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Rear View Mirror 4/30/12

John Schommer
Monday, April 30, 2012

Rear View Mirror takes a look back on the previous week in racing in the world of Forza Motorsport and real life.

My weekend was full of automotive awesomeness. Saturday was spent polishing my car’s wheels—you know, the old “wax on, wax off” routine. On Sunday, I attended an excellent Porsche show, the details of which you’ll be able to read on Thursday in this week’s edition of “Heavy Metal Affliction.” Let's take a look back at the previous weekend's racing action!


Itaipava Saṍ Paulo Indy 300 –Will Power has Staying Power 

Aside from the few laps following his last pit stop, Will Power led the entire race in his #12 Verizon Penske car. Power and Penske are absolutely dominating this season. Power won the last three consecutive races, won the last three years in a row in Saṍ Paolo, and Penske cars have won all four of the races this season (a first for Penske in his 44-year motorsport career). Power also set the qualifying record for the Saṍ Paolo street circuit. This guy is really fast!


The race was fraught with danger, including five full-course cautions and several multi-car pile-ups, the last of which left only a few laps to determine the winner. Ryan Hunter-Reay did his best to challenge the #12 car from the outside on the final restart, but Power was just too fast. Throughout the race, Power managed extremely fast exits out of every corner. Hunter-Reay in the #28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda for Andretti Autosport took second. Takuma Sato, who started in 25th due to an unapproved change of his Honda engine and overcame a pit lane speed violation (drive through), pushed hard for his first podium finish earning third. My hat is off to Takuma, what an effort.


The next race is the famed Indianapolis 500. Teams begin practice in twelve days and the big race is May 27.


Community photo contest favorite from ceelai 

 NASCAR Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers 

On Saturday, Kyle Busch in the #18 M&M’s Ms. Brown Toyota took the win on the .75 mile Richmond International Raceway. Second was taken by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet and Tony Stewart got third in the Chevy powered #22 Mobil 1/Office Depot car. The running order shuffled with twelve laps left due to debris on the track. The final order largely came down to pit crew efficiency. For Stewart it meant the difference between winning and third.


Pit crews also played a huge role in Jimmie Johnson’s performance. After a lap 311 pit under caution, Johnson’s crew rolled the left rear tire across the pit box (tires taken off during a pit stop must be carried at least halfway across the box before they are released). NASCAR officials monitoring the pit penalized Johnson, causing him to start behind the entire 36-car pack rather than rejoin the leaders. He settled for sixth after battling his way from the rear but could have been in the running for third or better. A costly mistake by one pit crew member, one that may have deserved a few choice words from Johnson following the race. For Hendrick Motorsport’s, win #200 is still out there.


Community photo contest favorite from JDM VQ38DET X  
F1-Testing at Mugello 

The first proper in-season test since 2008 is taking place this week at Italy’s Mugello Circuit. Teams are testing out potential upgrades, establishing baseline data, and giving some new drivers a chance to become familiar with the cars.


All teams will be tweaking their cars in preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 13.


Virtual Motorsports  

If you are looking to race online with Forza Motorsport 4, Virtual Motorsports more than likely has an event that will interest and accommodate you. For example, coming up on May 6, VM is starting the Super GT Series 2. Races are held Sundays, starting at 1p.m. Central and throughout the day to accommodate several time zones. Check out their forum for the full story, and check out their promotional video for a taste of the action.



Now for a brief recap of last week’s competition.


The VM NASCAR Series traveled to Infineon for 25 laps on the NASCAR Road Course. This race required drivers to re-tune their cars and adjust their driving style.


#20 GLR BRIZZO managed the win due to well-timed pitting, #511 FMS Chadillac took second and #25 inviseco rounded out the podium in third.Just as in the real world of NASCAR, pit strategies can make or break a race. Cheers GLR BRIZZO!


Community photo contest favorite from murderface v4 


There are two weeks until the VM 2.4 Hours Nürburgring GP Endurance Race. This endurance race will be held for two classes: LMPC and DTM. This week’s top qualifiers were #955 IRT Takumi with a time of 1:43.457 for LMPC.  Mercedes CLK C-class drivers stole the day with the overall fastest times and #440 VVV Amarth took best lap at 1:52.205. We will see if BMW and Audi drivers can match their pace in next week’s qualifying. To join the action click here and sign up.


The VM GP2 Series 2 featuring the grippy SEAT Leon Supercup cars begins tomorrow at Road Atlanta for round 1. More than 50 racers will be competing as of this writing. For all the details, or to sign up, click here.


Really Rubbish Racing 

A little self-deprecation goes a long ways with this racing club. These guys say they “race for fun because they are not very good.” Funny, but I’ll bet some of them are pretty fast.


They have a cool new series coming up called MEMES, Mid-Eighties-Mid-Engine-Series. It’s about to kick off so check out their promo trailer and sign up if you’re interested.


They also have a forum and a dedicated site with all the details of their races.


Got a race series you light to have the Rear View Mirror light shone on? Post it in the RVM thread.


Community photo contest favorite from PSYCOT1C KILL3R 
Battle of the Car Clubs brought to you by Slave Munky 


Forza Community VIP Slave Munky is lofting $165,000,000 in prize money for a Battle of the Car Clubs race series. It’s designed for 3-5 club members, is run in stages, and has a livery and photo competition as part of the fun.


Check out his thread for all the details, action starts May 2. 


Community photo contest favorite from desertcobra1987 
Game With Dev 

Last Thursday we held another GWD session. We gave away a ton of unicorns, and a hoard of May TopGear Car Pack codes. Those lucky DLC code winners got access to the latest DLC cars several days before being released. Tomorrow May 1, the May TopGear Car Pack will be available for everyone to purchase. GWD went something like this…


Fred ran soccer, during which he almost scored a “Bend it like Beckham” goal. Jav, conducted a bunch of twisted events, like backwards downhill racing in cars with no traction. In one race--while in a tricked out but untuned Ford Transit Van--he had to apologize most of the race for crashing into everyone. He affectionately refers to that race as, "Ayo Jube Pinball 2012." Brian did some multi-class racing with a wide variety of personality types and I did circuit racing in my Lotus Cortina as well as one drift race, one very unsuccessful drift race.


Admittedly, I suck at drifting, but I do aspire. My S-class Pacer (despite the fact that it looked cool as shizzle) may not have been the best weapon of choice, or maybe it was my completely inept attempt at tuning it for drift. In any case, I ended up slamming the wall on Bernese Alps so hard that I couldn’t even raise RPM. So, I sat on the shoulder and watched others blow my doors off. I hope you all had fun. I did.


During the chat, the familiar topic of bacon flowed to song titles with bacon in it. I didn’t share at the time because I was busy working, but here are a couple that have been doddering around in me old bean.


Nirvana “Smells like Teen Bacon”                Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right for Bacon”

Aerosmith “Bacon in an Elevator”                Snoop Dogg “Gin and Bacon”

And last but not least, drumroll please…..     Sir Mix-A-Lot “Baby Got Bacon”


I know, “womp-womp,” but hey at least those are outta my head.


Thanks for reading everyone, be sure to catch Heavy Metal Affliction on Thursday!