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


#102

Coma RallyX de Espana, Day Two: Semi-Finals and Finals

Semi-Final 1

The field having been whittled down, the first of the six-lap semi-finals began under beautiful, clear skies here Bacelona. Eric Meistermann got a tremendously good start, leading the field through the first four laps, as Bandit Borgwarnerson misjudged his start and fell back to fifth place. Opting to run his joker lap first, Borgwarnerson stormed back through the field, taking the lead once again on Lap 5, even before Meistermann ran his joker on the final lap. Phornsawan Sirisuk had a race to forget, getting spun off into the wall before the first corner as he attempted a risky overtake on Borgwarnerson. Sirisuk nursed their stricken car around to complete the race, albeit in last place overall.

Sylvester Landon rounded out the top three in Semi-Final 1, finishing four seconds adrift of Meistermann’s FAAL, and one and a half seconds ahead of the dueling Pablo Sanchez in the Shromet and Alexander-John Sierra in the Merciel, with Sanchez pipping his British rival by a mere six-tenths of a second for fourth overall.

Semi-Final 2

Armada Racing worked feverishly though the night to repair Tsiu-Yinn Lim’s stricken Pint RX, and their efforts paid off in grand fashion, with the Chinese driver storming to a dominant victory in Semi-Final 2, a full seven and a half seconds ahead of Pekka Heikkinen in the Pepperbomb XT. Yuki Fujishima ran a clean but uneventful race to finish third, three seconds ahead of the #95 Astelli Racing Leopard RX driven by Craig March, who fended off a hard-charging Miguel Gonzalez over the first four laps, when a mistake in the final sector of Lap 5 ended the #82 NEMW’s chances at the final slot for the Final race.

Marika Kazan, Mason Olsen and Tom Powell fought hard in the back of the field, with the #15 JHW Lynx starting strong and passing the #888 Seydel-GNG going into the second lap, leaving the #86 NPV of Mason hot on the tail of Powell. The faster NPV prevailed, in a hard but clean overtake on Lap 5, and had the race lasted but one more lap, Olsen might just have reeled in Kazan and passed her.

Final

Another very poor start for Borgwarnerson saw him fall back to seventh place by the first turn, but the plucky Kiwi did not give up so easily, opting to remain on the main lap as most of the cars ahead chose the joker on their first lap. Given clear track ahead, the #100 Flamarbol roared ahead to set an absolutely blistering pace, the rest of the finalists utterly at a loss as to how to answer Borgwarnerson’s pace. Tsiu-Yinn Lim finished second, a full seven seconds behind the Flamarbol, with Pekka Heikkinen in the Pepperbomb in third, three seconds back. Eric Meistermann made a costly error on Lap 2, running wide and losing time to the leaders, the Frenchman ultimately having to settle on fourth place, ahead of Sylvester Landon in the #21 Isami. The Merciel and Shromet battled hard once again, finishing a mere fourteen-one hundreths of a second apart in seventh and eighth place overall, with Craig March in the Astelli Racing Leopard rounding out the field in ninth place.

Final Classification

With the first round of the ARXL now complete, we now move to Portugal for the second round of the series, where the weather is forecast to be just as sunny and warm as it has been here at the Circuit de Catalunya. Will Bandit Borgwarnerson continue his string of dominance, or will Lim and the others find a way to mount an effective challenge?

Championship Standings


#103

ok let’s try that again

Armada’s responses to the first round in the classic “Unfortunately, Fortunately” style:

Unfortunately we didn’t have the fastest qualifying car
Fortunately it was right up there
Unfortunately Hsiu-Yinn crashed in Q4
Fortunately that didn’t stop her from winning the semis and podium in the finals. Well done to her
Unfortunately we forgot that ballast was a thing in this season and now we’re thoroughly fucked
Fortunately we happen to know the other front-runners have similar issues
Unfortunately we don’t know how they’ll respond to this
Fortunately it’s a long season

And that’s the fun of it!


#104

Ökul is perfectly in midfield. I’m happy cause the car is a complete peach, 100 kilos overweight.


#105

I’ll do an IC post later but I went and threw my entry up on the car design sharing forum. It’s a weird little thing.


#106

Tmw Your Car Has Carbon Fiber Panels and is still 300kg over the min


#107

Round 2 will start tomorrow; just a friendly reminder to everyone that you can still make changes to your Pace Control. The deadline for Round 3 and 4 is this Sunday at 2359 GMT!

