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Round 10 of the V8Scops championship and the teams headed to Autodromo Nazionale Monza, in what saw an influx of FSR’s drivers hit the pre-qualifying nights and make it through to split two race. Spearheading the pre-qualifying results was Warren Pickering starting out of 8th, with Josh Burdon in 11th and Daryl Carter on debut with the team round out in 14th.

The guys had great pace, and were amongst the fastest cars on the grid. All drivers getting good clean starts, but within a few laps a couple of costly errors were made with Warren and Josh slipping down the order due to slowdowns. Daryl keeping nice and consistent making his way through the field within 6 laps was sitting position 6. With the help of strategy would see him in the lead by lap 9.

Unfortunately for Warren and Josh, their races were plagued with issue, Warren in a scrap and sent off track that brought his race to an end and Josh after falling back to 17th, making his way back up to 6th had technical issues and was dropped from the server.

With our regular driver Will Dodd out for the round with personal duties, it was down to new comer Daryl to bring home the bacon. Daryl drove the wheels off the AWS Falcon after his pit stop, gaining positions lap after lap, most of the time being the fastest driver on track. Putting down qualifying laps, he battled his way back towards the front, collecting the fastest lap of the race along the way and crossed the line in 3rd position. A fantastic result on debut for the team.


Round 1 of Season 5 found 7 drivers from Fusion SimRacing take on a very competitive field at the Nürburgring on the Grand-Prix-Strecke layout. All 7 drivers made it into the top split with Alex Bird, Trent Thomas and Craig Edwards representing the Elite class, Scott Stephens, Scott Goodman and Heath Brennan in the Pro class and Brock Cremer rocking it in Amateur.

Alex took his Ferrari out onto the very busy race track and managed to secure pole position by 0.2 seconds over Craig. Heath would start from the second row in 4th with Trent in 7th after destroying his first qualification lap in the last sector. Both Scott's and Brock would be found starting in the mid field after a tough session.

The start of the race up front was as expected with the leaders getting away cleanly and into single file with ease. The real skill and action as usual happens in the mid field with Scott Stephens moving up the inside of Brock after he failed to go in a timely manor on green. Scott's good start continued with another two cars passed by the end of the first lap.

At the start of the second lap Scott's run of luck would run out with a mysterious crash that caused his car to sharply turn right and find the barrier. The barrier then sent him into another car at the apex of turn 1 which would send them into orbit. Meanwhile Alex at turn 4 was in the prime location to see Yuri Gregarin's return to orbit as he bounced across the track. Sadly this took out Scott's best chance of a good result and would eventually putt around to finish the race in 36th position.

Early on the in the race Trent was engaged in an early battle with Andrew Welter and Javan Wood. Trent would eventually try a move on Andrew but lost too much time and never really recovered. A few incidents in front of Brock meant he was easily moving up the field but at the front, Craig was losing touch with 2nd place after a slowdown at the Schumacher Esses.

Alex was knee deep in a tyre management war with Craig and Steve Latimore, gradually extended gap over the race by minimising mistakes. Brock was making his way through the field and found himself in 10th and was preparing for the first mandatory pit stop. Trent's pit lane adventure turned bad after entering too fast and gained a 15 second penalty. His desire to make up the lost time caused him to spin in the Arena section of the track. Scott Goodman in Pro class showed why he is considered a pro by successfully pulling off an undercut to make up further positions. Brock pulled up too short in his pit and had to have a second go at taking on fuel. Alex threw out the pit limiter and used his right foot to gain an additional time advantage in pit lane.

The last stint to the flag saw Latimore making no mistakes despite significant pressure from Craig, which meant there was no chance to make a move. Brock would maintain the gap to the cars in front and behind with Scott Goodman running consistent pace and managed to finish in a satisfactory position.

Heath did not crash.

Elite
Alex Bird - 1st overall and 1st in class
Craig Edwards - 3rd overall and 3rd in class
Trent Thomas - 11th overall and 9th in class

Pro
Heath Brennan - 4th overall and 1st in class. This result would see Heath being promoted to the Elite class for the next round.
Scott Goodman - 17th overall and 3rd in class
Scott Stephens - 36th overall

Amateur
Brock Cremer - 18th overall and 3rd in class


Round three saw the Oceanic Endurance Championship travel Imola for another six hour teams enduro.  The #54 car was piloted by Tim and Colin Schwecke who put in a lot of time working on the setup and managed to make the Audi great on low fuel and fresh tires. Their setup really gave them confidence and allowed them to lean on the car. This resulted in the first pole position for the #54 in OEC.

Tim lead the field for the start, which ended up being quite a strange event to put it mildly. Entering the starting zone Tim had his plan set, however, for an unknown reason both the 2nd place and 4th place cars jumped the start and drove away. Tim confused then started the race however the 3rd place Porsche used the confusion to jump him with boost. So, from start line to 1st corner the #54 went from 1st to 4th. 

Early on in the race Tim quickly showed the pace that he had in the #54, rounding up the 3rd and 2nd place cars within the first 2 laps of the race. Quickly putting pressure on the other Fusion SimRacing LMP1 #45, Tim managed to return the #54 to the lead of the race by lap 4 and then set about establishing a lead. This was extended out to over 45 seconds before the first safety car came out for the race.

It wasn't too long into the race until we saw the first safety car period.  The #54 made an interesting strategy call during this first caution period given the pit-lane starting #17 was the fastest car on track. In order to keep the #17 a lap down the #54 sacrificed the optimal pit strategy of pitting under the safety car. The goal of this move was to place more pressure on the #17 and hopefully deliver us a result towards the end of the race.  After a few laps of green flag running the #54 was pitting for fuel resulting in the #54 falling over 40 seconds behind the #45. However, Tim and Colin had succeeded in their objective of keeping the #17 a lap down. Tim again put in great pace and started reeling in the leading cars.

A mistake from Tim just before the second safety car period resulted in the #17 getting back onto the lead lap and then getting free pass back into the race when the SC gathered the field up. Pitting under the SC had the entire LMP1 field normalised back onto the same strategy. Colin used this chance to do a driver change during the stop to jump into the car.

After the second safety car period Colin set about chasing down the LMP1 pack. Taking the lead off the #45 car around the 3 hour mark of the race. From there the #54 put in a fast pace and established a solid lead putting three stints on a single set of tires. During this time the #17 car made contact with traffic and the #45 car received car damage. As a result, Colin handed the car back to Tim with 1 hour 40 minutes to go with a 1 minute lead on the #17 in 2nd place and a 2 lap lead over the 3rd placed car.

Tim drove to the end of the race with a gap management mentality in mind. The #17 was pushing very hard to close down the gap, but our calculations had us confident of taking the win. This however was guaranteed when the #17 dropped from the server giving us a lap and a half lead. Cruising to the end however resulted in a scare as Tim clipped an anti-cut curb and damaged the engine with 10 minutes to go. Smoking back into pits the #54 used its fast repair and returned to track to take the win and back up from their round 2 win at Spa.


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