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rFR GP S12 - Race Reports

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1 rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th April 2017, 10:15 pm

Dubai GP – Dubai Autodrome - Season 12 – Round 1/16 (Sunday, March 5th, 2017)

Promising opener and a Ferrari-win under investigation. by Hypothermia

Start & Lap 1

Lights out and the new season had begun in the desert of Dubai.
Polesetter Tony didn't get the best of starts and allowed Arek in the Ferrari through into the lead. (Both soon disappeared into the distance and remained their order until the first round of stops) Behind nobody wanted to back out and Gustavo, Sven and Peter hit each other, what sent Gustavo spinning. Unfortunately right into my path. He hit me and we fell to the end of the field. Peter, Sven and Joe had a lucky escape even though Peter also took a small hit from Gustavo's spinning McLaren-Honda. [1] Joe even had a pretty good view of the inicdent – but at least it made up a little bit for his bad start from 3rd! Fortunately there was only minor damage to my car, but another 'catch-up-race' wasn't really what I'd had in mind.  

First on the list was Giorgos, who made life easy for me and kept it very fair. - good thing, I've heared one should be careful and avoid crashes in the opening lap .. ;-P. Second was Juris and Turn 14 (banking) was the right spot for me to take 11th. Already in my mirrors was Gustavo, who seemed to have trimmed his car for high topspeed once again. (Painful memories of the testrace in Austria flashing..)  

So at the end of lap 1 Arek was in the lead, closely followed by Tony, then Sven – who had snatched 3rd from Peter – Joe in 5th, Marcos, Gatis, Kimmo and Edijs battling for 6th [2], Alaster in 10th, then me, Gustavo, Giorgos and Juris.  

Laps 2 – 35

Lap 2 and there was a lot going on in this race – and a lot of ground to be made up. Edijs spun in sector 1, damaged his car heavily [3], but despite that he made it back to the pits, got repaired and went on. (Obviously it's very cool that he hasn't just thrown in the towel but tried to make it back!) Sadly he retired later due to a Fuel-miscalculation (is that correct?!) But right after that one gained position I got relegated back to 11th, as Gustavo saw his chance and powered through. But that was just Sector 1 completed .. Kimmo spun out of the hairpin, so it was 10th for me [4]. 9th, when Sven made a costly mistake, that dropped him from 3rd to 10th [5], and then even 8th, after I repeated my move into Turn 14. This time it was on Alaster's expense. And then the Minardi-driver had his hands full with the recovering Sven and didn't make life easy for him. [6] Good for me, as it gave me some breathing space.  

Around lap 5 I could see Sven approaching in my mirrors and he was obviously faster. In front of me Gustavo made a move on Gatis but the Jordan-driver misjudged Gustavos braking into the last corner, made contact and spun him round. [7] This was my chance to attack Gatis and move into 6th. I chased him down the mainstraight and got past. Sven fancied his chances too, but was a bit too eager, hit the back of my car, pirouetted for the second time this afternoon and dropped to 10th behind Alaster. [8]

Next on the list was Markos in P5, who had driven bravely so far this race. Wasn't easy to catch the white and blue 'greek-bavarian' (;-D) Williams-BMW and in lap 6 we did completely equal laptimes (1.26.040). [9] After a nice and completely fair fight I finally took the place and moved up to 5th. Once again Turn 14 .. around the outside this time! [10] This time Gustavo had a perfect view, but decided to pit in this lap 9. This meant he was trying to undercut me, but I still felt the tyres weren't at their limit and stood out for another two laps before pitting on lap 11. But a undercut is difficult to perform under the new regulations (For S12 refueling was re-introduced) and he couldn't get past that way.

At the front Tony had managed to jump Arek at the first pitstop and from then on the two fought a battle that should last to the finishline ..... and a bit beyond. ;-)

In lap 13 I felt a bit held up and backed into Gustavo, while trying to lap Edijs. Don't know if you've just overseen me, mate .. but it was just one of those moments .. :/ But don't worry, no hard feelings ;-). But I got past safely and switched my focus to Peter in front, who had appeared at the horizon – clearly indicating that I was catching him. I could smell P4 .. if I'd be able to keep Gustavo behind. Peter was extremely fair and didn't put up too much of a fight, so it was P4. My hopes of Peter holding up Gustavo for a while got crushed as Sexy moved up to 5th and Peter played it safe once again.

Then it was time for the second pitstopps and we came in together on lap 20. I f*ucked up the pit-entrance quite a bit and lost a lot of time there and when the pitstop itself took way longer than expected (maybe because of the slight damage from Turn 1), Gustavo was through.  

And this 20th lap provided for the first controversial scene of the season. Both, Tony and Arek wanted to pit, Tony was in front – at least until Arek used the massive runoff-area at the pit-entrance to leapfrog the McLaren. And that's where it gets controversial .. Arek gained an advantage as he basicially left the track through crossing the white line at the outside with all four wheels. And it was questionable if it's fair at all to make a move at the pit-entrance. [12]

But back to the real action .. (;P) Sexy and I continued where we had left off in Austria ... me chasing him. Once it looked like I'd done it. I had a better exit out of the last corner on lap 23 and made the move into turn 1, but he came back at me after the long straight and then ... yeah ... 'shut the door'. [13] We touched a little bit and I felt my fate sealed after that. Don't know, just wasn't able to close the gap again after that minor incident.

The leading pair still couldn't agree on who should be in front and fought, all cards on the table. It was back and forth. Once Arek was in the lead, then it was Tony again. Over the course of the race I counted 15 overtakes done on each other. That's insane and shows how equal they were in terms of speed. Neither was able to set off from the other. Great stuff guys!!

Final lap & Finish

Tony took the lead into turn 1 and was able to keep the Ferrari behind for almost the whole lap but Arek just didn't give up. Both wanted this win. Desperately. Hainpin - side by side, turn 11 – side by side, turn 14 still side by side and neither giving in. [14] Turn 15 and Arek got ahead slightly for the last corner and having the inside-line. Tony tried everything, braked as late as possible, was half a cars length ahead but then he hit the dust at the runoff-area, got slowed down a tiny tiny bit. But that was enough for Arek. 0,020 sec.(!!!) separated them over the line and the incident of lap 20 went straight to the race-stewards. And therefore Arek's win was in doubts. [15]

Joe completed the podium after a quiet ride to 3rd, Gustavo brought home 4th and I finished a solid 5th. 11 points, definitely not bad after that first corner. But I have to admit that I didn't lose as much time as I did in Zandvoort last season. So I'm pretty happy with my first race for Ferrari. Smile
6th went to Peter, who might not be completely happy with the result after starting in 5th. But I'm sure he's one to watch. Sven finished 7th after spinning at least twice. Kimmo finished 8th – maybe not completely happy with the result, as he might have wanted to repeat his 5th place from last season. Markos secured a well deserved 9th and Alaster completed the Top 10. 11th was Giorogs in the other Williams-BMW, Gatis at least scored some points with 12th and finally Juris who was 13th. Edijs was the only retirement.

And as I said the controversy of lap 20 went straight to the rule-judges. And despite some protest Arek got away with a warning and kept the win. The stewards adduced that Arek had let Tony back past in lap 21.

Next up it's Interlagos and we'll see if the battle between McLaren-Honda and Ferrari continues. And of course if other top-class teams like Mercedes will play their part, too. Or maybe something really surprising will happen ... we'll see. See ya in Brazil! Smile

Official Result
Championship Standings

Last edited by Hypothermia on 5th April 2017, 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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2 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th April 2017, 10:16 pm

Brazil Gp – Interlagos – Season 12 – Round 2/16 (Sunday, March 12th, 2017)

Strong Mercedes raise their Championship-claim & another foto-finishby Hypothermia

Start & Lap 1

The second round of the rFr-Championship led us to a very familiar venue: São Paulo, Brazil. Pole setter Sven (Mercedes) impressed in Qualifying with a stunning lap. But would he be able to convert this pole into his first victory of the young season?

