Thanks to the mechanics hard at work we can now confirm that it was a manufacturing defect. we would like to retract our previous statement regarding possible sabatoge to the car itself and want to assure everyone that everything is ok
Fuji Pre-race special - 1 week prior to race day
AM: Hello and welcome to Fuji! We- well, I’m here early! The racers aren’t due here until next weekend but there has been some disturbing new developments to the story of the season even after race one. Daniel Adami, WAM test driver and World Series Tourer representative was sent here today with two purposes. One was the usual pre-race track inspection, ensuring the circuit was maintaining the level of safety required for these cars, another was a little more unusual. The World Authority for Motorsport released a statement earlier today regarding another statement made by the Machinima Motorworks team boss. Here is what Adami said
DA: The WST, Myself, and the WAM President Liam Elliot have called into question the carelessness of the accusations handed out by the boss of Machinima Motorworks. We must condemn these actions to the greatest degree as they damage both the integrity of his team and the reputation of our sport. We cannot allow a thoughtless slip of the tongue to put the WST or the WAM under scrutiny, and whilst they have retracted their statements, we must hold them to their words. We will set the precedent for such careless behaviour, and should these same accusations come to light before we are informed, the consequences will speak volumes.
AM: Strong words for what has been a strange set of circumstances. Machinima will be keen to see the back of this incident, and hopefully they can save face with a good performance here next week. I’ll see you then.
Hello and welcome to Fuji Speedway Japan! The drivers are eager to get out on track and drive to the limit out here in the Japanese mountains. Homeland Hero Yoshiki Sato will be looking to improve on his frankly dismal qualifying last time out and hopefully find himself in contention for some points during the race.
The japanese track has always proved itself to be a mixer upper whenever the touring car series has come here, and this session it was the same story all over again.
Top 10 Rundown
The FAAL’s found their feet here at Japan, enjoying the twisting curves around the back and powering their way to the top four spots on the grid. Factory FAAL driver Franck Keller lead last races winner Bri Neuwvale, with the other factory FAAL of Weismuller taking P3 from Josh Greenburg.
Michael Martins once again proved his worth in placing the Keika as the best of the rest, with a Surprised Aato Laakkonen throwing the Haapala around the track fast enough to split the two Keika’s. Even so, Aato’s time was just over a second down on the polesitters in the dominant FAAL. The second Keika of Jason Jackie was trailing the Finnish driver in seventh.
Eighth place went to the Bramhall of Karel De Lang, who’ll be hoping to make up for the poor performance he had last time out, with the Second Haapala of Issak Seppa placing ninth. The shock was clear across the paddock with joy spreading through the Haapala RRD garage. Rounding out the top 10 was James Ratikin, though he escaped a very close near miss with the sausage kerbs on his first timed lap.
Epoch once again find themselves trailing the rest of the field, with a disheartened Yoshiki Sato finding little solace in being just over 2 tenths slower than his team mate Goldright, with both cars over seven seconds a lap slower than the pole time.
LHE went in expecting to join Epoch at the bottom but were left with mixed feelings once the finals runs were complete. Frederick Ward was struggling in his car, over 4 seconds a lap slower than his team mate Manchen, and only did enough to secure twenty eighth over the two Epochs.
The Australians Bruce and Sharon Kelley filled out P27 and P26 respectively. They’ve proven their cars have the pace to be quicker, but whether they’ll be able to pull more time from their ute around this tricky circuit is another question entirely.
The Fuji folks will be cheering on Yoshiki Sato today, but the rest of the drivers will fighting their owns fights out on track. It’s a FAAL One two three and the next best car is Michael Martins, will he get the jump on lap 1, or will the Keika struggle once again off the line!
Lights out and away we go for the Fuji Speedway WST race and it’s a shocking start from the FAAL of Keller, he’s all but stalled on the line, finally getting going as Bri Neuwvale takes the lead over Jordan Weismuller, with Josh Greenburg taking third! Tyler Freshner has come out of nowhere to jump himself all the way from outside the top 10 to be Position Four by the time they reach the first corner, With Issak Seppa pulling his Haapala up to fifth!
Once again we’re seeing poor starts from the Keika’s they’ve dropped back a couple of Positions whilst Kevin Parsons has thrown his Bramhall Between the Two drivers as they approach the Braking Zone.
We’re five laps in and we have our first retirement here oh no! Jan Kuznitzov pulls off to the side of the track with a blown engine, the smoke pouring from the engine bay is unbelievable, is that fire? There’s fire, The marshalls are there, the onboard extinguishers are activated, that Zanvovanie is out of this race.
Oh my goodness me Aato! Aato Laakkonen after such a heroic drive in qualifying he struggled to get off the line and this could be why, his engine has gone, the engine has gone and he has pulled off to the side of the road, he will not be happy after points were on the card for the Haapala team.
Bri running well, holding position and keeping the times running in. Wait bri’s running not so well now the front suspension’s collapsed and they’ve hit the wall! Bri Neuwvale, she stole the lead from Lap 1 but it wasn’t to be! The Suspension collapsed after hitting the kerb there and when the body drops on the wheels, you can’t do anything to stop the car going out of control. Bri is going to be fuming in that cabin right now, Losing points like this in such a tight battle already! These are the points that will cost the drivers positions in the championship!