Please find the ARXL Pace Control Form here.


#108

Holy Pad Thai!!!
That is very spectacular performance from Sirisuk, now that’s hotter than putting Sriracha sauce.


#109

After taking a look at the Red Cock I feel like it’s a wonder my car is even in midfield. The engine is 200 horses shy, car is nearly 100 kilos over.
I did conduct a little test. Chucked Pepperbombs V6 in Ökul, gained a second over my own engine in spain. No setup changes were made, my own engine was lighter so the switch messed the balance up. Difference between Ökul and Pepperbomb was around 4 seconds.
My only hope is that extra weight brings opposition further back. But I fear it isn’t enough.


#110

If it makes you feel any better, I’m looking at the Flamarbol car and am just astonished - with as much time as I spent on the PepperBOMB (it was way way too much but tweaking for lap time is a lot of fun to me) I really did not figure that I’d see anything with that much of a gap in raw pace.

We’ll see how the rest of the season goes though!

edit: Ha ha holy cow; I looked at Steam and I think I put about 90-100 hours of work into my entry. Talk about getting carried away.


#111

Down 200 hp, over weight limit by 200kg. Yeah, don’t have much of a chance.


#112

Compared to the minimums and maximums we’ve seen, yes, but compared to the actual averages, you’re not really that far off.


#113

Placed 29th of 34 thus far. Cranked up pace to the maximum, but my car isn’t really that reliable either.


#114

Fernando RallyX de Portugal, Day One - Qualifying Rounds

Q1

Qualifying began this morrning under wet conditions, a cold front blowing through the night before and soaking the track thoroughly. With the track wet but drying steadily, it had a major effect on how the teams approached the early rounds of qualifying.

Round 1 winner Bandit Borgwarnerson set the pace for Q1, roaring out to a decisive victory in the first heat, finishing a full eight seconds ahead of Joey Rogers in the Albatross and Pablo Sanchez in the in the Shromet, the two American drivers locked in a pitched battle for second and third in their heat, with the Albatross ahead at the end by a nose. Robert Field in the TCC tangled on the first lap with Pekka Heikkinen in the Pepperbomb, both drivers damaging their cars and finishing well back of the heat leader.

Alexander Krebs in the #35 Likar Tixref took the victory in the second heat, the young German finding a good rhythm on the muddy track to finish a second ahead of Sylvester Landon in the Isami. Alexander-John Sierra struggled to find his form in Q1, squandering an excellent start to finish third in the Merciel Pixi, well ahead of fourth-place Declan Slater, who stalled out on the start and never really recovered from his mistake. Yuki Fujishima ran wide and damaged the Kitanishi’s suspension in the process, limping the car around to a distant fifth-place finish.

Jaimz Scooby in the #6 FMR Stadia and Rudolfs Jansons in the #13 Schwarzburg fought a pitched battle in the third heat, with Jansons running a storming fast joker lap to more than make up for his rather poor start, finishing only fifteen one-hundredths of a second behind the FMR for second place. Tom Powell in the Seydel-GNG and Marika Kazan in the JHW traded places throughout the heat, with a mistake by Kazan on her joker lap costing her the third-place finish in the end.

Clive Barker and Team WRT Racing took the top spot in the thrilling fourth heat, making up for a very poor start by monstering the course here at Circuit Montalegre, slipping past Einar Poogen in the #88 Okul on Lap 2, and then outrunning the #95 Astelli Racing Leopard driven by Craig March on his joker lap to take the top spot in the heat. Mason Olsen in the #86 NPV and Hammond Hunter in the #10 Deer and Hunt both struggled for grip on the slippery surfaces, finishing well back of the top three runners.

Maki Taninawa in the #545 Sakura Ronin took the top spot in the final heat, running a brilliant race in the challenging conditions, in spite of her being on record as “not being particularly fond of wet racing.” Maria Ramirez and Phornsawan Sirisuk took second and third in a thrilling finish, the young Thai driver only a tenth behind the #129 Geschenk car at the finish, and a tenth up on Tsiu-Yinn Lim, who never really looked comfortable with the Armada at any point of the race.

Q2

After running wide and damaging their car in Q1, Team NARUTO Selestat was able to repair Eric Meistermann’s stricken FAAL in time for Q2, and Meistermann took no prisoners in the first heat, finishing top in that heat, far ahead of Timo Virtanen’s LATOY. Kevin Michaels in the #63 KMC Racing machine recovered some of the lost ground from Q1, finishing two seconds behind the LATOY for the sixteenth-best time of the session, in spite of bogging down on the start.

