December 2015

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Insane Decay Of Mind: The Sound Of Silence – A Trip Through Act I.

Features

‘Katherine – Katherine – Are you alive? Katy?’

A flash of white, a quick glimpse of my own bruised hand and I was off. As I looked around in an attempt to take in my surroundings for the first time, I was met by an on-screen prompt – indicating controls to be used, a blip to follow to the next point of progression and a handy notepad that demanded consulting lest I lose all sense of what I should be doing. And consult I did right away; in one neat, pencil-written line it read – ‘I must find a way out of here.’ Neat.

Here was lifeless; drab, sickeningly bare walls against a solid wooden floor echoed but the sound of my footsteps in unison with the gentle hum of a single overhead light surrounded by flies. I took a peek around the immediate corner – pitch black. Just as I took my first step into the darkness the lights came on with a resonating clang, illuminating a corridor similar to the one I was in prior only this time, with a flashing door by the corner at its end.

As ushered, I swung it open, catching yet another glimpse at what were my battered hands. They weren’t as bad as I presumed them to be – the injury seemingly concentrated around the tallest finger, the blood over which had nearly dried itself black. The door swung open to reveal a room not much bigger than a dozen feet in length and width; a set of old, rusting lockers lay on my right flank – a raven black as death itself perched on top of them. It nibbled at something, breaking only to sneak a peek at the room opposite it. Somebody had left its door ajar, but even that hadn’t grabbed my attention, no. My gaze instead, had fallen on the man that stood by the windows at the other end of the room.

Clad in a dark brown overcoat and oversized trousers to match his gut, he bowed his head to take one long drag off a cigarette. As he moved his head up to exhale, I expected his face – that had up until now been obscured by a fedora – to contort or at least react in my presence. It didn’t; even as I stood less than an arm’s length away. Just as I began my retreat a voice emerged from the room to the left – ‘I don’t care what you do to her, I just want you to make her inoffensive.’ There wasn’t much sense to it nor would the door open to reveal what was going on behind it. I resorted then to the lockers hoping to learn more of my whereabouts, only to be greeted instead by nothing bigger than a bleeding, lifeless rodent.

The next few moments involved turning a few more corners, stumbling over the occasional discarded written note or two that seemed to report on ‘patients’ past and an underlying mental situation; It began to dawn on me that the structure I was in was perhaps an old asylum of sorts. As my thoughts raced I stumbled upon what seemed to be the game’s first offering of a puzzle; a T-junction where three corridors, each with a door at its end, met. To my right sat a woman – dressed in an outfit that seemed to resemble that of a peon’s – sobbing – oblivious to my presence just as the man had been.

I took the door behind her, coming to yet another crossroads that seemed strikingly similar to the previous except this time, the lights were switching themselves off one at a time with loud, resonating clangs. Now tn total darkness, half expecting to be startled to death, I took to the first interactive room that stood beside me; an office with a large desk at its centre replete with a blotter, other office stationery and a table lamp that was still on.  Newspaper cuttings littered its top, speaking of Wars and Politics and just as I peered over them to ascertain their usefulness, my eyes fell over a glass-enclosed model of a manor that stood adjacent to the door.

A closer look revealed it to be that of a St. Angor Manor – dark, grey and ominous, was this where I was? I moved on, getting back out on the crossroads and opting for the corridor and its door at the center. The lights had now begun to come back, one at a time with the same clanging as before, alerting me not only of the fact that I had returned to a similar three way corridor as the ones prior, but also of a presence seated bang dead at the junction’s centre.

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Clad in an all back suit, a tie to go with and a grotesque skeletal face stared right through me with a posture of the living. I winced, not knowing if I should move forward or refrain from, until I realised to my relief that he too, couldn’t see me. I picked the corridorto the left this time, entering a room with only one interactive door in sight and a grand piano on its other end. All I had to do was approach before it began playing a tune so chillingly moody that I decided to quickly moved to what lay behind the blinking door and not linger any longer; Yet another corridor that ended with a 90 degree corner to its left.

As I made my way through the two hospital styled beds at the turn, the screen froze; the character I controlled looked to both her sides as if aware of a presence I was yet to fathom, before looking back around the corner at the corridor I’d come from. There, pale white and clothed in black, a woman stood below the fly infested overhead light with her eyes set dead on me.

She lurched forward; I didn’t walk anymore, I ran, turning corner after corner in quick succession as she stayed hot on my heels. The corridors went on forever until a door finally arrived, revealing behind it a forest enclosure that for some reason – was in monochrome. An anxious look through the rain behind affirmed that the pale woman had not followed me through; Thankful, I carried on along the only visible path before arriving at an opening within the enclosure. Through the foliage, I’d noticed a couple – a man and a woman standing emotionless by the shadows as if awaiting my arrival.  ‘Mum! Finally – I thought I was lost’, exclaimed our protagonist in relief, leading me to believe that the horror had subsided for the moment. ‘We’re leaving Katherine. We’re going to London – your aunt cannot host you any longer.’

What? Why? And what did that have to do with me being here? ‘This isn’t funny Katherine’, announced the man – of course it wasn’t and they weren’t helping any. Unsure of what came next, I moved to look for an alternate path through the forest – I’d turned around when suddenly, my heart skipped a beat. Standing there, staring right at me with glowing, yellow eyes was the protagonist herself – ‘Katherine’ is how the subtitles referred to her as she simply said in the same child-like voice that had opened the game, ‘Goodnight Katy’ before the screed faded to black against a blaring shrill. What the – ?

Hard as it may be to believe, all of the above narrative was encompassed by the mere ten to fifteen minutes that comprised Insane Decay of Mind: The Sound of Silence’s prologue. Inspired by ‘One Foot Wrong’, a disturbing tale of suffering and repression by Australian novelist Sofie Laguna and conceived by independent Italian developers GoManga Interactive, Insane Decay speaks of Katherine Watson – a woman who finds herself trapped within what she recognizes as her school of old. Promising a riveting tale that would be equal parts novella and interactive, the game itself has been immersed in the thick of development since its inception back in 2014.

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And yet through it all, GoManga have managed to keep fan interest stoked; releasing its first playable teaser back in October, 2014 that acted as but a short amalgamation of a several sequences from the game and another in April this year, that showcased but an older version of the prologue that I’ve spent the earlier half of this article narrating. Now over a year since its first teaser, Insane Decay stands not only with a pumped up version of said prologue, but with the entirety of the First of Three Acts that are to comprise it fully functional as well. With changes and updates being made daily in preparation for a crowdfunding campaign by the end of the year, we were more than anxious to take a whirl of said version of the Act, more so given the limited amount of visual material we were exposed to in its month’s tenure on the community.

Shortly after the pandemonium of the prologue, a quick introductory credit roll had commenced a recurring pattern within the Act – one where the narrative would oscillate between Katherine’s current predicament and her past, the latter of which predominantly involved the Act’s ‘exploratory’ portions. These exploratory portions were in effect ‘flashbacks’ that served to delve deeper into Katherine’s past in school – the very same manor – and the events that had finally culminated in her current plight. More than provide a backstory however, these exploratory portions played an important role in maximising user engagement by breaking away from the adrenaline rush and having players perform a set amount of ‘quests’ or tasks to progress within the narrative.

These tasks mandated interacting with the students and the supposed faculty of the school, performing errands for either party across the manor. Disappointingly though, these exploratory portions quickly turned out to be the lowest point of the game’s offered experience. The reasons for this were uncountable; for one, the tasks themselves came off as absolutely pointless and rather murderous of the brilliant pace & tone the game had set for itself in the beginning. A peer would require Katherine to distract a faculty member so that the rest could steal food from the canteen, a ‘teacher’ would ask for a lost book to be sought out amongst the students’ rooms, another would ask for a notorious student’s clique to be determined while someone else would ask for help on a speech.

To be fair, these tasks were creatively challenging in their own right. The two storey portion of the manor within which the exploratory portions did take place was rather drab and minimal in furniture and layout in the absence of any map/compass, forcing players to rely on the sign-boards beside each door to indicate which of the canteen, reception, office, warehouse, garden and so forth lay behind them and guide their way forward. Hints were kept at a minimum to keep finding that way forward stimulating – offering players the option to avail of one within a task only when the game realised you were dilly-dallying for too long, which I had been doing quite a bit.

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In this way, the exploratory portions encouraged the use of wit in completing its set of tasks but also destroyed it on account of its own design; one of the alpha’s most prominent flaws was its poorly written dialogue and voice acting. While that of Katherine’s and the others during the prologue were mediocre, those of the students and faculty in the exploratory sections were abysmal. This, coupled with the fact that the alpha did very little to explain what I should be doing next made it difficult for me to understand how I was supposed to, say, find out who was talking about my friend Ian’s secret ‘rebellion’ to a certain Ms. Hudson .

For which I wandered around aimlessly, knocking down doors and looking under every table until I found a note lying in a room that alluded to a certain Oswald being the rat in question. Overjoyed, I returned to tell Ian – being as he was the one who’d set me on the witch hunt – only to realise he couldn’t be interacted with. Perplexed, I consulted Katherine’s notepad, which only said ‘It is Oswald. Oswald is the one talking to Ms. Hudson!’ What was I supposed to do now? And how was I to progress? I wandered some more until a blip appeared on screen signalling me to a particular area of the manor.

There stood a woman motionless, whom I assumed to be Ms. Hudson given that I could interact with her. Choosing to do so had me complain to her about Oswald and divert her attention to his misdeeds.  Leave alone the task coming across as being of unworthy of any time spent over it, things could have been made so much more easier had there been more comprehensible dialogue from Ian that said, ‘Katherine, you could try looking through the others’ rooms or eavesdrop on conversations; and once you seem to learn who the rat might be, get back here and let’s discuss what comes next ’, or at least if the notepad alone alluded to it more firmly.

