Midweek Challenge Cup -- Kyoto National -- November 15, 2006

Posted on Mon 18th Dec, 2006 by tiny

Midweek Challenge Cup -- Kyoto National -- November 15, 2006

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This week's racing brought the action to Kyoto, with drivers once again getting into the machine that is the FOX. Those of you familiar with this particular series of circuits will know full well the dangers racing here, fast corners with technical chicanes and banked curves. This Session saw the National configuration in use for the first time in the Midweek Challenge Cup and it was destined to provoke the best and worst from the competitors.

Qualifying -- With Qualifying underway at 8.30pm GMT, racers had 20 minutes to get a good lap in. It wasn't long before the times dropped below the 1.40 barrier with ocr.Vince making the first breakthrough at 1.39.84, followed by [dSRC]eckh at 1.39.73, and Senna making a strong showing with a 1.39.87. With an almost full grid of drivers, things were going to be interesting. Vince was quick to respond to eckh's time posting a 1.39.50 allowing him to retake the pole, but eckh pushed the bar even higher mid session with a 1.39.30. This proved to be the fastest time set in the session, with Vince managing to claw his time down to 1.39.41 and Senna with a very respectable 1.39.84. The rest of the field swapped places and everything was pretty damn tight in the top ten. Everyone looked to be prepared for the next two sessions or were they?

Race 1 -- 17 laps (Must pit)

With Practise and Qualifying stages over, it's time to get the show on the road and racers take their relevant positions on the grid. The green light comes and off they go headlong into T1 with the top 6 all jostling for an advantage going into the potentionally deadly chicane. [dSRC]eckh holds his place, ocr.Vince takes a wider line to get more exit speed, but Senna tries to be too fast and with tyres still cold can't slow down enough. He locks the brakes, and slides slightly offline, just enough to give ocr|Vince a knockout blow heading him deep into sandcastle country with nothing but a bucket and spade.

A little further back and we see ZWR|T.Laas's rear getting a little wild and he cuts into the path of vMaxKeiran. He seems to control the impact at first but his car is pitched to the right coming out of the turn and ZWR|M.Morris is too fast and shunts him from behind. Meanwhile, ZWR|R.Hoiting and ZWR|T.Laas sneak through on the inside closely followed by [dSRC]Grivage and [dSRC]dodo. ZWR|M.Morris's car is now spun 180° and [SR]Tongey finds himself heading straight into the side of it, but he'd braked enough to minimise any serious damage or loss of control and makes it through the chicane. vMaxKeiran gets back into the pack alongside [dSRC]GenerAL with [dSRC]Greedy a whiskers length behind. T1 this time round doesn't claim any more victims and everyone else makes it cleanly through.

turn 1

Back at the front its business as usual for [dSRC]eckh, in 1st, who is making good use of his pole position while the rest of the field takes their positions and things begin to smooth out. Further back in the pack [SR]Tongey, vMaxKeiran and ZWR|Ashurst are fighting hard for 9th place. ZWR|D.Ashurst gets too confident going round the trailer park corner (lefthander) and hits vMaxKeiran, who recovers very well to hold his car, but ZWR|Ashurst has lost traction, goes onto the kerb and finds himself sliding sideways coming out of the corner. It looks like ZWR|C.English loses concentration seeing this happen in the corner of his eye and he clips and sends spinning, vMaxKeiran, who is trying to avoid ZWR|D.Ashurst.

All this and we're not even half way round the first lap! Grunt in 10th seems to be making fine progress, but vMaxKeiran passes him with ease and ZWR|M.Morris hitches a lift to get himself into 11th. Back at the front, [dSRC]eckh has just made the 2nd split, with Senna still chasing and ZWR|R.Hoiting just shy of a second behind.

Two ZWR drivers are in the top 3 coming to the end of lap 1, but not content with that they also have driver ZWR|T.Lass, who looked strong from qualifying in 4th. In 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th positions dSRC's dodo, Grivage, GenerAL and Greedy take their places. [SR]Tongey lurks in 9th looking mighty suspicious indeed. Coming into the chicane [dSRC]GenerAL takes defensive lines, and [dSRC]Greedy gathers momentum to make a pass coming round on the banked corner here at Kyoto, but [SR]Tongey has used the lines well and takes both [dSRC]GenerAL and [dSRC]Greedy at the start of lap 2.

Order is kept and people start getting down to business. [dSRC]eckh, pushing hard, gives some slide coming out of the chicane, gets out of shape for the next corner and hits the kerb. Senna just lapping up the lost time stays close. A little further back [dSRC]dodo has made the gap smaller and is putting pressure on ZWR|T.Laas going round the horseshoe left. [SR]Tongey is applying the NOS, by all accounts, and is making an attempt to make time on a bad qualifying, closing the gap on [dSRC]Grivage in 6th. [dSRC]Greedy, 9th, finds himself in all sorts of bother with [dSRC]GenerAL shadowing every move.