Yuki Fujishima found their footing in Q2, the #96 car back to full health once again, taking the top spot in the second heat, four seconds ahead of Heikkinen in the Pepperbomb, the Finn still dealing with the after-effects of his accident in Q1 and only just holding out against the hard-charging Marika Kazan in the JHW machine. Declan Slater and Ashlynn Morganstern fought a pitched battle for fifth and sixth spot behind Tom Powell in the Seydel-GNG, but an aggressive move by Morganstern sent both her and Slater wide on the first lap, costing them both time in the end.

Sylvester Landon took top spot overall in Q2 in a dominant showing in the third heat, finishing a full six seconds ahead of Alexander-John Sierra in second place. Rudolfs Jansons and Jaimz Scooby continued their battle from Q1, but both drivers ended up colliding going into the second sector, damaging both cars and slowing them down considerably for the rest of the heat.

Pablo Sanchez started strong in the fourth heat and never looked back, leaving Hsiu-Yinn Lim behind in a distant second-place finish. Sirisuk in the #55 SBA Rosales was lucky to avoid any mishaps, after mistakes on both their first and second laps nearly ended the race weekend for the team, with Sirisuk left dissappointed with their carelessness following the race. Joey Rogers and Alexander Krebs found themselves nearly caught up in one of Sirisuk’s mistakes, both drivers scattering to avoid colliding with the wayward SBA machine.

Craig March started strong and never let up in the final heat, taking the top spot over Bandit Borgwarnerson by two full seconds, the Kiwi having made up for a below-average start with a stonking quick first lap to put himself ahead of Maria Ramirez in the Geschenk, where he stayed for the rest of the race. Maki Taninawa crashed on her joker lap, bumping the wall as she ran wide, damaging her car and causing Clive Baker to nearly come to a complete stop to avoid hitting the Sakura.

Q3

WIth the track now fully dried out, lap times began to fall, as evidenced by Robert Field in the TCC 1450 running a 2:37.166 to win the first heat of Q3; while this time would have been good enough for a top-five finish in Q2, it was unfortunately only good enough for P22 in Q3. In spite of this, Field ran a gutsy race, making up for a very poor start by clawing back more and more lap time from both second-place Jorg Ambuhl and third-place Jaimz Scooby to take the top spot back by the final lap.

The second heat saw Mason Olsen return to his usually fine form, taking the top spot by nearly three seconds over Einar Poogen in the Okul and Miguel Gonzalez in the NEMW, those two drivers locked in a epic but cleanly-fought battle for second place in the heat. In the end, Poogen held out by a mere two-tenths to finish second in the heat.

Tom Powell and the #888 Seydel-GNG took top spot in the third heat, cruising to an easy, three-second victory over Eino Vatanen in the #4 Delta Motorsport car. Kevin Michaels, Ashlynn Morganstern and Joey Rogers rounded out the rest of the top five, with scarcely more than a second between the three cars in the end. Quentin LeTheou and Declan Slater both suffered very poor starts and never really recovered from them, finishing last and second-to-last respectively.

Tsiu-Yinn Lim found an extra gear, so to speak, taking an easy victory in the fourth heat, six seconds ahead of Pekka Heikkinen and Phornsawan Sirisuk, who were engaged in a thrilling “will he or won’t he?” battle through the race, as the gathered crowds watched on the edges of their seats to see if Heikkinen’s decision to run the joker lap first would pay off versus Sirisuk, who ran their joker lap on the final lap. In the end, Heikkinen prevailed, by a mere quarter of a second, with Sirisuk slotting in just ahead of the Geschenk and the JHW.

Eric Meistermann found his footing in a big way in the final heat, taking an easy victory over Bandit Borgwarnerson, who had to contend with a hard fight put on by Sylvester Landon in the Isami all race long. Pablo Sanchez and Craig March traded paint and positions several times, but a misjudged braking point by the Astelli Racing driver on the last lap ended his charge and relegated him to fifth place in the heat. Yuki Fujishima, strong in the first two qualifying rounds, found herself in big trouble following a minor off on the first lap, the suspension of the Kitanishi Develo sufficently damaged such that all she could do was salvage a last-place finish, good for P14 in the session.

