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Automation Rallycross League, Season Two (Final Shootout and Stats Post Up, Thanks To All Participants!)


#122

Ryde “Furious with Phillips” after wiping out a hard-charging Andrew-Scott


Weather played a huge part in todays final, with both Semi-Finals starting with a slew of cars off around track. The Bramhall of Andrew-Scott was one of those cars involved in the first semi-finals’ lap one incident, and felt he had been hard done by. An incredible performance in qualifying saw him come out of nowhere to win one of the qualifying rounds at a track where he has typically struggled to compete. His best performance prior to Saturday’s win was a 4th place in the European Historic Rallycross Championship, driving his former WRC Group 4 Mica.

Kevin Ryde was on spotters duty as per usual, watching the start of the race on the freshly-wetted Swedish circuit. He described the events to us from his point of view. “Andrew-Scott made an alright start, but slid wide into turn 1, this put him out of line for turn 2 with Phillips staying along side on the outside. Now turn 3 is over a steep crest so you typically don’t see people firing it up the inside there for the overtake, but what does Phillip do? He ended up smashing into our front corner and knocking the toe out, ruining the handling and slowing us right down. I’m furious because Dom was on a real great run.”

Andrew-Scott was devastated to be wiped out of the Finals when he felt so strong at a track he had had so little success at. He refused to comment after the semi-final but spoke to us briefly after the finals had worked themselves out. “That should have been us in that Final. I have never felt a car so strong beneath me before at this track. I know we could have scored better today and I am so sorry to all the team who gave me such a strong package today.”

Michael McDowell was at the circuit for the second time after the British RXGP and was seen consoling a visibly distraught Andrew-Scott, with a snippet of their conversation heard. McDowell has continually expressed his support for the driver who he initially believed to be unworthy of the seat he had been given, but who has now proven himself as a strong contender for next years championship. “You did a great job today Dom, you gave us our first real victory, all on pace and all down to you. These things happen but you can walk away today knowing you did yourself proud.”


#124

Tyrelli World RX of Canada, Day One (Qualifying Rounds)

Sunny skies and hot temperatures greeted fans and competitors on this late June weekend, the Circuit Trois-Rivieres packed with excited fans, awaiting the only ARXL round in the Americas this season.

Q1

The racing in the first qualifying session of Premier League was fast and furious, and the first heat was absolutely no exception to this. While Kitanishi’s Yuki Fujishima drove one of the best heat performances of any round, by any driver this season so far, taking the win in dominant fashion, a wild battle ensued between the other three cars in the race. Haapala’s Aatto Virtanen roared out to an early lead, logging the second-fastest start in all of Q1, but found trouble shortly after with a punctured tire, slowing the #7 machine’s progress and mixing it up suddenly with KMC’s Kevin Michaels and K1A’s Marie-Claire Allemand. Michaels was able to do enough to get past the stricken Haapala, while Allemand struggled to find the pace to make an overtake stick, finishing fourth in the heat.

Eino Vatanen had an excellent race in the second heat, making a monumentally good start, followed up with four excellent laps to hold off defending champion Hsiu-Yinn Lim by just under two seconds at the line. Pekka Heikkinen struggled a little with consistency but was hot on the tail of the #1 Armada, keeping Lim honest through the entire race, finishing just half a second behind in third place. Jaimz Marshall struggled on the start and was never able to fully recover from his mistake, rounding out the field four tenths of a second behind Heikkinen.

The final heat of Q1 was a desperately close affair, with virtually nothing between the drivers at all. SCH minMAX’s Charlie LeClair was ever so slightly the fastest driver on track, but a rough start for the Frenchman forced him to settle for last place, a tenth behind Pablo Sanchez’s #52 Shromet. In the end, it was Matt Sierra’s Merciel on the top of the timesheets, a tenth up on Sanchez.

Q2

After losing out on a solid result in Q1 due to tire issues, Aatto Virtanen lost no time in recovery, putting up the best time in the first heat of Q2, some seven seconds ahead of FMR’s Jaimz Marshall and KMC’s Kevin Michaels. In spite of a sloppy final lap, Marshall just managed to hold on to second place in the heat, with Michaels struggling in the last couple of corners to put down the power in the #62 Aero Stretto. Marie Claire-Allemand rounded out the field, the #707 Hwa not looking particularly competitive at this power-hungry circuit.

Pekka Heikkinen took the top time in the second heat, some nine seconds ahead of Pablo Sanchez at the chequered flag. Sanchez and Matt Sierra once again renewed their rivalry, the two drivers swapping places several times over the course of the race, with Sanchez making a particularly spectacular overtake on the final lap to take and hold second place, a position he held to the flag, beating the #36 Merciel by eighteen hundredths of a second. Charlie LeClair had a minor suspension problem on the second lap, slowing the #33 Kuma and dashing their hopes of a strong finish this session.

Yuki Fujishima drove another otherworldly race in the final heat, beating Hsiu-Yinn Lim by nearly seven seconds and pipping Pekka Heikkinen’s nearly untouchable time by eighteen thousandths of a second. Lim had an excellent race with Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen, less than a hundredth of a second between the drivers as Lim won the drag race out of the final corner.

Q3

Times continued to tumble in the third qualifying session, with Charlie LeClair putting the freshly-repaired #33 Kuma on the top of the timesheet in the first session, well clear of Jaimz Marshall and Kevin Michaels. Marshall had a spectacularly good third lap, good enough to blow past Michaels for second place, the Brit holding the place in spite of an error on his final lap. Marie-Claire Allemand rounded out the field, still struggling to find a way to keep up with the rest of the field.

Eino Vatanen took the top spot in the second heat easily, some six seconds ahead of Matt Sierra, the Merciel driver holding on to second place in spite of a rather sloppy race overall for the Brit. Pablo Sanchez was close at hand in third, but he too was inconsistent and found himself unable to defend against Sierra’s overtake on Lap 2. Aatto Virtanen suffered a suspension failure on Lap 2, likely hastened by the tire failure in Q1, the #7 Haapala not competitve as it limped home at the back of the pack.

Yuki Fujishima made it three for three with the top time in the final heat, beating Pekka Heikkinen by four seconds at the line. Heikkinen made an excellent start, but struggled on his final lap, making a couple of costly errors that prevented him from mounting any kind of serious threat to Fujishima ahead. Hsiu-Yinn Lim too struggled with consistency, though was every bit a measure for Heikkinen in front, the Chinese star finishing barely more than a half second behind in third.

Q4

Aatto Virtanen’s rollercoaster weekend continued in the final qualifying session, the Finnish driver masterfully putting his Haapala on the top of the timesheets, his team having freshly replaced the entire front right suspension in record time. Jaimz Marshall overcame a mediocre start to finish in second place, pipping Kevin Michaels on the second lap with a brilliant overtaking move going into the infield section of the track. Marie-Claire Allemand reprised her position in fourth place in the heat, some thirteen seconds back of Michaels.

Pekka Heikkinen romped to an easy victory in the second heat, the Finn showing the #80 Team Red Cock Pepperbomb XT2 to be just as much of a threat as its Season One predecessor was. Hsiu-Yinn Lim got her elbows out in the first session, pushing her way past Matt Sierra and Pablo Sanchez to take second place, the hard knock she administered Sierra damaging the #36 Merciel Pixi and putting it out of contention for the rest of the race. Pablo Sanchez had a couple of inconsistent laps in the #52 Shromet, unable to mount a serious threat to Lim ahead and settling for third place.

Eino Vatanen made an incredible start in the final heat, roaring out to an early lead that was not relinquished at any point for the rest of the race, finishing well ahead of Kitanishi’s Yuki Fujishima in second. Charlie LeClair was right on the rear bumper of Fujishima, but just did not have the pace to make an overtake on the Japanese driver, settling instead for third place.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

The close, hard fought racing continued in League One, no quarter being given by any of the competitors in the first round of qualifying. Duncan Duff took the top time in the first heat, having put a spectacular move on Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert on Lap 2 take the lead. Feihong Luo struggled on his last lap, the Huangdou driver pressuring both Duff and Van Uitert until then. Gus Block took advantage of a messy final lap by Elaine Eisenberg, flying past the Swiss driver enroute to finishing fourth in the heat. Yinzer’s Amanda Huuginkis rounded out the field in sixth place, the Yinzer driver struggling to put in consistent lap times as the session wore on.

Stefan Banach took the top time in the second heat, the OBRSO driver beating out Ace Racing’s Reiko Nagase for the heat win by a full second. Rena Hayami held off a late charge by Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki for third place, the Wade Racing driver making a solid start and running competitive all race long. Riley Phillips had a difficult race, making a poor start and finding himself struggling with an unexplained loss of power in the #94 Zephorus machine. In spite of his misfortune, Phillips managed to just remain ahead of Team Sasquatch’s William Cunningham, the American having a bit of a disaster on his final lap, losing a nearly full-second lead on Phillips after running very wide going into the infield section.

Dominic Andrew-Scott took the top time in the third heat, in decisive fashion no less, some two seconds clear of Martin Bayer, the German struggling to get the #3 Cisalpina’s power down on the dry, dusty surface. Harry Davies finished in third, the Knightwick driver making a forgettable start and first lap, while Fourteen40 Kazuki’s Mikah Jameson and SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter took the final two spots in the heat respectively, the two drivers tangling right on the start and damaging their cars slightly.

Mulle Meck shocked with a surprise heat victory in the final heat, a couple of excellent laps propelling the Swedish driver to the top spot ahead of Gnoo Dadsport’s Alison Wondersley. Elin Arbez had a race to forget in third place, the championship leader having a disasterous final lap to end her heat, allowing Wondersley through without any resistance. Kenji Nishida finished welll back of Arbez in fourth place, while Motorpop’s Sabine Weber had the misfortune of a punctured tire in her race, putting the German driver at the back of the pack.

Q2

Riley Phillips roared to the top of the timesheets in the first heat of Q2, his ignition system repaired after being the source of the power loss, finishing some three seconds ahead of Sabine Weber, the Motorpop driver looking sharp after a gutsy overtake on the #56 Kazuki of Mikah Jameson on the final lap. William Cunningham finished fourth, some ways back after struggling on this power-hungry circuit. Markus Hutter fought lingering issues from his Q1 accident to finish fifth, while Amanda Huuginkis found the #73 Yinzer to suddenly have a transmission full of neutrals on her first lap, limping the car home at the back of the pack.

Elin Arbez shook off the mental miscues of her first race, roaring to the top time of the second heat in decisive fashion, beating Martin Bayer by some five seconds at the line. Elaine Eisenberg finished third, some four seconds behind Bayer, after the MIHR driver struggled on the start, and found it difficult to keep up with the pace of the two frontrunners. Gus Block finished fourth, a strong start by the Hooligan Fourteen40 driver squandered by mistakes on every lap. Harry Davies finished in fifth place, three quarters of a second behind Block, with a struggling Kenji Nishida bringing up the rear.

Dominic Andrew-Scott continued his strong showing with another top heat time in the third heat, finishing some two seconds clear of Alison Wondersley in second place. Wondersley and Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert were locked in a tense battle all race, the Dutchman pressuring Wondersley the entire race, but ultimately unable to find a way around the #7 Goblin. Saki Mochizuki finished in fourth place, some eight tenths of a second ahead of Feihong Luo, who struggled on the start and didn’t look particularly comfortable with the #26 Huangdou’s behaviour.

Stefan Banach roared to the top time in the session, pipping Arbez’s high water mark from the second heat by a quarter of a second to win his heat in decisive fashion. Nobody was even close to the Polish driver, with Reiko Nagase finishing some eleven seconds back in second place, the leader of an intense four-way battle for second, with less than a second separating second-place Nagase from fifth-place Duncan Duff. Mulle Meck took the early lead in this group, but a sloppy second lap allowed Nagase through into second place, with Rena Hayami close behind in fourth. Duff followed in fifth, the Canadian driver making a mediocre start and struggling to make up time after that, overdriving the #404 Mons on a couple of occasions.