Neck and neck into lap 3, and Senna has the smallest of leads after carrying a bit more speed round the oval turn. [dSRC]eckh, now 2nd, keeps close. [dSRC]dodo finds himself past ZWR|T.Lass and closing down on 3rd place man ZWR|R.Hoiting. Coming into the chicane Senna keeps tight on the inside and dives on the brakes too late. [dSRC]eckh still at his side finds the sand and spins trying to hold on the track. ZR|Hoiting seems to be unprepared and catches the spinning car. Both off the track and facing the wrong way, a stream of racers fly past, and they rejoin in with ZWR}R.Hoiting in 9th and [dSRC]eckh in 11th. Coming through the 2nd split sees vMaxKeiran and [dSRC]GenerAL in the grass, with vMaxKeiran's vehicle suddenly losing traction and knocking them into 9th & 11th place. [dSRC]GenerAL decides to make a pit stop and making sure his damaged car keeps to the speed limit sees ZWR|M.Morris attempt an amazing overtaking manoeuvre only to be awarded a drive through penalty.

Ouch! Lap4, finds [SR]Tongey in 5th and [dSRC]Grivage in 4th meeting Mr Wall, when Tongey gets too close drafting for speed. [dSRC]Greedy drives through the horror to take 4th with ZWR|R.Hoiting in 5th. [SR]Tongey's car looks a bit sore and [dSRC]eckh gets past followed by a battered [dSRC]Grivage. [SR]Tongey, by the end of this lap, finds himself in last place.

Lap 5, and Senna makes his stop. [dSRC]odo finds himself at the front now, with SWR|T.Lass and [dSRC]Greedy in 2nd and 3rd. As the grid starts to space out and heads are down, ZWR|M.Morris makes his DT and takes second-to-last position. Back near the front ZWR|Hoiting makes headway throughout this lap and coming into lap 6 is almost close enough to get a shot at [dSRC]Greedy in 3rd but it takes until lap 7 before he can finally get past. Coming into the first sector, [dSRC]Greedy loses his nerve and goes wide catching the evil green stuff, spins and thuds into ZWR|Hoiting's machine. If you look closely enough you see ZWR|Hoiting's visor steam up briefly. [dSRC]ckh now finds himself in 3rd place, [dSRC]Greedy holds on and keeps 4th and while ZWR|Hoiting's visor is getting mistier, vMaxKeiran snatches 6th spot. Not before long coming up to the second spilt, [dSRC]Greedy relinquishes 4th position to [dSRC]Grivage and proceeds to make his stop. ZWR|Hoiting also makes a visit to polish the helmet, and it looks like they're having words exiting the pits.

pit stop

Squeezing into the top 10 again on lap 8 [dSRC]GenerAL makes headway and gets past Grunt coming round the horseshoe to make it into 9th. At this point [dSRC]dodo is coming up to start lap 9, and the rest of the top ten haven't made a stop yet. [dSRC]Grivage decides it's time to pit allowing vMaxKeiran to move up into 4th. After a lengthy pit, [dSRC]Grivage rejoins the track in 10th, a whisker behind ZWR|R.Hoiting. It looks like the pitting is going to decide who gets the lead with a few backmarkers now drifting through the grid. Lap 10, and [dSRC]GenerAL picks up where ocr.Vince left off and builds a nice DNF out of sand and wall :D after pressure from [dSRC]Grivage and ZWR|R.Hoiting. ZOMG lap 11 and the top 5 still haven't pitted! Senna now 6th must be rubbing his hands (mm feet ?) anyways [dSRC]dodo is still leading with ZWR|T.Lass in 2nd, [dSRC]eckh 3rd, vMaxKeiran 4th and ZWR|C.English 5th, until lap 12 when ZWR|English breaks rank to pit and re-remerges in 8th. Heads still down and eyes firmly on the road, lap 13 and [dSRC]eckh in 3rd makes a 1.39.74 fastest lap and continues pace into the 14th lap to get 1.39.69. Senna responds with exactly the same time. Touring into lap 15, [dSRC]dodo in 1st and ZWR|T.Laas in 2nd, decide to make a stop but this pittance is proving to be the deciding factor and both are too late on the brakes and receive DT penalties. [dSRC]eckh retakes 1st place with vMaxKeiran now 2nd and Senna looking comfortable for the win from 3rd, while [dSRC]dodo and ZWR|T.Laas re-join the race in 4th and 5th positions.

