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His Highness Demands Round #9 (1998-2004): The Finale at Le Mans


maybe e-mail?


7 hours to go!


I have discord but I can’t find you, it doesn’t show me anyone with your name on the automation server.


Hello everyone!

Judging is complete. The writeup will come soon.


finally I’ll get an answer to:
is there a ‘too cheap’?


The Results

Semyonovian Racing Team director Dovydas Grayazin waits in a large aeroplane hanger, connected to an a former airstrip, now part of they the team’s test track. Dovydas is expecting the arrival of the Tourism Commissioner at any moment, and the entirety of his staff stand at in a line, at attention, parallel the hanger’s open doors. The Tourism Commissioner arrives, chauffeured in a decades old Turból Loncil limousine, and is greeted with a large smile and a firm handshake as he exits the vehicle.

“Commissioner! I hope you have been well since we last spoke. The team and I want to thank you again for your support of our efforts and and look forward to answering any questions you have about the operation so far.”

The Commissioner handily returns the hand shake, and smiles, and puts his left hand on Dovydas’ shoulder. “There’s no need to line up your team like a military regiment Dovydas. We aren’t the North Koreans. Tell them to carry on.”

Dovydas waves the crew off, and, nervously, almost reluctantly, they walk off, and resume work on the various cars that have been gathered in the hanger.

“So, Commissioner,” Dovydas begins, “per our agreement, the cars are all here for your inspection. The team and I have our opinions, but the vehicle decision is, at the end of it all, your decision.”

“Dovydas, I wouldn’t have backed your team if I didn’t trust your decisions. Give me a breakdown of your findings.”


D: “The first car sent to us was from British firm Percival Engineering. The Marquis GT8-R.”


C: “Looks like they sent a road car to go with it as well?”

D: “Indeed. Honestly though, we’ve been so busy testing the race cars, we haven’t even driven it yet.”

C: “So, the race car?”

D: “Yes, about the race car. The Marquis GT8-R is fully carbon fiber, both chassis and panels. It’s powered by a 6.2 liter V8, and is RPM limited to stay under the 625 HP limit. The engine is one of the most efficient engines here. Top speed of 307 kmh. Time around the test track was 2:01.89. It hits the backstraight at 91 kmh and reaches 272 kmh before braking for the backstraight kink.”

C: “That all sounds fairly solid; why is it you’ve been explaining all this with a grimace?”

D: “Commissioner, this car is Rube Goldberg machine. It’s an incredibly complex piece of tech; the team and I are still figuring out how this damn thing works, let alone how we’d be able to make repairs and swap out parts during a pit stop on the clock. And, they want $589,000 for one.”

C: “Does all of the tech and price give it an advantage over the other cars?”

D: “From our testing, no. The stats are generally good, but not the best in any one category, and the actual track time wasn’t competitive with the fastest cars. The engine ought to be more reliable for how expensive it is, and, like the rest of the car, its far too complex for us service during the race. This one’s a no from us.”

They move to the next car.


D: “This is the Ibis Predator GTR.”


C: “I know that tone. What’s the issue with this one?”

D: “This car seems like it was built for a different class than the one we’re entering. It’s 6.6L, 16 valve flatplane V8 is 100 hp short of the class limit, and the car weighs a hulking 230 kgs more than the class minimum.”

C: “Oh my.”

D: “Yes, unlike all of the other cars entered, this one is made entirely of steel!” Dovydas knocks on the Predator’s fender and it makes a distinct, low-pitched metallic ring. “This makes it cheap and very easy to work on, but needless to say, performance suffers with these specs. Long gearing allows it to hit the theoretically highest top speed of all of the cars, 317 kmh, but on our test track, it entered the back straight at 88 kmh and only made it up to 263 kmh, worst in test. 2:05.77 isn’t competitive with the other cars either.”

C: “How’s the engine otherwise?”

