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The Great Automation Run | Chapter 16 and final results!


Chapter 1: The Beginning

Cindy reconnected her spark plugs to the remaining 4 cylinders just as the race started. The Tiny V8 roared back to life.
“Well, here goes nothing.”
The Thunderbolt lines up in the grid, and just as she pulls in, the scanner goes nuts. And sure enough, it’s almost immediately followed by a line of cops pulling in front of them. As the official scrambles to start the race and flee, the fleet screeches off it’s makeshift launch pad, leaving a trail of tire smoke that practically blocks out the sun above them. Ahead, she spots the pack leader drifting into a side street to dodge those pesky police. She quickly prepares to take the corner in a more grippy fashion before downshifting to let the 3.3 sing as she passes the apex. As she nears the turn, she throws in a mixtape starting with her favorite driving song to energize her for the drive ahead.

“Looks like they’re not going down easy. But neither am I. Let’s see who’s really the best.”


Nighthawk and Techno wait in silence. Waiting for the board to drop. Night is on first drive. Techno is fumbling with what appears to be a small music player.

“Aha! Got it working. I made a mixtape sort of thing. Give us something additional to listen to ontop of the engine.” She turns to Nighthawk, smiling under her mask. He doesn’t reply, just looks back at the starter.

The Music kicks in as they set off. Sitting toward the front of the pack, a few moments where the back end slid out on them, but they’re able to keep control. Techno looks out the window as they near Casabermeja.
“Helo above, possibly police.”
“I hear sirens.” They pull along, following the main group into Casabermeja.
“Kut! Kut! Roadblock!”
“Where do I go?”
“Well, there!” She points out a side road, with obvious tyre marks. “I think the lead group went down there!”


Silence. Then a choir of different engine noises emerge, echoing from far away, getting closer. A convoy of fast cars, converging into this place early in the morning. Roars and purrs, hisses and fluttering sighs. They settle down. Drivers come out, milling around doing final adjustments to their cars or socializing with each other.

Ken is sitting in his car, studying a map. Memorizing it. His mind’s eye sees the road. Bird’s eye view, then moving behind the wheel. It feels different than it should. Wrong. The steering wheel is the wrong size. His driving position is higher, more upright. Gear shifter is completely different. At least it’s still a six speed. Where did Mosse get one of those for this kind of car?

Someone knocks on his window. He looks up and sees the person point to the helmeted man carrying a sign. Ken puts away the map and gets his sunglasses. The Ray-Bans dim the morning twilight maybe slightly too much, but it will be bright enough soon.

Ignition keys click and starter motors whirr all around the area. Engines wake up, some of them already spitting fire through pipes that a small child could crawl through, if not for the fire and getting shredded in a big turbine. Ken’s car is one of the tamer ones here, but it too does a nice growl and hiss when he gets it moving. He takes his place on the starting grid.

Things progress quickly now. Someone’s shouting something. The police! Ken doesn’t quite see the helmeted man from here, but he notices the majority of cars are already moving, so he must have given the sign to get going. The sudden start catches him off guard and he fumbles with the gear lever. His second gear engages a bit late, but then he starts finding the slots into which to throw the stick in a smooth, calm rhythm. The thrill of the start seems to be very similar to Formula 1. It is loud and difficult to see through all the tire smoke.

He finds his pace through the first corners, weaves a neat line through sparse traffic and settles behind a Mk 1 Scarlet. He could feel how getting out of their dirty air immediately slows him down an annoying amount. He will have to stay behind them, hoping now that the Scarlet driver is good, but not too good.

A string of brake lights start to suddenly appear up front. The red lights bunch up and swerve around. A sudden turn? A roadblock. Ken’s hands and feet are already doing the movements that his brain seems to just now be realizing as being necessary to not crash into the car in front. All the cars are disappearing into a side street, some taking the turn sideways, some going scary wide, some managing a tidy line. Ken sees there’s room and instinctively tries to take the inside of the corner to pass the Scarlet, but he’s not used to this car. He has to brake to not crash into the other car, and then swing to the outside of the corner, losing lots of time and allowing the Scarlet to gain some lead.