Lights out and the Mercedes immidiately was outpaced by Tony in the Marlboro-McLaren and Arek (Ferrari)! [1] Definitely not what the german wanted, but the competition among those guys is huge.
Gustavo, Denis, Joe and Peter kept their places through the Senna-S. My own start first felt decent, as I nearly got alongside Joe – who kindly left a bit of space on the inside. Thanks! Smile - but I braked too late for turn 2, ran wide over the curb and lost two positions to Gatis and Kimmo. No incidents at the start this time – great!

Next one to make a mistake was Gustavo. The local hero ran wide at turn 6 and had to let Denis, Joe and Peter past. I myself was eager to make some progress and it was again turn 6 where for a second it looked like Kimmo would leave the door open. But then I realised I was wrong and took avoiding-action. That allowed Tom (James/Reserve) through for a moment, but I was able to get the position back the following corner. Then we approached turn 9 and my heart stopped beating for a moment. I braked and turned into the corner, was right behind Kimmo when suddenly Gabriel lagged 'into the picture' (don't really know how to describe that – you should just watch it in the replay! Wink) and seemed to hit Kimmo slightly. But no obviously no 'heavy contact' was made and everyone was able to continue – surely lag ... but yes, it was insane. (no offense!)

So after the first lap Tony led the field with a feisty Arek in his mirrors. [2] Would it be 'Tony vs. Arek II'? Sven was waiting in the wings in 3rd and Denis (Reserve-car), who had had quite a good opening lap, now lost 3 places within just a moment of time. First Joe in the second Mercedes took 4th, then Peter (Jordan) made a brave move around the outside of turn 1 to take 5th and finally Gustavo blitzed past into 6th. Kimmo was 8th and I was 9th, Tom 10th followed by Gabriel (Force India – also had a homerace), Juris, Gatis, who had spun out of the last corner [3] (buzzed yourself? Smile), Lukas and Giorgos completed the field after both had spun separately.

Laps 2 – 35

Opening lap two and the outlook for my race changed from 'confident to make progress' to 'meh.', when Tom (J) dived down my inside into turn 1 and relegated me back to P10. He obviously was faster at this stage and I thought 'ok .. 2stop, he'll be out of the way at some point.' And to be honest, I was a bit upset. The overtaking was okay, as he was faster, but it really didn't play into my hands in terms of strategy ... and my 'displeasure' showed when I knocked at his door at T4. Made a bit of contact there under braking but it cost me even more time.

At the end of lap 2 Peter had to make an unplanned pitstop, as he didn't have enough fuel on board and that was one place gained for me. I still was behind Tom, who now had his eyes set on Kimmos McLaren in front. When Kimmo ran wide at turn 6, he allowed Tom through and I couldn't avoid him. Understeered into him and we touched. [4] (Very, very sorry for this mate, but ... to be honest, I think we could've avoided that with me being a little bit more cautious and you not turning into me when turning right to the apex when rejoining the track ... :/ But yeah, big sorry and I really hope that this wasn't the incident that ruined your race!!).

At the front it looked like the battle between Tony and Arek would indeed go into 'Round II'. [5] (If you haven't seen it ... the two had a stunning battle for the win in Dubai!!) Sven couldn't keep the pace of those two guys (he was on a 1-stopper) and soon had his hands full with teammate Joe. The mexican put his superior straight-line-speed to good effect and snatched 3rd on lap 4. And this 4th lap wasn't a lucky one for both Ferraris. Arek in 2nd just was a bit impatient. He clipped Tony's rearwing under braking into turn 4, spun and dropped to 5th [6] and I had a lucky escape – I still lay behind Tom with a gap of around 0,5-0,6 sec when all of a sudden he slowed down massively at approach of turn 6 and just after the 100m-board. And it was close ... very close. But the worst in this scene was still to come. Gatis wasn't so lucky and hit him straightaway. [7] In that moment it obviously wasn't clear that he had ran out of fuel – but he did ... and stood right on the racing line. Maybe another one of those .. 'avoidable incidents', as Gatis (and mate ... no offense!) took the corner with maximum speed despite seeing the car in front slowing down for at least a moment. So they crashed heavily, Gatis had to pit for repairs and Tom's race was over anyway. Kimmo had the luck at his side this time and managed to avoid the two cars. [8]

For me now the 'second phase' of this race began. I was behind Denis (Belarus/Reserve) now and successively gained tenth for tenth on him. Kimmo was behind me, but he lost a bit compared to me. Most likely due to the damage to his car. Think you felt it, mate.

Lap 8 and I got heartattack #2 of this race. Turn 12 it was, where I lost the back end of the car and was lucky again to not to spin it round. But the gap to Denis, that had started to come down a little bit increased to nearly 5 seconds. [9] Kimmo was a lot closer now, but eased the pressure off when he ran wide at turn 13.

Joe, was now in 2nd and also seemed to have a pretty heavy car. Right behind him was his teammate Sven, whose race continued to fall apart, when Gustavo pleased his home-crowd and took 3rd from him into turn 1 [10], then another great maneuver from the McLaren brought him past Joe and only seconds later Arek - who desperately tried to make up some lost ground – demoted further down the order into 5th. Next up on the Ferrari's list it was Joe. He got past eventually, but not without making some minor contact. [11]

Tony had a 6-second-gap to teammate Gustavo, when opened the first round of pitstops and Arek also gave his pitcrew a visit, indicating both were 2-stopping. It looked like everything was set for Tony's first win of the season. Arek was embroiled in battle with Gustavo, who had pitted just one lap later. And with their direct rivals pitting the two one-stopping Mercedes were in the lead now. Who knows what would've happened if not Sven had remained true to his own misfortune ...
Well, their hopes of a 1-2-finish came to a hold when Sven realised he hadn't enough fuel on board and had to crawl back to the pits for almost an entire lap. He dropped to 8th just behind the recovering Peter. Joe pitted from the lead in lap 18 and Denis also took on a new set of tires and a bit of fuel. Both 1-stopping without doubt. Now the two McLaren-Honda were back in the lead.

On lap 19 it was time for my one and only stop of the race. And I f*cked it up completely. I was absolutely sure that I had turned off the repair-shit. I was caught there for the eternity 10 never-ending seconds. I had gained a whole second on him with a faster inlap, but now all that hard work was wasted. The gap was back up to around 4 seconds and so it was do or die for the rest of the race.

The race itself had come to a crucial stage. As Tony and Gustavo both had to pit for a second time Joe got past again. The biggest question now was: Would the 8-second-gap he had on the dueling McLaren be enough? They had swapped positions during their stops and had to sort things out first before heading after the Mercedes. [12] And obviously that played into Joe's hands rather nicely. For my ex-teammate Kimmo a already 'worn-off' day came to an abrupt end. He had some mechanical issue and slammed his car into the wall.

Final lap & Finish

My own race also got into a critical phase. It was the penultimate lap and I had nearly reeled in Denis. Had a good tow down the main-straight, but couldn't make it stick at the first attempt – no, I even was lucky not to end in the wall, when I hit the grass at the outside of turn 1. [13] Caught the car and tried to stay as close to Denis as possible. I knew there would be one final chance at the sprint to the finish-line. Then I hit the final corner quite good, immidiately had a good slipstream and knew it could be enough. At the level of the pit-entrance I was right behind him and pulled out of the tow. Side by side towards the chequered flag – and over the line. 0,003 seconds – 3 (goddamned) thounsandths of a second separating him in P5 and me in P6 in the end! Congrats man, nice one! Smile [14]

Joe took the win [15] in front of Tony – who wasn't able to chase him down anymore – and Gustavo, certainly pleased with the podium at his home-event. Arek definitely also had hoped for more, but P4 had to do that Sunday. Sven finished 7th, and also might have been a disappointed after starting from pole. Peter recovered to 8th after his early pitstop and three in total. Giorgos gave the 'greek-bavarians' something to smile with 9th and Gatis completed the Top-10. Gabriel finished his home-race in 11th and gained some important points for Force India. Juris added to Red Bull's points with 12th and Lukas rounded off the final result in 13th.

So we've a change in the drivers- and the constructors-standings. Tony took the lead, while Arek was devoted to 3rd and McLaren also topps the constructors, with Mercedes now in 2nd and Ferrari in 3rd.

