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The Great Automation Run | Chapter 16 and final results!


Damn it. Next time we’re doing this remind me to go all out on power. Worked in AMWEC, worked in King of Drift, but nowadays I always try to go for full eco mode for some reason, hoping to offset the speed difference with fuel stop times.


Same. This whole ‘balanced car’ thing seems to not work for me, either. I’m getting the feeling that if I’d gone high-boost Turbo V8, I’d be towards the top of the table, not the bottom.

That said, I am at least having fun with my unusually-large inline 3.


I had an idea of slotting in a v6 instead of a high revving i4, that would have me with about 1.5 times the power easily with a decent economy, but noooooooooo, lets have this realistic, nobody swaps custom engines blada-dee-blaaaaa… I’ll get you next time GADGET!!!


oh wow looks like I also got pretty screwed on the refuelling times. I’m going to chalk this up to Anna having to perform additional repairs on the car while she patches up from the literal fender bender incident earlier. Not super happy about going from being several minutes in the lead to being seven minutes behind, but it’s early days yet.


I have the same problem - I should have gone with something more potent. Still, my car is holding up nicely so far, which is a good sign.


Right, I’m still an episode behind, but I think you will enjoy my take on Anna and the Chocolate Factory.

Note that Google Maps kind of screwed up the route, if you look at it more closely, so I was forced to take some liberties with the route to make more plot sense.

1 & 2: Prologue
3: Prologue
4: Prologue
5: Malaga - Granada
5b: Malaga - Granada

Chapter 5: Granada - Alicante

Sweat poured down Anna’s brow, stinging her eyes. She blinked and tossed her head, but for her helmet couldn’t wipe her face. A dull ache had started in her arms, slowly but surely making itself known, as she sawed her way through the twisty B roads with unrelenting urgency. Yet back on the highway with its smooth bends and still she held the wheel with a vice-like death grip.

The sun had now risen well past the horizon, but still sat low and smack in the middle of her view, blinding her with the glare. What time was it, barely seven? Pace yourself came an unbidden voice over her shoulder. But pace how? The radio was silent, and for all she knew, she was out in front but she didn’t know by how much. All the cars were scattered somewhere in the grand unknown somewhere in all the sights of Spain she was blurring by too fast to appreciate. The next car could be three minutes behind, five minutes, but on the other hand they had covered, what, two hundred miles out of over three thousand? I’m not a damn tourist, came another voice, equally unsolicited, over her other shoulder. Every second counts. Drive. Win. So she kept pushing on, as fast as she dared, pursued by her elusive phantoms.

The traffic on the highway thickened suddenly, out of the corner of her eye she seemed to be approaching a town. Hitting the brakes, the Evo scrubbed speed, weaving around the cars and trucks. Only then did Anna notice the change in the drone of the engine tone, muffled by her ear plugs, and just how much it too was wearing on her. Just as part of her gnashed with worry when the fuel light came on, another part of her felt a wave of relief, and she took the off-ramp to look for the nearest station. Yet another kind of nervousness crept up on her, trying not to provoke attention in a car that screamed its racing purpose to all and sundry with its looks and the pops and crackles of an exhaust that could shatter windows. Between the second looks and the knowledge she couldn’t outrun the long arms of the law with no fuel, she suddenly felt naked under her steel cage. Better get on with it then- right there, beyond the roundabout! Gunning it, the Evo leapt forward and plunged into the big circle, almost collecting a few cars in the process and leaving them swerving and honking in its wake.

At the pump, Anna took a breath, weighing up the options minute before removing her helmet and squeezing out. The breath of fresh air not stifled by engine heat and sweaty padding was a lease of new life to her, and all her aches and pains rushed through her limbs before evaporating. In went the nozzle in one hand, and in the other she drained a bottle of energy drink. That was probably twice the safe daily dose of caffeine in there and it was barely morning… wait, wasn’t that bad for the bladder? Anna crossed her legs at the thought, nope, that wasn’t a thought, that was a real urgency!

