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Automation Rallycross League, Season One (South Africa Final Results Up!)


#182

fuck! I mean the weather didn’t rain and all but it doesn’t matter, what matters is that there’s 2 events left and Armada slipped behind a bit.

Looks like there’s nothing for it, for the first time since that shunt in R1 we have to put it all on the line and go for MAXIMUM ATTACK :triumph:

On a lore note I realise it is 23 years since the event of the first Great Automation Run. That is to say, the CEO of Armada Motors, Graham Streeton, must be past 70 by now, and is looking to retire soon. The team principal of Armada Racing is his former nemesis, Annabel Hetherington, granddaughter of AM’s founder Arthur “Ableman” Hetherington, with a team she built from the ground up with her mother Christine (team manager) ever since she was kicked off the board for her (highly illegal and much publicised) antics in the GAR. Of course, their relationship has much more than thawed since then, and ever since becoming an official factory outfit, Armada has had a strong showing with a lot of 2nd places and podiums in events since, but the wins remain elusive.

What I’m saying here is that while this is actually Armada’s first formal foray into full-season RX in a long time since the 80s, it would be a good send-off for Graham if Annabel’s team could secure the championship. It’d be their biggest win since the 1987 ASCAR that one we’re not allowed to talk about because it nearly turned into an international incident.

No pressure on Hsiu-Yinn of course.


#183

“Another pretty good result; good job by Sylvester Landon, I could not get by this race. I want to thank the families of Team Red Cock Energy Liquid for coming to see the race and am sorry I could not do better. We are catching up to Armada and Flamarbol but unless their drivers make mistake, probably this is how the season goes. I am not sure how Estering will suit us but Killarney should be very good for us. In the end, results are what they are. Thank you again to Team Red Cock Energy Liquid - FDA deregulation allows me to say that it is probably technically non-toxic.”


#184

I’m so far going pretty lore-light in stuff I do in Automation - every challenge I’ve been in (mostly on SA) it’s been a different company and story/theme. It just seems like to do a “real” seeming company I’d have to have all sorts of boring trims and ugh.


#185

Or you could have a really interesting company with only cool stuff and go broke :joy:


#186

Nurburgking RX Deutschland, Day One - Qualifying

Q1

Fans thronged the Estering on this cool but pleasant fall day for the eleventh round of the ARX Championship, with excitement over the incredibly close championship battle between Bandit Borgwarnerson and Hsiu-Yinn Lim helping to fill the seats.

Q1 got underway with a thrilling first-heat race between Lim, JHW’s Marika Kazan and DaH’s Hammond Hunter. Kazan’s very agile Lynx was especially well-suited to the track this morning, putting up the time to beat in the first heat, with Lim barely a second behind and putting the squeeze on Hunter as the two drivers crossed the finish line. Phornsawan Sirisuk came fourth, while championship leader Bandit Borgwarnerson ran wide on his first lap, putting the Flamarbol to the back of the pack. Borgwarnerson fought his way back, passing Einar Poogen and Clive Baker in the last stretch of the final lap, recovering somewhat from his blunder at the start of the race.

Pekka Heikkinen was the class of the field in the second heat, starting strong and running away from the pack at every opportunity, crossing the line six seconds ahead of Team NARUTO Selestat’s Eric Meistermann in second place. Timo Virtanen brought the LATOY home in third after a smooth and uneventful race for the Finn, well ahead of William Cunningham and the rest of the pack.

Maria Ramirez drove an excellent race in her #129 Geschenk, starting strong and holding off Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen by the narrowest of margins, crossing the line a mere eight one-hundredths of a second ahead of Vatanen, and only a quarter of a second ahead of Team SAS-ANA Rx’s Maki Taninawa, who tucked in behind Ramirez’s bumper through the final couple of corners and stayed there. Pablo Sanchez had an uncharacteristic poor start, and after outbraking himself into the first corner, found the Shromet driver settling into a disappointing fourth place.

Likar Racing’s Alexander Krebs thrilled the hometown crowd, finishing top of the heap in the fourth heat, two seconds up on Miguel Gonzalez and Sylvester Landon. Gonzalez snuck past Landon while the latter was on his joker lap, the NEMW driver making good on his bid to get past Landon’s Isami. Declan Slater held off a late charge from Quentin LeTheou through the joker section, while Merciel’s Alexander John Sierra spun on the first lap, damaging the #8 Pixi and relegating the team to a sixth-place finish.

Craig March put the Astelli Leopard on the top of the podium in the final heat, taking the top time easily over Joey Rogers after Yuki Fujishima crashed heavily on the first lap while defending against March, retiring the #96 Develo and ending Kitanishi’s weekend early. In a testament to the safety rules in ARX, Fujishima emerged from the wreck totally unharmed, albeit with a battered ego. Elsewhere, Tom Powell took the third-best time in the heat, just ahead of Takumi Fujiwara, while Mason Olsen found himself struggling to get any kind of pace out of the #86 NPV, finishing last of the runners in the final heat.

Q2

Tom Powell opened up the first heat with a spectacular drive, putting the #888 Seydel-GNG four seconds clear of Mason Olsen in second place. Olsen had his hands more than full, holding onto second place ahead of a very aggressive Kevin Michaels, who finished a tenth of a second behind Olsen after closing the gap over the prior two laps.