Championship Standings
Official Result

Last edited by Hypothermia on 5th April 2017, 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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3 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th April 2017, 10:16 pm

- place holder Round 3, Australia -

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4 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th April 2017, 10:16 pm

Mexico GP – Mexico City – Season 12 – Round 4/16 (Sunday, April 2nd, 2017)

Two surprises and a momentous incident (nobody got physicially hurt!) - by Hypothermia

Start & Lap 1

Round 4 of the current Championship led us to Mexico-City. Surprise #1 was the Qualifying. I just didn't expect a start from the second row after having little time for practice. I had Tom (McKay, Reserve) ahead of me in 3rd and Peter – obviously able to conserve that good form from Australia – behind me in 5th. Tony had snatched Pole and relegated my teammate Arek in the other Ferrari to 2nd. More than half a second (0,599 sec) separated the top two from each other – and impressive illustration of the Croatians superior speed at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. [1]

Surprise #2 was my overall race - my start was solid and I got a good tow all the way down to turn 1. Tony did me the favour to open up the inside and we were 4 (!) cars abreast before turn 1 [2]. But there wasn't enough space for me to even think about attacking the lead at that early point. Tom did the Hamilton-move and was in the lead, while Arek and Tony made contact and the McLaren was sent wide and through the grass. [3] I now was right behind Arek in 3rd with Tony and Peter lurking behind. Peter saw an opportunity as we approached turn 4. I stuck to the racing-line, as we went into turn 4 side by side [4] – that meant I'd have the inside-line for the next corner. But I didn't get the braking right (and T5 just isn't a very good place to be on the inside, as it's pretty narrow.) and Peter, who must have known that I still was alongside him turned into the corner as he'd do without another car next to him. So we made some ... contact – he got smacked out of the way and lost two positions to Sven and Tony. [5] (Sorry mate, definitely didn't happen on purpose ... think you lost some ground there, but ... well, it was lap 1 and I just couldn't afford to get stuck behind another car.)

Now I had my fellow countryman Sven behind me. But guess what happened ... yep, bad luck doesn't leave him unharmed those days. He lost the rear end of his Mercedes in the fast 'Esses' and couldn't (or actually didn't want ...?!) to continue the race from there. Only seconds later Gabriel (Force India) and Juris (Red Bull) colided as well, when Gabriel suddenly slowed down massively on the racing-line and Juris just couldn't react anymore. Alaster, Kimmo and Edijs had a lucky escape. [6]

Arek knew he would have to pass Tom to make his strategy work. They were fighting each other and that allowed me to keep up quite well. [7] So at the end of lap 1 the order was: Tom, Arek, myself, Tony, Peter, Gustavo, Gatis, Alaster, Kimmo, Edijs, Gabriel, Juris and Igor, who had started from the pitlane.

Laps 2 - 35

On lap 3 disaster strung. Arek had already made a desperate move on Tom in lap 2, when he tried to surprise the Kiwi in the fast 'Esses', but they touched and both ran wide – luckily for them with only a small loss of time as a consequence. But on lap 3 Arek wanted it too badly. He touched the curbs of turn 8 quite unfortunately, lost the car ... and his frontwing. The unavoidable visit to the pits dropped him right to the end of the field. But it was still only lap 3 and therefore a lot possible ... [8]

So now it was my turn to battle for the lead. Two things were already clear. 1. Mercedes would only score those 2 points that Sven would get for being 14th (as there were only 14 guys attending to this race ..) after his retirement and Joe wouldn't score at all, as he didn't attend at all to his home-race (sad). 2. We (Ferrari) would likely score less points than 'usual' from Arek's side. So I had to save the teams honours and score as many points as I possibly could.

When Tom pitted surprisingly early on lap 10 – confirming that he was on a 2-stop-strategy – I suddenly found myself in the lead. [9] In the lead of a Grand Prix I really, really like. I definitely understand people like Gustavo preferring the old layout with its flowing and pretty fast character, but I honestly also really like the new one and I'm sure this sympathy played its role in my overall GP. But I hope that I'll once have the chance to do a race at the old one, too.

Tony had seemed to struggle a bit during the first phase of the race – but he also had his hands full with the Jordan of Peter. [10] I knew he must be able to drive way faster, as soon as he had found his rhythm and some clean air. And I already expected him to do the same as I had planned ... stopping only once. On lap 14 he had reeled me in [11], but was pacient enough to avoid an 'overhasty' move. He knew about his pace-advantage and the fact that the race wasn't even halfway over. I was sure he'd try to undercut me with his pitstop. During this 18th lap there was a hell of a lot going through my mind. Should I stick to the plan to pit on 19 or should I try to take the chance for an undercut away from him and leave it purely down to the pitcrews on lap 18? I did the former, saw him diving into the pits on lap 18, waited one lap longer and pitted on 19. Then I stood there for brutally slowly ticking 11 seconds (but I think your stop wasn't quicker Tony, heh?) and was sure to already have lost the position. But it wasn't. The undercut isn't as easy to perform as last year. He might have had the fresher tires, but he also carried a lot of fuel – for further 18 laps - with him.

So I managed to stay in the lead ... at least for a few more laps. I was sure he'd have difficulties to pass me on the straights, but he was a lot quicker through the fast middle-sector. As usual I had my own troubles to get my tires up to temperature and soon had Tony filling my mirrors again.

On lap 23 I finally made the mistake Tony must already have been waiting for. [12] I touched the kerb at the outside of turn 12. I saw his move at the entrance to the stadium coming and left him the inside-line. [13] Nice invitation, as I hoped to retake the lead with a little help of my higher topspeed. [14] I didn't want to try it the suicidal way and couldn't make the move into turn 1 stick. But there was the other long straight coming. I tried to get a good slipstream and Tony seemed to want to cover the inside, so I pulled to the right. But in the same moment he changed his mind and pulled to the right as well. I had to take avoiding-action, catch the car and admit defeat. Well, as I already told you right after the race ... don't know why you changed your mind so suddenly there, but I honestly felt a little bit ... 'Verstappened'. No (real) hard feelings, mate, you were definitely faster and yeah ... but ... it just wasn't very 'nice'. I'm sure you know what I mean ... Wink

So the win was out of question now ... if not Tony would make a big mistake or something. But that didn't happen. He's in a hell of a form and will be quite a challenge to beat for Arek this season. As soon as I noticed I couldn't really stick with him, I tried to play it safe and bring the car, my second rFr-Podium and important 20 points home. And that was way more than I had expected from the race.

Final lap & Finish

Tony crossed the line first [15] to get a back-to-back-win after Melbourne and had pulled away 6,5 seconds from me in 2nd position. Peter finished in 3rd for the second consecutive race, Gustavo secured 4th after a difficult first couple of laps. Igor got his second 5th place in succession, despite starting from the pitlane – also pretty impressive! Edijs and Alaster scored their best results of the season, when they finished in 6th and 7th, Gatis brought his Jordan home in 8th, Juris in the second Red Bull was 9th. Arek was 10th, after he retired on lap 35 with a fuel-pump-failure. Sì! Obviously a technical problem ...! Quite a shame, as he had managed to climb up to 5th after his early incident. Tom also didn't make it to the line, Kimmo must have drunken the same poison as Sven, as he retired for the third time in four races and Gabriel also retired early.

So McLaren-Honda might have increased their lead in the conctructors slightly, but on the other side we increased our own points-gap to the other favourised team Mercedes from 19 after Melbourne to 44 points. Jordan also scored decently again. Peter's awesome drive to 3rd and Gatis' solid race to 8th brought the team a total of 75 points – and now they have a chance to outstrip Mercedes in Bahrain.

Well, I know the pictures are a bit 'one-sided' this time, but I'll try to have it a bit more varied for Bahrain. But of course that's also sth you guys have a direct influence to. Just produce the scenes necessary and be lucky to not have me overseeing it! Razz

As I already said, I'll hand in the Melbourne-report later. Hope to see a few more drivers taking part in Bahrain! Would be great Smile

See ya in the desert!

