Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: The scorched Desert
Pre-Race news and notes:
I get an offer for the 3rd slot on my race bonus sponsors. Wonderluck offers $100,000 up front and $650,000 for 2nd or better over 4 races. We will never really see a benefit from this offer right now, so I turn them down. Next up, Peach Plum offers a fixed $350,000 per race over 9 races. That is a tidy sum, so I sign with them. Two more race bonus sponsors come up, both also requiring we finish 2nd or better, but Northern Harbor offers $1,250,000 up front and $880,000 if we select them and hit the bonus. The length is for 6 races and it is worth it just for the upfront money. I know have all 6 sponsors (3 fixed payments, 3 race day bonus) in place.
I am negotiating with American Billy Parker for the mechanics slot I want to upgrade, but he will not come cheap. My offer is currently at $109,375 per races and a $150,000 signing bonus. After some consideration, he accepts and I eagerly pay the 64K buyout to fire Stephanie Thomas. I assign Parker to El Sadat and move Jenkinson to Rodgers.
The gear box is done, but not anywhere near reliable enough, so I will not be putting it in a car yet. Next is a new suspension, +20 medium speed in the corners, then take one of the stock suspensions out of queue so I get the parts remaining in queue done before race #2.
My new suspension is done, but again not reliable enough to race yet, so I start work on a second suspension. This one will increase medium speed corners +20 and reduce red zone (critical wear zone) by 10%. Once the second suspension is done, I throw both in queue, along with the new brake to improve reliability and the new gear box goes into the improve performance queue. I am going to get these in good shape before I fit a car with them. Next up work starts on a second new gearbox acceleration +25 max, +30 reliability at the cost of -10 acceleration, so net of +15 acceleration overall.
Race #2 : Munich - Track B
Forecast: Sunny 62 degrees (Rain for practice)
Track qualities: Tire wear very low, fuel burn very low
Crucial attributes: Acceleration, low speed corners, medium speed corners
Race Day bonus sponsor: Golden Tiger (13th or better = $200,000)
Testing results (Downforce, Handling, Speed)
El Sadat – Excellent, Excellent, Great
Rodgers – Great, Great, Excellent
*Young will always test Rodgers car for him
Both drivers will go race trim and intermediate tires +5 each for the race (It’s all I have)
Tweet of the day after testing, one fan wonders if I ever wake up and think about retiring. Rodgers car ran the best in testing thanks to Young’s feedback, we will see if it translates.
El Sadat starts in 6th spot and Rodgers 10th, both good spots and I am feeling good after testing. I use the same strategy as last race, cutting a couple of laps worth of fuel to get out quicker. I worry about El Sadat’s brakes, but everything else should be good. Four laps in El Sadat remains in 6th, but his last two laps have been very good, while Rodgers has nicked a spot and jumped to 9th. I go to neutral on driving style a bit sooner than the other cars in an attempt to save tires and get to my goal of 8-9 laps before our first pit stop. The field is still bunched fairly tight, so pit strategy looks to be a difference maker today. El Sadat and Nick Chu wage a spirited battle for 5th over the next 3 laps, while Rodgers drops to 14th, not quite sure why, but his tires are wearing out fast, so I will have to pit him after lap 6 and go to a harder tire. My pit strategy pays off for El Sadat as he holds 1st place when I pit him on lap 8 as the other drivers ran their tires harder and hit the pits on lap 6 or 7. On top of this Claudia Dreyfuss and Amanda Cavalcanti wreck, so the yellow is out for my pit stop! I go to harder tires and full fuel for what will be the most important leg of the race.
I get hosed on the lap 10 restart and El Sadat is caught in 11th place, while Rodgers has fallen to 16th within a lap. By lap 16 Tanvir Jha has established clear dominance and holds 1st by a wide margin with a second group of cars tight for 2nd through 8th and then the rest, which is where we reside, El Sadat in 10th and Rodgers in 13th. We are on goal for payout, but I want more points, so someone will have to screw up their pit strategy. We hold 3rd (El Sadat) and 4th when Rodgers makes his final pit stop on lap 19 and I should have enough gas to get El Sadat to lap 21, but it will be close. This could be huge as I would be able to go light on fuel and go back to soft tires for the final 8 laps. El Sadat leaves the pits in 12th, but many of the drivers ahead of us should need to pit again, so I have my eye on the podium. Rodgers holds tight in 14th, wasting a damn good car setup. Pit stops on lap 25 allow El Sadat to 6th and Rodgers, who has been playing chicken again with Boa Tang (possible feud brewing after race 1) sits 10th. Tanvir Jha will not be caught, but I still have hope for 3rd. Lap 27 and El Sadat’s brakes start to get sketchy, but with 2 laps left I am right on Valdes’ tail and Beauchamp is running on worn tires, so I am riding it out. An exciting final lap as Beauchamp runs out of fuel and El Sadat passes Valdes, but Arbeloa catches him on the last turn and we get 4th and 10th, still a helluva of a showing.
1st – Tanvir Jha (Garuda) 52:08.09
2nd – Andre Sabado (Firebird MRT) +37.40
3rd – Sergio Arbeloa (Eastwood Motorsports) + 57.62
4th – Mustafa El Sadat +58.29
10th – Alex Rodgers +80.96
In the points race El Sadat sits 10th with 23 points and Rodgers 12th with 21, 5th place as a team with 44 points, Garuda sits 1st with 72 already. We earn $912,000 for the race, leaving our balance at -$594,000