Alexander John Sierra took the top spot in a chaotic second heat, which saw championship leader Bandit Borgwarnerson crash on his joker lap, damaging the Flamarbol and relegating the New Zealander to finish last of the remaining cars in the session. The mechanics at Flamarbol pulled the wrecked car into their paddock following the race, swarming over the car in an attempt to get it back and running properly in time for Q3. Einar Poogen finished second in the heat, well back of Sierra, while Clive Baker, Jaimz Scooby and William Cunningham got caught up in the chaos following the Borgwarnerson accident, putting all three drivers at the back of the field.

Phornsawan Sirisuk took top honours in the third heat, being the first driver to put their car into the 2:10s on the day to easily beat ARxT’s Ashlynn Morganstern in second place. Timo Virtanen put on a clinic of defensive driving on the final lap as he held off both Hammond Hunter and Declan Slater behind him, while Jorg Ambuhl and Quentin LeTheou found themselves struggling to find grip on the dusty surface, finishing well back of the rest.

Pablo Sanchez put the #52 Shromet Applachian on the top rung in the fourth heat, beating Hsiu-Yinn Lim by two and a half seconds at the line. Eric Meistermann and Sylvester Landon had a thrilling race for third, while Miguel Gonzalez overcame a poor start to close the gap between him and Landon right at the end of the race, while Maki Taninawa ran wide on her joker lap, losing precious time and finishing well back.

Pekka Heikkinen proved to be the class of the field yet again in the final heat, driving a near-perfect race to finish fully eight seconds ahead of Geschenk’s Maria Ramirez. Marika Kazan finished third after Craig March and Eino Vatanen blundered into each other on their joker laps, slowing down Alexander Krebs behind them as well, spoiling his excellent recovery drive following his rather mediocre start.

Q3

Jaimz Scooby raced out in front of the first heat, taking a decisive victory over Bandit Borgwarnerson, who raced his battle-scarred and still-damaged Flamarbol to a gutsy second-place finish, narrowly beating Clive Baker for the spot. Laurent Faust came out at the head of a four-way battle at the rear of the pack, finishing a tenth ahead of Jorg Ambuhl after two excellent laps saw the ZMD driver surge through the group of cars.

Hammond Hunter overcame a poor start to finish at the top of the sheets in the second heat, finishing four seconds ahead of Declan Slater. Timo Virtanen was punted off the track by Hunter as he tried to defend his position on the first lap, damaging the LATOY and forcing Virtanen to the back of the pack. Joey Rogers avoided catastrophe at the start gate, avoiding the chaos caused by Hunter’s poor start, to finish third in the heat, just ahead of a battle between OWR’s Robert Field and Takumi Fujiwara.

Eino Vatanen took the top spot in the third heat, the Delta Motorsports driver all but sealing his slot in the semi-finals with his excellent performance so far this weekend. Well back, Kevin Michaels drove his best lap of the weekend on the final lap to overtake Alexander Krebs and Maki Taninawa, and slotting in ahead of both Ashlynn Morganstern and Einar Poogen, who both were on their joker laps for their final lap. Mason Olsen’s difficulties continued, starting poorly and struggling to extract consistent grip from his NPV, rounding out the field in this heat.

Maria Ramirez was the class of the field in the fourth heat, running a nearly-perfect race to finish a second and a half ahead of Marika Kazan’s JHW Lynx. Eric Meistermann’s excellent joker lap proved to be the difference between him and Sylvester Landon in fourth place, while Miguel Gonzalez made a bold, yet clean pass on Craig March to snatch fifth place away from him on their final lap.

For the third time today, Pekka Heikkinen took the top spot in their heat, finishing an absolutely dominating seven seconds ahead of second-place Pablo Sanchez, who ran a tremendously good race by any measure other than against Heikkinen’s Pepperbomb. Alexander John Sierra kept his cool with Phornsawan Sirisuk ahead of him for most of the race, waiting until the SBA Boonigan driver slipped into the joker section to make his move and take third place away from the young Thai. Tom Powell made a couple of mistakes in the middle laps of the heat, losing places to Sirisuk and then to Sierra, relegating the #888 car to a fifth-place finish, well ahead of Armada’s Hsiu-Yinn Lim, who spun on her joker lap and ended up bringing up the rear in this final heat of Q3.

Q4

Timo Virtanen came roaring back after his disappointing Q3, running his best race of the weekend to absolutely dominate the first heat of Q4, finishing six seconds ahead of Jorg Ambuhl. Quentin LeTheou held out against Laurent Faust’s late charge, while Takumi Fujiwara missed a braking point on his joker lap and lost places to both LeTheou and Faust, narrowly avoiding losing yet another spot to William Cunningham as well.

Bandit Borgwarnerson topped the timesheets in the second heat, the #100 Flamarbol Beryl back in fighting form once again, finishing the heat nine seconds ahead of Mason Olsen, whose team made a couple of setup adjustments between Q3 and Q4 to great effect. Declan Slater overcame a terrible start by running two excellent laps right afterward, going from last in the heat to third place by the start of Lap 3, then proceeded to defend his position expertly from the rest of the drivers nipping at his rear bumper.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim came out of her shell in the third heat, squeezing ahead at the start and using the clear track to her advanatage as she ran away from the pack, finising eight seconds ahead of Tom Powell and only two-thirds of a second back of Borgwarnerson’s time in the previous heat. Alexander Krebs made a couple of mistakes in the closing laps of the race, letting Powell through on the final lap, but still finishing well enough to secure a berth in the semi-finals.

