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Rear View Mirror 6/18/12

John Schommer
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Rear View Mirror,’s look back at what happened in the week in racing in the real world and in the world of Forza. This week was huge, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans on top of a full palate of weekly racing.


Here in the Forza community we had a busy weekend filled with activities to coincide with our sponsorship of the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, I had a blast participating in Game with Devs, Turn 10 Track Day, and watching the most amazing multi-class race in the world. The whole weekend had me so immersed in the experience that, when it ended, I wanted more. If you have comments share them in the RVM thread.


So without further ado, here is a look through the rear view (mirror that is).


The 24 Hours of Le Mans 

Having only caught snippets of this race in the past, I felt like somewhat of a virgin as the race began to reel me in. I wanted more coverage and more detail as it ensued. “Truly epic” seems substandard in describing what Le Mans becomes hour after hour. Fifty six cars across six classes.  The fastest hitting speeds of around 208 mph, the slowest capable of speeds above 180 mph. Only 35 cars finished the race. Prototypes displaying the latest in diesel, hybrid, gasoline, and turbo technology raced with tried and true exotic race cars from Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, Aston Martin, and others.


HMR Motorhead_13244820

Community photo contest favorite from HMR Motorhead 


I became enthralled with the Nissan Deltawing and its futuristic, lightweight archetypal exploration of new directions in motorsport. Nowhere else in racing can such a mix of beauty, performance, speed, survival, and endurance be witnessed. To put it plainly, I am already looking forward to next year.


There was so much excitement throughout the race I could write a full article on just Le Mans, but in fairness to fans of all race types I will try not to digress too far.


A few memorable moments, some so disappointing I nearly sobbed. First off, the Toyota Hybrid #8 driven by Anthony Davidson was making a great showing against the race proven Audi’s and running third, even gaining ground. Then the #81 Ferrari blatantly bumped the Toyota as the two entered a high speed turn. The result was spectacular  and utterly distressing. The Toyota took to the air, flipping and slamming into the tire barrier, completely destroying the car and injuring the driver. Each time they showed the crash, my heart sank. Here is a clip:




Brian Vickers #61 Ferrari got a flat near the start finish line and had to do a full lap to get back to the pits, the ensuing friction caught the tire on fire and he kept going all the way to pit lane where he stopped to get the fire extinguished. He then got back in the still smoldering car, and drove to his pit, where the crew changed the tire, threw some red tape on the charred body, and sent him back out. Here’s some amazing footage of the “Firerrari,” and outstanding courage on the part of Mr. Vickers:




For me, the Nissan Deltawing crash was the low point of the race. A sad end for an amazing groundbreaking piece of machinery. Here is heroic Motoyama trying desperately to re-establish mobility so they can continue the race:




In the end Audi’s #1 R18 etron Quattro Hybrid took the overall win, followed by the #2 Audi R18 etron Quattro and #4 Audi conventional diesel which took third sweeping the podium. The #12 Rebellion Racing Lola Toyota slipped in between the #3 Audi, which took fifth.  Nearly absolute Audi dominance may be shunned by some, but I have total respect for a team that can execute to that degree and the cars are without doubt as beautiful as they are reliable. Congrats to Audi! For more Le Mans coverage see the official site.


IndyCar Milwaukee Indyfest at the Milwaukee Mile 

Ryan Hunter-Reay found victory after showing up clean-shaven and recouping from a desolate 21st place finish last week in Texas. The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest racing facility in the country and the drivers love it here.


In a sweep of the podium, Chevy cars driven by Tony Kanaan took second, and third was earned by James Hinchcliffe. Will Power still holds the points lead but Hinchcliffe is only 31 points behind after Power fell to a 12th place spot. Kudos are also deserved by Oriol Servia who battled his way through traffic from 20th to finish 4th on a track where conventional wisdom say it’s impossible to pass. Servia had several hard-charges through the pack and is worth keeping an eye on the rest of the season.


The third and last of the short oval mini-series with low downforce and loose cars making for a drivers race will be held in Iowa next week.



Community photo contest favorite from LazarusJackson 

Aussie V8 Supercars Skycity Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Darwin 

A record turnout of 21,721 fans were on hand at Hidden Valley to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Sky City Triple Crown. Saturday’s race was 42 laps on hard and soft tires. Jamie Whincup held the lead nearly the entire race. In the end he earned his 55th win, almost six seconds ahead of Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom.


In a statistically reciprocal event, Craig Lowndes won his 83rd race to celebrate his 38th birthday in Sunday’s 69 (WooHoo!) lap race that was Race 13 of the championship series. He stole the win from team-mate Jamie Whincup in the last three laps of the race, making for a Team Vodaphone 1-2 on the podium. Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom took third place paralleling his Saturday performance. Lowndes appeased the rapturous crowd with a well-received, massive burnout.


NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway 

In what may have been the most talked-about losing streak in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally broke free of that 143-race tale of woe, passing Tony Stewart and winning by a dominant 5.393 seconds. This puts Junior only four points behind the Sprint Cup Series leader Matt Kenseth, who captured third.


The win was met with sarcasm from the likes of Tony Stewart, who may have just been feeling sorry for himself when he said, “It’s not a national holiday!” Despite his lack of enthusiasm for his fellow driver, fans, Junior’s team, and Hendrick Racing were all very happy to see the streak broken. It had to be at somebody’s expense, sadly for Stewart, it was at his.



Community photo contest favorite from FirebirdPilot 

Game with Devs 

Saturday’s four-hour Game with Devs was a lot of fun. Chat was off the hook, giveaways and the beloved bacon-themed statements were endless, enduring, and made me hungry. One guy spoke of the nachos that were waiting for him and I almost quit my race to go shove some food down my hole. Personally I hosted 10 races, and gave out more than a hundred unicorns in an hour plus the unicorns that are being gifted today to race participants.


I’ve been around long enough that I saw some familiar gamertags and it was fun to actually speak with some of you. I think the most fun was the “no holds barred” race at Positano. I set up a five-lap D class race, where crashing was welcomed and the goal was just to finish. When the guy who showed up in a Ford Raptor flipped after the first turn, I was so happy.


Thanks to everyone who participated, you guys are great fun.


Turn 10 Track Day 24 Hours of Le Mans 

Before, during, and after GWD, we had the Turn 10 Track Day chat room open. Throughout Le Mans weekend the Community team was dropping in, giving away codes and yucking it up. At one point on Saturday night Kenan and I were both in there and the conversation was lively, humor went from borderline to deeply sensitive. Everyone was sad about the tragic loss of the Nissan Deltawing and I learned the many potential methods of dealing with bodily functions when attempting the “360 lap challenge”.  Banter and occasionally focused conversation led to a race-enhancing experience I think everyone appreciated.



Community photo contest favorite from Ariko 

Approved list of 360 Lap Le Mans Challenge 

One of the most grueling ways to collect unicorns has to be doing 360 laps of the Circuit de Sarthe without a break. In celebration of our sponsorship of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans we challenged the community to lay down 360 laps, the reward, a “copious” amount of unicorns, meaning all 17. Some (Mechberg) thought nobody would accomplish it. You (the community) thought up to 50 would achieve. In the end we have 32 confirmed Forza masochists who provided proof of completion. Some of these guys must have some of the unicorns already which to me means they did it just for the challenge. To these gentleman, who are still probably asleep while I write this, my hat is off and head is bowed in respect.


Flying Mattress, Magnitro, G FASTgks, nurbenzin, Tim Wijen, OneAbusedBeaver, anazbananaz G, GUD 0L STONER, Ostego Amigo, RoCkSuRsOx, links legends, supe89, JumboHue Jass, Saber Four Two, Reaper Six One, NegiBouzu Kun, a giantsaxplaya, aceracer195195, TheShaggyDude, LGS Joe Cool, BHL RamboSlice, KoG CAFILKA XS, BarilTarga911,Yamayagi, mckenna84, piranha59daniel, arturopo, Patthehorse, LE PHACOCHE, Xx yaYABUsa xX, Shibbi972 and AzN L to the Y 


You will all receive all the unicorns, and will be honored as the die-hards that you are in this Friday’s Week In Review. Your GT’s are now hallowed in the halls of Turn 10.


And just in case it needs to be said: We are not accepting any more entries in this contest! Thanks to everyone who tried and congratulations again to everyone who completed this incredible Forza 4 feat!


The Online Racing Association 

Last week I introduced you to TORA, they have organized racing events and give away huge prizes to winners. Check out their next couple events and sign up if you think you have what it takes. They cater to the British time zones but as I have learned about Forza fans, time is inconsequential if there is racing to be had.


TORA The Online Racing Association  

MSA TORA GT Championship - Season 9

Fifteen powerful GT cars that have been performance balanced using Forza 4's multiplayer custom settings will allow GT1, GT2 and GT3 cars to battle in extremely close wheel-to-wheel action. The series is sponsored by GT Omega Racing, and the winner of the series will walk away with a full racing seat and rig! That is an amazing prize. Good luck to all entrants.


Currently there are 116 entrants to the series, racing begins July 8th. Check out this promotional video and for more info visit the TORA site.




TORA 24 Heures Du Mans

The TORA version of this epic endurance race has 96 entrants thus far. There's still over a week to get signed up. The race starts Saturday the 30th at 2 p.m. BST (British Summer Time), and ends 2 p.m. BST Sunday. The entire event will be streamed live.


Check out their site for more information and how you can participate.