Time is running out and [dSRC]eckh and vMaxKeiran make their stops, shortly followed by the offending drivers [dSRC]dodo and ZWR|T.Laas. [dSRC]eckh rejoins in 2nd followed by [dSRC]dodo in 3rd, while ZWR|R.Hoiting claims 4th and [dSRC]Grivage 5th after squeezing past vMaxKeiran. Lap 17, and Senna sits on nearly a 27 second lead. [dSRC]eckh looks solid for 2nd and dodo will be kicking himself for that drive through penalty as he holds 3rd. [dSRC]Grivage is chancing his bet to get round ZWR|R.Hoiting, and vMaxKeiran is making sure he can lap up any spilt milk. If anything's going to happen it's here now fighting for 4th place. But OMG Senna, nooo, going into the final set of turns just passing the second split, Senna turns off the lights for a brief moment. Upon restarting the brain, he finds himself heading towards "a world of pain" which Mr Wall provides for free. He corrects in time and slowing to take the turn and gets back on to the racing line, a sigh of relief I'm betting.

Senna takes 1st spot with a good show by [dSRC]eckh in 2nd and [dSRC]dodo in 3rd. On to the results.

"Senna taking a deep breath after the race"

Race 1 Stats

Race 2 -- Reversed Grid (Must pit)

With everyone back from a short break, this race was underway. With starters orders reinforced by the presence of scary Barbie, it wouldn't be too long before this combination claimed its first casualties. 17 laps here was going to hurt if you hadn't had time to get twitch of the FOX going round the bank and braking into the first complex of corners.

It's a clean start and all 15 racers head off building up speed, [SR]Tongey seems to take a very wide line coming into the chicane and becomes unstuck making a costly error. Diving through the sand traps and making a mess of coming back onto the track, taking out ZWR|D.Ashurst in the process. It's still not over as he spins again with the force of the impact causing his vehicle to veer into the path of vMaxKeiran. He takes a blow to left rear of his vehicle and is sent to the sands for the time being. Behind this Senna, turns into the inside of the chicane forcing [dSRC]dodo, [dSRC}eckh and [dSRC]Grivage all to get a bit too close and they decide to "love-tap" one another , [dSRC]dodo ends up too loved up and also finds a nice path through the sand.

"(Oh dear T1 and a bit in all its glory)"

ZWR|D.Ashurst's car now slowly reversing across this section has still not finished wreaking havoc on the track. Next to find himself with nowhere but pain to go, ZWR|R.Hoiting collides with him sending ZWR|Ashurst's car into the air spinning forward, with ZWR|Hoiting's own car now going in a sideways pitch. Next on the casualties list is ZWR|C.English who takes a crunch into ZWR|R.Hoiting's vehicle and is sent into a spin, coming back onto the track in front of [dSRC]dodo who finds he has nowhere to go so brakes hard, along with (\/)R.Mooney, followed closely by [dSRC]GenerAL and Senna. (\/)Mooney is quick to capitalise on this incident and takes the inside with Senna tucking in tight and fast behind. Everything seems to settle down and the racers get to grips with racing and not dodging. Things progress and racers start to jostle for position with Senna and (\/)R.Mooney pushing hard to recapture lost time. ZWR|T.Laas holds the lead by the end of lap 1, followed by dSRC's eckh and Grivage, and Greedy. ZWR|R.Hoiting finds himself in 5th with Senna and (\/)R.Mooney 6th and 7th, closing in behind. [dSRC]dodo looks to be holding well in 8th with [dSRC]GenerAL and ZWR|M.Morris trailing in 9th and 10th places. The rest of the grid seems to have survived, but will these 15 racers manage to last the distance? Let's hope all the rest of the laps are not this mental otherwise this is going to be one very long race report.

Lap two is a much cleaner affair. ZWR|R.Hoiting loses a few positions getting caught on the grass. (\/)R.Mooney and Senna are through with dodo now in the distance to put pressure on a battered ZWR|R.Hoiting. Coming into lap 3 Senna makes an early pit which could turn to be a very wise choice. Time will tell. Everyone seems to have settled into a rhythm, and ZWR|T.Laas heads the race with [dSRC]eckh within good reach. All seems to be going well for everyone in the top ten until coming into the last chicane before the banked corner. AWR|R.Hoiting's car gets loose, swinging towards the tyres and grass. [dSRC]dodo wastes no time and moves up into 5th. [dSRC]GenerAL can't believe his luck and climbs to 6th with vMaxKeiran shadowing him in 7th. [dSRC]Greedy finds himself in 8th now, with Grunt making 9th and ZWR|C.English making some headway in 10th. It seems to be the last straw for ZWR|R.Hoiting and he disconnects. [dSRC]dodo decides this lap is the lap to pit but gets on the brakes late and receives a DT penalty (doh!).

