Rear View Mirror 4-17-17
It was Forza Racing Championship driver Taylor “Lightning” Stomski’s first time in an airplane, his first trip to New York, and now he is reveling in his first time as a Forza Champion. It was a long time coming, since he was close in the first and second seasons of the #ForzaRC.
The live event took place this weekend at the Microsoft flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City. This event was sponsored by Porsche and featured some of the greatest Porsches in Forza Motorsport 6. The event coverage was shown live on Beam and Twitch.
Here is the Rear View Mirror recap of how the three rounds of Grand Final racing went down.
Learn more about the FRC New York Invitational in the video here:
Grand Finals Warmup
The warm up race took place at that the most holy of tracks, the Circuit Le Sarthe, otherwise known as Le Mans. Three laps to get into racing mode before the battle for the lion’s share of $25,000 in cash.
A random grid placement put two time #ForzaRC Champion Aurélien “Laige” Mohammedi-Mallet in the pole position with Zachary “F4H Venom” Taylor beside him. I’d have to say of all the competitors Venom has got the most stone cold look of any Forza driver I have ever seen. As the race started Christian “GTz Chriz” Popp was knocked off the track by Chris “JSR Craviator” Farkas. At the end of the Mulsanne straight on lap one Robin “CAR bbb0x” Betka was in second and Laige had fallen to fourth.
Going into lap two, Venom was holding the lead and not looking like he was going to give anyone an inch. Behind him bbbox held on to second place and Lightning slipped into third when Laige made a mistake going into the Mulsanne on the final lap. Venom got his victory, unfortunately it was just the warm up round and only his pride was rewarded.
You can watch the FRC Saturdaycoverage here:
Grand Finals Round 1
The first points gathering round was held at Virginia International Raceway. VIR was part of the Porsche Expansion Pack for Forza Motorsport 6 and this was its first time as a venue to put the FRC drivers to the test.
On pole it was Lightning, determined by Saturday’s qualifying rounds. Alexandre “BAM ASIX13” Arnou was in the other front row spot, bbbox was in third position as the field prepared for seven laps of racing. Just after the first turn it was turmoil for Tyler “F4H Diablo” Jones, Evan “Raceboy 77” Thorogood, and bbbox, who all went off track.
Asix13 powered past Lightning for the lead with David “CAR Harmonic” Hoch in third. Laige started in sixth and managed to hold his position but not gain any positions three laps in to the race. Then GTZ Chriz put a tire off and gave Laige the chance to pass. During the fourth lap, Lightning made a mistake and slipped to fifth place. Getting through lap five, Asix 13 held on to the lead with Harmonic behind him and Fabien “BAM Seven” Piffet in third place.
It was Laige putting pressure on Seven and Lightning behind him trying to fight his way back to the top three points paying positions. During lap seven, Seven put an inside move on Harmonic for second place. Once the results seemed set, when the pressure must have gotten to Harmonic as he pushed too hard and went off on the final corner. Laige passed easily and earned the final podium spot.
The results after the first race were: Asix13 with 25, Seven in second with 18 and Laige with 15 for third. Venom and Craviator at the bottom.
Watch the full day 2 coverage here:
Grand Finals Round 2
The Nürburgring Grand Prix track is a familiar site for fans and racers in the #ForzaRC and it was host to the second points paying round.
Qualifying put Lightning at the head of the grid in pole position with Asix13 next to him. The pair were seated next to one another at the live event as well. It was driver bbbox in the third grid position. As the seven lap race ensued, all the drivers made it cleanly though the dreaded hairpin at the end of the straight.
Through the next few turns Laige was holding his sixth position aggressively fighting for every inch of track advantage, even pushing Raceboy off the track. Asix had to play it tough against Miguel “XRS Kaiser Wolf” Molina to maintain his position through the chicane at the end of the back straight. Laige was suffering and fell back as far as tenth place.
Up front Lightning was showing the field of Forza professionals that he had come of age and this could be his race. Drivers Seven and bbbox were fighting it out for second and third behind him. During the final lap, Asix13 snuck past bbox for the coveted third position.
After two races Asix13 led with 43 points for his first and second place finishes. Lightning was behind him with 37 points for a win and a third. Laige was third in points with Seven right behind him.
Grand Finals Round 3
The historic American icon of Watkins Glen is no stranger to the FRC and it would be home to the final championship-deciding round of the New York Invitational. This time it would be the alt version of the track without the bus-stop chicane.
Again it was Lightning at the pole position and he would have to win this race if Asix13, who was right beside him on the front row, came in second. Driver bbbox was in the third position but was mathematically out of contention. The only way for Laige to win the Grand Finals was if the top three drivers came in fourth or worse and he won.
Between Asix13 and Lightning it was a no holds barred fight from the get go, albeit it was a clean fight. Behind them the field sorted itself out as Seven got himself into third position where technically he could win it all. Laige pushed hard and was immediately after Harmonic to take fifth position, then he set his sights on bbbox. Leader Lightning and his aggressor Asix13 were out front all alone.
The battle between Lightning and Asix13 continued with Asix13 following Lightning’s line and always letting the leader know we was there waiting to pounce on his slightest mistake. On the seventh lap Lightning stretched his lead out just a little bit. As the eighth lap ensued the lead was longer as if Lightning was turning it up to 11. Or Asix was losing steam after pushing so hard?
Laige had pushed past several cars to position himself just behind third, still held by Seven, and you could tell the two-time champion was not used to knowing the win was not within his grasp. Despite the continued pressure, Lightning’s focus was undaunted. He was absolutely fixated on the prize of his first championship. When they came across the finish line, the look on the face of Laige was the picture of disappointment as he accepted the first defeat of his Forza racing career.
The points were anything but spread out. First and second were separated by a single point with Asix13 getting second. Third and fourth were separated by just a single point as well with Seven in third and Laige in fourth.
Forza community member ManteoMax was in attendance and took a bunch of great photos and shared them in this tweet if you would like further insight into the event.
Congratulations to all the racers who participated in the FRC New York Invitational including those not mentioned in the above coverage: Anthony “BAM Anto” Diel, Alex “CAR Chemical” Harrison, David “CAR Daveyskills” Kelly, Matthew “CAR Zermatt” Kennedy, Niklas “aTTaX Johnson” Krellenberg, and Ross “JSR Rossi” May.