There’s another driver in the wall it’s Jamie Hunter! That is so unlucky after a poor start he was pulling that Natori through the field but now he’s just pushed it too hard and it’s ended in tears for the Natori team! They still have one car that could reach the points by Ryan Adams is not performing too well and is still running outside the points.
Heartbreak for one brit near the end of last race, heartbreak for another as a stellar performance from Kevin Parsons is cut short as his Bramhall engine gives up. Just four laps from the end of the race Parsons is going to pull off and end his time at Fuji with disappointment.
Last time it was Bri Nuewvale, this time it’s Josh Greenburg taking to the win here at Fuji! Franck Keller takes his first podium of the season in P2 and is joined by Michael Martins for Keika! Jason Jackie has to settle for fourth to his teammate, with an incredible result for Issak Seppa, finishing in Fifth! I’m sure Haapala will be kicking themselves at the missed opportunity for a double points finish. Jordan Wiessmuller finishes sixth but its close for P7 and Karima Benalli gets its across the line! James Ratikin won’t be too displeased with this result after his crash at brands, however, following Karima in Eighth. Finally its the two VMC’s crossing the line to round out the top ten, with Freshner leading Defoi.
Max Porter finishes P11, followed by Takala, Lara, Flores Jr, with Karel De Lang round out the points paying positions, he’ll be disappointed to not have done better. Bastien Lefèbvre just misses out on the points, with Andrew Kelly not far behind in Seventeenth, then its Islington, Adams, Bruce Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Manchen, Sato, Ward, and Goldright marks the last of the finishers.
This race has been hectic, with the long run to Turn 1, the start was extremely busy but it was a thrilling ride throughout. Now we head to the pitlane with Steven Verhoeven.
Post Race Round Up
SV: Another mad start, another disappointing finish for the pole sitter. Bri Neuwvale was brilliant in qualifying but hit issues half way through the race, a massive disappointment for blue bull. They can find some consolation with the win from Greenburg, but Bri will be back and fighting hard. Haapala once again see a retirement from Aato but this time he could harbour no blame, after bogging on the start the engine gave up only one lap after a vicious fire broke out under the hood of the Zavoevanie. In the end it was Issak Seppa who lead the charge for Haapala, scoring an unbelievable Fifth place.
AM:It is a real shame that Laakkonen wasn’t able to keep going, he seemed to be keeping people honest despite his poor start, but there was no way that thing was going to keep going to the end.
SV: I don’t know what is here but something wasn’t happy with Jan Kuznitzov either, that fire was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in touring cars before, something must have pinched a fuel line because that sort of thing isn’t normal.
EA: I’m just glad they got the fire out and they got Jan out as soon as they spotted it burning.
SV: We have to hand it to the marshalls here today they really did get the job done well. Moving further on in the race, Neuwvale. How hard do you think it is for her? She’s already won a race and stole the lead from Keller with a signature perfect start.
EA: It was a real heartbreak for her, she was leading with miles of time back to her team mate but it just wasn’t to be for her. Michael Martins did well to take the opportunity for another podium, and I think Keika are going to win this through consistency if they can keep that mad little car on the road.
AM: What about the home hero? He was hoping Epoch could make some steps forward here today after failing to finish but he ended up languishing down at the back and was last again in Qualifying.
EA: Personally I think he got the short straw with Epoch. They had issues all through development but they managed to get a car on the grid and who knows what chances might lay ahead of them.
AM: Alright. Steven, can we just turn our attention to the end of the race and what happened with Bramhall driver Kevin Parsons?
SV: That is a very unfortunate circumstance right there, running strong not far down on the leader and then he’s out due to engine failure, you have to feel for the guy he’s just had very little luck so far this season, and after such a strong start compared to his more experienced teammate it just puts salt in those wounds knowing where Karel finished and knowing how much more pace he had over him.
AM: And with that we must wrap up the show, it has been an incredible race. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my time with the wonderful Steven Verhoeven and the magnificent Eddie Austin, I’ve been Alex McKinwell, and we all hope you tune in next time where we head to the Home of Italian Motorsport; Monza.
There are a high rate of retirements compared to other challenges of similar format. I wonder if the #RAN criteria are more stringent?
An absolutely brutal race, but a thrilling one nonetheless. Utterly chaotic, too - nobody knew who would win it until the end. If this race is any indication, the next one might be even more exciting!
Things happen during setup. Sometimes rolls can be mean, sometimes they’re good. I’ve had rolls with 10 cars gone and no cars gone. It’s just a luck of the draw but I am planning on reworking things for the future, but right now if you have reliability 100, you won’t break down. from 0 reliability there is an approx 0.14% per lap chance of a breakdown in in a particular category, and there are two breakdown types. Crashes are a mixture of driveability and driver skill, with the former taking the majority of the chance up.
