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


#82

Bramhall Motorsport Division “Disappointed but not deterred” after Andrew-Scott Weekend Wipeout


It was a miserable weekend for Bramhall Motor Corporation as both of their race endeavours ended in a DNF. While the BTCC weekend ended due to no fault of their own, questions are being asked about Michael McDowell, the current Operations Manager for Bramhall Motorsport Division. He gave a statement after doubts of his investment into the Southark Racing team being unable to return their side of the deal appeared in the ARXL’s post-final press conference.

“The events that have transpired over the past weekend are not what we were hoping for in our first factory rallycross programme. Andrew-Scott made a mistake, but we will hold our faith in someone who has been building his reputation in the national championships. We are disappointed, but not deterred, and we will continue to push to get the maximum out of our package. We are already working on updates to be released for next season as we use our rookie season to learn. This may be a hard road ahead but we will come up stronger than ever.”


#83

I’m surprised that I’m actually doing decent in this competition…


#84

Coma RallyX de Espana, Day One (Qualifying Rounds)

ARXL sheds its parkas and mittens for warmer climes in sunny Catalunya, the pleasant, sunny weather a welcome relief to the drivers and teams alike after a hard weekend in the forests of Finland. With the fine weather forecast to continue all weekend long, the competitors are eager to prove that they have the pace to win the championship, while others are out to prove that the result in the first round was more than just a fluke.

Q1

The first round of qualifying began with a hell of a race, with Shromet’s Pablo Sanchez doing battle with Team Red Cock Energy’s Pekka Heikkinen for the top spot of the heat. Heikkinen had an excellent start, with Sanchez struggling to get the #52 Appalacian off the line, though with each successive lap, Sanchez closed the gap, but not enough in the end, the Finn taking the top spot by a tenth in a thrilling finish. Kevin Michaels led Jaimz Marshall off the line and through the first lap, but a sloppy joker cost him third place, allowing Marshall through for third place in the heat.

Heat two saw Merciel’s Matt Sierra romp to an easy victory over Yuki Fujishima in the #96 Kitanishi, the Brit ending the race with three-second margin over his Japanese rival. Aatto Virtanen initially had the edge over Fujishima, but a couple of sloppy errors cost the Finn a couple of seconds, finishing in third, well ahead of Marie-Claire Allemand, whose good form in Finland didn’t seem to be as evident here in Spain.

Charlie LeClair took the top spot in the final heat, just missing out on the high-water mark set by Heikkinen in the first heat by four-thousandths of a second. Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen stormed to the lead on the start, but a succession of errors, combined with excellent race pace from LeClair saw the Frenchman reel in and overtake Vatanen on Lap 2, followed shortly by Hsiu-Yinn Lim in the #1 Armada, who seemed determined to prove that her ills in Finland were not representative of the rest of her season.

Q2

Yuki Fujishima put the #96 Kitanishi on the top spot of the timesheets in the first heat, snatching the top spot away from Aatto Virtanen in the #7 Haapala on the final lap, with good, consistent lapping and determination. Kevin Michaels tangled with Marie-Claire Allemand on the first lap, damaging his #63 machine in the process, and found himself not competitive in third, well ahead of Allemand bringing up the rear.

Hsiu-Yinn Limm stormed to an easy victory in the second heat, putting the #1 Armada at the top of the board for this session, fully three and a half seconds ahead of the #36 Merciel of Matt Sierra. Lim made an uncharacteristically good start, and never looked back, showing the true pace of the Pint to all. Jaimz Marshall squandered an excellent start with two messy laps to start the heat, finishing well back of Sierra in third, while Eino Vatanen contacted the wall on his joker lap, damaging the #4 Leopard RX and putting it out of contention in the heat.

Pekka Heikkinen got caught napping by Charlie LeClair on the final lap of the last heat, the Frenchman cheekily barging his way through to the heat win, seventeen-hundredths of a second ahead of the Finn at the line. A sloppy start by Pablo Sanchez in the Shromet proved to be the decisive margin for him, putting the American behind the other two right from the start, an outcome that didn’t unfortunately did not improve for the rest of the heat.

Q3

Eino Vatanen recovered from his messy second qualifying session, putting the Delta Motorsports machine to the top of the chart in the first heat of Q3, three seconds ahead of his fellow Finn Aatto Virtanen in the #7 Haapala. Virtanen looked strong from the start and through the first two laps, but inconsistent driving in the final two laps allowed Vatanen to slip past on his joker. Kevin Michaels found himself well off the pace, though still strong enough to finish ahead of the struggling Marie-Claire Allemand, the Monegasque finding the #707 Hwa Vigil to be lacking in pace overall.

Pablo Sanchez battled hard with Matt Sierra in the second race, overcoming a poor start with four nearly flawless laps to take the lead at the line, finishing half a second up on his British rival. Sierra ran out to an early lead, but trouble on his joker lap hobbled the #36 Merciel’s pace for the remainder of the heat. Yuki Fujishima made contact with Jaimz Marshall on the first lap, though while no damage was done to either car, the drivers were sufficiently rattled as to knock them off their game, finishing third and fourth respectively in the heat.

The final heat was one to remember, with a wild battle between Hsiu-Yinn Lim, Charlie LeClair and Pekka Heikkinen, all three cars trading paint and bashing doors in a wild affair that saw virtually nothing between the three. Though the racing was hard, it was generally clean, with everyone giving the others enough room to race and not a millimetre more. Ultimately it came down to a drag race out of the final corner, with the #1 Armada getting ever-so-slightly better traction to edge ahead of LeClair, finishing eight-hundredths up on the young Frenchman, and a tenth up on Pekka Heikkinen.

Q4

Jaimz Marshall took the top spot in the first heat, just squeaking the FMR HiWay into Day 2 by the narrowest of margins. Aatto Virtanen in the Haapala started strong, but found himself in trouble again on the tricky joker lap, damaging his car and spoiling is race. In spite of this, Virtanen still managed to keep ahead of Kevin Michaels, keeping his slim semi-finals hopes alive in doing so. Marie-Claire Allemand brought up the rear of the heat, frustrated that her Hwa just wasn’t up to the measure of the others.

Matt Sierra made an explosive start in the second heat, recording the best start time of the entire session to propel him to the top of the charts over Pablo Sanchez, who struggled on his joker lap and ran inconsistently after that, to finish well back of the Merciel in second place. Contact between Eino Vatanen and Yuki Fujishima spoiled Vatanen’s race, the Finn complaining of a severe tire rub after having his rear quarter panel buckled by the impact from the #96 Kitanishi.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim put the #1 Armada on the top of the timing sheets once again, the defending champion looking ever more like a contender once again with a stellar final heat, finishing well clear of Pekka Heikkinen in second place, and a sloppy Charlie LeClair in third, the Frenchman never quite finding the rhythm needed to keep up with either of the other two cars in the heat.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

The first qualifying session of League One began with an explosive performance by Gnoo Dadspeed’s Alison Wondersley, the Brit absolutely dominating the first race with a ten-second margin of victory over Reiko Nagase in second place. Nagase overcame a poor start and tentative first lap to edge out the #73 Roundhaas Racing entry of Amanda Huuginkis. Job Van Uitert had a race to forget, getting hit hard by Huuginkis from behind on Lap 2, damaging the #83 Autodelta Hinde and putting it out of contention in the heat, just behind Kazuki’s Mikah Jameson, but well ahead of Kenji Nishida’s Hana Raiden.