Ken’s shaken and for a little while his good pace is ruined. He wishes he had a better car.


Minor detail: some people are referencing the Bonham as the race leader when the Bonham is not the race leader. The Armada currently leads by 13 seconds.



That’s what’s written in shinjis post, so I just went along with it.

It would help if the formatting were a bit clearer, maybe ranging times from fastest to slowest.


Unfortunately, last night on the discord he stated that’d be too much work :confused:


We got it sorted :smiley:


After receiving feedback from several users, I’ll by chaging this for the second chapter:

-You will have access to the route in Google Maps.
-The results will be sorted from fastest to slowest.
-Some weather conditions will change the calculations, penalizing drivability, economy, etc.


After getting away from the proverbial chaos at the start and managing to keep the car away from the gutters and fences surrounding the first couple of hundred meters, I opened up the throttle and let all the screaming 450’ish hp of the 3.2l V6 in the Comet loose on the highway. While not being the most powerful or the lightest of cars, it still kept its own.

Pretty early on I drove past the Black Bohrs R, but it kept nagging my tail all the way to Casabermeja. The Kanata and the Chupacabra came up behind me just as we got on to the highway and i let them pass on the outside, seeing that i couldn’t really keep up, still learning the car but still had them in my sight for most of the stint.

The Dolphine got past me as I got too hot into some corners and let the backend slip a tad too much, so i probably have to keep that in mind for future endeavours.

The real fight I had for almost the whole stint was the orange Cannonnero… I passed it just as we came on to the highway, but we kept exchanging drafts with eachother all the way.

Entering Caserbermeja, both of us saw the roadblock and breaking hard, i got the inside line into the sidestreet and got first to the stop.


“Come on, GO!” Teuvo shouted at the car when he got to the motorway. It seemed that he stood still while the more powerful cars zoomed past. “The straight roads are this car’s weakness,” Jorma explained, “When we get to the city, we’ll close the gap again.” “I truly hope that you’re right, I’d hate to see us losing the race already,” Teuvo said when he noticed a police car hot on their tail. “I think that copper is trying to ram us off the road or something, his driving looks really aggressive. Hang on!” He exclaimed and conducted an evasive maneuver which led the police car slamming on its brakes. “Whew, I think it won’t catch up again before the next city, where we’ll be safe if what you said is correct,” Teuvo said, referencing Jorma. “We will. Just concentrate on getting there.”

The car’s tires squealed as it got off the motorway and hit the town’s streets. Then Jorma noticed something: blue flickering lights in the distance. “Perkele, a roadblock! What do we… There’s a small alley! Quick, turn there!” Jorma panicked while noticing an alley marked by many tire marks. Teuvo pulled the handbrake and got the car to a slide…


Kenji’s POV part 2

After the A45 sector, Kenji had noticed that he had accidentally scratched his right mirror to the stage where it would be unusable. He had also noticed that his sides are becoming more and more gray-ish. He still considered it as just a scratch, given how the yellow flashy, even a bit rice-y minivan got hit in the process. He looked at his mirror and seen a spanish sports car, thought in depressing, but focused voice:

Hmm… Contendiente, it seems. Probably a Conquista. This guy seems to be comparable to me. Same with this ugly pony car in front of me driven by those stormtroopers.
Darth Vader, I await you.

Here Kenji had pushed the NRZ’s pedal to the floor making it sounding like a starting jet and releasing a massive backfire and the car going through the grid even faster.


So I decided earlier that I was going to write according to the spreadsheet but there’s a bit of an inconsistency since others have written according to what was written. My way of reconciling this is that the Evo broke away from the main group of racers very early, particularly because it’s the fastest car below 100km/h and getting out of Malaga would be mostly that. So nobody would have noticed when my driver took a slightly different route and effectively disappeared is blasting off and away by the time everybody else reached the A45 exiting town. I’ll rejoin the main action next segment.