ZPS Statement Regarding Engine Fire At Fuji
Some while after the race, the press gathered into a hot and stuffy Zavoevanie garage beside the ashen husk of Jan Kuznitzov’s C Line WST2015, a tired and visibly irritated press officer shuffles some notes, and without even greeting the press that had gathered begins to read out a statement prepared before hand.
“Today was clearly not what we wanted, for the team or for Jan who despite his huge accident at Brands Hatch, was looking forward to getting some more tracktime here at Fuji to help us develop the car further and get his first complete WST race of the season under his belt. Through no fault of his, the engine failed catastrophically, the state of the car has prevented us from finding out the issue and we will have to build another C Line WST2015 before the next race as the current one is beyond repair. We wish to thank the marshals who valiantly sprung into action and evacuated Jan from the car promptly before going on to extinguish the flames that engulfed the car.”
The now somewhat less flustered press officer opens the floor to questions…
Epoch has been working on their “Steven Bradbury” manoeuvre… just biding time…
Today we’re here at the modern home of european motor racing! Monza is one of the most historic racing circuits on the planet and today we’re going to be sending these touring cars around it on the limit. Monza has always been an interesting circuit and will undoubtedly produce some interesting results leading up to the race.
Italy is a country with deep motorsport heritage, and Monza is at the peak of that heritage. Today we found out who could conquer this incredible circuit and lead the field off the line.
Top 10 Rundown
It was a FAAL top four once again as the french manufacturer continued to assert its’ dominance over the WST crown. Blue Bulls Josh Greenburg stole pole today, with Franck Keller and Jordan Weissmuller completing the top three positions. Bri Neuwvale lined up fourth, over a second slower than his team mate.
Jason Jackie of Keika lined up ahead of Michael Martins, nearly half a second quicker than his fellow brit and just under four tenths slower than current drivers championship leader. Andrew Kelly and Aato Laakkonen lined up seventh and eighth respectively, the Machinima Motorworks driver impressed as Haapala continued to put themselves into positions they’d thought impossible from Race 1.
Ninth went to the Bramhall of Karel De Lang who once again performed well in qualifying, with Bastien Lefèbvre completing the top ten for ART. Issak Seppa missed out on another Haapala double top ten by exactly three tenths, but the Finn wasn’t disappointed with his performance.
The usual suspects found themselves at the bottom of the grid once again. Despite having impressive speedtrap figures the Epoch just couldn’t run with the rest of the field through the corners. Yoshiki Sato fills out that bottom slot on the grid with Goldright P29.
React once again join the bottom five with Bruce and Sharon Kelly Twenty eighth and twenty seventh respectively. Natori’s Jamie Hunter ended up P26, rounding out the bottom five cars of the field.
It’s one of the longest runs into Turn 1 here and we should see some incredible action here today. The drivers are ready and we’re expecting a great battle across the field as we build up to this start of what is going to be an incredible race. The final cars are lining up on the grid, we’re just about ready to go!
Lights out and away we go here at Monza and Neuwvale again with a good start Jackie too he’s up into third! First time Keika have launched well but look at Benali! The Moroccan has come out of nowhere to jump ahead of Martins who’s just lost out! Ratikin has thrown himself up into the top 10 with another good launch as the Haapala’s and the Bramhalls have fallen back! Victor Takala has also made a good start and has got himself into the points positions off the line!
Only one lap gone and we already have a driver out with engine failure! This is going to hurt the frenchman like nothing else. It’s the most frustrating thing being left in the dark as to where you could’ve finished, especially when it’s completely out of his hands.
Robert Defoi has hit the kerbs and it’s completely destroyed the suspension on that Vulcan! One wheel pointing one way one wheel pointing the other, classic steering failure. He’ll be glad he got it parked out of the way cause moving that car is going to be hard work for the marshalls.
And Josh Greenburg Bins it on the exit of Parabolica! He’s thrown away a win over his teammate here today and that was a hard crash! He seems to be moving around in the cab but he will be distraught at having thrown away a real chance for him to win here today!
That is a Catastrophic crash! Yoshiki Sato has thrown that car hard into the wall, he’s moving around the cab but that is going to hurt in the morning! The Medical car will be there soon to take him for a checkup by the circuit doctor, but he’s walking around and that’s a good sign.
Bruce Kelly becomes another victim of Monza’s kerbs, he’s attacked the exit of Ascari way too hard and it has snapped that front left suspension completely. They weren’t in the running for the points but it will still be hard for bruce to accept such a poor showing here today. It is the heaviest car here but even so a failure like that is not what you want at all.
What a catastrophic failure for Michael Martins! The whole car jumped with that failure it’s a miracle he didn’t throw it in the wall! The Keika has rolled into the gravel but that V6 engine is absolutely destroyed. I’ve never seen a car hop from an engine blowout so that must’ve been hideous under that hood.
Oh my goodness me right on the final lap we have another engine failure and it’s Flores! Alejandro Flores Junior has lost his engine heading in towards Parabolica and he isn’t going to be able to coast it across the line, that’ll be a DNF in sight of the finish. That is the vengefulness of the racing gods in full force.