Riley Phillips recovered from his Finnish “weekend to forget” in the second heat, putting the #94 ZRD Prototype right at the top of the timesheets, and indeed ahead of everyone else in the field save Wondersley with a nearly flawless drive. Motorpop’s Sabine Weber found second place in the heat, in spite of a poor start and a couple of errors to boot, keeping Rena Hayami almost two seconds behind at the line, after the Wade Racing driver struggled to find consistent pace in her #76 Monster. Mulle Meck and William Cunningham made it an exciting race between them, the American overcoming a poor start to place himself a tenth behind the #777 Skog Sport at the line, while Gus Block found the going very challenging indeed, the pace he wanted from his car just not there this first race.

Stefan Banach took the top time in the third heat, starting strong over My Heart Is Racing’s Elaine Eisenberg and never looking back the entire race. After a ferocious battle the entire race, Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki took second in the heat over Dominic Andrew-Scott’s Bramhall, the two drivers swapping places several times, and finishing a mere four-thousandths of a second apart at the chequered flag! Duncan Duff damaged the suspension in his #404 Mons on the first lap, putting him well behind the rest of the field.

The final heat of Q1 saw Elin Arbez battle Martin Bayer for the top spot in the heat, with the New Zealander just edging into the top spot, after Bayer struggled to make up time following a somewhat lacklustre start. Round 1 winner Feihong Luo also struggled on the start, the #26 Huangdou bogging down hard and never really recovering from such a poor start. Markus Hutter and Harry Davies traded paint on the start, knocking wheels and damaging suspension parts in the process, slowing their cars considerably and falling well out of contention.

Q2

William Cunningham found himself at the front of the field in the first heat, nearly two seconds ahead of a roaring battle between Mulle Meck and Gus Block, the Swede overcoming a lacking start in the #777 Skog Sport Shinrin to overtake Block on Lap 3, after the American driver ran wide and let Meck through for second place. Kenji Nishida drove a sparkling joker, which proved to be the margin over Markus Hutter behind him, while Harry Davies continued to struggle with a car that was just not quite right in the handling department, placing the #34 Knightwick at the back of the pack.

Job Van Uitert regained his lost form from Q1, putting the Autodelta at the top of the timesheet for the second heat, three seconds clear of Saki Mochizuki. The Japanese driver once again found themselves in a feverish battle with Southark Racing’s Dominic Andrew-Scott, again only a nose separating the two drivers at the finish line, to the delight of the assembled crowds here in Barcelona. Rena Hayami found themselves in the fray as well, but a couple of mistakes put a couple of car lengths between the #91 Bramhall and the #76 Wade Monster. Duncan Duff’s car was fixed in time for Q2, and he put on a show to beat out Mikah Jameson, overcoming a poor start to beat the Brit by three quarters of a second.

Elaine Eisenberg took the best time of the third heat, finishing a second and a half up on Motorpop’s Sabine Weber. Reiko Nagase took third in the heat, holding off a hard-charging Feihong Luo, who drove hard to close the gap between the #10 Nagase and the #26 Huangdou, but the poor start from Luo was just too much to overcome in the four laps. Yinzer’s Amanda Huuginkis ran wide on the first lap while attempting to overtake Luo, damaging her car in the process and relgating the #73 Lamprey to the back of the pack.

Elin Arbez took the top spot in the final heat, and indeed the session, after a thrilling race, a mere second and a half separating Arbez in first, to Martin Bayer at the rear of the pack. Alison Wondersley and Riley Philips roared out to the front of the pack, but Arbez’s gamble to take the joker on the first lap proved to be the right one, giving her clear air to run as hard as she could for the rest of the race, and giving her most of the half-second advantage she enjoyed over Wondersley at the chequered flag. Stefan Banach showed glimpses of his considerable pace, but was inconsistent on Lap 2 and 4, making a couple of costly errors that might have ended up taking him down a position or two, and finishing just inches ahead of Martin Bayer, the cool and collected German always in waiting to capitalise on any mistakes his rivals might make.

Q3

Mikah Jameson found both pace and inspiration in quantity during the first heat of Q3, starting strong and never looking back to take the best time of the heat, fully five seconds ahead of Mulle Meck’s Shinrin. the #77 of Kenji Nishida and the #34 of Harry Davies traded paint with SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter, with Nishida just edging out the other two for the third-best time of the heat. Gus Block started strong, but a sloppy joker lap cost him precious seconds, putting him at the back of the pack in the first heat.

Rena Hayami took the top time in the second heat, running a nearly-perfect race in the #76 Wade Racing machine, to finish a second and a half up on Amanda Huuginkis. Dominic Andrew-Scott came third in the #91 Bramhall Vixen, his usual sparring partner in the form of Saki Mochizuki getting caught up in an incident at the start involving the #404 of Duncan Duff, the Japanese driver finishing a car length behind William Cunningham, and with Duff rounding out the rear of the field.

Elaine Eisenberg made it two in a row in the third heat, winning easily over the pair of Job Van Uitert and Sabine Weber, the Dutchman eking out second place over the German by three-thousandths of a second, in a thrilling, but incident-free race, that had the crowd standing in anticipation of the result. Feihong Luo and Reiko Nagase found themselves playing mind games with one another, the two drivers less than impressed with each other in the paddock after the race ended, each accusing the other of driving dirty. Though no contact was made, it remains to be seen what happens between these two in the final session…

The final heat of Q3 once again proved to be a thriller, with Elin Arbez taking the top spot once again, this time with only a bumper ahead of Gnoo’s Alison Wondersley. One has to wonder, how hard these two have been racing all weekend, just how long it can stay clean between them? Riley Phillips decided that prudence was the best course of action here, and hung back a ways from the two front-runners in the hope of a mistake, which never really materialised. Stefan Banach, however, made that mistake, a clean race in the #42 OBRSO squandered on the joker lap, which let both Phillips through as well as Martin Bayer’s Cisalpina, the Polish driver scrambling to try and regain places to no avail.

Q4

Gus Block took the top time in the first heat, even after a somewhat lackluster start put him fourth in the group. Duncan Duff edged out Mulle Meck on the final lap, with a spectacular pass going into the first corner to take second in the heat, while contact on the start between Markus Hutter and Harry Davies spoiled their respective races, Hutter finishing in fourth and Davies in sixth. Kenji Nishida finished fifth in the heat, a somewhat disappointing result for the Sparkling Machine Plus team all in all.