This would soon prove to be a massive angst builder – as tasks similar or even worse than these piled up with no sign of a reward, rhyme or reason to justify spending half an hour trying to figure out what to do next. Interestingly, certain tasks did offer the benefit of choice in either choosing to support or defy a peer or task provider over certain morally challenging actions – as was with the Oswald task wherein I had the choice of both supporting Ian and informing Ms. Hudson of Oswald’s misdeeds or betraying Ian and warning Ms. Hudson of his actions. Unfortunately, the results of my moral choices weren’t witnessed within the first Act, adding all the more to my frustration.  At the end of it all, neither could I relate to Katherine nor think like her anymore; making it seem as if I was in control of a bot subjected to pretentious little tasks for the sake of progression within the game.

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Naturally, my troubles were brought to the developers’ notice who had been monitoring the alpha’s performance as I played it throughout. It was one thing to bring down the pace for the sake of a good narrative but to take it in a new direction altogether with meaningless, poorly written tasks was disheartening, I confessed. They weren’t meaningless, Director Francesco Squillante explained. ‘ The choices made within the Act do affect its course – you may unlock a enw area of the manor, quests and even notice changes in Katherine’s behavior. The effect those choices have however isn’t as profound or noticeable as it will be in Act II though – Every choice, every decision you make. while it may not seem so now, will radically change the manor over the course of the Second Act. These tasks were meant to serve as but a warmup to the next Act’s quests.’

Squillante also stated that the team was aware of the game’s poor state of voice acting and dialogue. ‘The first thing we’re considering is perhaps making the game’s dialogues open source and allowing our fan base to make changes and even translate them to new languages.’ This if anything, would help tackle several of the typos and sentence construction issues that plagued not just the subtitles but the loading screens that showed off quotes from Katherine as well. ‘If the changes made are drastic, we’ll go back to dubbing. As for voice actors, we’re definitely in need of new ones.’

To add to my momentary dismay, the alpha refused to progress after completing all quests – which thankfully, was narrowed down to a Quest line error and rectified within a moment’s notice by the development team. Fortunately the game’s novella and horror roots continued to stay alive when I wasn’t forced to explore and do others’ bidding; the game would return to the present after performing a set number of quests, subject me to a quick thrill that would raise even more questions, before reverting back to the past.

By the end of the second exploratory section, the narrative had picked up; Shedding more light on Katherine’s personality as a school child and an event that may have subsequently left a scar on her mental being. This quickly culminated into the Act’s finale sequence that was by far the most engaging and enthralling portion of the alpha yet. I was exposed more than once to the unexpected – interactive encounters with dark entitites, jumps, scares and an eventual cliff-hanger that succeeded in fuelling my anticipation for Act II.

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It was then  that I realised that the terrible writing of the game’s exploratory sections aside, Insane Decay was – at least judging from what was played the Act’s prologue and finale – a very innovative and intelligently conceived horror tale that could very well rival the if not surpass some of mainstream gaming’s horror offerings in terms of a primary plot. A large portion of this feat is achieved via its unpredictability and suspense not just in its storyline, but in its gameplay as well.

For instance, the T-junction sequence in the prologue would differ depending on the sequence or order in which each of the three doors were picked. This would lead to new areas, encounters and a few more interactive objects that not only served to shed more light on the Manor’s occurrences and past, but were also elusive in that one might quite easily progress to the next stage of the game without experiencing any or all of them. The Act’s finale illustrated more of the same randomness through different game-play sequences asserting that even in its alpha state, Insane Decay was showing remarkable replay value.

Through it all, gameplay remained relatively smooth and suffered a major dip in frame-rate only once during the prologue’s forest sequence. The basic structure of the manor and its claustrophobic, occasionally gory ambience in the prologue and Act’s finale came off as incredibly well-crafted – more so with the updated version of the alpha that was provided to me following the Quest line bug. Materials, textures, reflections, particle effects and lighting were more than effective in conveying a sense of dread, loneliness and looming danger.

That said, the Manor does deserve to be populated not only with sa larger variety of inanimate objects & furniture, but distinguishing features in each of its rooms & corridors to add to its mystery, variety and size. In its current state, several of the rooms, areas and corridors seem very much alike each other and while this might be part of its attempt to drive the player insane by causing them to feel they were travelling in circles – there’s no reason why its walls and corridors shouldn’t be populated with frames, tables, personal effects and other artifacts that would only add depth to the narrative and experience.

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The exploratory sections though seem to demand an overhaul. Even though supposedly populated by children, as conveyed by a running sound effect of a crowd of children screaming, playing, laughing and yelling, the same failed to come through visually. Intricately designed as they might have been, the minimal number character models didn’t do much besides standing around by themselves against a wall like mannequins or sitting/lying down like toys in their rooms – which were rather drab as well. Of course, some of them could be seen interacting with each other or chasing each other around but these came off as rather unnatural given that there was barely any dialogue between the conversing parties.

This was also prominent during one other scene that took Katherine outside the manor to a circus. While the ambience brought about by sound effects and music was that of fun & frolic, NPC’s merely stood looking at suppossed circus performers who was an inanimate themselves. Perhaps this was meant to be to illustrate only the fragment of the scene that Katherine did remember?

Regardless, if said exploratory sections are to be improved, not only do they need to be populated to a greater extent but also filled with a greater variety of NPC animations and dialogue to truly create an atmosphere of being amongst Katherine’s peers. Moreover, rooms and corridors in these sections need to be detailed in a manner that actually conveys the presence of other children and faculty members at a time when horror was yet to enter the tale. Differentiating the Manor’s past and present interiors would go a long way in drawing players into the tasks and having them emote as Katherine does. Without a doubt though, the audio and SFX department (not considering the voice acting) is where Insane Decay comes into its own. The sound effects that accompany the sequential turning on/off of overhead lights in the prologue, the intermittent crescendos and subsequent musical bellows are undeniably classic horror material that significantly amplify the jumps and scares of the Act.

In terms of ingenuity then, Insane Decay of Mind excels at every avenue – construing a narrative and tale that succeeds at drawing a player in and encourages them to push forward in a desperate attempt to unravel the mystery and horror that shrouds it. The adolescent team of Italians have created for themselves what is quite possibly a lore with every potential of being an indie horror classic – provided its chinks, major ones at that, created by bad voice acting, subpar dialogue, overall inconsistency in writing and experience and an intermittent lack of detail are eliminated, which in its own right won’t be an easy task. They have the concept of a great narrative nailed, no doubt, yet only need to realise their immediate shortcomings and work to overcome them in a manner that does their tale justice.

Now, with Act two well into development, Squillante tells us that the team intends to make an all new demo of the game available to the public by the dawn of next year. The start of the year will also witness them debut Insane on a crowd-funding platform with three other Italian developers while progressing with the game’s core development as normal. If successful, an appearance at the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco and Game Connection is also on the books. And so, with them aiming to finish the second Act by April and the third by summer, 2016 – Insane Decay Of Mind is already gearing itself up for a late 2016 release.

As always, to keep track of everything Insane as they unfold, follow up on progress so far or simply drop them a message, feel free to stop by their Higher Eclectic Space.

This report serves to provide our members – GoManga Interactive –  with constructive criticism and feedback pertaining to the development of their game. Every flaw, error and shortcoming has been personally conveyed to the team; improvements and changes may or may not be made as per their vision. Feel free to share your opinions on the same as well.

We’ve Only Just Begun – The BSRTC Pro Series’ Finale.

BSRTC PRO Series, Features

‘After a long, long season, on behalf of the commentary team I would like to wish everyone the best of luck for tonight.

It has been an honour to have been on this journey with you all, starting in March, finishing in December, and taking on international TV along the way! (Big thanks to Lee Thompson and Alex Marshall for their fantastic work!) Well done to the league admins, especially Jeroen Keizer for all the great work with the scoring. Congratulations to all the drivers who have taken part, the 100 of you who have scored championship points, you have been outstanding.

Lastly a big thank you to Alex Simpson and Adam Bath – friends and colleagues in the commentary box; it’s been an absolute pleasure gents.

So on to Daytona. Let’s make it fast, fun and fair, and may the best drivers take home the money!’

 

 

Four hours prior to the finale of the Season at Daytona Road – one that had seen 50 drivers, 11 teams, $10,000 in prize money and a MotorsTV UK broadcast come together for 35 weeks of what had proved to be IRacing’s most formidable user-created Touring Car offering yet – the mood set by ApexRacing TV commentator Andrew Woodhouse was seemingly one that was shared by a large proportion of the BSRTC community.

And why not – drivers had toiled for nearly a year several weeks in a row, sifted through highs and lows, fought on track, argued off it and made it out alive in what was perhaps their virtual racing career’s boldest, most tempestuous outing yet. Emotional, as Engine Oil Direct’s AM Driver Andrew Whitehead put it. And so, not wanting to disturb that flow of sentiment with my customary, now meaningless question of how things were looking prior to the race – I refrained from any interaction, preferring instead to observe.

There was however more than one dimension to it all. It is no news that the BSRTC harbours its share of driver-against-driver controversy and tension – it is what has made the series tick; what has kept it entertaining and unpredictable till the very end. And yet one particular BSRTC PRO Series driver, who had managed to evade my attempts at interaction for quite some time now due to their inherent controversial nature, decided to get in touch at but the last minute to lend his perspective for the sake of it being the Season’s end. Noticeably burned out, while said driver swore by the enthrallment, energy and pure fun of racing within the series – he went on to state that he would not be returning to the PRO Series for some time.