D: “Well, the good news is, the engine is pretty simple to work on. The bad news is, it’s one of the least reliable engines, and it sucks fuel at a excessive rate.”

C: “How much are they asking for this car?”

D: “$51,800.”

C: “So, we could have 11 of these for cost of one Percival Marquis?”

D: “Yes. But this isn’t even the cheapest one. This car needs a serious diet and an improved engine to be considered.”

Next car.


D: “Steinhauer 625GTS. Steinhauer actually sent us 3 of them.”

C: “These are good looking cars, yes?”

D: “I agree sir. One of their stipulations though, is that one of the cars will be driven by their drivers, not ours.”

C: “Fair enough. Tell me about the car.”

D: “It’s got an aluminum chassis with carbon fiber panels, and is powered by a 5.4L V10 that is RPM limited to remain within the class limits. The engine’s efficiency is on the lower end of average, and the cost of the engine is a little high, but it is one of the easier engines to work on. The rest of the car, less so. Aside from the Percival, this is the most complex vehicle we received. It’s price, though, is an attractive $103,000.”

C: “How is it on track?”

D: “Good and bad. Performance is stellar. 1:58.52 time around the track is right up with the fastest entries. 288 kmh theoretical top speed is solid, and it’s quite nice at high speeds. On the backstraight, it has the high speed grip needed to take the kink flat out and continue to accelerate to the next braking zone. Enters the back straight at 92 kmh and makes it to a stunning 285, besting the next fastest by 9 kmh.”

C: “So what’s the bad?”

D: “Come take a look at this.” The commissioner follows Dovydas to another 625GTS, which is on a hydraulic lift. “The downforce that give it such impressive grip comes at a hefty cost. At high speed, the downforce pummels the undertray against the pavement, and those impacts shudder through the car and create all kinds of issues. This one here’s already been severely damaged just in testing.”

C: “No good for an endurance race.”

D: “No, this won’t work for us without modification. Since they already have a driver line up set up, I suspect we’ll be competing against this car at Le Mans, but if they don’t sort out that issue, it won’t finish the race. Anyways, ready to see the next car?”


D: “This is the KGB Seydotzt α”

C: “KGB!??”

D: "Relax Commissioner. Not the KGB you’re thinking of. I think it’s a Japanese car.

The Commissioner sheepishly replies, “OK,” visibly embarrassed by how unnerved he was by the mere utterance of KGB.

D: “So here we have a fully carbon fiber race car, chassis and panels. It’s a little on the complex side, and the parts will be expensive to source. They also didn’t give it a full undertray as we requested. It’s powered by a 5.6L flat six, RPM limited to the class limit.”

C: “Those are really big cylinders.”

D: “Yes, it’s an unusual engine, but it works. Reliability was above average and fuel efficiency was best in test, but it’s the most complex and expensive engine besides the Percival.”

C: “How is it on track?”

D: “Quite a good car on track. Top speed of 281 kmh is the 2nd lowest in this crowd, but it accelerates from 94 to 276 kmh on the back straight before slowing for the kink, one of the fastest here. Time on track is a stellar 1:58.28. At $138k, it’s not bad.”

C: OK. It’s a bad sign if the manufacturer isn’t building it to the specs we requested. I know it can be fixed easily, but it doesn’t bode well for our relationship with them. That said, the performance is good. Show me the next one.


D: “The Zephorus RTX.”

C: “Oh, I quite like the look of this one.”

D: "Yes, simple but very aggressive. I’ll get this out of the way first, after the track testing, our chassis dynamometer shows this engine exceeds the maximum allowed in class. We could modify it to be within the limits, but we have not yet.

The commissioner makes a disapproving frown. “What did I just say about the last one? I’d rather work with a manufacturer who builds what we ask for.”