Saki Mochizuki took the top time in the second heat, after contact on the first lap spoiled the races of Rena Hayami, Dominic Andrew-Scott and Mika Jameson, all three drivers getting tangled up in an incident that thankfully was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Amanda Huuginkis avoided the drama entirely, driving a clean race enroute to a second-place finish in the heat.

Elaine Eisenberg took the top spot in race three once again, securing her spot in the semi-finals easily, and finishing well clear of the pitched battle between the #55 Motorpop of Sabine Weber and the #83 Autodelta of Job Van Uitert, who finished again within a fraction of a second of one another. Feihong Luo was again plagued by a poor start, and once recovered found themselves held up by a slow-moving Reiko Nagase. Only after taking the joker on the final lap was the Huangdou finally free to run at speed, putting almost a second on the Nagase in doing so.

Alison Wondersley denied both Riley Phillips and Elin Arbez the chance at the best time of the session, after another absolutely scintillating drive, the #7 Gnoo finishing nearly half a second ahead of its two very close rivals. Arbez kept Phillips honest on the last lap, when the young Brit ran a bit wide and lost crucial tenths to the New Zealander behind, just holding on by the narrowest of margins to finish second. Martin Bayer and Stefan Banach this time were the vultures, playing the waiting game behind the front-runners in the hopes of capitalising on a mistake that, unfortunately for them, just didn’t happen; the German finishing fourth, and the Pole in fifth.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

The two Carinas - Meister and Flannagan - dominated the first heat of the first qualifying session, the German starting strong and overcoming a sloppy second lap, putting the #3 Evgenis Valkyrie on the top of the timesheet in the heat - and indeed the session - three tenths up on Carina Flannagan in the #63 Valkyrie. Contact between Kenneth Visser and Tsubasa Arima on the final lap spoiled their races, the young Japanese driver being knocked well off line by the Dutchman and putting her a distant fourth.

Bruce Mooseview led for most of the second heat in the #32 FABEL, but a sloppy joker lap spoiled his race, with the #599 Kadett of Chizuru Mizuhara able to power past and take the win by a quarter of a second. Ralliheart’s Riku Jokinen struggled with consistency in third place, while contact with the wall on his joker lap spoiled an excellent start by Charlie Martin in the #84 Autodelta Kadett.

Q2

Kenneth Visser overcame an atrocious start in the first heat, putting together four flawless laps to just edge out Charlie Martin at the line by a quarter of a second, the Dutchman looking in fine form after being a little lost in his Q1 performance. Tsubasa Arima struggled with handling issues in the #47 Kadett, while Riku Jokinen had a race to forget, having to take evasive action on the start and struggling to regain their composure for the rest of the race.

Karina Meister made it two for two in qualifying, topping the charts again with an excellent drive in the #3 OHO Racing Evgenis. Two inconsistent laps spoiled Carina Flannagan’s race, being the margin of victory and then some for Meister ahead, while Bruce Mooseview in third place found himself doing everything he could to defend against the faster Chizuru Mizuhara behind him, only letting up after the #599 driver made a mistake on the joker and lost a critical amount of time in doing so.

Q3

Chizuru Mizuhara took the top honour in the first heat of Q3, the young Japanese driver happy with putting together their best race to date, keeping Charlie Martin and Tsubasa Arima behind them easily. Arima again looked inconsistent in their race, seemingly a little unhappy with their car, while Riku Jokinen squandered an excellent start with sloppy driving, finishing well back in fourth.

Kaina Meister proved to be the master of the timesheets once again, finishing just ahead of Carina Flannagan once again, the margin for victory being no more than a bumper at the line. Kenneth Visser stalled out on the starting line, but was able to recover with four excellent laps, though by that point the damage was done, with the Dutchman unable to finally reel in Bruce Mooseview’s FABEL by the chequered flag.

Q4

Bruce Mooseview made an excellent start in the first heat, nosing ahead of Tsubasa Arima and staying there the entire race, the #32 FABEL finally showing its pace after three inconsistent sessions. Kenneth Visser again struggled at the start, but made a go of it once again on Arima, the Dutchman sure to have taken second place from the #47 Kadett, were only the finish line another hundred metres down the track. Ralliheart’s Riku Jokinen looked to be in better form as well, putting together a decent start and four reasonably consistent laps, though still finding themselves a bit off the pace.

Karina Meister ran the table in qualifying, finishing top of the heap once again in a thrilling battle with Carina Flannagan, the Buy 2 Get 1 Free driver only making a mistake on the first lap, which was sadly enough to put her P2 once again behind the German phenom. Chizuru Mizuhara looked sharp in her race, putting pressure on the two front runners continuously, while Charlie Martin had a big off on Lap 2, rattling the confidence of the young Brit, putting him three quarters of a second behind Mizuhara to bring up the rear.

Intermediate Classification


#85

Coma RallyX de Espana, Day Two (Finals)

The fine weather continued into Day Two of the Coma RallyX de Espana, with sunny skies greeting the nearly full grandstands for the final day of action here at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the excitement building in anticipation of a full day of exciting racing!

Semi-Final 1

The first semi-final did not disappoint the assembled fans, with a great start for Pekka Heikkinen, Pablo Sanchez and Jaimz Marshall, though as the race led on, Marshall’s inconsistency began to widen the gap to the two front-runners. Heikkinen put together a string of smooth, consistent laps, never really under threat from Sanchez’s Shromet, but never really pulling away much either. In the end, Heikkinen took the flag two seconds ahead of Sanchez, with Marshall sitting six seconds back in third place. A poor start, coupled with mechanical issues, hampered Yuki Fujishima, an otherwise promising weekend spoiled.

Semi-Final 2

Hsiu-Yinn Lim, a woman on a mission in the #1 Armada, put on a clinic in the second semi-final, running an essentially flawless race to win easily over the #36 Merciel of Matt Sierra, who spoiled an excellent start with a couple costly mistakes during the race, finishing four and a half seconds behind Lim, but just edging out Kuma’s Charlie LeClair, who found himself door to door with Sierra after his joker on the final lap. Coming down to a drag race right at the finish, the Merciel Pixi was able to put the power down easily, and pulled out a slight lead by the line. Eino Vatanen had a race to forget, a great start spoiled on his joker lap, after spinning and side-swiping the wall with the #4 Delta Motorsports Leopard. The damaged car limped home a distant fourth in the end, well back of LeClair.

