Car of the Week | Week 47: A Katana to a Gunfight (Suzuki Swift Sport KATANA Edition Gr.4)

How do you guys run the cars? I normally don’t tune my cars unless it’s a realistic build.
We run them with BOP which defaults everything to stock, widebody’s and engine swapped cars can’t be selected under BOP.

That doesn’t mean you can’t part aero parts on mind you as BOP zeros out their effectiveness to just being cosmetic parts. :P

So essentially, don’t widebody it or engine swap it and you’ll be fine. :D
 
SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 11 - NISSAN SILVIA spec-R Aero (S15)


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We get these pills to swallow. How they stick.. in your throat.. tastes like gold.


So, if one would mention the Silvia name today, I can guarantee most hands will point towards the final 7th generation, coded the S15. The story of the S15's development was similar to how we have the ND MX-5.. yes this I covered when that car came up in Mini Mexico. The previous generation model: the S14, was actually an unpopular choice for the name with many assumptions disliked by Nissan higher-ups, and thus Nissan decided to head back to the basics and took inspiration from a past model in mind to create the S15.

Taking cues from the S13's more sporty design and combining it with the current era styling, the S15 was born with this radical base model that got it in sync with its fanbase to today. And according to all these articles I've read up, the S15 is infamous for being banned in America until next year. Personally, I have seen a lot of S15 Aero models around, so its popularity isn't unheard of no matter where in Asia it can reach.

With a knack for track performance, the Silvia also comes in as an excellent drifter when tuned right. The highest trim of the lot's known as the spec-R Aero, which the Aero designation hints its aerodynamic improvements, and the spec-R hints of the engine being the turbocharged SR20DET.

Looking at performance, this beauty carries its turbocharged inline 4 engine with 247 horsepower bringing about a sensible 1240 kilos. Alongside its more rigid build, it carried a helical LSD found in modern sports Nissan, notably on the Fairlady Z, that limited torque to the tires so that it adds on to the drivability experience and performance. This I hope to witness personally. I'm never a Silvia kind of dude.

The car would end production in 2002, taking the Silvia legacy with it to the history books. Reasons stem from the company trying to reduce costs, mainly from halting manufacturing of the car's S chassis, as well as rising regulations from emissions policies and safety. The FM chassis seen in the Infiniti G35 and Z models would carry on as Nissan's premiere RWD sports car from then on.

So it's that time of the writeup again. I'll just mention someone's a fan of Race Driver GRID. No Ravenwest, no McKane drama, no Seneca, no overblown cheating scandal. Nothing, alright? Just a simple time around a track. And goes VERY well in line with what I've planned on the 4 planned shorts. Here's short number 2.

Just keeps me wondering when we'll hit a Mythic Verse signature ride.. unless it's the VX Viper, I'm not going to hit them.


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Episode 11: Angelos Marius - Angel of the Abyss


3 days ago..

Dragon Trail International Raceway
Dalmatian coast, Split-Dalmatia county, Croatia
Afternoon



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While Seaside is off limits to prepare for an FIA endurance race event, the lesser Gardens route also has its share of action reserved for the time being.


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A full roster of various BMW sports cars take flight in participation of a local owners club meet.


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While pace isn't a major concern for the majority of the roster, one car on track has that thought not in mind.


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There's a reason behind it all, as the man behind the wheel prides in his talent as a road rally champion of the annual Circuito de la Sierra rally: Angelos Marius. While at almost all times off the radar, he's often referred by his street name: Erebos.


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For today, he uses the track as a stage for what's coming after: a personal request by one of the Big 3.


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Moments Later.jpg



With today's dealings with his car owner's club done, the man they call Erebos leans on the wall with a vape on hand, and takes periodical inhales as he loiters around the emptied pit area.

A thick cloud of smoke surround an area clearly marked with no smoking around, eventually darkening by the clouds crawling above.

He's patient, but as a certain man with a hachimaki makes his presence known, he strikes..



Angelos: "Filos, you are here at last."


He hasn't even turned to see Isamu, but grabs a small bottle of vape flavoring out his jacket and points towards..


Angelos: "Want a taste?"

Isamu: "Yeah, what the hell. Flavor?"


He knows personally, thus responds quick while the bottle is handed over..


Angelos: "Olive."


A small sniff has Isamu have a closer look, then distances it slightly with a face of mild disgust.


Isamu: "Olive? What were they smoking when they thought THIS can be a flavor?"

Angelos: "Piss off, Adachi.. It's my favorite. Try it, don't let me tell you.. There exists certain illegal drugs as flavoring, filos. I steer clear of those.."

Isamu: "This'll be good, I wager."


Not long later, they both drown themselves in the mediterranean aroma from their personal vaping devices.

Angelos sees his friend enjoying the fragrance, giving him the idea to ask with a smug sense of satisfaction.



Angelos: "What did I tell you?"

Isamu: "You Greek freaks are something.. Fine, your taste for these is more than passable."


Their vaping devices now away, the air clears and Angelos gets his first look at a familiar face, noting a glaring omission in his usual grumpy concern.


Angelos: "Where's the mutt?"

Isamu: "Sent him back to Gunma. He's not just emotional support for me, you know."


Disliking Shin's absence, Angelos then follows with compounding what he needs to know..


Angelos: "Okay.. I suppose we go talk about work. You mentioned the Big 3.. which one of it?"

Isamu: "Mountain Blazers. Stupid name, but.. they're the straight up elite tuner gang. Their credentials rival big Japanese clubs."


He had a hunch, and thus wanted to question Isamu further..


Angelos: "Anyone else we're not going to expect?"

Isamu: "Anjuro, I've made sure there's no reaper coming over to Croatia. You chose the place, and you too got your green light, and I see your complaints.."

Angelos: "F[BLEEP] off, filos."

Isamu: "Just jesting around, Anjuro."

Angelos: "I know, but.."


And that suspicion comes to light when Angelos noted another person out of place in the location: a casually dressed woman with red curly hair.


Angelos: "Forget I said.. importantly, who is she?"

Isamu: "Suddenly into women, I see, Anjuro. I too haven't an idea who that is."


Isamu's playful reply of a flirty thought gave Angelos reason to shove him aside, with a hint of disturbance.


Angelos: "I'm tired of suspicious persons, filos. Let's confirm our suspicions.."


She was busy on her phone, but it wasn't long before she had to take her sights to the two foreign men now close to her, with one making his greetings in the kindest way possible.


Angelos: "Yia sas.. umm.. hello, madam."


But his fashion sense got the woman to respond with a bitter tone.


???: "Urkh, move aside. I thought this is a race track, not the goth & junkies convention."


Angelos might be an angel, but he feels a devil possessing him as he grabs the lady's wrist and raises it high.


???: "Oi!"

Angelos: "You've got a tongue, lady. I come with kindness and it appears your toxic miasma come crawling out.."

Isamu: "Not too rash, Anjuro."

Angelos: "I'll be gentle.."


But not binding her other arm means she's able to fight back, with a quick poke to Angelos' heavily painted eyes.


Angelos: "OOOGH, MY EYE!"


Now free, the woman makes a quick escape as Isamu checks on his friend glancing with eyes covered.

And his first words were of deep concern.. combined with banter.



Isamu: "See, first step to treating any woman is definitely not holding her by the wrist."

Angelos: "I'd like to see you try, Adachi. You too haven't the heart to even touch a lady, correct?"

Isamu: "I know enough to not get in your way and see what you did was inethical, Anjuro."

Angelos: "Whatever. I hope she's not reported me for bad behavior, because that's what's coming, I promise that."


But Isamu does change his tone to note the damage dealt.


Isamu: "How's your eye?"

Angelos: "F-fine. Nothing to raise concern about."

Isamu: "No really, even with my bad eyes, I can see you're still dazed.."

Angelos: "I don't want to repeat it to you, filos.. Let's find her."


And the two find themselves reaching a parking space that's once empty getting spaces filled.


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From a distance, Isamu notes..


Isamu: "They're here, but something is off.."

Angelos: "And what would that be?"

Isamu: "It'll be obvious when they mention it."


And closer to the cars, the bizarre German comes out of the yellow Type R, visibly exhausted.


J.J: "Phew, now that was a long drive, don't you think so, big man?"


The giant that exits the GTO just after makes his reply loud and clear.


Daijiro: "Hmph."


It's vague at best, but someone close to him like J.J understands as if he can read minds.


J.J: "Precisely. Uhh, yes. The Cinderella is already on site. She's a quick little one, isn't she, Jiro?"

Daijiro: "Heh."


Despite the earlier incident, the suspect mystery known as The Cinderella came over and greeted her mates like nothing's happened.


Cinderella: "Hey there, big boy. Looks to me someone's had lunch before getting here.. "


He gave out his hearty smile as the stiff belly of his gets whimsically tapped by The Cinderella's smaller hands.


Daijiro: "Yes. Heh heh heh."

J.J: "We found one of those seaside cafes, and you can say it's the hammer! I'm afraid we've not left any for you to sample, prinzessin."


While memory loss is one thing she's lived with recently, she knows how to beam out delight through emotion..


Cinderella: "I'm all right, mate. Weight's gonna need a watching anyways."


..but while remembering is her one big weakness, she recalls the wrist handling minutes ago, souring her face drastically.


Cinderella: "But well.. actually."

J.J: "The despair! Ohh, Cindy. Please, talk to J.J."


And she's described he anguish to her fellow mates with a slight of fury.


Cinderella: "Cor, you know: I found me our special guests and one of them's right gone have a good grab at me wrist!"

J.J: "That so? Ja, if it was Adachi, that might be broken. POSE!"


Usually objecting to J.J striking his random poses, Daijiro notices and points towards the men in the distance..


Daijiro: "Oooh?"

Cinderella: "Thanks for the tip, wise guy, but it don't even hurt.. matter of fact, looks to me Jiro's see them right there."

Daijiro: "Hohohh.."

J.J: "Oh? Zoom and.. Yup, that's them alright."


They move ahead of the tuned cars and meet the devil and angel duo.

Isamu isn't one to stand up to someone else, but when ethics gets involved, he's forced to as he hesitates to make amends..



Isamu: "I'm.. afraid we got off the wrong step, J.J. It won't happen again, right, Anjuro?"

Angelos: "Pfft, as if. Stop this s[BLEEP]t, filos."


None the wiser, J.J shoos the incident away and attempts to get it under the carpet.


J.J: "I'll take it that you've apologized. Or we can do the formalities now.."

Daijiro: "Kheh."


Not willing to show a sign of weakness, the Cinderella didn't hesitate to make protestations..


Cinderella: "No, NO! Perish the thought!"


And a thought shared with the other party..


Angelos: "...what she said!"


He put out his final thoughts on their decision as he held his chin.


J.J: "Fine, it's your psyche that's hurt, princess.. speaking of which... Jiro-san, what do you feel is missing from the scene? Or rather: who."

Daijiro: "Peigi."

J.J: "Exactly. We can't get started with our procession without the boss Peggy."


Knowing how the Big 3 handles anonymity, the Cinderella questions the blown out use of her good friend's name.


Cinderella: "We're not hiding any sense of secrecy now?"

Isamu: "Oh, you harsh talking one. How I pity you. Well, to put it simply, we know about the Yamagami."

Angelos: "Objection: I don't, but I'll just.. go along, so as long as I'm getting compensated."


He noted the general manners of the devil and angel, and considering the earlier occurrance, raised his voice a little to make a point..


J.J: "Your money comes from us, and I propose you find your inner peace before we begin. You're a man of talent, but we prefer nobody get hurt or even touched. I represent the princess here and I find a scratch on a molecule, the big man isn't afraid to pay that back with broken bones."


A rebel heart, Angelos replies without much of a show of positive emotion.


Angelos: "Okay, fine. You'll get no funny business, filthy malaka."


Unwary with Greek insult words, Isamu queries..


Isamu: "Translation?"

Angelos: "You don't want to know."


He's not in character, but Isamu desires to keep the peace and reputation between his contacts and his closest friend.


Isamu: "I don't represent him on the whole, but it's hard to keep him in control when he's in front of people."


She sees a lot in Isamu that's apologetic; which is a far cry to his character, she thought with difficulty.

And despite Adachi's sadcore look, she's positive about something and makes a gambit, saying..



Cinderella: "I forgive you regardless. Now I see him more, it's obvious he's not all bad."


The sincerity of the Cinderella snuffed out the storm in him brewed by her harsh words earlier, now back to his pleasant, least grumpy side of his.


Angelos: "Umm.. I.. appreciate your concern. And forgive my action. It was.. unnecessarily cruel of me."

Cinderella: "Don't sweat it, goth guy.. I'm.. umm.. call me the Cinderella. Real name, really."


And just as the good in these figures emerge, everyone can tell the negative energies somehow ended up in Isamu with his surprised response..


Isamu: "She's named after a fairy tale, ohh that's just GREAT."

Angelos: "Filos, now I'm concerned for you."


But J.J shows distress about another thing..


J.J: "Cinderella here's not going to be the only lady today.. my God she's late. Any clue why?"

Daijiro: "Not pick up call."

Cinderella: "If I'm going to gander a guess, lads.."


Not far from the track, the cloudy Croatian riviera gets by its supposedly idyllic day with a wild thing on the rage..


Peigi: "DOKE! KONO.. KONO BAKAYAROU!!"


Remember that one-off feature in Gran Turismo 6 that allowed you to put gauges in the interior of the car? That was an awesome, while poorly executed feature due to the standard detailed split of cars? That's my first thought in the S15: a good memory.


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I'm unsure if it's the helical LSD, but trying to get the S15 to lose rear grip is much more difficult than usual. Of course that's still possible when you have 0-100 inputs, as the car still has turn exit wheelspin on 2nd-3rd. Gotta say, even if it's a brief impression, for a car known for its drifting, the car's very well composed, especially for something with a turbo. It will go wild for those who want that, but it won't kill you.

And speaking of handling, it can drift, and not just drift. But drift GOOD. If this was the car that we got to do the drift trials in the in game missions, that meme with the utopia picture is bound to pop up. It's easy, the power's manageable, just stay in second/third and watch the smoke pile up. Not to mention we have a good ounce of controlling choice if we want a track racer's apex or a drifter's show of smoke with this car as is. As the rookie in drifting in us would say: whoa.


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Could I get a mention on the brakes are absolutely great here too? Any technique you can think off, the S15 just will let you do them with no issue. Anyone who's read my old stuff knows I'm really into brakes and this car wants to make me put it in me.

Power wise.. this is a car with power drop off at the end of the RPM chart, but like the Lancer 2 weeks ago, there's no need to early shift due to the torque. It's got that odd case of a super long 6th gear that's definitely not made for the track, so you're most likely going to bring it up to the ends of 5th. Thanks to its turbo and low weight, you're never going to feel slow.

You shouldn't, but the game caters if you're that mad freak who rallies their RWD sports cars. You're able to do so in the S15, and the experience is.. not that bad. It's just on the whole way too hard in general for a good time, but you have more grip than you think. That's an excuse for bonus ducks points. More points go to bringing the car on rain: on thinner layers of water, the stock setup drives like it's dry mostly, which really baffled me in a good way.


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This on the whole is an incredible pleasure to be behind the wheel of. I'd definitely call it a Mark of Zen if this can be replicated on the Forza Horizon 5 experience. I should start getting this definition here, should I? Umm.. I'll get back to you when we get another car this fine to run. And perhaps it shouldn't be called the Mark of Zen.


Now out of the parking area and into the confides of a lounge, the group bundles up on relaxing sofas, leading to J.J stating..


J.J: "I suppose while we wait, we get to understanding one another. Jovan Jensen.. but everyone calls me J.J, not one J, though Jovan as is is also acceptable. J.J seems to roll off just about every tongue I meet, thus.."

Daijiro: "Heh."


Not satisfied with Daijiro's grunting, J.J smoothly segways towards introducing him next.


J.J: "This hunk of meat's branded as Daijiro. Former sumo yokozuna, now runs with us with talent for big and heavy. You can see he's 50% fat, 40% muscle, 10% everything else. Measurements subject to change.."

Daijiro: "110 percent heart."

J.J: "Tut! Like I said: subject to change."


To add, the Cinderella points out another factoid..


Cinderella: "He hardly mutters out more than a word a time, as a matter of fact."

Angelos: "Yeah? It's your turn, miss fairy tale."


Once again, J.J intervenes and gets to mentioning the details regarding this fairy tail princess..


J.J: "She's the princess's special guest, Angelos. Umm.. we found her one day, bandaged by her head, and something about an ultimatum I've not got confidence to share about."

Daijiro: "Hmm.."

Angelos: "A complete amnesiac? She's something out of Jason Bourne, filos."

Isamu: "Yes, but she's no super spy. Not built like one, armed like one and definitely not alert like one."


Those comments are ones she found offensive enough for her to erupt off her sofa chair..


Cinderella: "Mate? Are you s[BLEEP]ting me? I can be a super spy if.."


He's not into her ranting, thus Angelos decided to shut her up with a swift uppercut, channeling his inner Street Fighter to the force.

She's not knocked out, but a quick flight back onto her seat gave her time to think through as she walks the thin thread between conscious and not.



Angelos: "Heh.. Mission failed.. that was for my eyes, keeria."


His satisfaction was soured by Isamu's quick protest.


Isamu: "Anjuro!! What the hell?!"


Rubbing his hands, Angelos makes a point..


Angelos: "See for yourself, Adachi. They're not even mad."


And he's right; J.J and Daijiro watches on as they remark the moment's act.


Daijiro: "Mmmhmm."

J.J: "Truly. She's a lot more resilient than you think. Staying over with the princess makes her.. a target of her many antics.. please observe the plot armor in full play.."


flashback.jpg



Hocus Pocus (Buffetlibre remix)
Focus


It's not explained, but looking at the Cinderella's many woes of being with Peigi tells that pain can come in many ways..

For starters, there comes a time where Cindy escapes a small complex through tight hallways of a London city block.

As she approaches the corner leading to the fire escape, a heavy nitrous bottle collides with her face at high speed..



Peigi: "SURPRISE ATTACK!!!"


THWACK!


As she meets the floor looking upwards, the pink trimmed DJ starts to voice her regrets in an abnormally lively sorrow..


Peigi: "Whoops.. I seriously thought you'd be on the trouble. The swelling on her noggin's grown alright, but.. OH WELL! DRRROP THE NITRO!! KEEEKEEE!!"


As the Cinderella moves to get her back up, the heavy can of nitrous falls straight on the part of her head that's bandaged.


Cinderella: "Pegg..URK!"


Nobody but Peigi could describe how they both got out of that sticky situation..


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Another moment occurred as the Cinderella finishes up a Clubman Cup event in Brands Hatch.

Hearing the news, her good friend slash housemate came over in a charge.



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And what came after was a collision that fortunately the Cinderella leaped high enough that she rolled across the car like a stunt actor.


Peigi: "KYAAAAAHHH!!"


And as the driver heads out, she makes a quick manuever..

..over to the front car she drove and inspected the potential spots on that collision.



Peigi: "Silvia-chan?! Are you okay? Please tell me.. did the bad Cindy dent anything?"


Of course, her priorities are to be questioned, and Cindy at the time expressed that to great effect on the floor in pain.


Cinderella: "P-PEGGY!! [sarcastic] I'M ALRIGHT! THERE'S NOTHING BROKEN OR ANYTHING.. F[BLEEP]ING HELL, PEGGGYYY!! W[BLEEP]ER!!"


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Perhaps the original time has to also be mentioned..

Just as the Cinderella gotten used to the simple British life in Peigi's small house, she's usually alone at night, but not tonight..



Peigi: "Hey Cindy... CINDYY!! CINDIDIDUDILUDII! CINDY CINDY CINDY!! Guess what came in the mail today?"

Cinderella: "Oh, you're free tonight, is it? Hold up! I'm guessing.. it's more Japanese gadgets, right? Perhaps that self exploding sports shirt.. oh wait! Is it that robot delivery bot you've been waiting for?"

Peigi: "Nope.. quite the contrary. Lookie here: it's an official American law enforcement taser!"

Cinderella: "Wha-"


And before anyone asks, it's come armed and ready to shoot as Peigi tries firsthand without hesitation to the only target in the living quarters..


Cinderella: "Ugugugugugu... God... damn.. it.. Peggggy!!"

Peigi: "KEEKEE!! KEEKEEGUKEEKEE! Revenge!! REVENGE!!"


Much she recalls mainly on the pain of the shock, that also was the day that developed the Cinderella's fear and reliance on short range tasers along with defibrillators.


And as the projection of memories fade, an up and able Cinderella had to ask..


Cinderella: "Why's that got a highlight reel? Me getting zing and zapped don't strike me as entertaining.."


But to the rest of the roster today, it is.

And with J.J and Daijiro's confidence reassured, they watch on gladly.



J.J: "As I say.. resilient. FLASH!"

Daijiro: "HMPH."

J.J: "Why of course, just take a freaking break with the disapproving already."

Daijiro: "Nyeh. Angelos."


The silent giant chose his words, and the influence that kind of act gives led all eyes to the emo goth punk.


Angelos: "You speak for me, titan? You want a quick ice breaker with me? I feel.. I'm the kind that's famous enough that warrants no need of an introduction."


Arms wide and lounging with his legs up, Isamu has other thoughts..


Isamu: "Mmm.. I understand but disagree, Anjuro. Unless we head to you competing in the Supercar Festival, your discipline isn't even mainstream."


J.J however intrudes once again and leans forward, explaining in detail..


J.J: "This man's no Candy Lam, but I know you're the recurring champion for that road rally in Andalucia. And then you disappeared or something."

Angelos: "Pretty much. I was hunted by something in my lowest moment, and Adachi saved my life. I'm indebted to him.."


He speaks honestly, and Isamu often takes advantage of that, as he's about to do.


Isamu: "You're still welcome, Anjuro. Your companionship is something to behold, truly."

Angelos: "By the way.. can I ask you about Candy Lam?"


Remembering her from Alsace and getting behind her MINI around coming back to him, J.J thinks privacy is required, leading him to kindly..


J.J: "Jiro and the prinzessin.. don't think otherwise, but can we have a moment?"


And the response was gladly on his side.


Cinderella: "Whatever you say, J.J. Feeling a bit dazed. Carry me, Jiro?"

Daijiro: "Heh."


Happily, he uses his arm as a step ladder and as the Cinderella lands on his shoulders, she notes..


Cinderella: "OHHH! Dearie me, you're a bit stiff today.. extra protein won't hurt, right?"

Daijiro: "Gyeheheh.."


Not long after, Angelos expresses his interest on a certain Hong Kongese lady..


Angelos: "The one they call Candy. She's become a person of interest in my BMW owners club."


Still laying back relaxed, Isamu tells his friend what's known to him..


Isamu: "Oh? We've met not long ago. She drives this.. rather fetching MINI.. a BMW in another name. Perhaps the answer you seek?"

