectory. Both cars entered the second high speed section, where Ciara kept an eye out for possible overtaking attempts, but had to block none at all. They pushed their way through the medium speed section, and approached the next hairpin.

Both cars dived into the fifth hairpin, neck to neck. While Ciara gripper her way through it, Ram drifted his way through it. “Alright Ram, change of plans. We’ll try to overtake her during the next hairpin, and you’ll block her all your way through the five consecutive hairpins. Understood?” - As Evan asked him, Ram nodded. If he blocked her during the five hairpins, she wouldn’t be able to overtake them back, and the race would be theirs. They had to try it.

The sixth hairpin was close now; Ciara positioned herself on the outside, to use the late apex technique; but ram got on the inside. Ciara looked at the rear view mirror. “What are they going to try?” - Thought Ciara.

Ciara started braking, while Ram braked later, entering the corner first and starting to drift, barely managing to control the oversteer the car was producing. Both cars exited the corner, with Ciara now behind the Helruna. She still couldn’t believe her eyes: had she been overtaken by a simple late braking technique?

She did not let that break her morale, though; she kept drafting behind the Helruna, keeping up with the coupé. “Alright, Ram, watch out here, she might try something here. Give her hell.” - As Evan announced this, both cars dived into the consecutive hairpins; Evan kept blocking every attempt made my Ciara to overtake them by drifting. However, during the last consecutive hairpin, he braked way too late. Ram had to brake further during the hairpin, a mistake Ciara took advantage of by using the late apex technique to block any recovery from them.

“Evan, I think I screwed u-” “Just keep driving.” - Ram got interrupted by Evan, who was noticeably nervous.

Both cars finally arrived at the last hairpin; as they dived in, Ram attempted to overtake by the inside, dropping his wheels into the gutter. However, Ciara also realized that and dropped her wheels into it too. Both cars exited the hairpin, entering the last straight at full speed. Ram took advantage of the higher top speed his car was able to reach, finally closing the gap.

“Are we doing this, Evan?” “Yeah”.

Ram positioned his car on the inside of the turn as soon as they entered the last section. Ciara looked at her rear view mirror. “What are they going to try?” - She thought. The Helruna and the Pulga approached the last hairpin. Ciara then realized what they were going to try: they were on the inside of the last corner, and could push her out of her line.

At the finishing line, people were biting their nails as they heard the tyres squeal and the engines growl and roar. A few seconds later, the Helruna appeared, followed by the Pulga. Ram and Evan crossed the finishing line first. They couldn’t believe it, they won!

Both cars returned to the summit, where the organizer was trying to get people to calm down. “Alright, people! Last race of round 1 will be…Yui Takeda vs Daniil Vyacheslavovich! Racers, get ready!”.

To be continued.


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#141

Ciara wasn’t upset, like she expected. She was actually happy. A close race between a somewhat good driver. She parked the Pulga at the bottom of the mountain, hopped out of the car, and pulled off her helmet.
“Ah, good. No-one’s coming… yet.” she pulled out her phone, and dialed a number. “Pick up…”

“Hey… It’s Ciara… It was fun. You know how you were looking for a New Driver? I may have found you one. … Nah, Nah. Just a kid. Seems to be late teens. I think His name was Ram. I’ll go grab his details. … Alright, seeya Ash.”

She hopped back into the car, plugged in her phone, and went off to find the Driver of that Helruna.