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Rear View Mirror 10-2-17

John Schommer
Monday, October 2, 2017


This week we’ve got a look at our Forza 7 launch event, the launch of our Bounty Hunter Rivals event starring 2017 IndyCar Champion Josef Newgarden, and more. Let’s get to it!


Forza Motorsport 7 Launch Event

You may have heard that Forza Motorsport 7 has launched. With early access for Ultimate Edition buyers starting last week, and global playability beginning today, the world is getting into the greatest console racing experience to ever hit the screen.


Saturday, at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, the all-day launch event took place with celebrity appearances, tons of Forza playing, music, exotic cars, and more. Forza community manager Mechberg was on the couch with Major Nelson of Xbox. IndyCar Champion Josef Newgarden took on Red Bull GRC racer and stunt master Tanner Foust, and even Verne Troyer (aka “Mini-Me” from the Austin Powers movies) got into the action.


Here are some photos from the launch event.



Bounty Hunter – Josef Newgarden

Now that Forza 7 is here, here’s an idea on what to try first: Take on Josef Newgarden – Gamertag RacerTPX2 – in his Bounty Hunter Rivals event! Soon, Newgarden will be setting his first lap time in the game and he’s challenging the Forza Community to take him down. Just go to the “Featured Events” channel in Rivals Mode and find the “Bounty Hunter Launch Challenge” event to get started. Are you faster than an IndyCar champion? Now you can find out for yourself!



Johniwanna Drifts

If you watched our marathon Forza 7 livestream you may have got a chance to see my not-so-incredible Forza drifting skills. That’s something I have pledged to improve over this year playing Forza 7. Thankfully, I was able to put my real-life skills on display this weekend at Evergreen Speedway as an exhibition event during DriftCon After Dark. It was 15 minutes that I will never forget.


Local grassroots drifter Aaron Leavitt, whose 1968 Datsun 510 Wagon was featured in Heavy Metal Affliction a while back, decided to trust me with his drift car known as #sidewayshatch. This boosted S13 hatch doles out 450 horsepower from its 1.5JZ motor running a conservative 15 pounds of boost. The car has got a great look and is dialed in for drifting although still street legal. I had the honor of being the first person Leavitt ever let drift his baby.


Photo from Chinchillin’ Drft Team


Over the course of the day, the weather turned from bad to worse, and eventually to a complete deluge. As I waited for my evening spot of drifting fame, I wondered; would this be an utter fail as seen in the livestream, or would I make my drifting friends proud by showing off mad skills?


When my moment came, Leavitt expected just a few burnouts and spins. To his and my excitement, my grip-focused driving skills came through in a pretty good showing that had me drifting figure eights in front of the huge crowd that had braved the rain. Yeah, I spun a couple times, but in the end, the crowd cheered and Afrodrift, booth MC and a drifter himself said, “I didn’t know what to expect, but you’re a DRIFTER!!”


Here are some photos, I hope to have a video to share soon.



BTCC - Brands Hatch

It was a scant three years ago when Heavy Metal Affliction featured Forza community member Ashley Sutton – Gamertag CQR Champion. He took that GT from his successes in online racing with groups like TORA (TheOnlineRacingAssociation), and at the time was sitting eighth in a field of 16 in the Formula Ford Championship. He eventually placed third that year.


From there he moved on to the Renault Clio Cup and then took the huge step to the British Touring Car Championship. Now in his second year, and at just 23 years old, you may call him the BTCC Champion.


Entering the final weekend of the BTCC series, set at Brands Hatch, Sutton had a small lead over two-time BTCC champion driver Colin Turkington, 12 years his senior. After Turkington won race two of three, Sutton’s advantage was just six points and it would all come down to the final race of the year.


The final race was mired in a pre-race rain that set the stage for challenging conditions with most teams running on wet tires. Turkington worked his way through the grid from tenth place with Sutton on his tail. Then fate stepped in, and as the Ford of Mat Jackson returned from an off, it struck Turkington’s BMW. Turkington’s car was hobbled and hence retired. All Sutton had to do was finish, but he did more than that finishing fourth.


Congratulations to Sutton on this tremendous accomplishment and an amazing season.



Formula 1 – Malaysia

To say Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen’s win in Malaysia was the perfect belated birthday present to the recently turned 20-year-old driver implies he didn’t earn it. This win was deserved, as Verstappen stalked Lewis Hamilton’s F1 W08, for the first three laps then took the lead on the inside of Turn 1 on the fourth lap. By the end of the race, the gap between Verstappen and Hamilton was more than 12 seconds.


It was Verstappen’s second career win and it came during a season that he might otherwise wish to forget. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo did fight his way to third, which makes this a 1-3 double podium for Red Bull and puts the team on the map for contending for the Manufacturer’s Championship.


For their part, Scuderia Ferrari would probably like to put this race behind them as both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel struggled. Raikkonen retired with turbo pressure problems and Vettel had to hitch a ride back to pit lane after his rear wheel was ripped off in a cool down lap incident.



NASCAR – Dover

It looked like it was going to be Chase Elliot and Hendrick Motorsports’ day in Dover as Elliot was leading and chasing his first win in the series. Whatever he had going was simply not enough to keep him ahead of Kyle Busch who chased him down methodically over the last forty laps.


Busch passed Elliot coming out of Turn 4 as the white flag dropped, and a lap later the win was his. In this case it seemed experience really paid off, despite Elliot’s nearly flawless effort. I only say nearly flawless because even Elliot said he should have done something differently. What he could have done is unknown, but settling for second will have to do. Runner-up was however enough to keep the comparative youngster in the Round of 12.


Not so much for Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, and Kurt Busch who were eliminated. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed the final spot in the Round of 12. Jimmie Johnson took third in Dover, where he has won several times previously.




Tomorrow at 1 p.m. Pacific on Mixer and Twitch, let’s get together and celebrate the global launch of Forza Motorsport 7. Perhaps you will make your global debut on the stream as we battle each other in multi-player and take a good hard shot at Josef Newgarden’s Bounty Hunter Rivals event.


There will be much to see, including the first step toward improving my drifting skills in Forza 7. I hope to see you there.


Formula 1 photo credit to Getty images / Red Bull Media