This race used standard rules on a custom track -- Cleveland.
The median car build for this track was a 60-60-160 with 60 start speed, 7 or 8 wear and 2 skill per lap but there were some outlier from this stock build.
I ran the only 100 start speed which I'll discuss more later. Three cars ran 20 start speeds: Don, Brian, and Chris.
Chris also went with the only 80-80 car. Will and Tim decided that they did not need as much deceleration and tried 60-40 cars. Tim was also one of two drivers to start out with 140 top speed. Mike P was the other 140 car.
Chris and I were the only cars with 6 wear per lap to start out the race. The 7 and 8 wear cars were evenly split with Kevin, Dave, Brian, and Mike G taking 7 wear per lap; Will, Tim, Mike P, and Don taking 8. Brian and Tim took 3 skill per lap with the bonus -3 skill chip. Everyone else went with 2 skill per lap.
Pole bid was very interesting with 6 of 10 cars sitting on 60 start speeds and only I had a 100 start speed. If I could start on row 2 anywhere I could test start speed and end up in the lead before corner 1. So I targeted that, bid 2.5, and got lucky.
Kevin took pole with a 4.5 bid. Will ended outside row 1 with 4. Tim was inside row 2 with 3.5. My 2.5 bid represented pretty great value as I knew I could overtake the cars in front of me having spent less then them and only 1/2 more than Mike P who ended up starting row 3 after bidding 2. Dave, Don, and Brian bid 1.5 which worked out better for Dave who ended up outside row 3. Chris and Mike bid 0 to start in the last 2 rows but having spent nothing.
|Kevin's yellow car sitting on pole. Will outside row 1, Tim inside row 2, me outside row 2.|
|I take the lead on turn 1. Kevin behind me on the line.|
Will placed himself outside when he could have been in the middle lane.
First turn went as hoped for me as I took the lead heading into turn 1. On that same turn 1 Will placed himself in the wrong spot -- outside when he could have taken the middle lane -- probably lost a space unable to take the line (I think he was thinking about a slip from Kevin that would never happen with the corner in front of them). Hint, that 1 space might become important later.
My plan was to spend my wear evenly through out the race. I wanted to be up front because it made things easier but I did not want to spend wear silly in order to stay out front no matter what. I was content to stay in touch of the leaders.
Tim, however decided to make a break through corner 3 -- taking a chance and taking the lead for the rest of the lap.
|Tim passes me through corner 3 with a chance.|
Will pulls even and would also pass me here.
Dave was part of the main pack through lap 1, but miss-ploted on the straight at the end of lap 1 which really hurt his race overall.
Tim ended lap 1 about a turn ahead of Will and I with Mike P just behind that. The rest of the field was about 2 turns behind Tim with Mike G and Chris about 3 turns back at this point.
|Tim out front after 1 lap. Note Kevin keeps falling back all race.|
Will decides that it is his turn to make a move in the middle of lap 2. Through corners 3, 4, 5 and 6 he spends a good bit of wear and gains a turn on everyone else.
|Halfway through lap 2, Will has passed and gaped Tim and everyone else.|
Brian spends some wear early this lap to move up from the main pack. But runs himself almost out of wear before taking a chance in corner 8 that results in a spin. He drops from 3rd to 5th before ending up having to make 2 late brakes around corner 9 that result in brake failure and the race's first DNF.
|Brian's car pulled off to the side of the track at the end of lap 2.|
Will and Tim are out of frame in front of me in the blue and Mike P in the orange.
Lap 2 ends with Tim and Will a turn ahead of Me. The field remains about 2 turns behind the lead. Chris remains 3 turns back while Mike G has fallen to about 4 turns behind with a lap to go.
Don entered lap 3 with a race leading 12 wear -- more wear than anyone else on track and far more than many of the leaders -- but in the end it cost him too much to pass the pack leaving him not enough to challenge for a podium.
I was now in the position I had hoped to be in -- have more wear than the leaders and be in position to strike. I passed Tim through corner 8 by using 2 wear.
Then I catch Will through the last 2 corners -- setting up a dice-off for the win. Tim pulls in right behind me hoping for slips across the finish line.
I had the advantage over Will because I was going faster coming out of the final corner. So testing my acceleration and top speed got me to a speed that Will could not match and I passed him at the line for the win. Tim then made a couple tests and got 2 slips from me to also pass Will at the line for 2nd.
|Last turn for the leaders. Me in the all blue for the win. Tim next to me for 2nd.|
Will a space from the win in 3rd.
If Will could have found effectively 1 more space he would have won the race. Instead he ends up 3rd. While we mentioned that 1 space he probably lost through the first corner of lap 1, it is hard to project that one space there would mean 1 space 3 laps later but Will is still probably kicking himself about that unforced error.
The last corner of the race saw a couple chances as drivers made last minute plays to improve their positions. Mike P ended up crashing out in the last corner for the race's 2nd DNF. Chris spun and finished last.
|Mike P crashed and Chris spun in the final corner.|
DNFs: Brian DeWitt and Mike Polcen