Some say this win was gifted to her but she didn’t set a foot wrong as others went off around her, It’s Bri Neuwvale to win here at Monza! Franck Keller and Jordan Weissmuller cross the line second a third to make it an all FAAL Podium. Jason Jackie just misses out in P4 and an incredible performance from James Ratikin puts him in fifth! Karima Benali sends the Contendiente into sixth whilst the two Haapalas finish with both cars in the top ten; taking seventh and eighth respectively. Tyler Freshner works his way into the points for Vulcan, ending ninths, and Karel De Lang finally puts himself on the board with a tenth place.
Kevin Parsons follows his teammate home in eleventh, followed by Porter, Takala, Andrew Kelly, and Frederick Ward rounding out the points paying positions for LHE. Enriqua Lara just misses out with Jamie Hunter chasing her down, in the end the Natori was only good enough for P17. The two Zavoevanies end up eighteenth and nineteenth, followed by Manchen, Adams, Sharon Kelly, and Lucas Goldright rounds out the finishers.
The longest run into turn one on the calendar and we’ve had an incredible race here today! It’s been something else with crashes, failures, joyous moments and crushing defeats. Now, we head to the pitlane with Steven Verhoeven for our race round up.
Post Race Round Up
SV: It’s the curse of Pole striking again as Greenburg crashes out of a comfortable lead, leaving the win for his teammate to take. It was an incredible race and the high engine loads proved too much for several drivers including fan favourite Michael Martins. He’s been a great character for the story of the season but this failure will hurt his chances at the drivers title, and hurt Keika’s attempts to overhaul The FAAL’s. One thing is for certain, that engine failure was spectacular.
AM: In all my years commentating I’ve never seen a car hop off the ground with a failure. That engine must’ve thrown something heavy because that was a vicious accident. Michael Martins proved his driving skill there in keeping it pointing straight after it blew.
SV: Alejandro Flores too, that engine just couldn’t take any more and it’s such a shame to see him get so close to the end and be unable to cross the line. I’m sure that will hurt his pride an awful lot, and give Contendiente something to think about considering where Benali was.
AM: It was a total heartbreak for Flores, but I’d like to turn my attention to Eddie. We saw a couple cars go out in crashes, and a couple cars go out with suspension failures. My question has to be about that ute because that wasn’t a normal failure there.
EA: Yeah it was certainly a different failure. Bruce builds these racing cars for a living and he’ll be less than pleased to see that his car has failed him after hitting the kerbs like that. The SUV is a md creation and to be frank I’m impressed how well it takes the bumps, for me it was just a matter of time until the suspension failed there.
AM: Alright, what about Yoshiki Sato? That was a hard impact, we’ve yet to hear from the medical officers but it’s not been long after the race, we’ll be hoping for something soon.
EA: It was a very hard impact, I’ve had my fair share of shunts from back in my Rally days but that was something else. Thankfully it looked spectacular, which usually means you don’t actually get that hard an impact. The ones you watch out for are the sudden stops, that’s the ones that do the damage.
SV: We can be glad that the one thing Epoch did right was the safety cell. That thing took that impact well and I guarantee Yoshiki will be perfectly fine, especially considering he got in the medical car himself. I’ve never gone in the air like that but I have had my fair share of big crashes so I can tell you walking away from something like that, it’s a good sign.
AM: And on that note we must end this here today, it has been an exciting race full of ups and downs, and we expect it to stay that way as we head to the redbull ring next time out. Its a fast circuit and not one to be taken lightly, so from me, Alex McKinwell, and my co-hosts Steven Verhoeven and Eddie Austin, thank you for watching and we hope you tune in next time in Austria.
Rumors are saying Frank Keller was seen talking to Bri Nuewvale about a position into the official FAAL Team, alongside himself and Jordan Weissmuller.
Some other rumors are saying Jordan asked the same Bri about a position too, but more like, in his life, alongside himself. But that’s another story.
I’m giving myself another two days to get races 4 done before returning to the usual one race every two days, that way it will be more quality focused and less rushed.
Race 4 will be out by 5pm BST. I’m just finishing the write up now after noticing some errors in the results table that have now been corrected.
Austria is an insane place of speed and commitment hidden within the beautiful mountains, lush green hills, and dense forests of the Styrian Alps. We eagerly await to see what the cars can do at this high speed circuit, and wonder what the pecking order will be as good handling and a grippy front end are strong factors here today.
Austria has hosted a number of thrilling races in its time in motorsport, and some might say the Red Bull Ring just might hold down the crown as one of the most incredible places in the country to show the true strength of the cars.
Top 10 Rundown
A normal run at the front for the FAALs today as they lead the pack for tomorrow’s race, with Josh Greenburg taking the pole with half a second over the second place car of Franck Keller. That same gap would cover the three other FAALs of Keller, Neuwvale and Weissmuller, with fifth place going to best of the rest team Keika as Jason Jackie lined up fifth. His team mate was just under two tenths slower in qualifying, with Bastien Lefèbvre of ART lining up seventh.
Rounding out the top ten were Karel De Lang, a constant figure here, Andrew Kelly of Machinima Motorworks, and Robert Defoi of VMC, with his own team mate propping up the top ten results.
