Forza Week in Review 6-23-17
Last weekend, the Forza Racing Championship made history with the Season 3 Grand Finals, held alongside the biggest and most prestigious endurance race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. While in the real world, drivers were competing at LeMans in the ultimate real-life endurance race, 66 of the best Forza racers in the world were battling it out in the ultimate esports endurance event; a competition that tested the limits of every driver on hand. Best of all, we have a brand new winner in AMS Roadrunner! Say hello to your ForzaRC Season 3 champion:
For competitors, staff, broadcasters and viewers alike, last weekend’s Grand Finals at Le Mans was a fitting end to the biggest and best ForzaRC season yet. We kick off this edition of the Week in Review with a look at all the action from the Grand Finals. Let’s go!
ForzaRC Season 3 Finals Recap
Sixty six of the world’s fastest racers arrived at the infield of the Circuit de la Sarthe last week to take part in the culmination of ForzaRC Season 3. Le Mans is an astonishing place, full of history everywhere you turn. The ForzaRC tent was located a few hundred meters from the track, which meant that we all could hear the engine notes, transmissions whistles, and pops and cracks throughout the day and night.
In this incredible setting we crowned a new champion for the fifth official racing class of The 24 Hours of Le Mans, Endurance esports Racing. It was a ForzaRC of a new kind, less about sheer speed and more about sheer will, less about aggression than consistency. The champion was not the one who won every race – it was the one who won the races that mattered.
There were three grueling stages to the ForzaRC at Le Mans. Group rounds selected the top 24 drivers from those who have made the journey to France, a long series of races broke them down to just 12 and a final four-race shootout turned those 12 to just 1. Those who made it all the way to end would be driving more or less for 24 hours.
There were impressive results from some in the early group stages. Reigning champion CAR Lightning and two-time ForzaRC champion and local hero CAR Laige made the biggest impact. Alongside CAR bbb0x and aTTaX Johnson they won all three of their Group rounds to breeze into the top 24.
Alongside them the popular F4H Motorsport team put in by far the most consistent performance, qualifying all six of their entrants through to the top 24. New contenders such as privateer Paul9339 and AMS Roadrunner also made waves, bringing it to the biggest teams in the game and earning themselves the right to race through into the Semi Finals.
The nine races of the second round begun as the sun was setting over Le Mans. In that cool golden hour between day and night a fascinating story played out between the two competition favorites. Having drawn different groups in the Semis, favorites Lightning and Laige were never on track together, but it was clear their eyes were set on the other.
From the start Laige threw down a gauntlet for Lightning, earning four wins each to start, and the two were line astern. But Lightning cracked first. A fourth position finish for the reigning champion gave Laige the momentum and he pushed harder and harder until the final race, when fatigue kicked in. He crashed badly, finishing last.
In those closing moments Lightning tried to press his advantage, but both were now exhausted. Another mistake and Lightning earned just one point and took a second knock to his confidence. Laige and Lightning won their groups easily and progressed to the finals, but without doubt it came at a cost. The cracks were showing in the fastest two racers on Forza Motorsport 6.
And so it was in the mid-pack that we had to watch. CAR bbb0x, GTz Chriz, NVirus999 and, once again, RoadRunner, those who may not have left a trail of victory but, importantly, had not overexerted themselves. As the sprinters were fading, it was these racers who would begin to shine.
Watch the replay of the ForzaRC Season 3 Semi-Finals from Le Mans here.
Dawn on Sunday and only four chances remained. Adrenaline had come and gone and come and gone again, those who had anything left in the tank were lucky, the rest ran on determination alone. There was tension throughout the ForzaRC Arena as the 12 finalists settled into their racing booths for the last time.
Race 1 started with a clash between Lightning and bbb0x; bbb0x came out of it worse, unable to improve on last position by the race’s end. Laige took the chance to run and controlled the race from the front but Lightning fell back into the clutches of Roadrunner. Theirs was a battle that lasted from Lap 1 to the checkered flag, until an inspired move on the final chicane at Spa found RoadRunner in second and Lightning relegated to third.
Laige started on pole for the second race, but RoadRunner had other plans. An early move from this champion-killer gave him a commanding lead, leaving Lightning and Laige to get tangled up amongst themselves. The wet weather didn’t help and both favorites slipped back through the field. RoadRunner took a lead in the overall points standings and bbb0x, after starting last on the grid, salvaged a fifth-place finish.
Race 3 saw Laige back on form. Midway through Lap 1 he was up to second from fourth on the grid and beautiful mid-race move saw him best RoadRunner for top points. After starting from seventh Lightning had it all to do, and made his way back to third. Nonetheless his hopes of victory at Le Mans were fast slipping away. Now it seemed, it would come down to Laige and RoadRunner.
The final race brought drama. The race featured the Porsche 919 at Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe, and required pinpoint accuracy and a steady hand. This was more than a fatigued Laige could offer. Midway through the first lap the Frenchman tangled with leader RoadRunner causing both to spin and fall back in the pack. While Lightning won, there was a tense wait as the marshals deliberated over the crash.
Finally, it was with through absolute exhaustion that AMS RoadRunner took to the top of the podium at Le Mans, that hallowed ground where so many racing heroes had stepped before. Receiving his trophy for victory in The Forza Racing Championship Season 3: The Porsche Cup. Beside him, Laige took second and Lightning third.
It took weeks of qualification to arrive in France and for, those that made it, it took a long 24 hours to find the champion. A huge congratulations is in order to all of the competitors, including the many of which who are not named in this story.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is an incredible event and was an amazing place to find a conclusion to The Forza Racing Championship Season 3: The Porsche Cup. Cars clashed, drivers were pushed, the atmosphere was electric and for our brilliant winner, AMS RoadRunner, well-deserved champagne was sprayed!
Watch the replay of the ForzaRC Season 3 Grand Finals from Le Mans here.
#Forzathon – Fun in the Sun
We’re back with another #Forzathon for the weekend, this time with a sunny summer theme. Four events are up for grabs, along with some Forza Horizon 3 goodies, most notably the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which you can get for completing the “Stylin’” event (get those Ebisu-style drifting skills ready to go). Elsewhere, there are credits, XP and wheelspins up for grabs in the remaining events. In fact, one event – It’s a Hobby – is ludicrously simple. Just create a tuning setup and select a car horn and you’ll bring home 75,000 XP.
As of this week, Turn 10 has moved! What’s old is new again, as we’ve moved back to our previous building in downtown Redmond. One step inside the new digs, however, and you’d be hard-pressed to find similarities between the old Forza HQ and the new one. Look for more photos from the new spot in the future; in the meantime, here’s a tease of our new lobby, where the McLaren P1 is now joined by the Porsche 919 (which arrived last week after its stint at E3) as our “Amazing Cars in Residence.”
We’ve still got some spit and polish to go before we are truly ready to show off the new space to the world. However, I’m personally thrilled to show off our new broadcast room. This is where the weekly #ForzaFriday streams and I’m happy to say that, while it doesn’t look like much yet (we’ve got tons of decorating and upgrading to do), it is in operational form and ready for today’s #ForzaFriday stream!
Join us at 3 p.m. Pacific on the official Forza Mixer and Twitch channels where we’ll recap a huge week in Forza news, give viewers a first look at our new streaming digs and, of course, blast our way through Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Motorsport 6 at ludicrous speeds. Don’t miss it!