Final

A strong start and flawless laps; that’s all Pekka Heikkinen needed to win the final race. Ahead at the line to start the race, Heikkinen was seemingly otherworldly in his ability to go fast, with no other driver, not even Hsiu-Yinn Lim, able to find a match for the Finn. Matt Sierra proved to be more than a handful for Lim to contend with as well, with the Merciel an ever-present threat in the rear-view mirror of the #1 Armada. In the end though, Lim was able to do enough, holding onto second place, with Sierra falling back in the last two laps to finish third overall. Pablo Sanchez struggled all race, starting poorly and not looking entirely comfortable with the #52 Shromet, finishing a distant fourth.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

The first League One semi-final proved to be a wild affair, with a very close start and some wild overtaking moves, but in the end, Riley Phillips notched his first elimination race victory, edging out OBRSO’s Stefan Banach by just under a second for the victory. Riley beat Banach to the line on the start, and was just fast enough to keep the Pole at bay the whole race. Meanwhile, Job Van Uitert punched his ticket to the finals with his third place finish, keeping Banach honest with only a second between the two drivers at the chequered flag. Sabine Weber fell just short in the #55 Motorpop, while Alison Wondersley struggled to put consistent lap times together in the #7 Gnoo Goblin. Saki Mochizuki struggled all race long, starting poorly and finding the wall on Lap 2, damaging her car and taking her out of contention for the rest of the race.

Semi-Final 2

Buy 2 Get 1 Free’s Elin Arbez won the second semi-final handily, starting strong and never looking back the entire race, finishing with a comfortable four and a half second margin over Martin Bayer’s #3 Cisalpina. Elaine Eisenberg was hot on Bayer’s rear bumper, sticking her nose around Bayer every once in a while as she threatened to overtake several times. Unfortunately, the Swiss driver just couldn’t make it stick and had to settle for third at the line, a second behind Bayer. Feihong Luo struggled to stay consistent in the race, hobbled by a poor start and inconsistent lap times to finish fourth, just on the outside looking in to the finals, with Reiko Nagase right behind to bring up the rear.

Final

The excitement for the final was palpable, with several drivers feeling like they had the machine to take the win. Elin Arbez stormed out to an early lead from the start, with Martin Bayer and Riley Phillips close behind, but a sloppy mistake by Bayer on the joker lap ended up costing precious time for both him and Phillips. Re-joining the track behind Stefan Banach, the OBRSO driver made his car as wide as possible, knowing full well that both Phillips and Bayer had his number in terms of speed, putting on a defensive racing clinic like no other. In the end, Banach held on to second place, with Bayer just edging out Phillips by the narrowest of margins for third place. Elaine Eisenberg made the best of what she had, finishing a solid fifth place behind Phillips, while Job Van Uitert had a rough start, and struggled to find pace in his car, unable to mount much of a threat to Eisenberg ahead.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

The first semi-final was basically won and lost at the start; Carina Flannagan and Bruce Mooseview roared out to a strong start, while Riku Jokinen and Kenneth Visser both faltered; after that, the cars and drivers raced in lock-step to one another, with virtually no major errors committed by any of the four drivers. Flannagan took the victory, with Mooseview close behind in second place, just barely edging out Jokinen in third. Visser fought hard to try and make up for his poor start, but in the end the deficit was just too great, bringing up the rear in fourth.

Semi-Final 2

Karina Meister took an easy victory in the second semi-final, jumping out to an exceptional start and never looking back, with almost a second between the #3 Evgenis and Tsubasa Arima’s #47 Kadett. Chuzuru Mizuhara was right with Arima all the way to the end, but a sloppy first sector to Mizuhara’s final lap allowed Arima through, a lead she did not relinquish. Charlie Martin started strong but faded, after a sloppy mistake on the joker cost him precious time and rattled his confidence, finishing a rather distant fourth place.

Final

The Super 1250 final was a game of milliseconds and millimetres, with a spectacular, thrilling finish to the race, as Karina Meister won by two hundredths of a second over Carina Flannagan, a drag race out of the final two corners ultimately deciding who crossed the line first. Bruce Mooseview finished third, a second behind the two Carinas, recovering well from a mediocre start that saw contact between him and Tsubasa Arima, who finished fourth overall, bringing up the rear after a frustrating race through and through.

Final Classification


#86

Season Standings after Round 2


#87

Pekka Heikken had this to say about the results of the first two rounds.

“Tykkimaki was beep; beeping clown show to run race in these condition. Car was more easy to drive than last season but made no difference. Sliding around and bullbeep. WRC maybe but rallycross… but OK, didn’t destroy car and got some championship points.”

“Catalunya much better… think I showed more of true pace for this season car Testing has car almost second per lap faster than last season and easier to drive. Competition also improved though; very good battle with Hsiu-Yinn Lim but also am watching Pablo Sanchez, Matt Sierra, and Charlie LeClair. Will see how things go - last season car basically ignored ballast, but now it has much more effect so need to use other strategy than go-fastest-all-the-time.”

“I would like to thank Red Cock Energy Liquid for opportunity to drive in championship again. Red Cock Energy Liquid - useful for many purposes. For example, testing has demonstrated does good job at cleaning drains. Buy some now so I may keep racing.”


#88

Alex “AA” Adams, Mons Racing sporting director, was sipping his second bottle of Sherry when we caught up with him at the local Taberna. Here’s what he had to say:

A sack of potatoes! No, not Duncan... he's been great. Just look at his times! So consistent. It shows that we hired the right driver, for sure. He'll only get better over time. His consistency and keeping a cool head under pressure are remarkable for such a young lad. And his car handling with a borked suspension! Did you see that first quali?? How he brought the car home with a wheel barely hanging on?? But, it seems like we gave him a sack of potatoes! A big, heavy, bulbous, sack of spuds. The one upside of this weekends was that I got to leave the track early to sample the local Sherry .... want some?

We were told that Duncan Duff would be trackside for an interview, but we only found his abandoned pit board still displaying his race number on location.


#89

Better late than never amirite…

"Magic Touch #36" Merciel Pixi ARXL


With absolutely nothing in common with last season’s Merciel Pixi (except for the name), this season’s entry by Merciel is sponsored by “Magic Touch” Cleaning products. Wash away dirt and debris with a single wipe

Aaaanyways onto the car.


Due to a (total and still ongoing restructure of Merciel lore) new model for 2020, the new Merciel Pixi is totally different from last year. Gone is the 2.3L Nishima engine, and replacing it is a more powerful custom made 2.4L i4 pushing about 600hp.


With a new car comes a new driver…

Matt Sierra

Returning to rallycross from his reporter job at Motornation, Matt is replacing his younger nephew Alexander Sierra, bringing his age and experience to the Magic Touch Team.


#90

When asked how she felt about her drive this weekend compared to last, in characteristically forthright fashion, Hsiu-Yinn said: “Pretty good. I hate this track.”

(This is her least favourite track of the season.)


#91

Bramhall “Content” with results despite missing out on semi-finals


Kevin Ryde and Dominic Andrew-Scott seemed content with what they considered the start to their ARXL season after a disasterous opening round in Finland. Landing 7 points on the table they completed qualifying, being 3 places off qualifying in the top 11 for a chance at the semi-finals. The 7 points move him off the bottom of the standings and place him ahead of Gus Block, with his higher round finishing position making the difference despite matching Block on points.

