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Rear View Mirror 4/23/12

John Schommer
Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Rear View Mirror is your look back at the week in racing in the world of Forza Motorsport and real life. It was a sunny weekend in the Pacific NW—thank you Mother Nature! In addition to watching some great racing on DVR, I got the chance to go to a demolition derby. The sound of V8’s with straight pipes and the site of crushed metal was totally killer; if you get a chance to see one, do it!


Formula 1 Bahrain – Vettel is Victorious 

Starting at pole and leading nearly the entire race, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took the win in Bahrain and gained the championship lead. As expected, the race was fast and without drama or crashes, and had only a couple late race retirements. Nico Rosberg defended, possibly over-defended, his position, which pushed Lewis Hamilton during one lap, and Fernando Alonso in another, off the track. His actions were reviewed by the stewards but no evidence of wrongdoing was found.


The competition among teams and drivers continues to heat up. Red Bull is holding first as Vettel’s victory was paired with his teammate Mark Webber’s fourth.  Second and third were taken by Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, granting Lotus second-place points. Mercedes fought for third with Nico Rosberg earning fifth place and a determined Michael Schumacher, fighting from 22nd on the grid (partially in part to a late gearbox change), finishing with a tenth place finish. Force India’s Paul di Resta earned his best Formula 1 career finish in sixth.


All teams will be testing and tuning in Italy next, in preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix in May.


As I am now fully into F1, I’m trying to choose a favorite, I’m leaning toward Nico Rosberg and Team Mercedes. Tell me who your faves are in the RVM thread.



Aussie V8 Supercars – ITM 400 

The ITM 400 made its final appearance in Hamilton, New Zealand concluding races five and six of the Aussie V8 Supercars Championship. Ford Performance Racing delivered a dominating performance in the first street racing circuit of the season. FPR’s Will Davison, won on Saturday and Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom won on Sunday. Winterbottom also set the lap record, lowering it for all time by two hundredths of a second.


Davison holds a healthy lead for the title after only three events. FPR is almost untouchable with a 96-point lead over Team Vodafone. Stone Brothers’ Racing follows in third with Jack Daniels Racing and Holden Racing Team rounding out the top five.


The next championship event will be the Trading Post Perth Challenge the weekend of May 4.



With much chillier weather conditions than expected, many cars had issues with the temperature.  Mechanical failures, traction losses, and fuel consumption increases changed the expected results for several teams. In the end, Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Toyota took the win after passing Martin Truex Jr. in his #56 Napa Toyota, who had lead for the previous 173 laps. Hendricks Racing driver, Jimmie Johnson in the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, settled for third.


The elusive 200th win for Hendricks is still out there. Although the race team should be very happy with three of their four cars finishing in the top ten--including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne--when asked how badly he wanted either his team or a teammate to get that 200th win, Jimmie Johnson answered, “More than you can imagine.”  Maybe next week, boys.



Racing at Brands Hatch 

Lucky Forza community member thechosenfamily has a season pass at Brands Hatch Circuit in the U.K… He is also an excellent amateur photographer. Graciously, he has offered to share some of his work.  From time to time we will be featuring his pics in RVM (and possibly elsewhere). This week’s RVM photos are from the British Touring Car Championship and this last weekend’s British Truck Racing Championship. Check out the Brands Hatch site to see what’s going on there. Thanks Chosen!


Virtual Motorsports 

Last week I covered the happenings at Virtual Motorsports, a great place to race online with other Forza 4 community members. VM offers multiple race series classes and has a very large group of competitors. This week I want to call out the announcement of their next live series.


Watch their promotional video and get in the online racing action! Check out their site for more details.



Formula Forza 

What the guys at have created is modeled after Formula One grands prix. Teams of two drivers compete for points in a driver and team championship driving R1 class cars. Forza 4 community member Cyphon68 and his cohorts SAMsferrari and PerkinBaLL created a point system, hold live qualifying, and conduct twelve races over a six-month period. Racing takes place every other Sunday at a variety of times that accommodate racers from the U.S east and west coasts, as well as U.K. and Aussie racers. These guys put on clean racing with special attention to make the action as real as possible


Check out their site for the full skinny, and check out their YouTube channel to see how it all comes together.



Forza Sports Car Series 

At the Forza Sports Car Series, they race GT and GTC cars on a variety of tracks. These are endurance style races with simulation damage, going up to 50 laps. They have organized rules and regulations and cater to the U.S. west coast, holding races every Sunday at 5 p.m. Pacific. They usually have over 50 racers per event and have dedicated forums to discuss the races. Their next race will be at Silverstone on Sunday, April 29th. Thanks to PredatorUSMC for telling us about it.


Their site is very informative and will tell you all you need to know to join up and participate.


If you have a Forza 4 race series you would like to shine some light on, post a blurb about it in the RVM thread.




For years I’ve been trying to find the right pinball machine.  I’ve always wanted one but couldn’t settle on one I really wanted. Until now! A few weeks ago I saw this Porsche themed machine on Craigslist. After deciding I couldn’t afford it, I came upon the ad again a couple weeks later and ignored my better judgment and bought “Checkpoint.”


For those of you who don’t know I own a 1978 Porsche 911 SC, my dream car. “Checkpoint” features my car prominently in the hand-painted glass, and has a real Matchbox version on the playfield. Not to mention a Porsche 356 and totally cool racing themed, sound effects, and targets. It even has a key that starts a new game with the rumble of a racecar.


The timing of my new toy couldn’t be better, as we’re just about a month away from the release of the Porsche Expansion Pack, which comes out May 22nd. We will be start revealing cars soon, so keep your eyes peeled and follow us on Twitter  and Facebook. I can’t wait!


Anyone else love pinball? Discuss your favorite machines in the RVM thread.