Championship Standings
Official Result

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear, well, he eats you." - A stranger
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5 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 10th April 2017, 5:53 pm

Bahrain GP – Sakhir – Season 12 – Round 5/16 (Sunday, April 9th, 2017)

Lady Luck (and a very emotional victory) - by Hypothermia

Start & Lap 1

Mexico was just a week behind us and it was raceday again. This time we set our cars up to race in the stifling heat of Bahrain.

Starting from P5 was once again more than I had expected. I had done a 1.28.4 during testing and knew there was still a little bit of room for improvement. I struggled to 'reproduce' the laptime during early Quali, but then, on my very last lap, a 1.28.295 let me jump Peter and Arek (! - I think he was also lacking practice due to his recent 'adventures', but hey ... thanks anyway Razz) to start from P5 instead of P7. So I was already really happy with the Quali and obviously the race would've taken completely different shape, if I would've had qualified in P7 or even worse. Having Arek behind me on the grid actually completely changed the whole game for me.

And then the usual procedure – heartbeat as light after light turns red – that small moment of waiting – lights out.

My start felt good and I chose the outer line into turn one. Tony kept the lead at the front, after he had secured his fourth pole position of the season. Igor ran out of space into turn 1 and had to cut the first corner to avoid contact with the fast starting Denis. Gustavo took advantage and snatched 2nd from Igor around the outside at turn 2. [1] Denis also fancied his chances with Igor, but had to back out of it. Then he forced me off the track and that gave Peter the inside-line and allowed him to jump both of us for 4th. (Nothing serious here, so no problem Denis). Not I had a run at Denis and made my move around the outside of turn 4. [2] So I was 5th again and set off after Peter's yellow Jordan.

Alaster, who had done decently in Qualifying and started from P10 got completely caught up in the midfield, first dropped to a lowly 14th, then took advantage of Gatis coming together with Marcos' Force India and both Red Bulls of Edijs and Juris (what a strange accident ... guys, maybe you should just become a bit more patient and relaxed during those opening laps ... :-I), when he regained 3 positions at one bite, but then he misjudged the braking into the last corner and sent himself and Edijs into a spin. Alaster lost nearly all the places he had regained before. [3] Gatis crawled back to the pits to get a new nose. He definitely came out worst of the opening lap.

So after lap 1 Tony was in the lead with Igor behind, Gustavo was 3rd, Peter 4th, I was in 5th [4] and behind me came Denis, Arek, Kimmo, Steven, Gabriel, Aurimas, Edijs, Alaster, Juris, Gatis and finally Gvidas, who raced with us for the first time.

Laps 2 – 29

I was haunting Peter and I already felt I could be fast enough to overtake him. We closed up to Gustavo, while Igor tried to catch Tony at the front. Peter got a bit impatient and hit Gustavo slightly at the last corner. I was pretty close already, but that gave me an even better tow down the main-straight. Peter pulled out of Gustavo's slipstream and took the inside-line, while I stuck to the outside, while the McLaren was forced to stay in the middle of the track (Sandwiched. Tasty.) [5]. Both braked very late, I 'X-ed' their lines and took Gustavo around the outside at turn 2. Only one corner later Peter was my next victim. [6] I was on the inside, as he ran a bit wide. So I had better traction and the P3 was mine. Then at turn 7 Peter and Gustavo had a bit of a 'shocking moment', when Denis divebombed into the corner (bit over-motiviated, heh? ;-P). Luckily the impact wasn't severe and both kept their positions.

In the meantime Igor had reeled in Tony and tried to take the lead. He finally did it on lap 6 and immidialtely pulled away – indicating that he was on a 2-stop-strategy. [7][8] On the same lap Gustavo passed Peter for 4th. [9] Peter fought hard [10], but made a small mistake at turn 13 (or as I call it now: 'Arek-hill'). Denis saw a chance (that actually wasn't really there) to overtake the Jordan. But he hit Peter and both spun. Denis lost a position to Kimmo, but Peter came out worse and rejoined in 10th. [11]

My main-task for the moment was to keep the gap to Tony as stable as possible and that worked. Sth around 1,5 sec separated us [12], when Tony suddenly was invisible, but came back after 2-3 seconds. He reappeared for half a lap, just to then completely vanish on lap 10. Soon later rFactor confirmed the obvious – he had lost connection and was out of the race!

So I was 2nd now and still (his early racepace already suggested that) supposed that Igor had a lighter car and would maybe plan for 2 stops. I couldn't keep up with him at all – and this clearly spoke for my suspicion.

But one thing was for sure - McLaren wouldn't score with two finishing cars, so there was a big chance for us to make up some ground in the constructors-championship. The biggest question remained: would Igor really be 2-stopping? I wasn't 100% sure. When he pitted on lap 13, there still remained a chance that this would be his only stop, as 13 was actually pretty late for a 2-stop-strategy.

Now in the lead I [13] had to try to solely concentrate on myself and not to get carried away too much from thoughts to a possible race-win. But I also knew that this time the chance could be bigger than ever before. Focus. Stay concentrated. No mistakes. No silly shit. Look at yourself, not at the timing. Easier said than done.

My one and only pitstop on lap 16 went well and I rejoined in 2nd position and with clean air ahead. Wait. Stay calm. He will pit. He must.Lap by lap passed ... and doubts arose that Igor wouldn't have to pit for this fuckin' second time. Then I had one of these 'blue-flags'-moment – and honestly (;D) – I can understand Sebastian Vettel so, so good. Gatis had moved aside in ideal style, but Edijs wasn't so nice. I felt you could've let me past a little it earlier, mate ... but you were embroiled in battle with Gatis, weren't you?! Nothing serious happened ... I just felt a tiny little bit help up there ... no hard feelings in the end. [14]

And then my prayers were heared. Lap 21 and he dived into the pitlane. Back in the lead again and 8 laps to go. And again ... Focus. Stay concentrated. No mistakes. No silly shit. Look at yourself, not at the timing. The gap to Igor was at around 5 seconds after his pitstop and began to shrink lap by lap. Stay calm. Avoid the mirrors as much as possible. Concentrate. I tried to pick up my own pace a little bit, always aware, that one single mistake would cost me that win. We both pushed to the maximum and I counted down the laps. And believe me ... it took AGES! 3 laps to go ... then two.

Final lap & Finish

Finally the last lap. And when not even cutting at the penultimate lap had helped him anymore, Igor had to accept his defeat. And I crossed the line to win my very first rfr-race!! What a great place to get that win, but I'll tell you about that later. *

Gustavo secured an important 3rd place for McLaren and finished ahead of my teammate Arek. He had tried very hard to beat Gustavo, but had to live with 4th after a lag-compromised race. Denis finished another solid race in 5th, Peter was 6th – and had surely hoped for more. Steven was the only McLaren Mercedes to finish the race in 7th, after Kimmo's brakes had given up on lap 25 – sealing his 4th retirement of the season. Chin up, mate ... your time will come again! Smile Alaster gave Minardi something to smile with his second Top-10-finish within one week. Gvidas impressed with P9 after what he calls 'starting from the pitlane .. Wink and seriously ... he will be one to watch in the upcoming races, if you're asking me. His pace was pretty impressive!

Gatis crossed the line 10th and still has to wait for a good race without being involved in any incidents – and yeah ... it was obviously not your fault in Bahrain! Edijs and Juris completed the result with 11th and 12th in their Red Bull cars. Gabriel and Aurimas had tetired early with connection-problems.

So McLaren-Honda had kept their lead at the constructors-standings, but we reduced the gap to only 8 points. Loser of the day definitely is Mercedes. Both drivers didn't take part in the race and therefore they got jumped by Jordan (Peter & Gatis). Williams took 5th from Red Bull and McLaren Mercedes got past Williams and Minardi.

And now I'll tell you what made this win so special for me (besides the fact that it was my first win since I joined this community). The last race that was officially held in my 'own' league, back in 2013 also was Bahrain ... and I won that too that day. And of course it was my first win in a Ferrari. All my other wins ('all' ... there are only 3 – or 2, but that's another story) I got driving for Toro Rosso. And now Ferrari. Maybe it's nothing special for you, but for me it is.

