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Eclectic Motorsport Clinches First BSRTC PRO Series Race Win

BSRTC PRO Series, News, Press Releases

The fourth race night of the iRacing BSRTC PRO Series that transpired on the 7th of March at the oval circuit of Phoenix International Raceway, concluded with Higher Eclectic Ground’s contending ProAm team sweeping its first win of the Series’ ongoing tenth season. After starting the race’s fourth and final round from third position on the starting grid courtesy of a customary pre-round grid reversal, Eclectic Motorsport’s reserve Shoppe Keep sponsored PRO driver George Simmons was quick to take the lead by turn three of his first lap of the circuit.

12916816_1204065576289639_9069497271501902042_oA blisteringly consistent drive therefrom would see him hold off Alfalltech’s Steliyan Chepilevsky with only a tenth of a second gap between the duo for the majority of the race. While this race win in no way influences Eclectic Motorsport’s cumulative Team Standings owing to Simmons’ Reserve status, it does serve to move the driver up five positions to 9th place of the overall Drivers’ standings as team mate and fellow Shoppe Keep sponsored, full-time PRO driver Ben Hackeson stands in 10th.

Although Simmons’ performance was largely powerful throughout the night — moving up from position 18th to 9th in the race’s first round and 9th to 5th  in its second — a side-panel collision with Chepilevsky in 5th place on lap 20 of round three, after the Alfalltech driver attempted to rejoin the track post being shunned aside by an incidental, high-speed contact with Ben Hackeson ahead of him, left Simmons hurtling through the air and into the pits for a premature end to the round.

12946847_1362107153806774_31216938_oFortunately, the Shoppe Keep sponsored vehicle of Ben Hackeson would make up for the team’s woes by finishing the same round in fourth place. Unlike a large portion of the full-time PRO Driver’s track record this Season however, this third round marked his only top-ten finish of the night; being swept away by an out of control Alfalltech car terminated his first round early by lap 9 of 31, while rounds two and four had him finish in places 15th and 19th respectively.

Within the team’s AM(ateur Division) side of the field meanwhile, reigning Potshotpete sponsored AM Drivers’ Champion John Roberts set performance records of his own. Despite a mediocre qualification leaving him slightly disappointed — he had after all qualified third on his last outing on the track during the BSRTC’s Winter Series earlier this year — the driver would ascend to 18th from his 24th place grid start to be the highest placed AM driver within the round.

12983968_1204065582956305_3612382278403768386_oThe absence of any incidents that brought Roberts bonus points through the course of the same round further added to the icing. Not being within the grid positions eligible for a grid reversal had him start the second round from 18th yet again, however this time he was put out of the running by a massive collision involving drivers Kip Stephens of Team Sim Racer Magazine and Paul Smith of CQR Academy on lap two.

Regardless, he’d put on exhibit his usual, disciplined drive by finishing round three in 16th place from 40th to be the third highest placed AM driver that round, before being involved in yet another crash in the fourth — this time from having his front panel come in contact with the rear of Alfalltech’s Yulian Genovski which  resulted in the immediate conclusion of the rounds of both Genovski & Roberts, Euro Chip Digital driver Rob Fagg and Team Automek’s competing AM driver Craig Evans who also happens to be a member of the Higher Eclectic Ground gaming community.

12959310_1362107150473441_705866858_oI’m disappointed that I was clumsily taken out twice by other people’s mistakes. I had the race pace for probably a Top 10 in either race 3 or 4,’  recounted Roberts by the end of the night. The team’s manager & AM contender Andrew Whitehead concurrently ended his night with finishes in 23rd, 21st and 23rd place again over the course of the final three rounds — post incurring a DNF (Did Not Finish) on the opening round of the night from being unable to avoid the ripple caused by a mid-rear pack crash on lap 13.

All in all, as Roberts now moves to 8th place and Whitehead to 12th of the AM Standings, after previously occupying positions 9th and 14th respectively, the team now stands in 8th place of the Team Standings with a deficit of 895 points under Season leaders Alfalltech.

Through it all, indie game developers Strange Fire and their RPG Shoppe Keep made their third appearance this season alongside the Potshotpete channel, both of whom have been sponsoring Ben Hackeson and George Simmons for four weeks since the 27th of March this year. Since Simmons is a reserve driver partaking in only those races that allow for more than three drivers per team on a grid, his car flies the Shoppe Keep banner nevertheless.

Similarly since Whitehead’s sponsoship slot lies vacant, the AM driver is seen flying the Potshotpete colors. Besides their logos & banners being made visible on each of the aforementioned drivers’ cars, both sponsors’ ads also made a return during each of the three inter-round breaks; They will now be seen for the final time during next week’s race at Donington National on the 14th of April this week, unless either decide to renew their sponsorships for another month.

 

12987994_10153887671441117_1982413518_nThe iRacing BSRTC PRO Series Touring Car PRO Series is an internationally broadcast, simulation racing championship that is currently witnessing 50 talented iRacing users compete for a $10,000 prize fund over the course of its Tenth Season. Besides being streamed to nearly 2,000 viewers every week on Apex Racing TV every Thursday at 8.15 P.M GMT, the races are also broadcast on MotorsTV International with up to three repeats.

By branding the former ProAm XLDesigns team of Andrew Whitehead, John Roberts, Ben Hackeson, George Simmons and James Leggett to Eclectic Motorsport, Higher Eclectic Ground has been offering independent game talent from both within and outside its community the opportunity to advertise their games, YouTube channels, brands and other gaming projects via the event by sponsoring one of the team’s full-time drivers for an inexpensive fee on a monthly basis.

While John Roberts is sponsored by Community member Jack Davison of the Potshopete Channel and Ben Hackeson by indie RPG Shoppe Keep developers Strange Fire until the 14th of April this year, those interested in joining them by sponsoring full-time driver Andrew Whitehead of Eclectic Motorsport or even pre-booking sponsorship spots on Hackeson and Roberts —  creatively advertising their gaming projects amid the Series’ widely broadcast races over the course of four weeks in the process — can do so by visiting, learning more and applying for the same via the Independent Gaming Sponsorship Application page.

Watch the Phoenix Oval broadcast on Apex Racing TV’s official YT Channel and be sure to catch the Potshotpete & Shoppe Keep advertisements during the inter-round breaks.

Eclectic Motorsport Moves Up Three Places In Pro Series’ Team Standings

BSRTC PRO Series, News

 

1933391_1199413510088179_1598673538394757347_o (1)The third race of the iRacing British Sim Racers Touring Car (BSRTC) PRO Series at Brands Hatch’s Indy Circuit concluded this Thursday the 31st of March, leaving Eclectic Motorsport to maintain its position of ninth place within the Season’s standings that was attained during the course of the Season’s second race at Watkin’s Glen on the 24th.

After a tumultuous Season opener at Philip Island that brought along with it its fair share of on-track incidents and dropped the team to the bottom of the standings on the 17th of March, encouragement began to arrive when Shoppe Keep sponsored RESERVE PRO driver George Simmons qualified for 10th place on the grid at Watkin’s.