Taken back by his declaration when the rest of the community was amidst tears of joy prior to the Season’s end, I sought to find out the reason behind it. ‘I’m not 100% sure what my reasons are, but it just doesn’t feel right at the moment’. Why wouldn’t it?

Julian Genovski tipping Jamie Rushworth’s rear and ending his race in the process.

‘There’s a lot going on – some odd and frankly unsupportive behaviour from a few drivers. It really isn’t a happy time – Take Genovski for instance’, he continued, alluding to the recent spate of incidents involving GT Omega’s Julian Genovski which team member Dan Hunt had gone on to explain as incidental in the previous report. ‘He definitely has been on some sort of wrecking mission. Whether it’s a solo mission or team orders I don’t know, but his intentions are obvious. That’s been noticed by many, even viewers of the YouTube broadcasts. What’s even stranger is that he has had nothing to lose by wrecking others and forsaking his own race – He’s a reserve team member for GT Omega, so he doesn’t score for the team!’

‘And then, there’s Ash Sutton’, he stated, referring to the Peter Newman Media driver notorious for making extraordinary leaps in position mid-race via not the cleanest of means. ‘He is not breaking any rules, but he’s really not racing according to the spirit of the series. Following his end of the real-world 2015 Renault Clio Cup UK season, he came back to BSR and even said on Mumble “I’m only here for the fun, so you know what that means, carnage.’

‘He tows Ben Palmer (of Stem Sim Racing) in Qualification and deliberately fails to set a time so that he starts from the back – And then acts like a bull in a china shop bulldozing his way through the pack with no real care whether he finishes the race or not … the potential of this affecting the outcome of the series is overwhelming.’ With all the noise against him, has he ever been confronted I questioned. ‘I have asked him about it – he acted like a 3 year old child with a chocolate covered face denying any knowledge of who’d eaten the freshly baked chocolate cake!’

‘I don’t mind him towing Ben. Nor do I mind him protecting his CQR team mates during the race’, he went on, referring to an older BSRTC team, CQR that contained both Sutton and Palmer as team mates. ‘That’s actually admirable. But refusing to qualify so he can prove a point and “have fun” at others’ expense is unfair’. Surely with all the injustice that one feels is prominent within the series, the BSRTC’s administration must have been notified at some point?

‘We have taken stuff to the admins before and generally get accused of being conspiracy theorists. It gets to the point where it’s not worth the energy – If you choose to voice anything, you simply get flamed with childish memes.’ Despite his grievances however, he was certain of a bright future for the BSRTC irrespective of whether it included him or not. ‘I don’t think it’s going anywhere but up! The more attention it gets, the more people will want a piece of the action.’

‘Once people out there in iRacing land see that the prize fund was real and the teams got their payout, it’ll get even more interest. My only fear is that it gets too successful and turns into a corporate monster. To date we’ve had the same select hard core drivers season in and season out, with only a few newcomers trickling in from time to time. Some stay, some can’t take the pace.  But the more successful it becomes, the more it will potentially lose that family feel. Maybe that’s what’s giving me itchy feet now? Who knows?’

 

Standings After The Previous Round At Sebring International Raceway.

Round 100 – Split Second.

By the end of the round the airwaves and chats had been set ablaze; throughout its course, the battle between Wojceich Swirydovicz and Sebastian Job who had begun the race in pole and second place respectively lay shrouded in uncertainty. While Job had initially fallen off behind Keizer after the Engine Oil Direct driver zipped past him in Swirydovicz’s wake post a rolling start, a healthy feed of drafting post the Bus Stop had managed to get the ApexRacing TV driver close and past Keizer by lap three.

As Keizer wandered off into the run-off at turn one by lap 6 to eventually drop down and finish his race in 7th place, five more bouts of slipstreaming and consistency through the corners allowed for Job to whisk past Swirydovicz after the final bend. This would set into motion a recurring pattern, one where the duo would exchange places via the same manoeuvre lap after lap until the final stretch. By then, Swirydovicz – who was placed behind Job – would pull alongside the ApexRacing TV driver at only the last second, causing both to cross the line at nearly the same instant. While Job was recorded by IRacing’s software as the round’s winner, the gap between him and Swirydovicz was naught – 0.000 exactly. ‘The main plan was to not slow each other down, play it safe. I think it worked, since Katz was going very fast – he was gaining on us but yeah, we managed to stay ahead’, explained the Engine Oil driver to the commentary team at the end of the round.

See?

As photographs and exclamations flooded Facebook during the 10 minute break after, the rest of the race had concluded while managing to remain for the most part, a quiet affair. Following setting himself up ahead of Keizer by lap three, Katz’s competition would come in the form of Stem Sim Racing driver Ben Palmer. Palmer had begun the race in 9th place, moved past Pete Newman before Turn one on Lap two and dominated the inside of the battling duo of Jamie Rushworth and Colin Cunniffe at the same place on Lap four.

After Keizer’s tryst with the run-off served to elevate Palmer up by one more place, the Stem Sim driver would now engage in a bumper-hugging chase behind Katz; as the slipstreams drew him closer, Palmer simply followed the leader, gently rubbing the paint off the Euro Chip car’s rear without swerving to its flanks for an overtake. Palmer later admitted that this act was part of Rushworth and his strategy to stay within Katz’s draft in order to close the gap between the Swirydovicz-Job duo and the rest of the pack – ‘Katz may have thought we were attempting to overtake him but we weren’t. We were trying to catch up with Job and Swirydovicz ahead and we did – by the final lap. It was probably the best bit of racing I’ve had all year.’

Regardless, Katz’s 3rd place finish against Job’s 1st had served to reduce the gap between the two PRO drivers to but 8 points on the Standings. Rushworth and Cunnife maintained their positions behind Palmer while David Baker had catapulted from 14th to 8th place, with the gap between him and Swirydovicz now reduced to a mere 12 points. This was in part, made possible by a duel between Jamie Fluke and Dan Blake for 9th place on lap 4 when Fluke seemed to have misjudged his braking point alongside Blake prior to the Bus stop’s entry, resulting in the New Homes driver cutting the section altogether.

Andreas Katz moves in on Jeroen Keizer.

Blake’s wide entry into the Bus stop meanwhile allowed Chepilevsky and Baker to catch up, before Baker came out on top of the trio by Lap 5 as Fluke worked off his penalty. Peter Newman Media wrapped up the top 10 with Newman in 9th and Sutton – who had begun the race in 29th place – close behind him. Their team mate Simon Field who had entered the Showdown by virtue of a wildcard was already ‘mathematically’ ruled out of the PRO Championship along with ApexRacingTV driver Lee Thompson, whose participation in the current and primary weeks of the Showdown had been prevented by real world commitments.

Having dropped down 4 places after a 13th place start, leading AM contender John Roberts meanwhile was embroiled in a three lap duel with AM rival Richard Gore for 16th place over the final four laps that finally saw Gore overtake Jake Blackhall to finish in 15th place. Steve Richardson, who had begun the race with a 68 point lead over Paul Smith – after the Stewards had voted against Smith on the incident involving him accidentally ending John Roberts’ race on the first round at Sebring, resulting in his point earnings being revoked – finished in 25th place, 2 positions behind Smith.

Incidents were also at a minimum; Andrew Whitehead and Michael Schellbach’s race ended prematurely after the former was spun into the barrier between turns 3 and 4 by Schellbach in 18th place. Schellbach’s overtaking attempt from Whitehead’s outside with two wheels on the grass post turn 3 had inevitably led to contact. A few moments prior, Laser Tools’ Dylan Robinson was set perpendicular to traffic by GT Omega’s Russell Laidler on turn one that led to his finishing the race in 32nd. His team mate Rob Graham suffered a similar fate at the same corner on lap 9 after lines conflicted with that of Rob Fagg in 18th – before suffering an engine blowout on the final lap to finish in 33rd.

Round 101 – A Job Half Done.

The trio of Katz, Swirydovicz and Job found themselves in proximity with each other at the start of the lap – in 13th, 14th and 15th place respectively – that quickly amounted to a nail biting first lap for the PRO Championship’s leading contender. Swirydovicz, quicker than Katz off the rolling start, had already positioned himself on the inside of Ben Palmer in 12th place by Turn One, which immediately materialized into another position for the Engine Oil Direct driver before Turn two. Prior to its entry however, Palmer had darted to Swirydovicz’s left as the pack braked – hoping to take him from the outside when instead, he ended up side-panelling Andreas Katz who was present with the intention of pulling off the same manoeuvre.

This landed two of Katz’s wheels on the grass, causing him to drift upon it around the corner before rejoining the pack in 23rd amidst tiny nudges inflicted upon and incurred. While Palmer took full responsibility for the incident and even conveyed his apologies to the Euro Chip driver later, Job had now crept alongside Swirydovicz for the bend between turns 7 and 8 before permanently placing himself ahead before the Bus-stop chicane.

A few moments later Chepilevsky had attained the lead from pole-starter Richard Gore after the former’s third place start, leaving GT Omega’s Russell Laidler with the onus of fending off Ashley Sutton who had begun the race in 6th. By lap two, Job had attempted to force himself down an opening created between the pairs of Jamie Rushworth-Colin Cunniffe and Pete Newman-Jeroen Keizer on entry to turn two, making up two places over the Rushworth-Cunniffe duo in the process. Fluke held his line as Newman quickly overtook Dan Blake, setting into motion a half-lap duel between the Engine Oil and New Homes driver that mimicked that of Round 100.

Richard Gore leads the pack as Chepilevsky and Laidler look on.