Thanks for reading, see ya in France! Smile

Official Result
Championship Standings

Last edited by Hypothermia on 11th April 2017, 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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6 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 10th April 2017, 6:05 pm


Great stuff Smile

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7 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 10th April 2017, 6:11 pm

Another amazing job, Andy!!
Both the report AND the race as well - congrats once again, mate!!
Very Happy

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8 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 10th April 2017, 9:30 pm

Great report as always mate! Keep it up! Very Happy Very Happy

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9 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 10th April 2017, 10:10 pm

Hey, I didn't "spear" into Edijs, he brake tested me! Anyway, thanks for all these reports and big congrats on your race win!

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10 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 11th April 2017, 8:59 am

Thanks guys! Smile Alaster, I've changed the line a little bit. Didn't mean to offend you. But I still think you were a bit late on the brakes there ... Razz

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11 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 26th April 2017, 3:56 pm

France GP – Paul Ricard (Le Castellet) – Season 12 – Round 6/16 (Sunday, April 23rd, 2017)

Fortune Days - by Hypothermia

Start & Lap 1

Round 6 at the 'Circuit Paul Ricard' near Le Castellet in southern France marked the opening to 2 'double-fixture'-weeks (with Monza and the Elkhart Lake upcoming). I hadn't ever raced here before, so it was difficult to estimate if my pace was good enough to maybe cast an eye on a podium-result or at least within the Top-5. Therefore I wasn't just mildly surprised to not only be able to improve my time so much (had expected to maybe, maybe(!) get a 30.8-30.9 or sth. - 30.5 it was in the end!) and snatch that P3-start from Gustavo, but also to 'outqualify' Arek for the second time after Bahrain (connection there – now the new wheel?) - technical issues of course didn't help him.

Tony was on pole once again [1] and Gvidas, who had already looked promising in Bahrain lined up next to him on the front-row. My start was pretty good (and on nearly any other track I would've given it a try at turn 1 ... but not at Paul Ricard) [2], while Gvidas didn't get anywhere. A horrible start saw him dropping 'like a stone' – from the front-row to 12th. But he soon had recovered 3 places, as turn 1 proved to be too narrow for some.

First Peter hit (or didn't you?! The replay doesn't tell it with certainty, maybe a little bit of lag involved) Igor, who was sent into Gustavo. The McLaren was lucky to only go wide [3] and lose a position to Peter – who came from 9th and was just insanely lucky himself to escape the whole incident completely unharmed. Simultaneously there was more contact made into turn 1. Gatis had beaten his teammate Peter in Qualifying for the first time this season, what had put him into a great 7th place on the grid. His start was okay and he kept his position, before he (and that's how I saw it .. - afterwards) was just a bit too late on the brakes for turn 1. He hit the back of his fast starting teammate's car and spun into Igor, threw away P7 and was now 14th (poor Eddie Jordan ... poor nerves xP).

And remember ... we're actually still there in turn 1, as Kimmo and Alaster (grid 8th and 11th) also couldn't agree on who should go frist through the corner. The Minardi-driver had already made up 3 positions before the (maybe avoidable?) contact and found himself back in 13th afterwards. Kimmo was able to rejoin the race pretty quickly and still was 8th.

So it was Tony in the lead, me in 2nd, Peter was 3rd, but soon had to relinquish it to Gustavo. [4] Arek, who also had a lot of luck at turn 1 - as he just was not hit by Gatis and Igor – was in 5th, then Aurimas and Gabriel in 6th and 7th – also pretty impressive after starting from 12th and 13th – Kimmo was 8th, closely followed by Gvidas. Igor tried to get going again, but rejoined right into the path of Michael (Baldesarra, Reserve). The homecomer had to brake, what allowed Juris to get a nose of 10th, before Igor snatched it back. (will be interesting to see what'll happen there, as those two are now teammates at Williams! ;D)

Laps 2 – 29

I noticed pretty quickly that I couldn't keep up with Tony's pace and that Gustavo behind me was faster, too and was reeling me in before his first pitstop. Was a nice and clean fight – as always – and he didn't manage to get past – not even when we went side by side through turn 10 (!) [5], [6] Him pitting on lap 10 confirmed that he'd have to pit again and had definitely been lighter than me. Tony came in on lap 11 – and that meant both McLaren-Honda were on a 2-stop-strategy. At this point I was in the lead and felt that the podium could be within reach.

My stop on lap 15 went well and I rejoined the track in 3rd, just behind Gustavo. Again he was faster, but I knew I had to concentrate on my own race – and at least he didn't hold me up. Arek, who had benefitted from an early off from Peter [7], was a threat in 4th (and also 1stopping) – and nobody could sag how fast Gvidas would recover.

The order was: Tony, Gustavo, Me, Arek, Peter, Gvidas, Kimmo, Gatis, Michael, Igor, Gabriel, Alaster, Juris. Aurimas sadly had retired from P8 with technical problems and new boy Nojus was disqualified for ignoring the red light at the pit-exit.

On lap 16 another mistake from Peter handed over 5th to Gvidas on a plate. [8] Maybe he would've been able to keep the faster Lithuanian at bay, but P5 was wasted now. For Gvidas it was merely some sort of 'damage-limitation'. I think he had (and with good reason!) the aspiration to win the race, had to adjust those expectations after turn 1 and showed a decent recovery then. Igor, Gabriel and Aurimas were easy prey, but his progress faltered, when he came across Kimmo. The McLaren Mercedes proved difficult to pass and a couple of mistakes also didn't help a lot. [9]

Then it was time for both McLarens to pit for their second times. Tony was first on lap 18 and I found myself in a McLaren-sandwich [10], when he rejoined the track just behind me. Gustavo went in only a lap later and I was in the lead now. But as I said, I had Tony right behind me and it would be insanely hard to keep this guy behind me for the remaining 8 laps!

In the meantime the Jordan started playing mind games with poor Kimmo. Gatis had let Peter through in order to catch the McLaren [11] and it didn't take long before Peter made his move for P6. Beautifully done at turn 11 [12]. But then the naughty part of the story began. He now tried to slow down Kimmo massively, to enabe Gatis to catch the McLaren too. (Well, I just don't know ... maybe it was just a bit too much ... in this extent .. :/ - but Kimmo must've nearly 'boiled over') But they didn't succeed and Kimmo kept his 7th place before Gatis.

I saw that Tony had difficulties to pass me on the straights. He had better tires and obviously a little bit more downforce, so he was superior on the corners, but he probably wouldn't be able to pass me via topspeed. On lap 24 he had a small look into turn 1, but it wasn't enough. One lap later we first went through turn 10 side by side [13] (so I had both McLarens there at turn 10 ...) - and first it looked like I'd once again be able to defend it – but then the old rascal pulled out a little (naughty) trick and divebombed me into the last corner. [14] I clung on at the outside and gave it my best shot, but made his move stick into turn 1.

Final lap & Finish

Now I could only hope that he would make a mistake or gets held up by a backmarker or sth. But none of this happened and I crossed the finish-line in second place – less than half of a second behind winner Tony. [15] Arek completed the podium in 3rd, after having a quiet race. Gustavo was where he'd started – in 4th, whilst Gvidas had recovered well from his worries at the start and finished in 5th position. Peter, Kimmo and Gatis were 6th, 7th and 8th, Michael and Alaster completed the Top-10, Igor finished a disappointing race in 11th, Gabriel finished the race – after two retirements in the last two races – in 12th and Juris was the last one to be classified in 11th.

Well, as I'd said ... once again it was just better than expected for me. Right before the race I had told Arek to not to expect too much of me that day ... and so I'm actually way more happy with the 2nd place and not so worried about the 'lost' win. Yeah, obviously not the sweetest thing to lose the lead 2 laps before the end, but I hadn't even expected to be able to even fight for the win ... so I can live with that. Scoring more points than my faster teammate for the thrid race in succession also isn't that bad and it lifted me to P2 in the Drivers-standings!!

For the constructors there wasn't much change. McLaren remained at the top of the table, increasing the gap to Ferrari from 8 to 12 points. Jordan is still in P3 and the rest also remained where they were after Bahrain.