Q4

Quentin LeTheou recovered form his bruising race in Q3 to take the top spot in the first heat of Q4, finishing well ahead of Jorg Ambuhl and Rudolfs Jansons. Takumi Fujiwara suffered a big crash on the first lap, severely damaging his car and ending any hope of Fuji Motorsports finishing higher than last place overall.

Maki Taninawa ran a strong race in the #545 Sakura Ronin, finishing first in heat number two, well ahead of Hammond Hunter in the stadium truck and Joey Rogers in the #37 Albatross. Robert Field threatened a few times at the heels of Alexander Krebs in the Likar, but in the end was unable to overcome his dreadful start and found himself just behind the German driver.

Yuki Fujishima won the third heat, in spite of her car being bodged together just enough to get it running for the final session. A strong start, combined with Miguel Gonzalez stalling out, gave her all the margin she needed to hold off the hard-charging American driver, finishing a second ahead at the finish and guaranteeing her a spot in the semi-finals.

Phornsawan Sirisuk and the #55 SBA Rosales ran a textbook race from start to finish, making a strong start and no mistakes whatsoever to take not only the top spot of the heat, but also narrowly edging out Pablo Sanchez for the top spot overall in Q4. Pekka Heikkinen and Alexander-John Sierra had no real answer for the Thai driver’s scorching pace, with the #80 Pepperbomb just holding out over Sierra’s Merciel Pixi. Maria Ramirez had a big off in the #129 Geschenk on her joker lap, limping the car around to finish, but far behind the entire field. Much work looms ahead to prepare the stricken car for tomorrow’s semi-finals and finals.

In the final heat, Sanchez took the top spot of course, with Borgwarnerson struggling with a mechanical issue of some kind, the Flamarbol Beryl never really looking all that comfortable in this session. In spite of the difficulty, Borgwarnerson was still able to hold off Hsiu-Yinn Lim, who seemed to come out of their shell a little bit in this final session, having generally looked uncomfortable with the track and the conditions all weekend long. Eric Meistermann went wide and damaged his car after a botched overtaking attempt on the first lap against Lim, though he was still able to post the ninth-best time of the session, in spite of finishing last in the final heat.

Intermediate Classification

With more weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow, we are expecting very wet conditions for both the semi-finals and the final, with a strong likelihood that the conditions will only deteriorate even further as the day wears on. Will Bandit Borgwarnerson, winner in Spain, be able to make it two for two, or will his new-found struggles continue and a new winner found?


#115

This is an unexpectedly strong showing for Armada’s driver, Hsiu-Yinn.

  • this is her least favourite track of the season
  • she freaking hates wet weather
  • accordingly, we told her to dial it back and play it safe

In fact we weren’t even expecting to reach the semis. So we told her to also take it easy through the semis because we don’t really want any more ballast than we already have but if the pace is still this strong despite that, then she may do whatever she wants despite this and we may also want to go harder despite our better judgement…


#116

Fernando RallyX de Portugal, Day Two - Semi-Finals and Final

Semi-Final 1

The rain absolutely poured down as the cars made the grid for the first semi-final, the track slippery and hazardous on the paved sections, the dirt sections turned into a gigantic mud pit. When the lights turned green, Maria Ramirez flew off the line, the Geschenk finding traction that nobody else could manage. This continued all the way to the finish line, as Ramirez put on a wet-driving clinic like no other, crossing the finish line a full twelve seconds ahead of Mason Olsen in the #86 NX-430, followed closely by Craig March in the Astelli Racing machine.

Bandit Borgwarnerson never really looked comfortable in the #100 Flamarbol, the car struggling for grip on the unpaved sections. Adding to the New Zealander’s problems, a bit of a bump on Lap 4 damaged the Flamarbol, slowing the car down even further and relegating Borgwarnerson to a fourth-place finish, a second and a half up on Sylvester Landon in the Isami.

Behind Landon, Einar Poogen and Alexander-John Sierra made the best of what they could muster in these awful conditions, finishing sixth and seventh overall, with Poogen three quarters of a second out of the last final slot. Eric Meistermann had a very difficult race, the FAAL proving to be nearly undriveable in these conditions, the Frenchman opting to take it easy and finishing the race rather than risking crashing out and losing valuable championship points by pushing for a higher finish.