Familiar Faces fill this section as the Two Epochs fill out the bottom row, Yoshiki Sato taking the final position on the grid, just over one tenth to his team mate Lucas Goldright. Bruce and Sharon Kelly joined the Epochs in the bottom 5 with the aussies more than a second quicker than Goldrights M10, as Ryan Adams fills out P26.
Everyone in the grandstands can feel the tension and the stress building here between everyone on the front row and now things are looking to get hot as the drivers prepare themselves for the wonderful Red Bull Ring. The teams have prepped the cars to the best of their ability and now its down to those sat in the cockpit to extract everything they can from the cars.
Lights out and away we go but not for two cars, they’ve stayed still on the grid! The drivers have done well to avoid them and it’s Jamie Hunter and Tyler Freshner! What a disappointment to have have done so well in qualifying and it’s all just collapsed beneath them. Meanwhile Michael Martins has got the jump on all the FAAL’s and his teammate to lead out of the first corner! Josh Greenburg is a nose ahead of his teammate Neuwvale and Franck Keller has Jason Jackie causing him grief as they run up to turn three!
Kuznitzov is trying to keep his foot in to make time, he’s powering through turn three, a bit of wheelspin and he’s lost it! Its a massive impact! Jan Kuznitzov has thrown it into the wall and has rolled after getting wheelspin out of turn three, the car has come to a rest on its wheels but Jan’s car is not in a raceworth condition anymore! This is the last thing the struggling Zavoevanie team needed!
Again there is a suspension failure for the big SUV ran by VMC! This time it’s Robert Defoi, he’ll be screaming in that cockpit as the issues for his team mate mean VMC are going to lose out on a big opportunity to score good points here today!
Michael Martins! Again Keika let him down as his engine goes up in smoke on the approach to turn 1! How is Michael feeling in that cockpit now? Two races in a row, the Lead in the championship lost last time out, now even a top three is gone! He’ll need to hope his rivals have reliability issues for the final two races if he’s going to have any hope of getting back in the title fight!
We’re on lap twenty now and Bri Neuwvale has stretched an incredible lead over her teammate, just over 14 seconds, an incredible margin from the young Brit.
Greenburg is out! Once again after getting pole position Josh Greenburg is forced to retire the car with suspension issues! It’s cost him dearly in the championship and now he’ll have to fight to win through the final two races! Bri Nuewvale will be all but dancing in delight as one of the title rivals gets out of the fight.
The Haapala is slowing! It’s Aato Laakkonen! Laakkonen has lost his engine, it’s just fallen out from underneath him and he is going to be mad after another good chance at points has been blown out of the water by this incredibly unfortunate situation!
James Ratikin has had a huge crash! He’s rolled and he’s on his roof on the last lap of the race! There must have been something laid down from the blown engine of Laakkonen, because that was a huge smash! James once again finding himself buried in the walls, we’ll have to wait and see how he’s doing but theres yellow flags out, no overtaking until the final sector.
Bri Neuwvale is the first to see the flag here in Austria! This is her third win in four races, and she is going to be exhilerated knowing the championship hangs in the balance. With that finish only three points separate her and title rival Franck Keller, who finishes second and almost an entire lap down. If she keeps up this strong run it’s going to be hard to see any way for her to lose this championship.
Jason Jackie follows Jordan Weissmuller home, missing out on the podium by two seconds as Karima Benalli finishes an incredible fifth! Meanwhile Further Back, bastien Lefèbvre is battling against Max porter! Is he going to take the position! It’s close! MAX PORTER FINISHES AHEAD BY TWO THOUSANDTHS OF A SECOND! Alejandro flores follows them home in eighth, with Victor Takala ninth and Issak Seppa tenth, rounding out the top then with Haapala.
The rest are coming across the line now, Frederick Ward for LHE somehow brings that car into eleventh, with Kevin Parsons less than half a second behind. Following them its Lara, De Lang, Peter Islington taking the final points for Zavoevanie, Andrew Kelly just missing out in sixteenth, Adams, Bruce Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Billy Manchen, Yoshiki Sato, and Lucas Goldright rounds up the race finishers.
Now we head to the pitlane to hear the opinions of Eddie Austin and Steven Verhoeven.
Post Race Round Up
EA : Crazy Start, crazy finish, beautiful weather, and plenty of engines going pop! This race has to be one of the most exhilerating races I’ve seen, with some mad crashes that hopefully haven’t injured the drivers, and some incredible interteam battles taking it right down to the wire.
SV: Incredible, absolutely incredible. I have to hand it to FAAL, whatever they did to their car they have made a dominant figure in the motor racing world. Now, the question is, what about Keika? At the start of the season they seemed to have FAAL on the edge and now they’ve dropped back. It looks like to me their mad V6 is starting to show its flaws, and it’s taken them out of the constructors fight much against Michael Martins.
AM: This is one of those situations where you have to really feel for Martins, he’s done everything right this season, he even manage to outlaunch the master of starts Bri Neuwvale this race, and yet everything just fell to pieces for him.
