written by mark_van_haze
EGT4M | Season 2 | LEAGUE B – Round 2 – Blue Moon Bay Infield A
The sprint race promised to be very interesting and challenging for league B. In pole we had batti7 followed by The_Nameless-01, mark_van_haze, deruige in 4th, Dkayyy187, manuel5025, xRabauke87 in 7th and Simba2009Lora in 8th. We had a clean start, no bugs and markvanhaze had a bad start, immediately dropping into 4th, putting Nameless into 2nd followed by Dkayyy in 3rd. But by turn 2 things started to go out of hand, a collision involving 4 cars leaving deruige and kalam, the leader of the championship, with massive damage at the back of the field.
As we enter lap 3, the top 3 stayed unchanged with batti leading the field with a 1.3 second margin to the 2nd placed Nameless. Dkayyy was trailing by 2.1 seconds and markvanhaze by 3.4 seconds. On 5th the new addition to the league B, McMALAN was holding his position against XRabauke, slipstreaming right behind him. Simbalora lead the last group with a 18.8 second gap with few options to a podium.
By lap 5 the leaders were already starting to deal with the back markers, showing how short the Blue Moon track really is. Dkayyy who was doing well on 3rd and closing the gap to 2nd, made slight contact with the barriers and that netted him aero damage as well as suspension damage. This allowed markvanhaze to pass through and grab 3rd position.
In lap 9 we saw Rabauke sucking up to McMalan, reducing the gap to a mere 0.3 seconds as they turned into turn 2. Dkayyy was starting to drop back more and more, promising a close fight for the 4th position. Entering lap 10, McMalan easily passes the damaged Dkayyy, putting himself into 4th with a 5.5 second gap to markvanhaze.
By lap 11, batti was still holding the lead with his Ferrari, followed by the Ferrari of Nameless while markvanhaze seemed to have given up on going for an offence and stayed on 3rd with a 7 second gap to Nameless.
Turn 2 in lap 12 became the point where McMalan just could not hold the line anymore and gave in to the pressure Rabauke was dealing over the last few laps. Going wide, he hit the barrier, leaving a clear pass for Rabauke into 4th. But only a few hundred meters later, Rabauke slides into the weeds and gives McMalan a free pass to regain his 4th spot.
On the last lap the first 4 positions remain unchanged with batti in 1st, Nameless in 2nd, markvanhaze in 3rd, but Rabauke manages to squeeze past McMalan once again, crossing the line in 4th, McMalan 5th, Dkayyy in 6th, SimbaLora 7th, manuel 8th, kalam in 9th and a DNF from deruige.
The formation lap was not working well again and the space between the cars was so large that there simply was no way the leader could properly start the field. But the race started anyway and maybe that was also a good thing as the whole field managed to get through turn 1 and 2 without any collisions. As the drivers start lap 3, we saw deruige leading the pack, manuel in 2nd, kalam in 3rd, Dkayyy in 4th, Simbalora in 5th, McMalan in 6th, markvanhaze in 7th, and Rabauke in 8th. But right after turn 2, Dkayyy goes for the weeds and immediately slips down into 7th, and kalam fought his way up into 3rd. The bad news continued for Dkayyy as he entered into the last turn for lap 3, hitting the barrier and getting serious damage, leaving him in 10th position.
Lap 4 started with manuel in the lead, followed by deruige and on 3rd a fast McMalan. Simbalora was on 4th followed by a large gap and then markvanhaze in 5th. But it was not going to be a good race for markvanhaze who slides out into the weeds and by a miracle manages to avoid hitting a barrier in turn 4. However, sliding over the track he managed to hit the innocent batti, who was left with front damage entering into turn 5.
Lap 6 saw the Hyundai of manuel go wide and slide off onto the grass, dropping him into 5th and letting kalam climb another spot onto 4th. This lap also saw the first pitstop with deruige doing his first tire swap and refuelling the thirsty BMW. The rest of the field managed to squeeze out another few laps but finishing the 7th lap started with kalam pitting and changing the order. Now it was McMalan leading the pack with SimbaLora in 2nd, manuel in 3rd, Nameless in 4th, batti 5th, Rabauke in 6th.