Angelos: "Not quite. The MINI she drives comes from an anonymous source, right?"


It's his turn, and J.J responds in kind with his usual grace..


J.J: "This we already know of when we had her tell us in Alsace a few days back."

Angelos: "There's a lot she's told you, huh? Her name keeps coming up to me.. and I've been tracing the money she's receiving.. it's from that same organization that's put a hit on my head."


Eyes raised, J.J further asks..


J.J: "Fascinating. And you know this how?"

Angelos: "Assassin's Guild contact confirms this method of payment is the same for a former client. That client's kicked it, so if you're still on the look, I'm afraid we're unsure how much further this hole goes."

Isamu: "Why even kick the hornet's nest, Anjuro? It's enough we managed to eke out a contract for your sake."


His friend's casual response brings Angelos to swiftly reply..


Angelos: "Inquiring why the grim reaper is looking for us. The man who don't give a f[BLEEP]k about our contracts."

Isamu: "Ahh.. umm.. well, you have a point. You've also gotten J.J to fume out some processing? Are you alright, J.J?"


The devil and angel notice the usually calm J.J with a difficult face..


J.J: "I'm unfamiliar with Assassin's Guild details. So sorry. This isn't my league."


And from behind him, Daijiro walks in unnanounced, but notably..


Angelos: "That titan Daijiro's got another sitting on his shoulders.."


Playfully playing the part, the boss of this all blows kisses before jumping down the giant.

The sight of her has J.J greeting in jolly form.



J.J: "Princess! You're here. Thank goodness."

Peigi: "J.J? You alright, love? What's happening here?"

J.J: "Well, you see.. she's inquiring about the Hong Kongese girl who's made a splash in our field."


It was vague, but not vague enough for Peigi to show her knowledge without hassle.


Peigi: "Candy? Hohoo! After showing us her capable nature from that Initiation.. keekee, she's quite the character, my dark angel guy! But how about you do something for me, then I can do you something about that lass.. sound good?"


He can hear a good deal, and he thought there's nothing wrong about it.


Angelos: "Oh wonderful. I guess I'm all ears."

Peigi: "Despite your edgy feels, I'm gonna make you feel like roses by the time we're done here."


Everyone in this 6 man ramble moves outside to see the car she's arrived in.


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Isamu: "Silvia S15? The last of an age old name.. one such example out of Nippon, heh?"

Peigi: "Tuned S15 by someone who's a big enthusiast of that old video game series whose name escapes me. Also a fellow Mountain Blazer, but right now nursing an injury. The car's just out of GT Auto, and I'm personally checking to see if they rebuilt it to working order."


While she's not a Mountain Blazer in official form, the Cinderella feels the car being familiar.


Cinderella: "You're talking about him, eh? Careless fellow, French guy?"

Daijiro: "Ohh? Heh heh."


The astute analysis and Daijiro's laugh of approval gets Peigi to spill the beans..


Peigi: "You're right again, Cindy. You're always right.. creepy.. but that's not important, love. What is, it's that I need a fresh pair of hands to help me test the car after refurbish. It's road legal, and I opted for the cheapest man in the phone book."


Isamu hears and thinks..


Isamu: "Ohh, so this is where me and Anjuro come in, I presume?"


But on the other hand, the angel..


Angelos: "Cheapest man in the book?! Okay.. I already don't like where this is going, filos."


There was a line to get him back to good graces, and J.J skips ahead with good intentions.


J.J: "Umm.. The princess perhaps mean you're more of the one of least cost.. but of meaningful value, Angelos. There's no insult."

Peigi: "Keekeekee.. Don't take it too harshly, goth guy. I've read your profile. Your price is low, but the DJ in me says you're a diamond in the rough. You got a dark muse in you, but you're the right kind of tune and song. La la LAAAHH! Just really unlucky with the Guild is all."


Not liking any mention of the Assassin's Guild, Angelos thinks to change the matter..


Angelos: "Unlucky is not how I work, little miss DJ. Please.. do tell me about the car in detail."


Habitually, J.J jumps in between like he's always done..


J.J: "If the specs are the same, it's got race parts all around and a 500 horsepower output. A race car for the road? Perhaps."

Isamu: "This isn't your M3, Anjuro, but I like what this is. It's firing me up for a race. I brought the Hakosuka today.. we'll have a Nissan on Nissan bout. Sounds good?"


It was going to be a test run, but Isamu's words changed the minds of just about everyone..


Daijiro: "Ohh.."

Angelos: "Very well.. I do need to sort out my racing manners. Time trials and racing are different fiends to best.. anyone else willing to join?"


The intervener was the first on Isamu's mind on the matter..


Isamu: "J.J?"

J.J: "You see it, ja? I'm in. Type R genius coming through.. Princess?"


While her thoughts are an enigma with no relation to milk spilling, Peigi hasn't a mood for a race, and instead tries to divert the attention with..


Peigi: "CINDYY!! (echoing)"


Her target leapt into the sky like earlier, only with the hard floor catching her this time.


Cinderella: "UWAAGH! Bloody hell, Peggy.. there's a megaphone somewhere with that one.."

Peigi: "Keekee! Join them! Your Z's here! I've been meaning to see how much progress you've gone through since you bought it to your liking."

Cinderella: "What, you afraid I'd total it already? Please.. it'd be a complete insult under you Big 3's tutelage after all. Right, I'll come along, then."


And the streak continues with Daijiro on her sights..


Peigi: "How about you Jiro-san?"

Daijiro: "No."

Peigi: "Fair enough. 4 cars it is!"


It took him one word, but the Cinderella didn't like how the whole moment went..


Cinderella: "She's forced me to race, uhh, why does Jiro get the okay to not race with just a grumble?"

Daijiro: "Heh heh.."

Peigi: "Sincerity can get you a long long [slurping] LONG way indeed."

Cinderella: "Fine.. do me a solid and beat my boredom out of me, Angelos."

Angelos: "Hoohh.. how dare you even insinuate I'm uncapable, keeria. Let's head out."


Knowledge of Self
BT
Emotional Knowledge


An example of a very tunable car, the S15's one car anyone wants to take major advantage of, be it with compounding its already excellent stock form, or putting aside its hybrid drift/track handling to make a purely specialized handling machine.


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Unlike most of the roster, the S15 is blessed with a solid low cost engine to swap in the 2JZ-GTE: the A80 Supra RZ's iconic inline 6. With it, you're able to churn out up to 700 horsepower, but of course you'd want to be sure about this choice. Personally, if you don't add racing compounds, the aero and the wide kit, I don't want to go past Group 3 performance with cars like these. The drifter in me says this engine swap's good, but so is the SR20DET with certain power setups, so just go with what you like.

The way I see it, this is a car you don't want to touch too much on from stock, since that's a complete joy to experience. But the general rule of thumb is that if you're adding 50 PP, you'd want to make sure tires are part of that equation. For this Ravenwest build I produced, it's about having an added 100 PP with its stock tires still on. There's some trouble with wheelspin, but it's minimal, and that's quite impressive.


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Being turbocharged with or without swap, the choice simply comes to looking at the powerband. Medium RPM is the one to go for if you want the closest thing to the stock turbo. Low RPM for drifters with its high torque at the specified area, and High RPM for more power for your PP if you have the gusto for staying in higher revs.. or drag race. Care you have your throttle at the ready to handle the turbo kicking in.

As mentioned earlier, the issue with adjusting its suspension is that you're risking its perfect suspension. This becomes less relatable when power enters the equation. I'm no drifter, so I'll stick with racing. The rule is that you'd just want it harder in every sense, and add on rear grip, which means more negative camber and inwards toe at the back. Any more trouble means you really want the Silvia to slay some supercars, and necessitates the use of added downforce.

Changing the differential is a weird thing with the S15, because you lose PP with a fully custom differential, and my simple 10-10-10 setup drives much better than with the stock helical LSD, so you can follow my suggestion if you want a base.


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Quite light in my advice today, since it's stuff I cover again and again.. It's no drift tune analysis, but I can guarantee a drifter's going to find this car and come from it smiling.


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Peigi: "Cindy liked Dragon Trail, so.. I think it's a mistake putting her up front."

Daijiro: "No."

Peigi: "One word, just one word.. Emm, you got a point, big guy. We should wait and see how she fares."


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Angelos: "She hesitated to get involved, and look how much of a gap she develops.. the vasilopoula can drive."


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Angelos: "My.. I suppose I'll push harder. The car's tuning shines bright.. the S15's reputation isn't exaggerate."


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Isamu: "Too slow, J.J.. I suppose I can't help see the moss growing on you."

J.J: "I'll get it back, Adachi.. that old box won't keep it."


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Angelos: "Ahh s[BLEEP]t! How could I even lock it? I must remain cool.."

Isamu: "HEY! Watch it, Anjuro!"


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Cinderella: "What's this? They crept up to me so soon?"

Angelos: "Her mental stamina isn't up for the long run.."


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Cinderella: "They're giving me a chance, I know it."

Angelos: "Calm.. don't push this thing too hard.."


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J.J: "Oh? The princess wants us in already? What's the hurry?"


It's not a serious race, but after their forced stoppage, the drivers participating feel a moment to share's the right attitude in such a time.

Back runners Isamu and J.J walk back to the pits building with factual chatter in mind..



Isamu: "The Hakosuka's old school all the way, but I assure you everything inside's state of the art for performance. If you're expecting a beater, think again."

J.J: "The Hakosuka keeping up with our kind's quite a find.. I like what I'm seeing from you, Adachi. Perhaps you have more cars to show me? "

Isamu: "Depends.. I guess I do. Poor pink slip decision from one man means I've got my hands on an Alphard. But come to Gunma personally.. I've gathered a menagerie of blueprints and shops to send it to. I'll let you see what plans I have for it, give me some feedback."

J.J: "Exciting. You my Japanese warrior provide me a fascinating proposition. I suppose now's the time to analyze how my schedule fits.."


And those in the front also had a moment to talk..


Cinderella: "Angelos.. considering you failed to catch me, you're not all that, but J.J's right.. you have value."

Angelos: "Peh. I'm eager to show my worth, but my unfamiliarity's to blame. How about you? That lack of sincerity had me think.. Where's your value with these freaks?"

Cinderella: "Umm..."


He's had it with the hesitation, so he strikes, halting the walk with a face off..


Angelos: "You really don't have an answer, eh? This is why I've an interest in that Candy person. How is it someone like her come out of her shell of utter dominance? A place where she's comfortable and is famous for it, then.. gone.. She must have found some value doing so."


Value being the word of the day, the Cinderella thinks of her reply with it in mind..


Cinderella: "I.. owe the Big 3 something. My life. The first sight of me was of repulse and concern. But that one.. the one they call Clark. He saw something, but never elaborated what. He got the other 2 on his side and now I run with them as I run from those who want to put me down."

Angelos: "Put you down? Ahh, that isn't important. Looks to me you've found a calling with these people. I wonder if that's how Candy thinks."

Cinderella: "Sounds to me we've got the questions for someone like her. You're coming to that street meet in Deep Forest in a couple days, right?"

Angelos: "I'm coming along with Adachi.. that answers your question, okay?"

Cinderella: "Alright."


And as they continue to walk, Angelos steps ahead and looks back, thinking..


Angelos: "Cinderella.."

Cinderella: "Something on your mind?"

Angelos: "Bring flowers. Sounds to me you might need it."


He might be a dark angel, but the Cinderella sees a prince in him for sure, with the note she jots down in her phone just in case..

Everyone reconvenes at the usual spot earlier, but Peigi's notable lack of composure is showing.



Peigi: "Ho there. Sounds to me the car runs great? Tell me it is?!"

Angelos: "Slow down.. you.. but in all truth: yes it is. Money?"

Peigi: "Why yes. But first we got other things to worry about, so you understand why I need you in."


Intellectual, J.J lays out the new problem..


J.J: "On the way here, the little PRINCESS has gathered a warrant for the Silvia. And based on my police scanners, the Gardens exit's going to be crowded in no time. I haven't settled our Interpol dealings, so.. I want us preferably not in sight."


The goth punk look isn't for show as Angelos reveals a concealed handgun on his waist.


Angelos: "I think we can spill some blood."

Peigi: "Well, I would prefer if there was NO BLOOD! This is the side of Europe that handles grudges quite scarily, might I add.."

J.J: "Like she said. We need an alternative.. I'll take anything."


The only person whose suffered pains in her head not long ago gave it her best, and much to everyone's surprise, has something..


Cinderella: "Umm.. is Seaside busy?"

Angelos: "By now.. there's a Group 4 endurance race till night.. if I'm not mistaken, this is still ongoing."


With that, Isamu hatches the plan to get them away..


Isamu: "I've an idea. Can we head there, find a way out through there?"

Angelos: "Direct road to that track is... over there. Explain for us, filos."

Isamu: "I think we'll blend in, cause something, then we scramble ourselves out of there."

Daijiro: "Ohh.."

Cinderella: "That's Jiro's approving face. I like this plan."

J.J: "Let's not dilly dally now, dummkopfs!"


Through a one way passage, one by one, the street legal machinery invade the realm of the circuit racers on the other Dragon Trail..


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With more than 40 cars on track, it's hard to keep track of all the action, especially when media coverage of the event is limited.


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While the racers hear nothing out of the usual, they remain on conference call to keep them all posted of any changes.


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The street cars follow the racers round the track, noting on where to go, eventually deducing a way out through the crowded marina.


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Soon enough, time turns on these racers, and the red flag is raised, forcing the race teams back to the pits.


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Luckily, an incident so happens to occur that put it on full notice, shielding their co-ordinated escape.


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And by the time the cars pile up in the pits area, the street racers have done their deed and left the area, just as the authorities come to inspect..


Present day..


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Deep Forest's long anticipated car meet starts to gain traction as small crowds from near and far start to pour in.

Not to mention various racers getting the track a thrashing.



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Candy's interests lie in other places, such as the various cars the event attracts, passing machine after machine as she samples various flavors of Sugus chewable candies.

As she passes by a stage set for racers to make interviews, she sees a few named individuals, now with Giles busy sharing his past, which reminded her of the leaderboard earlier..



Candy: "That time.. Moto-san's going to get a lot of flak, but guy like him.. he deserves it to be honest.."


But as she turns, she sees 80's sunglasses and hachimaki once again, and as usual he's the one that begins conversation.


Isamu: "Ohaiyou, Candy-chan. Seems to me I exist only to be interrupting your peace once again."

Candy: "Adachi? Umm.. morning. Always the errand boy. But what do you have for me?"


He moves aside to reveal a sinister aura coming from the man known as Erebos, staring at her with a hostile interest.


Isamu: "Anjuro.. This is her.."

Candy: "Fascinating. Some friend of yours, Adachi? Did you pick him up at the nearest goth club?"


A first impression like that usually enrages him subtly, but his anticipation overrides such a feeling.


Angelos: "Okay. You are this big dog of a lone wolf I've been meaning to understand.. Angelos Marius."


His presentation is spot on, he thinks, but Candy's main reaction is one of shock, mistakenly dropping her candies..


Candy: "Marius? Hold on.. the same road rallying Marius that's rumored dead for years?! It's you alright.. the makeup's done a solid at keeping you hidden."

Isamu: "Your story still retains, Anjuro."


With thoughts of value still lingering, Angelos steps forwards and remains on watch.


Angelos: "I refuse you believe that's what I want to be known as. I'm going to get on that track, and I believe to have something you want.. the people behind the MINI."

Candy: "What's this? A challenge? You think you can take me? I presume all this black on your face's for show, because I've had my taste of fear."

Angelos: "Keh keh.. filthy malaka. Out here, I can't hear you whimpering.. let our clashing of rubber on the road be the way we will understand each other. Ta leme."


He's grim, and merciless on the speech, but he turns aside, with a small satisfied smirk.

Walking away, he passes by a redhead with a bouquet at the ready..



Candy: "He's one for the punk goth club if there's such a place today. Now I know Angelos still lives, huh.. what's he to you?"

Isamu: "Would you believe he's my partner.. on the field of battle against the reaper. A story for another time, I'm afraid."


Isamu's departure transitions well to Candy meeting someone else looking at her with intent.

After her first look at Nash, and the dark shelled Angelos sends his regards, Candy's more prepared this time.



Candy: "Another woman.. looking at how you see me, I suppose you do have something for me?"


Her mind at an obvious daze, the Cinderella makes her reply in a perky, non serious fashion.


Cinderella: "Oh, darn.. what was it? It's probably this.. strange bouquet of flowers."

Candy: "Quaint. She doesn't even know what they even are?"


She's offended, but hides it as she prepares..


Cinderella: "My ability to know.. is not what's keeping me alive.. but I know one thing.. I too have a message.. a certain someone has a something for you, Miss Lam."

Candy: "Well? Let's not keep me waiting.."


And as she practiced, the Cinderella lets go of the flowers and pulls out the taser she's hid behind it, and pulled the trigger, target locked and confirmed hit.


Candy: "WUHA?! GGgggggguuugguuu.."


As she's to land on the floor hard, the Cinderella softens the landing by being in her fall's range, then gently places her on the floor as she receives a shocking.


Cinderella: "Aww.. down and out already, my sleeping beauty? Peggy told me you love these things, my dear. But take it this way.. that's for taking the spotlight from me, you pint sized pansy."


Placing the flowers by her target's body, the Cinderella then begins to walk away, also just as satisfied, moreso as the Sugus on the floor get themselves squished by the declared fairy tale princess' sandals.

To Candy, this is a hostile first impression as she copes with the stinging shocks of a taser.



Candy: "Aghh.. That... no good witch!"


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In my eyes, the S15 gave me quite an impression, so well and incredible that it's the first Top Sleeper in Gran Turismo 7 by my word.

Incredibly drivable. Incredibly tunable. Incredibly adaptive. And most importantly: incredibly fun. Unless you have some personal hatred, there's nothing I see that can come off as a negative. Perhaps it's not intentional, but they sent this old sports name off with a bang.


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An amazing car at stock, with all the traits that explain why the TC variant turns to being the go to Group 4 car these days. If this is the closest thing to me handling such a piece of wonderful machinery in real life, I'm a sucker for Silvia now.


Interestingly, it seems long winded, but this entry's shorter compared to usual Week 2 and onwards writeups.

Angelos is an antagonist for certain road racing specialists, namely Paul and Boniface, with strong ties to Gran Turismo 6 exclusive Circuito de la Sierra, which is when he was initially portrayed. That much hasn't changed.

Just like Isamu being my tribute to Chester Bennington, Angelos is my tribute to Ronnie James Dio. They also make up a duo, of whom I internally note as Kyo and Iori.. you can guess where that name stems from.

The Cinderella, often referred as Cindy, would be the lead of my short Gran Turismo 7 powered story Tales of Cinderella. When that might come is going to be when I do feel it's right. Now they live here. Someone's bound to mention amnesiac protagonist cliche, but it's a bit too late for that to change.

For Peigi Daitoku (Sport)
see Episode 4

For Isamu Adachi (6) and Jovan 'J.J.' Jensen (7)
see Episode 8

For Daijiro Sasaki (7)
see Episode 9

The most recurring winner of the prestigious street legal Circuito de la Sierra road rally. Angelos is a emo dressed bitter loner whose only satisfactions in life include being fast while representing what his angry heart's desires.

Theme Song: Black Sabbath - I
Racing Duel Music: Dio - One More for the Road
Gender: Male
Nationality: Greek
Age: 31
Current occupation: Race car driver
Distinct features: Messy grey/white bob with a protruding end over his right eye. Thin triangular face. Droopy eyes with visible dark eyebags under. Thin tall grecian nose with thin wide discolored mouth. Average height and weight over beige skin. Skin is full of cut like blemishes.
Choice of clothing: His clothes have a lot of hints of metal in them due to his gothic emo lifestyle. Usually with a tight t-shirt, combined with studded bracers, tight dark jeans and boots. And he's never seen without his navy blue bespoke fashion jacket with studded metal pieces everywhere.
Cars: BMW M3 E30 Sport Evolution, BMW Vision GT

Olympia born Angelos is an only child, mainly stemming by his mother divorcing when he was still young, leaving his often away from home father to care for him. His lifestyle has him juggle between relatives and his father, growing resentful on them and strangers in general over time by thinking he's just an afterthought. His teenage days has him usually found doing various acts on the slums he hangs about, from pranks, skateboards to graffiti.

A loner at home means he's also a loner at his school days. He's often felt jealousy and while initially the subject of pressures from social gatherings there, he's felt an identity found when forced a role in a play he fondly looks back: one about Greek mythology. Surrounded in darkness, he plays the role of Erebos: the deity of darkness. It's said his personality afterwards took shape from his impressions playing this character, as well as dissolve any sense of shyness in him.

His only prize cherished was an E92 M3 gifted by his father for gaining a foothold in life, strangely never to be seen publicly after. This car he would nurture like the parent his family failed to be, and a quick stop for license tests gave him another way to take his rage elsewhere: road racing. In a short 4 year period, he went from a Clubman Cup frequenter around Europe, to the most prominent road rally champion of the Circuito de la Sierra.

He lives the good life alone after, but a conspiracy involving the Assassin's Guild grim reaper has him disappear from public eyes, destroying his beloved M3. While he couldn't think straight in this fit of rage, the intervention of the Street Racing Oni allowed him to survive, stronger than before and with another shoulder to lean on.

Often grumpy and alone a lot, but behind all that sharp edges and punk decor is a harsh, productive, talented time trial specialist, now adopting the moniker of the deity he represented all those year back.

As the clock struck 12, her past became a mystery, and what's left of has been shrouded by her persistent pursuees. But as she becomes an integral member of the Big 3, she ventures on to find her hazed past, or perhaps start anew?

Theme Song: Eddie Vedder - Invincible
Racing Duel Music: not yet found
Gender: Female
Nationality: Presumably British
Age: Presumably in her mid 20s
Current occupation: Unknown
Distinct features: Medium, slightly curled burgundy red hair. Straight, angular brows. Diamond shaped face, with an attractive look consisting of a subtle aquiline nose, thin rounded eyes and small mouth. Thin application of makeup, with a notably strong appication of pale red lipstick. While pleasant to look at, her facial expressions are notably exaggerated. Average height and build over pale caucasian skin, but notably fit.
Choice of clothing: Always today's fashion. If she would wear anything usual, they would be locally sourced or given a much fancier look than usual. Normally with a blouse and long pants, wearing raised sandals.
Cars: Nissan Z Performance

The Tales of Cinderella intends to help open her to the world as she dedicates herself to search for her past.. thus this segment is intentionally redacted.

Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother.
Someone Peigi refers as The Cinderella/Cindy
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina
The Bristol Harbinger
'Ginnie': Gary's current long distance girlfriend who he's strangely trying to keep discreet
Someone referred by Isamu and Angelos as the grim reaper
 
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What Is PGTR

The style of play I use playing GT/GT7 I would describe as trying to get the most realistic experience within the game compared to reality. Obviously this will never be 100% accurate and while there might be other games that simulates physics better, on console GT in my opinion offers the the best experience and has the different varieties I enjoy. In this league we match real scenarios, counterparts, and motorsports within the GT gaming world. With this we want to give the participant the same experience you get with automotive culture within GT7. For example Instead of buying a sports exhaust In GT7, in PGTR you have to actually have a real brand and product to fit in the sports exhaust category. EX HKS Hi Power exhaust. Think of it as building your real life car as you would in reality but using GT7 as a platform.


PGTR
Nissan Silva Spec-R
COTW Review
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Driving Equipment
T300 GT edition Wheel
TLCM pedals
TH8A Shifter
PSVR2


Nissan Silvia Spec-R '02
Horsepower:246@6400 rpm
Torque:202.5@6400 rpm
Aspiration: Turbo
Weight:2734lbs


Tires
Bridgestone RE010 (Comfort Mediums)
205/55R16


Transmission
6 Speed Manual (Only can be driven Manual)

Electronic Assist
Traction Control (Not Available)
ABS (Weak)
ASM (Not Available)
CSA (Not Available)


My Favorite Silvia Sister

When you think about the Silvia sisters who would you pick? Without any doubt I would choose the S15. Being the latest S chassis, the S15 in my opinion is the sharpest out the group. There’s evidence throughout the S15 structure, let’s take the brakes for example. The front brakes were fitted with the same 4 piston calipers from the Z32, but had a larger brake booster. The suspension and chassis were also strengthened with the use of bigger anti-roll bars and strut bracing. Unlike the Spec-S The Spec R is fitted with a six speed manual transmission, which is power by a refined SR20DET motor. To help ensure grip the 246hp 202lb-tq spec-R is equipped with a helical limit slip differential. This gave the S15 better driving dynamics compared to her older sisters which were equipped with viscous limited slip differential. The exterior of the car has some nice lines that make it even in today standard sporty. I personally think it the best looking of all Silvia’s, The aero package boost its physical appearance even more. Driving around town in this is sure to turn heads.



Driving Impressions

Getting behind the wheel of a S15 brings you back to that era in where cars where driver focused. No big screens, crazy amount of buttons everywhere, multiple driving modes that could confuse any scholar from Harvard. It’s just you and Silvia and the only aid helping keeping her calm is ABS, don’t count on traction control or stability control they are absent. The steering sensation is what you expect from a non electronic assistant system. You feel connected to the road through the communication you get from the steering wheel. visibility is great you can see the road without anything blocking your vision… even with the turbo gauge hanging from the A pillar which is a goodie from the aero package. Driving around the twisty roads the S15 shines, the car is athletic through the turns this reason is backed by is 2734lbs body. It’s a light car with a nice chassis. In today standard 246HP is not a lot but take in consideration how enjoyable a GR86 is that car only has 230 hp. With that said one must be careful pushing the car out of it comfort zone, with 205/16 Bridgestone RE010 tires the rear can break traction. If you add any power I would recommend changing the tires first more power could stress out the stock tires easily. With updated tires the S15 would reward the driver even more spirited driving.



Final impressions

the last generation of the Silva sisters S15 as I said before is the best of it’s kind. It’s easy to understand why this car was chosen by many auto enthusiasts as a platform to race and drift. The strong base and strong aftermarket makes the S15 a friendly project car. Doesn’t matter if your just getting into the scene or a experience driver trying to dominate the competition, The S15 is a versatile platform that can get the job done!

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Spirted Street Driving Challenge Tokyo(Central Clockwise)

Most of the time in GT7 people are just taking a specific car to push its limits on the track. In PGTR we use city tracks or tracks with street roads to test the Street capabilities of cars. The objective is to stay in either the left or right lane without getting one single tire across the middle road line. Your tire rating will also be different during a street challenge vs track driving. In my league the S15 comes with Comfort mediums BridgeStone RE010 Vs the the stock sports hard GT7 gives them. On a track day after two laps it is mandatory a driver go into the PITs and change to Comfort hard tires. The oem Bridgestone would not hold up on the track this is the reason why a driver has to pit and change to worst tires. This is opposite for cars with track tires for they get downgraded tires for street challenges vs track. Track tires normally don’t get up to heat standards with street driving.

Tokyo Expressway(Central Clockwise)

Nissan Silvia Spec-R '02 1:46.816
 
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I've spent a whole week flogging the S15 Nissan Silvia around virtual racetracks, and for the first time in the 3 years I've played pretend reviewer, I really can't seem to make up my mind on how I feel about a car.

Iwate Museum of Art_.jpeg


On the surface of it, what's not to love about an S15? It looks good with its low, compact body, packs modest power with an iconic engine, barely tips the scales, comes relatively cheap, and is a mechanically simple 2 door FR sports coupé; quite possibly the last ever from Nissan, who can't seem to stop making big, heavy computers on wheels nowadays. With such an excellent base to build upon, the S15 was a prominent sight in many disciplines of motorsports, from D1GP, GT300, and even in Time Attacks today, giving it a strong aftermarket support for tuners. Hell, by sheer coincidence, SPD, Vic, and I brought S15s from three seperate racing games to our weekly meets, which just goes to show how culturally significant the S15 is. Really, it seems to tick all the boxes for a classic JDM sports car from the nineties, doesn't it?

Fuji International Speedway (Short)_.jpeg


My problem with the S15 is that it seemingly has all the finest ingredients to making a perfect sports car, but instead of carefully preparing said ingredients and cooking them, Nissan have seemingly just lumped all the raw ingredients into a chassis without a second thought and sold it as a complete product, which ticks me off because I see the vast possibilities of those now wasted ingredients.

Fuji International Speedway (Short)__2.jpeg


The suspension setup of the S15, for example, is soft enough to sleep on. This of course means that the body of the S15 moves and wallows around a lot under hard driving, which, when coupled with a rather abysmal 56/44 F/R weight distribution, means that even minute steering inputs with full throttle or brakes will invite out the unladen rear end of the spec-R Aero to a bloody dance macabre. Maybe it's the Super HICAS rear steer system, manufacturer option on the manual spec-R models, that's messing with the car and causing it to be this tail happy, or maybe it's Gran Turismo doing a poor job of reproducing its behavior in the game. According to the game's settings sheet though, the S15 doesn't come with a 4WS system, nor can a 4WS controller be bought for it, so maybe the car is just set up that bad from the factory, I'm not entirely sure. Whatever the cause, the car is very much a "one thing at a time" car—no steering when you're braking, no brakes or throttle when you're turning, and when you're at the corner exit... well, good luck, have fun, and try not to die. Get it even slightly wrong, and the car simply falls sideways on the driver, as softly sprung cars don't much like ham fisted emergency corrective maneuvers. This car intrinsically challenges drivers to be smooth and measured with their inputs, and that holds doubly true in the torrential downpour if you're unlucky enough to be caught in one, even with a coupé model of the S15.

Tsukuba Circuit_.jpeg


The heart of the spec-R on the other hand, a turbocharged version of Nissan's venerable SR20 2 litre Inline 4 engine, is a real treat! It's peak power and torque of 246HP (183kW) and 274.5N⋅m (202.5lbf⋅ft), both at 6,400rpm, may not sound like much, but there are two caveats to those modest figures—the first is that the spec-R Aero trim weighs in at a mere 1,240kg (2,734lbs), making those meek looking figures more than adequate for the car. The second caveat is that the turbocharged engine now has a very steady plateau of torque from what appears to me to be around 3,200rpm, allowing drivers to lug the car out of wet corners or simply to avoid time loss by shaving off a shift. I'm sure @Nismonath5 can give you a clearer, real life perspective of the torque of an SR20. But, while I'm on the topic of the engine, the turbocharged version of that malleable Inline 4 engine has its fuel cut set at 7,700rpm, which I opine you'll want to be near as often as possible on a track. The problem is that the tachometer turns into a fully red wall from 7,100 to 9,000rpm, making the human ear a much better indicator as to when to shift more than the tachometer of the car. Again, it feels like the car has all the greatest of raw ingredients to be something truly special, but they've just been mindlessly heaped together with no consideration for balance, cohesion, or how those parts will work together!

Grand Valley - South_.jpeg


In practice, though, I find it incredibly hard to get mad at the S15 in spite of its rather moody tendencies. Well, okay, "moody" isn't the right word; the car feels completely at ease even when grip has been broken, giving its driver ample buildup and warning each and every time before it lets go. And when it does let go, it acts as if it were the most natural thing in the world. The steering remains light as ever. The car as a whole retains its... "flickability", for the lack of a better word. There's torque in the engine wherever to hold and adjust the slide, or you could ease off the throttle and let the car regain its grip. The car doesn't protest in the slightest either way. Instead of forcing drivers to drive it "correctly", it gives the driver all the ingredients and allows them to be naughty or nice with them.

Kyoto Driving Park - Yamagiwa_.jpeg


Given enough time to internalise the S15's tendencies, the car becomes an intensely engaging drive, as I as the driver can never really relax in it or take anything for granted. Sharp and sudden tail happiness possibly due to unwelcome rear steering aside, there isn't much else on the S15 muddling up the driving experience, resulting in a very mechanical, pure, and intuitive drive; it's just a lightweight body propped up on four springs and four wheels. That is to say, it has two of the most important ingredients in the sports car recipe in abundance: lightness and simplicity. There's no race suspension to keep the body motion in check or to optimally distribute load. There are no overly grippy tyres that let go in an instant, nor are they staggered front to rear to help you keep the car out of the walls. It isn't even offered with the option of traction control, meaning the only electronic nanny zapping control away from the driver is the wholly appreciated ABS. Whatever happens from there on out, is your call as a driver, and your fault if you wrap it around a tree. It has an absolutely bewitching and seemingly impossible mix of threatening and ease of use. You almost go into a "zone" of sorts when you harmonise with the car. And that I think, is the mark of a driver's car.

Deep Forest Raceway_.jpeg


But just how much of a driver's car is it? I thought some outside perspective might help, and so I brought along the Honda S2000 AP1 and a Mazda RX-8 Spirit R for comparison, the former because it's widely regarded as one of the best driving machines ever produced, and the latter because someone insulted my family on MY thread, and I have to... make excuses for why the RX-8 can't compete.

Tokyo Expressway - South Clockwise_.jpeg


I mean, come on, the RX-8 has less power, more mass, more doors, and no turbo. Of course it's going to be slower. But the part that surprised me the most is where the RX-8 is slower than the S15: at long straightaways. The fact that it can more than hang with a pure sports car in the twisty bits I think is more than commendable for a 4 seater. The S2000 is also slightly slower than the S15 when both are bone stock... because the S2000 comes default with Comfort Soft tyres, in contrast to the S15's Sport Hards. Match compounds on both, and the S2000 will unabashedly whoop the S15 around any track you bring them to.

Goodwood Motor Circuit__1.jpeg


Bringing two comparison cars instead of just one to compare against the Car of the Week just helped me solidify my opinion that the S15 is way too soft and tail happy for a sports car. While the S15 is asking me every corner to baby and pamper it because it's so delicate, the other two cars instead are almost yelling at me every corner, every upshift, "LET'S F—ING GOOOOOO!" I as a driver feel that I have to actively hold the S15 back for fear of getting into trouble with it, whereas I'm in perfect aggressive harmony with the other two cars, and can thus push them harder, more of the time. That explains why cars with inferior numbers on the spec sheets can tango with the spec-R, not to mention making them much more fun than the S15, and I almost don't think that's a subjective statement. Both the comparison cars are also mechanically simple drives that will teach drivers how to handle a sports car at and beyond their limits, so the only niches I can find for the S15 are that it's a lot easier to break into a drift, and it's much cheaper than both the S2000 and RX-8 without GT7's stupid inflation. Hell, I took an S14 K's to a time trail after our weekly meets, and I think even that drives better than the top trim S15, even if it was slower.

Deep Forest Raceway Reverse_.jpeg


The S15 Silvia feels like a basket of the finest, freshest ingredients imaginable, all just lumped together with the expectation that someone will wash them, peel them, chop them, cook them, or what have you. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes of a meal; I'm Singaporean. We're way too stressed out by our fast paced lives to learn any skill that doesn't promise prospective financial profits, including cooking. The kitchens in our newer homes are just spiteful formalities that would struggle to fit a dining table, let alone the appliances around it. We just want ready made products that work right out of their packaging, and if they don't work immediately, we get angry and whine about it in online reviews. To the angry, poor, and impatient Singaporean in me, the S15 is a shockingly bad car, akin to a restaurant serving me uncooked food. It doesn't have that instant gratification, disposable feel that the rest of my life revolves around. I needed to take time out of my fast paced life to really learn its ins and outs, what it likes and doesn't like, and then adjust my driving to really suit it. It's a very, very painful reminder that there ought to be more to life than what I currently have. The pretend racing driver side of me, who endlessly loves and praises cars of the S15's ilk, wants so badly for me to love and adore the S15. And I am so, so torn on it as a result.

Deep Forest Raceway Reverse__1.jpeg


In conclusion, I can see that the S15 is a very good car, one that I'm very glad exists. But do I like it? I don't know. I like it sometimes and I hate it sometimes. I hake it. It's a sleater. Let's just say I respect it, but I wouldn't go near it if I had comparable alternatives.
 
But just how much of a driver's car is it? I thought some outside perspective might help, and so I brought along the Honda S2000 AP1 and a Mazda RX-8 Spirit R for comparison, the former because it's widely regarded as one of the best driving machines ever produced, and the latter because someone insulted my family on MY thread, and I have to... make excuses for why the RX-8 can't compete.

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Well, this coming week at Car of the Week is going to suck.

Bad joke? Yeah, but maybe it's a factual statement, too; the car has been notorious for being a nervous wreck in previous versions of Gran Turismo 7. Let's see if the latest physics overhaul of 1.31 back in March of this year has rectified or reaffirmed this clunker's murderous tendencies.

Chosen by a fellow box @Obelisk again after a hefty bribe, we're featuring the Chaparral 2J '70 this week!

Home Straight, Laguna Seca_.jpeg



The 2J is available for purchase this week for a cool 2.5 million credits at the Legendary Car Dealership, making it 2.5x more expensive than the next most expensive car we've tested here thus far! If you can't (or don't want to) shell that out for a car that could either be the ultimate beater or sleeper, you can also win a fresh example with zero mileage by achieving all Gold on the mission set, "The Sun Also Rises".

However you choose to get your racing gloves on one, feel free to join us on Tuesday, 20th June, 10 P.M. CST or Saturday, 24th June, 5 P.M. Singapore time, when we will race the cars bone stock without the fear of mechanical failure (or kicked up debris)! If you have some scintillating story or burning opinion to share about the 2J, feel free to post away regardless of whether or not you're joining our weekly lobbies!

This week is going to suck for sure. All that remains to be seen is if it sucks in a good way or a bad way ;)
 
Managed a 05.42.130 stock with it on the Nords.
Review: "I guess you could say I'm not the biggest fan of the ...fan car, caus' once you slightly lose control of this thing, the sh** hits the fan...ok I'll stop. :D The car is actually super difficult to push, but certainly very capable with its crazy fan design (fans sucking the car to the ground). It's insane really. It can certainly get into the 30s, and in the hands of the aliens like Mik Hizal MAYBE even into the 20s (or VERY close to it), but dude it's SO exhaustive to push it. Still somewhat happy with the time. Can YOU beat it?! ;)"

Verdict: deadly sleeper.

 
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GT7 Car of the Week
Week 12 - 1970 Chaparral 2J


Somewhere in Seven Haven…

A pair of hands shake me awake and the first thing I’m met with is the overly excited expression of XSquareStickIt. He’s shouting something at me, but I hear nothing. I am deaf, after all. He grabs my shoulders and shakes me more, getting more animated by the second.

“Let me put my **** hearing aid on, man.” I grumble in his general direction, which gets him to back off. I sit up, grab my cochlear implant, and put it on my head. The moment the ‘powered on’ beep sounds and the mic cuts in with the sounds of the world, I am met with the incredibly loud rumble of a V8 mixed in with an obnoxious whine that I recognize from somewhere.

“Square, what the Hellcat did you bring in here?!” I yell over the noise.

“No time to explain, follow me!” he yells back, running out of the room.

I get out of my bed, quickly throw on my worn sneakers on and run out to-

Mhlet85GIo2k74y9CiZMWHTd6VYHCqe8LmrqCvPZfGdy2lZt8ad6K0hZ3HU60OG-DEwRr3DZJ4xBwkprhnENIuIn0esxY2ZlBq1a0B7_lvA4XWCU1t-SoI59WMyvatM6TeXh7XuZBiis6m9Qth1AKFc


“Hey, you mind telling me what the -”

“Watch your language!”

I turn to see Es walking to me. She sighs.

“Did Baron’s air horn earlier not wake you up?” she asks, walking past me towards the idling car.

“Es, you know I’m deaf,” I reply, instinctively touching my ear to make sure my cochlear implant processor is still in place.

She pauses then looks back at me.

“You never told me, Obelisk.”

“It’s in my employee records. It’s also on the admin access card you printed for me back when the Mexico branch opened.”

“Right. I’ll check those later.”

She’s definitely not going to bother.

“So what’s with the…” I start, then stop. I take another look at the Chaparral.

Hold on. Chaparral… Chaparral?! As in-

“I have so many freaking questions right now how did you get this over here how did you get permission how did you do the legalpaperworkwhatwerethefeesisthisgoingtocutintothemexicobudget-”

“Calm down,” Es says, stopping me cold again. “In order: we shipped it via C130 in a special crate; I personally called Jim Hall and the Petroleum Museum to get permission; I did the legal paperwork the way I normally would; you don’t want to know the fee and yes it is coming out of the Mexico budget.”

“Dammit. Wait- Jim Hall himself personally approved this?” I say, feeling the excitement and adrenaline spilling into my veins.

“Yes, he sure did. Go get dressed, Obelisk. It’s time to meet your hero.”


I genuinely have no idea where I want to start with this. Like, I have so many things I want to say about this week’s car. It’s… honestly incredible that I’m finding myself at a loss for words, but I think that’s reflective of the car itself. So, let’s start from the top.

This week's Car of the Week is the 1970 Chaparral 2J. We’ve all encountered it in some capacity - some of us first encountered it as a potential opponent in the American GT Championship back in GT4. Some of us first found it in GT5’s UCD. Some of us first encountered it after getting soundly thrashed in an online lobby by it in either GT5 or GT6.

The point is, we all know of the Chaparral 2J and its penchant for absolutely annihilating races both online and offline in games past. It’s taken a break to get a model refresh, and now it’s here in GT7. To get it, you either purchase it from the Hagerty’s Legend Car Dealership or by winning all gold across the “The Sun Also Rises” missions. It’s fairly cheap for a LCD car, with some early guides indicating a price of 2.5 million credits, though keep in mind that this will fluctuate up and down with every appearance in the LCD.

Enough of the gameplay stuff, I’ll get to that later - there are much bigger questions here! The first is “What is that thing?”; the second is “Why is it boxy?”, and the third is “How does it work?”. The answer to all three is a long story, so get yourself a nice cup of your favorite drink and a warm treat… and enjoy what may be the deepest dive ever done on COTW.

Do note that this is a truncated summary from various second and third hand sources (i've done a lot of research to cross-verify) and some minor details that clarify on certain things may have been missed/put aside.

Section 1: The men behind Chaparral

To understand the 2J, we need to understand Chaparral Cars. To understand Chaparral Cars, we need to understand the men who started it all.

Enter Jim Hall and Hap Sharp, the founders of Chaparral.

Hap Sharp, born 1928 and died 1993, was a well-off businessman who ran Sharp Oil and first entered racing in the 1950s… in boats. C Hydro class boats, specifically. He eventually won the US National Outboard Racing Championship. During this time, he found his passion for cars and started going to driving school in 1957 on the advice of a friend.

By 1959, he had his own mechanic and was racing in a Cooper Monaco T49 which had its original engine tossed and replaced with a 2.3 liter Maserati 4-cylinder engine; he ultimately won the Bahamas Speed Week and at Road America.

He then jumped into Formula 1 in 1961 and 1962, with his best finish being 7th place in the 1963 Mexican GP.

During this time, he also took on sports car racing. He, together with Jim Hall, won the 1962 Road America 500 in as well as multiple podiums and wins between 1962 and 1965 in their various Chaparrals.

Hap ultimately retired from racing in 1965 with two final commitments/substitutions with Chaparral in 1966 and 1967.

His partner in racing and fellow co-founder was Jim Hall, who I am surprised to learn is still alive. He’s 87 years old as of the time I write this.

Jim Hall was born in 1935 and as he grew up, he was accepted into Caltech (California Institute of Technology). It was during his time at Caltech that he started to race in local sports car racing. During the 1950s, a promised job at General Motors (to work on the Corvette - oh, what could’ve been…) fell through, and he started working in Dallas with his brother.

…At none other than Carroll Shelby Sports Cars. This job proved to be crucial to his development as a driver, as a common stunt Shelby would pull was to put Jim Hall in one of the new racers he was selling then send Jim off to win races. He’d then brag that if a rookie could go out and win in said car it was an outstanding piece of machinery.

It didn’t take long for people to notice Jim Hall’s abilities as a driver. He got international attention at the 1960 US GP when he took his (past-its-prime) Lotus-Climax and held onto 5th place for almost the entire length of the race. A few laps from the end, his car’s differential failed and he ended up 7th.

After the race, Jim Hall was approached by a pair of car builders who had an idea for a front-mid engined two-seater racing car. Hall agreed to fund the builders’ project and a new car was born.

The new car’s name?

The Chaparral.

Section 2: Chaparral Cars, early innovation

After buying two Chaparral 1s and racing with them from roughly 1960 to 1962, Jim and Hap decided they loved the concept of Chaparral and wanted to make their own improved version.

And so Chaparral Cars came to be in 1963, with their first car being the 2A. Two copies of it were made, both weighing 715 kg and powered by mid-mounted Chevy small-block 327s mated to 2-speed autos.

Yes. Automatics. No, I don’t know why.

Anyways, the 2A and its evolution the 2B (which is hard to identify, as the cars were constantly being iterated on) came out of the gate with the first notable innovation from Chaparral: the use of fiberglass as a chassis material.

According to this website, the two Chaparral 2As fielded had 24 wins, 16 2nd place and 5 3rd place finishes between them. This was across 45 races between 1963 and 1965.

The 2C, which was concurrent in 1965, participated in five races and completed three. It won its very first race. Not… much to write home about. The 2C weighed 750 kg and was powered by the same 327 as the 2As had equipped.

The 2D, which featured in Gran Turismo 4, Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo 6, was a conversion of the 2A designed to tackle endurance racing. It was the first Chaparral to feature a closed top. Among the changes made to it was the 327 small-block being replaced by a Chevy big-block 427, upping the power to 420 HP.