Pablo Sanchez took the top spot in the fourth heat, the Shromet driver seemingly more motivated than ever before as he crossed the line four seconds ahead of a photo-finish between Craig March and Phornsawan Sirisuk; after careful analysis of the data, it was found that March had crossed the timer block a mere two-thousandths of a second ahead of Sirisuk, in what is likely the closest finish in ARX history. Alexander John Sierra held out against Miguel Gonzalez, after the Merciel driver got out of shape on his joker lap, while Hammond Hunter struggled for traction behind.

Chaos ensued in the final heat, as Pekka Heikkinen got caught out by a rut in the track surface on his second lap, crashing the Pepperbomb into the barrier and forcing the Finn to the back of the pack. Fortunately for Team Red Cock Energy Liquid, Heikkinen had already sealed the top spot in the intermediate classifications, so this final race was merely a formality for the team. After Heikkinen’s accident, a second incident occurred, when Maria Ramirez collected Eino Vatanen and Marika Kazan on the third lap, allowing Eric Meistermann, ever the opportunist, to slip through and inherit the lead, which he held until the flag dropped.

Intermediate Classification

With all the drama that ensued today at the Estering, Pekka Heikkinen still managed to overcome his accident in Q4 to finish at the top of the intermediate classification, right ahead of a resurgent Pablo Sanchez. Of note, neither Hsiu-Yinn Lim nor Bandit Borgwarnerson had what anyone would call a good day, with Borgwarnerson only just squeaking into the semi-finals with his P1 finish in the last qualifying session, and with Lim having a see-saw kind of day, finishing well in two sessions and poorly the other two, with the net result being P9 overall. Will Pekka Heikkinen continue to lead the field tomorrow to victory? Will Lim and Borgwarnerson recover from mediocre results today, or will Pablo Sanchez take his second victory of the season tomorrow?


#187

“Mostly good result, maybe last qualifying race could have gone better. I am very much pushing hard to try to take advantage of any error the others make. We will see what tomorrow brings.”


#188

So Borgwarnerson crashed, that’s nice except he could have done me a favour and crashed harder a shame. Does bring the margin back to 2 points in our favour going into day 2, though no telling what will happen tomorrow.

That said definitely looking in the mirrors for Pekka, not that we have much to look for in the mirrors since the Pepperbomb is currently beating us black and blue, or, about 11 points per weekend. Given they had a deficit of 23 points last week and they took seven out of us today… On current mathematical projections it may come down right to the final race…


#189

Nurburgking RX Deutschland, Day Two - Semi-Finals and Final

Semi-Final 1

The fine weather continued today at the Estering, with a cool bite to the wind as the first semi-final lined up on the starting grid. The flag dropped and the field exploded out of the gate, with Pekka Heikkinen leading the field in the Pepperbomb into the first corner, followed closely by Eric Meistermann and Tom Powell. Bandit Borgwarnerson was slow off the line, holding Miguel Gonzalez back, but the Flamarbol driver quickly recovered from his poor start, threading his way through the field to second place after the first lap. All the while Heikkinen ran off into the distance, setting fast lap after fast lap and finishing the race eight and a half seconds up on Borgwarnerson. Behind Borgwarnerson, Eric Meistermann led a frantic battle for the three remaining semi-final berths, with only seven-tenths of a second separating Meistermann in third from Tom Powell in seventh. Meistermann finished third, with Sylvester Landon fourth and Alexander John Sierra fifth, while Marika Kazan and Tom Powell were on the outside looking in.

Miguel Gonzalez lost control and spun off the track on Lap 2, collecting Alexander Krebs in the process and spoiling what could have otherwise been an excellent race for both drivers, who were running in fourth and fifth at the time.

Semi-Final 2

Hsiu-Yinn Lim got off to a very poor start in the second semi-final, finding herself in sixth place by the first corner, but the Armada driver buckled down and got to the business of fighting back through the field, scything through the field to take the lead by the third lap; a lead that she did not relinquish for the rest of the race. Behind Lim, a ferocious battle for position erupted between Pablo Sanchez, Craig March, Maria Ramirez and Phornsawan Sirisuk. Sanchez held an advantage over the rest, having essentially free, open track ahead of him for most of the race, which allowed the Shromet driver to pull out a bit of a lead by the end, but the rest of the pack was very tightly bunched indeed, with only four-tenths between March in third and Sirisuk in fifth, with Maria Ramirez sandwiched between. Sirisuk held the last berth for the final right up until the last lap, but after being bumped by Ramirez on the joker lap, Sirisuk fell back and out of fourth place, finishing half a second up on Eino Vatanen.

Maki Taninawa struggled off the start, making a couple of costly mistakes through the race to finish a disappointing seventh place, while Hammond Hunter suffered largely the same fate in the Deer and Hunt, rounding out the field.