D: “We do like this one though sir. Despite its fully carbon fiber construction, parts are relatively inexpensive, and the car is not difficult to work on. Same goes for it’s 5.8L V8. Easy to work on and surprisingly inexpensive. That said, fuel efficiency is just average, and the engine’s reliability is one of the worst in test. The car has a top speed of 289 kmh, and gets from 91 to 269 kmh on the back straight before slowing for the kink. Time was 2:01.77”

C: “But that’s with the extra power. When you bring the power down, it would be slower.”

D: “Yes. The price is $107,000.”

C: “OK. Show me the next car please.”


D: “This one’s domestic sir. The SemyoAvto SR-04 Le Mans 6.7i GTS-R1”

C: “I see, upholding the long-standing Semyonovian tradition of excessively long names.”

D: “So, another full carbon car, simpler than the Zephorus but more expensive parts. $123,000 price. 301 kmh top speed.”

C: “Dovydas, you seem to be rushing through the description on this one.”

D: “Honestly Commissioner, this one isn’t worth considering. The 7.0 20v V10 gave us some problems, least reliable engine here. It drank the most fuel. It’s got VVL, which is just added complexity with no benefit in this application. On track, the car hit the back straight at 83 and got up to 271 kmh, but its best time around the track was 2:07.4. Slower than the Ibis Predator.”

C: “Moving on then.”


D: “Another domestic entry. This one doesn’t even have a name. The builders just called it the 2004 Le Mans Semyonovia”

apologies for the bad photo, no photos were provided with the car, and the morphs reset. This was the best angle I could take a photo from that didn’t look awkward

C: “Hm, so, from one Semyonovian car with a long name, to another with no name at all. What company exactly built this car?”

D: “It seems like it was built in someone’s garage, frankly. Compared to the tech in some of these other cars, this thing’s a carriage. That has some real benefits for us; it makes it incredibly easy to work on, and spare parts are cheap. The car’s cheap too, just $53,600. Steel chassis, but with carbon fiber panels it’s right at the minimum weight. The engine is a stonker, an RPM limited 5.3L V10. Easy to work on, inexpensive, and 2nd best on fuel.”

C: “So where’s the catch?”

D: “It’s not got the handling prowess of the top cars here. It hits the back straight at only 80 kmh, indicative of it’s lower overall levels of grip. That said, it did make it all the way up to 277 on that back straight before slowing for the kink. It’s time around the track was an unimpressive 2:04.92, but based on it’s performance, it could probably be made a lot faster with just some aero adjustments.”

C: “I would prefer a car that we don’t have to modify further ourselves, but at this price, I will consider it. Which vehicle is next”


D: “Before you say anything, let me explain.”

C: “Dovydas, I don’t have time for jokes.”

D: “We thought the manufacturer was making fun of us with this one, but it’s the real deal. It looks like a van, but it is a pure-bred race machine.”

C: “…come on.”

D: “This was the fastest around the test track. 1:57.13.”

C: “…”

D: “It’s the Morton Granduer GT-XX. It’s fully carbon fiber, and it’s powered by a 4.7L flatplane V8 that revs to an astounding 9700 RPM. It hit the back straight at an really impressive 99 kmh, and accelerated to 273 kmh, taking the kink flat out. This thing has serious grip. The test drivers loved it. Top speed is low for the group at 280 kmh, but…”

The Commissioner interrupts him. “It’s a van.”

D: “Right, it doesn’t exactly slip through the air, but with how well behaved it is, we’d spend a lot more time near that top speed in this than any of the other cars.”

C: “It does stand out from the crowd, and from an advertisement standpoint, it’s like a mobile billboard. I can see some benefits here. How reasonable is it for the team?”

D: “Surprisingly easy to work on, but parts will be a bit expensive. Entry cost is a reasonable $112,000.”

C: “Well. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this looks impressive. How many other cars are there?”

D: “2 more, sir.”


D: “This absolute work of art is the Halcón Honor GTS Le Mans Hermes.”