The 2D landed Chaparral’s first win outside of America, cinching a win in the 1966 1000km of Nurburgring.

During this early development of the Chaparral cars, Hall also took part in tire development with Firestone, as he owned a race track next to his base of operations in Midland, Texas. Around the same time, a two-part article was released by Car and Driver featuring Hall’s design theories on vehicle design and handling; this attempt at turning speculation into applied physics formed the early foundation for what would become modern data collection and management that many racing teams still use to this day.

Things began to change when Jim Hall decided to present his theories to the world in practice rather than on paper…

Section 3: Paradigm Shift

In 1966, Hall and Sharp revealed the Chaparral 2E, a new design based on advanced theories of aerodynamics developed by Hall. It marked a radical shift in motorsports, and it was shocking to look at thanks to the massive wing mounted on struts that towered over the back of the car. The wing was linked to a pedal in the cockpit of the car. When fully depressed, the wing would sit perfectly flat and reduce drag on the car. Essentially, a primitive form of DRS that proved very effective at the time.

That year, the 2E would win two races and get three 2nd place finishes out of 8 total races. Pivoting wings on struts were copied by many other teams shortly after this, and the accidents that resulted from it led to the design being banned.

Its successor, the 2F, was essentially the concepts of the 2E transplanted onto one of the two 2D conversions. The engine was upgraded to a 7 liter big-block engine, which unfortunately proved to be too much for the transmission. The car was still able to win one race, the 6 Hours of Brands Hatch in late 1967. The FIA banned the 2F along with the GT40 and 330 P4 following this year.

The 2G, a development of the 2E, took part in 13 races and got 5 podiums across those events. By this time, the changes to the car put too much strain on the chassis (originally the 2C chassis), and the only reason it stayed competitive was due to Jim Hall’s skill behind the wheel.

Around this time, Hall noticed that the downforce he was generating was also creating a lot of drag, so he designed the super streamlined Chaparral 2H for the 1969 to try and work around this. Unfortunately, he suffered an accident before the 1969 season and had to bring another driver in to go through the season. The driver, John Surtees, was very unhappy with the car and demanded a redesign (ruining the point of the car) and ran the rear wing at max attack, leading the car to be uncompetitive.

Are you all still with me?

Okay, good. Cliff notes of the innovative things Chaparral have done so far, from 1963 to 1967:
  1. Fiberglass chassis
  2. Tire development with Firestone
  3. Early foundations of data collection and applied physics in motorsports
  4. First use of a wing to generate downforce to create grip (forever changing the landscape of motorsports)
  5. First use of DRS
Still with me?

Good. It only gets more wild from here.

Section 4: Mechanical Insanity

Now we finally get to the subject of the post: the 1970 Chaparral 2J.

It looked nothing like any of the other cars on the grid. Quoting Blake Zong’s 2017 article on the 2J:

“The small white race car atop the trailer looked like nothing else: no wing, no velocity stacks, no scoops or side pods or wild cutaways or NACA ducts, hardly a curve of any kind. The rear wheels were encased in bodywork as flat and unadorned as a diner kitchen. "Like the box it came in," the crowd observed. They moved to the back of the car: two fans like jet engines, supported by three black Dagmar-shaped cones, looking more like a Star Wars escape pod than a road-going automobile.

Who knows what the crowd must have thought. Who knows what the other drivers and team managers and pit chiefs must have thought. Dear God! Can-Am was famous for having no-holds-barred technical expertise, but this was something else: every other car looked like phallic fantasy, all elongated curves and swoops and short, stubby wedges, like 6th-grader math class daydreaming rather than real race cars, but here the Chaparral 2J was square, bulky, straight-paneled and utterly, breathtakingly, rational. The crowd had seen nothing like it.”​

And that’s just the beginning.

The Chaparral 2J had two engines in it. The primary engine that powered the wheels was a 650-680 HP aluminum ZL1 (a 427 engine) mated to a 3 speed automatic. The secondary engine was a 247cc Rockwell JLO two-stroke.

“But Obelisk,” I hear you, “why did it need two engines?”

Because of the fans. The JLO engine was mated to a pair of fans mounted to the rear of the car. Originally from an M-109 Howitzer, the fans could theoretically push out 9,650 cubic inches per minute (158,135 cubic centimeters per minute for metric folks) at 6,000 RPM. It was rumored that the fans were powerful enough to push the car to 40 MPH on their own.

This was paired with a very complex system of pulleys, cables and arms that were attached to several Lexan panels mounted to the sides and rear of the car. The pulley system was designed to maintain a uniform height between the Lexan panels and the ground regardless of the car’s orientation.

What is the point of all of this complexity?

The simple answer is “ground effects”.

When the fans are started up, a vacuum is created under the car and pulls it to the ground. The process has the side effect of lowering the car by two inches.

The net result is a car that can generate 2,200 lb of downforce while parked.

A ton of downforce. Without any movement.

The car purportedly could pull up to 1.5gs in a turn, and was said to have no wheelspin or oversteer.

A journalist noted that Chaparral could have parked the car on a ceiling and unveiled it that way - and technically speaking, he was 100% correct.

Unfortunately, the 2J wasn’t quite ready. At Watkins Glen, Jackie Stewart qualified third but ultimately had to withdraw because the JLO overheated, followed by the brakes failing. At Laguna Seca, the 2J broke the overall lap record in qualifying then promptly threw a connecting rod through the engine block the next day. At Riverside, the final race of the season, the crankshaft on the JLO failed before the race and had to be fixed. The JLO then died for good on the second lap of the race.

Following this, McLaren protested to the SCCA. They argued that the fans constituted “movable aerodynamic parts” (a load of crap) and…

Let me just cite the Wikipedia statement on this. Just… trust me.

“McLaren argued that if the 2J were not outlawed, the Can-Am series would be ruined by its dominance – something McLaren had been doing since 1967.”​

The SCCA caved. The 2J was banned forever.

Chaparral Cars shut down shortly after that, though they did see a brief revival in the late 1970s to 1990s in Indycar, with the all-new Chaparral 2K. They won the 1980 CART Championship and the Indianapolis 500 the same year.

Chaparral would also later be briefly revived in a special collaboration with Chevrolet to produce the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo, exclusive to Gran Turismo 6, Sport and 7.

The surviving Chaparral cars (2A, 2D, 2E, 2H, 2J, 2K + Corvette GS-II test car) are maintained by, and displayed at, the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas, USA. A virtual 360 degree gallery is available.

So… Gameplay.

In game, as previously mentioned, the car is obtainable from the LCD for 2.5 million credits, or from getting gold in The Sun Also Rises (where it is featured in one mission).

The car finds itself at 863 PP, coming in the box (yes that is intentional) with 683 horsepower and tipping the scales at a meager 1,810 lbs or 821 kilograms. That's 2.65 lb / hp or 1.2 kg / hp. Mind you, McLaren's dominant (and lethal¹) M8D, at the time powered by a similar Chevy engine, weighed some 500 pounds lighter at 1,380 lbs.

The 2J is powered by a 7.6 liter V8 powering the rear wheels via a 3 speed semi-automatic transmission.

The Lexan panels are correctly depicted in-game; just watch the car in 3rd person going down a really bumpy stretch of road. You'll see the car itself responding to the bumps, but the panels will maintain their strict gap to the road surface below.

The first thing I want to mention off the bat: This car may be older than half of the COTW crew, but it is absolutely not a clunker.

On the factory transmission, 0-60 is 3.25 seconds on RS tyres, and the 1,000 m run is around 205 MPH. On the custom 5 speed you can equip, it hits 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and hits 202 mph in the 1,000 m run.

What makes this car truly unique is the benefits conferred to it by the always-on downforce. The 2J has the highest low-speed lateral Gs of any car that is not the F1 cars, the x2019 or the Tomahawks:
hestErIdcyKWH7O7hC5VLO71wOYPbEeFH8Oq64fCHzWwFzQ2WD1RnhZIzbbAE8TbaeYijM2c6TpLQoS_be8a5YcJn_zoaXIn8F8RVHhUS72E9YNFcrq-dlMww9pY3KNSdoTVB5hmW3UQh4-65x0uTQY


And for comparison, from Gr. 1:
WNRmngVHIwkPPPPrInZPgOV--dIgG8Or1SYXit-XaEiQDlxz2gVlX7sAcWMyQlHmdinFe7Xkprd8Q9UAkT_DYiQDB6bv1lg9R5VIPkj296upzVXA2ofH4Ot8ZMQh0rNjk4LRZUBEqLwROFlPXwESJoE

WzubixiHJH5bjeRB6zeslxThMBrf3Fqx9zlDbQBpr8TDsJ-P9FaN_C-3QtWk5ku8oq-eEj4OKcaWUV7HcxIt_R_MDq4tVS_e9Qcqpe_cRqYW9RsrVhMP7zZuq4HNNG6N5-VLQejLjxxYLZ-2z8Qhz50


The 2J's gearbox, due to being semi-automatic, has the sequential gearbox behavior where shift time is practically instantaneous, so there is zero interruption in the power delivery.

The handling is incredible. The car is very responsive to driver input and darts side to side like nothing else in the game. If you're driving it like any other high power RWD and not mashing the throttle at every opportunity, it rewards you double by grabbing the road surface and accelerating like a bat out of hell on corner exits. You get this weird mix of extreme grip and short wheelbase responsiveness, but it does come at the cost of the car being quick to panic in certain situations. It can snap pretty hard, especially in places that seem rather unusual. For example, certain crests at Road Atlanta and the Le Mans circuit. It also doesn't take too kindly to the steep banking at Daytona, requiring that you be very, very precise with your steering input to keep it from getting upset.

So, to really see what it can do, I took the 2J to Road Atlanta to compare to its closest peers: Group 1. The cars I chose are the XJR-9 and the Peugeot VGT - the latter being considered one of the best cars in Gr. 1. I gave them all RH tyres and ripped them until I felt I couldn't reliably improve their times.

And the winner of this shootout?

RXH1Etp-pbAS2WSgm3KuMSvOQQhqrrxVjFkgzHFu8TqJHvKgLPdmMyiPr5QvAOQ8fX0KeiaOSKefArx266iyT3d1i1N2NwrbuCSvOW8B56ZG7X_Ol0VBThS8rmQoofw3aphmbpTwdYM1AJL7L9GdgZM




I'll keep this brief: The car is incredibly fast even all the way down at 800pp - being an incredible choice for the WTC800 at Sardegna. It used to be detunable all the way down to 425/450 pp and used in the one hour Alsace race.

Essentially, barring some very specific tracks and race conditions (nighttime), the Chaparral 2J is one of the best cars you can get your hands on under 900 PP, and it will punch up no matter what.

And it gets even better with the custom racing transmission that adds two gears to it. A lot of its twitchiness is taken straight out of the equation when you give it appropriately spaced gear ratios. It can hit a drag limited top speed of 245 to 250 MPH!

The only problems I can really name with the car that CANNOT be bypassed via good driving skills are:
  1. The brakes are kinda awful for a car this fast. Learn to work with the braking distance and it'll make up the difference everywhere else.
  2. Very high speed lateral Gs are poor as the car isn't doing much to generate additional high speed downforce. You'll plow through some turns that more modern cars can deal with flat out.
It's a shame there aren't more events that it can enter.

And it's a shame the technology got shafted. The car was so far ahead of its time that we are only just now seeing a resurgence in fan car technology with modern monsters such as the McMurtry Speírling and the Murray T.50. Over 50 years later!

Some say it's the wildest racing car to ever come out of American Motorsports. I disagree.

It's one of the wildest racing cars to ever exist, period.

So what is the Chaparral 2J?

It's the washing machine. The vacuum cleaner. Or as GT7 dubs it, The White Winged Beast.

It is Jim Hall's magnum opus. The ultimate middle finger to the rules and regulations and a master stroke in the beginning stages of a revolution of motorsports.

And even now, some 53 years later, it is still an unstoppable Sleeper.

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¹Bruce McLaren was killed June 2, 1970 when the M8D he was testing had its rear aero rip apart at 170 mph.

EDIT:
Great supplemental video by Donut breaking down some of the decisions that went into the 2J.
 
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* Seven Haven, COTW HQ, Midnight *

A gentle breeze and the very distant sounds of a few drivers testing their cars breaking the silence of the moment as Vic looks back at the car he was driving hard just a few short minutes ago, the sound of metal clinking as it cools down after a few hours of being out there and been driven to its limits.

Vic: “Hopefully the owner is happy with the results from tonight.” he thinks to himself, remembering the agreement as to how he got the red S15 Siliva to review.

???: “After you’ve done your review, You drive it out there and show those rookie street racers that there’s ‘No One Better’ when it comes to my car and reputation.”

Vic: “Really? your B.A.D Name is your first 3 letters of your first name?

???: “Don’t question it.”

Vic: “Alright, let’s get this over with.”


————————

Vic makes his into the HQ Elevator and starts the climb up to the offices. “Could do with a drink, good thing I keep a bottle here for when it’s a late stay on a write up.” he thought just as the elevator opened up.

Only for him to realise he wasn’t the only one in the office.

And judging by which office light was on, it was the one person who he hoped wouldn’t be here, Esther.

Vic: “Aw hell, Time for the third degree it appe..” His thought interrupted by a sound that briefly made him question if he’s lost his marbles.

A gentle sound of sobbing.

Vic: “Third degree be damned, that ain’t good to hear.” as he makes his way to her lit office and gentle knocks on her slightly open door.

Vic: “Esh?”

Her head shoots up in surprise from her table.

Esther: “Vic? The hell you doing here this late?

Vic: “I could ask you the same question, but I’ll ask a more pressing one, Whats got you all upset?”

Esther: “Nothing you need to worry about.”

Vic: “Esh, You know I’m not the sort of person to leave you like this and I’m certainly not gonna start doing the opposite now, he responds with a gentler tone.

Esther: “Please Vic, you don’t need me crying on your shoulder because of my problems.” She quickly gets up and starts to grab her stuff to leave.

Vic: “Actually, that’s exactly why you’re not going anywhere at this time of night in your current state, It’s clear that you need to get something off your chest and I don’t want you to keep holding that burden.” He says while she’s still grabbing her stuff.

Esther: “Vic, please..” almost sounding like a plea.

Vic: “You need a hug, someone to talk to and a drink, luckily you got all 3 right here and you know full well that whatever you tell me is going to my grave.

Esther pauses for a moment, a small sniffle is heard.

Vic: “Please Esh, It hurts to see you like this.” he actually pleaded.

Esther: “Why?”

Vic: “Because I care about you, you’re someone I consider as a good friend, just like I do with everyone else here.

She sighs, turns around with watery eyes and looks at Vic.

Vic: “Hug?” he says with his arms stretched out.

Esther accepts the hug and then let’s out a gentle sob.

Vic: “Take as long as you need Esh.”

(Sometime later)

Vic notices the sobs have stopped, he quietly asks Esh..

Vic: “You want to talk about it?”

Esh: “I’ve kept it all in my diary.” Pointing to the book still on the desk.

Vic: “Ok, you get comfortable and I’ll be back in a second, he says as he leaves to grab that bottle in his office drawer.


————————-

Vic and Esther go through the diary with Vic swearing that whatever he sees doesn’t leave that office.

From Makoto’s accident and subsequent coma, her own flaws with social interactions, her fears, everything.

Vic: “How is Makoto doing?”

Esther: “It’s slow progress.” she says, “But he’s not getting any worse which is something.” she half heartedly laughs.

Vic continues reading through.

Esther: “I bet you’re thinking, how the hell haven't I gone postal yet?” she wonders as Vic continues reading on.

Vic looks up and at Esther.

Vic: “I get it.”

Esther: “You get it? That’s all you can say?”

Vic: “Yep” he confidently says.

Esther: “What do you get exactly?”

Vic: “Let me show you.” he says while getting up to grab a file from his office.

His File.

He hands it to Esh, who has a quizzical look on her face.

Esther: “I’ve already read this Vic.”

Vic: “Have you?” he lightly smiles. “Turn to the page AFTER the stuff you’ve seen.”

She turns the page and notices stuff that wasn’t in there before, notes, a small diary and a licence with an S Rank on it.

Esther: “You were an S rank driver?!”

Vic: “A few years before we all moved out here, I used to race in the Manufactures Cup, first with BMW, then with Aston Martin, AM is where I made that push for S rank.”

Esther: “Can’t have been easy in such a competitive manufacturer to fight for that honour.”

Vic: “It wasn’t, and that’s before I even get to the ‘Technicaltys’ that sometimes stopped me before I even got trackside.”

Esther: “But you succeeded, so why hide this?” she inquired.

Vic takes a sip of his drink.

Vic: “Because it reminds me how close I came to burning myself out and disliking the thing I loved for many years.”

Esther: “Oh.” she softly says.

Vic: “That’s what I mean when I said I get it, wanting to understand what makes people tick in racing, taking huge risks both physically and mentally and the toll it can potentially leave on others.”

Esther slowly nods her head.

Vic: “Mentally speaking for me, it came to a head at a race at Fuji, A guy in a 911 bumped his way past me and a few laps later to someone else, but got loose coming out the last turn, He could’ve saved it, had I not tagged his rear quarter panel.

Esther: “A racing incident?”

Vic: “Officially that was the verdict.”

Esther: “Unofficially?” she inquired

Vic: “I could’ve easily avoided him, I at the time chose not to and ensured he couldn’t recover the slide.”

Esther fell briefly silent and Vic takes another sip.

Vic: “It started to make me think, Where would I draw the line if I continued driving like that? At what point would people I call friends get caught in the crossfire if I carried on in this mindset?

Esther: “So what happened afterwards?”

Vic: “I told myself, Get to S Rank just to prove to myself I can reach it, but don’t even attempt to try and keep it afterwards.”

Esther: “To stop yourself from hating the driver it was making you become.”

Vic: (sighs) “yeah, in a nutshell.”

Esther: “I’m sorry that my problems brought all this back up for you.”

Vic: “Hey don’t be, it’s good that we can talk about this with each other so don’t minimise your own problems because of it.

Esther: “Thanks Vic, I err.. appreciate this, I really do.

Vic: “No problem Esh.” he says with a smile.

Vic notices the clock passing 1:30AM.

Vic: “Well I’m gonna call it a night.” he says while taking the near empty bottle with him.

Esther: “Not planning on driving are you?” she asks.

Vic: “Nope, got a bed chair in my office to crash on, the lounge room sofa is yours.”

Esther: “Thanks Vic.” she says.

But before Vic is out of earshot, she asks him one last question.

Esther: “How did you deal with it after it was all said and done?”

Vic: “One day at a time, If I could look in the mirror and not hate what I saw, I’d consider that as progress.” he says as he gets to his office door, “Sleep Well Esh and remember, My doors always open if you want another heart to heart.”

Esther: “You too Vic, Sleep Well.”

As the lights went out of their respective offices, Esther’s thoughts stuck to what Vic said.

Esther: “One day at a time”, “Keep fighting Makoto.”

(And Cut 🎞️)


So how’s that for a change of pace? :P

Anyways, the 2002 Nissan Silvia S15 Spec R Aero.

Like i’ve mentioned elsewhere, 2002 was a bit of a setting sun in the land of the rising sun for JDM’s. :sly:

The MK4 Toyota Supra, The Nissan Skyline R34, the Mazda RX-7 and the Silvia S15 all went out of production in 2002. :indiff:

The Silvia S15 packs the ever loved and endlessly tuneable SR20 2.0 Turbo Inline 4 making nearly 240hp in the S15, sending that power to rear via a 6 speed manual gearbox.

As mentioned by @XSquareStickIt in his review, the S15 had a great cultural impact even back then with 3 different game franchises making the S15 a notable car in their respective games.

Handling was responsive, albeit a bit softly sprung and while Square mentioned me potentially liking it in the run up to the race meet due to it being tail happy when asked, it wasn’t too loose to the point that you would have to correct it at every turn. ;)

The only real blemish on the S15’s record is it lulls you in with many pluses and catches you out with the negative, it’s brakes.

Let’s just say I gave them a tad too much credit and let’s leave it at that. :lol:

Because the S15 is a JDM tuners favourite, it’s got much tuning potential, the stock engine is good for around 550hp, you can swap in the Supra’s 2JZ if you want to go even further.

Hell even the Gr4 version is not immune to a engine swap, The GT-R Nismo V6 in that cars case. :drool:

Overall, for what it costs to buy, it certainly gives you a whole lot more than it’s worth, even better if you get one from the UCD.

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
 
SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 12 - Chaparral 2J


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Anyone who's had a whiff of fan car technology these days should know the origin story of where they come from. Yes, this is the one that blew everyone's minds away, people.


If you're a Gran Turismo 4 and onwards player, you'd be wondering why the heck are my top performing Le Mans Prototypes and Group C cars contending with 70s Can-Am racers. Shortlisted by the off putting white duo of the Toyota 7 and this week's hightlighted 2J, this week's endeavor has us have a close look at the car that pioneered the use of pressure differential through fans in race car applications.

So, Can-Am racing back in the day wasn't restricted by horsepower, which means it's mostly a lawless land where the fast survive. Sort of like Mad Max, actually. Only that there's no rust or killing or chrome or dire need of water, all that crap. Jim Hall: a texan oil magnate (influential industry figure, for those who need to look it up like me) who's also Chaparral's big boss, wanted in, and perhaps thought to use a renewable energy source in addition to fuel in the car.

What came out was this box shaped wedge that unusually carried no gigantic rear wing. Called the 2J, it's also known among its enthusiasts as The Vacuum Cleaner, though I see various other appliances being able to fill that gap just as good, with the likes of a fridge, washing machine, a stove, and an outside air conditioning unit coming to mind. The main draw of the car come in its backside: a pair of cooling fans that came from an M109 Howitzer. To power this, the car's fitted with an air cooled secondary engine that came from a snowmobile.

The car itself is powered by a Big Block Chevrolet V8, the same you'd get from the C3 Corvette, the El Camino and the Chevelle. What's not the same is that it's got a chunk more power, having 683 horses instead. Combine that with Lexan polycarbonate that constitute the shiny 'door' sides of the car, the more aerodynamic wedge shape and a specially made 3 speed automatic to reduce interrupting the flow of the ground effect, the 2J came with the idea of how looks can be deceiving..

So, as we know how they've worked today due to machines like the McMurtry Spéirling existing to break records, and now we're in this era where road cars be getting them, referencing the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50. The Chaparral's exploitation of fan effect allowed it to grip and turn better than its competitors. On the Can-Am circuit, this translates to a demolishing qualifying performance, being seconds ahead of its rivals, but the car itself didn't quite win anything. On race, it's loaded with fan related technical issues from the get go, notably on how the massively powerful fan effect of the car sucking more than just air, such as mud, dust, rocks, and other small pieces.

Despite having no results, the car was banned the following year, following objections from its rivals saying this kind of new fangled, exploitable technology shouldn't stick around due to its unfair nature, raising an already banned FIA term: "movable aerodynamic device". It's not the end of the fan effect however, with Brabham using it discreetly in 1978's Formula 1 season. Let's leave that for another time.