Final

Pekka Heikkinen exploded off the start line, taking the lead right out of the gate and not relinquishing it for the rest of the final race, leading Bandit Borgwarnerson by six whole seconds at the chequered flag after what can only be described as a textbook race by the Finn. Borgwarnerson quickly found himself in a pitched battle for position with Hsiu-Yinn Lim almost immediately, with the strong first two laps by Borgwarnerson offset in the final two laps by Lim, who chipped away at the lead between the two cars until it was only two-tenths of a second at the line; had the race been a lap longer, Lim would have almost certainly bested her rival. Sylvester Landon was even faster still behind Lim, the gap between the Isami and the Armada closing and opening as Landon desperately tried to find an opening to get past that just never materialised.

Eric Meistermann finished fifth in a thrilling finish with Pablo Sanchez, the latter having lost a considerable amount of time on their first joker lap after running wide, putting him out of contention in what should have been a very promising race. Craig March followed in seventh palce, having struggled to find grip on the dusty surfaces here, while Maria Ramirez and Alexander John Sierra fought a back and forth battle bringing up the rear, with Ramirez pipping Sierra by a quarter second at the line.

Final Classification

As if the ARX Championship couldn’t get any more exciting, today’s result at the Estering just cranked the drama up about as high as it could possibly be, with Pekka Heikkinen taking maximum points, with Hsiu-Yinn Lim and Bandit Borgwarnerson well back. Additionally, Lim managed to close the gap to within one point of Borgwarnerson, after the Flamarbol driver narrowly avoided catastrophe by just squeaking into the semi-finals on day one; without that, his championship would have been over right then and there.

Heading into the final race in South Africa, it is absolutely anyone’s championship still, with Lim one point back of Borgwarnerson, and Heikkinen only ten points back of the leader as well. Will Bandit Borgwarnerson be able to hold back his rivals for one more race, or will either Hsiu-Yinn Lim or Pekka Heikkinen steal the title away for themselves?

Championship Standings


#190

“That was result for the weekend that we needed; we all made some mistakes in qualifying but theirs hurt worse which helped me make up the gap but Borgwanerson and Lim did well in the race so the gap is still there. We still need for them both to make some mistakes in last race in South Africa, but track should really suit the PepperBOMB so we will see. I would like to thank Red Cock Energy Liquid for the great car - special for event, Liquid is now available in sauerkraut fla… oh… no no, I am told that that was taken off market. Nevermind.”


#191

There’s no doubt about it. It’s anyone’s game right now but Armada Racing will need to put together a particularly strong final round to take the win. I may have taunted Red Cock a few rounds back but they’re the big threat here. Flamarbol and AR are pretty evenly matched but 15 points in arrears from this round is a bigger chunk than we hoped for.

Barring any surprises this is going to come down to the finals. If we do win just let it be known that the slowest driver on the grid prevailed :joy:

P.s. 50% and 80% chance of rain next week? Make it pour!


#192

Fujisaki Tires RX of South Africa, Day One - Qualifying

Q1

Qualifying began under sunny skies here at the Killarney Raceway, with rallycross fans packing into the stands to witness what should be an exciting and dramatic finish to the ARX Championship. The first heat got the race weekend off to a thrilling start, with Kitanishi’s Yuki Fujishima taking a very narrow victory over Hammond Hunter and Alexander Krebs, with Hunter running an excellent joker lap and Krebs closing the gap to Fujishima over the final lap. William Cunningham and Clive Baker followed close behind, while Tom Powell and Declan Slater tangled with one another to bring up the rear of the group.

Maria Ramirez was on a mission to prove her doubters wrong this weekend, putting the #129 Geschenk on the top of the charts for the second heat, and into second place for the entire session, after an absolutely stellar drive. Championship leader Bandit Borgwarnerson finished second, well back of Ramirez, seemingly struggling to get pace out of his Flamarbol. Quentin LeTheou finished third after a very strong joker lap saw the Flamers driver leapfrog SBA Boonigan’s Phornsawan Sirisuk on the last lap, while Jaimz Scooby made a couple of big mistakes in his opening laps, finishing well back in fourth place. Ashlynn Morganstern and Kevin Michaels finished at the back of the pack, after the Canadian driver made a mistake on the first lap that nearly took both drivers out of the race.

Maria Ramirez’s glory was short-lived, however, as Pekka Heikkinen took the top spot in the third heat and indeed the whole of the first qualifying session, winning easily over Eino Vatanen and pipping Ramirez by eight tenths of a second. Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez finished third, a poor joker lap consigning the American to the middle of the pack, with Eric Meistermann suffering largely the same fate in fourth place, the Frenchman having nearly lost the place to Joey Rogers behind him on Lap 3. Alexander John Sierra spun on his joker lap, nearly collecting Rudolfs Jansons in the process.

Maki Taninawa took the top spot in heat number four, crossing the line three seconds ahead of NEMW’s Miguel Gonzalez, who got the best of JHW’s Marika Kazan on the first lap and never looked back. Einar Poogen drove a careful and uneventful race to come home in fourth place, while the same could not be said for Armada’s Hsiu-Yinn Lim. Lim and Sylvester Landon both got off to excellent starts, but as the two drivers approached the first corner, neither yielded to the other, with Lim punting Landon into the barriers at speed after trying a very aggressive overtake. Lim got away with only very minor damage, but Landon’s Isami was very heavily damaged, to the point the team was unsure if they would be able to continue their weekend.