Chapter 5


Under the cover of darkness, Anna drove as conservatively as the Evo would allow, though from the inside, with every bit of road, gearbox and engine noise reverberating through the stripped cabin, even an even thirty miles an hour seemed like a metal concert. It had been over a solid day of travel, after booking the car as cargo on the Eurostar, then TGV, then AVE. Paris, Perpignan, Zaragoza, Madrid. All the names and acronyms started blurring into one as Anna inventorised and reinventorised and tried to make herself sleep as much as she could, because once the flag was waved, there was no getting off the ride until she either conquered or was defeated.

Now, rolling away from the last service of the night to arrive at the Estación de Málaga María Zambrano, she checked her watch one last time. Quarter to midnight. Check the map for the last time, find an out of the way spot around the corner from the start, and get a few hours sleep in. Pulling to the side of the road, she killed the engine. In the relative silence, her thoughts amplified until they were a deafening stream of what-ifs and whys. No. It was too late to turn back now. She had cast her die three weeks ago, and if she didn’t even start, all that remained was going back to obscurity and capitulation to the suits. And probably, come to think of it, serving time in a penitentiary, because there was no way Graham would let something of this magnitude slide.

So all she could do, and what she determined to do was to follow the plan as much as she could plan for this. She had control over her own body and mind, and she had control over her car, and she was confident in her ability to wrench the car herself, given she had rebuilt it with her own to hands. That was all with which she need concern herself. Accordingly, she had her supplies: the tools, still borrowed from the factory, the torch and batteries, the CB radio, the Swiss army knife for… anything really. The glue, the filler, the cans of oil and coolant. A small fire extinguisher. The duct tape. Extra screws. A rivet gun. Several bottles of pure water. Several bottles of heavily caffienated energy drink. Cans of beans and beef and bolognaise. Medicinal brandy. Bandages. The necessary ablutions. A few changes of underwear and socks and her puffy winter coat (but otherwise it was just going to the coveralls on her back for a while). A lot of ropes to tie down the lot in the trunk so it wouldn’t fly all over the damn place when she did a handbrake turn. And finally, as she unrolled it and laid it out as much as possible amongst all the supplies, her sleeping bag. Full as the boot was of rollcage and everything else, even for someone as diminutive as Anna, there was barely enough room to curl up into a fetal position. But that was good enough. Anna repeated a mantra to herself: don’t worry about what you can fix, don’t worry about what you can’t, as she slowly drifted off into the darkness.

The beeping of her watch jerked Anna awake. Blearily she shook her head, wondering if she was still in a dream for it was still dark outside and she couldn’t move. As her senses returned, so did her orientation. Malaga. Starting line. Eighth October. Four thirty in the morning. Half an hour to be on the grid.

The first ten minutes consisted of breaking open the first bottle of water so she could rinse off and brush her teeth and all that jazz. The next twenty was spent cursing and swearing at how she forgot that it would be difficult to locate a toilet at this time of the morning. Even the MacDonalds was shut. But one had to do what they had to do, and after the race started would be not a great time to think about such things.

Business dispensed with, it was time to get to the start. Time to clear her mind, and focus on the mission. Helmet on, visor down. After a few nervous seconds the engine finally turned over and coughed to life in the cold. She let it run for a minute, before jerkily rolling it to Merced Square.