Unlike Round 100 though, the duel didn’t witness any incident – as Job and Rushworth moved past Fluke by Lap three’s turn two. By turn one of the next lap, Job was through Blake and Newman’s outsides as well – putting himself in 8th place. Of course Swirydovicz wasn’t too far behind, coming but a whisper’s length away from disaster at turn one; while Cunniffe behind attempting to follow the Engine Oil PRO driver through the corner, Rob Fagg’s braking had rendered him slightly diagonal to traffic on entry. This resulted in him tipping Cunniffe’s car into the pit-lane’s exit turn, subjecting the Friction Racing driver to a black flag.

Nevertheless as Cunniffe moved through the pit-lane’s final section, Aleksandar Smolensky had ended up shoving AM contender Paul Smith into the run-off at Turn one in 18th place – before being quarter-panelled by Steven Burke behind him and sent into the barrier himself. Smolensky’s race had inevitably ended then and there, while Smith fortunately moved on to finish in 23rd, five places behind immediate competitor Richardson. The minor chaos had also allowed Katz to slide up 5 places into 16th.

By lap five, Swirydovicz found himself near the edge of the cliff yet again; Rob Fagg’s tap to Blake’s quarter panel from the outside of the final bend had sent both of them into the barrier just as Swirydocvicz raced past. While Fagg spiralled into a never ending series of flips on track, Blake’s ricochet off the barrier had been picked up by an oncoming John Roberts in 14th place that ended the AM Championship’s leading contender’s race. The gap between him and Gore had now been reduced to 15 points – from 97 – as a result of the ApexRacing TV AM driver’s subsequent 7th place finish. A similar incident occurred between Steve Hefford and Steven Burke before the bus stop on lap seven as well, as Kip Stephens reacted quickly to avoid disaster and finish in 14th place.

Rob Fagg and Dan Blake call it a day as John Roberts races towards the scene.

Through all of this, David Baker had found himself in 2nd place behind Chepilevsky while Sutton’s aggression seemed to have taken a notable back seat as the Peter Newman driver seemed unwilling to challenge the first two position holders – both very much within the PRO Championship while he wasn’t. As he eventually finished in 4th place behind Russell Laidler – after incurring a slowdown through the bus stop on lap 8 – his team mate Peter Newman had long dropped to the back of the pack on lap 4 after a bout of late braking had led him to ignore the bus stop altogether, suffering a black flag in the process.

Job’s consumption of Richard Gore’s place on Lap 8 to finish in 5th had served to finally place him ahead of Katz – who commendably finished in 10th place behind Swirydovicz – by 4 points on the PRO Standings. With Smolensky now facing 8th place within the Standings, New Homes’ Jamie Rushworth stood in 7th position on the PRO chart after a 11th place finish, behind Daniel Hunt and Steliyan Chepilevsky in 6th and 5th position on the leader board respectively. Chepilevsky also enjoyed what was his first win of the season with David Baker – 90 points behind Job on the Standings – finishing in 2nd.

Round 102 – Bus Stop.

The gleam of his headlights already bouncing off Swirydovicz’s rear bumper, Andreas Katz roared past the bend through turn 8 and braced for the Bus Stop in 6th place. Ahead Dan Hunt, who’d entered the chicane with a stance considerably unsteady than that of Swirydovicz behind him, fish-tailed mid corner – causing Swirydovicz to brake only momentarily, yet long enough to let Katz close in on the duo. As the Engine Oil Direct driver now drew alongside Hunt by virtue of a quicker exit from the chicane, Katz peered down the middle – darting to his right halfway through the bank, dangerously close to the barrier, as if wanting to steer clear of any incident that might unfold between the duelling drivers.

As the bank straightened, he returned; continuing to peek through the gap that stayed constant between Swirydovicz and Hunt’s doors as they crossed the line to initiate lap two. Lap one had indeed been frenetic – Genovski, having begun in pole, quickly saw his rear end slip out on entry to Turn one that only forced him to take to the pit-lane’s corner exit. At nearly the same time, team mate Michael Schellbach’s inside line in 3rd place over Stephens not only put him in first, but also steered Stephens wide. The New Homes driver recovered of course, just as mate Jamie Rushworth brushed past to fill his place in 2nd.

Julian Genovski slips towards the pits on lap one.

Shortly after, Lee Berridge’s running wide and subsequent nudge by Steven Burke behind him had set into motion a ripple of crashes that would cost the races of several drivers inclusive of Jake Blackhall, Jay Wright, Jake Blackhall, Burke himself and AM contenders Steve Richardson & Paul Smith. The battle for third place of the AM Championship had ended immediately, with Richardson’s 62 point lead over Smith persisting. For John Roberts however – who had begun in 31st to brake just in time in avoidance of a rolling Jake Blackhall during the ripple – the round was far from over; Richard Gore was far ahead near the top 10 in 12th place.

Now, as the trio of Schellbach, Rushworth and Stephens widened the gap between itself and the rest of the pack to nearly three whole seconds on the second lap – Sebastian Job straggled through the first corner before pushing past Keizer at its exit to envelope 7th place following his 11th place start. His chance to dominate over Katz would come only by the next lap when Swirydovicz, still behind Hunt would finally end up tapping the GT Omega driver and sending him into the grass at the hairpin on Turn 5 under braking. With Katz forced to slow down in-line behind Swirydovicz as a result – Job carried on through the outside, drawing alongside Katz for a while and eventually making it past him on exit of turn 6.

The Euro Chip driver of course, wouldn’t relent – coming out on top of Swirydovicz on lap four’s turn one and finally making hay as Job ran wide at the same spot on the next lap post a side-by-side run through the penultimate bend. Now, with Stephens far ahead of him to possibly catch up to on reliance of a slipstream, the only lights that flickered in the vicinity were his own pair of headlights – and that of Ashley Sutton in his rear view.

Having placed ahead of Job only momentarily post his 12th place start on Lap one, Sutton had but played the role of a voyeur – silently following Job through the course of the first five laps and letting the competition ahead of him sort itself out. Inevitably, the slipstream that he left in his wake would betray him, letting Job catch up, bump draft and eventually tap the Peter Newman Media aside to resume his chase of Katz on lap seven with Swirydovicz, David Baker, Russell Laidler, Jeroen Keizer and Richard Gore hot on his heels. With Stephens’ draft nowhere in sight, Katz would assume the defensive through the course of the final 4 laps – superbly holding his ground against the much younger Apex Racing TV driver through door-against-door duels and attempted overtakes.

By the final lap, Sutton had returned – having capitalized on the drafts set by Laidler, Baker and subsequently Swirydovicz, even nudging the Engine Oil Direct PRO driver sideways at turn two on one instance, to set his sights on the battling Season’s PRO Champions’ contenders. The unimaginable happened; as Sutton drafted in Job’s wake to draw alongside him prior to the Bus Stop, he out-braked the Apex Racing TV PRO contender – landing himself tangential to the driver’s side of Katz’s vehicle that had already initiated its turn into the chicane. The crash came. And so did the spin, sending both the Euro Chip driver into the tyre barrier but a few seconds from the finish line that would almost certainly have granted him the PRO Champion’s title. As Jamie Rushworth drafted past Schellbased at the penultimate bend to win the race, Sebastian Job had finished the race in 4th place and won himself the PRO Driver’s title.

Rushworth clings onto Schellbach’s rear bumper.

Havoc ran within the live chats and the commentary box. Boo’s and hiss’ ensued on one corner while others stated that Sutton’s going for a ‘space’ was natural of any competitive racing driver – as he finally spoke to the commentary team several minutes post round. ‘Everyone makes mistakes – I made one tonight, it’s human nature. I would just like to apologies to Katz – it wasn’t intentional. I was pretty much happy sitting between them so yes, I’d just like to say sorry to him’. While Katz later took to the same box, audibly and naturally disappointed with what had transpired after a rollercoaster of a season, I decided instead to speak to him several days after the race to hear what a calmed mind had to say.

You wanted a thriller? You got it’, he said. ‘My entire season has been mixed. It started great until I had absolutely no time for training mid-season, causing me to miss quite a few races. I remember being on holiday in Spain and racing on a Surface Pro Tablet that I’d erected on a few books to keep from falling! I had borrowed my kids’ wheel and trained near the pool, setting lap times over Midfield until the internet crashed. Nearer to the end of the season I made it a point to make time for IRacing – which in turn enabled me to improve.’

Coming back to Daytona – The last race went good until Ash tried to pass me at the chicane. I think he lost it because of the dirt on the dirty side of the track- that only made his braking way longer. I’ve saved a couple of messy situations this season but this push from Ash turned the car so much that there was no way to save it. I still am glad to land in 2nd place – I will be sending the $300 to the Orphanage in Africa’.

This season has shown me that IRacing and the BSRTC can compete with real life racing. Having been involved in both car and motorbike racing, I can say that the base feeling is the same here as is in real life. We had drivers like Nicki Thiim and Ash Sutton this season and that shows how great the Series is. The fact that I almost won it this year through everything really makes me proud. Next season can come alright – I will be doing my best to drive for the win.’

 

Havoc.

Post suffering an off-track penalty at the Bus stop on the final lap, David Baker had gone on to drop down to 10th place from 8th, yet still maintain a 22 point lead over Swirydovicz in the final Standings. Meanwhile, Chepilevsky’s drop from 5th to 8th on the leader board – as a direct consequence of inevitably cutting the Bus Stop post a tap by Laser Tools’ Dylan Robinson that set him bouncing off Rob Graham’s side panel– had served to nudge Hunt, Rushworth and Stephens up the Standings. Pete Newman would also end up being quarter panelled at Turn 5 by Graham in 19th place on lap 7, forcing him into the tyre barrier and out of the race.

Despite Richard Gore finishing in 12th place as opposed to Roberts’ commendable 19th place finish, a tiny margin of only 4 points had managed to keep the Engine Oil Direct driver on top of the AM Championship. ‘I’m so proud of John and yet so gutted for Woj that the showdown didn’t go the same way as the main season’, expressed Engine Oil AM driver Andrew Whitehead. ‘But also so proud that this little, predominantly AM team ended up in 2nd place against all predictions and against all odds –  They are an amazing bunch and we are proud to be EOD.’