Astelli Racing’s Craig March took the top spot in the final heat, beating hometown hero Robert Field’s TCC 1450 by just under three seconds at the line. Timo Virtanen had Field in his sights by the end of the race, but was unable to close the gap significantly, while Mason Olsen struggled on this challenging track, finishing just ahead of ZMD’s Laurent Faust. Jorg Ambuhl rounded out the field, his Abula R4 struggling to run consistently good lap times.

Q2

Times tumbled in the second qualifying round as conditions improved between sessions, with some of the drivers finding as much as four seconds a lap with their cars now dialled in on the long, challenging track here in Cape Town. First out of the chute in the first heat was NPV’s Mason Olsen, who shook off his rather disappointing Q1 result by taking an easy win here in Q2, beating ARxT’s Ashlynn Morganstern by nearly twelve seconds. Kevin Michaels renewed his battle with the Canadian, although this time Morganstern had the KMC driver’s number by all of a tenth of a second. Jorg Ambuhl found some decent pace from his Abula R4, beating Laurent Faust for fifth place, with Schwarzburg’s Rudolfs Jansons not far behind both drivers. Sylvester Landon was indeed able to make the grid for Q2, finishing well back of the pack, but still determined to make the best of a difficult situation.

Alexander John Sierra took the top spot in the second heat, easily beating Seydel-GNG’s Tom Powell, the gap between the two Brits nearly seven seconds at the flag. Jaimz Scooby’s excellent joker lap proved to be the difference between him and Quentin LeTheou, with Takumi Fujiwara not far behind in fourth place. Phornsawan Sirisuk got squeezed between Powell and Sierra at the start, leaving the young Thai driver nowhere to go but into the wall, damaging his SBA Rosales and spoiling his race. Declan Slater too found the barriers at the south end of the track, smashing his Antti Special hard on Lap 3, putting him at the back of the field.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim turned it up for the third heat, putting up four excellent laps to finish four seconds ahead of Eric Meistermann’s FAAL Coupe, while Bandit Borgwarnerson finished the race with an abundance of caution, well back in third place. Joey Rogers finished an uneventful fourth in the heat, while LATOY’s Timo Virtanen capitalised on a sloppy race by Clive Baker, getting past the Westward driver and not looking back all race. William Cunningham ran into an unspecified mechanical problem on Lap 3, and was able to limp the car home, albeit in last place.

Yuki Fujishima took the top time in the fourth heat, easily beating Pablo Sanchez for the top spot after the Shromet driver made a couple of mistakes on the second and final laps, having somewhat overdriven the #52 Appalachian. Einar Poogen showed a bit of his old form as well, finishing third ahead of a thrilling battle between Marika Kazan and Robert Field. Field was able to jump on a mistake made by Kazan on her final lap, closing up until he was right on the Lynx’s bumper and threatening to overtake Kazan on the final lap. Alexander Krebs finished in fifth place after a rather quiet race, while Hammond Hunter found himself not really able to improve his performance appreciably between the first and second qualifying sessions.

Pekka Heikkinen proved once again that the combination of Pepperbomb and Heikkinen were arguably the class of the field, taking the top time in the final heat and beating the rest of the field by nearly three seconds. Maria Ramirez overcame a mistake on her third lap to finish in second place, ahead of Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen, while Craig March and Miguel Gonzalez traded paint and bumps in a thrilling race, which saw March edge out Gonzalez by less than a car length. Maki Taninawa brought up the rear, having struggled to match the rest of the final heat on pace, only made worse by a couple of critical mistakes early in her race.

Q3

Sylvester Landon came roaring back in the first heat of Q3, with only a single misstep on Lap 3 putting him behind the heat winner, Phornsawan Sirisuk. Landon knew very well that if was to have any chance at the semi-finals, he would need to finish in the top five or better in the last two Q sessions; a lofty challenge indeed, considering the caliber of the field. Well back of Sirisuk and Landon, Jorg Ambuhl finished third, beating Declan Slater and Laurent Faust by a second after those two drivers tussled all race long. Rudolfs Jansons had a scare on his final lap, losing a considerable amount of time on the joker section and allowing Takumi Fujiwara to close up right to the Schwarzburg’s bumper.

Hammond Hunter found a bit more time in the #10 Deer and Hunt in the second heat, taking the top spot easily over KMC’s Kevin Michaels, who slipped into second place after Jaimz Scooby and Ashlynn Morganstern ran themselves off the track while fighting for position, and leaving Morganstern in a desperate drag race to the finish line with Westward’s Clive Baker, who would have snatched the spot from Morganstern had the track been but fifty metres longer. William Cunningham and Quentin LeTheou had a coming together on the first lap, damaging both cars slightly as they tried to fit both cars into a space on track large enough for one only.

Tom Powell was the class of the field in the third heat, taking the top spot after a near-perfectly executed drive. Timo Virtanen was challenging Powell to pass him early, but he missed a braking point and ran very wide into the north end complex, losing a considerable amount of time to the Seydel-GNG driver, and putting his spot in direct threat by Marika Kazan behind. The Finn held his own, fighting off every move by Kazan to hold on to his second-place finish. Robert Field blitzed past Maki Taninawa on the last lap to take fourth place away from the Sakura driver, while Alexander Krebs held off a late challenge by Joey Rogers to round out the field.