Two extra minutes later, Anna was back in the car. Helmet on. Fuel lines primed, pump on, battery optimal, hydraulics operational. Take another breath, and get back in the game. There was no telling where everyone was now, whether she was still in front. Push START. The engine rumbled to life once more. Alternate reality engaged, and back on the highway, hurtling towards whatever the day would bring.

The distant rumblings that were the local law enforcement became a storm in Alicante. Seeing uniforms and marked cars popping out of every corner, Anna glanced at the map, realising in an instant there was no way but through. Heel toe, drop the gears, yank the handbrake, dodge and weave. And then, in her mirrors, a flash of lime green. Dang and blast she knew she’d lost ground, but now one of the fastest cars on the grid was upon her. Now this was a race!

Down two hundred horses on the Chaucer-Borch, on the straightaways, the Evo was a sitting duck, and no matter if she tried to squeeze it out, Anna didn’t dare actually come together with the stone wall on one side, and the trees lining the median strip flashing by at over a hundred miles an hour. It was braking for the turns and weaving around the traffic even as more flashing lights appeared in their mirrors where she made her moves and nosed back in front. Plunging downhill while the railway overpass rose alongside, a roundabout to the main road was coming up, fortune favoured the brave! Without even looking, Anna swung the wheel right, hard on the brakes, kicked the clutch while yanking the wheel left, flicking the Evo into a four wheel drift with the tyres squealing, nose almost brushing the barrier. Blasting away from the intersection, Anna smirked as she saw the Chaucer dropping back… only to groand as it was replaced by the Guivre! But there was no time for looking backwards, as more flashing lights poured onto the road in front. No more options, it was time to take to the highways again and hope speed did the trick. Anna was squeezed against her seat as the Evo barrelled up the ramp and accelerated through the long left hander, then the long right, and shot onto the open highway once more, the cacophony of the sirens fading fast behind.

The eye of the storm was not to last, however. Barely back into the highway rhythm of things, two things simultaneously befell Anna and the Evo. First, the Chaucer and the Guivre, by now definitely her two main rivals, were back in her rear view. The Guivre, with its sleeker profile, had a better top speed and was rapidly gaining on her. Second, up front, the Civil Guard was forming a proper blockade. Memories of shooting off the road and going impromptu rally earlier that morning flashed through Anna’s mind, and she slammed on the brakes, looking for the exit. She hurtled in blind, surrounded by the dense foilage through a never-ending right hander that emerged suddenly upon a toll booth. She had a fraction of a second to spot the empty lane, making a beeline for it and smashing through the flimsy barrier with a crunch. But the sirens and the flashing lights kept coming, and coming, emerging from all the side roads, clogging the roads. With rising panic Anna realised they were deliberately herding the racers into a tightening net. And there it was, the road was completely closed, in front of them a barricade and soldiers and guns pointed at them and the only way out a sealed construction zone. It couldn’t be over so soon!

No. This was the beginning of a legend, not the end of it. The Evo was going to be the greatest name in Armada, and its renaissance. And it was a true road rally car. Out of the corner of her eye, Anna saw a wide open cargo door at the side of a factory. It would do. Yanking the handbrake, Anna wrenched the Evo around, up the driveway and through the carpark, seeing people scattering and diving out of the way as the darkness swallowed her. After the glare of the light of day, Anna could barely see anything, just vague flashes of fleeing workers and conveyor belts and barrels she tried to weave around. Then looming out of nowhere was the giant vat and a dead end. Anna threw her hands up involuntarily, not even braking before the Evo slammed into it, blasting it out of the way and leaving a huge dint in it, liquid chocolate fountaining up and all over and splattering on her windshield. Trying to regain control, Anna grabbed the wheel and tried the wipers, but only managed to smear more chocolate over her view. Now completely blind, she felt a gut wrenching jolt, then everything went light and the bottom of her guts dropped into thin air. It was at this moment the wiper fluid finally kicked in, revealing nothing but clear sky.