Andrew-Scott talked with us after the Final. “Yeah, it was a bit of a shock in the first round, I needed to clear my head and get myself back in the right space. Coming here I was a bit calmer and a bit more relaxed, and just let the car work for me, rather than try and push it too hard. Maybe with more experience I can try and lean on it but until then letting the car work with me seems to be the trick. As for results we can be content the pace puts us in the midfield. Next step will be trying to pull Finals pace out of it.”

Michael McDowell, who recieved backlash from both the press and internally in Bramhall after a disasterous motorsport weekend, said he felt “Vindicated in his decisions” after a short interview with ITV4. Kevin Ryde also spoke out about the updated Vixen coming in for next season. “We’ve been working hard to help our guy feel more at home in the T-Car compared to our current package. Andrew-Scott has been put in the hours and we think we can pull some serious pace out of this next machine.”


#92

Whineiken RX Benelux, Day One (Qualifying Rounds)

The conditions were typically Belgian spring for the first-ever running of the Whineiken RX Benelux, with a steady, soaking rain falling, though not dampening the spirits of the fans and competitors one bit, as the racing action began at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, on the venue’s challenging new rallycross course. This unorthodox track takes in part of the famed motor racing circuit, including the Eau Rouge/Radillon complex, as well as a rarity for ARXL; a joker lap that is shorter than the main lap!

Q1

The first heat of Q1 saw plenty of sparks, as Pablo Sanchez dumped Pekka Heikkinen into the wall as he avoided a slow-moving Eino Vatanen, causing a moderate amount of damage to the #80 Pepperbomb, as well as a minor amount to his own car. Fortunately both drivers were able to continue their races, though not without consequence; Heikkinen finished last in the group, and Sanchez wasn’t able to muster the speed necessary to take the top time from Kitanishi’s Yuki Fujishima, who placed one and a half seconds ahead of the #52 Shromet Appalachian. Eino Vatanen, unscathed from that first-lap incident, managed to finish a safe third in the heat, avoiding any further incident.

The same could not be said for championship leader Matt Sierra, who suffered a massive and terminal mechanical failure on the starting grid, blue smoke and flames pouring out of the #36 Merciel’s hood even before the lights went out. This paved the way for the #33 car of Charlie LeClair to take the top time of the session easily in the second heat, some ten seconds ahead of FMR’s Jaimz Marshall, who ran a clean but uneventful race. Kevin Michaels showed promising pace as well, finishing third, six seconds behind Marshall.

Marie-Claire Allemand took the top time in the third heat, the wet, slippery conditions very much to her liking once again, edging out Hsiu-Yinn Lim in second. Lim, fresh off a very strong finish in Spain, looked less than comfortable with the #1 Armada’s handling in the muddy, slick unpaved sections in particular. Aatto Virtanen ran into trouble on his joker lap, going straight on into the wall in the joker section itself, badly damaging his car and limping the #7 Haapala home, to his credit, in third place.

Q2

Eino Vatanen romped to the top time of the first heat of Q2, six seconds ahead of Pekka Heikkinen in second place. Heikkinen, still fuming about his misfortune in Q1, uncharacteristically caused a major accident between Jaimz Marshall and Kevin Michaels, the Finn closing the door at the top of Radillon and causing Michaels to take evasive action into the side of Marshall, damaging both cars heavily. Further analysis by the stewards determined it to be a racing incident only, but this did nothing to ameliorate the bitter disappointment of both Marshall and Michaels. Aatto Virtanen, struggling with a badly battered car, soldiered on to round out the rest of the pack.

Charlie LeClair stormed to the front of the field in the second heat with a tremendous start and excellent starting sector, taking the lead right from go and not relinquishing it. Yuki Fujishima battled Pablo Sanchez for second place, the Shromet driver hot on the tail of the #96 car, but a rare mistake by Sanchez had his #52 Appalachian run wide entering the infield section, dashing his hopes of overtaking the Kitanishi. Hsiu-Yinn Lim opted for caution after bearing witness to the carnage of the first heat, staying well back in fourth, just ahead of Marie-Claire Allemand, who showed a lack of consistency in the race.

Q3

Marie-Claire Allemand took the top time once again in the first heat of Q3, finishing far ahead of Hsiu-Yinn Lim, the #1 Armada not looking particularly in-form at all this weekend. Kevin Michaels and Jaimz Marshall limped their damaged cars home in third and fourth place, while Aatto Virtanen pulled up parked his Haapala halfway through Lap 3, declaring his car “utterly undriveable” and storming off the track to end his weekend.

Charlie LeClair proved himself to be the master of Spa once again, romping to the top time again in Q3, well ahead of Yuki Fujishima in second place. Eino Vatanen came home in third, nearly seven seconds behind Fujishima, while Pekka Heikkinen avoided trouble in fourth. Pablo Sanchez, his #52 Shromet damaged in his off in Q2, limped home in fifth place, well back of the rest of the pack, determined to make the semi-finals above all else.

Q4

With three small heats instead of the two in Q3, the fates smiled on Pablo Sanchez, the quirk of scheduling granting the Shromet driver enough points to make Day Two merely by finishing the heat in one piece. And that he did, finishing ahead of the damaged Kevin Michaels, who too punched his ticket to Day Two, ahead of Jaimz Marshall, who rounded out the first heat field.

Eino Vatanen put the #4 Delta Motors Leopard on the top time for the second heat, finishing well ahead of Pekka Heikkinen in second, the Pepperbomb driver uncharacteristically sloppy in this fourth and final heat, but doing enough to finish ahead of Hsiu-Yinn Lim, the defending champion four seconds adrift of her Season One rival.

Four for four, for young Charlie LeClair, taking the top spot again in the final heat of Q4, and the top spot for the session to boot, running a flawless race to beat Yuki Fujishima by just over nine seconds at the line. Marie-Claire Allemand rounded out the field, finishing eight seconds back of Fujishima.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Sabine Weber ran a brilliant first heat in the #55 Motorpop Kiai, putting the car top of the charts easily, and second in the session overall, some ten seconds ahead of the #598 EFI Soma Super of Elaine Eisenberg, who got tangled up behind the #404 Mons of Duncan Duff and the #77 Hana Raiden of Kenji Nishida for the first couple of laps. By then, there was nothing Eisenberg could do to catch up to Weber far ahead, so she prudently decided to play it safe, doing just enough to stay ahead of the other two drivers. Dominic Andrew-Scott and Alison Wondersley both had a race to forget, clattering off each other coming down the hill from Radillon on their starting lap, damaging both cars significantly, limping home in fifth and sixth respectively.

Job Van Uitert thrilled the crowd at his local race, putting the #83 Autodelta to the top of the charts, both in the heat and the session, finishing some three seconds ahead of Huangdou’s Feihong Luo in second place. Reiko Nagase finished third, after a couple scary moments on her starting lap made the Wade Racing driver back off a fair bit for the rest of the race. Harry Davies had the number of Mikah Jameson, the Knightwigh driver overcoming a poor starting lap to overtake Jameson on the second lap with ease. Gus Block did not look comfortable at all in his #5 GAA Volche this first session, finishing well back of the pack and wondering what Hooligan Fourteen40 Racing can do to narrow the gap.