Q3

Gus Block took the top spot in the first heat of Q3, some eight seconds clear of Sparkling Machine’s Kenji Nishida in second place. Harry Davies made an excellent start in the #34 Knightwick, but a series of mistakes caused the German driver to relinquish second to Nishida on the first lap. Markus Hutter still found his #63 Munot Starkwind to be struggling with handling issues, while William Cunningham found himself struggling with a lack of power in fourth place. Amanda Huuginkis toughed out another difficult race, the team at Roundhaas Racing struggling to figure out the transmission issues in the #73 Yinzer.

Rena Hayami took the top spot in the second heat, an excellent start followed by four clean laps by the Wade Racing driver, putting the #76 machine some four and half seconds clear of Elaine Eisenberg in second place. Eisenberg was seemingly snoozing on the start, losing critical time right from lights out, but a smart final lap saw the #598 driver hold on to the position ahead of Reiko Nagase. Feihong Luo also made a rather poor start, the margin between him and Nagase ahead more than the difference in their starting times. Mulle Meck slipped past Duncan Duff to take fifth place in the heat, after the Canadian ran wide on his joker, costing him precious time.

Alison Wondersley took the top time in the third heat, eight seconds clear of a ferocious fight between Job Van Uitert and Saki Mochizuki. Van Uitert and Mochizuki traded paint a couple of times on the start, with Van Uitert slipping through ahead going into the first lap. Mochizuki got close a number of times after that, but just didn’t quite have enough pace to overtake the Dutchman. Sabine Weber made it very close at the end, the German driver putting the #55 Motorpop right on Mochizuki’s tail with a tremendous final lap as her opponent’s attention was on the battle ahead. Mikah Jameson made an incredible start, but mental miscues squandered the effort in the end, the Kazuki rounding out the field in the third heat.

Stefan Banach took the top time in the final heat, four seconds clear of Elin Arbez’s Morton Teo, after the New Zealander struggled off the starting line, and made a couple of mistakes toward the end of the heat. Martin Bayer was close at hand behind Arbez, putting a considerable amount of pressure on his opponent as he needled for a way to overtake. Riley Phillips overcame a poor start to take fourth place in the heat, pipping Dominic Andrew-Scott on Lap 3 to take the spot, in an otherwise very closely matched battle between the two Brits.

Q4

Harry Davies put the #34 Knightwick on the top of the timesheets in the first heat, starting strong and running a clean race to finish some two seconds clear of Sasquatch’s William Cunningham, who battled hard with Mons Racing’s Duncan Duff, the Canadian only six hundredths of a second behind in third place after running wide on the last corner to let Cunningham through. Kenji Nishida had trouble on his first lap, a big slide in the infield costing the Sparkling Machine driver dearly, costing the driver a shot at finishing higher than fourth place. Markus Hutter started poorly, and continued his disappointing form through the race, finishing fifth, the only driver behind being the stricken Amanda Huuginkis, still struggling with transmission problems.

Mulle Meck took his second heat win of the day, making an excellent start and running a very consistent race to beat Huangdou’s Feihong Luo by more than a second at the line. Mikah Jameson fought with Meck and Luo for most of the race, but a diastrous final lap saw the Kazuki driver run very wide in the second corner, letting both Meck and Luo through for position, forcing Jameson to settle for third place in the heat. Elaine Eisenberg too suffered the same fate as Jameson, a rough final lap allowing Reiko Nagase through for fourth place ahead of the Swiss driver. Sabine Weber’s bad luck continued, a major suspension failure on Lap 2 dashing the hopes that she would appear on Day Two.

Dominic Andrew-Scott took the top time of the third heat, impressing everyone with his poise and confidence as he sailed across the line some two seconds ahead of Job Van Uitert and Riley Phillips, the former just a fraction of a second ahead. Phillips had Van Uitert’s number initially, but a couple of rough laps to bookend his heat put the #96 Zephorus just behind Van Uitert’s Autodelta. Gus Block was able to get the power down easier coming out of the final corner and was able to win the drag race to the finish line with Saki Mochizuki, Block taking fourth by a bumper.

Martin Bayer was able to overcome a tremendous start by Stefan Banach, absolutely monstering the track to finish far ahead in first place, some three seconds ahead of the Polish driver in second. Alison Wondersley almost held on to second place, but a couple of mistakes in the first half of the final lap allowed Banach to overtake for third, and in spite of Wondersley’s excellent launch out of the final corner, was not able to close the gap. Elin Arbez finished a couple of seconds back in fourth place, safely through into Day Two action, while Rena Hayami struggled with consistency, bringing up the rear in fifth place.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Team Oranj’s Ken Visser absolutely flew in his first heat, taking the top time of the session as well in a dominant race. OHO Racing’s Karina Meister finished in second, nearly two seconds behind Visser, unable to match the Dutchman’s pace. Bruce Mooseview struggled a bit in the #32 FABEL, two seconds behind, while Tsubasa Arima had a rotten start, followed by four inconsistent laps to round out the heat.

Charlie Martin took the top time in the second heat, just edging out Buy2Get1Free’s Carina Flannagan at the line. Riku Jokinen was fast, challenging for the lead for the first three laps, but a bobble on his joker lap cost him enough time that he ended up in third place, just behind Flannagan. Chizuru Mizuhara had a rough race, finishing well back in fourth place, after a difficult start and struggling with an ill-handling car.

Q2

Bruce Mooseview took the top time in the first heat, recovering from a rather poor start to beat Ralliheart’s Riku Jokinen to the line. Chizuru Mizuhara also made a rather poor start, but unfortunately for the MIHR driver, they were not quite able to recover as well as Mooseview, finishing in third, just a bumper behind Jokinen. Tsubasa Arima had a rotten joker lap, running very wide a couple of times and taking them out of contention for the top time.

Karina Meister took the top time in the second heat, starting strong and overcoming a bit of inconsistency to beat Carina Flannagan by a second and a half. Ken Visser had a somewhat poor start, but recovered admirably with a late charge, making things very difficult for Flannagan ahead, as the Dutchman finished third overall. Charlie Martin struggled with consistency all race, making several mistakes in his #84 Kadett to put him in fourth place.

Q3

Frustration for Charlie Martin, as the Brit made an incredible start to lead the first heat, but a sloppy mistake on his second lap put the #84 Autodelta into the wall, damaging it considerably and spoiling his race completely. Riku Jokinen inherited the lead from Martin, surviving a late push by Tsubasa Arima to take the top time in the heat. Chizuru Mizuhara was competitive behind Arima, but struggled to convert any overtake attempt, finishing in third place.

Karina Meister made it two in a row, finishing top of the charts in the second heat. Carina Flannagan fought off a late charge by Ken Visser to hold on to second place, very little between the New Zealander and the Dutchman all race long. Bruce Mooseview struggled on the start, then found himself overdriving the car a bit too much, making a couple of careless mistakes to put him down in fourth place.

Q4

Sand Swimmers’ Bruce Mooseview took the top time in the first heat, putting a spectacular overtake on Tsubasa Arima to take the lead on the last lap. Chizuru Mizuhara made a rotten start, stalling on the grid and struggling to make up the lost time as the race progressed, ultimately finishing a disappointing third place. Charlie Martin soldiered on in fourth place, determined to make Day Two.

Three for three for #3, as Karina Meister took the top spot in the final heat in convincing fashion over her rival, Carina Flannagan. Meister made a decent start, but Flannagan’s was slightly better, the New Zealander leading into the first corner, where she and Ken Visser promptly ran wide and let Meister through for the lead of the heat. Visser recovered from his mistake as well, finishing a very close third place behind Flannagan, closing the gap pretty dramatically on the final lap. Riku Jokinen made a poor start, then struggled to find the pace needed to recover, putting the #74 Ralliheart at the back of the pack, but only just.

Intermediate Classification


#125

Tyrelli World RX of Canada, Day Two (Finals)

The fine weather continued into the second day of the Tyrelli World RX of Canada, a record crowd expected today, after the event broke attendance records the day before, with over 40,000 fans in attendance for the race on the first day.

Semi-Final 1

Hsiu-Yinn Lim dominated the first semi-final, starting strong and taking the lead very early on the first lap, then putting up six excellent laps to finish some twelve seconds up on Team Red Cock’s Pekka Heikkinen. Heikkinen had a bit of a rough start, and two sloppy laps to start the race, but he was still fast enough to secure his spot in the final, some three seconds clear of Haapala’s Aatto Virtanen. Pablo Sanchez had some sort of mechanical failure that plagued the #52 Shromet right from the start, finishing well back in fourth.

Semi-Final 2

Yuki Fujishima’s fantastic weekend continued, recovering from a rough start with clean, consistent lapping to dominate the field in the second semi-final. Eino Vatanen stole second place - and the last spot in the final - with a great overtaking move on Charlie LeClair in the last couple of corners, the Frenchman then running wide in his panic to re-take the position, thus sealing his fate in third place. Matt Sierra damaged his suspension on the first lap, slowing the #36 Merciel and putting him well out of contention.

Final

Pekka Heikkinen romped to the victory in the final, putting up a stellar race to take the win in emphatic fashion. Yuki Fujishima was a little crushed by the result, having dominated all weekend to this point, only to lose out by five and a half seconds to Heikkinen at the line. Eino Vatanen squandered an excellent start with a couple of sloppy laps to end his race, allowing Fujishima through to take second place. Hsiu-Yinn Lim blew the engine in her #1 Armada on Lap 5, the defending champion’s car not looking particularly fast off the line, likely suffering from some major technical issue even before the lights went out.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

Stefan Banach took the win in the first semi-final, recovering from a decidedly average start to put the #42 OBRSO Hussar on the top of the timesheets. Dominic Andrew-Scott battled with Martin Bayer all race long, the Brit starting strongest of all, running more consistently than Bayer to take second place away from the German on the last lap. Rena Hayami finished just on the outside looking in, four seconds back of Bayer in fourth place. Reiko Nagase pushed Hayami hard on the last lap, but was ultimately not able to find a gap to overtake, finishing fifth place ahead of Mulle Meck.

Semi-Final 2

Alison Wondersley was the class of the field in the second semi-final, dominating the field to finish some ten seconds ahead of championship leader Elin Arbez. Arbez ran a strong race, but struggled to get the #62 Morton Teo around the track as well as she was on Day One. Riley Phillips punched his ticket to the final, with a clean, if unremarkable, run to third place, half a second behind Arbez. Job Van Uitert made a poor start and struggled with inconsistency to finish fourth, a ways back from Phillips, while Saki Mochizuki finished in fifth, having struggled all race, ultimately giving up fourth place to Van Uitert on the final lap.

Final

Martin Bayer exploded off the line, seemingly going on the “B” of Bang! to everone elses “g”, the #3 Cisalpina fully a quarter of a second ahead at the start of the first lap. That gap continued to grow until the line, with Bayer taking the win by seven seconds over Riley Phillips. Phillips ran a generally solid race, but an average start combined with some overdriving prevented the Brit from challenging Bayer at any point. Stefan Banach found the going behind Phillips to be very difficult, unable to make any of his overtake attempts stick, ultimately finishing half a second behind in third place. Alison Wondersley spun on the first lap, finishing well back in fourth place, while Dominic Andrew-Scott collided with Elin Arbez on Lap 2, damaging both cars. Andrew-Scott was less affected and managed to finish fifth, while Arbez could only just finish the race, a disappointing end to her weekend.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

The first Super 1250 semi-final was a tense affair, with all four competitors running very close to one another the entire race. Carina Flannagan took the flag by only fifteen hundredths of a second over Riku Jokinen, both drivers punching their ticket to the final. Charlie Martin lost out in the dying laps on a spot in the final with a couple little mistakes, finishing a car length behind Jokinen for third place. MIHR’s Chizuru Mizuhara was close for the first couple of laps, but in their excitement started to overdrive the car a bit, making a series of sloppy mistakes and losing time, finishing fourth.

Semi-Final 2

Karina Meister sprung at the exact right time, sneaking past Ken Visser to take the lead on the final lap with a tremendous effort by the #3 OHO Racing driver. Visser held second, after recovering from a rather poor start to overtake Meister on the second lap, holding the lead until the final lap. Bruce Mooseview inherited third place after Tsubasa Arima retired with an engine failure, hurting the Japanese driver’s title chances to a degree with this failure.