SV: That engine is a real glass cannon. You see the power it has on the straights, it has incredible speed, but it’s just not there on the reliability side.
AM: We can’t go further without mentioning the humongous crash that James Ratikin had on the last lap. What was all that about?
EA: He was pushing pushing pushing and in the end he pushed to hard and overstepped the mark, no other word for it other than driver error. He knows he has the capabilities to get into the points on a regular basis now, but this time he just let himself get a little loose and it cost him. Hopefully we get the all clear from the doctors cause that was a huge crash.
SV: It’s crashes like that where you thank your mandatory safety components such as beefy rollcages, the five point harness, your fire extinguisher systems. These things save lives and I guarantee now we wouldn’t be so optimistic if this were 30 years ago.
AM: It was an incredible crash and it wasn’t his first one either, but people just love him, the team say he’s excellent to work around and the media in the paddock love doing interviews with him. Anyway, what about the earlier incidents, Josh Greenburg and Robert Defoi and their failing suspension. Are we seeing an issue with the parts going on the cars.
EA: I don’t think it’s that. These cars get put under incredible stresses during a race, and when you’re pushing the edge to get the most out of the cars you will sometimes see failures like this. It’s the same with engines, We saw Aato Laakkonen’s engine fail and the two cars that failed to get off the grid, it’s nothing isolated to one team so we can’t really blame anyone for this.
AM: Thanks Eddie. That’s all we have time for today, it has been an incredible day and incredible race. Join us next time as the championship story continues when we head to the middle east to find the Jewel in the Desert, Bahrain.
Hour long race and there’s a gap of .002, damn.
Ever since it’s inaugural race on the F1 Calendar Bahrain has been a circuit held high above all around it, with GT championships and now the World Series Tourers leaving their mark on this incredible circuit. Today we are going to find out the order for the race at this Jewel in the Desert, buried beneath the sands and brightly lit beneath the spotlights tonight!
The temperatures are hot and the cars have been setting hot laps today. The session was filled with incredible performances up and down the field as the moon shone in the clear sky above.
Top 10 Rundown
FAAL took pole once again but Keika hit back in qualifying for the first time the season with Michael Martins and Jason Jackie within half a tenth of the pole time, Jackie only a few thousandths short of his team mate who lines up on the front row. This sets him up for a recovery drive to try and reclaim some semblance of points in the race coming up.
The other three FAAL’s lineup behind the Keika’s with Jordan Weismuller joining Jackie on the second row, whilst the two title rivals fill out row three with Franck Keller ahead of Bri Neuwvale. Neuwvale has made herself known for being good on the starts and so will be hoping to jump past Keller once the lights go out.
Following them will be Bastien Lefèbvre as he lines up best of the rest for ART, whilst Tyler Freshner joins him on row four. Karel De Lang makes his fifth appearance in the top ten in as many races whilst Victor Takala sees ART’s first Double top ten qualifying, and rounds it out in tenth.
It’s a Carbon Copy of last races bottom five as Japanese national Yoshiki Sato fills out the bottom spot with teammate Lucas Goldright ahead in P29. The two Ute drivers find themselves on row fourteen with Sharon beating Bruce, whilst Ryan Adams once again leads the bottom five in his Natori.
The temperatures have dropped since the incredible heat in the day, now we see an incredible sight of the cars lining up under the floodlights here in the darkest nights. They have just completed the formation lap, FAAL on pole, Keika Second, it’s the first time Keika have been on the front row since Race 1 and now it’s their chance to steal something from this race!
Lights out and away we go and it’s an incredible start from Bri Neuwvale, jumping ahead of everyone in the top 5 on the run into turn 1! The two Keika’s also lose out to Franck Keller whilst Jackie also falls behind Bastien Lefèbvre, Weismuller stays behind Jackie whilst Victor Takala and Karima Benali make incredible leaps up the field!
It’s Lap 5 and we’ve seen a suspension failure for the Haapala, Aato Laakkonen parking it at the side of the road, it’s multiple races now we’ve seen failures for Aato and he will surely be coming back strong next race should his car allow it.
Lara is in the wall! She’s completely lost it under braking and that is the end of that car, she will be devastated, compounding on the poor start that saw her drop down below P20. It’s heartbreak for H4 when they were hoping to move up the grid after a poor qualifying.
Meanwhile Michael Martins is still running ahead of Jordan Weissmuller, and Jason Jackie is certainly keeping him in check, if Muller makes a mistake he’ll drop back behind Jackie!
We’ve had a quiet few laps but Jason Jackie has found his way past Jordan Weismuller! He’s now brought Keika into a strong position but the gap up to Franck Keller is a little to big as he head into the last few laps of the race.
Max Porter has crashed! He’s put his H4 car out and now that’s a huge disappointment for the team. Max seems alright he’s up and out of the car but he will be kicking himself after his teammate put the car in the wall earlier today.
It’s a FAAL! It’s Greenburg, he’s put it in the wall! Title rivals Bri Neuwvale and Franck Keller are going to be first and second! One lap from the end and now It’s going to go down right to the wire, but will Neuwvale be ahead in the championship with this win, she might be just ahead!