Side story number 3 up next.. it's been one I've been anticipating for in terms of this week's car, because the important key word for this writeup to work is a classic, and look what came crawling out?


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Episode 12: Miranda Summers - The Unbound Unicorn


10 days ago..


Legende Automobile Museum
South of Paris, France
Early Morning



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Fresh out of the city limits, a luxurious, classic car museum gets itself set to open today.

The personnel in the area consist of the light staff, security, and a woman with the authority to handle the opening day's activities.

Standing tall with paperboard in hand, Samantha checks the list she's ticked off earlier by the pen now on her ears.



Samantha: "Staffing check, facilities check, general logistics.. very much check. All in order, as suggested. Let's hope nothing mucks it up."


Her sight shifts from the paperboard to the small crowd's tidying up the front door area with brooms.


Samantha: "Ahh, a skeleton's crew, but once the money starts rolling in QUITE soon, expansions are.. very much due. Oohhh, exhilarating! When Giles see one nary whiff of me hard work paying off, he's going to come to me.."


She speaks, then leading to a moment of daydream, imitating her superior..


Samantha: "Jolly good, Samantha, my dear! You've done such magnificent work, I'd make out with you on the DOUBLE!"


And as she pretends to make kissing actions, the rest of the staff watch on, eventually a spark of realization hits her..


Samantha: "Oh gladly! Heheh.. oh crikey, they've heard the lot of that.. umm.. back to work! I hear the investors coming around this second."


And her hunch wasn't wrong, as a small luxurious bus drives up the front, stops, then drops off its load.

A group of 10 gets themselves crowded in front of the entrance, awaiting Samantha's opening speech that came just after.



Samantha: "Bonjour, and welcome sirs and madams. Curator Giles isn't available this hour, so I'll be here on his behalf."


She spoke at her normal voice, then leading to the head count..


Samantha: "9.. oh, small crowd of ten.. lovely. Henri here will provide the guide. Time to see if your English is up to speed, oui?"


The man designated then gestures the group to stick close to him, to which they obey.

Just after, Samantha then notices two sore thumbs by the back of it all: tourists with a completely American style, prompting her to rush in front..



Samantha: "Hold on there, sir.."


She looks at these two, guised as a couple, and as she expects these two, began to talk in her more discreet, professional tone.


Samantha: "Part of the investors are we, Mister van Orrin?"


The man then replied with his usual jovial tone..


Carlyle: "Howdy, and a fine morning to yas, missus. That we are."

Samantha: "We? I thought this would be a solo gig."


Samantha replied in her same tone, to which Carlyle kept up with a lighter tone.


Carlyle: "It was, Sammy. It was. But I needs someone to pat me, should it be needing. Say hi, Miranda."


This other woman: Miranda Summers, shaded with her wide brim straw hat, remained with eyes winked and a smile on her lips.

It might look like she's not able to see, but she leaned her head in a slight and blew a kiss, followed by a small wave.



Miranda: "Hi.. umm, how are you, bud? Miranda Summers. Let's say I'm Lyle's partner, eh? Stunt actors, we are."


She spoke with a gentle tone, Samantha thought, but to trust her's a fool's errand, she followed.

But considering nothing's out of the ordinary, she follows with a cordial reply.



Samantha: "Actress? You do impressions? Actually stow that. A pleasure.. Samantha Walsh."


Lending her hand out, Miranda decides to give what she expects, only with a drastic boost in squeezing strength.


Samantha: "Goodness! My, what a grip."

Miranda: "Trust me, sugar, that's not gonna be the last I'm squeezing bone."


Watching on behind his prescribed sunglasses, Carlyle's always happy face remains as he follows up the recent act..


Carlyle: "Looks to me you's gonna believe should I says she's the muscle. And if the target's a classic, well, I gots no other viable candidates."


Curious, Samantha raised her spectacles and has a quick scan on Miranda's generally Beverly Hills style.


Samantha: "She doesn't strike me as someone who knows the difference between L and D on an automatic."

Carlyle: "That's a challenge, you gonna strike back, doll?"


Her eyes remaining winked, she jigs a little and gently makes her reply..


Miranda: "Oh, dearie. Have some faith. I've done enough dirty work for this.. kitty cat for some time now, eh. Take his word for once."


The more times she's spent with, the more Samantha gets to leaning on her smartphone, eventually leading to that and her swiping away to her personal database.

Pupils up and down, Samantha notes in slight worry that..



Samantha: "There's not a single mention of a Miranda on any knowledge base I know.. perhaps you can enthuse me.."


Miranda though denied that request with a rejecting gesture.


Miranda: "Nize it, sweetie. The questions can come after we're done here, alright?"


The rejection has Samantha feeling slightly cross as she retains her composure..


Samantha: "Hmph.. another tough one, is it? Head on in then. Enjoy the tour."

Carlyle: "Thank you, sweet thing."


Later 3.jpg



On seat behind the reception, Samantha's closely watching the computer screen monitoring the guests, then spoke calmly alone..


Samantha: "We're opening to the public by noon, and so far nothing's gone awry.."


But as that sentence ends, it follows with a hasty, panicked speech.


Samantha: "What's this sweat from? The air's cool.. alright, get yourself together Samantha. Big break's here.."


And after that, the lone wired phone on the desk rang.


Samantha: "Now what in the Christ is this?"


Initially hesitant, Samantha grabs it and spoke her usual tone..


Samantha: "H-Bonjour.."


Just like bad karma, the voice on the other end replies with a sense of intimidation.


???: "You are the curator of this establishment, correct?"

Samantha: "Who's asking?"

???: "I am. The museum is now under our watch, and your small collection of cars now belong to us unless our demands are satisfied."


With the soft reply earlier, she's decided that's not how this is going to play and responds with aggression..


Samantha: "Yeah? You and whatever army in the hills skulking about in this side of the nation can just shove it, alright. Good bye!"

???: "Perhaps you'll want to re-"


Not even letting him finish, she hangs the call and tosses the phone across the large room, frustrated.


Samantha: "I DO NOT have the patience for such childish games."


She rounded the space in mental exertion, but had a thought, leading her to take her smartphone out of her pocket and quickdial..


Giles: "You alright, Sam?"


He spoke composed like usual, but Samantha's emotions however..


Samantha: "No, I am not alright. Some clown thinks they can threaten me on MY BIG DAY, and.."

Giles: "Okay, calm yourself, Samantha. Deep breaths.."


Letting her oxygen intake in control, Giles hears enough and continued..


Giles: "Now come at it again: bunch of blighters want to threaten?"

Samantha: "You heard right, sir. Threaten, with a capital T. That's what it sounds like. Get the bobbies involved?"

Giles: "My thoughts exactly, but.."


Standing on a ferry by the English Channel, Giles has another thought as the wind blows by..


Giles: "Are those two in place?"

Samantha: "They are, sir. You're not willing to make a risk, was it?"

Giles: "Humm, well.. I trust they're professionals. But instead of police.. I've heard from Jovan. Mentions that Interpol are on high alert in the area. Perhaps getting their attention can put this threat at bay. I'll see if I can send some of their boys in blue your way."


The quick conversation put once panicky Samantha back to her calm composure despite the threat still real.

Retaining that, she replies..



Samantha: "Cheers. You've been most helpful."

Giles: "Right. Don't give in too quickly, Sam. We launch this place, and an international endeavor's definitely on our radar. I'll be there by lunchtime to have a look see. Ta ta for now."


20 minutes later.jpg



She sits by the steps outside, but then a loud roar of a Lamborghini has her look out by the entrance..


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Samantha: "That's what I call a freaking fast response.."


The emergency response came light, but within were professionals, but however show exhaustion.

First out, the driver speaks with interest of the place..



Bern: "Now this place looks new.."


And the passenger escaped her seat to note with curiosity of its signage.


Rin: "Lay-gen-day? Luh-guhn-duh? Whatever, how is it even.. ugh, I hate this country's dialect.."


Spoke Rin in befuddlement, but her eyes turn to Samantha stepping in closer.

She then spoke out..



Samantha: "Am I glad help came at the nick of time."


But Bernardo has another thought despite hearing a potential attack.


Bern: "Scusami, but there is a something behind your shoulder."

Rin: "There is?"


With a sharp eye for Rin's confusion, Samantha played along..


Samantha: "What might that be?"


But she didn't expect something akin to the thousand years of pain, as Bernardo inserts his two fingers by her backside in a flash.


Bern: "NYAH!"

Samantha: "UWAAAH!"


He was chuckling in self satisfaction as Samantha and her many elements scatter across the floor, but Rin takes in her husband's spirit and feels disgraced about this, vocally speaking out..


Rin: "Ohh, Bern-san, this is not the time to be playing about."


Bernardo then replies with malicious intent.


Bern: "This is what an emergency call after an emergency call does to my sanity, amica."


Not willing to start something, Rin dashes quick and picks up Samantha's things, eventually returning them to her as she gets back on her feet.


Rin: "My apologies.. you've called the wrong pair of agents for a sudden emergency."

Samantha: "I-I'll take anything. Honestly, I'm glad someone could come. Looks like you're a car enthusiast with a Huracan like that."


Done with his prankster self, Bernardo readjusts his suit and speaks in his professional self.


Bern: "Si. I'm agent Bernardo, this is agent Rin. We're obviously not from around here, vecchia. But we're more than you suggest; we've dabbled in track racing before."

Samantha: "That so? Couple of high rank bobbies all suited like so. Honest, I could never guess it."


His partner for the time follows suit..


Rin: "Let's get down to business. Your man suggested a threat?"

Samantha: "That's right, came in a phone call, asked for demands. I shut this oppressor's call in a haze of stress. Goodness, I blundered, did I?"


It sounded like it, but panic isn't in Bernardo's vocabulary, and explained..


Bern: "No, no! It's going to mean that.. we'll have to figure out then stop their threat. I suspect that they'll make another call. Let's head in."

Rin: "I would, but the fresh air's keeping me out.."


She looks on the morning, still cloudy sky, then turns back to the curator..


Rin: "How about civilians?"

Samantha: "Aside myself.. 5 staff inclusive of 2 security, 2 educators and a cleaner, along with 10 guests.."

Bern: "These numbers.. they seem like a very small number for a museum like this."


She rearranges her spectacles as she explains intelligently in detail..


Samantha: "Dry run of the tour for the big opening later in the noon. They're investors.. going through the tour. A few last second changes might turn some heads, after all."


Led by a newly trained museum educator, the small crowd walks along through a part of the museum, consisting of expensive classics stored in their own individual room.

As the crowd passes the front end of one such classic, he stopped and spoke..



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"..Jaguar's famous E-Type was the result of long running XK engineered engine from 1949 combined with a stunning curvy body, solidifying their status as the UK's top car brand at the time.."


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"..thanks to the magic of Gordini's tuning to the Renault body, the car itself would become the original machine of the one make race series, birthing the era of French racing.."


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"..this very trim of the 356 would be the first to bear the now synonymous Carrera name to Porsches today, with a potent 98 horsepower 4 cam engine that took the car's track performance to the streets.."


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"..there's nobody I know that hasn't a clue what the pocket rocket's about. Lamborghini's designers created art with a wedge shaped sports car with a low front and high rear, and not to mention the V12.."


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"..before their rallying prowess, Alpine has had a chance at Le Mans with this. Named the A220, the car's performance at Le Mans was shadowed by its much more glaring successes at bringing it to the rally stages.."


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"..named after Enzo's son who died tragically young, the Dino was Ferrari's first foray in to mid engined street legal cars. This second iteration named the 246GT was the most well known of the original, thanks to its beauty and lightweight build.."


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"..it might seem like another car to take on the dominating Lotus cars, but Honda's RA272 would mark Honda's rise to the Formula racing scene as a main source of the sport's engines thanks to its efforts.."


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"..the original fan effect vehicle: the Chaparral was an American built racing experiment that worked too incredibly well, that it only ran one season. Its experimental nature can be described by its nickname of 'the vacuum cleaner'.."


It's been like that for a while now, and the pair in the back kept up, until Carlyle has another thought for the last car they passed..


Carlyle: "Hold up.. This is the one."


Miranda, for the first time today, opens up the eyes in curiosity as she confusingly speaks..


Miranda: "This is the thing I'll be out for a rip with? Well.. I don't like it. It's a primary schooler's arts and crafts work. A tissue box with wheels and fans."

Carlyle: "Was you even listening? Uhh, looks aside, doll.. it's got a 680 horsepower Chevy Big Block. I don't hear nobodys against a sound of one of those puppies."


Not terribly familiar with Carlyle's car lingo, Miranda puts that aside, feeling bad in a minimal but persistent sense.


Miranda: "Ummm.. right. Still unconvinced. I uhh.. honestly applaud at your attempt to sway my opinion, however, Lyle-bear.."

Carlyle: "Wanna keep going?"

Miranda: "Hit me, sweetie. Not literally, I mean.. we do that too many times.."


The literal sense mentioned has Carlyle turn around blushing, embarassingly responding..


Carlyle: "Geheehee.. gawrsh.. aww shucks, now's not the time for naughty thoughts.."

Getting more information as they walk towards the entrance, Bernardo continues with his gathering, sharing..


Bern: "VVIPs, you say.. I know a few individuals on this list. If there's a threat, my idea is to follow safety emergency protocols. Get the civilians out, secure the location, and bring in the big guns."

Samantha: "Big guns? By that you surely mean.. police?"


His stress releases his sass however..


Bern: "Excuse me, vecchia.. if I'm to be honest, I'm amazed I'm able to get this procedure done."


And that sass enables his partner to pinch him by the nose, mercilessly.


Bern: "AHIA!"

Rin: "Stop beating around the bush, Bern. Yes, exactly that. Police on every known exit. We'll get some able bodies from the local police and gendarmerie."


Rubbing his nose, Bernardo feels threatened when Rin's serious face comes out.


Bern: "Yes, si, in a complete agreement, just don't pinch me there again, amica, ahiahi.."


No warning given, she shifts to her playful self and gets back to their client..


Rin: "Teehee, thanks for reaffirming, Bern. Samantha?"

Samantha: "I've never had an emergency when I'm in charge, so forgive me as I panic internally, sir.. okay, breathe, Samantha.."


And as they move up the steps to the front door, the security shutters then come crashing down..


Bern: "Oh? What's this? Shutters all of a sudden are down.."

Rin: "Nani? That's not supposed to happen, correct?"


Checking her phone's alertless screen, Samantha then shifts to worry..


Samantha: "No.."

Inside the museum's washroom, Miranda finds herself busy with the lone sink and mirror, along with certain facial beauty tools from her handbag.

And as she's done, she looks at her yellow filled beautiful self and blows a kiss, following with a joyous remark..



Miranda: "And that's just perfect. Aha! Miranda, you sweet soul sister. We're going to have a field day in Switzerland after today's paycheck.."


But this serene waltz out of the washroom door finds itself interrupted by a dark covered, soldier dressed man flying to the nearby wall.

As he clears his vision, an angry Carlyle charges in and leaps with a jumping shoulder tackle, landed square by the head..



Miranda: "What in the-Lyle?"


As Miranda teeters across to the man, Carlyle searches his body.

After putting aside a flashbang, he finds a pistol, and tosses it after taking its magazine out.

She watches the man out cold, and deduces as Carlyle gets up..



Miranda: "Out cold.. what's wrong, sweetie? Got your gotches on tight?"

Carlyle: "Took your time, did ya, Miranda? Yes, that was the thing, doll. Y'see.. the job just gots a lot more harder."

Miranda: "Elaborate please, darling?"

Carlyle: "Looks to me some bad men's snuck in and shut the place down. Perhaps a ransom job. The usual. Think of it as.. Mall Cop, but with us on the hero's role."


All that got Miranda crossed arms and looking glum.


Miranda: "And this gong show's not in a mall, eh?"

Carlyle: "Right. Thing is we ain't prepped for this kind of action."


The grin somehow remains as Carlyle smoothly changes his thoughts on the job..


Carlyle: "Escape vehicle?"


However, an objection is raised.


Miranda: "Wait!"


And the only person capable of such shares her thoughts on what he thinks, with disdain..


Miranda: "Escape vehicle?! Are you daft, Lyle?"

Carlyle: "Daft? Miranda, baby.. I saw there's like 6 of them, distinctly military, armed and s[BLEEP]t. I ain't taking that risk. We're good, but.. I ain't ending up like Graham on that there robbery.."

Miranda: "Lyle! You've a heart, and a flair for the theatrics, but a coward's not in there. But now I see it.. Graham's a more courageous soul than you ever will be. It's a wonder I broke up with you.."

Carlyle: "Please, doll! I gots more gigs on the side if we need some cash. This one's gotten horrendously wrong is all."


She began to step away from Carlyle, but stopped and turned to speak, resentful and building up tears..


Miranda: "You're missing the point.. Did you know who the people on the bus are? Influentials and business experts. People with money."


He's worried, and Carlyle tries to stop a friend from potential harm, now with persuasive ideas..


Carlyle: "Money's no good to us if wes a dead folk, Miranda. And what if we squared off? What's the payoff?"

Miranda: "They'll know us as the heroes. Let them invest in us: the keeners who risked their skin for others. It might be the move that'll save our studio, Lyle-bear."

Carlyle: "I... can't be suresville. I'm.. sorry, doll. I'm saving my skin.. the van Orrin's useful when he's ain't pushing up daisies."


Unbelievable of his intentions, Miranda has one last word before she angrily moves towards the other way.


Miranda: "Go.. go and find your way out. I'll sort these loonies myself. Keep the rendezvous clear.."

Carlyle: "Right on.. Miranda.. doll.."


After his split, Carlyle goes through yet another restricted door, but what he sees past this one means it'll be the last.


Carlyle: "Back here.. and.. there she is!"


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He leaps through and runs to one of his daily driven classics and greets it with a slap on the roof.


Carlyle: "My darling Merak! Good seeing you's fine thing."


And a quick look around has Carlyle wary of a few sets of racing helmet and attire combo, and he knew of their procurement due to..


Carlyle: "Samantha, you's done it, doll. Let's get this race suit up.."


Not long after he's got one on him that fits, he notices a security guard speaking in French, aiming his gun towards.

Arms up, Carlyle speaks softly, not to agitate the guard.



Carlyle: "Whoa! Calm yourself. I umm.. am in charge for the maintenance of this here's Italian sports car."


Gun still pointed, the nervous guard points towards the car, then back to him.


Carlyle: "Prove it? Sure.. hand me them's tools, my man. I feel an oil check's due."


The guard grabs a nearby toolbox and slides it across the floor, stopping by Carlyle's feet.


Carlyle: "First thing we's gotta do is slip something to gets the old oil outta that momma. Where's an oil can, one sec.."


Struggling due to his damaged eyesight, Carlyle however plans of something, then decides..


Carlyle: "Think you can put that gun down, it's doing us no favors, my man."


Unusually, the security guard tenses down and lowers his weapon, but Carlyle takes advantage with an instantaneous SPEAR to the man.


Carlyle: "Thank YOU!"


And just as the gaurd gets up, he finds himself struggling to get back on his feet, awaited by Carlyle..

Then, his head finds itself under the American ex-marine's shoulder, and before he knows it, air flow restriction causes him to lose his sense, and thus faint.



Carlyle: "Out of air's a b[BLEEP]h, huh! I ain't keen on drowning honest folk, but you's sir ain't honest."


Done with a Guillotine Choke, Carlyle rolls out, gets back standing and slaps his palms free of dust.


Carlyle: "Security's working with these goons. Miranda aughta know.. BUT FIRST.."


He heads towards an earlier found security room, and when he arrives, knocks it down in no time with a swift kick and a cheeky one liner.


Carlyle: "Room service!"


And before the lone guard could react, he was approached by a backwards leaping Carlyle, following with a mean stunner similarly made famous by the man who calls it the RKO.

After securing the dishonest security personnel, Carlyle then has one more thought: the yellow beauty that was disagreeing with him. But before departing, he's made a mental note on the hidden service corridors.


Over by a small atrium outside the gallery, two of the heist prepared robbers were patrolling about, chatting through their masks..


"Commander did a head count.. a few less than usual."

"Did one of the hostages get free?"

"Possibly.. I haven't heard back from Albert. I suspect something's amiss."



And as that sentence ends, the two men turn upon hearing the sound of heels, and eventually the sound of a confident stunt actress..


Miranda: "Yoo hoo.. I come bearing BAD NEWS!"


And as one of them bolts forward to grab her, she uses that kinetic energy by slipping around and grabbing his arm, holding it and wrapping him in front of her.

Unable to find a clear shot, Miranda pushes her captive and kicks him, causing the men to fall, and an opportunity rose for a quick taunt.



Miranda: "See, this is why they come one at a time without rushing forward, darlings. HUUUWWUAAA!!"


A quick swipe on the nose, Miranda leaps up, legs bent, and stomped down with the spirit of the dragon.

The man on the receiving end has his lower body stomped hard, reacting with great pain and unable to act willingly.



Miranda: "This is what I call a highlight reel.. WAATAAHHH!"


And the other man however gets on his feet and starts dashing away.. to which Miranda angrily spoke in her polite Canadian accent..


Miranda: "You're next, hoser."

"Urghh.. I'm no match for this.. hidden dragon.. Lucky for me.. now I have the upper hand! Arms up, miss."


Receiving his gun, he aims at her head, and pulls the safety, knowing he can't miss.


Miranda: "Of course.. you're a man for tactics. I applaud that, hmm."


However, someone as pretty as Miranda has her own tactic for this judging by what she sees..


Miranda: "So, umm.. you should shoot me before.."

"Before what? It's only the two of us.. I'm going to indulge.."

Carlyle:
"BEFORE THIS, YOU CRAZY DING DONG."


What follows was a gruesome setup to a nasty sleeper hold, to which the lone criminal became victim of asphyxiation.

After the hostilities are extinguished, Miranda gently greets..



Miranda: "Lyle~"

Carlyle: "Ho there, Miranda.. phew.. dashed here fast I could, but.. someone call for a van Orrin?"

Miranda: "Had a change of heart?"

Carlyle: "Nah, just that I found security's still gots them shutters down low, and found they's in it with these robbery crew."


He then sees arms crossed, eyes winked, but that smile's upside down, followed by an irked reply.


Miranda: "I'm waiting.."


Scratching his blonde hairdo, Carlyle says in humility..


Carlyle: "...yes, there's also a change of heart. I ain't letting you go, doll. I'm sorry."


The apology was replied by Miranda moving closer and giving a playful kiss on the cheek.


Miranda: "I'm.. I'm sorry too. For being too tough on you. I don't love you like we did, but.. I appreciate the assist, Lyle.."


That one act gave Carlyle the energy he never knew wanted..


Carlyle: "Let's save us some rich guys and appropriate us a Chaparral. Don't tell Graham a thing?"