A relatively disciplined course through the first round of the night saw the driver move to 4th place, before reigning PRO Champion and current Sim Racer Magazine Team Driver Sebastian Job and David Baker of Race Hub took over to have Simmons finish in 6th place. Note however, that any points attained by Simmons do not contribute to the team’s standings and only to his own, given his status as a reserve driver for the team.

Simmon’s eventual 15th place finish in the race’s second round served to further add to the Team’s top-10 finishes of the Season (of which this was the second, following Ben Hackeson’s 6th place finish on race one at Philip Island), when he started the third round in 7th place as the result of the customary Grid reversal and went on to bag his first podium of the Season in third place. The team’s full-time Shoppe Keep sponsored PRO driver Benjamin Hackeson on the other hand had his exclusion from qualification — the result of a Penalty served at Philip Island —  working against him, keeping him at the mid-rear of the grid for a large part of the night.

This mid-rear grid stint ended by the final round, when a second place start on account of a Grid reversal led the young sim-racer to his second podium of the Season in third place. The consistently driven, Potshotpete sponsored car of current AM Champion John Roberts meanwhile had managed to reduce his points deficit to 261 — bringing himself up to 11th place on the AM Drivers’ standings as a result — while that of Team Manager Andrew Whitehead’s unfortunately managed to finish only two of the four rounds after being involved in two separate race collisions.

12894480_1346274975389992_1793203443_oThis gradual regaining of the team’s balance was further helped by Ben Hackseon at Brands Hatch Indy on the 31st, when the Shoppe Keep drivers finished in 9th place behind George Simmons in 6th during the first round. Excitingly the duo would go on to maintain their relative positions within the top 10 for the next two rounds, with Hackeson consuming 8th and 9th place while Simmons owned 10th and 5th, before both drivers were taken out by crashes on Race 4.

Nevertheless Hackeson and Simmons’ five top 10 finishes now have them in 12th and 13th place of the overall Drivers’ standings respectively, just as Potshotpete sponsored John Roberts’ four mid-rear pack finishes from the night at Brands brings him up to 9th place of the AM Drivers’ standings. Furthermore, leaving out the incident that ended his race prematurely by the fourth round, Whitehead’s three rounds saw the Series veteran hold his own against the competition by progressively making gains in position within the rear of the pack, where he also finished in good pace. The team will now be seen taking to the oval track of Phoenix on the 7th of this month, at 8.15 P.M GMT.

On the sponsorship front, besides visibly flying their flags on the drivers’ cars, both Potshotpete and Shoppe Keep have been debuting advertisements for themselves during the inter-round breaks at Watkin’s Glen and Brands Hatch Indy. It is worth noting however that the Potshotpete channel broke away from its humble teaser that was displayed during the race at Watkin’s Glen, to make way for a more visually descriptive trailer at Brands Hatch this week. Both sponsors are on track to advertise their respective projects over the next couple of weeks, on account of their corresponding four week sponsorship of John Roberts & Ben Hackeson that ranges from 24th March to 14th April, 2016.

The iRacing BSRTC PRO Series Touring Car PRO Series is an internationally broadcast, simulation racing championship that is currently witnessing 50 talented iRacing users compete for a $10,000 prize fund over the course of its Tenth Season. Besides being streamed to nearly 2,000 viewers every week on Apex Racing TV every Thursday at 8.15 P.M GMT, the races are also broadcast on MotorsTV International with up to three repeats.

12719510_1199413503421513_4565652769753964739_o (1)By branding the former ProAm XLDesigns team of Andrew Whitehead, John Roberts, Ben Hackeson, George Simmons and James Leggett to Eclectic Motorsport, Higher Eclectic Ground has been offering independent game talent from both within and outside its community the opportunity to advertise their games, YouTube channels, brands and other gaming projects via the event by sponsoring one of the team’s full-time drivers for an inexpensive fee on a monthly basis.

While John Roberts is sponsored by Community member Jack Davison of the Potshopete Channel and Ben Hackeson by indie RPG Shoppe Keep developers Strange Fire until the 14th of April this year, those interested in joining them by sponsoring full-time driver Andrew Whitehead of Eclectic Motorsport — and creatively advertising their gaming projects amid the Series’ widely broadcast races over the course of four weeks in the process — can do so by visiting, learning more and applying for the same via the Independent Gaming Sponsorship Application page.

READ: CRITERIA & APPLICATION FOR INDEPENDENT GAMING SPONSORSHIPS

 

Watch the Brands Hatch Indy broadcast on Apex Racing TV’s official YT Channel and be sure to catch the Potshotpete & Shoppe Keep advertisements during the inter-round breaks.

IRacing’s BSRTC PRO Series: Accepting Video Game Team Sponsors Via Higher Eclectic Ground

BSRTC PRO Series, News

After over two months since the finale of their grand Ninth season last year, Community partners British Sim Racers are now set to return with the 2016 season of their increasingly popular IRacing based touring car championship — the BSRTC PRO Series. Scheduled to span more than three quarters of the year from the 17th of March to the 8th of December, while the forthcoming touring-car based season is already looking to be the most spectacular one yet — we have been working harder than ever to help develop the Series into a platform for our members to gain greater exposure for their independent game creations.

Followers of the community from last year will recall that towards the final couple of months  of the BSRTC’s 2015 Season — one that witnessed 50 drivers come together over 102 races for a piece of a $10,000 prize fund amidst MOTORS TV television broadcasts — Higher Eclectic Ground’s partnership with the British Sim Racers had resulted in the development of a unique structure of self-promotion for its independent game members. Courtesy of the ingenuity of Apex Racing TV — broadcasters & commentators of the PRO Series — our indie game developers & other game related media creators were given the opportunity to not only sponsor drivers on behalf of their creations for the duration of a race, but were also granted advertisement slots during the races’ live streams on YouTube & IRacing Live along with specially designed pop-ups during the races’.

Watch members debut their creations’ trailers pre-race during last season’s finale.

The result was not one, but nearly ten of our members — majority being indie game developers — opting to debut exclusive teasers & trailers to their games & creations during the widely streamed & telecast final few races (Read the full report here). Coupling that with the general response received by the rest of the community, it was only natural for us to discuss with the British Sim Racers’ administration over the holidays, the possibility of turning the Series into a more mainstream Video Game event for the benefit of our members.

The previous Season, sponsored by Engine Oil Direct, comprised of Teams of drivers — each of which were sponsored by various motorsport and non-motorsport related bodies such as Apex Racing, New Homes Digital, Peter Newman Media, Euro Chip Digital and so forth. What’s more, although the Series was broadcast on MOTORS TV halfway through the year, it was yet to be recognized as an official league by IRacing.

As announced in our quick article on the 30th of January this year though — IRacing has now picked up the official title sponsorship of the Series, making it IRacing’s 2016 BSRTC PRO Series and bringing along with it 130 hours of MOTORS TV International screen time for the Series’ upcoming season. With over 40 drivers having already put down their names for the Season — the BSRTC is also hoping to amp up its prize fund to a whopping $20,000.

While it was envisioned to have this prize fund come from a more solid Team sponsorship structure this year around — wherein third party companies would sponsor a Team/Teams of drivers for the course of the season — we thought a little different, suggesting that mainstream Video Game bodies such as established publishers, news outlets and Hardware companies be involved as full team sponsors. Why? Involving these Video Game companies would not only bring the Series additional coverage and recognition within the more mainstream Gaming community as a thriving Video Game event — but also provide our members with greater incentive and exposure to debut their games on a platform that will have not just sim-racers but other gamers tuning in every week.