Virtual Motorsports 

Virtual Motorsports is one of the most venerable online racing communities and their forums have over 1,100 members who have contributed over 55,000 posts. Their passion for Forza online racing shows in the quality events they create, promote and support. Here is this week’s update on VM racing series’.


VM Spec Racing Series 2

Race one of this eight race series kicked off with many new racers trying out their spec built Subaru Legacy’s at Mugello. After four laps of qualifying 59 drivers made the first event. Fastest lap was set by #15 F4H Bullet with a time of 1:58.072.


In the 20 lap race that followed Bullet and his front line club mate #29 F4H Diablo were bested by veteran #440 VVV Amarth. The full race story lives in the VM forums here.


VM Classics Series 2

Competing at the beautiful but well-worn track of Sebring Short, these amply horse powered icons of yesteryear were sure to enjoy the long straights but suffer on the uneven surfaces. In qualifying #321 VVV Axiom ended up with the pole in his Lamborghini Muira with a time of 1:18.244.


Hard-charging and obviously respected #440 VVV Amarth took the Room 1 win in his Toyota MR2 SC. This guy is a hard target. You can bet his competition is plotting strategies to defeat him, but will they ever? Check the full running order on the VM forum.



Super GT series video


VM Super GT Series 2

These GT500 cars and their drivers headed to Indianapolis to see how they fared on the Infield Race Course. This course while wide and navigable has a very difficult hard braking point into turn one. Qualifying was topped by #266 EZT Gambit but was closely followed by #892 VVV Micko.


#266 EZT Gambit was victorious in his Lark F1 GT. Congratulations Gambit and good racing to all who participated. Read the full detail here.


VM GP2 Series 2

Round seven of the GP2 series hit the Nürburgring Gran Prix circuit this week featuring the SEAT Léon Supercup. The championship is still up for grabs as these low riding FWD cars battle week to week.


Again, #440 VVV Amarth took the pole and the win in room one. Congrats to #440, you are truly the man! For the full five room race results check the VM weekly newsletter.


VM StockHatch Series 2


Check out this promotional video for the upcoming VM StockHatch Series and get in the racing action.




For additional info on the series read this VM article.


Forza Idol –Round 1 Summary 

Forza Idol is a livery contest brought to you by ARMNIPOTENT ADAM. For the first round of Forza Idol 2 (FI2), contestants were required to create an original race livery suitable for the Super GT series. 


“I thought that this was going to be an easy round to judge, but there were so many good designs that is was just plain confusing to try and make sense of it all. Some of the best designs I've seen in FM4 were entered into this round. Everyone really brought their "A" game,” Adam said.


“We had a total of 43 entries and the goal was to cut the field to 25. There were a lot of great designs eliminated from this round. It was very difficult to eliminate them, but after all, there will only be one winner in the end and 97.675% of the contestants will taste defeat. In all seriousness though, everyone did a great job and there was not one loser in my opinion.”


The top two designs from Round 1 can currently be found in the Turn 10 Picks section. To find all of the Round 1 entries, search "Forza Idol Round One" on the FM4 Storefront. 


Round 2 will be the same format, but the focus will be the FIA GT1 World Championship.  That thread should be up and running sometime this weekend. 


Roadhog Racin Garage Forza 4 Race Club 


VerrucktSchakal presented his club in last week’s RVM call out for clubs to feature. Each week I will present a new club, so submit your club specs in the RVM thread  and I’ll pick a “winning” club each week. All featured club members will receive unicorn of choice, unless your club has like 200 members.



Community photo contest favorite from Decepticon 

So in his own words (slightly edited) I give you former U.S. Marine VerrucktSchakal. By the way, his GT means “Mad Jackal.” A creative gamertag with meaning from his family heritage and own nature. I appreciate the man’s reflective thinking and thank him for his service.


“Roadhog Racin Garage is the name of my club.  We're made up of some excellent tuners and racers. Some of our guys are in real good positions on the leaderboards even in the top 1%. We house all the unicorns available to the game. We've got some good painters as well. Our talents lie across the board. We might not all be totally top of the mill, but we're very friendly, and we LOVE to have a good time in Forza, which to me and our members is what clubs in Forza is all about. We get the job done, and we do crazy things on the track too.  Smart launching on the back straight of Le Mans, tornado sliding down Fujimi, etc.  We battle each other through the Rivals events, doing what we can to beat each other’s times.  All in all, we race, we goof off, we take in every single aspect of Forza available to us. And even make up our own fun along the way.”


Right on VerrucktSchakal, you have exemplified what clubs are all about, having fun your own way with a bunch of like-minded Forza fans.


SRT Viper Coming to You All for Free This Friday 

If you didn’t read it in the last Week in Review, it is true; we are giving the 2013 SRT Viper away this Friday as free DLC. This DLC will include a full Autovista experience as well. Free top of the line American Supercars anyone? We aim to please!