Rear View Mirror 4/16/12
Rear View Mirror is your look back at the week in racing in the world of Forza Motorsport and real life. This last weekend was full of all types of racing and the action was constant. At one point I was flipping between two races and DVRing another. There were surprises and mistakes and a few drivers broke through the mire of previous performances. So, let’s get to it!
American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
After what seemed like forever, the ALMS series resumed at Long Beach in what turned out to be a very exciting event. The tight turns and close-quartered track provided limited passing areas in this city course along the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
The Turn 10 community team enjoyed the race and hosted our second Turn 10 Track Day, where we hung out on our Facebook page, chatted with several hundred Forza fans (despite a few freezing chat issues), and gave away some unicorns. Thanks for everyone’s patience during the technical delays and thanks to everyone for joining us; I had fun hanging out with you.
The Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a Driven by Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf took the overall win, and won the Michelin Green X Challenge for being fast and efficient. They battled with the #16 Dyson car in the beginning of the race and overtook them, then fell 15 seconds behind after their second pit stop. Klaus Graf retook the lead and pushed the Honda to be over 40 seconds ahead of second place by the finish.
In Prototype Challenge, the Muscle Milk took a hard-fought second, giving them their first double-podium finish ever. First was taken by CORE Autosport in the ORECA FLM09 driven by Alexander Popow and Ryan Dalziel. This was their second win of the series and second pole and win combination in as many years at Long Beach. Congratulations to the CORE team and a happy 30th birthday to Dalziel.
After nearly avoiding a first-lap pile up, that left its sister car the #3 Corvette hoodless and battered, the #4 Corvette took the GT win. The #4 Compuware Corvette driven by Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin fought for first place with the #1 Tequila Patron Ferrari and the #57 BMW of Dirk Mueller, all three held the lead for different periods of the race. The victory was Corvette’s first at Long Beach and their forth since entering GT1.
With five classes and 33 cars running, ALMS racing is a lot to pay attention to. What was the high point of the race for you? Discuss it in the RVM thread. For all the race results among the five classes click here.
Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix
Mercedes earned a breakthrough win in Shanghai at the Chinese Grand Prix, the manufacturer’s first since winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 1955. And a dominating win it was, with Nico Rosberg holding the pole and blasting into a lead that he never gave up throughout the full 56 laps. At the start, teammate Michael Schumacher was right behind Rosberg and held off the pack just enough to let Rosberg slip away unimpeded. Schumacher was driving strongly and would have been a likely second until a wheel was poorly attached in a pit stop, taking him out of the race. The team was fined as well for an unsafe release from pit lane. Another very unfortunate incident for Michael.
While never coming near the leader, McLaren posted a second and third place finish. Jenson Button was delayed in his final pit stop with an exceedingly long rear wheel change. Due to a gearbox change, Lewis Hamilton had to fight from a seventh place grid start. McLaren currently leads the constructor’s class in points.
Red Bull has yet to win this year but they are not short on providing excitement. Mark Webber did a massive wheelie in his RB8 off of the turn 13 curb. Near the end of the race, Webber and Vettel battled for position as if they were hated rivals instead of teammates. Truly awesome competitiveness.
Overall, the race was incident-free, with only Michael Schumacher retiring. The Shanghai course was very fast and includes the highest G-forces in F1, as cars brake from more than 200 mph for the turn 14 hairpin. Next week’s race in Bahrain will be even faster with Sakhir’s three ultra-long straightaways.
Do you think Mercedes has an unfair advantage with its double DRS system? The FIA has now deemed it legal, and during qualifying it may provide a distinct advantage. Discuss it in the RVM thread.
Grand Prix of Long Beach
What a weekend for Long Beach, ending with the IndyCar race on Sunday. The 84-lap race was full of competition, destruction, and another come-from-behind win for Will Power and his Verizon #12 Chevy-powered Penske car. After coming from ninth in the previous race at Barber to win, Power worked his way to the win from 12th on the grid at Long Beach, due to a penalty suffered by all the Chevy teams from an unscheduled engine swap. This was Team Penske’s first win at Long Beach and their third of the season. Simon Pagenaud in the #77 Honda, took a close second and was delivering astounding lap times in his attempt to catch Power. After the race he said, “One more lap, man…” James Hinchcliffe in the GoDaddy.com #27 took third.
The race started off with rookie Josef Newgarden blowing the first turn--as well as his pole position--and ending up in the tires. Numerous other incidents lead to many caution laps. Marco Andretti’s car got airborne and nearly flipped after riding up on the rear-wheel of Graham Rahal’s car. Andretti’s blamed Rahal for chopping into him at the corner; Rahal claimed Andretti wasn’t going to make the corner anyway. On the last lap there was a multi-car, track blocking set of spinouts at the hairpin that forced winner Will Power to end his victory lap mid-track and walk back to the paddock. Several cars did not finish as a result.
Check out these race highlights of this exciting end to an exciting race, closing an awesome racing weekend in Long Beach.
NASCAR Samsung Mobile 500 at Fort Worth, TX
In a race that set records for highest average speed (160.577 mph), fewest cautions (two), and least number of caution laps (10), Hendrick Motorsports put four cars in the top ten, but missed out on what would have been their 200th victory.