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Member Video Games writer Mike Blundell’s blog, ‘Mike’s Pad’ sponsored Team GT Omega at Interlagos last season. Notice his logo on the roof and hood.

And so, a structure regarding the same was devised and has now been put up on the website for our members to read and understand at the bottom of this article. Also accessible via the newly added banner advertising the BSRTC PRO Series on the home page, the BSRTC PRO Series’ 2016 plan goes into the fees required for sponsoring a full team over the course of the Series and how accumulated fees will be split as winnings amongst the drivers. The full team sponsorships are primarily directed towards established Video Game bodies, although our members and indie game developers willing to have their own teams for the series for the stated fees can avail of the same as well.

What’s more, readers will also notice that the package devised for our indie game members over last year — wherein paying a small fee granted them a space for advertising on a single car, live stream ad slots & television pop-ups — makes a return with a few more enhanced packages allowing for per-race team sponsorships as well.

The next couple of weeks will see us reaching out to potential Team sponsors in earnest, while our members will be approached for per-race advertisements closer towards the Season launch. That said, if one would like to express their interest in sponsoring a Full Team or a driver for a Single Race, they can do so by dropping us a line via the Contact Form on our website.

Stay tuned for news as it unfolds. Meanwhile, do share your thoughts on the same in the comments below. To learn more of the BSRTC PRO Series and its partnership with Higher Eclectic Ground, visit the British Sim Racers’ Partner’s page.

THE 2016 BSRTC PRO SERIES’ VIDEO GAME TEAMS SPONSORSHIP PLAN

The 2016 BSRTC PRO Series’ Video Game Teams Sponsorship Plan

BSRTC PRO Series, Other

 

2016/03/16 22:59:59
To Season Launch

Team Sponsors Onboard

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1.      Introduction

 

Following the success of its biggest season yet – Season Nine that spanned 35 weeks from 19th March, 2015 to 3rd December 2015, featured 50 Drivers, 11 teams, a $10,000 prize fund and a MotorsTV broadcast – the BSRTC PRO Series is already looking to outdo itself this year.

Having recently received IRacing’s support & sponsorship that brings with it 130 hours worth of Motors TV International broadcasts over Season 10, as announced here, the British Sim Racers are now looking to increase its prize fund in keeping with the increasingly large number of drivers entering their names for the season. It hopes to facilitate this via a more rigid Team Sponsorship structure as opposed to the previous year.

In observance of the response Higher Eclectic Ground has received from its independent video game community over the final month of the season – wherein its members were granted the opportunity to sponsor a driver for a race for a small fee and advertise their games during the races’ livestreams and televisions broadcasts – it proposes to create a stronger sim-racing based platform for independent developers to market and showcase their games over 2016.

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READ: A quick overview of the coverage received by our Community’s Independent Game creators during last season’s race broadcasts.

This platform will have the BSRTC PRO Series’ quality racing at its core while involving established mainstream Video Game entities such as publishers and news outlets as sponsors of racing teams within the Series. The purpose behind this is to attract a larger more varied Video Gaming audience that is not confined to the sim-racing population of IRacing alone.

A larger, varied Video Gaming audience will in turn facilitate the metamorphosis of the BSRTC PRO Series into a widely recognized video gaming event – allowing greater exposure and incentive for the indie game community to debut its creations and avail of exposure like never before.

In accordance with this vision, the BSRTC PRO Series has laid out a format for its 2016 season through the course of this document – detailing sponsorship fees and subsequent splitting of the prize fund.

 

2.      General Season Structure.

 

Season 10 of the BSRTC PRO Series will span 35 weeks from the 17th of March, 2016 to the 8th of December, 2016.

Competing, will be 13 teams of 3 drivers and 2 reserves each. These reserve drivers will be utilized in the absence of either of the primary 3 drivers, in the event of a team race or a race grid that allows for more than 3 drivers per team in general.

Over 40 Drivers have already specified their interest in racing over the next season, by making an initial entry payment of $30. These drivers will now be classified as PRO(Professionals) or AM(Amateurs) by the BSRTC’s administration based on past seasons’ qualification and race performances.

The drivers will now be segregated into 13 teams – each of which can be either a PRO team or an AM team. A PRO team will consist of no AM drivers while an AM team may consist of one PRO driver.

Each of these teams will be competing for their respective shares of a $20,000 prize fund – twice as that of the BSRTC PRO Series’ previous season. Just as last time, this prize fund will be split among the season’s various winners as per a pre-determined structure listed below –


PRO Team Championship Winners.

1st place – $6,000

2nd place – $3,000

3rd place – $1,500

AM Team Championship Winners.

1st place – $3,000

2nd place – $2,00022923874426_c24625e570_h

PRO Drivers’ Championship Winners.

1st place – $2,000

2nd place – $700

3rd place – $300

AM Drivers’ Championship Winner.

1st place – $1, 000

Safest Driver Award.

$500

Total = $20,000

This prize money will be accumulated from –

  • The Drivers’ fees of $8 per race meet.
  • Team Sponsors.

While the event will be commentated and broadcast by ApexRacing TV on YouTube and IRacing Live as the previous season, highlights of the races will also be featured on MotorsTV International over 45 episodes with 2 repeats each that comes with the series’ IRacing title sponsorship.

 

3.      Sponsorship Structure.

 

Sponsorship opportunities have been made flexible to allow for ventures of varying budgets to gain coverage in the best way possible.12510245_1539013593078409_8334005933808583871_n

 

3.1    The BSRTC PRO Series Championship Title Sponsor.

 

The title sponsorship package has been picked up by IRacing themselves, granting them the privilege of having their name associated with Season 10 of the BSRTC PRO Series in all media and communications namely –

  1. TV, Youtube and IRacing broadcasts where their name and logo will be displayed on the race overlay at all times.
  2. Mentions by the commentary team each time the Championship is introduced during the broadcast.
  3. Social media posts that will be made by both the BSRTC and the Higher Eclectic Ground community in relation to the PRO Series’ tenth season.
  4. Subsequent magazine articles in relation to the PRO Series’ 10th season including the Season 9 review that is scheduled to be written for Sim Racer magazine by Higher Eclectic Ground.

 

 

3.2    Full Team Sponsorships – Intended for mainstream video game entities (Established Gaming News websites, Publishers, Gaming Hardware companies).

 

Every team sponsor will be granted the opportunity to sponsor either a PRO/AM team alone or a PRO and AM team together for a full season. Due to the competitive nature of the series, every team is likely to have at least one high profile driver ensuring all sponsors obtain adequate and equal coverage.

Sponsors attain naming as well as vehicle livery rights over their respective teams although the degree to which they can control their teams’ liveries will be dependent on the sponsor packages they opt for. The available packages and their provisions are listed below.


