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Pickering Wins AllStar Shootout 5

FSR Driver Warren Pickering crowned champion In the 5th running of the Australian AllStar Shootout. 

FSR Drivers Blake Neck and Warren Pickering represented Fusion SimRacing in the AllStar invitational event which pitted 20 drivers from 10 of the best Australian sim racing teams against one another in an elimination style showdown format of hosted races in the iRacing service. 

The 5th ever running of this milestone event saw the return to the Zandvoort Club circuit in the Netherlands where drivers from across Australia. simply equipped with the Riley Daytona Prototype machine in the fixed default setup, would compete on a level playing field for two highly coveted titles, Teams Champions and Drivers Champion. 

The no-frills, door to door racing style event has become a hallmark of the Australian sim racing landscape. With a simple, rubbings-racing (but don’t wreck anyone) set of rules, and a play-to-the-ref mandate the night of racing was close, exciting and unforgiving. 

It was a tough start to the night for Pickering who drew tough components and rear of grid placements early and only had one point to show for his efforts after the first two rounds. Neck on the other hand had amassed 6 after two second places, slightly unlucky to have used his secret, one-off double points selection in his first heat where finishing second netted him two bonus points out of a possible four. Two more second places and a race win saw the hard charging Neck progress to the semi finals. Pickering also made it through to the semis with three on-track wins, although he was relegated to second on points following contact in the final round of heats. Pickering fortunate to capitalise his double points during his win in round 3. 

The end of the heats saw the FSR boys finish third behind teams champions Synergy Sim Racing and runners-up Phoenix Sim Sports. FSR unlucky that Pickering’s points penalty from the final heat, the difference between FSR winning the teams AND drivers points titles.        

Pickering and Neck found themselves alongside each other, on the much-less preferred second row in the elimination semi final. Never ideal to have teammates lineup alongside, the drivers agreed that it would be no-lift hard racing as usual between the pair, despite the likelihood that contact would draw the ire of team bosses. The drivers looked set to come home 3rd and 4th, and eliminated from the event when at the second last corner the pair battling for the lead made contact and slowed up enough to let Pickering squeeze through for the dramatic race win in what was the Bradbury moment of the night. The semi final was the last event for Neck who despite finishing strongly well inside the top eight, was left wondering what might have been had he drawn a more favourable starting gate. 

After almost 4 hours of racing, it all came down to the final where bragging rights would be earnt in just 3 short laps. With four of the stars of Australian sim racing side by side - Pickering, Fawzan El Nabi, Scott Newton and Emily Jones, the final was never going to be dull.  Starting alongside the formidable El Nabi, Pickering had the best start of his night and held the lead into the first turn. The pack of three hard chargers behind were separated by inches when they all simultaneously took to the joker loop at the first opportunity, much to the relief of Pickering. The next two laps saw enough jostling for the prime spot between the three to allow Pickering to pull a gap out front in clear air. On completion of his joker loop on the final lap, Pickering had built enough of a buffer to comfortably rejoin and remain in the lead and would come home first and take out the AllStar Shootout 5!  An incredible end to an exciting night of racing, and one Pickering, Neck and the FSR team will not forget for many years to come.




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