Sprint Cup points leader Greg Biffle took the win in the 3M Filtrete #16 Ford. After taking the lead in lap 304 from Hendricks driver Jimmie Johnson, Biffle held on to break his 49-race winless streak. Johnson in the Lowes #48 Chevrolet, lead the race a total of 156 laps and put his car into the fence trying to get the lead back from Biffle. Johnson complained of slower drivers not giving him the respect he felt he deserved as race leader as a contributing factor to Biffle’s ability to pass him and take the victory. Jimmie settled for second and Mark Martin in the Aarons #55 Toyota took third.
Hendricks’ newest and most trouble-plagued driver Kasey Kahne finally put together a top ten finish, achieving seventh, despite a near-miss in pit row. Kahne has struggled with accidents and misfortune thus far and hopes to repeat his much-improved Fort Worth performance going forward.
The elusive 200th Hendricks team victory has been looming for twelve races now, and the box of hats has been toted from race to race. It is inevitable that the most successful modern era race team will get what’s coming to them, but when continues to be the question. What do you think it is going to take for this team reach this historic goal? Discuss it in the RVM thread.
Virtual Motorsports Online Racing Series
While the weekend was packed with real-world racing, the action in the Forza world never slows down. This week, we are covering the racing series’ organized by Virtual-Motorsports.com and proprietor Ryan Ware, GT VVVHellbr1ng3r. Virtual–Motorsports.com is one of the busiest private racing sites, with 859 members. They run up to six series a week and cater to many time zones and all skill levels. There is always a racing event coming up, so check them out and get into the Forza 4 online racing action. They produce a weekly newsletter covering the series’ winners as well as video highlights and a weekly “Guess the Car” competition.
Last week the VM Stockhatch Series saw its seventh race, full of small stock FWD hatchbacks, hosted at Silverstone. The race was 25 laps with the grid slotted according to the top six lap qualifiers. There were three rooms making up the event, in room one the win went to #321 VVV Axiom, room two saw #64 EZT bobwithajob, take first, and in room three #628 xSTRACERx was victorious.
In the VM NASCAR series, drivers took their purpose-built stock cars to Sunset Speedway (reverse) for their second trip here in the season. The fifth race of the series was a 50-lap race and was conducted among three rooms. Taking first in room one was top qualifier, and fastest lap setter, #984 EZT ShotgunZ. Room two saw #25 inviseco, collect first place and in room three, American driver #120 EZT o solleft, was first.
The final race of the eight race VM Classics series held court for 100 different spec-built cars from the 1950s to the 1990s. The 28-lap race was run at Road Atlanta in four rooms. Room one winner was the top qualifier, fastest lapper, and favorite, #599 V12 NiKroX, in his Lancia Delta. In room two, #866 TrooperR6, took the win in a BMW 2002 Turbo. American driver, #88 XVM Casper24, took the win in his Ford Mustang Boss 429, and in room four, #448 befunged, placed first in his Honda CRX SiR.
The winner of the VM Classics series was British #440 VVV Amarth and his 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee, despite not participating in the final race. Congratulations to VVV Amarth and to all the race winners.
Game with Dev
Our second GWD was last Thursday, April 12. Well, it was the second since I’ve been here. It was a blast, and we all enjoyed playing with the community. Here are a few choice quotes from Fred, Javier and Brian.
From Fred—“The downfall of full damage soccer is that when your car gets flipped over, you are forever stuck in that position until someone flips you over or a goal is scored. Lots of people were surprised during that first minute of action, no one seemed to check the settings so they all went full bore and wrecked themselves on that first faceoff, made for a couple easy goals by me. There was also was one memorable goal by a blue car who, off the faceoff hit, took the ball right between two red cars and scored a quick goal. Well done FEMX ducati 999!”
From Jav—“Most of my time was spent hopping around rooms, so my memorable moments would be, surprising random people. There were lots of bacon-themed rooms, which turned into bacon and egg rooms. I also held a Fujimi Kaido Hill climb with -75% traction, it was really funny. Sixteen R1 cars that could barely make it up the first hill. Chat was great, in fact, it was one of our biggest chats to date and we also sent a GWD record for highest unicorns gifted by us (500+).”
From Brian- “As is my norm, my GWD experience was 80% Circuit racing, 20% Multi-Class racing, and 10% Drifting. Wait… that’s like 110 percent. Anyway, as always the racing was fun (if a bit violent this time around—you guys really want those unicorns!) My favorite moment? When I busted out the Country Squire for a race at Mugello—only to find out too late that the car still had an A-class drag tune on it, which made turning a disaster. That said, I was murder down the long front straight…”
For my part, I did Circuit Racing with hybrids and raced my utterly silent Nissan Leaf. Overall, I think everyone enjoyed the “Sounds of Silence.” We had some extremely clean racing and those that were racing Tesla’s hardly knew they were in a hybrid, except for the lack of shifting and the blatant sound of squealing tires.
Our next GWD will be next week, check the Week in Review on Friday for the exact time. I look forward to racing with you again. Vote for what track you would like to race with me on in the RVM thread.