12644733_1559761791014056_2159474836224326746_nThe £500 or $760 package – Sponsor One PRO or One AM Team for a Full Season.
  • To be paid once at the start of the season.
  • Grants sponsors a PRO team or AM team for the full season. The BSRTC’s administration will assign an existing team of 3 full plus 2 reserve drivers to the sponsors unless they wish to sponsor a pre-determined team.
  • Grants sponsors a team livery that will either be designed by the Sponsors themselves as per a template determined by the BSRTC or by the BSRTC itself, as per the Sponsors’ requirements.
  • The liveries of the vehicles however will have to leave space on the roof and sides of the car to allow for Per Race Driver/Team sponsors (Explained in the next section) to advertise their games/products over the course of the season on a driver’s or team’s vehicles.
The £800 or $1,210 package – Sponsor Both a PRO and an AM Team for a Full Season.
  • To be paid once at the start of the season.
  • Grants sponsors both, a PRO team and an AM team for the full
    season
    . The BSRTC’s administration will assign existing teams of 3 full plus 2 reserve drivers to the sponsors unless they wish to sponsor pre-determined teams.
  • Grants sponsors a team livery that will either be designed by the Sponsors themselves as per a template determined by the BSRTC or by the BSRTC itself, as per the Sponsors’ requirements.
  • The liveries of the vehicles however will have to leave space on the roof and sides of the car to allow for Per Race Driver/Team sponsors (Explained in the next section) to advertise their games/products over the course of the season on a driver’s or team’s vehicles.
The £1,000 or $1,520 package – Sponsor One PRO or One AM Team with Full Livery Control for a Full Season.
  • To be paid once at the start of the season.
  • Grants sponsors a PRO team or an AM team for the full season. The BSRTC’s administration will assign an existing team of 3 full plus 2 reserve drivers to the sponsors unless they wish to sponsor a pre-determined team.
  • Grants sponsors a team livery that will either be designed by the Sponsors themselves as per a template determined by the BSRTC or by the BSRTC itself, as per the Sponsors’ requirements.
  • Grants sponsors complete control over the sides and roofs of cars.
The £1,500 or $2,280 package – Sponsor Both a PRO and an AM Team with Full Livery Control for a Full Season.
  • To be paid once at the start of the season.
  • Grants sponsors both, a PRO team and an AM team for the full season. The BSRTC’s administration will assign existing teams of 3 full plus 2 reserve drivers to the sponsors unless they wish to sponsor pre-determined teams.
  • Grants sponsors a team livery that will either be designed by the Sponsors themselves as per a template determined by the BSRTC or by the BSRTC itself, as per the Sponsors’ requirements.
  • Grants sponsors complete control over the sides and roofs of cars.

Note that the BSRTC’s livery template will also specify the amount of space that needs to be left on the sides and roof of a vehicle.

 

 

3.3    Per Race Driver/Team Sponsorships – Intended For Higher Eclectic Ground’s Independent Game Developers & Other Members During The Course Of The Season.

 

The £5 per race package – One Car Roof Spot for One Race:BSRTC-Showdown-Sean

Payable on a per-race meeting basis (one meeting equals three races), this package grants a sponsor a spot on a single driver’s roof for the duration of one race – over which a logo of their game/company can be advertised.

The £12 per race package – Full Team Roof Spot for One Race:

Payable on a per-race basis (one meeting equals three races), this package grants a sponsor a spot on the roofs of each of the vehicles of a team of 3 full time drivers plus 2 reserves for the duration of one race – over which a logo of their game/company can be advertised.

The £10 per race package – One Car Side Panel Spot for One Race:

Payable on a per-race basis (one meeting equals three races), this package grants a sponsor a spot on a single driver’s side panel for the duration of one race – over which a logo of their game/company can be advertised.

The £25 per race package: – Full Team Side Panel Spot for One Race:

Payable on a per-race basis (one meeting equals three races), this package grants a sponsor a spot on the side panels of a team of 3 full time drivers plus 2 reserves for the duration of a race – over which a logo of their game/company can be advertised.

The aim, is to have mainstream Video game establishments sponsor full teams via either of the Full Team packages listed above for an entire season, while Independent game developers & other members from the Higher Eclectic Ground community will advertise their games on car roofs via the Per race driver/team sponsorship packages.

Additionally, the ad slots for independent developers and television pop-ups will return – preserving the sim-racing event’s vision as a platform for video game exposure.

 

4.      Deadline.

 

There is no deadline to announce one’s interest in participating as Racing Team sponsors; Accommodations can be made mid-season as well provided there are sufficient slots available. To do, simply leave us a message via our Contact Form.  The Per Race Driver/Team sponsorships of course, can be availed of at any time during the season.

The BSRTC PRO Series is a long time partner of the Higher Eclectic Ground community, with us even providing the sim-racing community with weekly race reports of the series. To learn more, drop by their Partner’s Page.

BSRTC PRO Series Biography Now Available on Sim Racer

BSRTC PRO Series, News

Released on the 25th of this month, Sim Racer Magazine‘s first issue of the year now features an elaborate, never-seen-before biography of the British Sim Racers & their increasingly popular, BSRTC PRO Series Touring Car Championship on IRacing — as written by us at Higher Eclectic Ground back in October, 2015.

This biography of course, arrives exactly a week after BSR made one of its grandest announcements in the midst of its on-going Winter Series’ race at Silverstone last week — IRacing has picked up the official title sponsorship of the upcoming, tenth season of the BSRTC PRO Series scheduled to launch later in March this year. This is in addition the the Series’ being granted 45 episodes on Motors TV International, with 2 repeats each,  garnering it 130 hours of International Television time for the upcoming season.


 

Founded in 2013 by IRacing enthusiasts Kip Stephens and Steve Richardson, the BSRTC PRO Series became the simulation racing service’s first user-created, professional-grade Touring Car championship to grace the households of real-world motorsport fans via Motors TV  last year. The television broadcasts arrived halfway through the Series’ ninth season — one that for the first time, featured 50 talent sim-racers & 11 teams compete for a slice from a $10,000 prize pot.

Higher Eclectic Ground’s affiliation with the Series began in October of the same year via a mutual acquaintance — long time BSR member Tristan Boddice Ratsnacker — with us constructing an inside look at the BSRTC PRO Series’ rise from a falling out with Pitlanes.com‘s founders within IRacing’s UK & Ireland community, to what is now clearly a true-to-life Video Game experience vouched by the likes of real world racers such as BTCC Team BMR’s 2015 Clio Cup UK Champion Ash Sutton and Simpit legend Shaun Cole.

This affiliation quickly grew into a partnership, with us not only delivering exclusive weekly race reports to the sim-racing community but also for the first time in independent video game history — offering our member independent game developers & talent the opportunity to uniquely advertise their creations during the races’ Apex Racing TV live streams & television broadcasts.

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A preview of the Sim Racer Magazine issue.

Now as the Series gears up for its largest, most eventful Season yet — Higher Eclectic Ground continues to work with the Series, as it has been for last few months, to help turn it into a more widely recognized, mainstream Video Game event that transcends sim-racing barriers. All of this of course, in recognition of the Series’ potential as a platform for independent Video Game talent.

Stay tuned for announcements & more on the same as we head into February. Till then, if you’ve picked up an issue of Sim Racer Magazine’s latest issue via their portal and read our biography of the Series — be sure to let us know how you enjoyed it. To learn more of the BSRTC PRO Series, catch last season’s races & our coverage on the same, feel free to drop by their Partners’ page.