C: “Don’t tell me about it yet. I need a moment.” The commissioner walks in slow circles around the car, stopping and crouching numerous times to better admire it’s intricate details. “Please Dovydas, please tell me this car is good.”

Dovydas smiles, and begins. "It is good, sir. It’s an aluminum chassis with carbon fiber panels. Unfortunately, It is almost 70 kilos overweight, but performance is still strong. The car is maybe a touch complicated, but spare parts are surprisingly inexpensive. It proved to be one of the most reliable cars out here as well. The engine is a 5.2L V8, and although it is a bit complicated, it proved bulletproof. The most reliable engine here. One of the least expensive engines too, with above average fuel efficiency.

C: “And on track?”

D: “Good there too. 1:59.99 time around track is among the fastest. 299 kmh top speed is good as well. Enters the back straight at 92 and hits 275 before slowing for the kink.”

C: "So, it’s expensive isn’t it?

D: “$101,000”

C: “So, this is the best one?”

D: “Not quite. There’s one last car I need to show you.”


D: “A small German company sent us these. Wagenmacher. They call it the Semyonovia Track 34.”

C: “Not as pretty as the Halcón.”

D: “No sir, but i’ts not the worst looking car here either, and I should remind you that we’re not trying to win a beauty contest.”

C: “It had better be damn good then!”

D: “It’s unbelievable sir. With an aluminum chassis and fiberglass panels, it comes in the cheapest at just $44,100. It’s as easy to work on as the Predator, and spare parts are cheaper than anything besides the Predator and the Le Mans Semyonovia. It was by far the most reliable car out there, and it’s engine was near-as-makes-no difference as reliable as that of the Halcón. That engine is a 7.0L flatplane V8, RPM limited to class maximum HP at just 6,000 RPM. Like the rest of the car, the engine is inexpensive, and easy to work on. Fuel efficiency is solid.”

C: “So it must be lacking handling prowess.”

D: “No sir, no caveats on this one it seems. The sequential transmission has just a 4 gears, but performance is hardly diminished. 1:59.80 track time. 298 kmh top speed. Hits the back straight at 91, takes the kink flat out and gets to 274 kmh before needing to get on the brakes.”

C: “And it’s really just $44,100?”

D: “Yes. If you approve sir, I think with this car, we can take on the world.”

  1. Wagenmacher ST34
  2. Halcón Honor GTS Le Mans Hermes
  3. Morton Granduer GT-XX
  4. 2004 Le Mans Semyonovia
  5. Steinhauer 625GTS
  6. Ibis Predator GTR
  7. SemyoAvto SR-04 Le Mans 6.7i GTS-R1
  8. Percival Engineering Marquis GT8-R
    DQ: KGB Seydotzt α (Incorrect undertray)
    DQ Zephorus RTX (Exceeded maximum HP)


I’ll take that, a good remark for the engineering of Hermes Performance House to boast about.
@Simmer22 we’ve done way better than we initially thought dude :smile: Was fun working with you!


Great write up, I’m happy with how the van finished. If I wasn’t out of design inspiration you would have got this with a cost of $85,600 :wink:


Yeah, figured I’d be fat & underpowered compared to some of the other stuff; I was counting on cost to make up for it. If you hadn’t found my original and instead used the revised version, I probably would have had a chance :wink: . Fair’s fair, and I accept where I land. Congrats, @Slyo_vom_Pluto.


This made me crack up xD

but seriously, the Halcón is incredibly beautiful. I could only wish of being this talented in design, let alone modding in the missing parts : sob :


Despite losing to a Van, I still think this was a really fun challenge and I love the way you’ve written the results. Looks like I’ll just have to make a better car for the next one. Percival Engineering will be making a come back. Though to be fair $589,000 may have been a bit much, typical British, Over charging for something that could be cheaper.


Oh dammit I’m late


So late the forum acknowlages it with a timestamp I’ve never seen before


yeah, I forgot to enter ll of the HHD challenges… that are above 4…
Well that sucks for me.