Pablo Sanchez drove a textbook wire-to-wire finish in the fourth heat, showing everyone why he is considered to be one of the best starters in the entire championship with his scarely believable 3.635-second dash to the start line. Bandit Borgwarnerson slingshot past Craig March and Maria Ramirez coming out of the north end complex on the last lap, holding off the challenge through the last few corners to cement his second-place finish. Miguel Gonzalez made a daring pass to see off Einar Poogen at the start of the final lap, while Eino Vatanen crashed out of second place after a momentary lapse of judgement going into the south end complex, missing his braking point badly and skidding into the barriers.

Yuki Fujishima took the top time in the final heat, following a rare mistake by Pekka Heikkinen on the first lap, which saw the Pepperbomb spin off the track in the south-end complex, taking the Finn from first place to last place in the span of a few seconds. Heikkinen clawed his way back through the field, putting a brilliant overtake on Eric Meistermann on Lap 3 to seal his second-place finish. Hsiu-Yinn Lim took the conservative approach to the race, finishing a safe fourth place after avoiding much of the chaos ahead of her, while still easily beating Mason Olsen and Alexander John Sierra, the latter making a mistake on his final lap and opening up a window for Olsen to get past.

Q4

Declan Slater took the top time in the first heat of the final qualifying session of the season, running a nearly-textbook race to finish six seconds ahead of Laurent Faust. Faust had a decent race in and of itself, having put a brilliant move on Takumi Fujiwara to take second place away from the Fuji driver on the final lap. Quentin LeTheou finished in third place ahead of William Cunningham, the Flamers driver having reeled in the American on the final lap and overtaking him into the south end complex. Rudolfs Jansons struggles continued behind, while Eino Vatanen limped the stricken Delta Motorsports machine home, a disappointing end to a season so full of potential.

Alexander Krebs topped the sheets in the second qualifying heat, taking the top time easily over Kevin Michaels, who was gifted second place after a moment of inattention by Joey Rogers allowed the KMC driver through on the last lap. Ashlynn Morganstern came out on top of a furious battle for position between the Canadian and both Jaimz Scooby and Clive Barker, with Morganstern just holding on through a messy final lap to come out ahead of the other two drivers. Jorg Ambuhl rounded out the field, having run a fairly quiet and uneventful race.

Marika Kazan topped the timesheets in a messy third heat, which saw LATOY’s Timo Virtanen spoil Robert Field’s excellent weekend by accidentally forcing the #66 TCC off the track and into the barriers, relegating the South African to the back of the pack. Maki Taninawa got caught up in the fracas as well, putting her Sakura off the track while avoiding Field’s out-of-control car. Einar Poogen took advantage of the chaos, getting past Miguel Gonzalez on the last lap, while Hammond Hunter stayed the course behind both, having decided to run a more defensive race than normal to preserve his spot in the semi-finals.

Maria Ramirez ran a brilliant race to take the top time in the fourth heat, putting a brilliant overtake on Hsiu-Yinn Lim going into the first corner and staying there. Having witnessed the carnage of the previous heat, Lim quite smartly decided to back off a bit, having all but sealed her appearance in the semi-finals already, opting instead to try and keep ahead of Bandit Borgwarnerson as her primary objective. Borgwarnerson, on the other hand, needed to drive very defensively, having both Sylvester Landon and Alexander John Sierra behind him, the former having mounted a desperate campaign to try and reach the semi-finals. In the end, Landon and Sierra had to settle for fourth and fifth respectively, with Landon gutted after failing to reach his objective. Craig March found himself on the outside looking in at this group of drivers ahead of him, taking the safe option to avoid jeopardising the rest of his weekend, as did Mason Olsen, who rounded out the field in the heat.

Pekka Heikkinen found himself at the top of the sheets for the final qualifying heat, putting together yet another dominant performance to beat Eric Meistermann by six and a half seconds at the flag. Meistermann managed to slip past Pablo Sanchez for second place in the heat, the Shromet driver having overdriven his car into the tricky south end complex and losing valuable time trying to get back on the racing line. Phornsawan Sirisuk edged out Yuki Fujishima in a drag race heading into the final lap, a position which he was able to stick, while Tom Powell rounded out the field behind, in sight of both Sirisuk and Fujishima ahead.

Intermediate Classification

Once again, we find Pekka Heikkinen and Team Red Cock Energy Liquid at the top of the charts following Day One action, though perhaps not as dominant as we are used to seeing the Finn after a couple of decidedly uncharacteristic mistakes by the driver. With Heikkinen needing ten more points than Bandit Borgwarnerson and eleven more than Hsiu-Yinn Lim to win the championship today, could it be that the pressure is finally getting to the Unflappable Finn? Could it also be, with their poor performances here today as well, that his two rivals are finally feeling the pressure as well? Only the final races tomorrow can tell, and with heavy rains forecast to lash Killarney Raceway overnight and into tomorrow, we can only wait to see who we will crown champion…


#193

Yoinked a podium standing.

Good Job, Ramirez


#194

oh shit it really is coming down to the last race

MAKE IT RAIN!!!

Also:

Out of character, I would apologise to Landon. In character, I’d be like “yeeeeeah fuck off ya knob” lmao.