The Evo smashed through the first floor window, flying through the air over the wall of the factory compound, before shaving several roof tiles off a nearby house, crunching through several branches of some rotting trees before plowing back into the earth. Anna’s helmet slammed into the steering wheel, almost stunning her, but she managed to grab the wheel and pull it, the Evo narrowly avoiding a concrete wall, before skirting alongside it and looking for an exit. With a gap in the wall, Anna pulled the handbrake again, drifting the Evo around it, and onto a dusty back road.

That was when the clattering and flapping noises started. The front wheels had no feel left to them, and there was a spine-tingling screeching coming from the wheel wells. Heart still in her mouth, Anna cursed, slipping to neutral and stopping but not daring to cut the engine before hauling herself out of the car to inspect the damage.

Her fears were confirmed. Whatever path of destruction she had wreaked entering and leaving the factory had left its marks on the poor Evo. The front splitter was mangled, the corners of it scraping against the wheels and puncturing them. Her front tyres were in the process of sagging flat. There was no way she was going to go much further in her current condition, but time was a wasting and the cops… funnily enough the sound of the sirens was abating. Had she really shaken them?

No matter. There was no other option. As the sounds of the cops and her rivals passed and faded, she sweated and strained with the jack and the spares. She’d have to source more spares later, not to mention fixing the splitter, but for now, they were battle scars her beloved Evo would have to bear.


Yeeeeep… totally additional repairs… yes sireeee… sure a problem with that fender…


3 way battle to get on Page/Section 1!


Team Angus - Chapter Five

Team Angus - Chapter Four
GAR - Chapter 5

8th of October, 1995. 3:15 AM,
We stopped at the first fuel station that was open for business and Ben and I jumped out of the car, popped the fuel tank flap and I set about pumping gas, glad that I chose the 95RON tune, while Ben cleaned the windshield. At least I would have pumped the gas but the bowser pump wouldn’t start! I approached the late night service window and asked the saucy late 20’s brunette manning the station why she wouldn’t let us pump gas. She intimated that the fuel tanker wouldn’t be here for a couple of hours so we’d have to wait…

(OOC: I forgot to add the chocolate factory so I’m using this stop to re-sync with the other racers, sorry!)

Annoyed by this setback I thanked her and turned back to give Ben the bad news. Ben was fast asleep!!! It seemed that the adrenaline he’d been pumping had finally worn off; he was dead to the world… Thankfully he’d chosen to sleep in the passenger seat after strapping himself in so I didn’t have to wake him. I took the forced rest break as an opportunity to check the Bushranger’s oil levels, adjust tyre pressures and clean out the detritus of a long day’s racing.

After about half an hour, I’d just finished these chores when I was interrupted by the service attendant. I was mesmerised as I watched her hips sway as she exited the store and made a beeline to our car. Picture the first Transformers era Megan Gale in a black micro-skirt and a tight Repsol uniform polo-shirt, her hips swaying to the tune of 5 inch stiletto heels, all topped by a backwards uniform baseball cap. Saying something unintelligible in Spanish, she pointed to her name badge, which said Valeria, pointed to me and then said something else, also unintelligible. I let her know, via my Spanish phrasebook, that I don’t speak Spanish… Valeria then made her intention plain; she grabbed me by the shirt, pulled me in close then proceeded to kiss me in a VERY passionate manner! I let Valeria take the lead, as I’m a gentleman and a feminist, which pleased her greatly. Valeria held me close, close enough to feel the svelte lines of her body, then, after what felt like an eternity, she let me go. Valeria then informed me in accented but clear English that I was a delightful kisser and that she was willing to continue where we left off at her place after her shift ended… In six hours!

I had no choice but to decline, explaining that I had a mega important race to run and that I just didn’t have the time. Valeria initially looked shocked, then interested, then thoughful as I finished my spiel. She then asked if she could come along! It turned out that Valeria had a bad rep in her small, insular, village and wanted to escape and she felt fate had brought us together… Needless to say I readily agreed and Valeria jumped into her Fiat Uno, raced home to grab her papers and some clothes then raced back to the station. While Valeria was gone I was sweating bullets that the fuel truck or a customer would arrive but all was quiet. Valeria returned with a swollen duffel bag and an ash grey cat, then proceeded to re-arrange the gear in the Bushranger to free up a seat for herself, as well as make everything easier to access than I could manage.