Rena Hayami took the top spot in the third heat, three seconds ahead of Roundhaas Racing’s Amanda Huuginkis, who put a masterful bit of driving in to keep OBRSO’s Stefan Banach behind her the entire race. Riley Phillips had a difficult race in fourth place, a couple of sloppy mistakes costing the Brit time on many of his laps. Regardless, it was enough to keep him ahead of Skog Sport’s Mulle Meck, who struggled to find any pace at all in the #777 Shinrin.

SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter put the #63 Munot Starkwind on the top of the timesheets in the final heat, making a daring move on Elin Arbez and Saki Mochizuki to take the lead on Lap 2. Mochizuki led the cars into the first lap, with Arbez and Hutter close behind, but a brave bit of driving into the Radillon hairpin had Hutter outbrake his two opponents, sailing past them and holding the place on the run back down the hill. William Cunningham overcame a poor start in the #423 FWM Mirra, closing right up to Arbez’s bumper by the end of the race, in fourth place. Martin Bayer had a difficult race in fifth, struggling to stay consistent and struggling with the #3 Cisalpina Forte, the red and white machine not looking at all happy in the challenging conditions.

Q2

Riley Phillips shook off a poor race in Q1, putting the #94 Zephorus on the top of the timesheets in the first heat of Q2, far ahead of Alison Wondersley, who was still struggling with damage to her Gnoo Goblin in this session. Dominic Andrew-Scott followed Wondersley close behind, a couple of costly errors early costing him second place in the heat. Mulle Meck drove an inconsistent race in fourth place, but it was enough to stay ahead of Gus Block. Mikah Jameson clattered into the wall coming down the hill from Radillon, damaging the Kazuki significantly, spoiling their race and possibly the rest of the weekend as well.

Martin Bayer came to terms with his #3 Cisalpina, making a strong start and not looking back as he romped easily into the top spot of the second heat over Elaine Eisenberg in second. Reiko Nagase kept Eisenberg honest, the #10 Nagase Zenith hanging close to Eisenberg’s EFI the entire race. Duncan Duff and Kenji Nishida trailed in fourth and fifth, not really much of a factor to one another, and more difficulty for Harry Davies, whose troubled ARX League One campaign was made worse after a big accident on the starting lap, putting the Knightwick at the back of the pack.

Elin Arbez unshackled the #62 Morton Teo, running to the top time in the third heat fully five and a half seconds ahead of Stefan Banach in second place. Saki Mochizuki overcame a poor start to recover to third place, after driving four nearly flawless laps, crossing the line well clear of Amanda Huuginkis and William Cunningham, the American not quite able to match the pace of the #73 Yinzer Lamprey ahead.

Sabine Weber just missed out on the top spot of the session, finishing at the top of the timesheets in the final heat, and only two thirds of a second behind the time set by Arbez in the previous heat. Job Van Uitert made a mistake on Lap 2, running very wide through the stadium hairpin just before the start-finish line, costing him a considerable amount of time on that and his subsequent lap. Rena Hayami struggled to find pace in the #76 Wade Racing machine, finishing well back in third place, while Feihong Luo found themselves struggling with inconsistency in fourth place, some eleven seconds back of the heat leader. Markus Hutter damaged the suspension of his Munot Starkwind on the starting lap, dashing any hopes of a strong finish this session.

Q3

Kenji Nishida ran the race of his life in the first heat of Q3, putting the #77 Hana Raiden to the top of the timesheets in an easy race, three and a half seconds clear of Mons Racing’s Duncan Duff. Mulle Meck avoided trouble to finish third, while Gus Block struggled with inconsistency in fourth place, finishing well ahead of the stricken cars of Mikah Jameson and Harry Davies.

Feihong Luo shook off the mediocre performances of the first two races, putting the #26 Huangdou on the top step in heat two. Markus Hutter challenged briefly on the starting lap, but that was the last of the Swiss driver that Luo saw for the rest of the race. William Cunningham was consistent, but just off the pace in third, keeping an eye on the battle between Amanda Huuginkis and Alison Wondersley behind him. Wondersley battled back after stalling out on the start, putting in some of the fastest laps of the session to end up only two seconds behind Huuginkis at the line, overtaking Southark Racing’s Dominic Andrew-Scott in the process.

Rena Hayami took the top honours in the third heat, an excellent start putting an insurmountable amount of distance between them and Stefan Banach in third place. Saki Mochizuki made a costly error on Lap 1, running wide in the stadium section to allow Banach through, unable to close the gap and re-overtake the Polish driver. Elaine Eisenberg and Reiko Nagase got caught up in a fierce battle for position, with Eisenberg struggling to keep Nagase behind her; the resultant defensive driving costing both drivers a considerable amount of time.

Sabine Weber dominated in the final heat, putting the #55 Motorpop on the top of the timesheets for both the heat and the session alike, some six seconds ahead of Job Van Uitert after Elin Arbez crashed hard on the final lap, substantially damaging the #62 Morton in the process. Martin Bayer had trouble on the run down from Radillon, locking up and running wide on the turn into the stadium section, costing the German driver two places as he re-joined the circuit, having narrowly avoided a potentially catastrophic accident. Riley Phillips repeated Bayer’s mistake on the third lap, losing the rear end of his Zephorus in the same corner and narrowly avoiding the wall.

Q4

The quick turnaround from the fourth heat in Q3 to the first heat in Q4 proved that Riley Phillips is quick put mistakes out of his mind, storming to the top time in the heat in a very easy race for the Brit, starting strong and running four nearly flawless laps to follow. Mulle Meck finished a distant second place, two seconds ahead of Gus Block in third. Mikah Jameson limped his Kazuki home, in an attempt to secure the last few Championship Points available, while Elin Arbez nursed her wounded car home, hopeful that the mechanics can get the #62 Morton back in fighting form for Day Two. Harry Davies rounded out the field, well back of Arbez in the heavily battered #34 Knightwick.

Amanda Huuginkis romped to an easy win in the second heat, five seconds clear of Reiko Nagase in second, who struggled to put consistent laptimes together the entire race. Duncan Duff edged out Elaine Eisenberg by half a car length for third, the Canadian leading comfortably until a costly mistake in the joker allowed Eisenberg to completely catch up and nearly overtake the #404 Mons. Dominic Andrew-Scott struggled again with inconsistent lapping in fifth place, while Alison Wondersley crashed hard on her starting lap, extensively damaging her #7 Gnoo Goblin.

William Cunningham once again proved he was comfortable in the rain, putting the #423 FRM Mirra on the top of the timesheets in the third heat, three seconds clear of Daylily’s Saki Mochizuki in second place. Mochizuki battled hard with SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter all race long, with the Japanese driver just edging out Hutter at the line by half a second. Martin Bayer had an awful start, falling far behind right from lights out and tangling with Kenji Nishida on the starting lap. Fortunately, no damage was done to Bayer’s car, and in spite of four solid laps, the best Bayer could manage was a fourth place finish. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Nishida’s #77 machine, the car struggling to track straight for the rest of the race.

