written by mark_van_haze
EGT4M | Season 2 | League B – Round 6 – Fuji – Sprint Race
The Fuji Speedway is a recent addition to GTS and while it was not everybodies favourite track, over time some us the racers (including me) started to see the qualities and challenges it brings to GTS as a great addition to the overall circuit experience.
The sprint race grid was not very full with only 10 drivers competing but we were already very close to Christmas which often means that there are many family related obligations that keep the drivers from getting online. However, after the qualifying and Super pole, LoneSurvivor started off in pole, nookal 2nd, Darky 3rd, manuel 4th, mark 5th, Nameless 6th, McMalan 7th, Simbalora 8th, kalam 9th and the superfast deruige 10th.
Right from the start, nookal got away quickly and grabbed the 1st spot and lead through into lap 2. But LoneSurvivor was close up behind and went for an attack as they entered the finishing straight, passing on the inside and getting into the lead. Further back deruige was climbing the ladder up to 5th, passing cleanly by mark_van_haze, while carrying a small 1.4 second penalty.
Running into lap 3, deruige went for another pass, this time it was manuel who had no slipstream to help him and also had some minor frontal aero damage, making that pass an easy one. Further back, coming into turn 1, Darky missed his braking point and bumped mark_van_haze in the rear, causing the Lambo and Darkys Corvette to spin out. This crash also caused some more contact for Nameless, SImbalora and Kalam but they managed to get through. But these things can happen and being fair (after all this is EGT4M) Darky let mark_van_haze pass him as to not gain a position after the shunt.
Lap 4 started with LoneSurvivor still leading over Nookal, deruige in 3rd, maunel 4th, McMalan 5th, kalam 6th, Simbalora 7th, Nameless 8th, mark 9th and Darky 10th. The gap between manuel and deruige was already 3 seconds and widening further as deruige kept the pace, also laying down a fastlap of 1:40,220. The gap up to 2nd was only 1.6 seconds, so he was likely to make it even further up. Lonesurvivor still had a solid second over nookal.
Lap 6 Macmalan got unlucky, caught some of the grass on the exit of the chicane and ended up spinning out and crashing into a barrier, leaving him with motor damage. He then limped home to the pit, leaving mark van haze slipstreaming him right up until the pit entry and putting him into 7th.
Lap 8 Simbalora managed to pass manuel and grab 4th while nookal made a minor error, opening the gap to Lonesurvivor and giving deruige a chance to get even closer to finishing in 2nd. Lap 9 nookal went a bit wide on the exit of a turn and could not regain that time, opening the door for deruige who immediately grabbed 2nd.
And so the final lap finishes with Lonesurvivor winning the sprint race, ahead of deruige, nookal 3rd, Simbalora 4th, maunel 5th, kalam 6th, mark 7th, Nameless 8th, McMalan 9th and Darky 10th.
The grid line up showed deruige in pole, Lonesurvivor 2nd, nookal 3rd, McMalan 4th, Kalam 5th, Simbalora 6th, manuel 7th, Nameless 8th, mark van haze 9th and Darky 10th. After a great formation lap the racers stormed into turn 1 but without any incidents, keeping it all relatively close. Deruige was commanding the pace and Lonesurvivor was doing his best to keep up but unfortunately as he passed the Dunlop sign, caught the outside grass and spun out, hitting the inner barrier. The frontal damage forced him to immediately pit and of course that would mean he had to change his race strategy as well in order to minimize the time lost.
Running into lap 4, deruige already opened his lead to 2.2 seconds over nookal and managed to get a fast lap of 1:39,282. Meanwhile nookal was struggling to keep an eye on deruige and McMalan managed to get his gap from 3rd to under a second. The gap to Simbalora in 4th was already 4 seconds, manuel in 5th trailed with another 4 seconds.
Lap 6 finished with most drivers going for a pitstop, fueling up and getting fresh tires. Coming out of the pits on fresh rubber, Nameless in 8th missed the braking point for turn 1 and went wide, dropping him into 10th. The pitstop also gave Simbalora 2nd as he did not change the tires on his Mercedes, with nookal close behind in 3rd.
Lap 10 deruige kept his 2.2 second lead with Simbalora doing really well on spent mediums in 2nd, followed by a close 0.5 gap of nookal in 3rd. Nearly 3seconds down was McMalan in 4th, LoneSurvivor 5th, kalam 6th, mark 7th and Nameless 8th. But by lap 11, nookal manages to pass Simbalora and grabs 2nd again. This was a good fight because nookal had the better tires yet the Mercedes is very fast on the straight and so Simbalora manages to get his spot back, passing nookal on the straight of lap 12.
But during lap 12 nookal does a clean pass, holds the 2nd again only to lose it on the straight of lap 13. And as its often the case, if two are battling, a 3rd will profit and McMalan enters turn 1 with only a 0.4 second gap to the two battling in front of him. And by lap 14 McMalan manages to squeeze by nookal, taking 3rd. This was also the lap Simbalora went for his pitstop to refuel and to finally get fresh tires. Kalam who was in 5th also went for his final pitstop and that meant 4th for the Cadbury Lambo. Simbalora then left the pits in 5th but on fresh mediums, ready for attacking a podium finish.
Lap16 sees McMalan going in for the final pitstop, closely followed by nookal in 3rd. Meanwhile Simbalora and Nameless race on the finish straight but it was not enough to get into turn 1 before nookal and McMalan. So lap 17 sees deruige in the lead, McMalan 2nd, mark 3rd, nookal 4th, Simbalora 5th, Nameless 6th, Lonesurvivor 7th and kalam 8th. Manuel 9th and Darky 10th.
Lap 18 starts with deruige coming out of his final pitstop with a 9 second lead of McMalan who had a 3.1 second gap behind him to nookal. Mark van haze did his final pitstop and that dropped him into 7th. With Nameless close behind.
By lap 21 Simbalora managed to pass kalam, leaving him in 5th, while McMalan was under heavy attack from nookal, entering lap 22 with nookal side by side. But thanks to the 4WD, the GTR managed to hold his own.
At the end of lap 25, Nameless decides to block mark van haze by pushing him into the side of the finish straight which did not end well for him as he ended up sliding over the track and hitting the side wall.
Lap 26 starts with McMalan and nookal side by side, battling hard for 2nd. But just on the exit of the last turn of lap 26, nookal went a bit wide, caught the astroturf on the left of the turn and spun out into hitting the barrier. Simbalora then managed to pass into 3rd, leaving nookal the unthankful 4th. And so the final lap ends with deruige winning, McMalan 2nd, SimbaLora 3rd, nookal 4th, kalam 5th, LoneSurvivor 6th, mark van haze 7th, Nameless 8th, manuel 9th and Darky 10th.