Lap four sees [dSRC]Grivage lose his place to (\/)R.Mooney who is really putting down the hammer. The rest of the top ten go unchanged as lap 5 arrives, seeing vMaxKeiran and [dSRC]Greedy making a stop. Unfortunately [dSRC]Greedy does a dodo and gets a DT for his efforts. [dSRC]dodo completes his DT and rejoins the grid in 11th place. Further up field ZWR|C.English in 7th gets too brave and finds his rears losing traction, gets wide out of the 1st sector split, and spins. Not far behind is Senna in 8th, whose early pit stop looks to have been a very wise choice indeed. [dSRC]Greedy and vMaxKeiran move into 9th and 10th places.

Greedy and Keiran
"(dSRC Greedy & Vmax- Keiran coming out of the pits)"

Lap 6 finds [dSRC]eckh and ZWR|T.Laas getting so close they could hear each other scream as they collide coming up to the second split sector. ZWR|T.Laas screams at his car for losing grip and eckh for crashing into it, I'm guessing. (\/)Mooney can't believe his luck and is gifted 1st place, with [dSRC]Grivage grinning as he scoops up 2nd spot. The trouble's not over for ZWR|T.Laas though, as coming out of the chicane onto the banked area his rear tyres fail him again and he skids into the wall and subsequently disconnects. [dSRC]ckh claims 3rd and somehow [dSRC]GenerAL finds himself in 4th spot, with Grunt in 5th, Senna in 6th, vMaxKeiran in 7th, [dSRC]dodo in 8th and ZWR|C.English in 9th position.

Lap 7 and [dSRC]Greedy takes his turn at completing a DT penalty then returns in 10th with nothing much else changing until [dSRC]Greedy has a blank moment and loses control allowing [SR]Tongey to take 10th and ZWR|D.Ashurst remaining in 12th.

Flying Into lap 8, vMaxKeiran and [dSRC]dodo battle for 7th and 8th spots, with [dSRC]dodo taking advantage of a bad entry into the first set of chicanes by vMaxKeiran. Further up the field and still in 1st for the time being, (\/)Mooney makes his mandatory stop, rejoining the action in a very strong 4th position with 1st 2nd and 3rd still to make a stop. Laps 9 and 10 pass smoothly, although [SR]Tongey, now being lapped gives 4th place man (\/)R.Mooney a bit of a headache, but he gets by cleanly. Lap 11 sees [dSRC]Grivage take his stop and just lose out to (\/)R.Mooney now 3rd. Lap 12 is plain sailing everyone keeping relative positions, until lap 13 sees [dSRC]Grivage go wide just after the first split. Catching the grass the FOX just spins, and Senna snatches 4th spot. With [dSRC]eckh leading and [dSRC]GenerAL holding 2nd, the last few laps are going to decide this race. Lap 14 sees off the track influences causing [dSRC]Greedy to forget that his car is traveling at over 100mph and he heads nose first into the pit wall. That really is going to leave a rather large dent in the car. As if that's not bad enough, he lands in the middle of the finishing straight facing the wrong way. [dSRC]dodo and vMaxKeiran react swiftly to avoid further mayhem.

Into Lap 16 now, just one more to go, and leader [dSRC]eckh followed by [dSRC]GenerAL enters the pits, with [dSRC]Greedy also visiting his beer stash for a quick top up. Meanwhile during this exceptionally long pit lane cruise, (\/)Mooney and Senna haven't been slouching and they take 1st and 2nd places with [dSRC]eckh taking 3rd and [dSRC]Grivage holding speed to squeeze [dSRC]GenerAL into 5th spot.

So with just one lap to go, the top five order is completely thrown on its head. In the distance [dSRC]dodo and vMaxKeiran are still keeping each other very much occupied in 6th and 7th until Keiran takes a bad bump and his suspension needs urgent repair. He pits breathing a sigh of relief as 8th place man ZWR|C.English is too far behind to put any sort of pressure on. Further back down the track is Grunt in 9th,having a good race by all accounts and [SR]Tongey in 10th, while [dSRC]Greedy and ZWR|D.Ashurst make up the back markers.

The last lap arrives and all that's required is to hold your nerve and drive the car home. 1st, 2nd & 3rd places keep it together but [dSRC]Grivage (doh!) losing the car going through the 1st chicane, is thrown off towards the wall and takes a piece off it to take home. [dSRC]GenerAL now smiling, cruises past and with [dSRC]dodo lurking in the background. This is going to cost [dSRC]Grivage 2 places. The rest of the grid remembers this very important rule and the order remains the same.

Crossing overthe line, (\/)R.Mooney takes 1st spot with Senna running up 2nd and [dSRC]eckh claiming 3rd place on the podium.

"(Well Done Mr Mooney!)"

Congratulations to Mercury's Bawbag or more formally known now as (\/)R.Mooney and to all of you guys and gals for racing and support throughout the event so far. It's definitely been one to remember for myself.

Race 2 Stats


Article and imgs by [dSRC]GenerAL