written by mark_van_haze
EGT4M | Season 2 | League A – Round 6 – Fuji
The Fuji track was a recent addition as one of the many free updates GTS is getting even a year after release. With a long straight and many long turns plus a final climbing chicane, this track is challenging but also a load of fun.
Unfortunately, many drivers could not attend the race due to the holiday season and while we always prefer a full starting grid, its understandable that sometimes life outside of GTS has to take preference. After the qualifying and super pole, the line up for the sprint race was set with Manu2011 in pole, followed by Leetchee in 2nd, Splash with fanboost in 3rd, APMeister 4th, VP Cobra 5th, IPSyko 6th, Rotec 7th and Marcolah 8th.
Leetchee got a great start, took the lead early, followed by Splash and Marcolah. Marcolah and Splash were fighting hard to get their podium spot but Marcolah held his own, even against the fanboost powered Splash.
Coming into turn 1 Marcolah took a clean inside line and passed into the lead, opening a gap of 1.6 seconds. By then Splash was in a IPsyko and Cobra sandwich, seemingly struggling to bring down the power and by lap 3 went very wide in turn 1 and ended up spinning out into the grass.
Marcolah meanwhile laid down a neat 1:39:650 with Leetchee closing the gap with his Viper, followed by Cobra. A larger gap down was Rotec and APMeister battling for 5th.
Lap 6 saw Cobra going very wide on turn 1, missing the brake point and rejoined just in time but that let Leetche get right up behind and passing him a few turns later. Cobra however was fighting hard and regained the spot again but cutting corners cost him 3.1 seconds penalty.
Meanwhile APMeister caught up with Leetchee and the fight for 4th was heating up. There was close racing through all of lap 7 and Rotec was profiting from that, closing in on APMeister.
But Leetchee went wide on the last uphill chicane, the pressure getting to him and APmeister passed on the inside with Rotec in his slipstream, leaving Leetchee in 6th.
Lap 9 Rotec and Leetchee kept trading places, fighting hard for 5th with Rotec struggling his light frontal aero and steering damage. But by the final lap, Rotec managed to keep it together, leading with 1.5 seconds on the finish straight.
The final lap finishes with Marcolah winning, followed by IPsyko, APMeister in 3rd, Rotec 4th, Cobra 5th, Leetche 6th, Manu 7th and Splash 8th.
The grid for the main race was IPsyko in pole, Marcolah 2nd, Cobra 3rd, Rotec 4th, Splash 5th, APMeister 6th, Leetchee 7th and Manu 8th. After a nice formation lap the race was off and a clean start put IPsyko in the lead with Marcolah and Cobra following in suit. By lap 3 APMeister was struggling and dropped into 6th, with Splash and Rotec ahead of him.
Lap 4 starts with IPsyko and Marcolah breaking away from the rest of the pack, with a 0.6 second gap between them and a 2.5 second gap to 3rd, Cobra.
By lap 5 the gap to Cobra opened up to 4 seconds as the leading IPsyko tried to keep the lead over Marcolah.
End of lap 7 was showing how tyre wear affected the Mclaren, with the gap opening up to IPsyko but the pitstop was next for most cars.
Meanwhile Marcolah laid down a fast lap of 1:38,845 while still trying to get closer to IPSyko leading the whole pack.
Lap 8 showed Leetchee climbing into 4th and the same lap Splash had a disconnect, leaving the race to a total of 7 drivers. Rotec passed Leetchee on the inside line for turn 1 and climbed into 4th instead. But as they climbed up the final turn of lap 9 Rotec caught the astroturf on the exit, slipped and ended up slamming into the opposite track barrier. This gave Leetchee 4th again and luckily Rotec had no damage but the gap was very big now with APMeister breathing down his neck.
Lap 13 IPSyko and Marcolah were still in close formation, then a 15 second gap to Cobra who exited the last turn with a bit of slide. This brought Leetchee and Rotec very close of the finishing straight and as they entered turn 1, Cobra went too wide, went to mow the outside lawn and by the time he re-joined the track, Rotec, Leetchee and APMeister slipped by him.
Now the battel for 4th was on and APMeister managed to pass Leetchee by the Dunlop sign. But climbing into the last turn, AP Meister went wide, and Cobra grabbed 4th followed by Leetchee in 5th.
Lap 15 started with Leetchee coming out of the pits on fresh tires but in last position. Meanwhile IPSyko kept a 1.4 second lead over Marcolah who was struggling to keep up with the Viper. Cobra in 3rd, with a a 25 second gap, followed by Rotec, APMeister and Manu. Lap 16 ends with APMeister and Manu in the pits, Leetche passing them, taking 5th but missing the brake point and ending up with APMeister on his tail.
Lap 17 ends with Marcolah and IPSyko in the pit, fueling up and getting new rubber. Quite some seconds later, Cobra went for his final pitstop as well. As he comes out of the pits, he just about manages to get ahead of Leetchee and it looked as if Leetchees strategy was working out, possibly opening the door to a podium finish. But Leetchee also had APMeister breathing down his neck and trying to grab 4th as well. As they came out of turn 3 Leetchee nets a 3.6 second penalty for cutting corners and also ends up going wide, opening a 3.8 second gap to APMeister.
Lap 20 the Jag was closing in on Cobra and with a 0.5 second gap, it was looking very good for APMeister to nab a podium finish. And in lap 21 Cobra slid out and APMeister slipped past into 3rd.
Cobra was not taking this lying down so he fought hard to stick behind the Jag but cutting corners netted him a 2 second penalty, yet a great exit on the last turn to the straight, putting him side by side as they entered lap 23. However, knowing he needed to spool off the penalty he chose to work on that and stay in the Jaguars slipstream.
Meanwhile Rotec in 5th was looking back on Leetchee and Manu who battled hard. In fact passing the Dunlop sign, Manu made contact trying to pass on the inside and pushing Leecthee out of the track who ends up slamming into a barrier. He then limped back into the pits to fix the damage and that left him in last. Meanwhile the battle for 5th was on and Manu managed to push his Ferrari past Rotec as he shoots out of turn 1 in lap 26. He still had a 3.1 second penalty so Rotec still had a solid chance to get his 5th back. And as they ran into the final lap, Rotec fought hard and passed Manu again crossing the line as 5th. The final race result was Marcolah winning the race, IPsyko 2nd, APMeister in an excellent 3rd, Cobra 4th, Rotec 5th, Manu 6th and Leetchee 7th.