If Lim wins the driver’s championship, the following will happen:

  • A more complete writeup including portrait on Lim which I will then save for the various profiles I need to build for the lore history of Armada Racing’s (almost all-woman) team
  • The entire Armada Racing garage will be required to drink Red Cock Energy Liquid
  • I don’t know what will happen after that

#195

Fujisaki Tires RX of South Africa, Day Two - Semi-Finals and Final

Semi-Final 1

The rains came as scheduled overnight, lashing the track with rain and throwing a serious curveball to the remaining teams. The first semi-final began with an excellent start by all the drivers, everyone getting away cleanly. However, this was short-lived, as Bandit Borgwarnerson collected Timo Virtanen going into the first corner, damaging both cars slightly in the process. With all the cars so close together, this accident caused chaos for the rest of the field, with Einar Poogen and Miguel Gonzalez barely avoiding contact, though Alexander Krebs was not so lucky, as the only place he could go safely was into the barriers. Krebs’ Likar was very badly damaged, and he continued the race even though he had no chance of placing well. In the end, Maria Ramirez was able to sail through the race easily, finishing an incredible twenty seconds ahead of Hsiu-Yinn Lim. Craig March was able to avoid the carnage behind him, finishing third just behind Lim after an uneventful race. Pekka Heikkinen spun on the first lap as well, but was able to recover to fourth place, well ahead of the rest of the field.

Semi-Final 2

The second semi-final mercifully did not have anywhere near the same level of chaos and carnage as the first, the drivers having toned down their aggression somewhat after witnessing the mess in the first semi-final. Pablo Sanchez got away cleanly, elbowing his way to the front of the field easily, then proceeded to run away with the race, taking first by an enormous twenty-second margin. Yuki Fujishima came second, the Kitanishi driver just unable to keep up with Sanchez’s Shromet in the challenging conditions. Eric Meistermann finished in third, two seconds behind Fujishima, after running a rather uneventful race behind the rather cautious Fujishima ahead. Mason Olsen held, lost and then regained fourth place in the span of three laps for the last slot in the final, beating Seydel-GNG’s Tom Powell on the third lap after Powell spun off in the south end complex.

Alexander John Sierra had a rough race, spinning on the final lap as he avoided Powell spinning yet again, this time catching Marika Kazan and Hammond Hunter up in the fracas. Kazan and Hunter had troubled races, with both cars struggling to find grip in the extremely treacherous conditions.

Final

The ultimate final race of the ARX Championship was set, with the following scenario; if Hsiu-Yinn Lim finished first or second, she would win the championship without challenge. If Bandit Borgwarnerson finished first, he would win without challenge. Pekka Heikkinen needed to win, and have Hsiu-Yinn Lim finish lower than third. Failing that, Borgwarnerson needed seven more points than Lim to win the championship, and Heikkinen, on virtue of all of his final victories, only needed eight more points than Lim.

All of that went straight out the window, as Maria Ramirez shot to the front of the pack with an incredible start, while the three frontrunners all found themselves fighting wheelspin off the line. Immediately, the three frontrunners began a mad dash to try and salvage as much of the race as they could, as Eric Meistermann slipped past Heikkinen and Borgwarnerson, the latter on straight track position and the former having opted for his joker lap right out of the box. Ramirez continued to run away from the field, setting fastest lap after fastest lap enroute to a brilliant victory, while Eric Meistermann put on a clinic of defensive driving, with Heikkinen trying everything to get past the Frenchman and failing each time. Bandit Borgwarnerson found himself struggling in fourth place, the Flamarbol suddenly very challenging to drive in these conditions, finishing far back of Heikkinen.

Pablo Sanchez struggled with the conditions as much as anyone else in the field, but was able to wrestle the #52 Shromet Appalachian to a fifth-place finish, holding off a resurgent Hsiu-Yinn Lim behind him, the Armada driver fighting for every possible point she could get in this race. Craig March held sixth right up until the end of his joker lap, when Lim dove past and snatched the spot out from the Astelli Racing driver after a brilliant final lap. Yuki Fujishima finished in eighth place, having lost the spot to March after sliding off the track in the south end complex, while Mason Olsen crashed and damaged the #86 NPV on the second lap, limping the car around to the finish to round out the field.

Final Classification

With all three teams on the wall at the start-finish line, word trickled down very quickly over the radio that Hsiu-Yinn Lim of Armada Racing had secured enough points - just - to clench the team’s first ARX Championship. Lim was gleeful on the radio back to the team, shouting and crying out with glee as she took a well-deserved victory lap, and in a very nice moment, both Bandit Borgwarnerson and Pekka Heikkinen waved at her as they drove past, an acknowledgement of the exciting and often stressful battle the three drivers had fought all season. At the podium ceremony, Maria Ramirez and Eric Meistermann motioned for Lim to join them, hoisting the young woman to their shoulders as the crowds went wild, the rains failing to dampen their spirits.

With the racing out of the way, the party started in earnest, with Lim paying a visit to the Team Red Cock Energy Liquid garage to settle some sort of wager with Pekka Heikkinen and the rest, the party continuing all through the night and into the wee hours of the morning for everyone remaining, for all the teams knew that tomorrow, work would begin on their next ARX Championship campaign…

Final Championship Standings


#196


We may not of won the Championship but godam Maria finished strong

also as an appreciation
thank you @MrChips for going through with this challenge
it was a journey
also congratulations to the Armada Racing Team!


#197

Congrats to Armada Racing for winning the championship!
Congrats also to Team Red Cock Liquid Energy and Flamarbol for coming second and third respectively!