Gore was all praise for his team’s youngest, most talented PRO driver as well,‘I’m glad Sebastian won the title, he’s incredibly fast and talented that boy.‘ GT Omega of course, were crowned team champions by four hundred and twenty points over Engine Oil Direct.

‘We have had a really good team here and to finish 3rd on the teams standings is a good result for such a long season’, expressed Stem Sim driver Paul Smith. ‘From a personal point of view it’s disappointing to have such a poor finish to the season after finishing top of ES(AM) Trophy standings at the end of the normal season. $1000 to the team is good and I’ll be putting my cut to Calder Rescue.

 

End Of Seasons’ Standings.

You’ll Need All Ten.

‘Well I guess that proved my theory’, the anonymous BSRTC driver was back and he wasn’t short of words. ‘Sutton is an attention hungry, spoilt little brat. It’s not the first time he’s affected the outcome of our championship by tangling unnecessarily with the main contenders. But to take out one of the guys fighting for the title in the last lap of the season is shameful and shows the utmost disrespect. Katz and Job had been door to door the whole race with only 4 points between them for the championship title. But the petulant little child wanted the attention. He’s probably still got an annoying grim on his face now, proud of his achievement! An idiot chasing celebrity – disgusting.’

But what last night did do was cement my feelings. I want to be involved next season -The camaraderie and respect shown by the majority was amazing last night. It’s something I want to remain a part of.’ And while he’d forgotten about all that was said and done, I hadn’t. I caught up with Ellis ‘Kip’ Stephens a few days later; preserving the anonymous driver’s identity, I attempted to enquire – as subtle as could be – about what certain drivers’ claims of the BSRTC’s administration being slightly off were all about. Did it give him itchy feet? Who was I asking, right?

AM Champion John Roberts.

‘You know what – I liked the drama of the last round,’ he said nevertheless. ‘Others may focus on the negatives aspects but no one is going to forget that final race. It might not have been Adelaide ‘86 but it was up there with Adelaide ‘94. You can point fingers at lots of things – Job took an extra 5 points in race 1 by half an inch over Woj; Katz lost his 4 point clean race bonus on lap 3 of the final race by inches.’

Speaking of which, well, Ash likes being a big part of the show and that’s his job. If he gets his chance in the BTCC (which I really hope he does), that’s what people will be looking forward to watching and talking about for days after. If Andy had resisted the urge to have his ‘annual’ mid-season strop after the Schellbach crash at Suzuka and just finished the races he quit -he would have stayed in the Showdown top 10, kept his podium credits and gone into the last round at Daytona with a 66 point lead instead of 33. So at the end of the day it was a crazy season with some great action and if the people want to keep pointing them blame fingers, off you go, but you’ll need all ten.’

‘As for Ben Palmer’s punt inflicted on Katz over Race two’, he quipped just as I retreated to my typewriter, ‘when IRacing add an indicator for dodgy lane changes, I’ll make sure Mr Palmer gets his installed first. And of course well done to Sebastian, GT Omega and Swirydovicz for all those wins!’

‘…Well I do get to pretend to be nice once a year.’

Season nine of The BSRTC Pro Series everybody.

Until next time.

Photo Courtesy Jamie Rushworth.

This race will also be aired on MOTORSTV on the 22nd of December as per the schedule here. Higher Eclectic Ground has not only been covering the final 7 weeks of the BSRTC PRO Series’ tenth season but had also offered the indie game community with opportunities for exposure via BSRTC sponsorships. To stay tuned to the future of the BSRTC, head down to our Facebook page where all the activity lies and ensure you’re signed up. Moreover, those interested in racing with the BSRTC community or simply hanging out with them by the pitlanes,can do so by signing up to their closed group on Facebook or tweeting them @BritSimRacers . Those still doubtful about what the BSRTC is all about can learn more by viewing our previous coverage of the same which also includes a never-seen-before look at the championship’s rise. 

Is Sim-Motorsport The Independent Game Community’s Future?

BSRTC PRO Series, News

Thursday night was immense. The BSRTC Pro Series– an IRacing based Touring Car Championship that witnessed 50 drivers and 11 teams compete for a chunk of the $10,000 prize fund concluded with an electric finale that was in many ways, a shocker. Yes, it’s been only two months since I ventured into their eclectic community – and stayed – but even so, its finale was spectacular; made possible by the array of incidents and hubbub that surrounded it, all of which is a topic for its subsequent race report.

As our community’s members watched the race’s proceedings together on the Bulletin – four of Higher Eclectic Ground’s independent game members’ creations took centre stage over the breaks and the few minutes preceding the race. Careful readers and community members will recall that last week witnessed two of our members debut exclusive trailers to their games during the Series’ penultimate race. This of course, being part of our partnership with the BSRTC Pro that sought to provide our members with sponsorship opportunities that highlight their creations.

For a small fee, independent developers have not only been sponsoring drivers on behalf of their Video Game ventures, having their logos imprinted on the Series’ most prominent drivers’ in-sim vehicles as a result, but also availing of a 30 second ad slot during the livestream – that reaches out to nearly 1,000 members on ApexRacing TV’s Youtube channel alone followed by IRacing’s Twitch Channel – and slick, animated pop-ups advertising their ventures on the subsequent MotorsTV UK broadcasts. MotorsTV UK of course, being a counterpart of Europe’s largest motorsport channel – MotorsTV.

 

MotorsTV Sebring Broadcast Segment I Telecast on 4th December- Catch The Insane Decay Of Mind: Sounds Of Silence Pop-Up At 2:27.

 

 

MotorsTV Broadcast Segment II  Telecast on 8th December- Catch The Online Racing Championship Pop-Up At 2:16.

 

MotorsTV Sebring Broadcast Segment III Telecast on 4th December- Catch The Isle Of Bass Pop-Up At 0:29.

 

 

Following members GoManga Interactive and Ash McConnell who debuted teasers to their independent games – Insane Decay Of Mind: Sounds Of Silence and Online Race Championship, respectively – during the Sebring International Raceway livestream, sponsored individual drivers and even had their games advertised on the race’s subsequent television broadcast as seen above, this week’s finale at Daytona Road saw the Online Racing Championship return with three other members of ours in tow.

The first of these were community partners, Isle Of Bass – an independent music label that provides our indie game developers with access to a variety of indie electronic musicians. While the Isle Of Bass had sponsored the New Homes Digital team the week before at Sebring International Raceway, Daytona was the first time the label had managed to put forward a fascinating, feet-tapping new advertisement.

In tow, were Troglobytes Games – sponsors of then BSRTC Pro Series’ leading contender Andreas Katz of Team Euro Chip Digital, who finished the PRO Championship in second place, 26 points behind Season champion and ApexRacing TV’s Sebastian Job. Troglobytes’ 30 second teaser served to invite viewers to its upcoming 2.5D, procedurally generated RPG – Tenebrae: Twilight Of The Gods’ Square Enix Collective Campaign. The campaign, similar to Steam Greenlight has gamers vote for and shape the future of the games they wish to see on the big screen.

Blob Games Studios’ indie Super Mario Smash Bros’ inspired platform fighter on the other hand, sponsored GT Omega’s Steliyan Chepilevsky who finished the PRO Championship in 8th place. A 30 second teaser of the game served to invite viewers to try the game on Steam for themselves.

That of course, makes 7 of our independent game developer members to be featured on IRacing’s biggest Touring Car event – not forgetting AJ Picard’s Eyegames App at the season’s final team race at Donington Park and Mike Blundell’s Mike Pad at Interlagos – over 4 weeks of racing. Since ApexRacing TV and Higher Eclectic Ground were yet to devise the teaser and pop-up structure for our members at the time, EyeGames and Mike’s Pad attained mentions by the commentary team during the live broadcasts in addition to having their logos pasted on vehicles.

Dig The Indie Game Battle image On The Roof.

Dig The Indie Game Battle Logo On The Roof.

With the waters now tested and the PRO Series’ winners having their prize money delivered as we speak, plans for the BSRTC’s next season are underway. Although details will be revealed in due time, the league is looking to mix things up for its next season, hoping to beat this year’s record and outdo itself in establishing its most professional and rewarding season yet. Furthermore, us at Higher Eclectic will be devoting a large portion of the next two months in association with them – to taking the BSRTC’s next season beyond traditional sim-racing borders, towards mainstream gaming.

Our plans at Higher Eclectic include involving several mainstream Video Game entities as full team sponsors during the next season, for the sole purpose of building an active, adrenalined packed platform for independent game developers and artists from within our community and beyond to showcase their work. The per-driver sponsorship structure devised over the last few weeks will continue at its inexpensive rate to stay true to the purpose of things, but in order for these independent members creations to gain even greater attention it is mandatory to involve more establish Game companies as well. A rigid fee structure for the team sponsorships is being devised, payments towards which will go towards a grander, $20,000 prize fund for IRacing’s top drivers participating in the Series next season.

Couple the mainstream gaming viewer base that will subsequently follow with the excitement, action and professionalism of IRacing’s most popular Touring Car event – and you have a platform for independent gamers to shine beyond mere internet communities and forums. And so stay tuned for several more updates over the holidays as we race towards this vision of ours. Till then, do pitch in your ideas and thoughts on potential sponsors, ideas and more; We want to hear from you.

Also Catch The Ads Debuted Our Members During The Season’s Finale Race At Daytona Road At 0:38 and during the breaks at 52:45 and 1:45.28.

A special shout-out to ApexRacing TV, the BSRTC’s commentary and broadcast team for making it all happen.