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. 

GoManga Int., ORC Debut Indie Games At BSR IRacing Touring Car Championship.

BSRTC PRO Series, News

The penultimate outing of the 35 week IRacing Powered BSRTC Pro Series – a Touring Car Championship that sees 50 of the best Sim Racers from over the world compete for a chunk of the $10,000 cash prize – was held at Sebring International Raceway yesterday.

Streamed live on ApexRacing TV’s Youtube Channel and IRacing’s Twitch TV Channel to reach a cumulative audience of over 1,000 – the event saw up to three of Higher Eclectic’s indie game community members debut their ventures during the event’s livestream at 8.15 P.M GMT in the form of 30 second ad spots.

The first of these was GoManga Interactive, a young team of independent Italian game developers brought together by Luigi Squillante, who sponsored Team Peter Newman Media’s – and one of the BSRTC’s – quickest racing driver Ashley Sutton. Sutton, 2015’s Renault CUK Clio Cup Champion as part of the official BTCC Team BMR, finished the first round of the race in 13th place after a 32nd place start before being prevented from finishing the next couple of rounds as the result of two separate racing incidents.

The GoManga Interactive Banner Envelopes Sutton’s Roof.

GoManga’s sponsorship of the driver witnessed the indie team of developers debut an exclusive teaser of their upcoming horror trip Insane Decay Of Mind: The Sounds of Silence. The tale of one Katherine Watson who – trapped in World War II era ‘St. Anger Manor’ with no escape – must fight against a terrifying past that continues to imprison her within a living nightmare, Insane Decay Of Mind is currently well within development as documented on the community. The teaser more than anything, served to announce the game’s upcoming crowdfunding campaign that is set to commence by the end of the year.

Next in line was Ashley McConnell, Lead Software Developer of the indie racing simulator Online Racing Championship. The ORC sponsored Team Laser Tools’ driver Aleksandar Smolensky, currently 4th in contention for the $1,000 prize that comes with the Championship’s PRO Driver’s title. Smolensky placed himself on the podium as a result of a 3rd place finish at the end of Round 1 followed by a 11th place finish in Round 2. He was unable to complete the final round as the result of a racing incident.

Regardless, the ORC debuted an exclusive teaser that aimed to invite sim-racing enthusiasts to download its Alpha via the game’s portal. Still within development, the ORC is all set to use a Formula One team engineered physics engine, response towards which has been rather positive among indie and sim-racing circles. Although not a part of the community yet, Higher Eclectic Ground is currently in communication with McConnell to set a collaboration in motion.

The ORC banner atop Smolensky’s Laser Tools’ vehicle.

Lastly, while unable to premiere a teaser during the race, independent Isle of Lewis based electronic music label Isle Of Bass went on to sponsor the entire New Homes Digital Team of PRO Drivers Jamie Rushworth, Ellis ‘Kip’ Stephens, Jamie Fluke and AM Drivers Laura Bond and Steve Richardson. With an audience of 10,000 plus spread across SoundCloud, Youtube, Twitter, MixCloud and Bandcamp, the label promotes independent music creations spanning genres such as Drum and bass, Dubstep, House music, Electro and many more. Currently a partner of the Higher Eclectic Ground community, Isle of Bass aims to provide independent video game developers with access to talented EDM musicians from under the label.

The reason behind its sponsorship including an entire team of drivers and not a solo racer lies in the fact that the label had applied for the same well before the official announcement was amended to restrict sponsorships to solo drivers only.

New Homes Driver Laura Bond Dons The Isle Of Bass Flag.

Given that the race will also be broadcast live on MotorsTV UK – a counterpart of Europe’s largest motorsport – on the 10th of December, each of the above sponsors will also have their ventures advertised during the one hour telecast, via animated on-screen popups. Moreover, while each will be making an appearance within the final week of the championship at Daytona Road on the 3rd of December, several more of the community’s independent game developers are to debut their games as well.

A live stream to the races – which will commence at 8.15 P.M GMT – will be posted on the community well in advance. To learn more of how an uncanny collaboration with the BSRTC is helping Higher Eclectic Ground provide the independent game and art community with opportunities for exposure via sim-racing motorsport like never before, have a look at our announcement from last week that also outlines the criteria for independent game developers to participate.

Catch the Ad Spots At The Start Of The Race and During The 10 Minute Breaks at 51:14 and 1:39:00.

This Really Is What A Serious IRacing League Looks Like – Race 3 Of 5 Of The BSRTC Pro Series’ Showdown.

BSRTC PRO Series, Features

In stark contrast to the hubbub prior to the race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos) circuit that took place on the 12th of November, pre-race chatter at best was minimal due in part to the week-long maintenance that had engulfed the IRacing’s portal. As drivers huddled together to discuss alternate courses of action should IRacing’s downtime not end in time for the live broadcast on ApexRacing TV and IRacing Live, I quickly set about putting my facts together.

 

PRO Standings after last week’s race at Interlagos.

After an incredibly eventful last couple of rounds at Interlagos, the PRO Drivers’ standings had taken quite the toss-up. The highlight of course, being Apex Racing TV’s Sebastian Job – Number Two within the standings post Okayama, 5 points behind Engine Oil Direct’s Wojceich Swirydovicz – who after crashing out in two separate incidents on Rounds 92 and 93 had dropped down to 7th  place with a gap of 110 points between him and the lead. The first of those incidents had involved Swirydovicz accidentally swinging New Homes’ Jamie Fluke’s car into the side of Job, resulting not only in the Engine Oil Direct driver being barred from participating in this week’s qualification by the race’s stewards but also a negation of points gained over Round 92.

With his lead of 118 points now reduced to 37 over Andreas Katz, the leader board was to undergo a significant amount of change especially as the 10 remaining drivers eligible for the Showdown – each separated from the other by but a handful of points –commenced the night’s race well ahead of him. Meanwhile the AM battle would be sustained by Apex Racing’s Richard Gore and Stem Sim’s Paul Smith, both of whom were separated by a meagre 3 points given their tendency to start, race and finish in close proximity with one another countless times over the season– so much so that both had ended up making contact and diving into the barrier head on at Interlagos at precisely the same time. Merely 36 points behind them was John Roberts who similar to Swirydovicz, would start from the rear of the pack as per the Stewards’ demands after a 91st round incident at Interlagos. And yet, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (MoSport) would be no cakewalk – a point explained by the BSRTC’s Keeper Of Scores and PRO Engine Oil driver, Jeroen Keizer prior to the race.

‘Yesterday’s practice was great. It’s without a doubt MoSport will be just as amazingly action packed as Interlagos’, he stated, referring to the practice races the drivers subject themselves to on a Tuesday prior to the actual race. ‘Overtaking on the track is never easy and should you feel the need to – you will have to set it up in advance. Sure, we had that at Okayama too but, yeah. The Kia’s will rest between 3rd to 4th gear for a large part of the race, except at the hairpin between turns 5 and 6 where it’s got to go down to 2nd. The best place for drivers to overtake would be the corner at the end of the straight – although overtaking from either the inside or the outside will require a decent pair of b*lls’.

MoSport Track Layout.