Miranda: "Not a word, dearie. Lips sealed tight."


Alone in the museum, the two rush towards a certain spot: the secure room with the Chaparral.

Peeking through the museum's service corridors, Carlyle quietly discusses..



Carlyle: "Funny it so happens.. Ol' Chappy's room's where they decide to put the hostages."

Miranda: "It's tactically sound. Only way in's shut tight, car's a pricy relic for a tissue box, and three men's enough to watch all angles. Ideas?"

Carlyle: "Like my wrestling, me field army days as a commanding officer are coming back, doll. See here?"


He grabs the flashbang from earlier out of his racing jacket's side pocket, and the two continued the discussion in calm silence.


Carlyle: "Grabbed one of these off the guys earlier."

Miranda: "Flashbang? I know that from anywhere. Remember that time we did in, what was that movie again?"

Carlyle: "We can look back movies whe we's done with these losers. Throw in, bag a couple, make lone guy panic."

Miranda: "Hohoohh.. Classic MC double team."

Carlyle: "Correction: It's CM double team."

Miranda: "Hmm.. alright, it's CM. We gotta agree eventually.. alright.. you saw, right? I'm running Jeet Kune Do. You?"

Carlyle: "Didn't you's see that sleeper, doll? Gotta let the lion out for some tag team rasslin'."

Miranda: "Oooohh.. I can feel that, bud. Ready when you are, eh?"


And the hidden service door opens with the quick toss of a flashbang surrounding the room.


"What the? Flash, from where?!"


The leader himself was unprepared and finds him and everyone in the room blinded.

Carlyle then heads to one of the blinded men and began to toss him with an irish whip.


Carlyle: "Hoo-aaaahh. Miranda, coming up!"


And the double team went through as Miranda strikes out a jumping kick to the face.


Miranda: "HWWAAAATAAAHH."


Just as the second of the three men start to get his senses, Miranda steps behind him and kicks a lunging kick forwards to his back..


Miranda: "Nope. Lyle-bear! Big lion lariat!"


Another successful double team manuever follows with Carlyle flexing his right arm and slicing it forwards with a vicious Clothesline.


Carlyle: "OUT YA GO!"


And he makes note as soon as he's disabled his victim's firearm with a vicious stomp..


Carlyle: "God as my witness, I swear he should be cut in two."

Miranda: "Now.."


The hostages still in discord, the lone man lost all confidence, even with gun on holster, and puts down his knees.


"Ahh great.. I wave the flag."

Carlyle:
"Look at that, doll.. he's surrendered.."


But it's not, as he brandishes his knife and attempts to strike, but a yellow high heel got in the way.


Miranda: "Clumsy clumsy clumsy.. ATAAH!"


Following that, a swift kick to his face brings him back down to the floor.


Miranda: "I know a feint from a hoser any time of the day.. it's Travolta and Cage from Face/Off."


And with presumably all the trouble taken care off, Miranda winks her eyes and makes a scathing, but calm review..


Miranda: "There's a skill set, but the experience isn't quite there yet. Talk about unlucky, eh?"


Carlyle was busy however, untying the people they came with.


Carlyle: "And hostages are free. Head off to the front. Police are probably already at the doorstep."


A flood of appreciation shown, these people then exit the room and head for the front door as instructed.


Carlyle: "Now let's get to work. Samantha says car's all fuelled and able to start. I'll get it to the back. Get the shutters up, button's in the security room.."

Miranda: "Roger that, mountie command!"


As Carlyle and Miranda head to their work, another figure instead exits through the service corridors.

Just as he's started the Chaparral to move it, he then slides out his phone out the pocket, and makes a quick dial.



Carlyle: "Sam?"

Samantha: "Mister Carlyle. Oh thank Christ! There are police all over and I've not the foggiest on what's happened."

Carlyle: "Yeah? Me and my partner's got the shutters coming up soon. Get them civvies out. Oh, and your security's in leagues with these criminals."

Samantha: "Noted.. And how about our side venture?"

Carlyle: "We're getting out the maintenance entrance. 2 cars. Think you can, do's us a solid and thin the ranks there?"

Samantha: "I'll do what I can."


uhh.png



It wasn't even a minute, but the criminal outfit found themselves back on their feet, while some more dazed than others, discussing..


1 "Get up.."

2 "What happened.."

3 "Those rookies got us over.. guns?"

1 "Don't see them.. disposed and destroyed, one or the other.."

2 "We should bounce out of here."

4 "Relax.. what do you suppose will happen if we don't?"



But as they were to continue, the service corridor opens again, with a gigantic scarred man exiting.


2 "What the?"

3 "Someone's here!"

5 "It's one of those hostages.."

???:
"Hostage? I beg to differ. Come. I smell your s[BLEEP]t, little termite, but I desire the smell of YOUR BLOOD!!"


distant screaming


Later 2.jpg



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With shutters open, and the compound secure, Bernardo receives a report from his communicator and replies in gratification..


Bern: "Grazie.. thank you."


And he's returned to Rin, but with a less than jolly tone..


Bern: "Report says 10 civilians are accounted for. The security team broke easy and confessed to the crime. But.. the criminals.. their fates I'm afraid are.. pretty grim.."

Rin: "Don't tell me.. dead?"

Bern: "Yes.. cameras recorded everything. Just now, it's confirmed: those Assassin's Guild people take credit for it."


Sudden mention of this shady but honorable organization has Rin clue in on the situation..


Rin: "I suspect there's money from them involved.."

Bern: "Sounds to me they're protecting assets.. one car's end up missing."


And upon mention, Samantha puts her acting to the test..


Samantha: "Bother me, this is not good. This is NOT good at all! We've been robbed!"


But as the attention was to remain there, it was moved towards the man exiting the building, taking off his bloodied work gloves.

Much as he's guilty of endless counts of murder, Rodulf Sorensen however lives as the savage man immune of crime thanks to his role in said shady organization.

Not to mention he's a known associate of Interpol, backed by his calm but mentally menacing stomps to the small group..



Rodulf: "Hey. Interpol, are you? I don't recognize you all."

Bern: "Why.. we are.. you.. you.. AAHH! Guh-grim Reaper!"


His fearful response however is something Rodulf dislikes to hear as he shoos that thought aside..


Rodulf: "Yes, yes. But I might inquire. Those who took that classic race car.. where do you suppose they're headed?"


She knows, but she can't hold in the gobs of fear this man ekes out.


Samantha: "Uhh.. uhh.. umm.. t-they.. might be long gone."

Rodulf: "How dare you assume I cannot track these people."


Rin however sees Rodulf like another, familiar with faces of fear, as she questions his next action..


Rin: "Such a physique.. what do you plan to do? There are so many variables to consider.."

Rodulf: "You run on variables, but my organization has done some reconnaissance. I have a gist, and there are trails I've followed that's.. less obvious than this one. But I might have to move quick. Good day."


And towards where he walks, associates of the Assassin's Guild charges in and helps out with clearing the place of any evidence.

A Veyron sits on the seat, and a man awaits Rodulf to enter, leaving as soon as he does.



full



And as he wakes up the W16, he then comments to himself..


Rodulf: "Robbers.. keen on others' private property. Nobody f[BLEEP]s with the Assassin's Guild. But.. that woman.. what gut feeling is this?"

And further south..


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Comfortable in his Merak, he wants to have a check on the 2J as he speed dials..


Carlyle: "Sup, Miranda?"

Miranda: "Gruhh.. this stuffy helm! I can't drive in these conditions, Lyle-bear!"

Carlyle: "I set the meet point on socials. Be there before the sun's gone down, okay?"

Miranda: "And then we get paid?"

Carlyle: "Ah yup. See you's."


And as soon as the conversation's done, Miranda notes in zen..


Miranda: "Okay, this is the easy part, eh. Just one long drive.."


full



Danger Sign
Girlschool
Nightmare At Maple Cross

The 2J of course has to come with one singular analysis segment due to it being a race car with minimal ability to change. But as I recall that one video from Super GT where he had to use level 5 traction control to drive this.. I think we're going to see if your Soulslike tolerance is going to be rewarded or not.


full



To me, I'm unsure if it's the physics being different or if I'm that good, but the car's not THAT devilish as I've seen others take it around in full pace, and I'm not that good. The only main issue I find myself getting into is the exit corner traction being rather poor, and also understeer at higher speeds. I'm positive that one update that changed the physics to cater mid engined cars have made the 2J much more enjoyable and manageable to handle. The snap oversteer it's known for however still is present, so if that's an issue for you, I can recommend trying to push the Chaparral without assists to perhaps help alleviate that. Or die in regret, whatever works for you.

If anything, I like the presentation of this Gran Turismo exclusive ride. Standing idle, you can hear that snowmobile engine powering them dual Howitzer cooler fans at the back. And on the inside, everything is crystal clear and I'm just too attracted to clear hud elements, while we got no speedo to work with: it's all oil and water on the left. A definite step up now that it's turned Super Premium. No headlights though. Perhaps a run in the ring at night's to come should I feel evil to myself.

Another known characteristic of this home appliance shaped racer is the 3 gears. While they are tall, the car carries a whole chunk of power so that it's sooner you think the time to shift is: a treat to fans of Chevy's Big Block like myself. But while the car sounds amazing, and has a simple powerband, you don't want to short shift, the exception being for softening the lack of exit corner traction. The wide gears mean you're getting the slowed acceleration for short shifting more than the usual, and to me, you don't need to short shift. Gentle inputs can cruise you out a turn with marginally better results, but in the heat.. you're welcome to play with them gears.

Should you get your shifting right, you'll find yourself flying through the straights, shifting up occasionally at a speed as if it has a double clutch. Compared to Group 1 machinery, their massive aerodynamics levels means they'll never rival the 2J if straights are the only factor, be it a VGT or a Group C monster. Not to mention the 2J coming with Racing Hards from the shops. Also to note: the 2J is the car with the highest PP wearing Racing Hards off the dealership, just ahead of the 2 much more gigantic Pikes Peak machinery.

Looking back at Week 10 and here, the 2J's woes with elevation is relatable with the SF23, while not as bad due to how it's put at a much higher clearance and hasn't got a super hard suspension frequency. And its small size and low downforce levels means you aren't quite able to fight off the loss of rear grip quite so easy like what you get in Grouped racers.

Another noted issue is the braking, but to me.. it's not THAT bad. If we look at a Group 1 car, it definitely won't compare, but at least you won't fly about. But if I'm still using the blinking brake warning, I usually brake a moment later and still get around the corner nicely. However, those with the habit of engine braking should reconsider for the 2J as it'll unsettle the car, but not so terrible that it's become a law. Yeah, seriously, where did all the difficulty go? It just vanished..


full



No vacuum references yet? I guess it's time to break that. By the way, if you manage to drive the 2J through a chicken coop, beware that you might find the car struggling as it's sucking cock.

But let's go to tuning, and man, with the updated physics, the thing to correct isn't the whole car.. it's just hate for bumps and perhaps maybe slightly hinder the acceleration so that you'll always get a good exit on hards. You can go ahead and pump up better compounds, but I feel if you want to stay at its stock 863 PP, you have the options to keep it that way while having a vastly improved piece of home appliance. Let's see..

First up is rigidity. Now I have 2 2Js to try out the differences, and while the rigidity loses half a PP, I find myself being more confident in generally driving the thing.. definitely a placebo feeling, so I can't say you should go and increase rigidity everywhere.

The gearbox is another thing you can change, and doing so isn't going to net you an adjustable 3 gears, but they add 5 gears on it. This is definitely more preference if you ask me, but unless you really need to reach an unspecified higher speed for Route X, I stick with the stock transmission. Not saying you shouldn't, because I won't stop you if you do need those gears for stability.

With the snap oversteer, you're going to make it understeery, heh. What I do is stiffen the roll bars and lower the damping values so it can handle bumps better. If you need more confidence in driving, you're welcome to add rear negative camber, reduce acceleration sensitivity, make the heights equal or higher at the front, and soften the rear spring rates for a more rear grip focus. Don't be surprised if you still lose it, though.


full



If you're going to take the car to the Sardegna WTC800, it's known to drain your fuel, rendering it quite a challenge to run unless you run on fuel saver with short shifting. I haven't personally finished it because hurr comfort zone with Group 2 and Group C cars.

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Miranda: "Oh wow, to think something this ancient's working like it's brand new.."


A parking area in the middle of the Alps
Afternoon



The Merak arrives at the scene to see the Chaparral's driver already out of her racing outfit, and waiting.


full



And as he parks by, he's feeling a slight hint of shame..


Carlyle: "Alright, shoot. You's beat me, doll."


She's obviously annoyed, but her Canadian calmness once again overwhelms that negative thought, leading to her more neutral speech..


Miranda: "You kept me waiting, Lyle.. I hope it's true about this good boutique somewhere up here, because I forgot to pack my jacket.."

Carlyle: "I'll get you the fluffiest coverups known to man on these beautiful mountain sights, doll."

Miranda: "Thank you kindly."


As they walk away from their cars, side by side, Carlyle had to ask..


Carlyle: ""How's it like driving a giant vacuum cleaner?

Miranda: "What? Oh, umm.. first hour in, it's gear one all the way. I couldn't find the clutch, but well, I found out it's sort of an automatic. Perhaps more of its character would appear if I can go faster, eh? If that Crowden guy lets me, heehee.."


But another thought occurs as her mind remains about the boxy racer.


Miranda: "It's not going to remain there, right?"

Carlyle: "Museum folk's probably done with the insurance, and so I'll let them Crowden folk handle keeping the car hidden. Samantha's sent a truck to grab it. We'll have the Merak for the rest of our Europe v-e-n-tures, doll."


Hours with a classic in mind, Miranda has a request lined up, being occasionally involved with Carlyle's side business.


Miranda: "Think you can help bring over the Merc here?"

Carlyle: "It'll cost ya, but I aim to please. I'll get Graham to handle it."

Miranda: "Please and thank you."


And just as they were to have a sight of the Alps, something nasty comes by their way..


full



Carlyle: "Sure are a lot of fancy rides in this here part of France.."


Surprised he doesn't an idea of it, Miranda shows how it's done for those who know about the Reaper.


Miranda: "Ulp.."

Carlyle: "Is something wrong, doll?"


And for the first time, she's filled with tension seeing the Bugatti all should know to fear.

She didn't hesitate and face Carlyle to get his attention, speaking nervously..



Miranda: "Lyle, listen to me.. that man's here for us.. I knew this was too good to be true. It was all a SETUP!!"


And the Bugatti, placed by the only way in this lone parking area, stops in front of these two, and the driver heads out, to which the lion then responds in exaggerate..


Carlyle: "Suffering succotash! That's the Grim Reaper I done hear of."


The scarred tall man smiles his fiendish look and collides his knuckles, excited, and then mutters in his harsh tone..


Rodulf: "Yes. And I suppose if the smell of blood don't hint it, I feel it requires tempering. Insurance fraud from the Assassin's Guild is punishable by death, but perhaps you already knew the risks, hmm?"


No guns for this fight, Rodulf readies his muscles as his targeted two huddle together..


Carlyle: "Come on, girl.. we can do team CM on this guy."


Says Carlyle while still sweating away the nerves, but Miranda however has other thoughts..


Miranda: "Won't do any good.. he can see it a mile away.."


And funny enough, Rodulf joins in on the huddle up.


Rodulf: "I have your habits and patterns studied on the drive up.. The Reaper name is no fluke."


They then space off in a figurative explosion..


Carlyle: "Fluke, schmuke.. huh?"


He then sees his ex-girlfriend in defensive position, but she has something else to say..


Miranda: "Lyle, just listen to me closely: Get. Out. Of. Here."


He's walking around under the sun casually, she thought, and knows it's not going to be a good day with him around.

Rodulf, confident he's able to add two more on the kill count today, casually makes a statement..



Rodulf: "I suppose you'd want to not keep me waiting. I can kill you both whenever I want, you know.. seeing your faces is enough."

Carlyle: "Nah! Not after what we did in the morning, doll. I'm team CM, and.."

Miranda: "It's better if.. it's just one of us.. let me handle him, just go. Please.."


A flood of tears behind those damaged eyes, Carlyle hesitantly makes a break for his car, but not before his farewell..


Carlyle: "Miss Miranda.. I.. I.."

Miranda: "It's goodbye for now, I promise you, sweetie."


The Bugatti's placed properly at the way in, but Carlyle manages to dash the Merak out of there without hassle.

The tension now reaches a new high with the reaper having one target..



Rodulf: "You let your boyfriend away to live another day? How dramatic. I spit at thee."

Miranda: "He's not my boyfriend, hoser. He's more than that trite old title!"

Rodulf: "Whatever.. you're the main star of this show, maiden.. But I cannot shake this fact: you do seem kind of familiar now I see you now up close.."

Miranda: "Perhaps I'd like to be more cordial, eh? I'll show you how I say hello."


She's standing there with arms and legs placed as if Bruce Lee was there to approve himself of the posture.

And he's on the other end: a tall, scarred Swede stands tall and arms out: not dissimilar to that of judo, but perhaps an aggressive take on it..



Rodulf: "WRROOAAARRRR!!"

Miranda: "WUUHAAACHAAA!!"


Present Day..


full



It's now nearing midday, and Candy finishes up her run around Deep Forest.

Exhausted, her thoughts linger towards Angelos and how his M3 was indeed the stuff of his past legend.



Candy: "Whew.. what other person of interest is bound to show up.."


She then hears a light voice, but not one she's familiar with, then revealing to be a young boy as she looks to find the source.


"Candy Lam!"


The boy stands short, as Candy finally sees someone of a shorter height.

Not feeling rude, she then inquires about her name..



Candy: "Ohh?! Hello there. What's a boy your age doing around here?"


A man, obviously a parental figure, speaks for him, replying..


"He's a big fan of yours.."


Hearing that, Candy finds herself baffled, stating..


Candy: "Fan? I'm.. not quite sure I do have fans, considering.."

Giles: "Candy? Stop your babbling, you blighter and get the boy what he wants."


The museum curator: Giles Crowden pops in the scene to criticize Candy's comment on the whole moment.


Candy: "Um, excuse me.. I.. I.. thank you. Let me sign that.."


With such a response, Candy turns to Giles, questioning..


Candy: "You seemed tense, Giles."

Giles: "That I am. I was reminded of something that came up a few weeks back. Money in the bin.. A normal day for the likes of us, but.. all in all.. I just can't believe it.."


Candy follows behind to see Giles heading for a garage with a certain orange Superbird idling by with its driver lounging by a nearby bench..


Candy: "The lion? It's something to do with his work, was it?"


She curious, he thought, and while double thinking about it for a moment, he then doubles down and reveals to her in shame..


Giles: "Yes, but it's not his fault. Who would've known that.. a rival of ours would find himself surrounded by higher powers.."

Carlyle: "Candy, baby.. I'm sorry.. mood's been in the gutter now I recall the moment. I say I killed a good friend that day. Team CM.. It should've been me."


From behind, a woman in a suit comes in from behind the garage, and greets the group..


Samantha: "Oi."


But her calls are ignored as Candy has thoughts only to get Carlyle's jolly corny self back to the usual form.


Candy: "I'm sorry.. a drive can perhaps cheer you up."

Carlyle: "That was in my mind too, missus, but.. I swear I saw her ghost on track earlier today, so I was like.. nahh.."

Giles: "I can't understand this feeling, but I wish to sympathize with mister Carlyle. Perhaps you can give us some space?"


Not in favor of her being ignored, the suited lady then speaks up..


Samantha: "Hello?!"


Adhering this response, Candy thinks, then mentions..


Candy: "I guess I should. What'll keep me busy.. ah! Any idea where that red head with the flowers went?"

Giles: "Red head with the flowers? I'm sorry, I need more than just that."

Candy: "She shot me with a taser: Peggy but it's not Peggy.."

Giles: "Peggy? Oh, yes, that's the Cinderella alright."


To hear a name like that, Candy responds with disgust towards this woman..


Candy: "Cinderella? When you can't even figure a name, she goes with the silliest case of children's fairy tale.."


And an ignored, frustrated Samantha has had enough, now grabbing a nearby megaphone..


Samantha:
"HEYY!!"


Those she pointed toward now further off by a few meters, Samantha now makes herself visible as she wipes her suit, then responds in mild provocation..


Samantha: "So THAT'S what it'll take? What with you lot.."

Giles: "Goodness me, Sam.. how long you've been there."

Samantha: "A good couple minutes, sir. I got something that might interest you."


And the ashen haired Hong Kongese racer was next on her list, greeting her..


Samantha: "Oh: morning, Candy."

Candy: "S-Samantha."


Hearing the proposition, Giles wasn't patient this hour and asked..


Giles: "Out with it, then."

Samantha: "Right. Let's head to the screens then, sir. Carlyle, you'd want to tag along too."


He's not his usual jolly self, but a woman's request isn't to be denied in his mind.


Carlyle: "Ohh? Lead on then, Sam."


While the racing screens aren't in use, Samantha turned them on to show various angles on the track.


Giles: "So, perhaps you'd like to share what's got you excited?"

Samantha: "Well, I'd tell you direct, lads, but I prefer to get you to see it for yourself. Nothing to do with me noting down your responses. Nope. No siree."


Without anything to head towards, the group stared randomly at the screens, with Candy noting the first sight by the stream..


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Candy: "Moto-san's car is still the fastest on this track today.. I'm happy for him, but that man's caustic for the wrong reasons."

Samantha: "Not quite the car in mind, but I say you're warm."


Carlyle followed with a classic taking on turn 1..


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Carlyle: "Seems to me we got us a whole roster of racing legends on the go. Wowweee! Local talent's got their hands on a Group 5 Skyline!"

Samantha: "Getting warmer.."


The man behind the Spitfire mantle also has sights on something nice before the large tunnel road..


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Giles: "My eyes, that's the Group B Peugeot 205 T16? That's a great catch, Sam."

Samantha: "Don't worry, sir, the heat's coming up.. now!"


And Samantha points the gang to a set of some top of the line performance machinery..


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Giles however was very familiar with his friend and Sim Gear host racing his old Group C Jaguar through the tunnels.


Giles: "The Bristol Harbinger's here! Alan, you old fool.. what are you planning.."


Behind the Jaguar was a fellow List racer: the enigmatic racer who some say can see if someone's a dog in a past life.


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Carlyle: "Looks to me The Guts couldn't resist coming over with his prototype Hyundai racer."

Candy: "Sam, I don't see what you're on about, sorry."


Unamazed by the group's overall dulled senses, Samantha can't believe she has to point this one out directly.


May The Sunshine
Nazareth
Nazareth: The Anthology


Samantha: "It might not click to you, but behind that Hyundai is going to blow these men to pieces..


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Candy still didn't get it, but the men were..

Yup, it's like Christmas morning..



Giles: "Carlyle! Look in the tunnel! That's it, right? It's the 2J!"