After some time exchanging small talk between kisses with Valeria the fuel truck arrived, which meant Valeria had to rush to get everything sorted; paperwork for the fuel delivery, phone the boss to quit, hide the keys etc. After the Bushranger was fuelled up we all jumped in, even the cat (named Sooty) and I peeled out perfect 7’s as we left the station forecourt. Valeria had never heard such a racket before, V8’s were really rare in her neighbourhood, but she wasn’t as impressed as the movies would have you believe. We entered the highway, got up to speed, then I found myself alone again as Valeria had nodded off as well as her cat, who chose to fall asleep just in front of the in-car camera! Oh well, luckily there was nothing happening anyway, other than a light rain…

As the highway became twistier I came across our old foe, the grey Chevalier, and I floored it in an attempt to get in front. Unfortunately they saw me in time and kept us at bay. I hadn’t driven the Bushranger before and I found out, firsthand, what a handful it really was. What a pig! This combined with the rain and my relative lack of skill meant that the Chev would keep us from passing them, no matter what I tried…

As we entered the B roads, Sooty suddenly jumped up, meowed loudly and clawed the roof! I looked out and saw a helicopter heading in the same direction as the racers but it didn’t look like a cop unit. Then I was distracted by something more immediate; snow. Of all the things I’d prepped for, I’d forgotten to adequately prep for snow!

Will the snow be the doom of Team Angus? Is Sooty really prescient or just lucky? Will Valeria and Sam be more than just a flash in the pan?

Tune in to the Great Automation Race to find out the answers to these questions and more!!!



First direct-to-DVD-releases, now also viral videos - Team Angus is really WAY ahead of its time!


Team Marx

Lenin: Well then here be some snow

Marx: can you handle it?

Lenin: of course, it be nothing like the snow from Siberia, this is a piece of cake

Marx: I sure hope you’re right… also that car that was behind us a while back, that T-25 I think it was, it seemed to have flew ahead, remember that cloud of smoke near the start of this stage?

Lenin: yeah, that probably was him

Marx: Regardless, he’s pretty far up the pack now, I don’t think we have much chance getting passed unless he has a critical failure.

Lenin: lets just hope you jinxed him then.

Marx: heck, everyone could probably break down and we’d still be the first ones to get going this car is so simple.

Lenin: Gotta love the communist engineering, huh.


Just made me realize that the T-25 is only one number away from sharing its name with a WWII Era Soviet light tank. Wouldn’t that be an ironic coincidence…


This happened
Then this

Part 4:
Having filled the Breezer’s tank, Sumgit assumed that he should have been passed by a few of the other racers, but didn’t actually recall it happening.
“Maybe they’ve all had to stop as well… I guess that makes sense. Yeah! That’s it!”
He paid for the fuel and ran back to the car, hoping he’d be able to maintain his run of luck. As he pulled back onto the road, he though about the legality of his new… Pole…polzeil…pozleili…STUPID SCANNER! Why were they selling them at a petrol station? Anyhoo…
Sumgit checked his map, (living on the edge, map AND drving at the same time…REBEL!!!) and realised he’d be wasting time.
“I’ll be a really clever guy, and just follow all the skid-marks and stuff. They’ll take me to exactly where I need to be.”
By the time he reached what was left of the chocolate factory, most of the police had left the area (advantages of being 15 minutes late). He quickly worked out which way to get around the mess and put his foot to the floor.


I know this is very casual forum fiction writing, I’d like to think I’m a gentleman and a feminist too, and I mean this in a good-natured jest, but… somehow I feel that this line would be a strong contender for “most cringey neckbeard forum fiction line of the year” :joy:


I got a bit carried away with my story and found myself in a rather more personal space than I wanted to be in. I attempted to write my way out of it and that travesty of a line was the result!