B*lls or not, drivers would unfortunately have only Tuesday’s set of races to rely on for the official race on Thursday. Maintenance had ended but a few minutes prior to the scheduled 8.15 P.M GMT broadcast, forcing the organizers to restrict the usual three-hour practice to but 10 minutes along with routine 20 minute qualification – that normally comprised of a 10 minute open qualification session followed by a 10 minute top-15 shootout – to just the 10 minute open session. Lap times differed by their usual few hundredths of a second and just as the pack of 35 was retiring to the pits, an over-zealous Sebastian Job decided to cut past GT Omega’s Daniel Hunt on entry into the lane for some reason – scraping against the barrier as a result, spinning Hunt and propping him belly up before pushing past him to his pit slot. Job did file a protest against his own behaviour, before taking to the Youtube stream’s live chat to apologise to Hunt publicly and hope that his self be penalised for what he called ‘the dumbest thing he had done in a long time.’

This means that for the week that followed, Job’s protest was handed to a panel of 20 expert drivers from within and outside the series who then conducted an elaborate study of the incident. A vote was cast by each panel member at the end of the week prior to the next race – specifying whether Daniel Hunt, Job or none were responsible for the incident. The majority of the votes ruled in Hunt’s favour of course, leading Job to incur a 10 place grid penalty on the 98th round at Sebring.

Now that the penalty is served, Job has the option of appealing against the panel’s decision – in which case a replay of the incident in ‘Chase Camera’ view will be constructed for everyone involved in the PRO Series. A round of public voting will then commence, following which the penalty will either be repealed if votes stand against the panel’s majority vote or doubled (barring him from participation in the qualifiers of the next two races, for instance) if the public’s majority vote aligns with that of the panel. This only proves that the BSRTC cares and does not want you worrying about the incident reflecting poorly on the series and IRacing as a whole, for any presumptions made regarding a lack of action being taken against erratic driving.

Round 94 – B*lls To The (Tyre)Wall.

Not surprisingly, it would be Peter Newman Media’s Ashley Sutton involving himself in the b*llsy outside-inside overtaking that would grant him a win on the first round at MoSport. Sutton, despite having set the fastest lap in practice, had begun the race in 6th place to quickly move through the ranks of GT Omega’s Steliyan Chepilevsky and Laser Tools’ Aleksandar Smolensky in 5th and 4th place respectively over but a span of 4 laps.

Euro Chip’s Andreas Katz and New Homes’ Jamie Fluke in 3rd and 4th place turned out to be the next in line, as Sutton exhibited significant dominance in overtaking both PRO Drivers from the outside of Turn 8 on two separate instances – although Katz admitted later that he was simply taking it easy. ApexRacing’s Sebastian Job on the other hand would prove to be the only resilient force – managing to hold his own against Sutton’s outside line manoeuvre and even set him sideways on Turn 8 for a few moments- conceding to the Peter Newman driver only by lap 12 to finish in 2nd place.

New Homes’ Jamie Rushworth, GT Omega’s Daniel Hunt, Stem Sim’s David Baker and Hunt’s team mate Michael Schellbach wound up the top 10 – having formed a train that span but 2.2 seconds and finished nearly 10 seconds ahead of Engine Oil’s Jeroen Keizer in 11th place. Although Schellbach had begun the race in 13th place, the round’s first of two major back-to-back incidents involving team mate Yulian Genovski in 10th place on Lap 1 served to place him ahead even as he’d come dangerously close to being wiped out in the ruckus.

The Train.

Genovski – post an inside line through Turn 2 on Lap 1 that placed him beside Baker – lost all control as he moved into Turn 3 from the outside, making contact with Baker’s rear as a result and setting himself into a drift that nearly put the Stem Sim driver and team mate Schellbach behind him in into the barrier. While Baker and Schellbach made it through miraculously and comparatively unscathed, a coincidental nudge by Keizer served to end Genovski’s sideway action – sending the GT Omega driver into the barrier, though not without having ApexRacing’s Blackhall establish contact first.

Genovski immediately ricocheted back on track, causing Stem Sim’s Ben Palmer in 18th place to brake promptly in an attempt to avoid imminent carnage. Unfortunately Palmer’s braking had caught Euro Chip’s Rob Fagg behind him unaware, causing him to accidentally shove the Stem Sim driver into the tyre barrier opposite Genovski as he made contact with the dizzy GT Omega driver himself. Looking back at the events that had transpired with Genovski, team mate Russell Laidler who finished in 17th place after a 15th place start wasn’t pleased with Keizer’s involvement. ‘I had a good start in race 1, but that was put on hold after Jeroen Keizer saw my Teammate Genovski having a moment and decided to drive through him rather than use the middle pedal and slow up.’

As vehicles swerved this way and that, Stem Sim’s Paul Smith and Peter Newman Media’s eponymous driver in 24th and 25th respectively, prepared to descend down the hill towards turn 4 only to have Smith bounce off Newman’s side, wind up sideways and send a dodging Andrew Whitehead behind him into the barrier with a force suffiecient to effectively end the Engine Oil driver’s race. As Smith now faced oncoming traffic, he was barged into by PRO Driver Lee Thompson – who was in the midst of his first Showdown race after a two week absence – subjecting the ApexRacing driver to mortal damage that would end his race by Lap 9.

Stem Sim’s Paul Smith Faces Oncoming Traffic As Andrew Whitehead Drives Towards The Barrier

Fortunately for Smith, Peter Newman’s Simon Field would wind up making contact with ApexRacing’s Richard Gore – damaging the AM championship’s then leading contender’s car and preventing him from finishing the race altogether. Field would later involve himself in an incident that would have him flip Euro Chip’s Lee Berridge’s car around Turn 7 on Lap 5, ending both of their races in the process as well. While the gap between Smith and Gore continued to differ by but 3 points, Engine Oil’s John Roberts’ 22nd place finish managed to place him ahead of Gore in 1st place of the AM Standings.

New Homes’ Laura Bond meanwhile finished in 14th place ahead of her 17th place start, despite reaching but an inch’s distance from the tyre barrier on Turn 8 after being unable to sustain herself on the outside as Euro Chip’s Hefford moved to her inside on Lap 3. Hefford was later put into the tyres at nearly the same spot by Blackhall on Lap 12 who, despite enjoying a considerably better race in 12th place as opposed to his recent ones, dropped down to 19th as a result of the damage sustained. Bond’s team mate and AM contender Steve Richardson proved to be less fortunate than her however, after contact with Laser Tools’ Robert Graham and a subsequent barrier collision in 25th place served to set him back two places on the final lap.

Lot of incidents, yes we know. And so, worried as we were that you might conclude that the BSRTC is giving sim-racing motorsport a bad name after witnessing the entire ordeal on MotorsTV UK, we’d like to inform our readers that each of the incidents involving Ben Palmer and Rob Fagg, Peter Newman and Paul Smith, Simon Field and Lee Berridge, Jake Blackhall and Steve Hefford & Steve Richardson and Rob Graham were protested against. All events – with the exception of that involving Blackhall and Hefford – were ruled out as incidental race occurrences.