Carlyle: "M-MISS MIRANDA!! I knew it! She's alive! SHE'S ALIIIIVE!!"

Giles: "Sam! I don't know how you found her, but.."


She's happy too, but in a more self reserved way, keeping calm, as she replies..


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Samantha: "Sir, may I add that she's found her way here without me or anyone's involvment whatsoever? Anomalous, I know.."


Not willing to wait, Carlyle's already on his phone and instantly tries out the speed dial option he's been at for the past week..


Carlyle: "She's been off the grid since that day.. will she pick up now?"


Giles notices this rush, as well as the 2J's next move, mentioning..


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Giles: "No need to fuss about that, Carlyle: she's heading in."


Coming down from the pit walls, the group heads to the Chaparral shining the only lights it can, now to a halt.


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And the driver inside hops out, and pops her helmet off, shaking away her hair like a shampoo commercial.

They all watched in awe, Carlyle excepted due to his wide grin unable to hold back an overflow of delight, slowly walking forwards.

This yellow Canadian greets with her cool usual tone..



Miranda: "That's third gear down, hmmhmm.. ohhhh Lyle~ I see that you miss me.."


Grabbed by her abdomen, Carlyle takes her for a spin as if a father greets his young baby child.


Miranda: "Huuwhoa! Eh? Alright, big boy, you REALLY miss me."

Carlyle: "Course! The Lyle-bear's nothing without his morning sun, relationship be darned! How'd you do it? I mean, beat the reaper?"


In response, Miranda lifts her thick hairdo to reveal some faded stitching, reaffirming the statement calmly..


Miranda: "Well.. beat him isn't exactly accurate.."


flashback.jpg



The scene earlier retains, only with certain concrete elements broken and a few smears of blood around the place..

As his name suggests, the reaper stands around, still in his casual element, and with a few bruising around his visible skin..



Rodulf: "Keep it coming.. yellow one."


His target however suffers considerably more damage, with a visible trickle of blood coming down her forehead and nose..


Miranda: "How does he.. keep this charade up??"


They exchange blows again; her powerful kicks clash with his forceful palm..

The next intermission follows..



Miranda: "Whoo.. we keep duking it out.. and we're going to need to come down the mountain with an ambulance."

Rodulf: "Perhaps now we end playtime, maiden."


His taunt works, as he's faced with a barrage of swift kicks and stomps..

But all that biding comes to fruition, as he finds an opening and lands a fierce uppercut to her gut.

She's a skilled martial artist, but the reaper himself proves he's stages ahead in that department as he pierces through her outer skin, spilling out a stream of red.

Seeing all that gusto gone, he drops her, and thinks she's done for, only to see her crawl away in a pained lagging pace..



Rodulf: "Fight to the end, maiden. Get up.."


The only though she has is that her time has come, as she carries on with the slow escape attempt, muttering in agony..


Miranda: "Hair ruined. Makeup ruined. Dress ruined. Skin.. don't even mention.. Good God, I'm finished."

Rodulf: "I SAID GET UP!"


Sticking to his code of honor, Rodulf steps ahead to her path after that short outburst.

Towering above, Rodulf receives what seems like her last words as she spoke feeling pained..



Miranda: "Dear, please.. it hurts to even speak. End me now, git'r done.."


Shortly after, she crashes down..


Miranda: "Pappa, I'm sorry.. for leaving mama behind.. come get me, eh?"


Rodulf however senses an abnormality, and begins to sniff away..


Rodulf: "This stench.."

Miranda: "Arhh.. Thought you'd be familiar with this liquid.."

Rodulf: "Something is off with this stench! And.. that hair?!"


Turning her to face upwards, he notices her thick layers of makeup melts off, and observes the messed up yellow hairdo, revealing its true natural dark crimson..

Behind all that beauty was another person in a mask of sorts; his suspicions then are confirmed, angrily realizing..



Rodulf: "Grr... YOU?! You're the one they call the Crimson End! One of the Trinitia!"

Miranda: "N-nonsense! Sweetie, blood doesn't reveal character, does it? Oh heavens to Murphy.. I guess the secret's out."


With this confirmation, Rodulf questions the martial clashing earlier as he takes off his gloves..


Rodulf: "A Trinitia? Best of the best.. yet holding back??"

Miranda: "Guild rules still stand.. yet you.. the one who just, whew.. lets immunity contracts through like it's, hooh.. just wasted tissue. Ahh just sic me, wolfy. Ignorant old me's paying with her life.."

Rodulf: "To take a life this valauble.. would be a waste."

Miranda: "Then let's play a game. Throw me off that mountain, see how much blood's left.."


She's tugging with his heart strings, but a man with little emotion outside of anger thinks with his brain, replying sternly..


Rodulf: "Idiot. What is the point?"

Miranda: "T-to spite you."


The thought to have her as another worthy opponent then fades away, as he lifts her on his shoulder.


Miranda: "Oik!! Gentle, bud!"


He moved her away from the partially destroyed road, and places her by the parked Chaparral..

And afterwards moves his Bugatti closer..



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Raising the front storage hood, he takes out a syringe from one of the bags within. Then he finds Miranda, faint as she's nearly bled out.


Rodulf: "You better not squirm.."


A quick injection done, he then performed CPR, and blew some air into her mouth.

His medical revival skills pay off as Miranda comes back to life.



Miranda: "AAAHH! [coughing] Uhh.. This isn't heaven.."

Rodulf: "That, crimson one, is a dastardly, secret mix developed from the dark innards of a few medical institutions. Combines various medications and stimulants with an intense painkiller, also my drug. Get up."


She's able to move, but not without struggle.


Miranda: "I'm better? Umm.. stiff all over, but.. where'd the pain go? It's going to take getting used to.. this.."


Moments Later.jpg



The sun shining allows Rodulf to perform treatment, particularly by Miranda's gash behind her currently crimson hair.


Rodulf: "Done."


Surrounded by bandaging, she gets back on her feet, then feeling a need to confirm a thought, asking politely..


Miranda: "Tell me this, Reaper.. it never was the car, right?"

Rodulf: "On that bus, I sensed.. and thus I had to see for myself. The Crimson End, in person.. You've returned?"

Miranda: "Dear, that never was the intent. But.. if it'll satisfy you.. I'd like a favor."


Curious, Rodulf replied sternly..


Rodulf: "Name it."

Miranda: "Point to me to the next hard to kill target.. it'll be done without pay, but this car.. my friends and that museum.. all the ties cleaned and protected. And keep me and this powerful tissue box under shade too.. especially my identity."

Rodulf: "A steep demand.. but.. There's one I know your skill set would be exploited to the fullest. 7 figures. Details to follow."


Usually gentle, the crimson haired maiden gave out a smile but with evil thoughts surrounding it.


Miranda: "Conditions, sweetie: Take the credit, and mention nothing of me."

Rodulf: "Off the books, is it? I've been longing to see why the Trinitia is to be feared.. why oh why are they such myths in the Guild?"


He should have killed her, he repeatedly mentioned internally, but considering his backstory, it's one he didn't want to live through again.

As Miranda makes preparations to put on her dye, the reaper queries..



Rodulf: "One more thing.."

Miranda: "Can this come later? How will I explain all this blood on me.."

Rodulf: "I can solve that if you listen."


He's willing to co-operate, so Miranda quickly finishes the dye job and begins putting on makeup while replying..


Miranda: "Fine. What's on your mind, dearie?"

Rodulf: "This whole car theft insurance fraud job. It's for Crowden, correct?"


Eyes winked, she responds sensually..


Miranda: "Oooh, why yes. Anything else have you not figured yet?"

Rodulf: "Nothing. Actually: this name came up in relation, a Candy Lam."


Finger on lip, she turns her head with a confused reply..


Miranda: "What's with it?"


Hoping she has a clue, Rodulf shares what he knows with his usual gruff speech..


Rodulf: "Not a direct relation, but this woman's targeted by this.. new unknown organization. One we've found already causing the collapse of various nations economies. And the Guild wants that taken care of. We're running blind; the first of such a case.. but this Candy person's the first in relation, and we know she's innocent. Do me a solid.. and watch her for me?"

Miranda: "Letting a lady do the babysitting, is it? Not a manly act, eh? Why can't you?"

Rodulf: "She's getting involved with a bunch of people that would.. say.. take a mile when a foot's enough to end me. In ten days, there's this meet in the Swiss forests.. your friend Crowden's also going to be there."

Miranda: "Oohh? I suppose I can reveal I've survived your rage there. After I deal with your high value target, I can turn there.. but I expect compensation."

Rodulf: "As we've agreed, I can keep you in the dark till then, but since you insist.. a cut?"

Miranda: "Alright. Even if you're miles ahead from meself on a burly brawl.. you're a terrible haggler, mister reaper."

Rodulf: "Oh?"

Finally meeting a life he's not willing to take, Rodulf give this neutral, cross armed reaction as he questions that last statement.


And back to the present, Miranda's entire flashback comes down to just a quick blurb.


Miranda: "I've made a deal, stayed off grid for the past week, and that's that. And with that.. his negotiation skills need work. Gist is, sweeties: I do something for him, Reaper gets out of your hair for a long while, and the 2J's back at its rightful owner."

Giles: "All honesty, I'm done with the car, but perhaps we can arrange it to appear somewhere else.. Carlyle?"


Carlyle's usual joyful self comes back to life as he responds with energy.


Carlyle: "New look, new papers, new history. That'll be a small ass fortune, Giles!"

Giles: "By my authority, you have the permission."


Miranda's revival has one more phase in her head: making introductions towards this short Hong Kongese lady.


Miranda: "But first.."


Candy asked back confused with this sudden approach.


Candy: "..eh?"


And that gets tempered as Miranda takes a closer look with a lean that follows with a pinching of Candy's cheeks.


Miranda: "Ohh, aren't you such an incredibly CUTE little darling."

Candy: "Stop.. please, just stop it.."

Miranda: "But whyy.. you're just sooo cute."

Candy: "Enough.. stop.. STOP!"


And just as she was to intervene, Miranda transitions smoothly to a wrapped arm, akin to what she did 10 days ago..

From Candy, her gentle voice was the next sound she heard along with the pain in the arm.



Miranda: "Mmmhmm.. you're no fighter. I could have killed you in 9 different ways, darling. Oh poop, I almost forgot: Miranda Summers. Candy Lam, I presume?"

Candy: "Oww, yes.. Miranda.. good to meet.. oww.."


And as she lets go, her winked innocent face spoke with interest..


Miranda: "Now.. I hear Sonny Meng is in the area.. any gentlemen want to point me to his general direction?"


Unhurt unlike the last introduction with that fairy tale inspired woman, Candy thought behind that yellow smile..


Candy: "She's dandy, but.. I don't know.. something seems fishy with her."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I'm invoking yet another rule of me in Horizon 5's COTW: cars that challenge me or carry a learning curve gets an easy Sleeper.

If I'm going to compare with other fast machinery that we've taken on so far, the Chaparral is definitely much more drivable than the SF23. And of course: another rule of mine is that without a roof, I gotta play first person with it, VR or not. It's an experience that makes great use of both your own fear and fun factors.


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Something I've been seeing with 2Js is how easy they are to throw aside. Unintentionally, of course. I however care to recycle. Don't be surprised if there's some.. unclear instructions that I've been using my stove to clean laundry.


This is supposed to be shorts, but look what's happened! Okay, no more nonsense: next week is simple... and I can't promise that. Urgh..

What's not simple is the additions of a few things. Spoilers for segmenting, and also names have brackets in this segment.. sort of when did this character debut in my construction of story. Candy's is, well, (Sport).

This week, we got what might be Chaotic Neutral and Lawful Evil. I hope you can figure out who's who.

Something funny: Rin is familiar to Carlyle (I wrote him in an episode when they met in Sport, as well as back in Episode 2) AND Miranda (said episode with Carlyle already had Miranda as it's that point where that's established), and they didn't even know they exist in today's writeup.

For Rin Nishimura/Jessica Ross (5) and Carlyle van Orrin (Sport)
see Episode 2

For Bernardo Bellini (5)
see Episode 6

For Samantha Walsh (7) and Giles Crowden (Sport)
see Episode 9

Bound by yellow, this Canadian sweet talking, sexy sensual stunt actress may be a sweet little rose, but behind all that posterior, many find out that roses have thorns. In Miranda's case, they might as well be dual layers of barbed wire.

Theme Song: Nazareth - May The Sunshine
Racing Duel Music: The Cult - Spiritwalker
Gender: Female
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 29
Current occupation: Stunt actress
Distinct features: Thick yellow (not blonde) medium curly hair. Heart shaped face. Long and narrow, heavily lashed brown eyes. Thin nose and narrow lips. Yellowish hinted makeup with peach lipstick. Average height, petite muscular build, with above average proportions.
Choice of clothing: Rise and shine, it's all yellow here. Usually in her home turf, she's found with a form fitting sun dress, stockings and yellow pumps, along with gold bangles and jewelleries. Changes to shorter skirted dresses on higher heat, or thick fur coats with boots on colder. Importantly there's some yellow on it.
Cars: Mercedes-AMG C 63 S

The only child of a rural family hailing from a small lakeside community within Alberta, Canada. Miranda's early days usually has her time spent around the meadows, prairies and lakes of her hometown. She's unconditionally loved her parents: her fisherman father, and also her artist mother. Naturally, she's picked up small hints of their talent: namely physical prowess and the artist's keenness, all behind a face that's constantly calm, gentle and smiling.

However, the simple happy life finds a bump when the father's diagnosed and passes away from leukemia. His final words etched onto the small family's mind: find and keep chasing the light. Unsure, Miranda leaves the small village and ventures on to the city to find a chance at life for her teenage self. She's reached various lows, and times would come where an aggressive self has to emerge so she can stand out. There were many chances, but the light she eventually settled in was in the school of theatre arts.

Eventually transitioning into being stars for low budget shows and films, Miranda breaks it big over time and finds herself in the humble beginnings of top tier Hollywood, part of the small but well grounded Aurea Signum Studios. The hard worked efforts of the small family pays off as they're able to live comfortably within this lofty side of America.

Nowadays, she makes up a trio that's inclusive of her ex-boyfriend: a fellow stunt actor guised as a chubby ravishing Dutchman and her steward: a hard thinking British biker slash psychologist. An obvious team mom, sweet soul sister and always keeping face, Miranda usually finds herself short of cash due to her spending habits, and finds herself doing odd jobs, usually either as a fledgling street racer, or being involved in whatever her ex-boyfriend comes up with in his car smuggling business.

The most feared bounty hunter in all of Europe, maybe the whole world. An unstoppable wild killer, whose emotions are, to him, just a setback to the bigger picture. But there's more to him than just a savage, remorseless shell honed to kill.

Theme Song: Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Perpetual
Racing Duel Music: Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Gates of Babylon
Gender: Male
Nationality: Swedish
Age: 36
Current occupation: Bounty hunter
Distinct features: Balding swept back parted blonde hair. Notable skin damage, scarring and blemishes on his aggressive, top wide then lower thin oval face. Small patch beard. Tall, and fairly muscular on a thin body.
Choice of clothing: Thick leather gloves and steel tipped industrial boots covered by industrial coveralls, usually only worn by the leggings. Tight fit striped shirt, padded with protection. A fur jacket covers the top when weather is cold.
Cars: Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Known mainly as the Hel Walker or the Grim Reaper. Rodulf is probably one of the best, and just as merciless and ruthless bounty hunters known to man. But his humble origins from Kiruna have been rather normal. He was a shy, but cool star basketball player in his small community growing up, and was prepared for a life going pro on just playing sports. There, he learned that teamwork has been a core part of achieving a goal. But all this does is reinforce his feelings as a man who works and operates alone. This is because as he was to exit high school, he would play his last match with his team before being the sole survivor in a plane hijacking, indirectly caused by, as he found out personally, a terrorist organization.

With all ties gone due to his death being presumed, the still young Rodulf learned how to survive in the cold Swedish wilds, from living off the grid, and eventually kill. Knowing enough of those who buried his past in the snow, he would begin a long and hard pursuit of these individuals, and he would learn to hone his killer instinct, put aside his sympathetic personality and get stronger after each kill. The cold bloody war would end as he would end the terrorists by his own hand. However, due to the leader being bound by a certain organization's protective contract, the just as feared Assassin's Guild would take action and send their best assassins to find and apprehend him. Mercilessly, Rodulf didn't think twice and put him on their radar when he sent these assassins back to their masters in boxes.

And he wouldn't stop there: he rampaged his way to the inner circle of this organization and by stroke of luck they instead managed to calm him and inserted him into the group to protect themselves. Now, the life of high stakes killing begun anew, with his specially armor plated Veyron being the testament of his nearly decade reign. The Guild would then place a major base within Kiruna, specifically near Rodulf's older stomping grounds.

While savage and likes to hold grudges, those who do luckily know Rodulf can find a quiet man who thinks to himself a lot, and while scars are all over his body, he can be quite aloof, menacing and anti social. While he's feared and protected, Rodulf can sometimes be found racing legally in the FIA in Group 1 Bugattis. He would make use of this relationship to bolster his driving talent with his own car. Some rumors speak of him clashing with a few racers personally, but nothing has happened on this end. Right now, he has his eyes on The List, with an eager gaze towards the man behind the strings..

Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother.
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina
The Bristol Harbinger
'Ginnie': Gary's current long distance girlfriend who he's strangely trying to keep discreet
Graham: an individual with close ties to Miranda and Carlyle
Someone referred by Isamu and Angelos as the grim reaper
 
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The second grouped racecar we'll test in GT7. The second Korean brand in the game. If you join us in our weekly lobbies, it'd probably be only your second time driving this car, because this is the second time here at Car of the Week where we feature a car that has undoubtedly made a sour first impression when sampled in Circuit Experience.

Chosen by the second "R" in our list of regulars, our artistic New York loving drummer, @RobboGTAddict , this week's car is the Genesis X GR3!

AB442578-027A-496C-AFC0-04582C87D90F.jpeg

Livery by RobboGTAddict

I like the race cars. So I’m picking the group 3 Genesis X. Not the Hyundai genesis. The reason I’m picking this car, to be honest, is because I’m exceptionally proud of this livery.

If you'll join us in giving the Genesis X GR3 a second chance to impress under the revamped physics, feel free to join our weekly meets at Tuesday, 27th of June, 10 P.M. CST or Saturday, 5 P.M. Singapore time to see if the Genesis has had a fresh start! If not, well, you could always be the first to comment about your thoughts and/or experiences with this car, no online play needed :)

(My 2J review isn't even halfway done. There's a lot to say about the car, most of which is very difficult to describe with just words. I'll get it done eventually.)
 
The P2P 2.0 Files... COTW#010

gsfXXVs.jpg


What is there to say about F1... quite possibly the most exciting form of motorsport. Mind numbingly fast, cornering at speeds that you wish your normal road car could achieve in a straight line. In this week, we had a go at the latest version of the Super Formula cars offered here in GT7.

Usually with the high downforce race cars, I seem to do fairly well when racing against the COTW family... not so much in this case. And I'll be the first to admit, I have no bloody idea why. I just couldn't come to grips with it. AT ALL. I had an easier time with the Lotus from GT's past... and that was a handful at times. But here and now, nope. I sucked in the races. I usually strive to get in the top 5 in our weekly races. With this Super F, I was struggling to get in the top 100, and our lobbies only allow 16! :lol: :banghead:

For me, I'm giving myself a failing grade, and the cars themselves a Neutral Status...

The "This wasn't the Silvia I dated in high school" Files... COTW#011

mAXQjSi.jpg


And what a ride she was...

I mean the car you bunch of assuming perverts! :lol: But seriously, about the car. As mentioned by others beforehand, this last hurrah for the genre of affordable sports cars of this particular generation stood out. So much so, I'm going to keep it simple...

It's a Sleeper and a Keeper!!!

The "That Sinking Feeling you get, whilst in a Bathtub" Files... COTW#012

O9zAOGU.jpg


GT7 has impressed me on a few fronts, but this time, I can honestly say, I'm out and out shocked.

I actually liked the 2J.

Damn, I need a drink after saying that. If you were brave enough to go back to the GT6 forum, and look up the opinions I had of this particular Chappy back then... you'd understand why.

The best improvement, in my humble opinion, is the sound. It actually sounds like some of the CanAm monsters that I remember. Well done PD, well done! I really noticed it in the impromptu TT we had at Laguna Seca recently. To boot, I actually faired well there, in both the Time Trial (TT) and in our race there. I mention that, because I'm really not that good at Laguna. Maybe it's a confidence thing... but this time around, I held my own, thank you very much!

For some strange reason, the 2J and I got along there. On other tracks however, there were very sudden, very violent WTF moments in which you were doing ok, and then not so much. I liken it to the Doctor Jeckyl, Mister Hyde moment where the switch gets flipped... and things quickly get freaky.

For that last part, the 2J gets a Neutral status... which is a HUGE improvement in the mind of this COTW member!!!

Cheers
 
"Oh, and I drove the 2J around the (Sardegna) grind race. ****ing hell it's mega. I can 't wait to review it. Might be COTY material." — me to Obelisk, 05/06/2023 10:59 PM.

Well, here we are.

Mount Washington Auto Road_.jpeg



I've always loathed high–downforce cars. Most of it is because I'm terrible at driving them, yes, but I genuinely feel that downforce is the stupidest thing to exist in motorsport; not only does dirty air produce snooze fests of races, but it also necessitates that the cars hug the ground as closely as possible to fully capitalise on ground effects, which in turn necessitates that the suspension be set up to be unforgivingly stiff, making the cars nervous wrecks at low to mid speed, especially around circuits paved with less obsessive perfectionism than a photoshopped supermodel's face. I've never liked how I've just had to blindly trust a car at breakneck speeds just to make a turn, instead of slowly feeling and working my way up to speed. And if the car doesn't turn enough, is it because I'm going too slow, or too fast?

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps_ (2).jpeg


All that nonsense, just so the cars go faster in select turns in clean air? That's not racing; that's just hollow spectacle. I know I'm in the microscopic minority when I say this, but I genuinely think that downforce is a blight onto motorsport. As long as the car isn't taking off on the straight, that's enough downforce for me. But maybe I feel that way because modern motorsports are doing downforce all wrong; something that Jim Hall and Hap Sharp realised as soon as their fifth applied aerodynamics racing prototype back in 1970, when they switched from sticking upside–down airplane wings on their 2H racecar to a sleek, almost featureless box of a car in the 2J.