As for Team HallFords Merciel Racing, we’ll happily take 10th.

And thanks to @MrChips for hosting a great challenge!


#198

“Very good last day for Armada Racing team; congratulations to Hsiu Yinn Lim for her performance in last day, conditions were to her strengths. I had more problems in rain and lost control of car and then could not do well enough in final race. Very close result and I look forwards to next season and thank Team Red Cock for opportunity. After Belgium we were not too hopeful but later races went well and to come up in second place in championship, only two points behind winner is pretty good.”


#199

12th overall.
First half of the season was better. There was an odd good result here and there. And by good I mean qualified for final.

Anyways. I had fun.
Thanks for hosting a great challenge.


#200

As I had expected, Armada won the championship - but it was a very close one, with three points separating the top three. No wonder this series was so intense!


#201

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

first sketch of Hsiu-Yinn, podium celebrations. I haven’t even worked out the suit livery

I told Chips this several times but the more I realised I had a genuine shot at the championship the harder the palpitations kicked in every results post. This morning I was about having a fucking heart attack which is really stupid if you think about the fact this is a forum tournament on a very niche game. A forum tournament which was extremely meticulously put together and had one of the most complicated systems and longest seasons in the history of Automation, which makes this the sweetest victory I’ve ever had playing the game.

Even more so because, as is well known, due to the vicissitudes of the ballast and the drivability and track conditions and driver talents and the weather, this was also the closest, most unpredictable and dramatic tournaments ever. So thanks also to everyone else for their involvement and to my rivals for this season, Team Flamarbol and Team Red Cock Energy Liquid. Speaking of which, we have some business to attend to:

Now is a good time to tell you that Hsiu-Yinn is from Chengdu, Sichuan. As is typical of the Northern Chinese especially from Sichuan, they are impervious to heat and spice and also probably poison, so, when it came to the “skoll a bottle of Red Cock” challenge, well, they fucked with the wrong woman.

Suffice to say Armada’s work for the next ARXL season was delayed by a few days as the whole team minus Hsiu-Yinn landed in Cape Town hospital getting gastric lavages and being treated for various GIT ulcers and rectal burns.


So what happens next?

In a boardroom in a certain factory in Hethel, England, Graham Streeton, longtime CEO of Armada Motors, reached over with the remote and turned the live broadcast of the ARXL off. The rest of the board was still cheering and jumping around and vigorously shaking hands and hugging and back clapping and every kind of sign of warm camaraderie they could imagine. A pair of hands handed him a flute glass and instantly filled it with bubbly. Why not this once, he thought with a smile, especially since it was his once in a lifetime. Speaking of which, he picked up his pen and started clinking it against the flute. The crystal chime rang through the room and soon voices quieted and all eyes fixed on him.

“Dear Members of the Board, thank you for being here as we witness the fruits of our labours. Today, we are victorious!”

As expected there was more whooping and cheering. Graham let it run on for a few seconds before he raised his hand again, hushing the room. “This has been a labour of not just one year, but over twenty. I will call her later myself, but for now please join me in thanking the tireless efforts of Armada Racing Team Director, Annabel Herrington!”

Once the next round of cheering had died down, Graham continued. "Racing has always been in the Armada heritage. As difficult as it has been, we have always been proponents of the Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday, and resisted the cynicism of the market spin cycle. And we always had a strong track record, but I, Anna, in fact everybody craved the win, and that remained elusive. Until now.

“Therefore, what better way to ring in the legend of our new subcompact, the Pint. We had faith in our race team, and so we already have the advertising campaigns all set up and ready to go. Tomorrow, it goes on air! And with that, I would be honoured if you joined me this toast: to the Pint, to the Armada Racing team, and to Winning on Sunday. Cheers!”

There was much clinking of glasses and a moment of silence as the Board collectively tipped back their flutes. Graham wiped his mouth, took a deep breath, and plunged on.

“One last thing. This year marks the twenty third in my position, and also my seventieth birthday.”

“You look exactly as you did when you started ya wrinkly ole fart!” piped up Richard, the second longest serving member of the board. Everybody tittered and Graham smirked.

“That may be, Dick, but I admit, I’m definitely feeling the extra years. But now is the time. Having witnessed what we have today, I can say with a glad heart that at the end of this financial year, I intend to retire, and therefore, resign as the CEO of Armada Motors.”

Silence. Graham looked around the room, studying the frozen faces of the Board members. Permeating the sense of shock that spread through the room was a subtle sense of acceptance, perhaps even expectation. He almost felt a certain relief: even if Armada’s fortunes had steadied and improved under his hand, surely nobody expected everything to continue as it did forever even if some might hope. “It has been an absolute honour to have filled this position and have all your confidence for this long. Thank you all, and let’s use these next few months to lay down the foundations for an exciting new future for Armada.”

Amidst the shuffling of feet and downcast stares, Graham quietly excused himself, slipping through the door and back to his own office. But a moment of silence later, someone piped up “Three cheers for Graham!” A hurrah rose up and applause rained down upon his departing figure.


Well, nuts to Graham but the wrinkly prune had to retire sometime, right? We’ll aim to be back next year, and Hsiu-Yinn will be faster and more skilled, so buckle up!

edit: the ending was too abrupt so I embellished it slightly