Final

Ken Visser took a gutsy victory in the final, after finding himself third at one point behind both Riku Jokinen and Carina Flannagan. Flannagan led the pack after the first lap, with Jokinen close behind, but both drivers got tangled up in each other on the final lap, with Visser just driving past them both in the #23 Team Oranj Kadett. Karina Meister finished in fourth, struggling at the start and having trouble running consistent laps at any point.

Final Classification


#126

Standings After Round 7


#127

Alex “AA” Adams was sipping his Caesar after the races finished. He was in a pensive mood today:

That was an unlucky weekend. We had high hopes for our home race, and wanted to put on a good show for Duncan's home crowd. It is his favourite track after all... but alas, it turned out less than ideal for us. The first race went well enough with a hard-fought win. After that, each race was a close battle. I guess the close racing resulted in a good show for the crowd, but unfortunately, we came out of the battles just behind the rest with only a second or two separating us from a much better classification. Despite some minor mistakes, I am still happy with Duncan's consistency - those lap times are rock solid. It does seem that we are much stronger in the wet, with our poorest results thus far in dry, hot, sunny races. So fingers crossed for some damp in the next rounds!

Duncan was nowhere to be found for comments after the qualifying rounds… we suspect he was on his way home to spend the rest of the weekend with his family and read the book entitled “The art of overtaking”.


#128

“Pressure is on” for Andrew-Scott after contact in the finals, despite best finish this season


Dominic Andrew-Scott finished at Canada with the largest points haul this season, despite contact between the Briton and championship leader Elin Arbez after a hard battle. Bramhall appeared to be strong this weekend with the Southark Racing car winning three of the qualifying heats in dominant fashion and taking second place in Semi-Final 1, bouncing back after a hard weekend at Holjes. With a strong finish Andrew-Scott couldn’t help but jump for joy after finishing the semi-final heat before readying himself for the finals.

Kevin Ryde spoke with us before the finals. “We’re looking strong here, hopefully we can bring some decent positions back as our pace doesn’t look too competitive with the top contenders. Andrew-Scott is on fire today so the thinking is he can pressure those ahead into mistakes.” Ryde then left to position himself on the spotters stand as the cars lined up after and exciting race in the Super 1250 Finals.

Andrew-Scott was looking strong from previous sessions but ended up slowest off the line due to bogging down, putting him against the wall to perform. He chased down the drivers head whilst others began to overdrive to try and catch the blisteringly fast Martin Bayer who dominated the finals. In trying to overtake the New Zealander Andrew-Scott locked the rear and half-spun into the Morton Teo’s rear quarter, sending both of them round. The Bramhall recovered quicker but was too far back from Wondersley after the damage slowed him down, leaving him in 5th.

“I’m just so frustrated right now, I should have been in the mix from the off but my launch was horrid, put me on the back foot and left me fighting for positions I should have been ahead of. Contact with Arbez was unfortunate but these things happen. Really the pressure is on for the rest of the season, especially considering how strong we are right now.” Andrew-Scott stated after the finals. He was clearly hoping for more despite the strong finish, though Bramhall will certainly feel happy with this strength in his class. No doubt they’re feeling this is the performance they should have had from round 1.


#129

Air Trance RallyX de France, Day One (Qualifying Rounds)

Showery, wet weather greeted the ARXL on its return to Europe for the final three races on the continent. While the teams were getting used to the poor weather that has plagued the series so far this season, some of the drivers were feeling a little frustrated, especially after the exciting raceing in Canada two weeks prior.

Q1

One driver that was not upset to see the return of the rain was K1A’s Marie-Claire Allemand, the combination of the Monegasque driver and the #707 Hwa Vigil proving to be very fast in slick conditions. Allemand took the top time in the first heat easily, finishing some sixteen seconds ahead of Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez. Jaimz Marshall took second, well clear of either Sanchez ahead, or Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen, who struggled to find any pace at all in his #4 Leopard RX.

Matt Sierra put the #36 Merciel on the top of the timesheets in the second heat, making a strong start and building on his lead with each successive lap to take the top time easily, over KMC’s Kevin Michaels in second. Hsiu-Yinn Lim had a bit of a scare at the start, as Yuki Fujishima cut across her line very aggressively to try to gain a position on Michaels ahead. Credit to Lim to keep #1 Armada out of a huge crash to start her race, but it nonetheless rattled her confidence, finishing third in the heat, with Fujishima rounding out the field behind.

Charlie LeClair took the top time in the final heat, in a remarkably uneventful race; all three drivers not particularly close to one another. Haapala’s Aatto Virtanen struggled to match the pace of LeClair ahead, while Pekka Heikkinen overdrove his #80 Pepperbomb on a few occasions, spinning on the first lap and two major offs in subesquent laps, to put the Finn well back of his countryman in second.

Q2

The drivers got their eye in for the second qualifying session, the times tumbling and tightening up dramatically. Pekka Heikkinen lead the way in the first heat, finishing twelve seconds clear of old rival Hsiu-Yinn Lim in second place. Lim struggled with inconsistencies in her driving this heat, finding herself exploring much of the off-track area here at Loheac, but fortunately did not damage her car in any of it. Eino Vatanen finished third, some seven seconds back of Lim, while Yuki Fujishima damaged the #96 Kitanishi on their first lap, putting them well out of contention.

Matt Sierra found himself in familiar territory, with the #36 Merciel on the top of the timesheets again, well clear of Aatto Virtanen behind in second place. Kevin Michaels struggled on the start in the #63 KMC, but showed some signs of life in the closing stages of the heat, cutting the deficit to Virtanen ahead dramatically in just two laps. Jaimz Marshall suffered a bit of a bump on Lap 2, the Brit damaging the #68 FMR and relegating him to the back of the pack.

Pablo Sanchez took the top time in the final heat, ten seconds clear of Charlie LeClair, the Frenchman looking as spotty and inconsistent this race as he looked smooth and consistent in the first qualifying session. Marie-Claire Allemand rounded out the field in third, the pace she had in the first heat seemingly not quite there for the second.

Q3

Yuki Fujishima put the freshly-repaired #96 Kitanishi on the top of the timesheets in the first heat, dominating the field to finish some nineteen seconds ahead of Eino Vatanen. Vatanen and Kevin Michaels traded paint a few times during the heat, the battle between the two so ferocious that they had to devote all of their attention to keeping the other at bay rather than makin effort to keep up with the leader. Jaimz Marshall finished the race well back of the pair of Vatanen and Michaels, the damaged FMR still causing a lot of issues for the British driver.

Charlie LeClair found the top of the timesheets in the second heat, running a nearly flawless race to land far ahead of anyone else, both in the heat as well as the session. Aatto Virtanen had a sloppy race overall in second place, his joker lap in particular being the most trying of them all. Marie-Claire Allemand took third place, in spite of a damaging off on Lap 3 that slowed the #707 Hwa considerably. Hsiu-Yinn Lim took the final spot in the heat, almost catching up to Allemand ahead, but showing some signs that her off-track excursions from the previous heat had some effect on the #1 Armada’s handling.

Pablo Sanchez took the top time easily in the final heat, some sixteen seconds ahead of Matt Sierra, who drove an uncharacteristically sloppy race. Pekka Heikkinen finished at the back of the pack, a spin on the first lap damaging the #80 Pepperbomb and preventing the Team Red Cock driver from mounting any kind of a serious threat to Sierra ahead.

Q4

Jaimz Marshall was the picture of consistency in the first heat of Q4, making up for a poor start by simply staying out of trouble, beating defending champion Hsiu-Yinn Lim to the line by eleven seconds. Lim improved her position, getting just enough points to punch her ticket to the semi-finals, but still struggling with a wayward-handling Armada Pint. Kevin Michaels had a bump on his first lap with Marie-Claire Allemand, damaging his KMC Aero Stretto and relegating him to third, while the damage to Allemand’s Hwa was severe enough to put her far behind in fourth place.

Three Finns started the second heat, with Virtanen, Vatanen and Heikkinen lining up against Matt Sierra. Sierra drew a tremendous start, with Virtanen close behind in second at the start of the first lap, with Eino Vatanen and Pekka Heikkinen breathing down their necks. Unfortunately, this was as close as either Vatanen or Heikkinen got to the leaders, both cars colliding and spearing off the track, Heikkinen rejoining with minimal damage, but Vatanen’s #4 Delta Motors Leopard bearing by far the worst of it. In the end, Virtanen took the top time, with Sierra close behind in second, while Heikkinen limped his #80 machine home in third, while Vatanen rounded out the field, well back.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

The first heat of Q1 began with a spectacular race, with SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter taking the top time over Huangdou’s Feihong Luo. Chaos ensued on the first lap, with virtually the entire grid getting tangled up in a wild crash, damaging several cars and slowing the rest, with Hutter completely avoiding any of the melee. Luo and Amanda Huuginkis managed to escape largely unscathed, finishing in second and third. The rest of the field, however, was not so lucky, with Gus Block and Alison Wondersley taking by far the worst of it, ending up second last and last respectively. Mikah Jameson took a hard knock in the #56 Kazuki, but still managed to finish well ahead of Block in fourth place.

The second heat was comparatively tame to the first one, with Team Sasquatch’s William Cunningham taking the top time in the heat, some ten seconds ahead of a virtual dead heat between Saki Mochizuki and Reiko Nagase. Nagase drove a better, more consistent race overall, but Mochizuki summoned all of their talent to catch up to the Wade Racing driver ahead, slipping past on the final lap to snatch second place away. Elaine Eisenberg edged out Stefan Banach, both drivers plagued by poor, inconsistent driving during the race, while Southark’s Dominic Andrew-Scott struggled in sixth place, the #91 Bramhall not looking particularly quick.

Duncan Duff edged out Job Van Uitert for the top time in the third heat, the Mons Racing driver blowing past Van Uitert on the final lap in a spectacular effort. Sabine Weber overcame a comparatively poor start to beat Kenji Nishida to the line, the Motorpop driver putting together a spectacular joker on the final lap to slip past uncontested. Riley Phillips struggled in fifth, the Brit perhaps pushing a bit too hard after a bit of a rough start, running wide and generally looking a little sloppy overall.

Rena Hayami took the top time in the final heat, with Knightwick’s Harry Davies close behind in second place. Elin Arbez had a race to forget in third place, leading the final heat up until Lap 4, where the New Zealander made a critical mistake and let both Hayami and Davies, then in second and third, through for position. Mulle Meck struggled in the #777 Shinrin, while Martin Bayer had a rear tire de-bead on the first lap, limping the #3 Cisalpina home in fifth place.

Q2

After an entirely forgettable Q1, Martin Bayer roared back to take the top time in the first heat of Q2, far ahead of Kazuki’s Mikah Jameson, who ran an uneventful race in second place. Alison Wondersley took third in her damaged Gnoo Goblin, while just edging out Dominic Andrew-Scott at the line, the Southark driver charging hard to take the position. Both drivers overtook Hooligan Fourteen40’s Gus Block on their joker lap for position, leaving the gobsmacked American in fourth place, a bumper behind Andrew-Scott. Mulle Meck was unable to mount a serious challenge to any of the drivers ahead, finishing in sixth.

Elin Arbez drove a stunning race in the second heat, taking the top time easily over Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki and MIHR’s Elaine Eisenberg. Mochizuki made a better start and held the better position of her and Eisenberg for most of the race, but Eisenberg answered with an absolutely spectacular joker on her final lap, rejoining the track right on the back bumper of the #186 Daylily, pushing hard to try and make the overtake by the line. Riley Phillips fought hard to keep up with both, but ultimately had to settle for fourth, perhaps the safe and prudent option instead of risking everything for one place, while a wobble from Reiko Nagase in the #10 Ace Racing machine allowed Phillips ahead at the line. Stefan Banach did not look particularly sharp in this race, the OBRSO driver looking uncomfortable with the #42 Hussar as he rounded out the field.

Rena Hayami took the top spot in the third heat in a race with Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert that was perhaps far closer than it should have been, the Wade Racing driver making a series of mistakes on the final two laps to let Van Uitert right back in at the end. Sabine Weber finished in third, close behind Van Uitert, but not close enough to be a threat in any meaningful way. Harry Davies took fourth, after a scary moment with Sparkling Machine’s Kenji Nishida on Lap 3, the Japanese driver cutting hard across the nose of the #34 Knightwick and getting massively unsettled, nearly putting the #77 Hana Raiden on its roof. Nishida recovered, but the damage done to his car was too great, putting him well back of the pack.