Bri Neuwvale wins here in Bahrain under the floodlights! It’s an incredible finish but Blue Bull will be kicking themselves after losing the 1-2 in the fight with the factory team! Michael Martins once again proving his worth and bringing home a third place for Keika, whilst Jason Jackie follows him home in fourth!
Jordan Weismuller is followed home by James Ratikin with an incredible comeback drive for sixth place, Bastien Lefèbvre ends in Seventh whilst Karima Benali comes across the line for Eighth, Robert Defoi comes back again for a good run in ninth whilst Bramhall driver Kevin Parsons rounds out the top ten.
Eleventh is Victor Takala, followed home by fellow Finn Issak Seppa, Freshner, De Lang, Frederick Ward rounding out the points, then its Jamie Hunter, Alejandro Flores, Islington, Andrew Kelly, Kuznitzov, Adams, Bruce Kelly, Sharon Kelley, Billy Manchen, Yoshiki Sato, and Lucas Goldright props up the results.
An incredible day for Bri Neuwvale, lets head down to the pitlane with Steven Verhoeven and Eddie Austin.
Post Race Round Up
SV: A wonderful race here under the floodlights, this circuit is pretty flat but it has wonderful character thanks to the long straights. This was everything that Neuwvale would have wanted, A brilliant start saw her work her way up into the lead whilst her title rival got a lucky break to finish second. I’m sure Bri won’t complain as she now leads the drivers standings and has proven herself more than capable of getting to the front and leading the way. We have to give credit to Keika, they most certainly pulled themselves up a notch in qualifying. They have to be proud of this run they’ve had today.
AM: Michael Martins saw himself get onto the podium. He must be glad to be tasting the champagne after such a miserable run of luck recently.
EA: Most certainly he’s happy with himself. This is exactly what Keika needed this season, and whilst it won’t put him into championship contention they must be glad of the luck befalling them here today with great pace in qualifying and the race.
SV: I have to agree with that, Keika have been extremely fragile this season, but now we see the Keika that appeared to be championship contenders at the start of the season. As it stands FAAL have ran away with it.
AM: With the engine performance Keika have had this season there’s word going round they’re going to become an engine supplier next season once the WAM have confirmed the new ruleset.
SV: That would be a very different scenario, we’ve seen Bluebull show you don’t need to be a factory team to win, but I’m sure a lot of possible entrants will be happy to have engines supplied to them. It could mean we see an even bigger grid next year.
AM: Certainly so. Once we see things set in stone I think we’ll make our judgements then, but for now, let us stick to this race. We saw both H4 cars going out after poor qualifying here. Eddie, is there anything we can pull from that?
EA: I think the young drivers were just pushing to try and make up for a poor performance, and with not too much to lose I don’t really blame them. They tried hard, gave us a good fight, but in the end they pushed too hard and paid the ultimate price. I think we have to look at Karima Benali for a real show of what to do. She was down the order in qualifying, kept her head, opened an opportunity for herself and just ran to the stopwatch. That put herself in the position she was at the end of the race and it’s a great approach to have.
AM: Thanks Eddie. And on that note we’re out of time. Only one point separates the title rivals in the drivers standings, and Blue Bull are only 19 points behind the factory FAAL team. It’s still all to play for at the top of the table and we will be eagerly awaiting the final race, be sure to tune in next time as we head to the legendary Sebring raceway. See you then!
Sebring is an American legend. It has been the home to endurance racing in and was created from a US Air force base, now the only things that fly on raceday are the incredible machines that grace the rough surface that has seen some incredible races over the decades! Today we will be seeing how the finale of the WST Lines up.
The Miami sun is beating down on us here today, temperatures are high and tensions are too! This was an incredible qualifying session we’ve seen with the two title rivals setting themselves apart.
Top 10 Rundown
Franck Keller put himself in a prime position for tomorrow’s race as he takes pole, with his teammate Jordan Weissmuller backing up a FAAL top four. I’m sure Franck will be happy with this situation as he finds himself three spots ahead of title rival Neuwvale. Josh Greenburg backs up his teammate and completes the second row.
It’s an all Keika third row as Jason Jackie leads Michael Martins for what seems to be a typical qualifying position for the japanese manufacturer. Jason will need a good result here if he’s to overhaul the FAAL ahead of him for third place.
Trailing the Keika’s it was Aato Laakonen for Haapala, with a Six-for-six top ten qualifying for Bramhalls Karel De Lang. Word is that Karel will be leaving the sport after moving from the companies BTCC project, we wish him the best of luck out there. Filling in ninth it was the ever onward Issak Seppa, a driver who has certainly proven his worth to the Finnish team in their title battle this season
The usual suspects found themselves reeling at the bottom of the grid in qualifying, with Epoch filling out the bottom rows and Yoshiki Sato propping up the times. React and the two aussie drivers fill out the row ahead whilst Frederick Ward found himself in P26.