The Penultimate Corner – Race 4 Of 5 Of The BSRTC Pro Series’ Showdown.

BSRTC PRO Series, Features

‘I have the feeling that if Job wasn’t hurt there (Interlagos) and if I wasn’t fighting for the team championship at the same time, it would not have gone against me.’

Naïve as I was when first introduced to the BSRTC Pro Series back in October, my presumptions were aplenty. Enjoyed as I did the entire series as a whole, my eyes would often be drawn to the duo of Wojceich Swirydovicz and Sebastian Job – in constant duel against each other irrespective of pack position. While Job proved to be the aggressor, a flamboyant maniac on track that would overcome often extraordinary odds to place himself on the podium – Swriydovicz has been the more mature, in consistent battle against his ApexRacing TV rival with a cool that has often dominated. His 700 point lead in the pre-Showdown Drivers’ Standings over the rest of the drivers only cemented my belief that – despite but a lead of 17 points over Job in the Showdown’s PRO Standings – this Championship was already his.

But the BSRTC got their way – the Showdown’s structure of only the top 10 PRO drivers being eligible for a shot at the PRO Champions’ title over the final five weeks, a reset of these drivers’ points, zero quick repairs on vehicles and a limit on incident points had indeed served its purpose of turning the tables. ‘I feel for Woj (Swirydovicz) though – two penalties in a row after leading the whole season has really hurt his championship’, expressed New Homes’ Jamie Rushworth in conversation with me the previous week.

Two separate incidents – one involving himself, New Homes’ Fluke and Job at Interlagos and the other involving New Homes’ Ellis ‘Kip’ Stephens at MoSport last week – had now set the Engine Oil Direct driver three places in the PRO Standings with his chances of a winning the title only turning bleaker; He would be beginning this week’s race from the back of the pack as the result of a penalty incurred in the incident with Stephens.

And so as the drivers spent their customary three hours practicing on Sebring’s International Raceway prior to the official race on Thursday night, I managed to finally catch up with Swirydovicz and pull him aside for a quick tête-à-tête. It was then that he confided how he felt the panel’s decision against him on the Interlagos incident may not have been a fair one. ‘I never asked them who sits on the Stewards’ panel. But I can imagine some of them are part of the Stem Sim and GT Omega teams – reason enough to influence their vote on incidents involving me.’

Sebring Track Layout.

Why would they? It would become very boring with me 120 points in the lead now wouldn’t it?’

The Stewards’ panel consists of 20 drivers from within and external to the series, who function by evaluating all protests filed against drivers and casting a vote against those drivers they deem responsible for the incidents, or none if they believe the incident was circumstance. With votes clearly against him, Swirydovicz had every right to appeal against the panel’s votes, following which the rest of the BSRTC’s drivers would vote on the incident. If the common vote didn’t align with those of the panel, his sentence would be repealed; if they did, it would be doubled.

‘It never worked so far and it probably wouldn’t this time’, he justified when asked why he hadn’t thought to appeal. ‘I would come across as a moaner who thinks he doesn’t make mistakes. So I prefer to accept the verdict because I know I’m not looking at it objectively.’ ‘

The incident with Stephens on the other hand – an unfortunate consequence of something that might have ended in scratched door, but ended his race instead. All I can there is that it’s really hard to race around him – his internet connection is very wonky. He’s blinking out and warping around constantly – It’s really hard to overtake a guy whose position on track is unknown.’

‘Plus he’s just really inconsistent around me. He usually does not fight me when I’m behind – and then sometimes he just fight me for every inch of the track. He’s just harder to predict.’

All that aside did the petty politics that he alluded to, did the drama and hubbub bother him, I asked. ‘”Politics” is just part of the fun. I already got what I wanted out of the series, and that is good, fun racing. Having a shot at winning it, is just a nice bonus.’

I wished him luck and the race was off.

PRO Standings After MoSport.

AM Standings After MoSport.

Round 97 – Two Tonnes Of Inevitability.

The first round of the night would unfortunately have the Engine Oil driver’s recent bout of misfortune carry over. As the green light went off, Steve Richardson’s missed gear change in 25th place caused Steven Burke – who seemed to be taken aback by the New Homes driver’s immobility– to lurch into his rear despite braking abruptly. This enabled Swirydovicz to quickly slide into 26th behind AM Drivers Paul Smith and Scott Malcolm., two places of his starting position,

As Malcolm’s wider entry into Turn One allowed the Engine Oil’s leading PRO contender through with Sutton in hot pursuit, the front of the pack had clenched itself together in pairs in anticipation of Turn 3, causing traffic in the middle to follow suit and form a slow moving cluster that would turn into the norm on one of the track’s slowest corners. As the clustering swamped the rear of the pack inclusive of Smith behind the AM championship’s leading contender John Roberts, the Stem Sim driver was caught unaware as he braked later than the rest – colliding with Roberts as a result and sending him into the track barrier.

‘The pack was always likely to back up going into turn two, with most of the field two wide and jostling for position, I slowed enough. Paul didn’t,for which he apologised after the race’, clarified Roberts.

Naturally, the damage and subsequent repairs would deter Roberts’ completion as Smith concluded in 23rd. Regardless, the incident granted Swirydovicz a position which he would turn to three at the following Hairpin as he moved past Smith and Laser Tools’ – and the BSRTC’s – newest driver, Dylan Robinson to wind up in 20th place behind ApexRacing’s Lee Thompson. Thompson and Swirydovicz would then traverse a large portion of Lap Two alongside each other as Ashley Sutton peeked through the middle before both – Swirydovicz, followed by Sutton – moved past to get behind GT Omega’s Julian Genovski.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

As Genovksi slowed down for the oncoming Hairpin by Lap Three, Swirydovicz – on Sutton’s inside – tapped into Genovski’s rear-right corner under braking, sending the GT Omega driver into a drift around the bend. Strangely, Genovski wouldn’t countersteer even as Sutton inevitably drove into his side– as if determined on blocking Swirydovicz’s path – making contact with the Engine Oil driver’s front panel as a result. To top it all, as Swirydovicz attempted to wiggle free and continue onwards, Genovski kept his wheel angled to the right – setting Swirydovicz perpendicular to oncoming traffic and significantly damaging both their vehicles as well. Surprisingly Genovski would carry on till the end of race finishing in 19th place. Sutton meanwhile, would go on to finish in 13th.

Swirydovicz’s round on the other hand, had ended.  ‘I thought I braked quite early but Yulian was slower that I predicted’, he reflected, now in 8th place on the PRO Standings as a result of the DNF. ‘However at the time, I had a feeling he didn’t try to recover from the crash – as if wanting to retaliate immediately.’  Coincidentally, the Hairpin had already turned victim to another incident only a few moments prior to the Genovski – Swirydovicz fracas; one involving New Homes’ Kip Stephens and Engine Oil’s Jeroen Keizer for 14th place.

Keizer had suffered an eventful couple of laps prior from his 13th place start – with Russell Laidler being set sideways after the GT Omega driver’s line through turn one had crept into Keizer’s on the first lap; followed by Keizer understeering, nearly making it into the run-off on exit of Turn 15 and conceding a position to Colin Cunniffe as result, before being set sideways himself as he moved into the penultimate corner alongside Jamie Fluke. This had now placed him alongside Stephens; their doors ended up making contact as Keizer prepared his inside line for turn one before Stephens got back by quarter –panelling him at Turn 3.

As Keizer’s inside line reigned superior at the Hairpin yet again, Stephens was struck by Euro Chip’s Steve Hefford who had crept by his inside in the intervening time. Hefford showed no sign of braking – as Stephens was spun into the barrier. Dizzy,  as he circled to get out on track only to return back to the grass as if aware that his circling might cause destruction– Rob Graham, who had just come around the corner, wound up sending Stephens into the barrier again, as his team mate Laura Bond bounced off the Laser Tools’ driver on the way forward. The damage incurred hence, would be too much for the New Homes’ drivers to sustain, causing their races to end prematurely.

Things Get Hairy.

‘That was my bad with Kip – they were going two wide up in front and so I knew he’d be on a wide line. I tried to follow Keizer in, but got on the gas too early which lost me front end grip. It was my fault entirely and went to apologise as soon as the race was over,’ admitted Hefford. Graham meanwhile had continued the race in 29th place behind Jake Blackhall, also a victim during the mishap at the Hairpin incident when Michael Schellbach behind him exited the corner at a much higher speed, spinning the ApexRacing TV driver into the barrier beside Graham and Stephens as a result.

By the final lap however, Whitehead had dropped down ahead of Blackhall from 23rd place as the result of a spin-out that followed the intersection of his and Robert Plumley’s lines through Turn 4; which in turn granted Steven Burke an additional incident point as the Engine Oil driver re-joined the track to have an incoming Burke ram into his side and go off track. By Turn 14, Blackhall was already on Whitehead’s rear – before diving into the Engine Oil Driver’s inside, making contact and drifting in reverse down the bend.

As Graham attempted to soar past a still mobile Blackhall at a 125 miles per hour, the Laser Tools driver inevitably made contact.  ‘”Joke” Blackhall needs to learn to keep his foot on the brake after crashing’, vented Graham later. ‘He got me disqualified 2 corners from the end of race one when he rolled backwards onto the track after getting tangled – and then when I pointed this out after the race he just turned abusive! Can’t beat racing with immature wee boys can you?’

With only Smith, Richardson and Gore of the top 6 AM Championship contenders left on track given Burke’s subsequent disqualification on the final lap on grounds of limit-exceeded incident points, Gore’s 14th place finish ahead of the former two served to bring him to 3rd place on the Standings from 5th – 57 points behind Smith in 2nd.