William Cunningham drove a clean, if uneventful race to take the top time of the final heat, well clear of SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter in second. Feihong Luo finished third, a spectacular joker by the young Chinese driver closing the gap dramatically to Hutter ahead with only a couple of corners left. Duncan Duff finished fourth, struggling with inconsistencies all race long, while Amanda Huuginkis wrestled the #73 Yinzer home in fifth, the car not looking necessarily as crisp as it should following the events of Q1.

Q3

Amanda Huuginkis roared out to the top time in the first heat of Q3, whatever issues that were plaguing the #73 Roundhaas Racing driver well and truly solved. Gus Block edged out Skog Sport’s Mulle Meck for second place, while Alison Wondersley and Dominic Andrew-Scott limped their still-stricken machines to fourth and fifth respectively, well ahead of the severely-damaged Kenji Nishida.

Mikah Jameson took the top honours in the second heat, some ten seconds clear of OBRSO’s Stefan Banach. Banach had a rear window full of Mons Racing’s Duncan Duff, the Canadian putting a ton of pressure on Banach ahead the entire race, virtually no discernable gap between the drivers’ pace. Feihong Luo squeaked out a solid final lap to get clear of Markus Hutter, while the Swiss driver held off a serious attempt by Harry Davies to get past in the final couple of corners, the Knightwick driver finishing a mere one tenth of a second behind Hutter.

Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki took the top time in the third heat, putting a considerable amount of distance between them and Reiko Nagase behind. Sabine Weber struggled again to lap consistently, the #55 Motorpop finishing three seconds behind Nagase in third. Elaine Eisenberg overcame a wobbly start to fly past Riley Phillips on the final lap, taking fourth place easily after the British driver found himself running wide after a sloppy mistake in the second to last corner.

Job Van Uitert topped the final heat, as well as the session, in a dominant showing, well clear of Cisalpina’s Martin Bayer in second place. Elin Arbez made an excellent start, leading the race to the start of the first lap, but a couple of messy laps that followed dashed her hopes of keeping Bayer behind. William Cunningham followed behind in fourth, driving a safe, if uneventful race, while Rena Hayami rounded out the field, having damaged her suspension on the first lap.

Q4

Southark’s Dominic Andrew-Scott roared to the top of the timesheets in the first heat of Q4, throwing off whatever issues were plaguing him in the first three rounds, winning in convincing fashion over fellow Brit Alison Wondersley. Rena Hayami followed closely behind in third place, with Gus Block not far behind in fourth. Kenji Nishida and Mulle Meck rounded out the field, the two drivers nursing their damaged cars home.

Feihong Luo took the top time in the second heat, well clear of Elaine Eisenberg. The MIHR driver was running reasonably well until Lap 3, when she ran wide and damaged the #598 EFI Soma, dashing any hope of catching Luo ahead. Harry Davies overtook Markus Hutter on the first lap, and survived repeated attempts by the SWISSRA driver to try and squeeze past to hold third place. William Cunningham got caught out on his final lap, letting both Davies and Hutter through to take second and third places respectively, the American having to settle for fourth place in the end. Riley Phillips went wide and damaged the #94 Zephorus on the second lap, putting an end to the Brit’s chances of making it to elimination races tomorrow.

Elin Arbez started strong and found nothing to slow her down in the third heat, taking the top time in the heat and indeed the session as well. Stefan Banach had no answer to the New Zealander’s pace, but proved to have the measure of Motorpop’s Sabine Weber, who finished a second behind in third place. Reiko Nagase finished some four seconds behind Weber in fourth place, having run a clean, uneventful race, with Mons Racing’s Duncan Duff bringing up the rear.

Amanda Huuginkis took top honours in the final heat, well clear of Martin Bayer in second place. Job Van Uitert challenged Bayer on the second lap, but a big mistake on Lap 3 ended the Dutchman’s hopes of taking second place. Saki Mochizuki finished third behind Van Uitert, not really able to mount much of a challenge for third place at any point, while Mikah Jameson had a disastrous race, running decently until a big bump on the final lap, putting the Kazuki driver right to the back of the pack.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

The first heat of Super 1250 Q1 was a bumpy affair, with all four drivers involved in trading paint with one another at some point in the race. Karina Meister tagged Charlie Martin on the first lap, both cars experiencing damage and struggling to keep pace, with Bruce Mooseview also sideswiping Martin too, for good measure. Only Team Oranj’s Ken Visser avoided the melee, though a number of mistakes prevented him from capitalising on his sitiation at the head of the field.

Tsubasa Arima took the top time in the second heat, drag racing Carina Flannagan off the starting line and holding the edge through the first corner, after which the SCH minMAX driver just drove away from the pack. Chizuru Mizuhara took second from Flannagan on the second lap, having made an excellent joker on their first lap, with Flannagan finishing some four seconds up on Riku Jokinen in fourth place.

Q2

Bruce Mooseview snuck past Ken Visser on the second lap to take the top time in the first heat of Q2, after the Dutchman had a bit of a wobble, then another on the third lap, giving the Sand Swimmers driver a third of a second margin at the line. Karina Meister was content to just cruise to third place behind, avoiding any major difficulties in doing so, while Charlie Martin limped his battered Kadett home in fourth place.

Carina Flannagan found herself in familiar confines in the second heat, taking the top time easily, after a thrilling race with Ralliheart’s Riku Jokinen. Both drivers swapped the lead several times, but in the end Flanangan was the faster of the two, two-thirds of a second between them at the line. Tsubasa Arima took third easily, after Chizuru Mizuhara struggled to find pace in the #599 Kadett, finishing fourth.

Q3

Chizuru Mizuhara ran away with the race in the first heat, finishing some four seconds ahead of Karina Meister to put the #599 car on the top of the timesheets. Meister struggled in the race, the German driver making a good joker lap, but finding the regular laps not to her liking. In spite of the trouble, she finished a full second ahead of Tsubasa Arima, who had a big wobble on her first lap. Charlie Martin rounded out the field in fourth, limping his damaged Kadett home in the hopes of making Day Two.

Carina Flannagan took the top time in the second heat easily, nearly two full seconds ahead of Riku Jokinen in second. Bruce Mooseview had a couple of very sloppy laps, putting him out of contention in third place, while Ken Visser struggled from the start line to the finish line, bogging on the start and generally not finding the going particularly easy.

Q4

Tsubasa Arima made up for a rough Q3 with the top time in the first heat of Q4, lapping just that little bit faster than Ken Visser to take the flag. Bruce Mooseview struggled with inconsistency well back of Visser in third, while Charlie Martin made it to the end of qualifying successfully, guaranteeing he will appear on Day Two.

Chizuru Mizuhara snagged the lead from Carina Flannagan on the joker, finding the better line and slingshotting past the #63 Evgenis to take and hold the lead, even with Flannagan slowly reeling her way back in. Riku Jokinen finished some four seconds behind in third place, half a second up on Karina Meister, who had a bit of a rough time overdriving the #3 Evgenis in her attempt to secure a higher finish in the intermediate standings.

Intermediate Classification


#130

Air Trance RX de France, Day Two (Finals)

The rain that fell on day one intensified overnight, soaking the track heavily and making the muddy course especially treacherous for the remaining competitors. In spite of the challenge, the teams pressed on, undaunted by the challenges posed by the weather, and intent on putting a good show on for the thousands of fans assembled.

Semi-Final 1

Carnage in the first semi-final, as Charlie LeClair, Aatto Virtanen and Hsiu-Yinn Lim all collided on the first lap, after Lim attempted a risky overtaking maneuver into the first corner, trying to take both second and first in one swoop. Lim damaged her car considerably in the process, while Virtanen and LeClair got away with minor damage. Jaimz Marshall, on the other hand, avoided the carnage and sailed past, cruising to an easy win in the race, with LeClair taking the other spot in the final easily over Virtanen.

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Semi-Final 2

The second semi-final was a freakish repeat of the first, with Marie-Claire Allemand sailing past a wreck involving the other three competitors to take an easy win. Pablo Sanchez got his nose on the inside of Matt Sierra, spinning the #36 Merciel and upsetting his own car in the process, leaving the hapless Pekka Heikkinen with nowhere to go in this whole mess. Sierra and Sanchez recovered to a degree, finishing second and third, but Heikkinen’s Pepperbomb was too heavily damaged, the #80 machine finishing far behind in fourth.

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Final

Another messy race in the Premier League final saw Matt Sierra avoid trouble to win easily in the #36 Merciel Pixi, the result today revitalising the British driver’s title hopes. Jaimz Marshall tagged Marie-Claire Allemand’s #707 Hwa hard from behind on the first lap, damaging both cars considerably. Allemand limped home in second place easily ahead of Marshall, while Charlie LeClair took himself out of the race with a sloppy mistake on his first lap, damaging the #33 Kuma heavily and taking him out of contention.

R08Final

Final Classification

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Semi-Final 1

Like the Premier League, the first League One semi-final was a messy affair, with only Huangdou’s Feihong Luo avoiding trouble to take an easy victory. Markus Hutter and Sabine Weber collided on the first lap, damaging their cars, while Duncan Duff ran wide to avoide the mess between Hutter and Weber. Amanda Huuginkis ran wide of her own accord later in the first lap, damaging the suspension in the #73 Yinzer, such that she ended up finishing sixth, just behind Duff. Elin Arbez largely avoided the mess, but contacted the barrier on her joker lap to damage her car significantly. Fortunately for the New Zealander, she was still able to finish third overall, behind Hutter for the last spot in the final.

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Semi-Final 2

William Cunningham opted wisely to take a safe and prudent approach to the second semi-final, taking the easy win after the rest of the field found themselves struggling with mistakes. While Cunningham was not immune by any measure, his mistakes were usually mild enough so as to avoid any difficulty. Martin Bayer took a gutsy second place, eight tenths over Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert after the Dutchman flubbed his final lap badly. Saki Mochizuki and Reiko Nagase collided on the first corner, damaging both cars considerably, with Mochizuki finishing fourth and Nagase fifth.

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Final

Martin Bayer found another gear proverbially in the final, driving just fast enough to work up a huge lead at the chequered flag, but not so fast as to end up in the barriers - or worse. William Cunningham struggled in second place with inconsistent lapping, the difficult conditions making it hard to properly judge the pace from lap to lap. Elin Arbez survived a couple of big scares on her second and fourth laps in the #62 Morton to finish third, well clear of Job Van Uitert in fourth place. Feihong Luo made a costly mistake on his joker lap, allowing Van Uitert to slip by into fourth, and leaving the Chinese driver helpless in his attempt to catch up. Markus Hutter had an off-track excurision on his first lap, collecting so much mud and turf in the suspension of the #63 Munot Starkwind that it severely hampered his pace.

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Final Classification

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Semi-Final 1

Carina Flannagan took a dominant win in the first semi-final, some five and a half seconds up on Team Oranj’s Ken Visser, who stumbled at the start, yet drove a brilliant recovery race to finish second. Riku Jokinen squandered their excellent start and first lap, leading the field by almost a second going into Lap 2, with a series of mistakes on the following two laps, allowing both Flannagan and Visser past. Charlie Martin still struggled with lingering issues with his #84 Kadett, the Autodelta Pride team working through the night to get the car fixed in time for the semi-final, but they were unable to test the car prior to grid time, they cut it so close.

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Semi-Final 2

Tsubasa Arima romped to an easy win in the second semi-final race, some fourteen seconds ahead of Karina Meister in second place. Meister had a bump on her first lap with Bruce Mooseview, both cars taking a bit of damage in the process. Mooseview’s misfortune didn’t end there, as he slid off the track on Lap 4 and heavily damaged his #32 FABEL, putting him well back in third place. Chizuru Mizuhara suffered a transmission failure on Lap 2, retiring the #599 MIHR Kadett on the spot.