Through it all, Swirydovicz had stealthily found his place in 13th place – a whopping 19 places ahead of where he had begun. With every one of the PRO Standings’ top 10 drivers – except for New Homes’ Kip Stephens who finished in 18th place ahead of his 22nd position grid start and dropped to 4th place in the standings as a result – having finished ahead of Swirydovicz, the gap between Katz and him within the standings had now been reduced to but 20 points.

Round 95 – Playing It Cool.

The drop in temperature by nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit did not bode well for the drivers. That, coupled with the cold tyres the drivers had on along with what Laser Tools’  Rob Graham called s***t IRacing physics, would turn Clayton Corner into a descent to hell for the first couple of laps. As Friction Racing’s Colin Cunniffe drifted off into the field opposite Turn Two endlessly, Laser Tools’ Graham had lined up alongside team mate Scott Malcolm’s outside for entry into the very same corner in 22nd place.

As Malcom braked in a straight line in preparation for his descent down the hill, Graham was already out of control – battering himself into Malcolm’s side under braking with enough force to send his team mate into the track barrier on his right in reverse, before crashing into it himself. Their races had more or less come to an end, though not without taking several others into the pit with them – Peter Newman Media’s Steve Burke had already lost himself well before the Laser Tools fiasco, drifting past them to land in the field where Cunniffe had a while ago before crashing into the barrier at its end.

Sigh. Just another day with the BSRTC.

As Euro Chip’s Hefford rammed into a rebounding Malcolm to push him in New Homes’ Steve Richardson’s way in 26th place, Ben Palmer of Stem Sim Racing and Apex Racing TV’s Lee Thompson were already mid-air – after Thompson had ended up nudging Palmer’s side in a fashion similar to the way Graham had Malcolm’s, sending the Stem Sim driver into a still-petrified Graham’s side before being hurled into the air along with him. AM contender Paul Smith of Stem Sim Racing completed the Malcolm-Hefford sandwich, forcing the Euro Chip driver to meet Apex Racing’s AM representative Richard Gore in a head on crash despite Gore’s hard braking measures.

The bloodbath’s sole survivors would be GT Omega’s Julian Genovski (Who quickly lost control and crashed into the tyre barrier at Turn 3 by himself anyway), Euro Chip’s Lee Berridge – whose approach to the crash site was delayed by an out of control Simon Field on Turn One in 33rd place before going on to remarkably finish in 19th place- and Engine Oil’s Andrew Whitehead. John Roberts then would be the only AM championship contender to finish the round, being as New Homes’ Laura Bond would face disqualification after an incident that would put an end to team mate Jamie Fluke and Colin Cuniffe’s races as well.

Once again, it is important that the cold track and tyre conditions be taken into account before conclusions with regards to the BSRTC’s drivers mentality be made. As Graham stated later, ‘Really no one else should have been involved as were on the outside of the corner. Guess it just was a ripple effect.’ Regardless, Graham and Bond would be barred from the following week’s qualifiers based on votes cast against their respective incidents.

To top New Homes’ abundance of fortune, Ellis ‘Kip’ Stephens – who had led the round for two and a half laps from his pole position start like a ‘wiley ol’ fox that knows every trick in the book’, as Russell Laidler later put it – was shoved into the tyre barrier by leading PRO Driver Swirydovicz at the Esses, after the latter’s overtaking attempt from Stephen’s outside led him to lose grip and put a full stop on the New Homes driver’s race. Swirydovicz may have gone on to finish in third, though not without Stephens having his say over the airwaves – ‘I’m glad Woj (Swirydovicz) wrecked me, I was getting bored of racing for points to stay near the top. The gloves are off now – I’d still like the f***ing 90 points back though.’

When asked later if the points really made any difference to him, he retorted – from 7th place in the PRO Standings – ‘Of course it is! I’m racing for points to stay near the top, and show people how it’s really supposed to done when you call yourself a Professional driver!’ Not surprisingly, the much quieter Engine Oil Driver would go on to be barred from the following week’s qualifiers. Moreover, since the incident with Stephens had resulted in him earning 90 points in comparison to the latter’s naught – those points would be revoked from Swirydovicz’s MoSport winnings. Stephens, despite that, was not happy. ‘I LOST 90 points when he wrecked me. I’m still not f******g happy.’

My F*****g 90 points!

Scuffles aside, the New Homes flag was held high by the team’s sole surviving member Jamie Rushworth who had begun the race from 12th place on the grid. Post coming dangerously close to a premature finish in 5th place on Lap 3 after GT Omega’s Michael Schellbach had set him sideways on Turn 6’s exit and set him back two places behind Jeroen Keizer in 7th, Rushworth had not only managed to place ahead of them in the next lap but also move in to third place behind GT Omega’s Russell Laidler and Euro Chip’s Robert Fagg in 1st and 2nd place respectively, after the Swirydovicz – Stephens fracas.

Fagg’s subsequent Lap 8 field-trip on Turn 2 and Laidler’s following drop in pace due to a less than perfect tyre setup – which led the GT Omega driver to run wide into the grass at turn 7 and finish in 10th place – only served to cement Rushworth’s victory. His lead of over 1.5 seconds over the rest of the pack had managed to keep Peter Newman Media’s Ashley Sutton – who jumped up 10 places from his 18th place start by Lap 8 to finally finish in second place – at bay. Standard New Homes quality I’d think. There’s a reason why our Facebook team chat was called ‘Don’t Get DQ’d’ for ages’, mused Rushworth when asked about his much superior consistency over the rest of his team.

As Stem Sim’s David Baker wound up in 6th place to maintain his 8th place within the PRO Standings – having conceded to Sutton, Swirydovicz, Keizer and Schellbach from being in 3rd place at one point of the race – he was closely followed by Euro Chip’s Andreas Katz who managed to stay ahead of PRO competition Sebastian Job, Steliyan Chepilevsky and Daniel Hunt in 8th, 9th and 11th place respectively. The gap between Katz and Swirydovicz now stood at 28 points while that between Job – once number two contender for the PRO Drivers’  until last week – and the Engine Oil driver stood at 95 points from the ApexRacing TV PRO’s 6th position in the Standings.

Kip Stephens insisted this be put in.

Round 96 – I Dive Bombed F****all, mate.

Ashley Sutton pulled out a second win for the night from his Peter Newman Media hat after having begun the round in 14th place while team manager Peter Newman dominated the starting grid’s pole. As Newman dropped behind Apex Racing TV’s Jake Blackhall by the Esses on Lap two to hold his ground in second place for up to 6 more laps – Sutton had whisked his way up to 11th place by the end of Lap 1 that saw him overtake Engine Oil team mates Jeroen Keizer and Wojceich Swirydovicz, the latter of whom had come dangerously close to painting the barrier along the Mario Andretti straight with Engine Oil colors after a minor tap by Sutton left him fishtailing, before blowing past Job’s tryst with the pit-lane divider.

Yes, Job’s race had come to a deafening end as he accidentally, albeit harshly, set Euro Chip’s Rob Fagg into a spin in 7th place – only to have GT Omega’s Steliyan Chepilevsky behind him crash into the Apex Racing TV driver as he braked to let Fagg regain his composure. While Chepilevsky would go on to finish in 8th place without qualms – except for Sutton deciding to challenge him to a bout of tandem drifting by Lap 4 that is – Job would finish the race in 25th place, one lap behind the rest of the field. Fortunately, he would still make it to 4th place in the Standings – given how both Jamie Rushworth and Daniel Hunt that were ahead of him on the leaderboard had found themselves in race-finishing incidents.