The scene at the grid was bustling with a quiet tension, as everybody was lining their cars up, sizing everyone up, trying to scope out the competition as she’d anticipated. Anna kept her head down and her helmet on. Nonetheless she recognised several of them from the dossiers. Ed had definitely done his homework, no wonder he had looked so tired. It suddenly struck her just how many cars there were, twenty three rows of them, stretching up the street almost out of sight. It was a big field and much information to process, but out of the dossiers, she’d narrowed down the list to the cars she needed to watch out for. The Assolouto Fatalita, already a sharp sports car, was definitely going to be at the pointy end. Ditto for the Guivre GT-R6, with a gorgeous exterior but plenty of sting. She hoped that the all-wheel drive advantage would serve her well. Not something that would work against the modified Chaucer Brooklands, she read had a whopping 950 horses under its bonnet going to all four wheels, if they were at all tamed, racing that would be a hairy prospect. At the other extreme, the ‘Blood Eagle’ was a classic 50s car but it was packing nearly as much power from as many cylinders. The hot pink BM F-219 was unmissable, but with by far and away the most power and being one of the least controllable, it might end up being unmissable in a far more physical, panel bending sense. One to avoid on the highways.

From her position within the pack, Anna saw the helmeted starting official with the sign GET READY. Her palms suddenly broke out in a sweat. For months she extolled the forgotten virtues of the madness of throwing overpowered cars down narrow paths and into the great beyond. She was here now, about to be in the thick of it, with her fate in her hands and feet. With certainty she knew that within seconds, she would plunge into the gauntlet from which she would emerge forever changed. Clutch in. Shift to first. Throttle open and the cabin filled with noise, joining the chorus of engines and hearts ready to engage in battle.

Sirens shattered the moment, then angry voices and flashing lights. The helmet guy flipped the sign and booked it. The race was already on! As the police swarmed in everybody dumped their clutches and the engine chorus turned into a cacophony of squealing tyres. Anna, having constantly trained body and mind for this moment, went into autopilot, keeping the throttle pinned and banging through the gears, angling the steering to weave through the grid. Even amongst the crazy power and trick drivetrains, she knew she had the fastest car off the line by a margin, and in this maze of tight streets and cars and police, it was her advantage for the taking.

The Evo darted to and fro, slipping past the other cars, sliding around corners with a flick of the handbrake before slingshotting down another side road. In Anna’s eyes, the police cars were merely other racers, slow racers at that, as she blew past them like they were stationary. She broke from the main group, using the car’s small size to squeeze down the narrowest streets, away from the other cars. By the time she burst onto the A45, she couldn’t see any of the other cars. With a grim satisfaction, she kept it pinned as she blasted out of Malaga, along the Autovia in excess of a hundred and fifty miles an hour with nothing but the freeway and the rolling hills of Spain ahead of her.


A man with a sign saying something in Spanish started walking around the lot. George having no idea what it meant just watched but as as soon as the other racers got in their cars he fired up the C1, listening to the scream of the tiny V6. He pulled away from the ricers and lined up at the start with his fellow racers. Waiting for a second or two and then a cop got out of his car and yelled something in Spanish. All of a sudden the sign man turned his sign and all of them went flying on down.

Not long in someone tapped his car and being so light it went straight into a ditch. A slight bang but no crunch George had other things on his mind. Grabbing his gun and opening the door he was ready to fire but had realized the car that had hit him was long gone and the cops would be here soon. He put the gun down and went back I to the car and started it up. All seemed good until he noticed quickly that the front right tire didn’t seem right, sure enough it was flat. He quickly changed it with his spare and was off now with time to make up.

Later he saw the police roadblock and saw the last few slower racers ducking into an alley nearby. He grabbed the handbrake and flicked the car into the alley without issue. Now with time to make up George was ready to slide his little car though the city streets and pull out for the long trip to his first ‘gas stop’ or meetup in about 950 kilometers


Knowing the position from what he heard on the scanner Otis considered his options.

  1. He could hope that in the five or six minutes that had passed since the road block was called for that they had not been able to muster enough officers and cars to fully block the road.
  2. There was a side road that he could take.
  3. If all else fails break hard just before the roadblock and hope he could shove his way through without doing much damage to the front.