‘Two laps was longer than I expected to last before being punted into oblivion and out of the Championship. It was like being followed around by two tonnes of inevitability’, pondered Stephens later, nearly sounding like Socrates.  Regardless of what transpired at the back of the pack, ApexRacing’s Sebastian Job who had qualified in pole followed by Stem Sim’s David Baker had carved a niche for themselves on track as the duo meandered on to finish 6 seconds ahead of Jamie Rushworth in 3rd. Often one to steer clear of event and maintain a top 10 finish, Baker had exuded considerable uniformity in pursuing Job over each of the 11 laps – frequently differing from the ApexRacing driver by only a few tenths of a second.

Job Crosses The Line.

‘It was nice for the guys in the commentary box to say I had pace for once rather than “he’s consistent”’, expressed a jubilant Baker. ’I may have only got 5 wins in total and 1 this season; and it’s no secret that consistency is a key part to how I approach my racing but to be up there fighting each week I have to have the pace as well and sometimes I think people forget or overlook that.’

As Aleksandar Smolensky and Daniel Hunt preserved their 4th and 5th places respectively, Palmer’s ousting from 7th place to an eventual 16th place as the result of a slowdown incurred from an off-track on Lap two, had served to place Andreas Katz in 8th place behind PNM drivers Pete Newman and Simon Field in 6th and 7th respectively. Katz – currently competing solely to send his earnings to an Orphanage in Africa – would eventually find his way past Field and Newman over the course of lap four to finish in 6th; while Field enjoyed a comfortable finish one position behind him, Pete Newman would suffer a fatal setback on lap five that would end what had started out as a promising race for the PRO championship’s 10th contender.

Having enjoyed what he deemed one of his two best qualifier sessions of the season to start in 6th place, Newman was gunning on simply completing his race within the top 10 minus incidents – given that it would move him up the PRO Standings with Stephens and Chepilevsky behind him on the grid. Chepilevsky’s moving ahead of him on the 4th lap placed Newman ahead of Rob Fagg and Colin Cunniffe; as Fagg slowed down for the Hairpin, Cunniffe moved by his outside – landing two wheels on the grass under braking as a result and sliding diagonally into the side of Newman who was halfway through the corner.

Of course, the ensuing 20 minute repair would prevent Newman from finishing altogether as Fagg finished in 10th and Cunniffe in 19th. Simultaneously, the incidents involving Stephens, Palmer’s slowdown, Keizer’s understeering and the Newman-Cunniffe crash had served to bring New Homes’ Jamie Fluke into 8th place by the end of the race with Keizer behind him.

Although position 8 was a place held by GT Omega’s Steliyan Chepilevsky for a healthy amount of time, he conceded up to 3 positions by the final lap in an act of what he stated was him giving away the places to the drivers behind him as he didn’t need them. ‘I had had zero incidents throughouts the race – that alone gave me the points I needed.’

Round 98 – That’s The Way It Goes.

By Turn 5 prior to the the Big Bend on Lap one, Ashley Sutton was back in the pits. Beginning in 11th place and moving up two places, as he exited turn 3 alongside Steve Hefford, his line had gradually begun to cut across the Euro Chip driver’s; contact came, inevitably.  The next moment Hefford, with no means of escape, was dragging the Peter Newman driver perpendicular to traffic – leaving Ben Palmer barely enough time to react as he moved to overtake the duo. Hurled into the air and into the barrier, the Stem Sim driver’s, along with Hefford’s, race had prematurely concluded.

‘I’m not sure what Ash (Sutton) was thinking of. I was already on the kerb with no-where to go, I couldn’t go onto the grass or I’d have gone wide with a wall of tyres coming up on the right. To be honest, I don’t see what I could have done differently in the position I was in. Shit happens I suppose,’ stated Hefford in reflection. Ahead, Dan Blake in 3rd place braked relatively early in anticipation of the Hairpin ahead, causing an unprepared Lee Thompson behind him to bump into the Engine Oil driver and send him hard in to the corner’s tyre barrier. Reeling from the impact, Blake’s vehicle near displaced Rob Fagg in 14th place as the Euro Chip driver tackled the apex.

Clustering In Pairs.

As Paul Smith and Yuilan Genovski of Stem Sim and GT Omega now led the pack respectively – the former a second away in the lead – Blake had found himself in 15th place ahead of Steliyan Chepilevsky who too, had set the Engine Oil driver into a dangerous drift under braking on Turn 15. Attempting to take advantage of the duel, Pete Newman attempted to breeze past the duo’s inside on Lap 16 which only proved detrimental: With two wheels on the kerb space proved insufficient, causing Newman to side panel the GT omega driver and end up head first into the barrier adjacent to the Ullman Straight.

‘It’s a shame really considering I’d turned into Ashley Sutton for 3/4th of the lap, moving from 30th to 15th on the grid. But then Dan Blake had an issue mid corner forcing Chepilevsky to change his line from outside to inside – I noticed him too late to do anything and ended up in the wall. ‘, stated Newman after his second bout of misfortune granted him a 23rd place finish that night. While Chepilevsky would go on to finish in 18th place without major incident, Blake would retire to the pits under the pretext of a Black Flag and not return.

Lap two bore witness to the BSRTC’s recurring comedy of errors – for at least the second time since the start of the Showdown, the Laser Tools’ pair of Scott Malcolm and Robert Graham entangled themselves in an incident that began with them taking each other out before sending out a ripple of chaos to those unfortunate enough to be present behind them. Graham’s outside line through turn one cut across Malcom’s inside, leading the latter to ricochet against the barrier back into his teammate. Facing oncoming traffic, Malcolm’s Optima moved in reverse, striking a dodging New Homes’ Steve Richardson by the quarter panel and sending him into a perpendicular drift which he miraculously recovered from.

Engine Oil’s Andrew Whitehead in 28th place had slowed down much before corner entry on seeing white smoke and yet, as he flicked to the right to avoid Malcolm – Laura Bond, whose line of sight failed to include Malcolm, ended up shoving Whitehead aside into the barrier before colliding head on into the Laser Tools driver. And so, two laps of incidents combined with a careful picking of competitively superior inside lines through the course had led Swriydovicz to slide into 19th place from his 30th position start with nemesis Sebastian Job in his wake. As Job moved ahead of him over the course of the third lap, another storm had brewed itself in the lead.

Smith, who had been shoved aside on the final corner of Lap 3 by Genovski behind him under braking, now raced down the main straight adjacent to Cunniffe in second place. Schellbach was in hot pursuit and as Cunniffe’s slipstream drew him closer there came contact; sending Cunniffe fishtailing into Smith’s side and into the barrier. ‘I had a good start from pole and held the lead for the first couple of laps, but then Julian did his usual trick of hitting people out of his way and this week it was my turn.’, voiced Smith in disappointment.

The incident.

The incident had also served to end Engine Oil’s Jeroen Keizer’s race – as Lee Thompson in 6th swerved wildly to successful avoid a collision with a still spinning Cunniffe at Turn one, Russell Laidler had moved to his inside. This led to a three-wide formation, as Keizer’s stronger inside line brought him alongside Laidler and Thompson; door handles were broken before Laidler, sensing danger braked abruptly. By then Keizer was already out of control, landing straight into the barrier – that subsequently ended his race – before dangerously forcing team mate Swirydovicz into the grass prior to turn three as he got back on track.

An evaluation of the replays revealed that Genovski seemed unusually off his prior pace down the straight, which had led to Cunniffe being boxed in before Schellbach’s nudge.

While Genovski wasn’t available for comment, I’d managed to catch up with Schellbach post-race in an attempt to hear of their side of the story. ‘I was following Cunniffe in his slipstream and he went off throttle WAY earlier than I expected – I guess more than 200m before the real braking zone. So Cunniffe – a little bit to defensive – and I was a little bit too aggressive I would say.  Sometimes this ends in a crash. He could have stayed on the throttle and tipping the brake for letting me know that things were getting too tight in front.’

My search led me to team mate Daniel Hunt as well. Having finished the race in 17th place himself, Hunt explained, ‘After watching it through the replay several times from Schellbach’s replay file, I can tell you that I don’t think he or Genovski did anything wrong. Yes, it was aggressive on Michael’s part but this is touring cars – a bit of pushing along the straight should be expected. He wasn’t in the braking zone and Genovski was in front so he was allowed to move over. Colin got turned due to him lifting off the throttle very early along the straight – and so just a racing incident caused by combination of all three drivers.’

When asked what was indeed going on with Genovski that round that had led him to turn rather erratic through the course of the race, he reasoned, ‘I don’t think Genovski was alone. Lots of people were having a bad night including team mates taking each other out and causing others to retire. So I guess it was just one of those nights for Genovski. Plus, the broadcast sometimes picks lots of one person’s mistakes up and not others’ but that’s the way it goes.’ Genovski’s incident streak continued; first braking late and sending Dylan Robinson into a drift at turn 13 after the Laser Tools’ driver had grabbed the lead on the same lap for a few seconds – and then running wide under pressure from Jamie Fluke in 6th place on Turn One before tipping Rushworth’s rear on regaining his line in 8th place, ending the New Homes drivers race in the process.

Rushworth meets his end as Katz looks on.

Katz fortunately dodged his way through, finally ending the race in 7th and still maintaining his lead 30 points ahead of Aleksandar Smolensky who finished in 17th. Schellbach meanwhile bagged his second win of the season, with New Homes’ Jamie Fluke finishing 4 seconds behind him from what was a 16th place grid start. Although Lee Thompson had found himself in second place behind Schellbach after the events of Lap 4, that he maintained till the final lap, the ApexRacing driver eased off the throttle near the end of the Ullman Straight to seemingly give way to a pack that contained Russell Laidler, Sebastian Job, Dylan Robinson and Simon Field in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respectively to his team’s leading PRO driver’s benefit.