Now there's the Ferrari-homerace at Monza upcoming ... I can already feel the pressure! Hope to see you all there!!! Smile

Thanks for reading ... I hope you had a nice time Smile

Last edited by Hypothermia on 26th April 2017, 6:23 pm; edited 3 times in total

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12 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 26th April 2017, 4:58 pm

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13 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 26th April 2017, 5:44 pm

Very nice stuff again, Andy - great job and thanks for it, mate!!

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14 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th May 2017, 10:00 pm

Italy GP – Monza – Season 12 – Round 7/16 (Sunday, 30.04.2017)

Lucky April – by Hypothermia

Intro & Quali

Monza. Round 7 brought us one of the biggest highlights in this 12th season's calendar! And my first time driving a red car there.

Quali proved difficult. Arek again had technical issues and I messed up my timing and was about to run out of time for a clear attempt. I aborted the first run, got stuck during the second (had only one timed lap there – and I knew that first timed lap wouldn't be the fastest possible ...) and had just the time for a stint with two timed laps left, when I went out for a third time. I exited the pits and had Juris close behind me. Then – I was just turning into the first corner (and hell, I really don't exactly know what happened there ...) and suddenly got 'torpedoed' off the track!

The impact was heavy ... more than 300 kph! So I had to restart from the pits and the clock hadn't stood still – it wouldn't be enough for two hotlaps, only for one (and I saw that too late ... still a bit shaken by the impact that Juris had on my red lady ... where are your manners?! xP). My standing 1.20,897 would've meant P6 – and I think I have to confess that this wouldn't have been as good as I'd expected it from myself that day – and the last shot improved the time to a 1.20,785. I jumped from 6th on the grid to 4th – past Alex (+0,032 sec!) and Peter (+0,003 sec!!)

Tony extended his Pole-abonnement – this time with Igor at his side. Gvidas was 3rd, Gustavo was 7th and Arek missed the Quali and started way back in 17th. [1]


My start was once again good and I passed Gvidas for 3rd within the first metres and held the inside-line for turn 1. Igor was right in front of me and took the lead from Tony. [2] Gvidas' yet again more .. 'average' start played into the hands of Peter (Jordan) and Alex (Reserve) and both passed the Benetton. Even Gustavo (grid 7th) had a look, but the Lithuanian coulnd't afford to lose anymore places – at his first outing for Benetton(!), especially at the team's homerace!

Gatis held his 8th position, followed by Kimmo, who had jumped his teammate Steven. Aurimas seemed to get past too, but the Brit struck back into turn 1. Kimi (sry, real Name was ..?) was 12th, closely followed by Gabriel, Michael (now Williams), Arek – whose good start was a bit spoiled by a slower car – then Alaster in 16th, Edijs, Juris and Nojus.

Tony and me were close behind Igor [3] (Williams) and the Championship-leader pulled out a great move to snatch the lead into 'Variante Ascari'. [4] Peter had an insanely good exit out of Ascari, chased me down and took a brave late braking into 'Parabolica'. He was through into P3 (for the moment), but I clung on and could've had a good chance to get back into 3rd (or actually into the lead!) ... but I completely f*cked up the braking and had to use the run-off-area – funnily enough, exactly the same happened at exactly the same time to the leading pair, Tony and Igor!! [5]

The problem now was: Whom to let back through?! First through was Peter – now leading the race – then Alex, Tony and Gvidas also took advantage of my deceleration. So three of those four guys that were now ahead, had been behind me before this bizarre incident. Then I lost another position, when Igor took 5th into 'Parabolica'. Fair enough here. But soon I was back in P5, when Gvidas spun at turn 1 and dropped to 10th.

So there was a train of 6 cars out in front now and Peter tried everything to fend off Tony, but the Croatian struck once again at 'Variante Ascari' [6]. The Jordan tried hard, but Tony shouldn't be beaten that day. And this 4th lap saw our 6-car-train coming down to only 4 cars [7] – Tony began to disappear into the distance and Alex clipped Peter's rear and spun, damaging his front wing and dropping down to 16th. (So, so damn unlucky, mate :/ sorry for that!)

Igor had taken advantage of a small mistake from Peter and was in 2nd, but Peter showed all his skills with a stunning move around the outside into 'V. Ascari' and snatched it back. For Kimmo bad luck once again wasn't far away. He was in 5th, right behind me, when I had to react to Peter and Igor and delayed my acceleration just for one single moment. But he got caught by surprise, clipped my rear and lost the car into the wall. (And as I already said, mate ... I'm SO sorry for this! :/) The inevitable pitstop saw him dropping to 16th.

Down to 3 cars now and Peter was a bit too late on his brakes for turn 1. He touched Igor and had to take the escape-road. Now he had to slow down and let Igor back past and I used that and slipped through, too. Then ... exactly then, when my chance to pass Igor arose, a lapped car (think it was Nojus) exited the pitlane and blocked my move on Igor [8]...! But one lap later – lap 8 – he braked surprisingly early for turn 1 and I was through.

But not for long. Only another lap later he tried to outbrak me into turn 1, ran a bit wide over the curb, tried to come back and forced me to avoid him. I nearly ended up in the gravel and Peter had regained lost ground in the meantime. [9]

On lap 10 Peter repeated his 'diving-move' down my inside at 'Parabolica' – this time for P3. Whilst we battled, Igor was able to use the free air in front and pull out a decent gap to us. From the 6-car-fight only now only Peter and I remained, but we needn't wait too long, as now Gvidas joined us from behind.

I tried to go around Peter's outside at 'Parabolica' [10] – and it looked promising for a moment – but then Gvidas was close enough to get both of us at once. The – in my opinion – most stunning move of the whole race saw him chasing us down, going right through that little bit of space that was there between us and sealing it into turn 1! [11] Now I was 5th and my chances to get onto that sweet Monza-podium seemed to be fading.

We were now close to the 'pit-window' for the 1stoppers and I had to stick with those guys. Maybe they would pit earlier than me, giving me some much needed 'free air'. I pushed too hard and ran wide at 'Lesmo II', but was lucky to not lose the car. Arek was pretty close now [12], but he luckily would pit on this 13th lap and the 'squabble' between Peter and Gvidas allowed me to close the gap pretty quickly. And when Gvidas spun out of the 'V. della Roggia, Peter made contact and lost momentum. I took both positions (Thanks a lot! Smile). Peter's car must have sustained some damage, as he couldn't keep up with his former pace.

Lap 15 basicially was my first lap without other cars around me ...
Race-leader Tony had pitted on lap 14, so Igor was temporarily in P1, I was 2nd. I hoped Igor, who had pulled out a nice 8-second-gap to me, would pit a bit earlier than me, to give me a slight advantage for the second stint. But he wasn't so kind and we both stopped on lap 17. So it looked like the podium would be in my own hands. I had already accepted that 3rd place, when bad luck met Igor - right after Ascari it waited. I don't know what happened – it looks quite weird on the replay. He just seemed distracted for a moment (maybe CTD?), turned to the right suddenly, right after Ascari, slammed the car into the wall and obviously had severely damaged his car. He tried to continue, decided to try and do another lap. I could see him crawling and initially thought his brakes might have failed or sth. But I was 2nd now with big gaps to Tony in front and Arek behind.


While I was at the sunny side of the race, some others found themselves in the opposite place. The disaster happened on lap 6. Gatis' race had been pretty decent so far. Starting from P8 might not have been enough to beat teammate Peter for the second time after France, but it was a solid performance. He kept his position at the start and on lap 2 he made a brave move to leapfrog Gustavo and Steven at once [13], smacked Steven out of the way when defending against him on lap 3 and then managed to stay in front of Gustavo for several laps.

Until lap 6, when the Brazilian already thought he'd finally relegated the Latvian to 6th. Gustavo made a small mistake at 'V. della Roggia', running over the inside-curb and losing momentum. Enough that Gatis was able to close down on him before the two 'Lesmos'. Gustavo still was clearly ahead and turned into 'Lesmo I', knowing the corner was his'. Gatis stuck to the inside and ran out of space there. He hit the curb and then the McLaren-Honda. [14] And whilst he was able to continue his race unharmed, Gustavo spun, hit the wall heavily, lost his front wing and fell to 15th. After the race Gatis was handed a Drive-Through-Penalty for his next race. [15] (Everything else is already discussed.)