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Final

Tsubasa Arima ran nearly a perfect race to win the final, overcoming a bit of a sloppy start to beat Carina Flannagan to the line by three and a half seconds. Karina Meister had an off-track excursion on the first lap, damaging her car as she skipped off the barrier, putting the German in third place at the end of the race. Ken Visser too struggled, suffering a minor drivetrain failure on the start, which slowed the progress of the #23 Kadett considerably, relegating Visser to fourth place.

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Final Classification

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#131

Standings After Round 8

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#132

Alex “AA” Adams was sitting trackside guzzling a fine Champagne…

Yes I'm drinking Champagne... we didn't win, so what? Can't I drink Champagne then? We saw the weather forecast and bought a crate in anticipation of a great result in the wet... we can't let it go to waste, eh? So I'm drinking it. In any case, the poor weather resulted in another decent qualifying session where we squeaked into the finals - barely. As usual we were strong out of the gates with a win in the first heat, but in the following heats there were some inconsistencies in Duncan's driving. Perhaps the pressure is getting to him a little, because he's making more mistakes now. Perhaps some Champagne would calm him down... The semi-final was a bit of a shame having to avoid a collision in front, after which we just couldn't get past. Still holding 10th in the overall standing, so Mons Racing is happy!

Duncan Duff was indeed sipping Champagne… presumably… somewhere… because we couldn’t find him for comment.


#133

Merciel Celebrate a victory in Air Trance RallyX de France

In a short interview with Motornation, Matt Sierra, who is currently 4th in the ARXL Premier League and driver of the #36 Merciel had this to say.

“We weren’t expecting a victory in France, but it feels good to claim victory on Merciel’s home ground. The unfortunate case of the engine exploding in Belgium and our lacklustre performance in Britain set us back a fair bit, but with our overwhelming victory in Sweden and now here, we’re only 17 points away from being back in the number one spot in the championship”.

With only 4 races left and only 50 points between first and 5th, the top spot on the premier league is all to play for.


#134

Boscc RallyX Latvia, Day One (Qualifying Rounds)

A beautiful morning greeted the fans pouring into Bikernieki Sports Base, the threatening clouds off to the north and east of the circuit holding off for now; the fans and competitors alike hoping the good weather would continue for the rest of the day, and indeed the weekend.

Q1

The racing was close and ferocious in the first heat of Q1 in Premier League, the drivers taking no prisoners with only four rounds left to make a big move in the standings. FMR’s Jaimz Marshall struck first, taking the top time in the first heat, as the other three drivers - Pekka Heikkinen, Aatto Virtanen and Matt Sierra - collided on their first lap, damaging all three cars to some degree. Marshall saw the carnage ahead and found a way around, darting into the lead and staying there until the chequered flag. Matt Sierra, fresh off of his huge win in France, avoided serious consequences and finished second. Pekka Heikkinen limped his damaged Pepperbomb home in third, trailing aero parts, just ahead of Haapala’s Aatto Virtanen, a big wobble on his joker lap costing Virtanen third place in the heat.

Eino Vatanen took the top spot in the second heat, half a second ahead of championship leader Charlie LeClair, the French driver making a strong but ultimately unsuccessful bid for the lead on the final lap. Kevin Michaels finished third in the #63 KMC, while Marie-Claire Allemand rounded out the field.

Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez took the top spot in the final heat, with defending champion Hsiu-Yinn Lim just under three seconds behind. Lim was visibly frustrated after the race, having struggled on the joker lap, dropping nearly a full second to Sanchez on that lap. Yuki Fujishima finished a second behind Lim in third, the Japanese driver struggling a bit to find the ideal line through this fast and challenging circuit.

Q2

Aatto Virtanen started strong in the first heat, taking the lead and not letting go until the line, finishing some three seconds ahead of a wild battle between Marie-Claire Allemand and Yuki Fujishima. Allemand closed the gap through the entire final lap and flew past Fujishima in the final few corners, the Kitanishi driver helpless to try and stop Allemand’s Hwa. Kevin Michaels had a rough race, crashing hard on the second lap after a very strong joker to start his race, the #63 KMC heavily damaged and limping home a distant fourth place.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim took the top time in the second heat easily over Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen, the Chinese driver overcoming a rather mediocre start to take the lead on the first lap. Vatanen scrambled to try and catch up to Lim, but the #4 Leopard just wasn’t up to the task today, the Finn making a couple of messy mistakes in his chase of the #1 Armada, nearly losing second place to Pekka Heikkinen behind. Heikkinen closed the gap dramatically in the final lap, putting his nose ahead of Vatanen a couple of times, but unable to make the overtake stick unfortunately. Charlie LeClair had a difficult race, an engine issue robbing the #33 Kuma PnDa of a significant amount of power, putting LeClair well back in fourth place.

Jaimz Marshall took the top time in the final heat, holding Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez off by just under a second at the line. Marshall proved every bit the worthy opponent for the hard-charging Sanchez, exceeding his pace on each lap of the race to win in convincing fashion. Matt Sierra had a couple of wobbles on his first and third laps, costing the Brit valuable time in the #36 Merciel behind Sanchez and Marshall.

Q3

Yuki Fujishima took top honours in the first heat, throwing off whatever was ailing the Japanese driver in the first two heats, crossing the line some twelve seconds ahead of the struggling Charlie LeClair, the #33 Kuma sounding decidedly sick as it passed by your correspondent each lap. Marie-Claire Allemand couldn’t make good of the situation, struggling to get past LeClair ahead and settling for third at the line. Kevin Michaels’ rough weekend continued, a massive drivetrain failure on the second lap, likely caused by damage from his accident in the previous round, saw the #63 Aero Stretto grind to a terminal halt halfway through Lap 2.

Pekka Heikkinen unshackled the #80 Pepperbomb, making easy work of the field in the second heat. Pablo Sanchez was quick in second, but no match for Heikkinen in front, crossing the line two and a half seconds behind the Finn. Matt Sierra once again found himself making a costly mistake, a wobble on Lap 3 allowing Sanchez through for position. Aatto Virtanen picked up a puncture on his first lap, dashing his hopes of a good finish in the heat after an excellent start.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim took the top time in the final heat, overcoming a wretched start to blow past Jaimz Marshall and Eino Vatanen enroute to an easy win. Vatanen started stronger of him and Marshall, but Marshall’s pace made short work of Vatanen, overtaking the Finn on the first lap. Marshall held the position until the final lap, when a big moment saw the #68 FMR run very wide, allowing Vatanen through for second place.

Q4

Eino Vatanen took the top time in the first of two heats in Q4, following the retirement of Kevin Michaels. The Delta Motorsports driver was absolutely flying to finish some five seconds ahead of Jaimz Marshall in second. Marshall too was looking racy, putting a cheeky move on Aatto Virtanen to take second place away on their joker lap, holding on for the last couple of corners to stay in second ahead of Virtanen. Charlie LeClair’s weekend got that much worse, the French driver just missing out on a Day Two slot by one intermediate point with his finish in fourth place in the heat, just barely staying ahead of K1A’s Marie-Claire Allemand at the line.

Pekka Heikkinen took the top spot in the final heat, recording a couple of absolutely stonkingly good laps in the middle of the heat to pass both Pablo Sanchez and Matt Sierra to take the lead. Sierra slipped past Sanchez to take second place, after the Shromet driver had a big moment on Lap 3, running very wide and nearly putting the #52 Appalachian into the barriers. Hsiu-Yinn Lim edged out Yuki Fujishima for fourth place, both drivers guaranteed a spot in the final day by merely finishing the race.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert led a thrilling first heat Q1, overcoming a rather poor start with four excellent laps to cross the line first, setting a mark that nobody else in the session could match. Amanda Huuginkis eked out a tiny lead in the #73 Yinzer over Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki, finishing a hood length ahead of the Japanese driver in second place. Championship leader Elin Arbez had a bump with second-place Martin Bayer on the final lap, sending both drivers spinning off the track and allowing Sparkling Machine’s Kenji Nishida through for fourth place. Both Arbez and Bayer recovered though, with Arbez finishing fifth and Bayer sixth, close behind.

Stefan Banach stretched the legs of the #42 OBRSO Hussar in the second heat, taking the top time over Mons Racing’s Duncan Duff, who in spite of running wide on his joker, finished just under a second behind Banach. Feihong Luo edged out Reiko Nagase for third place, the Ace Racing driver just not quite fast enough to withstand Luo’s attacks on the final lap. Elaine Eisenberg had a bit of a moment on the final lap, struggling on her joker and losing out to both Luo and Nagase. Markus Hutter had a difficult race in the #63 Munot Starkwind, finishing well back in sixth place.

Gus Block took the top time in the third heat, the #5 GAA Volche working particularly well on this circuit, making quick work of the challenging track. Mikah Jameson took second place in the heat, after putting a brilliant move on Riley Phillips on their Lap 2 jokers. Jameson came around the outside of Phillips, found good traction on the corner exit and flew past the #94 Zephorus easily. Phillips’ race wasn’t over yet, the Brit defending third expertly from Alison Wondersley. William Cunningham brought up the rear of the pack, finishing a not-too distant fifth.

Mulle Meck took the top time in the final heat, some two seconds ahead of Harry Davies in the #34 Knightwick. Rena Hayami didn’t quite have the pace to match Davies ahead, settling for third in the heat, while Dominic Andrew-Scott and Sabine Weber had a coming-together on the final lap, both cars spinning off in their joker lap, with an unknown amount of damage on both machines.

Q2

Martin Bayer took the top time in the first heat, the #3 Cisalpina showing no ill effects from his Q1 tangle with Elin Arbez. Arbez was right behind Bayer, in fact, edging out Sabine Weber for the second-best time in the heat with an excellent final lap that saw both drivers fighting hard, but fair, for the position. Alison Wondersley was right in the mix too, a tremendous third lap putting the #7 Gnoo Goblin right on the rear bumper of Weber, where she stayed for the rest of the race. William Cunningham finished fifth, some three seconds back of Wondersley, while Markus Hutter continued to struggle in sixth, the SWISSRA driver not happy at all with the handling of the #63 machine.

Mikah Jameson took the honours in the second heat, some three seconds clear of Southark’s Dominic Andrew-Scott. Riley Phillips just didn’t quite have the measure of Andrew-Scott ahead, falling a car length behind at the finish, but managing to stay well clear of a fierce battle between Reiko Nagase and Elaine Eisenberg, the excellent start by Nagase proving to be more or less the difference between the two drivers. Kenji Nishida rounded out the field in fifth, not quite up to the measure of the rest of the pack unfortunately.

Rena Hayami stormed to the best time in the third heat, well clear of Amanda Huuginkis and Saki Mochizuki, the two drivers once again renewing their rivalry in a pitched battle for second place. Huuginkis held the advantage right off the start, but lost it on the first lap to Mochizuki. A very strong second lap by the Yinzer driver saw her take second place right back, just managing to hold on to the position at the line. Feihong Luo took fourth place, after Harry Davies made a mistake on his first lap, giving up the position to Luo, who ultimately held on at the line.

Stefan Banach topped the timesheets again in Q4, well ahead of Job Van Uitert in second, the Dutchman struggling to find traction in several corners on the track. Gus Block had a solid joker to overtake Duncan Duff without protest on the final lap for third, while Mulle Meck had an incident on the final lap in the #777 Shinrin, damaging the car after Meck put it into the barriers.

Q3

Duncan Duff had an impressive showing in the first heat of Q3, putting the issues he had behind him, much like the rest of the pack in his heat, the Canadian finishing some eight seconds clear of second-place Gus Block. Block struggled to put in a consistent lap time in the #5 GAA Volche, though he still managed to remain well clear of third-place Kenji Nishida, the Sparkling Machine driver having great difficulty in putting together a clean lap all race. Harry Davies had a big moment on his joker lap, running very wide and narrowly missing the tire wall, losing time to Nishida and ending up finishing fourth. Markus Hutter’s woes continued in fifth place, while Mulle Meck limped his damaged car home in sixth place, rounding out the field.