Sabine Weber topped the timesheets again in the final heat, the German driver really coming into her own here at Spa, coming in eight seconds ahead of Rena Hayami in second place. Hayami fought hard with Huangdou’s Feihong Luo the entire race, both drivers pushing each other as hard as they could, though i nthe end Hayami finished second by a nose, the Huangdou just not quite the match of the Wade Monster coming out of the last corner. Stefan Banach made a couple of costly errors on Laps 2 and 3, taking him out of the three-way battle for second place early and forcing the OBRSO driver to settle for fourth. Job Van Uitert suffered a brake failure of some sort on his starting lap, the Dutchman opting to limp the car home instead to punch his ticket to Day Two.

Intermediate Classification


Q1

Riku Jokinen took the top time in the first heat of Q1, in a strong showing right off the starting grid. Kenneth Visser overcame a poor start to finish second, thrilling the crowd in his home race with excellent driving in the #23 Kadett. Charlie Martin and Tsubasa Arima tangled on the starting lap, damaging both cars slightly, but taking them both out of contention in this session.

Chizuru Mizuhara took the top time in the second heat, an absolutely fantastic start being the margin of victory over Bruce Mooseview in the FABEL. Carina Flannagan started very poorly, her car laden with ballase after the first two rounds of the season, unable to quite catch up to Mooseview ahead, while Karina Meister struggled to find traction in the #3 Evgenis, finishing well back in fourth.

Q2

Carina Flannagan took the top spot in the final heat against Karina Meister, the New Zealander edging out the German by a bumper, after Meister overcame a poor start with four excellent laps after sitting down with her driver coach to work out where she was going wrong on this challenging, technical circuit. Charlie Martin was hot on the heels of both drivers, reeling them in rapidly on the final lap, finishing only a hood length behind Meister in third. Tsubasa Arima struggled with suspension issues after her Q1 tangle with Charlie Martin, finding the #47 Kadett quite a handful still.

Bruce Mooseview thrilled the fans in an exciting second heat, starting strong to finish just three tenths of a second ahead of Kenneth Visser, in a race heavily cheered for by both the infamous local FABEL Sport rally fans, as well as the large crowd of Dutch fans, cheering for their up and coming star driver. Chizuru Mizuhara finished third in this wild race, a tenth behind Visser and pushing hard at the line. Riku Jokinen stumbled on the start and never really recovered, the one small error being the difference between winning and losing the heat.

Q3

Riku Jokinen recovered quickly from her costly Q2 mistake, finishing at the top of the timesheets in Q3’s first heat, comfortably ahead of Charlie Martin in second place. Tsubasa Arima made it interesting with Martin, her Kadett behind only by a nose at the line, while Karina Meister started poorly and struggled with inconsistency all race, finishing a rather distant fourth in the heat.

Kenneth Visser took the top time in the second heat, half a second up on Carina Flannagan and Bruce Mooseview, who both crossed the line in a virtual tie with one another, only three-thousandths of a second between the two, as Flannagan won the race on the exit and drag race out of the final corner. Chizuru Mizuhara was close behind as well, only half a car-length behind Mooseview and closing rapidly at the line/

Q4

Chizuru Mizuhara took the top time in the first heat of the final qualifying session, a second and a half over Tsubasa Arima, after the Team SCH minMAX driver started very poorly. Charlie Martin started even worse, stalling on the line and never recovering from his mistake, finishing third. Karina Meister fought against some kind of handling issue for the entire race, finishing a rather distant fourth.

Kenneth Visser took yet another heat win in the second heat, just edging out Riku Jokinen for the top spot. Arguably the faster of the two cars, Jokinen struggled on the start, but recovered masterfully to put the #55 Evgenis only a bumper behind Visser at the line. Bruce Mooseview got off to a masterful start, but inconsistent laps squandered the advantage, finishing third, with Carina Flannagan a distant fourth, after a rather poor start.

Intermediate Classification


#93

The Team Oranj garage erupted with scenes of jubilation following the good results in their home town’s qualifying event. Kenneth was seen being carried around the garage on the shoulders of his mechanics, an upbeat atmosphere finally gracing the team after disappointing results in Finland and Spain. Team Principal, Bert Van Dijk, attended a quick interview with Jans Janssen after the race.

B: “Well, obviously a great result here, really. Kenneth did everything more-or-less perfectly, I could not ask for more. After the mechanical issues and collisions in Finland and the issues getting off the line in Spain, Ken just couldn’t be overcome here. Really good to see that he has gone away and learned a bit more.”
J: “Right, but talking about Finland and Spain, there are some who would say that those weekends were his fault, that a better driver wou-”
B: “Look, I am going to stop you right there. Kenny is still a young driver, of course he won’t be perfect, but let’s look at what happened, shall we? He made a couple of small mistakes, and the track in Spain wasn’t great for him. These Super races are for getting experience, and that’s exactly what he is getting here.”
J: “Sure, sure, but a lot of people are saying that this weekend isn’t over yet, that he might still make a mistake. Qualifying is good, sure, but there’s still two more races.”
B: “Jans, the fact is that Ken had a really, really good day today, and I don’t care who wants to ruin it for him. Even if we don’t run too well tomorrow, we have shown that we absolutely made the right choice giving him a chance. I believe in him, and so should you.”


#94

So much for my lead :stuck_out_tongue:


#95

Whineiken RX Benelux, Day Two (Finals)

The weather eased up slightly from Day One, the steady soaking rain from yesterday gave way to a gentle drizzle here at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps. After the wild first day of action, particularly in Super 1250, the drivers were keen to showcase their talents for the assembled crowds on elimination day.

Semi-Final 1

Yuki Fujishima overcame a somewhat lacking start in the first semi-final race, running cleanly and consistently to take the lead on Lap 1 and never looking back, finishing a full thirteen seconds ahead of defending champion Hisu-Yinn Lim in second place, who didn’t look overly comfortable with the #1 Armada Pint. Marie-Claire Allemand ran wide on Lap 2, damaging the suspension of her Hwa Vigil, putting an end to her race then and there, finishing a distant third place behind Lim. Kevin Michaels struggled to match the pace of the leader in this race, finishing fourth, but notching KMC Racing’s first elimination day appearance, and all the points that go with it, in the process.

Semi-Final 2

Trouble in the second semi-final, as Team SCH minMAX’s Charlie LeClair and Delta Motorsports’ Eino Vatanen - in the lead and second place at the time - collided on the treacherous run down the hill from Radillon. Heavily damaged, both cars limped home in third and fourth respectively for LeClair and Vatanen. Pablo Sanchez prevailed, winning easily over Pekka Heikkinen, who narrowly avoided being caught up in the carnage between LeClaire and Vatanen.