Final lap & Finish

In the end Tony took his 4th win of the season, I finished the 4th consecutive race on the podium (all those 4 races in April!) and Arek was 3rd!! Very, very good race from him, if you consider that he started from P17!! Peter had to live with 4th, after he would've deserved a podium-finish for a strong performance. (Thanks for the clean fight! Smile , Gvidas was 5th again, Alex recovered from his early crash and was 6th, Edijs 7thmate, really ... a great race. He had a great fight with Alaster, early in the race, that was joined by Steven (McLaren Mercedes) later – and he came out on top of both of them! Then he pitted pretty late on lap 17 and in the end really, really deserves those 9 points! Steven was 8th, Gatis 9th after his 'scene' with Gustavo, Aurimas saved P10 over the line – 0,120 sec in front of Gustavo, Alaster was 12th, Kimmo and Igor couldn't salvage more than 13th and 14th and Gabriel was the last guy who finished this race in P15. Juris, Michael, Nojus and Kimi(*) retired.

Yeah ... and now ... actually we should be happy with the race. We finished both on the podium – 2nd and 3rd – again. Tony won, okay ... but Gustavo was waaay back ... but no, he still scored 5 points ... and the monster(shark?) Tony had not only devoured the race win and 25 points, but also 2 extrapoints for the fastest race-lap and another one for the pole-position.

So we (Ferrari) scored 36 points .. and McLaren ... 33 :-I

9 Poins difference now with Road America on sunday.

Thanks for reading, cya there! Smile

Official Result
Championship Standings

Last edited by Hypothermia on 5th May 2017, 7:24 pm; edited 2 times in total

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15 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th May 2017, 10:40 pm


Nice report  Smile

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16 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 4th May 2017, 11:50 pm

Amazing report once again mate! Thanks for writing these because they are a joy to read.  cheers cheers

P.S. Love the monster shark part  lol!

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17 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 5th May 2017, 3:17 am

As always, another great job - thanks for your time and effort!!!

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18 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 5th May 2017, 6:49 pm

I'm not a native in English so I'm not sure, but i think it's curb, not cerb. Anyways, splendid job 

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19 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 5th May 2017, 7:24 pm

You're totally right ...^^ thx Smile sorry

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20 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 5th May 2017, 7:26 pm

I think 'kerb' is also ok, so it was probably a mistyping thing..
Or a new word, which is the mix of 'curb' and 'kerb' - LOL

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21 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 5th May 2017, 8:23 pm

Yeah, mixture of german and english ... sorry ... happens from time to time xD

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22 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 21st May 2017, 1:40 pm

USA GP I – Road America – Season 12 – Round 8/16 (Sunday, 07.05.2017)

Hard impact – by Hypothermia

Intro & Quali

Well, I can't deny that I had something else in mind, when we came to Road America for the 8th round of the rFR-Season. I like the track very much, as it's demanding and fun at the same time and I had some good memories, as it was Road America I stepped onto that sweet podium for the first time in rFR, back in Season 11. I knew I'd have the speed to challenge for another podium – and as you may know, I got a taste of virtual champagne for the last 4 races. I guess that 'run of good luck' just had to come to an end some day. And so it came ...

Qualifying was good. I had hoped for P3 and felt I could've gone quicker than my 1.30.542, that put me into P4, right next to Gustavo ahead (-0,043) and Peter behind (+0,382). Arek fought Tony for Poleposition, but lost out by 0,045 sec. So we had Tony on pole – again – and Arek on P2 – and therefore the two CC-contenders McLaren-Honda and Ferrari occupying the first and second row on the grid. Everything was served for a great race.


Lights out and it looked like I'd get past Gustavo even before turn 1. Arek touched the left rear wheel of Tony's McLaren and was sent onto the gravel. [1] A costly mistake how would show up later ... Gustavo held the inside line into turn 1 and snatched back the position. With Arek dropping to 8th, it was a 1-2 for McLaren-Honda at that point in front of me and a feisty looking Peter in my mirrors in 4th. The Jordan then tried it around the outside at turn 3, but he went a bit too deep into the corner and nearly lost it over the curb. (I was pretty lucky not to get hit!) As I was able to keep up with the two McLarens, I was quite confident to pass Gustavo within the next couple of laps.  

But then everything went wrong... We entered the last sector and I was very close, maybe close enough for an attack down the main-straight. Then we approached the last turn and ... yeah, I don't really know what happened exactly. All the tension boiled over for the blink of an eye and I hit Gustavo's sidepod. [3] He was sent off the track and into the wall. I could see him losing his rear-wing in my mirrors and thought, that that'd be the end of his race. I had already stepped off the gas to wait and see what's happening. Then I decided to end my race, too – still in the belief that he'd retire. But he didn't. Obviously the pit-entrance wasn't far away and so he continued!

So let my apologize once again, mate. It was just damn stupid, but you know it didn't happen on purpose. For that tiny little moment I just had a complete blackout. I think I didn't even really brake later than normal (for me), but of course it's a matter of 'taking-care-for-others-while-driving-in-the-pack'. Something I 'normally' try to respect all the way ... and what's really important for good simracing. In the particular second the incident happened I already knew that I'd be the one at fault. Not 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90%, but 100. SORRY!!! for that shit. You know I'd preferred to battle you for the whole 24 laps (remember Austria?! ;D), keep it nice and clean and write about another great fight afterwards.

So my race was over and it'd be a huge blow to our CC-ambitions, but it is as it is. For the others the racing continued and by the end of lap 1 (!) Arek had already made up a lot of ground. He'd passed Alaster (although one could consider this move a bit 'rude' ...), was lucky not to get taken out by Edijs – who seemed to have difficulties finding his brake pedal (no offense!) - had then taken advantage of a spinning Gatis [4] and finally muscled his way past Kimmo (fook, you two were damn lucky not to crash there, hm?!). My incident with Gustavo lifted him further up into 3rd. Kimmo tried to come back at him with a lot more topspeed, but he ran wide and had to settle for 4th.  

On lap 2 Arek had reeled in Peter's yellow 'hornet' and made a stunning move around the outside of 13A, after Peter had made a small mistake. But the Brit wouldn't just accept it and fought back. Slipstream, open door at turn 5 and he retook 2nd. Arek tried to leave all the 'moderate' results from the past weeks behind him and drove like unleashed. Ready for the next stunner he passed the Jordan again – this time at the exit of the 'Carousel'. And guess what ... right ... Peter countered the move once more. Main straight, higher topspeed. But not for long ... and this time Arek would maintain the upper hand. [4]+[5]

Tony was leading and soon had a red car filling his mirrors. On lap 8 Arek had closed the gap, but it took him until lap 10 to get past. He pitted early on lap 11 and the lead was gone. Arek rejoined in 6th and all the cars ahead would still have to pit. But despite having new tires, he was at a disadvantage due to his now way heavier Ferrari. So Tony kept the lead, as he was able to prolong his stop until lap 14 and now even had a nice gap to his rival. They were now equal on fuel, but Tony had the fresher tires, giving him a massive advantage for the remaining laps. [6]+[7]

Another great battle arose between Kimmo and Edijs. First Alaster also had been in the mix, but he got rammed out of the way by Edijs and was left quite ... 'shaken'! (Sorry Edijs, but that move was everything but fair ...) Alaster was lucky to catch the car and not to crash. But back to Kimmo vs. Edijs: they were already close to each other for half the race, but when Kimmo spun on lap 12, he allowed Edijs through into 4th, One lap later both were pitting and there was absolutely nothing between them now. The two of them fought hard – and fair – till the final lap. Kimmo – maybe a bit frustrated, as he might have known that it could've ended the other way round without a couple of small mistakes he made – overdid it trying to get that one last chance to overtake ... he kissed the wall and had to cross the finishline with a tricycle (watched Spa '98, hm? xP). [8]+[9]+[10]+[11]

Whilst Tony drove to a – in the end – safe victory, the other McLaren was on a mission of damage limitation. As I said earlier, Gustavo was able to continue after our incident and despite having to switch to a 2-stop-strategy (the fuel-tank dictated it ...), he had made his way up to 7th. Nearing the end of the race he was closing in on Alaster, who held a great 6th position in his Minardi and gave it his best shot to keep the charging Brazilian at bay. But one the very last lap, he had to hand 6th over to Gustavo. [12]+[13]+[14]


So in the end Tony claimed to top spot for the 5th time this season, increasing his points-advantage to 50 (!). Arek was around 6 seconds behind in 2nd and Peter ended a quiet afternoon in 3rd. Edijs surprised himself with a strong showing and gained a lot of points for Red Bull with P4 [15]. Kimmo secured important points for McLaren-Mercedes and his best result of the season so far with 5th. Gustavo was 6th, Alaster 7th and Juris in the other Red Bull completed the result in P8.  