Saki Mochizuki ran fastest in the second heat, finishing six seconds clear of MHIR’s Elaine Eisenberg. Eisenberg show flashes of tremendous speed, making an excellent lap to finish her race, but struggled with consistency and mistakes on the rest of her laps. A wild battle for third place raged behind Eisenberg, with Amanda Huuginkis romping past Feihong Luo on the final lap to take the place, after the Chinese driver had a big spin going into the fourth corner. Luo recovered, and was barely able to hold off the #10 Ace Racing machine of Reiko Nagase to hold fourth place. William Cunningham rounded out the field in sixth place, the American struggling with mistakes in the #423 FWM Mirra.

Riley Phillips proved his speed once again, finishing top of the sheets in the third heat, eight seconds clear of Job Van Uitert’s Autodelta. Sabine Weber showed herself again to be a master of opportunistic overtaking, forcing an error by Alison Wondersley on the final lap and taking full advantage of it, pushing her way into third place. Dominic Andrew-Scott didn’t quite have the measure of the rest of the field in this race, sticking close to the pack, but ultimately rounding out the field in fifth place.

Martin Bayer took the top time of the final heat, running faster than anyone else in the session as well, putting the #3 Cisalpina nearly five seconds ahead of Elin Arbez’s Morton Teo in second place. Stefan Banach made a big mistake on his final lap, running very wide right at the beginning of the third sector and losing almost a full second over Elin Arbez, who sailed past for second easily. Banach finished third with no further issue, the Polish driver upset at himself for blowing the position. Mikah Jameson stormed past Rena Hayami for fourth place, Hayami having a bit of a slow joker on her final lap.

Q4

Knightwick’s Harry Davies ran fastest in the first heat of Q4, some three and a half seconds clear of Gus Block in second place. William Cunningham finished third, a second back, the Team Sasquatch driver finally finding some consistency, but at the expense of overall pace in the race. Kenji Nishida took fourth place, the last of the cars free of damage, with Mulle Meck nursing his damaged Shinrin home in fifth. Markus Hutter’s weekend ended on a dismal note, crashing on the start after being cut off by Cunningham ahead, the #63 Munot Starkwind heavily damaged and limping home in sixth place.

Dominic Andrew-Scott found a clear track all to himself in the second heat after a tremendous start, and made the best of it, running four excellent laps enroute to the best time of the heat. Mikah Jameson took second, after an excellent final lap allowed the Kazuki driver to leapfrog from last to second place; his decision to take the joker early paying off, with the rest of his opponents all crowding in on the final lap. Amanda Huuginkis finished half a second behind Jameson in the end, slipping past Feihong Luo on the run out of the final corner to take third, while Rena Hayami blew her lead on her joker lap, allowing both Huuginkis and Luo through. Reiko Nagase too struggled on her joker lap, losing two places to both Luo and Hayami to finish fifth.

Sabine Weber took the top time of heat number three, five seconds ahead of a battle between Alison Wondersley and Elaine Eisenberg. Wondersley overcame a poor start with four solid laps, finally getting ahead of Eisenberg after both had taken their jokers. Job Van Uitert struggled on his joker on the first lap, losing a significant amount of time, that ultimately cost the driver at least a position or two. Duncan Duff had a difficult race, finding the well-worn track difficult to run consistent laps on, finishing well back in fifth place.

Elin Arbez finally found the top of the leaderboard in the final heat, running well clear of second-place Riley Phillips. Phillips snatched second away from Martin Bayer after the German ran wide on his joker on the final lap, costing him his entire lead over the Brit and then some. Saki Mochizuki and Stefan Banach had a coming-together in a racing incident on their first lap, Banach damaging his car considerably while Mochizuki got away mostly unscathed. Mochizuki managed to hold on to fourth place, while Banach finished well back in fifth.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Ken Visser drove an excellent race to take the top time in the first heat of Q1, beating Sand Swimmers’ Bruce Mooseview by a full second. Carina Flannagan had a difficult race in the #63 Evgenis Valkyrie, struggling to find a good rhythm in her third-place finish, while Riku Jokinen damaged his car on the first lap, finishing well back in fourth place.

Charlie Martin took the top time in the second race, some two and a half seconds clear of Chizuru Mizuhara in second place. Tsubasa Arima had a miserable start to her race, struggling to overcome the deficit and ultimately finishing third. Karina Meister too had a poor start, a minor engine problem plaguing the #3 OHO Racing machine and relegating Meister to fourth place.

Q2

Karina Meister’s team solved the issues she was having in the first heat, the German romping to an easy victory over Carina Flannagan, one and a half seconds clear. Tsubasa Arima struggled to find pace behind in third, while Riku Jokinen continued to deal with lingering damage from his first-heat encounter with the barriers in fourth.

Bruce Mooseview held off a late charge by Charlie Martin to take the top time in the final heat, just half a car length between the cars at the line. Ken Visser found himself in the frustrating position of having a faster car but nowhere to go in third, stuck behind Mooseview at the line and unable to overtake, while Chizuru Mizuhara had a rough race altogether, finishing fourth after finding it difficult to find more pace out of her #599 Kadett.

Q3

Carina Flannagan romped to an easy win in the first heat over Tsubasa Arima, the Japanese driver too busy worried about holding off both Riku Jokinen and Chizuru Mizuhara behind her, just a quarter of a second separating second-place Arima from fourth-place Mizuhara. All three drivers had virtually nothing in it on each other, jostling for position all race long.

Karina Meister found her footing in the final heat, with two excellent laps putting her ahead of Charlie Martin for the top time. Bruce Mooseview was a second clear of Martin in third place, while Ken Visser had his share of struggles in the closing laps of the race, finishing fourth.

Q4

Ken Visser forgot his woes from Q3, putting the #23 Kadett on the top of the timesheets in the first heat, a third of a second clear of Chizuru Mizuhara in second place. Tsubasa Arima finished third, a tough start again for the SCH minMAX driver costing her dearly, while Riku Jokinen had a tire bead separate from one of his wheels, causing a major loss of tire pressure and relegating the Finn to the back of the pack.

Carina Flannagan narrowly edged out Karina Meister for the top time in the second heat, an excellent joker lap by Flannagan being the difference between the two drivers. Charlie Martin just lost out to Meister in third, after just not quite finding enough traction out of the final corner to win the drag race down the start-finish straight. Bruce Mooseview made it close in the last couple of laps, but a sloppy joker on Lap 2 saw him relegated to the back of the pack, where would stay until the chequered flag.

Intermediate Classification


#135

Boscc RallyX of Latvia, Day Two (Finals)

The threatening clouds that loomed over Bikernieki on the first day opened up overnight, soaking the track and remaining ever-present on day two, shaking up the hierarchy in ARXL as the semi-finals and finals began, in front of a packed venue.

Semi-Final 1

Pablo Sanchez romped to an easy victory in the first semi-final race in Premier League, relishing the challenge of the soaking wet circuit. Pekka Heikkinen just edged out Eino Vatanen for second place, making a daring overtake on Lap 5 to beat out the Delta Motorsports driver for the last slot in the upcoming final race. Aatto Virtanen had a rough race, crashing his #7 Haapala on the first lap and damaging it, spoiling his otherwise relatively promising weekend.

Semi-Final 2

Magic Touch Merciel’s Matt Sierra took an easy victory in the second semi-final, some half a lap up on defending champion Hsiu-Yinn Lim in second place. Sierra started strong and found the #36 Merciel ideally suited to the challenging track, looking poised and smooth on all six of his laps. Lim struggled with the #1 Armada, fighting to stay ahead of FMR’s Jaimz Marshall, who put up a strong fight against Lim right up to the chequered flag. Yuki Fujishima crashed on the first lap, damaging her Kitanishi heavily, robbing the Japanese driver of a possible spot in the final.

Final

A similar story to the semi-finals played out in the final, with Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez taking his first victory of the season in dominant fashion, after chaos on the first lap. Pekka Heikkinen and Hsiu-Yinn Lim collided in the second sector of the lap, collecting Matt Sierra in the process, as the Armada driver struggled to make up for a rather poor start. All three cars were damaged, with the #80 Pepperbomb of Heikkinen and the #36 Merciel of Sierra getting away relatively unscathed - finishing second and third respectively - but Lim’s Armada was not so lucky, sustaining heavy suspension and bodywork damage on one of the front corners, slowing her progress significantly.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

Martin Bayer drove a safe and prudent race to take an easy victory in the first League One semi-final, avoiding trouble at every step of the race. Sabine Weber followed in second, not quite so lucky as her fellow German driver, with Weber having a couple of big moments during her race, along with a number of sloppy mistakes to put her well back of Bayer. Alison Wondersley overcame a terrible start, stalling out on the grid, to finish in the last slot for the finals, the Gnoo Dadsport driver slowly reeling in Weber ahead. Riley Phillips and Dominic Andrew-Scott had a coming together on the first lap, damaging both cars slightly, after Phillips overestimated the grip level going into the third corner and missed the proper braking point, bumping Andrew-Scott on the left-rear quarter panel. Both cars soldiered on to complete the race, with Phillips in fourth and Andrew-Scott in fifth. Elin Arbez had a miserable race, spinning on the first lap, then crashing hard in the same place on the second lap, damaging the #62 Morton Teo and putting her well out of contention.

Semi-Final 2

Stefan Banach took the top time in the second semi-final, winning big over Job Van Uitert. The OBRSO driver made a clean start, then proceeded to keep his wits about him through all six laps of the heat, coming out some twenty-six seconds ahead of Van Uitert. Van Uitert had a bit of sloppy race in second, tussling with Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki for most of the race. It wasn’t until Mochizuki had a big spin on their joker lap that Van Uitert was well and truly clear, sailing to second without any issues. Rena Hayami was fourth behind Mochizuki in third, crashing her #76 Wade Monster on the first lap and damaging the car substantially after a tangle with Mikah Jameson, the Kazuki driver finishing in fifth behind Hayami.

Final

The League One final was a chaotic and messy affair, with a huge accident on Lap 3 after Martin Bayer clipped a barrier, then re-joined the track unsafely in front of the pack of the remaining five drivers, with Stefan Banach blind-siding Bayer hard. Both drivers would continue the race, but their cars were so heavily damaged that their races were effectively over. A slow section was declared for the affected area, until the drivers extricated themselves from the mess, with Sabine Weber and Alison Wondersley also caught up in the melee, along with Saki Mochizuki. Mochizuki continued a while, but a cracked radiator failed on Lap 6, bringing the #186 Daylily’s race to a close. Meanwhile, Job Van Uitert, who got held up by the big crash, but luckily not damaged, found a stroke of luck in that the slow section cleared for him quickly, allowing a lap at speed over everyone else, giving him the easy victory in the race. Wondersley finished second, having not been damaged particularly badly, with Sabine Weber following behind in third. Banach took fourth in his damaged #42 Hussar, with Bayer rounding out the last of the runners.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

A close, hard-fought race in the first semi-final of Super 1250 saw Chizuru Mizuhara bear down and put in three solid laps at the end of the race to build an insurmountable lead on Bruce Mooseview, some three-quarters of a second behind and falling back with each lap. Riku Jokinen had a rotten final lap, losing control of his #74 Evgenis and letting Mooseview past, into the last slot for the finals. Charlie Martin had a bump on his first lap, unsettled after a tap in the rear from Chizuru Mizuhara, sending the Autodelta Kadett into the barrier and knocking its suspension hard.

Semi-Final 2

Tsubasa Arima overcame a terrible start in the second semi-final to win the race in dramatic fashion, the SCH minMAX driver absolutely flying over the last three laps to take the lead and build an insurmountable gap to Carina Flannagan, who, while consistent, looked a little flat-footed in second place. Ken Visser struggled in third place, a bit of a messy joker lap on his first lap rattling the Dutch driver finishing three seconds back of Flannagan. Karina Meister had a difficult race, making a poor start, then crashing hard on Lap 5, retiring the #3 Evgenis on the spot.

Final

Chizuru Mizuhara continued their very strong weekend with a convincing victory in the final, running fast, consistent and confident to beat Tsubasa Arima by a second at the chequered flag. Arima struggled on the start once again, then had a bit of a wobble on her joker lap, which dashed her chances of catching up to Mizuhara ahead. Carina Flannagan ran wide and damaged the suspension of her #63 Evgenis on the first lap, putting her at a big disadvantage and relegating the New Zealander to third place, after Bruce Mooseview crashed hard on Lap 5, damaging the #32 FABEL substantially.