Next time I get out of sync I’ll solve a murder or something. Lightweight romantic fiction is surprisingly really personally confronting to write and I’m probably going to drop the whole story thread… :thinking:


You’re hardly the first man who tried (even on this forum at that) and you will most assuredly not be the last :stuck_out_tongue:


Just looked up the official meaning to the term “neckbeard” and that actually describes me rather well! Unfortunately I was way out of my depth with my Valeria sub-thread and I thought I’d managed to hide my inexperience, albeit rather clumsily… Thanks strop for outing me on my first attempt! :flushed::anguished::pensive:

I’ll now go hide in the corner until the next UE4 update, then everyone’ll be so distracted that I can quietly kill Valenia off! :innocent:


This is getting way too meta for me.
Tips fedora internally


oh shit dude I didn’t actually mean to literally out you as a “neckbeard” :joy:

As a number of us agree, trying to write romance that isn’t 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight cringey is one of the most difficult things to do in writing, let alone in an action-oriented gloriously B-grade racing plot. I tried even getting the prerequisite amount of character development done here (not even for building a romance, but anything in particular) and you saw how that went (15000 words later…)

As you may remember a number of users tried to inject a bit of steam into the BSLL. You could say that went about as well as expected, right? :stuck_out_tongue:


Christoforo flung the 330 into the parking lot, scattering the assembled staff and poliziotti, darting through gaps and open spots between the parked cars in a desperate attempt to get away from this mess. Pasquale opened his eyes as they danced through the lot, somehow avoiding a catastrophe at every turn. “There, there! We have to beat that truck turning in here!” Pasquale shouted, pointing toward the only way out of the lot, where a big Scania HGV was starting to lumber into the delivery entrance. Christoforo gripped the wheel and floored the accelerator, launching the small roadster along the parking lot thruway and into a game of chicken with a vehicle forty times larger than them. All Pasquale could do is just hold onto the windshield frame ahead of him and hope the car and drivers don’t get squashed like a bug on the grill of the truck.

At the very last second, the Scania driver slammed on the brakes, blowing his fancy collection of airhorns at the little Italian roadster in anger as the Scagliati flicked right and left, cutting the truck off by mere inches to escape a jam. Pasquale looked back, wide-eyed, at the nearly impossible feat they pulled off and shouted in excitement, clapping Christoforo on the shoulder as they sped away from the chaos at the factory. “Way to go, Chistopez, I thought for sure we were only getting out of that one in a paddy wagon!”

“Well, we aren’t out of it yet Zocca,” Christoforo said, scanning the road ahead of them, “The Guardia is going to keep harassing us if we stay in Spain, we need to get across the border pronto!” Christoforo paused for a moment, scanning the 330’s gauges, “We also need a fuel stop pretty soon too, but not here in Alicante…somewhere quiet along the highway, hopefully!” Pasquale rolled the maps over, looking for fuel stop along their planned route.

“There’s a services by the Ford plant near Valencia, should be quiet this time of day!” With that, the lads sped out of town and back onto the Autovias, pressing on as fast as they dared, considering their recent tussle with the law. The team started to click off the miles and a sense of ease started to find its way back into the 330’s cockpit, finding themselves facing less traffic and less chatter from the police scanner as they roared down the highway at full chat, the 330 performing remarkably well for a temperamental Italian sports car. A couple more fuel stops, taking up valuable time, and a probably wise diversion approaching Barcelona, and the 330 was heading northbound toward the Pyrenees and the French border. Stopping quickly to put the roof up and change drivers, Pasquale heard the sound of beating rotors overhead and looked up, seeing a dark-coloured Alouette flying overhead. He squinted, trying to make out the markings on the little helicopter.

“Hey Christopez, have a look up and tell me if you can see any markings on that helicopter.” Pasquale said over the idling engine.

Christoforo looked up and craned his neck upward, as if the extra inch he gained could somehow help his visual acuity. “It’s dark coloured mostly, but there are some bright bands of colour on it I think…why?”

Pasquale turned almost the same colour as his suit; “Christopez, that’s what I was afraid of. That’s not a police helicopter, it’s the French Army…”