Final

Yuki Fujishima continued their excellent Day Two performance, easily beating Pablo Sanchez for the victory in the final. A major crash between Pekka Heikkinen and Hsiu-Yinn Lim on the starting lap dashed both drivers’ hopes of scoring maximum points at this event, something both the Team Red Cock and the Armada driver desperately wanted, to shore up their lackluster performance this season.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

Saki Mochizuki took the top spot in the first League One semi-final race, the Daylily driver starting strong and storming to the head of the pack, running a nearly-flawless race. And flawless it had to be, with Autodelta’s Job Van Uitert and Motorpop’s Sabine Weber right behind her the entire time. Van Uitert was virtually wheel-to-wheel with Weber, until an exceptional final lap by the Autodelta driver put the #83 car ahead by a couple car-lengths at the chequered flag. Riley Phillips had a race to forget, the #94 Zephorus looking fast, but a number of careless errors by the young Brit costing precious time in the standings. William Cunningham fought hard with SWISSRA’s Markus Hutter for fifth place, the American ultimately having the pace to keep Hutter behind right until the end.

Semi-Final 2

The second semi-final was full of excitement, with a tight three-way battle for position right at the front involving the #76 Wade Monster of Rena Hayami, the #3 Cisalpina of Martin Bayer and the #26 Huangdou of Feihong Luo. Bayer flubbed the start in comparison, but three excellent laps, including a scintillatingly fast joker, put him ahead of Luo at the line, for second place. But it was Hayami who took the victory, driving a clean, error-free race to take the victory. Amanda Huuginkis finished fourth, a short ways back of Luo, the Yinzer not looking particularly sharp this afternoon. Frustration for OBRSO Hussar, as Stefan Banach crashed on the starting lap, damaging the #42 machine and dashing their hopes of reaching the final.

Final

Sabine Weber monstered the final race this afternoon, winning comfortably over Martin Bayer in second place. Starting strong, the #55 Motorpop driver found herself in second place behind Wade Racing’s Rena Hayami, but a critical mistake on Lap 2 spoiled Hayami’s afternoon, letting both Weber and Bayer through. Though Hayami drove an excellent recovery after that, the best the #76 driver could hope for was to hold off the hard-charging Job Van Uitert for third place. Van Uitert started very poorly, bogging down and nearly stalling out as the lights went out, but he drove an admirable race to recover fourth place, putting together a stunning final lap to pass Feihong Luo and Saki Mochizuki, who were battling it out amongst each other and did not notice the flying Dutchman ripping through the stadium hairpin on nearly the perfect line.

Final Classification


Semi-Final 1

Chizuru Mizuhara took the top spot in the first Super 1250 final, putting together a spectacular final lap to pull ahead of Ralliheart’s Riku Jokinen to take the victory. Both drivers were neck and neck through five laps, with OHO’s Karina Meister hot on their heels, and Mizuhara got down to it and put in a nearly superhuman lap to push ahead. Meister unfortunately went the other way, a wobble in the Radillon hairpin costing the German driver precious time on her final lap, finishing third and on the outside looking in for the finals. Tsubasa Arima struggled on the start and never really recovered, finishing a rather distant fourth place.

Semi-Final 2

Bruce Mooseview took advantage of a momentary lapse of attention by Kenneth Visser on the final lap of the second semi-final to snatch the victory away from the Team Oranj driver, winning the race by the narrowest of margins. An excellent joker lap by Mooseview also propelled him well ahead of Carina Flannagan, who stumbled on her final lap as well, finishing third just behind Visser. Charlie Martin encountered trouble on his first lap, damaging his steering slightly and struggling to keep the car on track, finishing well back in fourth place.

Final

Kenneth Visser was the class of the field today, starting strong and making six flawless laps in the final to take the victory at his home track, passing Chizuru Mizuhara while on his joker to win the race by a couple of car-lengths. Bruce Mooseview stumbled on his final lap, allowing Mizuhara to pass him for second place, much to the frustration of the Belgian fans watching rooting for their hometown product. Riku Jokinen blindsided the wall on her starting lap in the stadium hairpin, knocking her #74 Valkyrie out of alignment, and unfortunately out of contention as well, finishing a distant fourth place.

Final Classification


#96

Season Standings after Round 3

And just a friendly reminder to all competitors; your Pace Control instructions for Rounds 4, 5 and 6 are due on Monday at 11:59 PM ET!


#97

Some words from the Paddock:

Annabel Hetherington– Technical Director, Armada Racing

Always the hands-on enthusiast first, Annabel (47) was as usual willing to share her thoughts on the spluttering start to the team’s title defence in her usual Norfolk accent:

This year the car got above a hunnit horses more, but we rebalanced what not to be n’different. The rest of the field in th’ league is much stronger innit. We thought when it come on ter rain Hsiu-Yinn would get on but she n th’ Pint never hook up. These first three rounds we was lookin for a good’un but that look like last year, mayhaps but for Pekka crashing us this time roun’! Still, all to play for. A fight’s what we want, a fight’s what we got. We’ll get there in th’ finish.

Hsiu-Yinn Lim– Driver, ARXL Pint

Hsiu-Yinn wasn’t available for comment. She was chasing various members of the Team Red Cock Energy Liquid around with a bottle of Red Cock Energy Liquid


#98

Sanchez of the Shromet/Cavallera #52: “They (Heikkinen) just need to learn to drive better”


Sanchez seemed incredibly happy with his performance in Belgium today, despite his questionable performance in Q1 which lead to the crash of the #80. During a quick interview with Motornation, he had this to say:

“We come out here with a great car like the Shromet, we drive good, and then you have these mad men just driving all over the place, is no good. They just… need to learn to drive better. We are on race track, not bumper cars. I think we showed that our car and skill is better when given the chance. Very proud of our team and our performance today.”


#99

When you properly format your trash talking with css


#100

Words from Charlie LeClair after the race:

Tsubasa Arima meanwhile declined to comment.

(Also me: How do I stop my driver from being Hulkenburg)


#101

Mons Racing sporting director Alex “AA” Adams was chugging some Belgian Tripel track side at Eau Rouge (Raidillon actually) when we caught up with him. As always, he didn’t mince words:

This beer is fantastic! Have you tried it? You should try it... Oh, the race? Well, what can I say. Duncan is a rock. His consistency is phenomenal. We just need more speed eh. Perhaps getting rid of a couple sacks of potatoes would do it. Next season Mons should seriously look into weight-saving measures. And develop an engine specifically for RX, rather than re-tuning an existing engine used for off-road rock-crawlers... this is just bad PR all around. Hang on, my phone's ringing... Hello?.. Uhhuh… aha… Listen, the car is a pile of dung. I’ll not filter myself for the media. Gimme a better car, and I’ll say nice things! If you don’t like what I have to say, hire a PR person! BYE!!

After overhearing that conversation we made our way to the paddock to interview Mons driver Duncan Duff, but he was once again nowhere to be found. We are starting to believe he doesn’t actually exist.