Semi-Final 2

Conditions deteriorated even more for Semi-Final 2, but that did not slow down Phornsawan Sirisuk, who was able to extract the very best from the SBA Rosales to win the second semi-final in decisive fashion, a full fourteen seconds ahead of Tom Powell in the #888 Seydel-GNG after running a very clean race at the front of the field. This is more than can be said for the rest of the racers in this semi-final, as the rest of the field kept getting got caught up in a number of small mishaps, with one car or another spinning off or losing control at seemingly every opportunity, with the other drivers inheriting and losing positions almost continuously through the finish, and nearly every car nursing some amount of damage by the end of the race.

Powell came out on top of the rest, with Hsiu-Yinn Lim keeping her cool for a gutsy third-place finish, a full eight seconds ahead of Yuki Fujishima. Fujishima had an eventful race, having tangled with Marika Kazan in the #15 JHW on Lap 4, relegating the Greek driver to a seventh place finish behind Pablo Sanchez in the Shromet Appalachian and Pekka Heikkinen in the Pepperbomb, the Finn having spoiled their race after a collision between him and Maki Taninawa in the #545 Sakura Ronin.

Final

The rain continued unabated for the final, with most of the fans seeking refuge from the downpour by whatever means they could find. The teams continued their work unabated, scrambling to fix their bashed-up machines in time for the final race. Despite their best efforts, a number of teams lined up on the grid with damaged machines, risking further calamity rather than withdrawing from the final and forfeiting their championship points. All the cars got away cleanly from the start, but an aggressive overtaking maneuver by Mason Olsen ended with the New Zealander cannonballing through the field going into the first corner, having misjudged his braking point. Caught up in the carnage was Phornsawan Sirisuk in the SBA, Craig March in the Astelli and Tom Powell in the Seydel-GNG. Hsiu-Yinn Lim barely escaped undamaged, and opted to let the rest of the field smash each other to bits rather than risk another big accident. Sirisuk quickly found their car mostly undamaged and drove to a brilliant recovery in fifth place, three quarters of a second behind Bandit Borgwarnerson in the Flamarbol.

Maria Ramirez in the Geschenk and Sylvester Landon in the Isami drove a steady, careful race, largely avoiding any of the issues of the rest of the field for second and third place respectively, with Landon finishing a full six seconds ahead of Borgwarnerson in fourth.

Final Classification

With the chaos caused by the weather here at Circuit Montalegre, the teams scrambled to leave the second round of the ARX League with as many points as they possibly could, taking advantage of mishaps and missteps by their opponents while trying to minimise their own. In the end, Yuji Fujishima proved to be the most consistent driver overall, pipping Bandit Borgwarnerson by a single point this weekend, who managed to extend his lead in the Championship Standings over second-place Hsiu-Yinn Lim by six points. With another typically rainy weekend expected in Belgium, will we see a repeat of the chaos here in Portugal, or will the normal order re-establish itself for Round 3 of the Automation Rallycross League?

Championship Standings


#117

So lesson learned, large horsepower numbers aren’t really needed as much in rallycross cars…


#118

Wow, that wasn’t a great result. Goes to show that yep, it’s not just as simple as throwing power numbers at things!


#119

I like a bit of collaboration so I’m going to go open disclosure. My pace control form for this round was 6, 3 and 1. I wasn’t expecting to reach the final because of the ballast and wanted to limit the damage because my car loses a good 2% pace per 100kg extra. My driver hates wet weather and Portugal, which pretty much summed up this weekend.

So to score 6th in the final and actually climb the overall standings to 2nd is remarkable and if Borgwarnerson’s performance is anything to go by I should probably be pushing more consistently as the advantage is still not going to be fully mitigated until much higher levels of ballast. Probably the key in this is that my car has one of the highest power to weight ratios but also one of the lower challenge factors as it has a drivability score of 77. It also has a higher than average reliability score (76). Yes, I cheesed the tune quite a bit to get it there.

This means if I want to play math, I should dial up the aggressiveness through the semi and final. 10 was too much (crashed in Round 1 Q4). But there’s no point me playing it overly cautious and saving up because chances are I’m going to hit 250kg ballast eventually and will be on even footing except with an inherent speed disadvantage against the very top anyway.

Since I do have a good 60-70kg less than Borgwarnerson for next round, I should take this chance to see if I can close the raw time deficit… Weather allowing.


#120

I am soooo very surprised I made it up to 11th place honestly, great work on this by the way


#121

Wow, My team is doing amazing! :smile: Don’t think I did anything on pace control, though might want to see how the ballast effects Yuki’s performance next race before messing with it too much…

Definitely great work, was worth the wait.