Lap 10 started with McMalan pitting but only filling up half a tank, going for a 2 or 3 stop strategy. Coming out of the pitstop, he managed to keep his lead over Simbalora, with a 2.3 second gap. Manuel was in 3rd, Nameless in 4th and deruige in 5th who also managed to lay down a fastest lap of 1:11.430. Markvanhaze managed to spin out again and accumulated heavy frontal damage, leaving him in 9th position, right after his pitstop. This left him no choice but to keep driving with the damage and paying the speed penalty on each lap.
Lap 13 sees a position swap between deruige and Nameless, dropping the Ferrari of Nameless into 5th, with Rabauke trailing him with 3.1 seconds.
Entering the last turn of lap 16 we saw Simbalora fighting hard to keep ahead of manuel who kept right inside of his slipstream. Both entered the pits and swapped tires, filled up the tanks and managed to leave the pit lane the same order they came in.
Lap 17 Nameless slid out into the weeds, crossed the track but luckily did not hit anything hard enough to result in damage. This gave Rabauke a pass into 3rd position as they entered lap 18.
By lap 19 Rabauke started to challenge Nameless for his 4th position by reducing his gap to 0.5 seconds. But Simbalora was also in his slipstream, making for an exciting fight. The end of this lap also meant a pitstop for the leader McMalan and second placed deruige. But Mcmalan managed to come out in the lead with a 3.4 second lead over Nameless, followed by Simbalora with only 0.5 seconds behind. But Nameless had to pit before starting the next lap which left Simbalora take 2nd.
Things started to heat up around lap 21 where Rabauke, deruige and Manuel were battling it out for 3rd,4th and 5th respectively. But deruige managed to break away and by the beginning of lap 24, deruige was not only laying down a new fastest lap of 1.11.186 but also managed to squeeze by Simbalora, placing himself into 2nd.
Lap 26 saw more pitstops, swapping the positions around. Now we had batti in 5th, followed by Rabauke, manuel and kalam in 8th. The gap between 1st and second was shrinking to 1.9 seconds and with both McMalan and deruige on a similar strategy, we expected a tight finish between the two. 12 seconds behind saw Nameless leading the followers Simbalora, batti and Rabauke in 6th.
On the second to last turn in lap 28 there was a close battle between Manuel and Rabauke, trading lots of paint without spinning out or taking serious damage.
The end of lap 29 saw the gap between McMalan and deruige shrink to 0.5 seconds. McMalan did manage to hold this gap but felt the pressure of deruige as they both turned into the last turn of that lap. Mcmalan tried to trick deruige by turning into the pit really late but since both needed to pit, deruige just followed suit. Both filled up about half a tank and even so, McMalan manged to get out with a gain on his lead of 3 seconds. This pitstop also reduced the gap to Simbalora who was running in 4th with manuel and Rabauke behind him.
Lap 34 deruige already managed to reduce the gap to McMalan down to 1.7 seconds, pushing very hard on these final laps. At this point both were driving low 1.11 second lap times, pushing hard even this late in the race.
Lap 35 we saw Simbalora in the pits, swapping the order in the rear field with manuel now on 3rd. Meanwhile McMalan managed to keep up the pace and profit from minor mistakes by deruige, opening up the gap to 1.7 seconds. With only 5 laps to go, the window of opportunity for a win for deruige seemed to fade away. But deruige was not giving in and by lap 38 managed to reduce the gap to 0.7 seconds as they ran under the bridge.
The fight went on and lap 39 opens up with a close call of the two, trading paint in turn 1, with McMalan not letting go of his position and as they were entering the long straight, trying hard to break the slipstream. But deruige stuck to him like a bad smell and it was turn 1 of the last lap where it all changed. McMalan took the tight inside line while deruige went wide, carrying more speed into the next turn and managing to undercut McMalan who could not hold his line and made slight contact with the wall. That was enough to swap places and deruige managed to take the lead and cross the finish line in 1st! In second we had McMalan, Simbalora in 3rd, batti in 4th, manuel in 5th, 6th Rabauke, 7th Nameless, markvanhaze in 8th, kalam in 9th and Grisu in 10th.
ROUND 2 League B STREAM