McLaren-Honda must be happy with the result. They increased their gap to Ferrari from 9 to 21 points and can be pretty relaxed before the trip to Brno. Red Bull jumped to 5th and McLaren-Mercedes to 6th, both past Williams.

Thanks for reading, see ya at Brno! Smile

Last edited by Hypothermia on 1st June 2017, 7:35 pm; edited 2 times in total

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23 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 21st May 2017, 2:24 pm

It's all good, mate! This race sucked to both of us and everybody makes mistakes here and there - better luck to us, the next time!
Another great report, as usual!

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24 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 22nd May 2017, 3:58 pm

Thanks for the great report as usual Andy! Keep it up mate Very Happy  cheers cheers

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25 Re: rFR GP S12 - Race Reports on 1st June 2017, 7:26 pm

Czech Republic GP – Brno – Season 12 – Round 09/16 (Sunday, 21.05.2017)

Ferrari covering the extremes – by Hypothermia

Intro & Quali

During the testing in the days before the race it became obvious, that the track of Brno would be everyting but easy and forgiving. The track in the south of the Czech Republik had made its way into the rFR-calendar for the first time and so it was a bit of a 'journey into the unknown' for us drivers, when we gathered for round 9 of the season, marking the beginning of its second half.

I felt a mid 1.25 should be possible and surprised myself with a 1.25.399 and being outqualified only by my teammate Arek (-0,084 sec) in the end! But there was no reason to smile about a 'Ferrari-front-row' – maybe you remember what happened at Road America – I got penalized with a +5-grid-drop after my incident with Gustavo, so Igor filled the vacant spot on the front row and I had to start from 7th, (but I have to say that I expected worse than P7 with the penalty ...). So I had Edijs starting in front of me and Gatis behind.


After the getaway I instantly got rid of Edijs into turn 1. Arek first kept his lead [1], but then lost the back-end of his Ferrari at the exit of turn 1 [2]!!! He was lucky not to take out other drivers or lose essential parts of his own car, but he had to watch the whole field sailing by.

On the short sprint down to turn 2 I got some good slipstream and got past Tony and Peter into 3rd! [3] But only for a moment ... I braked way too early for turn 6 (just didn't want to create another 'Road-America-situation') and allowed Tony back through. Only seconds later Peter also saw a chance and took it. [4]

The two of them began to tangle and I could stick with them nicely. Approaching the penultimate corner on lap 2, I already got alongside Tony, but couldn't risk any silly move around the outside there. But as he went defensive, Tony's line into the final corner was slightly compromised. I tried to go around his outside, but that didn't work ... he 'squeezed' me and forced me to avoid onto the grass. [5] (Well, he excused for that right after the race and seemed to have had some technical issues, which he then got solved, but dropped back to P12! So not problem there, mate! Smile)

Edijs, Gatis, Alaster and Ariff (Roslan, Reserve) slipped through, I suddenly found myself in P8. Edijs made a small mistake and dropped from P5 to P7, right in front of my nose. He should be my first victim on my way back up the order. [6] Despite being only I still felt a podium-finish could be possible – I had to stay focused. P7 should soon become P5, when Gatis, Alaster and Ariff came to blows. First Gatis eliminated Alaster, cut then over to the other side of the track and got hit himself by Ariff. Alaster was out on the spot, whilst Gatis could at least continue with a damaged car. [7]

Ariff was my next target and was so kind not to make it too unnecessarily complicated (Thanks! Smile) [8] Then I had a bit of a gap to the guys ahead and that meant clean air to push to try and catch Peter, currently in a podium-position in 3rd. He began to duel with Gustavo and on lap 7 I had closed the gap to them. [9] Gustavo then caught some understeer into turn 12 and left the inside open for Peter – an opportunity too good to miss for the Jordan-driver. The McLaren lost quite a bit of momentum there and I got alonside him, too and finally passed the Brazilian at the penultimate turn. [10]

I knew I'd have the speed to get past Peter and immidiately tried to put the #1-hornet under pressure. He obviously wouldn't want to make it easy for me and countered my first attempt at turn 2 [11] nicely and so I had to stay patient and wait another lap to get him into turn 1. (Pretty close, heh?! You twitched a little bit, when I was right behind you in your slipstream ... but thanks for the short but nice fight! Smile)

In the meantime Igor had managed to stay away from all trouble and pull out a decent gap (around 9 seconds). I hoped he'd come in for his first stop early and help me getting closer. And then the unbelievable happened ... I had just passed the first sector on lap 11, when I saw the gap suddenly shrinking. The next moment I could already see Igor's Williams crawling agonizingly slowly and passed him for the lead! [12] (So, SO sorry for you, mate ... I had hopes to maybe close the gap till the end of the race and make you work for it then ... that's not what you deserved.) Sadly he didn't make it back to the pits and retired without fuel ...

So ... again in the lead of a race ... next car behind was unlucky Arek, who jumped me after my second pitstop on lap 21 [13], but he would soon fall back to P6, when he came in for his oe and only stop. I was back in the lead and had a surprisingly big gap to the cars behind – growing further, as all 4 cars were very close to each other. I got the opportunity to 'run away with it' – which I did.

Ariff unfortunately crashed, when the pressure from Gustavo got too high. The 4 cars fighting became 3 cars and Peter was the next one to make a mistake – Tony snatched the podium-position from under his nose. And when McLaren-Honda played team-tactics, the Championship-leader moved up into 2nd [14]. (20 points you can live with quite well, heh?! Razz)

Finish & Résumé

With all the pitstopps out of the way, the result began to take shape. I led (till the end ...) and gave everything not to make any silly mistakes in the closing stages, Tony and Gustavo kept their places, but Arek had (so far) made the most out of his early 'self-compromised' race. A 'anti-cyclical' strategy had helped him climb back up to 4th. Neckbreaking for him was the time he spent close behind Gustavo, between lap 21 and that particular point of lap 29 (final lap.), when his front-left-tire exploded and he hit the wall. He tried to crawl to the finish-line – with a flat tire and without a nose.

But bad luck hadn't yet left the current rFR-Champion ... first Peter took advantage and snatched P4, then – to crown it all – Arek lost the car at the penultimate corner and got stranded in the czech gravel, giving away early Christmas-presents to Ariff and Michael (solid races from both of them! Good job Smile). Only as the cars behind those two were already lapped, he got classified 7th. [15]

Edijs must have hoped for more than 8th - after a strong showing during the first half, his race fell apart due to the wrong strategy and got additionally compromised by some technical issues. Juris assured both RB's scored some points in 9th, Aurimas completed the Top 10 and Jeffrey was the last one to see the checkered flag on his rFR-debut.

All in all we (Ferrari) could be happy with the result. To win this incredibly tough and exhausting race on such a challenging track – that was so much more than I had in mind. I knew I wasn't slowest ... but to win it with more than 15 seconds gap to Tony in 2nd (great comeback btw!! Smile) ... that was just insane.

We had to wait and see what the upcoming race at the Hungaroring would bring ... I already knew I wouldn't be able to race there.

Thanks for reading, see ya at Indy! Smile

Last edited by Hypothermia on 1st June 2017, 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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