written by mark_van_haze
Season 2 | League A – Round 4 – MONZA SPRINT
Monza always promises for some exciting action and after a great showing of the league B, all eyes were now on the league A drivers.
The line up for the sprint race consisted of the returning I-NEED-MONEY in pole, Manu 2nd, Litchi 3rd, Splash 4th, Magic who won the fanboost bonus 5th, Kyd_Stig 6th, Castor 7th, Subaloo 8th, AP-Meister 9th, CrazyJohn 10th, Cobra 11th, Rotec 12th and Marcolah 13th.
The lights went off and right from the start Litchi got away very quickly putting himself in 2nd behind Manu, while Money released his brake a bit early and ended up letting the majority of the field pass him by. All went rushing into the first chicane, but the pros proved that it can be done without a massive pile up and the whole field got through without any contact. Litchi emerged as the leader of the pack with Manu on his tail while the championship leaders Rotec and Marcolah were already side by side, battling in 9th and 10th. Lining up into chicane 2, KidStig who was on 5th got onto the grass and slammed into the wall leaving him with frontal damage.
Coming through the Parabolica, Magic decided to pit as he suffered some rear axle damage in the first chicane while the rest of the field rushed on into the second lap. Litchi still had the lead, opening the gap to 0.6 seconds over Manu who had Subaloo now on his tail in 3rd, Splash in 4th, Rotec 5th, Castor 6th, Marcolah 7th and APMeister 8th, Cobra 9th, CrazyJohn 10th and Money in 11th, Magic 12th and KidStig in last.
Racing down into Parabolica, APMeister goes for an inside overtake and this forced Marcolah onto the outside, forcing him to visit the gravel and dropping into 10th. But the move did not work out well APMeister either and it was Castor who slid through the gap, putting him into 7th and John into 8th.
As lap 3 comes to an end, Litchi had a lead of over 3.7 seconds with Subaloo in 2nd Manu in 3rd. But Rotec was already on his tail in 4th with Castor right behind in 5th.
In lap 4 Manu and Subaloo enter the chicane side by side and Manu manages to pass into 2nd as they raced down into the second chicane. Rotec was close behind but just could not get an opening to overtake which was closing the gap for Castor right behind him.
Racing over the line we saw a very close fight between Rotec in 4th, CrazyJohn and Castor, as nobody was giving even an inch. But the fight went on and up until the Parabolica where Rotec went for the outside to pass Manu and right behind was Castor who ended up taking the turn very wide, crossing into the green area on the outside of the Parabolica. He managed to rejoin though, coming out side by side with CrazyJohn who was in 6th. That fight went on into chicane one but Castor completely missed the braking point and went straight into the barriers. He then was reset and just as he joined in the chicane, unlucky Magic got pushed into the gravel.
Lap 6 was now well on its way and Litchi opened his lead to 4.8 seconds, with Subaloo in 2nd and Rotec trailing him by 2.2 seconds. Manu was in 4th followed by John and Marcolah in 6th. But driving into the straight for Parabolica there was some lag issue for Marcolah who ended up bumping into John which left him with rear damage and Marcolah with engine damage – it really was not his lucky day.
The final lap started with Rotec in 3rd but with a 3 second penalty while behind him there was a close battle between Manu in 4th and Cobra in 5th. Coming out of the second chicane, the damaged John fought hard but lost a position to the Jaguar of AP-Meister who slipped into 6th position.
And so the race ended with Litchi in 1st, Subaloo 2nd, Rotec 3rd, Cobra 4th, Manu 5th, Ap-Meister 6th, CrazyJohn 7th, Castor 8th, Marcolah 9th, Splash 10th, KidStig 11th , Money in 12th and Magic in 13th.
The grid for the main race was set with AP-Meister in pole, Rotec 2nd, Marcolah 3rd, Cobra 4th, Castor 5th, KydStig 6th, Splash 7th, CrazyJohn 8th, Subaloo 9th, Manu 10th, Litchi 11th and I-NEED_MONEY 12th.
After one grid bug and a restart, all got through a clean formation lap and the race was on. AP-Meister was leading the charge and the whole grid got through the first chicane without any major incidents. All were jostling for positions, close slip stream racing everywhere but coming out of Lesmo 2, Money caught the outside grass and skated right over the track into the barriers, leaving him with frontal damage and dropping into last.
Racing down the start, Rotec comes out of the Jags slipstream and manages to take the inside line, overtaking APMeister and leaving him now in 2nd, with Marcolah right on his bumper. This fight continued into lap4 where the two GTRs were bumper to bumper behind the Jag. As they came out of the Parabolica, Cobra decides to pit and go for an undercut while Marcolah kept sticking to APMeisters rear. As these two entered the first chicane Marcolah finally managed to pass the Jag, now hunting for Rotec who had a lead of 2.1 seconds.