One Kilometer to go… nothing but barriers, guard rails, and rocky terrain not looking good.

Luck was on his side, there was a side road, looked like 5 maybe 6 sets of tracks already layed down.

Otis: “Hang on Jake!” Otis yelled as he flipped the switch to disable the traction contol.

Jake didn’t really understand everything humans did, but something was wrong, Otis got quiet and he smelt nervous. Not much made Jake get scared. Thunderstorms did, when Otis said hang on things usually got scary, when he yelled hang on things definetly got scarry, when he moved that thing on the dash the world tended to start spinning until he puked, and when the police lined up like that in the road, now three out of four things happened all at once and that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst was we were now headding into a hole that reminded Jake of that one time he tried chasing a rabbit through a hole in a catus patch and spent the next four hours on the porch with Otis pulling thorns out with pliers. Jake let out a wimper and covered his eyes.

What would be relativly easy for most of the racers was going to be damn near impossible for Otis. His truck was nearly 6 inches wider than anything else on the run, and that alley way was narrow. Lacking a hand brake Otis burbed the throttle to break the rear tires loose causing the back end to swing out to line up with the narrow escape route. Nailed it… the wall that is, not hard but definetly made contact. Everything was still running and the truck wasn’t pulling so on they went.


Oh man, I totally would have entered this event!!! :frowning:


but alas, rip.


As the race was about to began, Francisco realized most of the teams were conformed by two people while he was the only one on board the Perenne. It would have been nice to have company on the race. Maybe my son, after all, it’s as much his car as it’s mine, he did help me a lot while tuning it. Sadly to think that I’m doing this for him, for my family, and yet no one is here to watch or share…

First, second, third, brake, downshift, turn, then third again… Francisco’s sweaty hands did slip from the shifter more than once. Although his car wasn’t the fastest of them all, he was quick enough to avoid been caught by the spanish police (or being rear ended by some of the fastest vehicles). C’mon, I need to go faster, I need to follow the precise racing line, but it’s so hard with so many cars. For a moment Francisco was teleported in his memories to those young days when he was eager to go faster and bough this very same car (used to be sure). Those were the days, he only needed to go straight instead of maneuver around tight corners.

Then he snapped out of it, thanks to the sound of the passing helicopter. I might as well appear on tv, maybe the news will be important enough and my family would see me. If that’s the case, let’s try and give them and the world something interesting to see. Six cylinder roared and two tires screamed as Francisco was coming out of a corner ready for taking a more spacious highway.

…or something, I’m really bad at writting :joy:


McCrackwick found nary an opportunity to shift into second for a short stretch before he had to get down into first again for the next tight bend. He would have had a hard enough time getting the power down if he had the road to himself. He remembered how different it was to shake the Dingo down around Sebring.

But this wasn’t Sebring, and he didn’t have the road to himself. The route led the pack out onto a main road, the cars pressed themselves out of the bend leading into it like mincemeat out of a meat grinder, only with infinitely more noise and smoke. “How am I supposed to pass anyone here?” The Dingo got tapped several times, but its wide profile kept it steady - this thing has been designed for occasional contact.

Once they got out onto the motorway towards Casabermeja, McCrackwick was able to bring his 500-and-odd hp to bear and pass a couple of cars. Just as he started to feel reasonably comfortable, he noticed that upon entering the town, the leading edge of the steel stampede turned into a cloud of blue smoke and veered sharp to the left rather than hammering further down the road. He couldn’t yet discern what exactly was going on, but it was obvious that this was going to be a mess - and this was only the beginning…


I’m Not Last (Yet), Hopefully I End up being decent.


Chapter 2: Olive trees…and police.

(The Google Maps route can be found here)

Outskirts of Casabermeja, 8th of October 1995. 5:20AM. 5576km to Athens.