By the final corner however, Thompson ended up dropping down to 13th place after a line through Simon’s Field resulted in him making contact and nearly crashing into the barrier – which he prevented manageably.  ‘The race was great fun,’ recounted Simon Field after the race. ‘It ended on a bit of a sour note though – last corner last lap, I threw a move up the inside of Dylan Robison as he went wide. At the same time, Lee Thompson tried the same – there was contact as I moved in trying not to hit Dylan and sadly, Lee got turned into the inside wall, he did apologise, but to be honest, I think it should be me apologising. Might be deemed a racing incident.’

Field had also admitted to enjoying a cracking race with Dylan, as the BSRTC’s one-round old driver commendably held his own within the top 6 from start to finish – amidst every bit of the frenzy that had enveloped the front of the pack through its course. Swirydovicz, Genovski and David Baker rounded up the top 10 while Richard Gore placed ahead of his AM competition in 11th place. This reduced the gap between him and John Roberts – who successfully finished his race in 20th place – to 99 points, placing him second place within the AM Standings, 12 points ahead of Steve Richardson. Despite struggling through the start of the Showdown with two back to back DNF’s at Okayama that saw him sink to the bottom of the table, the New Homes driver now seemed to be in the running for a podium finish this season – 5 points ahead of Smith.

Round 99 – Dodge ‘Ems.

As Jake Blackhall’s lack of grip on the outside of Lap one’s turn and subsequent wide run allowed John Roberts and Steliyan Chepilevsky through, what started out as a tight inside line had led Rob Fagg into Lee Thompson’s side in 9th place. Fagg fishtailed off into the grass and returned, just as Aleksandar Smolensky’s vehicle made contact with Blackhall’s on the outside of Turn 3. The side-panelling had led Blackhall into the tyre barrier and Smolensky into the field before Turn 5 – which he decided to cut rather than re-join traffic immediately.

Regardless, his re-joining involved quarter-panelling David Baker in 11th place who was driving past, leading the Stem Sim driver into the barrier and Smolensky to face the wrong way. As both incidents held Katz back in traffic in 14th place, Swirydovicz who had begun one position ahead of the Euro Chip driver had found himself ahead in 7th. Job watched from two places down, as team mate Lee Thompson’s braking at Turn 14 proved ineffective in keeping him away from the Engine Oil driver’s rear ahead of him, sending him into a drift that was corrected soon enough.

Smolensky Takes Baker With Him.

Thompson on the other hand was forced into the run-off before being set several places down in 33rd; until contact with Dan Blake in 20th place on Lap 4 would result in his vehicle losing control and flipping itself several times before bringing his race to an end. By then Swirydovicz and Job would be past Daniel Hunt and John Roberts – the latter of whom seemed to concede to the duo in Job’s benefit – to don positions 4th and 3rd respectively behind Chepilevsky and Stephens.

Together, they would move past Stephens over the next lap to hunt down Chepilevsky – Swriydovicz visibly the faster one in the sections between the Hairpin and Turn 13, always lessening the gap between him and the PRO ApexRacing driver before the latter would storm away on the straights. This mid-track superiority would finally reach breaking point on Lap 8 when Job – now ahead of Chepilevsky due to the GT Omega driver’s wing setting proving to be ineffective at keeping the two PRO Drivers at bay – was set sideways around corner 10 by Chepilevsky under braking, allowing Swirydovicz’s much lighter inside-line braking to take him ahead of the ApexRacing driver.

The final two laps then would see the both of them engage in a bout of dog-fighting that would see Job hound Swirydovicz from only few feet away, overtake the Engine Oil Direct driver by Turn 14 on the inside before being overtaken in return by Turn 16. Barrelling down the Ullman alongside each other, a successful dive down Swirydovicz’s inside by the ultimate corner finally served to conclude the race with Job taking his second win of the night. With that, he was back in the running for the championship – now only 23 points behind Andreas Katz, two weeks after expressing his disinterest in continuing with the season post Interlagos.

Swirydovicz on the other hand was tied in 5th place on the Standing with Daniel Hunt – who finished the round in 5th place – a hundred and twenty seven points behind Andreas Katz. The round had seen Katz embroiled in an extended duel with Steven Burke over Lap 3, which nearly ended the Euro Chip driver’s race as Burke lost control under braking behind him, slipped into the field at Turn 13 and landed back on track ahead of him. As Katz’s brakes turned red hot under the heavy braking that saved his round, Schellbach, Field, Newman, Rushworth and Laidler soared past to drop him in 17th place.

Dog-fighting!

Regardless, Katz would wade his way through the pack to finish in 11th place behind Simon Field. Stephens rounded up what was his best race of the night with a podium, although he now stood in 8th place on the Standings ahead of team mate Jamie Rushworth who finished in 20th. Team mate Fluke finished in pursuit, shortly after an incident with Chepilevsky in 3rd place at the Hairpin that saw him tap the GT Omega driver before the latter dove straight into the grass at turn 10, seemingly under pressure from Fluke’s attack, before finishing in 6th place. He stands 12 points behind Swirydovicz on the standings.

The incident on the first lap prevented Smolensky from finishing his race, dropping him down to 4th place on the PRO Standings 16 points behind David Baker – who did finish the round in 16th place – and 20 points ahead of Hunt. Newman – now at the bottom of the top 10 standings – finished in 14th place which he seemed pleased with given the misfortune of the prior rounds.

‘Showdown luck hasn’t gone my way with Ellis’ (Stephens) interweb incident and last night as a whole’, he stated. ‘My aim is to get a single digit finish so it’s still possible! 9th or better after Daytona and I’m happy’. He stands 51 points behind Rushworth. Roberts and Gore maintained their positions within the AM Standing’s top two with a 9th and 10th place finish respectively, with the latter a solid 100 points behind Roberts.

Despite an intermittency in his internet connection, Paul Smith wound up in in 18th place ahead of Steve Richardson in 25th, taking him 2 points ahead of the New Homes driver within the Standings. Lap three witnessed Laura Bond being shoved aside at the Hairpin by Lee Thompson, leading to her third DNF of the night. This places her in 6th place, 40 points behind Steven Burke in the Standings – a massive drop considering the New Homes driver had begun the Showdown in the lead.

AM driver Robert Graham meanwhile, was particularly furious post the incident involving him and Ashley Sutton on Lap 4 at the final corner – following a rough duel with Stem Sim’s Ben Palmer – that had ended his race. Sutton had crept into the Laser Tools driver’s inside, tipped his quarter-panel midway through the corner before relentlessly driving tangential to the corner-exit in a way that served to force Graham into barrier. Sutton would incur damage as well, before being subsequently disqualified by the 7th lap as the result of exceeded incident points.

‘I don’t know what they’re teaching Clio cup drivers, but it was like f****ing dodge ‘ems racing those two’, he vented for the second time that night, referring to 2015’s real-world Renault UK Clio Cup Champion Sutton and Palmer, also a Clio Cup driver. ‘Though I’m sure the stewards will still blame me for it – I’ve come to expect that from Sutton. He’s not happy over taking unless he bashes you out the way in the process. It’s a real shame because he’s more than fast enough that he could pass cleanly and probably fairly easily – yet still seems to love bashing people as he passes.’

‘Palmer though, I was surprised with. I’ve raced him plenty before and he’s always been clean and fair, so I can only guess it’s the Clio Cup effect’.

To The End.

‘It’s all pretty obvious really. A little disappointing, but we’ll keep our heads down and continue to race and steward fairly to the end.’

I’d caught up with the Engine Oil Direct team post-race who, given the fact Sebring had set them back nearly 400 points behind GT Omega in comparison to the week prior weren’t in the best of moods. I’d of course attempted to learn more of their concerns regarding the impartiality they felt was prominent within the Steward’s panel. Despite not wanting to be a part of the controversy and harbouring a strong dislike for the ‘media hype’ that he felt was fast becoming norm with the race reports, Whitehead did make an attempt to voice a shadow of his opinion.

PRO Standings After Sebring.

AM Standings After Sebring.

There are lots of things seemingly at play since the start of the showdown. I’m not going into any detail because it’s simply not worth the aggravation of the ‘sore loser’ or ‘conspiracy theorist’ comments or general flippant responses. Nothing will change, so we just race and take the moral high ground, even if it does cost us the championship we’ve worked hard at. It’s no surprise that this would always be an uphill battle, we only have 2 full time Pro Drivers.’

It seemed then at this point all GT Omega had to do to solidify their claim as Team Champions, was finish. ‘We just need to play it safe and stay calm,’ explained team member Daniel Hunt. ‘But it does not always work like that. We are in a good position to win this but I just hope luck is on our side.’

Luck, no luck, fair or unfair – all of it comes to an end at 8.15 P.M GMT on Daytona Road tomorrow. And boy oh boy, will it be – as Katz said – a thriller.

 

Track Side Photo Courtesy Jamie Rushworth.

This race will also be aired on MOTORSTV on the 15th of December as per the schedule here. Meanwhile, Higher Eclectic Ground is not only covering the last two races of the BSRTC’s Showdown, set to be streamed live on ApexRacing TV’s Youtube channel at 8.15 P.M GMT every Thursday- but is also offering the indie game community with opportunities for exposure via BSRTC sponsorships. To make sure you do not miss out on anything, do head down to our Facebook page where all the activity lies and ensure you’re signed up. Moreover, those interested in racing with the BSRTC community or simply hanging out with them by the pitlanes, can do so by signing up to their closed group on Facebook or tweeting them @BritSimRacers . Those still doubtful about what the BSRTC is all about can learn more by viewing our previous coverage of the same which also includes a never-seen-before look at the championship’s rise.