Lap 5 saw Subaloo drop out due to a connection issue, leaving only 12 cars in the race. Before the lap ended, all leading drivers went for their pitstop, changing the order to Litchi in 1st, followed by Rotec and Marcolah 3rd. Of course Litchi still had his pitstop coming up so by lap 6 Rotec took the lead.
Lap 7 starts with a close battle between APMeister and Marcolah and by chicane two, the Jag had the upper hand. This played nicely into Rotecs hand, giving him a 5 second lead. But by lap 8 Marcolah is back in the lead only to lose it to APMeister in the second chicane.
Sprinting down to the first chicane, lap 9 starts with Castor and Manu zooming side by side but the Mitsubishi got the better exit, leaving him now in 5th and Manu in 6th.
Rotec was now way ahead of the pack with over 6 seconds, letting him do clean fast laps of 1:53,792.
Lap 10 CrazyJohn sucked up to Manu to go for a pass on the outside as they both raced towards the 2nd chicane and braking late, he skilfully drifts through the first part of the chicane and grabs to lead over Manu.
More pitstops meant another shake up, with Cobra in 4th, Castor 5th, CrazyJohn 6th, Splash 7th and Magic 8th. Also worth noting were the penalties which were starting to pile up more and more. Marcolah in 3rd, was already on a 6.3 second penalty with a 3 second lead over the 4th Cobra. But Cobra was also hamstering his penalties with a nice 5.2 seconds while Castor in 5th had 3.9 seconds. CrazyJohn was not as naughty with no penalties so there was a chance of him catching up on the leaders.
Halftime and Rotec was doing his alien impression, lap after lap opening his lead to over 8 seconds. Ending this lap he went for his pitstop putting MArcolah in the lead, followed by Cobra, Castor and John. He came out with fresh mediums and an 80% tank in 5th, 7.4 seconds behind John.
Lap 13 saw an eventful fight between CrazyJohn and Castor, where both were haring down towards the second chicane, John left the slipstream as late as possible, took the outside line but could not hold his line and went for the gravel pit.
Lap 14 started with Castor, Cobra and John doing their pitstop and by lap 15 the leader was Rotec, AP_Meister, Marcolah then a 6.7 second gap to Cobra, Castor, CrazyJohn in 6th, Magic 7th and Splash in 8th. Magic was fighting hard and was not letting up, keeping close to John with only a 0.7 second gap. APMeister was having a great race in 2nd but he also was constantly under pressure from Marcolah who tried to pass him on various occasions. Since he still had a 5.3 second penalty to spool off, it was very important to get past as soon as possible. In lap 17 he got a great exit out of the 2nd chicane, racing into Lesmo 1 but coming out of that turn he nearly lost the car, just like McMalan did in the League B race, as his rear left tire got onto the green markings outside of the turn. But with lots of skill and luck he managed to catch the drifting GTR and continued pressuring APMeister.
But by lap 18 APMeister was battling again with Marcolah as they turned into the 1st chicane, this time Marcolah managed to pass into 2nd as APMeister came out oversteering in the exit.
And then came the battle between Castor and CrazyJohn. This was a hard one and caused an incident that would affect both, one with after race penalties and the other in the race itself. It started off with Castor defending and cutting the inside corner of Ascari a bit too harsh, giving him a 5 second penalty. Both then continued towards the Parabolica, side by side with Castor on the inside but he was not giving John a lot of room and through the midway point, John loses traction as he drives over the marbles in the green, spinning out completely and rage quitting the race.
Lap 19 and our alien Rotec was still running one 1:54 second lap after another, giving him a lead of 11.2 seconds over Marcolah. Meanwhile Marcolah was keeping his lead over APMeister of 1.5 seconds but he still had to serve his remaining 2.9 seconds. 6 seconds further back was Cobra pretty much driving on his own as Castor was a good 3 seconds behind.
Lap 23 we see KydStig pressuring the Ferrari of Manu, trying hard to get that 8th position but he struggled as the Ferrari was just faster coming out of Parabolica. But the Porsche was not giving up and in the last lap of the race, KydStig did it, passing Manu in the Parabolica grabbing the 8th position. And so the race comes to an end with Rotec crossing the line with a 15 second lead, followed by Marcolah in 2nd, AP-Meister in 3rd, Cobra 4th, Magic 5th, Splash 6th, Castor 7th, KydStig 8th, Manu 9th, Litchi 10th and Money in 11th.