As Michael Schellbach crept along Engine Oil’s Dan Blake’s outside on Turn 10’s exit at the end of Lap 10, Blake had run wide – returning on track to bash into Schellbach’s side and send the GT Omega into the pit wall. Incidentally, Rushworth had found himself on the inside of Schellbach at the wrong time, causing him to wind up belly up against an oncoming John Roberts who had just about driven his brake pedals through the floor. Surprisingly John Roberts would go on to finish in 15th place behind New Homes’ Laura Bond – well ahead of AM competitors Paul Smith, Richard Gore and Steve Richardson – relatively unscathed.

A bloody emotional rollercoaster.

‘My Showdown has been a bloody emotional rollercoaster’, exclaimed an exasperate Rushworth after the round. ‘A win in the first week getting my hopes up, big crash at Interlagos knocking them back down, win again in Race 2 at Mosport here – so I think I’m back in with a shot at the title again – then getting caught in Blake and Schellback’s crash in race 3 straight after. Who knows what will happen next week!’ Irrespective of what would happen, Schellbach would be barred from next week’s qualifiers by the Panel – a decision his team mate Genovski would later regard as unjust given that ‘the other person (Dan Blake) was guilty of the incident.’ 

Shortly after the Blake – Schellbach – Rushworth incident, Andreas Katz in 3rd place was rammed into by GT Omega’s Daniel Hunt on Turn 3, setting the Euro Chip driver perpendicular to oncoming traffic while crashing into the tyre barrier himself. ‘It was my fault really, the closing speed caught me out’, confessed Hunt, who had now dropped down to 8th place in the PRO Standings and would also suffer a 10 place grid penalty in the forthcoming race as a result of the incident. Fortunately, Katz – who intends to win the PRO championship so that he can send his earnings to a charity for Orphans in Africa – wound up in 7th place altogether that kept the gap between him and Swirydovicz, who finished in 5th place, to 30 points.

‘The incident with Hunt cost me up to 4 positions and the worse thing?! Swirydovicz passing me!’, expressed Katz  after the race. ‘That alone cost me valuable point for the championship. But anyway – I still gained points and am only 30 points behind. Surely, I should be winning my third championship within the BSRTC.’ Unbeknown to him, Swirydovicz’s 90 point loss as a result of the Stephens incident from the previous round would drop the Engine Oil to third place in the standings – 62 points behind Katz in 1st.

‘Katz and Smolenski might as well have a Bullseye painted on the back of their cars now, because no one will be giving them an inch of space for the next 6 races. Good luck with that’, voiced Kip Stephens who finished in 13th place from a 26th finish start and had a good chuckle on hearing about Swirydovicz’s ousting a few days later.

Amidst it all.

And so amidst all of this, Sutton had found himself behind Jake Blackhall in the lead by lap 13, before overtaking the ApexRacing driver who enjoyed perhaps his best race in recent times without turning victim to a major crash/incident, by the penultimate lap. Having begun in 10th place, Stem Sim’s David Baker had executed a cool, composed drive to round up the podium in third place and jump up to 5th place in the PRO Standings. Amusingly while a stealthy Aleksandar Smolensky would place Laser Tools in 11th place on the grid, team mates Rob Graham and Scott Malcom would come under the spotlight yet again on account of two separate yet proximate incidents.

Lap three had seen Graham dive into the field at Clayton Corner in 18th place due to a lack of grip and s***t IRacing physics. As he attempted to re-join the pack on entry to Turn – Richard Gore, then in 23rd place, had darted into the Laser Tools’ driver’s path only to be spun into the adjacent tyre barrier. The show would carry on all the way till Round 6 when Gore would descend into Clayton Corner (Yes, again – as Graham lost control ahead, again!) alongside Scott Malcolm beside him in 26th place. Of course, as two or more wide formations do nobody good on the BSRTC, Malcolm and Gore were quick to find themselves pasted against the barrier.

Having being penalised by the Panel with a Back Of Grid start for the incident with Gore, Graham wasn’t pleased. ‘I get done for Gore putting me in an impossible position after I just came back off the grass, yet he gets nothing for blatantly wiping Scott out later? Laughable!’

‘Wiping Scott out? Ha!’ Gore apparently was not out of earshot when the panel’s results were announced, ‘I held my line while he came across whereas you dive-bombed me after coming back on track. You could have eased off! For the record I could have made several protests but didn’t file any. By the time race 3 came around I was fed up with being punted around like one of Jim Davidson’s wives.’

I dive bombed f**k all mate, I came back on the only place I could!’ retorted Graham. ‘And you went into panic defend mode because you thought I might get back past, when my only thought was to steady the ship after an off-track. Now you know how the majority of my season has been! But I’ve started biting back the last few races, haven’t I?’

Ah, well.

Standings After The Race At MoSport.

I tried James, I really did.

A few hours after my previous report’s release on the 18th of November last week, the BSRTC were made an example of. Publicly. Over-the-internet publicly. A charismatic individual by the name of James, had taken to what he calls ‘The worst site you could ever visit for Sim Racing news’, to cite my report of Interlagos’ events as an embarrassment to the art of Sim-Racing  – for the sheer abundance of events and crashes that were reported. After an elaborate and lengthy article, readers had even gone on to remark how the BSRTC was nothing but a wreck fest of an ordeal based on only a few of the –*checks calendar*- 90 odd rounds.

Of course being as high octane racing on real world tracks involve zero incidents or crashes while tuxedo-clad gentlemen drive around as perfect embodiments of civilization, I had begun this report hoping to change its tone and literary demeanour by reporting only on those who finished on the podium. But sadly, that has not been very effective James. You see just as real life, accidents happen. And I’ve gone on to great lengths to spell out the reasons (Read cold tyres, s***t IRacing physics) behind each incident and even explain what happens to those charged guilty with causing said incident.

As a result, my reports – which are already of biblical proportions – go on for much longer now. Commentator Andrew Whitehead refuses to share much of his opinion for fear of making the sub-headlines of my article, which you might make an example of yet again. A round of public voting was called for to determine if the race reports should continue or not (They are continuing) and well, there’s only so much we can do to stop being an ordeal.  Founder Kip Stephens on the other hand seems to have developed an affinity for you ever since. He’s coming James, and he’s going to populate your articles with quotes as well.

‘People are welcome to sit there typing negativity for the rest of their lives if they like, meanwhile, we are all having fun racing in a series that is as near to real life as you can get and that will only get bigger. One of my favourite hobbies is messaging the latest YouTube/Twitch cynic and getting them to come to race with us. So we’re hoping with all our hearts to get James on the next season of the BSRTC. 🙂

‘Meanwhile, everyone’s crying about Woj. Well boo-hoo, what about poor f****ing me?’

Track Side Ordeal Photo Courtesy Jamie Rushworth.

This race will also be aired on MOTORSTV on the 8th of December as per the schedule here. Meanwhile, Higher Eclectic Ground is not only covering the last ttwo 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 . 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.