Final Classification


#136

Standings After Round 9

Just a reminder to all participants, to get your final set of Pace Control instructions into me no later than tomorrow night at 11:59PM ET! Thank you!


#137

Alex “AA” Adams was sipping a Black Balsam and Soda while he stared in a bewildered state at the computer screen with the weekend’s results:

I don't know. Another weekend with ups and downs. The times are consistent, just too slow! We hoped for the famous Baltic rains to come, but it was too late - the dry running in the quali didn't help us. Still hanging on to a top 10 overall. We'll keep fighting the last three races to maintain that position, and then look forward to next season...

If anyone finds Duncan Duff, please let him know that we’re looking for him for an interview!


#138

It’s gonna be a tight conclusion to the Premier League. At least 5 drivers within striking distance of the top spot, lots of crashes, lots of drama, and no two drivers winning consecutive rounds.

We know that Pekka’s going to go hell for leather. Now to play the fine line of keeping up while lying in wait for the crash… and trying this time not to get caught up in it yet again :joy:


#139

Snackers RX Nurburgring, Day One (Qualifying Rounds)

Typical fall weather greeted the fans and competitors at the Nurburgring for Round 10 of the Automation Rallycross League, the first visit by the series to the hallowed racing circuit. Heavy rains overnight, with fog and drizzle forecast for later in the day made for very treacherous conditions on this brand-new track layout.

Q1

The first heat of Q1 was a messy affair; Kitanishi’s Yuki Fujishima and Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez collided on the start and damaged both cars substantially, delivering a sharp blow to Sanchez’s championship hopes. SCH minMAX’s Charlie LeClair romped to the easy victory, followed by Haapala’s Aatto Virtanen in second. Fujishima finished third, well ahead of Sanchez bringing up the rear.

Jaimz Marshall just edged out Hsiu-Yinn Lim for the top time of the second heat, in a race that saw Kevin Michaels get a nose inside championship leader Pekka Heikkinen and spin him around completely. Heikkinen recovered from the spin with no damage, but finished well back in fourth place, with Michaels just ahead in third place, some seven seconds clear of the Finn.

Marie-Claire Allemand took the top time in the final heat, well clear of Merciel’s Matt Sierra in second place. Eino Vatanen had a difficult start to his weekend, stalling out on the start and spinning on the starting lap as the Delta Motorsports driver scrambled to catch up to his rivals ahead.

Q2

Eino Vatanen took the top spot in the first heat of Q2, romping to an easy victory after Pekka Heikkinen and Yuki Fujishima collided violently on their starting lap, after a mistake by Fujishima caused her to lose control and spear into the side of Heikkinen’s Pepperbomb, damaging both cars substantially. Fujishima was able to recover to a degree, finishing third behind Pablo Sanchez, with Heikkinen nursing his damaged car home in fourth.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim romped to an easy top finish in the second heat, well clear of KMC’s Kevin Michaels in second place. Michaels had an excellent race overall, putting up a good starting time and holding off several strong challenges from FMR’s Jaimz Marshall to retain his position. Matt Sierra had a mental miscue and hit the barriers on his starting lap, damaging the #36 Merciel substantially, finishing well back in fourth.

Charlie LeClair built on his strong Q1 showing

Q3

the weather eased off considerably for the third qualifying session, the track very slowly starting to dry out as the competitors gridded up for the first race. Pablo Sanchez took the top time for the first heat, putting his still-damaged #52 Shromet to the top of the timesheets easily over the rest of the heavily-damaged cars. Matt Sierra followed behind in second place, with Yuki Fujishima not far behind in third. Pekka Heikkinen rounded out the field, the damage to his car immense even still.

Marie-Claire Allemand found clear track ahead of her to log the top time of the second heat, some eleven seconds ahead of Eino Vatanen in second place. Kevin Michaels faltered slightly on the start and was not able to recover, bringing the #63 KMC home in third place, with Jaimz Marshall in fourth some ways behind.

Charlie LeClair made it three for three in the final heat, the young Frenchman setting a nearly untouchable time ahead of Hsiu-Yinn Lim in second. Lim overcame a rather poor start with just enough pace in her racing laps keep Eino Vatanen in her rear-view mirrors, the Delta Motorsports driver struggling a little putting down smooth, consistent laps to keep up with the defending champion.

Q4

Pablo Sanchez took the top time in the first heat, best among the battered cars in the run group, finishing far ahead of Matt Sierra’s Merciel in second. In spite of his difficult race, Sierra just managed to squeak into the final Day Two slot with his finish in this race, much to the relief of his team. Yuki Fujishima came in third, a disappointing weekend for Team Kitanishi SPECTRE with her finish, while Pekka Heikkinen rounded out the field, dejected in fourth place.

Aatto Virtanen exploded out of the starting box with one of his strongest starts to date in the second heat, giving the Finn clear track and and easy run to the top time in the second heat. Eino Vatanen followed Virtanen in second place, the Delta Motorsports driver keeping his cool to hold off Kevin Michaels behind him, and kept his foot in it while Michaels faltered on his joker lap, giving Vatanen the easy second place. Jaimz Marshall finished well back in fourth, a very poor start followed by four frustrating laps for the FMR driver, unable to find much pace at all in the #68 HiWay.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Saki Mochizuki took the top time in a chaotic first heat, a race in which none of the six cars made a particularly good start. Mochizuki’s was the best of the lot, giving the Daylily driver clear track to run away from the pack. Rena Hayami finished second after a clean race, but was unable to effectively mount much of a challenge to Mochizuki ahead. Mulle Meck took third place ahead of Stefan Banach, who had a minor collision with Riley Phillips on the start, damaging both cars slightly and reducing their pace. Mikah Jameson took fifth place, splitting Banach and Phillips in a hard-fought race between the three drivers.

Chaos continued in the second heat, with Knightwick’s Harry Davies keeping his cool to surge out to the lead on his home track, finishing a second ahead of Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert. Van Uitert made a rather poor start, and found himself scrambling to try and find a way to overtake Davies ahead of him, unfortunately coming up dry at the end of the race. Sabine Weber finished third in the #55 Motorpop, well clear of Reiko Nagase in fourth place. Gus Block struggled on the start, which triggered a mental miscue by Elaine Eisenberg behind him, the Swiss driver suddenly finding nowhere to go but the wall, damaging the #598 MHIR EFI Soma in the process.

William Cunningham proved once again that he was a formidable wet-weather driver in the #423 Team Sasquatch FWM, beating out championship leader Elin Arbez for the top spot in the third heat. Arbez started very poorly, then struggled to find a way past Cunningham, ultimately conceding the position to try and live to fight another race. Duncan Duff ran a clean, if uneventful race to finish in third place, some two seconds ahead of Yinzer’s Amanda Huuginkis. Huuginkis nearly had the measure of Duff on the start, but mental miscues took their toll on her race, the gap growing to the Canadian ahead with each lap. Alison Wondersley struggled in fifth place, an issue with the induction system of her #7 Gnoo Goblin sapping a considerable amount of power.

Huangdou’s Feihong Luo took the top time in the final heat - and indeed the session - making an excellent start and following that with four solid laps enroute to the chequered flag. Markus Hutter took second place, some four seconds ahead of Kenji Nishida in the #77 Sparking Machine Hana Raiden. Martin Bayer and Dominic Andrew-Scott had a collision on the starting lap, Bayer’s car damaged slightly as Andrew-Scott spun out ahead of him, the Bramhall glancing off the side of Bayer’s Cisalpina enroute to the wall. Bayer was able to recover to a reasonable finish considering the damage, but Andrew-Scott’s machine was badly damaged, limping home in fifth place.

Q2

Alison Wondersley put the #7 machine on the top of the timesheets in the first heat of Q2, making an excellent start to get clear of the pack and run free of the muddy spray of the other cars. Riley Phillips found himself in second, eight seconds back of Wondersley after a bit of a difficult race, some lingering damage still affecting the handling of the #94 Zephorus. Mikah Jameson tried to make it an interesting race with Phillips, but didn’t have the pace in his Kazuki Kita to make much of it, settling for third place in the end. Gus Block squandered an excellent start with four very inconsistent laps to finish fourth, while Elaine Eisenberg led Dominic Andrew-Scott home at the back of the pack.

Martin Bayer roared to the top of the timesheets in the second heat, recovering from a bit of a wobble on his start to blow past Stefan Banach and Mulle Meck on his joker lap, the German never looking back enroute to the chequered flag. Banach didn’t have the measure to Bayer ahead, but he was able to finish easily ahead of Meck’s #777 Shinrin. Amanda Huuginkis had a forgettable race, a big off on the first lap spoiling her race, as she was never able to regain the lost time to Meck ahead. Reiko Nagase overcame a poor start to finish just ahead of her Japanese rival Rena Hayami for fifth place, Nagase clawing back time at the rate of a second per lap on the Wade Racing driver.

Elin Arbez took the top time of the third heat easily, a very large gap to second-place Sabine Weber behind. Duncan Duff made a solid start and did enough to hold off Saki Mochizuki to retain third in the heat, while Kenji Nishida squandered an excellent start with three inconsistent laps to follow, then crashed heavily in the second sector of the final lap, damaging the #77 Hana Raiden heavily and relegating him to the back of the pack.

Feihong Luo flew high in the final heat of the session, taking the top time by some seven seconds over Job Van Uitert. Van Uitert and Luo made similar starts, but Luo had an edge in overall pace to just walk away from the Dutchman. Harry Davies continued his strong race weekend with a solid finish in third place, avoiding any real trouble to put up a top-ten time for the entire session. William Cunningham and Markus Hutter brought home the field in fourth and fifth respectively, both drivers running cleanly but struggling to keep up with the rest of the pack.

Q3

With the weather clearing up, William Cunningham made a couple of mental adjustments before the first heat of Q3, finding a second and a bit per lap over his previous times to put the #423 FWM Mirra to the top of the timesheets. Markus Hutter came in second place, some eleven seconds back and just holding off Hooligan Fourteen40’s Gus Block for the position. Elaine Eisenberg finished in fourth, limping her damaged EFI Soma around the track well ahead of Dominic Andrew-Scott in fifth, whose sole consolation was that he was no longer sixth in the heat, that honour going to Kenji Nishida in the #77 Hana Raiden.

Reiko Nagase romped to the top time in the second heat, putting the #10 Nagase Zenith some seven seconds clear of fellow Japanese drivers Saki Mochizuki and Rena Hayami. Mochizuki overcame a mediocre start to overtake Hayami on Lap 2, a position that the Daylily driver did not relinquish in spite of the furious effort put forth by Hayami. Riley Phillips roared past Mikah Jameson on the first lap to take fourth in the heat, half a second separating the two drivers as they crossed the finish line. Duncan Duff suffered a massive suspension failure on his starting lap, damaging the bodywork and the tire on the affected corner, the Canadian limping the #404 Mons RX19 home at the back of the pack.

Harry Davies thrilled his home crowd with another excellent run in the third heat, monstering his starting lap and holding the accumulated gap to Sabine Weber behind in second place. Amanda Huuginkis challenged Weber for position right up until the final lap, where the American had a big wobble in the second corner, losing half a second to Weber ahead and ending Huuginkis’ pursuit of the position. Stefan Banach finished in fourth place, after a challenging start and four difficult laps in the #42 OBRSO Hussar. Mulle Meck rounded out the field, some four seconds behind Banach in fifth place, after an uneventful race.

Feihong Luo took the top time in the final heat, as well as the entire session, making a stellar start to beat Buy2Get1Free’s Elin Arbez to the line by some eight seconds. Job Van Uitert’s race ended in frustrating fashion; after a bold overtake on Arbez in the third sector of the lap to take second place, the Dutchman had a wobble coming out of the final corner, which allowed Arbez, ever the opportunist, through again to re-take second place with mere metres to go. Martin Bayer had a difficult start to his race, losing some five seconds to leader Luo on the starting lap alone, then struggling with a couple of lazy mistakes on a couple of laps to ensure that fourth was the best the German could hope for. Alison Wondersley had an absolutely dreadful start, followed up by a series of inconsistent laps to put the Brit at the back of the pack.