As the Fatalita and the Chaucer drifted their way out of the secondary street, the group joined a main road again, but this time the road was narrower and twistier. Seems like they were approaching a bunch of hills, the road surrounded by crop fields, tractor drivers stopping their tasks and trying to figure out what the hell was going on and traffic slamming on their brakes, allowing the racers to avoid them.

As the racers approached the first hill, a rumbling sound joined them, nowhere to be seen, until a car approached the rest offroad, jumping a bump into the road and locating itself in first place. A blue Armada, which no one had previously seen, had just rejoined the race.

(Music suggestion by @thecarlover!)

But it would be a matter of seconds before the police sirens were audible again. The police interceptors, three Cavallera Moias, were trying to get to the group again, without too much success. The drivers dodged their attempts at PIT maneuvers whenever they got close, and they outran the cars in the longer straights.

“Dammit, we have to reduce our visibility or more cops will be on our ass soon!” - Thought the driver of the Chevallier, as they tried to overtake the Bushranger; they interchanged some drafts with each other, but the Bushranger ultimately remained in the higher position. “Sweet, if we make it out of this we’ll have some nice chase footage!” - Thought the driver of the black muscle car. “Make sure you film as much as possible.”

“STOP YOUR VEHICLES, NOW!” - Yelled one of the police officers. “WE’RE LOSING OUR PATIENCE!”.

The racers joined one of the main roads, which at first was fairly straight but it quickly got twistier and twistier. Higher hills and mountains were visible on the horizon, hiding the early morning light, projecting enormous shadows. With this sights came an onramp, followed by a road towards the mountains. At first, the racers ignored it, but as soon as some more police interceptors were visible further down the main road, they took the onramp towards the mountains. Some of the interceptors realized where the pack was going, managing to take the onramp just in time.

The road was notably narrower, and twistier. As the racers approached the mountain pass, they had to focus on keeping the car stable in a narrow, twisty and bumpy road with a pavement that had seen better days. Natasha, trying to imitate the police car, tried to use the PIT maneuver on one of them; this attempt was successful, making the police car spin out of the road, stuck without enough traction to get moving again.

The drivers approached the first set of hairpins. Some of them negotiated the turns by gripping them; others, by scandinavian flicking them or handbrake drifting them. A trail of smoke and tyres was soon created; the climb had just started, and the police cars were not going to give up easily.

The Dolphine and the Cannonero hit the apex of the third too soon, placing their wills on the inside ditch. This punctured their tyres, and a few metres further they had to stop in order to change the tyres. Xavier and Edgar grabbed their lug wrenches; as soon as they started unbolting their punctured tyres, one of the two remaining police interceptors stopped and two police officers ran towards the racers; Edgar was handcuffed, but Xavier, taking advantage of a moment where the other officer looked at Edgar, swung his wrench towards the officer’s head, knocking him out. Edgar then headbutted the other officer, and started looking for the key to unhandcuff himself. Xavier changed his wheel, getting into his car again once he was done and setting off.

Back in the group, the Interval and the 350 Turbo fought for their position; the American sports car, however, was winning the bout, having better grip after the turns thanks to its RR layout. The hairpins quickly turned into high speed turns as they approached the A-341 road; this mountain road felt like a rally stage.

The last police interceptor approached the Potatismos, and now desperate, started trying to get the muscle car off the road. Ken did his best to keep the car on the road, but he’d have to do something about it: he’d be pushed into a rocky ditch which would guarantee being out of the race. The police car got ready to push him again, but the Potatismos slammed on the breaks without a warning; the police car got out of the road and crashed into a rock.

The road became wider once again, and all of the racers floored it. The Bonham recovered the second position, claimed by the Fatalita previously, and the cars blazed their way through the last few turns. The road started going downhill instead of uphill, signaling that the mountain pass would end soon; and after a final U-turn and a not too long straight, they were able to rejoin the A-341 road.

And thus, the group set off towards the Mediterranean coast, on their way to France through Valencia and Catalonia.

To be continued.

Time spreadsheets: (now sorted!)