American sun shining down on the tarmac with clear skies all around, we’ve got some incredible weather here today as the finale of the Inaugural season of World Series Tourers bookends what is set to be an incredible title fight! Three leaders of the championship at three different points, now down to a single point splitting the two main rivals! We’re looking at an incredible finale here today.
Lights out and away we go and Neuwvale has managed to get right on the back of Keller as we approach turn one, Josh Greenburg has dropped back and Lefèbvre has jumped him! Tyler Freshner has come out of nowhere to get into the top ten as have Karima Benali and James Ratikin!
Ratikin chasing down Benalli and He’s binned it! Ratikin has thrown it into the wall at the final corner and that car is not going to finish this race here today. Ratikin has done so well over the season and he’ll be rueing this send off to what has been an incredible season for him.
Lap five and Ryan Adams has suspension failure! He’s lost control and he’s off in the grass in sector 2! Natori came in hoping to impress but instead had to take what scraps they could muster whilst other teams swooped in to take higher positions. Jamie hunter is running in twentieth and doesn’t look on pace to get into the points.
Bri comes across the line to start lap ten and she has a commendable gap to her teammate whilst Franck Keller is struggling to keep up. At this rate it looks like the championship will go to Neuwvale.
It’s heartbreak for Michael Martins! He’s lost control and he’s put it into the wall! Calamities for the young prodigy, having lead the championship earlier on in the season it seems like he’s going to drop out of the top five!
Lap twenty and it’s a huge gap for Bri over her title rival, over thirty seconds! All she needs to do is cruise it home now with three laps to go. This could be it!
Billy Manchen is in the wall on the final lap, how distraught for them! LHE have surprised sometimes with good points but today was just not their day with Fred Ward so far down, they’ll be looking to do better next season.
NEUWVALE WINS THE RACE HERE AT SEBRING AND WITH IT THE CHAMPIONSHIP! Bri Neuwvale you are the World Series Tourers Champion! Josh Greenburg leads a Blue Bull 1-2 but it’s not enough with Franck Keller taking third place and Weissmuller in fifth, FMS Take the Manufacturers championship ahead of Blue bull and Keika over 50 points down. Meanwhile Jason Jackie has done enough to put himself into third place by one point over Weissmuller by finishing in fourth, congratulations to the kid!
Sixth and Seventh are the wonderful Finns of Haapala with Laakkonen leading Seppa, Lefèbvre follows them home in eighth, whilst Benali and Freshner round out the top ten positions.
Max Porter takes eleventh, and with a Twelfth place for Robert Defoi that now means Haapala and VMC are tied for Fifth place on points. The countback will go in favour of VMC due to the higher points haul the team had in race 1. Thirteenth is Takala, followed by Parsons, Jamie Hunter doing an incredible job to work through the field and take that last point, then De Lang, Flores, Lara, Andrew Kelly, Islington, Ward, Kuznitzov, Bruce Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Sato, with Lucas Goldright rounding out the finishing positions.
Bri will be ecstatic as she takes the top step of the podium for the fifth time out of six races, she almost lost it but her incredible pace put her into a dominant position here today. And now she is crowned champion by WAM Official Test Driver and former DTM champion Daniel Adami! Lets head to the pitlane for the final thoughts from Steven Verhoeven and Eddie Austin.
Post Race Round Up
EA: Fantastic final race! Neuwvale never set a single foot wrong, she got ahead on lap two and just kept herself cool. If I wasn’t mistaken I’d say that Franck almost looked shaken once he’d stepped out the car for the post race weigh in. It seems coming so close to the title has really taken its’ toll on him. I’m sure he’ll regroup his thoughts and will come back next season stronger than ever!
AM: It was an incredible race here today and with the bright sun shining here today we must be glad that we chose such an incredible venue to race at.
SV: The endurance races here were incredible, but I must admit wasn’t expecting anything special and then we had that race. I was heart in mouth the entire time, it was incredible. I have to say well done FAAL. No matter what the outcome was they would have won, and now they’ve got a manufacturers title to boot.
AM: That will certainly make them proud. However, I have a question. All this time we’ve seen Jason Jackie being outpaced by Michael Martins, but when push comes to shove Jackie has put himself into third in the drivers standings whilst Michael has simply dropped away from his title chances. So Steven, is that all down to Keika or is there more to it than that?
SV: I think both Michael and Keika have to take some blame for the situation he’s found himself in. At times the Keika has bitten him when he’s down, but as Jason also proved if you make a mistake you have to take the blame, and Michael has made a few too many mistakes this season.
AM: Thank you for that. Eddie, we’ve seen Haapala go up and down the teams standings. Should they have been higher up the table?
EA: I think so. Aato Laakkonen is a great driver and too many times we’ve seen his engine go pop on him. It’s no wonder why as it is an extremely complex engine setup, but that low centre of mass has really helped the team also. We’ve seen that when they’ve been on pace they’re all but unstoppable, especially when Issak finds himself up the field. I really do think that Haapala have done well, but they could have done much better if they had the reliability under their belt.
AM: Thanks Eddie. And on that note we’re out of time. We hope you enjoyed the races this season, big changes will be coming next year and we hope to see you then!