Q4

Markus Hutter took the top time in the first heat of the final qualifying session easily, with no other cars on their normal pace in the heat after Mons Racing’s Duncan Duff crashed hard going into the final chicane of his starting lap, severely damaging the car. Duff continued for half a lap or so, before it became evident that the car would never finish in that condition, retiring the car and ending his weekend on the spot. Gus Block took second place, well ahead of Elaine Eisenberg in third, a disappointing weekend for the MHIR driver. Dominic Andrew-Scott took fourth ahead of Kenji Nishida, both damaged cars finishing their heat races, to their credit.

Rena Hayami roared to the top of the heap in the second heat, seven seconds ahead of Stefan Banach in second place. Hayami made an excellent start and never really was challenged by anyone the rest of the race, free to run cleanly and without consideration for other traffic. Riley Phillips finished third, some ways behind Banach, while Alison Wondersley recovered from a very difficult start to finish fourth, looming in Phllips’ rear-view mirror during the closing laps. Mulle Meck came out of nowhere seemingly to put on arguably the pass of the weekend so far on Mikah Jameson, teasing the Kazuki driver with an inside overtake the first three laps in the same place every time, then going for the undefended outside overtake on the final lap to snatch fifth place.

William Cunningham finished his strong weekend with another top time in the third heat following a clean, uneventful race for the American. Amanda Huuginkis had an excellent middle race to beat out Saki Mochizuki for second place, the quarter second between the drivers at the line earned on Laps 2 and 3, where Huuginkis consistently lapped better than the Daylily driver did. Martin Bayer and Sabine Weber had an impressive race between them for fourth place, Bayer just holding off against Weber’s attacks on the final lap to keep the position.

Feihong Luo capped an excellent weekend with a dominant showing in the final heat, putting the #26 Huangdou Sprite some seven seconds ahead of a dumbfounded Elin Arbez, who just did not have an answer to the pace of Luo ahead. Harry Davies finished third in a quiet race, guaranteeing his appearance in Day Two action, while Reiko Nagase stumbled on the starting lap a couple of times to put her well out of contention in fourth place. Job Van Uitert spoiled his otherwise excellent weekend with a big crash on his starting lap, heavily damaging the #83 Autodelta and ensuring a long night for the team ahead to get the car back to fighting shape for the next day.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Tsubasa Arima proved she had what it takes in the first heat, winning a gutsy race against Team Oranj’s Ken Visser by the narrowest of margins. Making an excellent start, Arima then struggled on her joker lap, losing precious time to Visser and Carina Flannagan behind; Arima then got to business, knocking out three excellent laps to re-take the lead in the heat with mere metres to spare. Neither Visser in second nor Flannagan in third had an answer to Arima’s pace, both drivers taking that bitter pill at the line. Karina Meister had a race to forget, damaging her #3 Evgenis on the starting lap and finishing well back of the pack in fourth.

Riku Jokinen took the top time in the second heat, after Chizuru Mizuhara ran into trouble on their joker lap, allowing Jokinen through without so much as a whimper of protest. Charlie Martin and Bruce Mooseview tangled on their starting lap, Mooseview coming out of the encounter in better shape than Martin, but losing more time than he could overcome in the process, the #32 FABEL finishing fourth behind Martin’s Kadett.

Q2

Chizuru Mizuhara took the top time in the first heat of Q2, in an absolutely stonking race between Mizuhara and Bruce Mooseview, the #32 FABEL driver a bumper length behind at the line following a good start and an excellent joker. Charlie Martin made it interesting as well on the final lap, cutting the gap to Mooseview dramatically, but not quite enough, the Brit finishing just behind in third. Karina Meister rounded out the field in fourth, finishing reasonably well in the still-damaged #3 Evgenis.

Carina Flannagan took top honours in the second heat, putting on a dominant display of driving to finish some three seconds ahead of Riku Jokinen in second place. Jokinen held Ken Visser back, even with a big mistake on the Finn’s joker lap put Visser right on the rear bumper of the #74 Evgenis. Tsubasa Arima finished fourth after a big bump with Carina Flannagan on Lap 3 sent the Japanese driver’s Kadett in to the barriers, damaging it and putting Arima out of contention for the race.

Q3

Bruce Mooseview took the top time in the first heat of Q3 on the slowly-drying track, overcoming a poor start to beat Karina Meister to the line by a full second. Meister ran a solid race, finishing a second ahead of her nearest rival as well, Charlie Martin, after the Brit made a rough start but clawed his way back into contention. Tsubasa Arima finished the race well back in fourth place, nursing her damaged car home in one piece.

Carina Flannagan romped to the top of the sheets in the second heat again, beating Chizuru Mizuhara by a dominant three seconds. Riku Jokinen remained close to Mizuhara after the starting lap, but a couple of mental miscues by the Finn opened up a gap to Mizuhara, settling for third place in the end. Ken Visser struggled with a slow puncture picked up on the first lap, slowing the #23 Kadett enough to put him well back in fourth place.

Q4

Ken Visser put the #23 Kadett to the top of the timesheets in the first heat, recovering brilliantly with a drive that had him finish some four seconds ahead of Karina Meister in second place. Charlie Martin squandered a good starting lap and first lap with two poor laps to end his race, allowing Meister through for second, the Brit settling for a shaky third place finish in the end. Tsubasa Arima finished in fourth, her first priority being a Day Two appearance more than anything else.

Carina Flannagan proved to be the cream of the crop once again, taking the top time in the final heat after a thrilling race with Chizuru Mizuhara, Mizuhara making an incredible start and starting lap to hold the lead over the rest of the grid, but fading slightly on her first lap to let Flannagan ahead. Riku Jokinen too had a wobble on his joker lap, losing precious time as he ran wide and relegating the Finn to third place in the heat, ahead of Bruce Mooseview, who had a couple of very poor laps and struggles with pace in the rest.

Intermediate Classification


#140

Snackers RX Nurburgring, Day Two (Finals)

The sun was out at the Nurburgring, with the track drying almost completely overnight and with a fine autumn day forecast for Day Two of the Snackers RX Nurburging, the final European stop of the Automation Rallycross League.

Semi-Final 1

Matt Sierra took the flag in his #36 Merciel Pixi, winning the first semi-final easily over KMC’s Kevin Michaels, some fourteen seconds behind. Michaels started strong, but found it almost impossible to keep up with Sierra ahead, the #63 KMC just not up to the task unfortunately. Marie-Claire Allemand finished third, some ways back of Michaels, after struggling on the starting lap and finding herself down on pace. Defending champion Hsiu-Yinn Lim was the story of the race though, running a solid second place when she made a huge mistake on Lap 4, crashing hard on the entrance to the final chicane and retiring the #1 Armada on the spot.

Semi-Final 2

Charlie LeClair romped to the easy victory in the second semi-final, some fourteen and a half seconds ahead of Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen. Vatanen overcame a bit of a difficult starting lap to overtake fellow Finn Aatto Virtanen’s Haapala on the first lap, Vatanen slowly building a larger and larger lead with each subsequent lap. Jaimz Marshall had a tough starting lap, followed by a long struggle just to keep up with Virtanen and Vatanen ahead, finishing well back in fourth place.

Final

Charlie LeClair stormed off into the distance, following a great start, to win the final easily over Merciel’s Matt Sierra, the Frenchman some eleven and a half seconds ahead at the chequered flag. Sierra had some sort of creeping mechanical issue that worsened as the race progressed, the Merciel initially right on the tail of LeClair but fading more and more with each lap. Fortunately for Sierra, not enough to cause him to lose second place, finishing a second and a half ahead of Eino Vatanen. Kevin Michaels struggled to match the pace of the cars ahead, finishing well back in fourth place.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

The first semi-final of League One was a clean affair, with no major issues nor contact between the drivers, to their immense credit. Huangdou’s Feihong Luo took the top spot in a dominant finish, starting strong and driving nearly a flawless race to take the win. Martin Bayer had a difficult race, running second for most of it, until the German lost control of his #3 Cisalpina and glanced off the barriers, damaging the car and allowing Motorpop’s Sabine Weber through for second place. Bayer kept close to Weber, but in the end was just not able to re-take the position, finishing a second and a bit behind in third, content in having made the final. Harry Davies squeaked past Rena Hayami’s Wade Monster in the final couple of corners, holding on to fourth place by the barest of margins. Markus Hutter found the going rather difficult in the semi-final, finishing well back in sixth place, the SWISSRA driver struggling with consistency toward the end.

Semi-Final 2

Elin Arbez romped to the easy victory in the second semi-final race, some eight seconds ahead of OBRSO’s Stefan Banach in second place. Banach made an awful start, bogging down hard on the line, but recovered admirably on the rest of his starting lap to find himself just a couple of tenths down on Job Van Uitert. Banach dispatched the Dutchman with ease, followed shortly by Amanda Huuginkis, who made a big mistake on her joker lap and lost positions to both Banach and Van Uitert. In the end, Van Uitert finished in third, just behind Banach after a mistake on his final lap, but securing a berth in the final nonetheless. Huuginkis found herself in fourth place, with FWM’s William Cunningham breathing down her neck, until Cunningham ran wide on the final lap and lost ground to the Yinzer driver.

Final

Job Van Uitert took the chequered flag in the final race, the Dutchman ecstatic over his result, celebrating wildly with his team before taking the top step of the podium. Van Uitert was locked in a tough battle with Elin Arbez right from the start, both drivers trading blows like for like for the first two laps. Unfortunately for Arbez, the battle ended on Lap 3, the #62 Morton Teo expiring in a cloud of smoke after a terminal engine failure, handing the lead over to Van Uitert. Feihong Luo took second place, some six seconds behind Van Uitert, and with Sabine Weber breathing down his neck in third, barely a car length behind. Martin Bayer finished fourth, in a race that saw the German trying very hard to try and make up as many points as he could, occasionally pushing to the point of over-driving the car. Stefan Banach had a bit of a knock on his starting lap in the fourth corner, spinning the #42 Hussar around and damaging the suspension, relegating the Polish driver to the back of the pack for the remainder of the race.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

The first Super 1250 semi-final was a hard-fought race, with all four drivers extremely close to one another from start to finish. In the end, Chizuru Mizuhara found just enough in the #599 Kadett to hold off a late charge by Karina Meister, barely more than two-tenths of a second between the two drivers. Bruce Mooseview ran a very strong race, but a wobble on his final lap cost him a spot in the finals after Meister went through. Ken Visser had an awful final lap, after an excellent start and strong race, the Dutchman making a series of mistakes and letting the entire field through for position.

Semi-Final 2

Carina Flannagan took the top honours in the second semi-final race, starting strong while the rest of the field did not, then holding on tight as Riku Jokinen scythed the gap between the drivers on the final three or four laps, overtaking Tsubasa Arima in the process. Unfortunately Jokinen needed two more laps to take the win, laps that just didn’t exist, so he had to settle for second place. Arima finished in third, the Japanese driver visibly frustrated in herself following a miscue on her final laps that let Jokinen snatch the final berth away from her. Charlie Martin made a valiant effort to recover from his awful start, but it was just not enough, finishing fourth behind Arima.

Final

Karina Meister made a strong start then built on it every following lap to take her second win of the season, in front of a delighted home crowd. Battling neck and neck with Carina Flannagan, Meister put together three excellent laps in the middle of the race to build a cushion to the New Zealander, with Meister three tenths ahead at the line. Chizuru Mizuhara closed the gap on both drivers ahead, but was unable go any further than that, finishing right on the rear bumper of Flannagan in third place. Riku Jokinen speared off the track on his first lap, right at the first corner, damaging the #74 Evgenis and putting it right at the back of the pack.

Final Classification


#141

Standings After Round 10


#142

Alex “AA” Adams was passed out drunk from the schnapps he drank following the RX19’s suspension failure. All we heard him mutter, and we quote, was Scheiße, over and over… Not sure why he’s so upset though. We thought that the Mons Racing team had a strong start to the weekend, and considering they were the only team who didn’t even finish the qualifying rounds, they did well not to come home last overall. So Kudos to them, and all the best for the South African race!

This time, we didn’t even try to find Duncan.