Watkins Glen Long Course__3.jpeg


Unless you're a cat, it's what's in that box that properly excites; a 7.6 Litre Naturally Aspirated V8 engine producing 683HP and capable to revving to an unusually high 8,000rpm, mated to a lightning quick 3 speed stick shift automatic gearbox (don't... ask me about that), good for an as–tested top speed of 356km/h (221mph)... but nobody cares about that. Rather, it's the 247cc, two–cylinder Rockwell JLO snowmobile engine that gets all the attention and earns the nicknaming rights to the "sucker car"—it powers a pair of 17–inch fans that suck air from below the car and jettisons them out the rear, creating an area of low pressure underneath the car to cause the atmospheric air around the car to naturally push the car down into the ground, not to mention generating just a tad bit of forward thrust for good measure. All told, the 2J could reportedly generate a literal tonne of downforce with its fans, or 2,200lbs for our genius American friends. For some context, a modern day, cutting edge track toy, the Elemental RP1, can only generate that same amount at 150mph. The 2J could make that downforce at any speed, even at a standstill, regardless of whether or not it's following any other car (which is not very likely at all).

Oh, and the mass of the 2J? A mere 821kg (1,810lbs). Lighter even than the Kei car we tested for Week 2.

Goodwood Motor Circuit__1.jpeg



All these jaw dropping facts and figures, and I haven't even told you what the car felt like in practice! In modern Formula cars and even DTM and GT500 machines without ABS, the driver has to gradually ease off the brakes as the car slows down and the downforce washes off the car to prevent wheel lockup when braking at low speeds, resulting in a sharply waning deceleration performance in conjunction with the drag generating wings and splitters. In the 2J, because the downforce is entirely independent of the speed of the car, the entirety of the brake pedal can be used without worry to slow the car to a dead stop the dry, and the tyres won't as much squeak, providing strong, sustained, and constant deceleration all the way to the turn–in of a corner with its large ventilated discs, allowing drivers to brake for corners later than common sense would suggest, even for a car that barely tips the scales. Because of its always–on downforce, the 2J will utterly destroy even modern Racing Medium slicks equipped Group 1 machinery in low speed corners, while itself wearing 50 year old Firestone Racing Hard tyres. In the mid speed sections, it matched, or even slightly bettered, the corner exit speeds of my 2008 Epson NSX GT500, with the 2J finally losing out to the echelons of modern day performance somewhere around the 220km/h (137mph) mark in my estimation, where the downforce level of modern day prototypes finally overtakes the Can–Am Cleaner. In other words, it takes a track with many high speed sweepers and a tyre advantage for a modern LMP or a VGT convert to be able to fight the 2J on somewhat equal pace!

Willow Springs International Raceway_ Big Willow__1.jpeg


But, while they can match pace with the 2J under very select scenarios, those modern machines can do absolutely nothing to even palely mimic the 2J's tyre longevity; thanks to its extremely lightweight package, and possibly due to its immense downforce minimising tyre scrubbing, the 2J's tyre life is simply u n e t h i c a l ! Running the 2J and a McLaren Ultimate VGT Gr.1 both on Racing Hard tyres with horrific power detunes to fit under the 800PP limit of the lucrative Sardegna WTC800 event, the McVGT from the future was about a quarter way through its rear right tyre at the end of the 15 laps with no tyre change, and was already starting to feel skittish to drive.

Gran Turismo® 7_20230625231326.png


The 2J? Um, well...

Gran Turismo® 7_20230622104013.png


The wear was so minimal, it genuinely made me think that the developers forgot to code in tyre degradation for the 2J for a good portion of the race! That's probably a good thing, because I have no idea how long it'd take a pit crew to change the blocked off rear tyres on this fridge. While the 2J sucks fuel like its going out of fashion, its nearly nonexistent tyre wear means that the car just keeps getting faster and faster as the event wears on and the car gets even lighter with less fuel!

Daytona Road Course_.jpeg


And that's not all!
Because the 2J always has its one tonne downforce at any speed, it's affected much less by the rain, which sharply slashes the speed, and therefore downforce, of cars which rely on passing air to generate grip. The spray the 2J would kick up and jettison out the rear into the faces of its competitors sadly doesn't seem to be simulated, but the 2J was ultra composed and surefooted even in the wettest of conditions with full wet tyres, especially for something capable of the speeds it does, allowing drivers to carry what would qualify as reckless speeds by any daredevil into corners. In the braking zones, I could use about than 3/4 of the brake pedal without locking the wheels, meaning it can even reign back in all that speed in the twisties! If you thought the 2J was fast in the dry, wait till some rainclouds appear over the track!

Red Bull Ring_.jpeg


Easy Car of the Year material, right?

Unfortunately, when it came time for us to run the 2J full tilt in our weekly lobbies, I came to absolutely loathe the damn thing. You see, all the praise I had heaped on the car prior were a result of slow driving, either cautiously feeling out the grip levels in the rain, or conserving fuel with a hefty detune. When ran at full tilt, the 2J becomes a moody, psychotic, and unpredictable murderer in a box.

Watkins Glen Long Course__10.jpeg


The Chevrolet V8, despite being NA, is heinously peaky, making peak power just a thousand revs below its rev limit of 8,000rpm, but it doesn't even have to do 7,000rpm to break traction on the rear, in spite of its long, 190km/h (118mph) capable first gear. In practice, I notice a horrific spike in power somewhere around the 6,300rpm range when the engine finally "wakes up", making this NA unit kick the rear with almost as much ferocity as a torturously turbocharged tiny engine, with said spike being a prominent problem in 2 of its 3 forward gears. Drivers of the 2J then, will have to become very, very familiar with the very specific note of the engine raising to 6,3, and actively lift off the throttle mid turn even before traction has been broken, because when this car goes, it goes in an instant without any warning whatsoever, worse so than modern cars with conventional aero.

Daytona Road Course__1.jpeg


You know how, with experience, you quickly learn to avoid turning too much while going over a rumble strip in the corner exit, or right at the treshold of locking up the front tyres when braking without ABS? You learn that because it's very quickly evident that asking a tyre stressed to its limits to do something more simply snaps the car and sends it spearing off into the barriers. Here's the thing, though: in a conventional racecar, it's the driver who's stressing the tyres, gradually leaning into them when they need that specific tyre to do the most work. It's the driver who presses the brakes, steers the car into a rumble strip, and knowingly brings the car to into danger. In the 2J however, all four tyres are constantly stressed by the always–on downforce. While that means that all four tyres are doing their most work at all times, what that also means is that it takes only the tiniest, almost inconspicuous things to push the 2J over the knife edge it's always teetering over, and the driver doesn't get to feel the car up to its limits, gradually lean into the tyres, or approach the danger themselves; the dangers approach the car instead, and when that happens, the constantly stressed tyres give up with all the immediacy and catastrophe of a blatantly stupid maneuver, such as giving full throttle on steering lock on a rumble strip, even if the offence was something inconspicuous, like a slight tap against a barrier or another car.

High Speed Ring Reverse__1.jpeg


One moment, the car has awesome grip, and a slight inconvenience later, the car is upside down, inside out, and on fire in a ditch with some Armco souvenirs. There are no "small incidents" with the 2J, what with it constantly being on the knife edge of grip and the speeds it does; every incident is an ugly, undoubtedly fatal wreck at triple digit mph speeds, because the only way a driver gets to learn what upsets a 2J and what to avoid doing in one is to have at least one big crash with any of the many possible list of offenders: the power spike in the engine. Wandering under braking. Old habits of trying to carry much more speed into a high speed sweeper, thinking more speed equals more downforce. The car naturally understeering. Turning the car too much. A bumpy public road. Kerbs. Contact with another car or a barrier. I cannot even begin to fathom how one would discover its handling limit in the real world in a safe manner, let alone stay near said limits consistently for an entire race. If you have enough virtual lives to live and learn through enough of these wrecks, you'll perhaps be able to come to some sort of understanding with the 2J and make a reasonable attempt to tame it to extract its still bountiful potential. But that of course, requires very painful unlearning and relearning of how to drive. You don't simply hop into a 2J with the experience of having driven other cars and drive it; you 2J a 2J in a very specific 2J–ish way the 2J wants you to 2J it. And I can't help but to wonder if it's worth the pain.

High Speed Ring Reverse__2.jpeg


If you've stayed with my long and incoherent ramblings up to this point, then hopefully you'll also pardon me if I become a little dramatic here: driving a 2J is like willfully sustaining emotional trauma. No matter how hard I tried to placate it and take every precaution, it spits me out almost every other corner, and it's distressing. It sows a very big, fast sprouting seed of paranoia into me. When I hopped into my McVGT Gr.1 for a comparison test, the whole session suddenly became fun; I could suddenly drive again. I could compete. I didn't feel like my car wanted to kill me for daring to share a space with it. I ended up 2nd and 3rd in the 2 races I brought my McVGT to race, and I didn't make a single legitimate overtake of any 2J on–track; they all fell off the wayside in ugly accidents one after another. When I braked and turned, the car didn't spit me off. When I lost grip, the car was easy to retrieve. If the McVGT was a person instead of a car, they'd probably be wondering why I'm moved to tears simply by the fact that they didn't elect to stab me in the stomach and spit in my face when we shook hands. It was a trustworthy car, but I had a very difficult time trusting it because of all my previous experiences with a 2J. That race at Laguna Seca was less me racing the 2Js around me and more a race for me to trust a modern racing car again in time before Baron and his bathtub took the chequered flag in the desert.

In other words, learning how to drive a 2J fast almost makes me forget how to drive a normal car properly, and I don't much see the point in that.

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps_.jpeg


And that brings me to a very weird realisation for the conclusion to this long winded post. On paper, the 2J makes all the sense in the world. Fans generating downforce makes all the sense in the world. I would love to see what a modern car in the 2J's spirit would look and drive like, how much of the 2J's problems can be addressed with modern technology, and how much of it is simply inherent to the design. But the fact is, we live in a flawed, illogical world, where the nonsensical is the norm. To survive in it, I've had to spend all my life trying to get accustomed to that nonsense, and roll with it as a matter of course. The 2J then, appears alien and incomprehensible to me, despite it making logical sense. It's like saying formal wear with blazers, suits, ties, and uncomfortable dress shoes make no sense, especially in a hot and humid country like Singapore, but if I showed up to work one day and my boss was in a T shirt, shorts, and sandals, I'd still be thrown for a loop. I can't help but to imagine an alternate reality where the inverse is true; where downforce generating fans are the norm and fixed, speed reliant aero devices were the novelty. Would I hate the McVGT and complain about it as much, while praising a modern Chaparral?

Watkins Glen Long Course__2.jpeg


It's impossible to have an apples to apples comparison for the 2J, which makes it impossible to be fair to the 2J when deciding whether its a good car or not. Hell, we've had to reach some 50 years into the future for competent competition to it, and even those had to wear Medium tyres to compete. because it's its own thing, with its own unique strengths and weaknesses that's almost impossible to hold to other cars, and even then, it feels like it's several universes away from anything I could compare against it. Then again, maybe racecars back then weren't meant to be driven and held at their absolute limits or reviewed by sim rig pretenders. I get the feeling that, back then, racecars were more a test of a driver's balls than the cars' technical excellence. The 2J was never set up to face equal competition; it's set up to blow everything out of the water with ease, and thus never had to be driven flat out. Put it up against something else that can fight back, or even against copies of itself, and the Chaparral very quickly becomes roadkill. For every mind blowing strength it has over other cars, it has an equally crippling weakness to cancel it out. It's either qualifying 2 seconds ahead of contemporary cars, or it's broken down in the sidelines. It's either gripping with all the tenacity of a pack of hyenas, or it's lying by the roadside as roadkill. It's either the most frugal car on the track with tyres, or it's drinking like it's just been dumped. It's either the most technologically advanced racing car in the game, or it's a ******* saddled with a 3 speed auto and overcooked pasta springs. This is a car that could easily clinch both the Beater of the Year and Car of the Year awards simultaneously, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Watkins Glen Long Course__4.jpeg


Whatever awards and races it wins or doesn't win, though, the 2J is unequivocal proof to me that downforce is a blight on motorsports, even when done right.
 
"Oh, and I drove the 2J around the (Sardegna) grind race. ****ing hell it's mega. I can 't wait to review it. Might be COTY material." — me to Obelisk, 05/06/2023 10:59 PM.

Well, here we are.

View attachment 1268857


I've always loathed high–downforce cars. Most of it is because I'm terrible at driving them, yes, but I genuinely feel that downforce is the stupidest thing to exist in motorsport; not only does dirty air produce snooze fests of races, but it also necessitates that the cars hug the ground as closely as possible to fully capitalise on ground effects, which in turn necessitates that the suspension be set up to be unforgivingly stiff, making the cars nervous wrecks at low to mid speed, especially around circuits paved with less obsessive perfectionism than a photoshopped supermodel's face. I've never liked how I've just had to blindly trust a car at breakneck speeds just to make a turn, instead of slowly feeling and working my way up to speed. And if the car doesn't turn enough, is it because I'm going too slow, or too fast?

View attachment 1268858

All that nonsense, just so the cars go faster in select turns in clean air? That's not racing; that's just hollow spectacle. I know I'm in the microscopic minority when I say this, but I genuinely think that downforce is a blight onto motorsport. As long as the car isn't taking off on the straight, that's enough downforce for me. But maybe I feel that way because modern motorsports are doing downforce all wrong; something that Jim Hall and Hap Sharp realised as soon as their fifth applied aerodynamics racing prototype back in 1970, when they switched from sticking upside–down airplane wings on their 2H racecar to a sleek, almost featureless box of a car in the 2J.

View attachment 1268859

Unless you're a cat, it's what's in that box that properly excites; a 7.6 Litre Naturally Aspirated V8 engine producing 683HP and capable to revving to an unusually high 8,000rpm, mated to a lightning quick 3 speed stick shift automatic gearbox (don't... ask me about that), good for an as–tested top speed of 356km/h (221mph)... but nobody cares about that. Rather, it's the 247cc, two–cylinder Rockwell JLO snowmobile engine that gets all the attention and earns the nicknaming rights to the "sucker car"—it powers a pair of 17–inch fans that suck air from below the car and jettisons them out the rear, creating an area of low pressure underneath the car to cause the atmospheric air around the car to naturally push the car down into the ground, not to mention generating just a tad bit of forward thrust for good measure. All told, the 2J could reportedly generate a literal tonne of downforce with its fans, or 2,200lbs for our genius American friends. For some context, a modern day, cutting edge track toy, the Elemental RP1, can only generate that same amount at 150mph. The 2J could make that downforce at any speed, even at a standstill, regardless of whether or not it's following any other car (which is not very likely at all).

Oh, and the mass of the 2J? A mere 821kg (1,810lbs). Lighter even than the Kei car we tested for Week 2.

View attachment 1268861


All these jaw dropping facts and figures, and I haven't even told you what the car felt like in practice! In modern Formula cars and even DTM and GT500 machines without ABS, the driver has to gradually ease off the brakes as the car slows down and the downforce washes off the car to prevent wheel lockup when braking at low speeds, resulting in a sharply waning deceleration performance in conjunction with the drag generating wings and splitters. In the 2J, because the downforce is entirely independent of the speed of the car, the entirety of the brake pedal can be used without worry to slow the car to a dead stop the dry, and the tyres won't as much squeak, providing strong, sustained, and constant deceleration all the way to the turn–in of a corner with its large ventilated discs, allowing drivers to brake for corners later than common sense would suggest, even for a car that barely tips the scales. Because of its always–on downforce, the 2J will utterly destroy even modern Racing Medium slicks equipped Group 1 machinery in low speed corners, while itself wearing 50 year old Firestone Racing Hard tyres. In the mid speed sections, it matched, or even slightly bettered, the corner exit speeds of my 2008 Epson NSX GT500, with the 2J finally losing out to the echelons of modern day performance somewhere around the 220km/h (137mph) mark in my estimation, where the downforce level of modern day prototypes finally overtakes the Can–Am Cleaner. In other words, it takes a track with many high speed sweepers and a tyre advantage for a modern LMP or a VGT convert to be able to fight the 2J on somewhat equal pace!

View attachment 1268862

But, while they can match pace with the 2J under very select scenarios, those modern machines can do absolutely nothing to even palely mimic the 2J's tyre longevity; thanks to its extremely lightweight package, and possibly due to its immense downforce minimising tyre scrubbing, the 2J's tyre life is simply u n e t h i c a l ! Running the 2J and a McLaren Ultimate VGT Gr.1 both on Racing Hard tyres with horrific power detunes to fit under the 800PP limit of the lucrative Sardegna WTC800 event, the McVGT from the future was about a quarter way through its rear right tyre at the end of the 15 laps with no tyre change, and was already starting to feel skittish to drive.

View attachment 1268863

The 2J? Um, well...

View attachment 1268864

The wear was so minimal, it genuinely made me think that the developers forgot to code in tyre degradation for the 2J for a good portion of the race! That's probably a good thing, because I have no idea how long it'd take a pit crew to change the blocked off rear tyres on this fridge. While the 2J sucks fuel like its going out of fashion, its nearly nonexistent tyre wear means that the car just keeps getting faster and faster as the event wears on and the car gets even lighter with less fuel!

View attachment 1268865

And that's not all! Because the 2J always has its one tonne downforce at any speed, it's affected much less by the rain, which sharply slashes the speed, and therefore downforce, of cars which rely on passing air to generate grip. The spray the 2J would kick up and jettison out the rear into the faces of its competitors sadly doesn't seem to be simulated, but the 2J was ultra composed and surefooted even in the wettest of conditions with full wet tyres, especially for something capable of the speeds it does, allowing drivers to carry what would qualify as reckless speeds by any daredevil into corners. In the braking zones, I could use about than 3/4 of the brake pedal without locking the wheels, meaning it can even reign back in all that speed in the twisties! If you thought the 2J was fast in the dry, wait till some rainclouds appear over the track!

View attachment 1268866

Easy Car of the Year material, right?

Unfortunately, when it came time for us to run the 2J full tilt in our weekly lobbies, I came to absolutely loathe the damn thing. You see, all the praise I had heaped on the car prior were a result of slow driving, either cautiously feeling out the grip levels in the rain, or conserving fuel with a hefty detune. When ran at full tilt, the 2J becomes a moody, psychotic, and unpredictable murderer in a box.

View attachment 1268867

The Chevrolet V8, despite being NA, is heinously peaky, making peak power just a thousand revs below its rev limit of 8,000rpm, but it doesn't even have to do 7,000rpm to break traction on the rear, in spite of its long, 190km/h (118mph) capable first gear. In practice, I notice a horrific spike in power somewhere around the 6,300rpm range when the engine finally "wakes up", making this NA unit kick the rear with almost as much ferocity as a torturously turbocharged tiny engine, with said spike being a prominent problem in 2 of its 3 forward gears. Drivers of the 2J then, will have to become very, very familiar with the very specific note of the engine raising to 6,3, and actively lift off the throttle mid turn even before traction has been broken, because when this car goes, it goes in an instant without any warning whatsoever, worse so than modern cars with conventional aero.

View attachment 1268868

You know how, with experience, you quickly learn to avoid turning too much while going over a rumble strip in the corner exit, or right at the treshold of locking up the front tyres when braking without ABS? You learn that because it's very quickly evident that asking a tyre stressed to its limits to do something more simply snaps the car and sends it spearing off into the barriers. Here's the thing, though: in a conventional racecar, it's the driver who's stressing the tyres, gradually leaning into them when they need that specific tyre to do the most work. It's the driver who presses the brakes, steers the car into a rumble strip, and knowingly brings the car to into danger. In the 2J however, all four tyres are constantly stressed by the always–on downforce. While that means that all four tyres are doing their most work at all times, what that also means is that it takes only the tiniest, almost inconspicuous things to push the 2J over the knife edge it's always teetering over, and the driver doesn't get to feel the car up to its limits, gradually lean into the tyres, or approach the danger themselves; the dangers approach the car instead, and when that happens, the constantly stressed tyres give up with all the immediacy and catastrophe of a blatantly stupid maneuver, such as giving full throttle on steering lock on a rumble strip, even if the offence was something inconspicuous, like a slight tap against a barrier or another car.

View attachment 1268869

One moment, the car has awesome grip, and a slight inconvenience later, the car is upside down, inside out, and on fire in a ditch with some Armco souvenirs. There are no "small incidents" with the 2J, what with it constantly being on the knife edge of grip and the speeds it does; every incident is an ugly, undoubtedly fatal wreck at triple digit mph speeds, because the only way a driver gets to learn what upsets a 2J and what to avoid doing in one is to have at least one big crash with any of the many possible list of offenders: the power spike in the engine. Wandering under braking. Old habits of trying to carry much more speed into a high speed sweeper, thinking more speed equals more downforce. The car naturally understeering. Turning the car too much. A bumpy public road. Kerbs. Contact with another car or a barrier. I cannot even begin to fathom how one would discover its handling limit in the real world in a safe manner, let alone stay near said limits consistently for an entire race. If you have enough virtual lives to live and learn through enough of these wrecks, you'll perhaps be able to come to some sort of understanding with the 2J and make a reasonable attempt to tame it to extract its still bountiful potential. But that of course, requires very painful unlearning and relearning of how to drive. You don't simply hop into a 2J with the experience of having driven other cars and drive it; you 2J a 2J in a very specific 2J–ish way the 2J wants you to 2J it. And I can't help but to wonder if it's worth the pain.

View attachment 1268870

If you've stayed with my long and incoherent ramblings up to this point, then hopefully you'll also pardon me if I become a little dramatic here: driving a 2J is like willfully sustaining emotional trauma. No matter how hard I tried to placate it and take every precaution, it spits me out almost every other corner, and it's distressing. It sows a very big, fast sprouting seed of paranoia into me. When I hopped into my McVGT Gr.1 for a comparison test, the whole session suddenly became fun; I could suddenly drive again. I could compete. I didn't feel like my car wanted to kill me for daring to share a space with it. I ended up 2nd and 3rd in the 2 races I brought my McVGT to race, and I didn't make a single legitimate overtake of any 2J on–track; they all fell off the wayside in ugly accidents one after another. When I braked and turned, the car didn't spit me off. When I lost grip, the car was easy to retrieve. If the McVGT was a person instead of a car, they'd probably be wondering why I'm moved to tears simply by the fact that they didn't elect to stab me in the stomach and spit in my face when we shook hands. It was a trustworthy car, but I had a very difficult time trusting it because of all my previous experiences with a 2J. That race at Laguna Seca was less me racing the 2Js around me and more a race for me to trust a modern racing car again in time before Baron and his bathtub took the chequered flag in the desert.

In other words, learning how to drive a 2J fast almost makes me forget how to drive a normal car properly, and I don't much see the point in that.

View attachment 1268871

And that brings me to a very weird realisation for the conclusion to this long winded post. On paper, the 2J makes all the sense in the world. Fans generating downforce makes all the sense in the world. I would love to see what a modern car in the 2J's spirit would look and drive like, how much of the 2J's problems can be addressed with modern technology, and how much of it is simply inherent to the design. But the fact is, we live in a flawed, illogical world, where the nonsensical is the norm. To survive in it, I've had to spend all my life trying to get accustomed to that nonsense, and roll with it as a matter of course. The 2J then, appears alien and incomprehensible to me, despite it making logical sense. It's like saying formal wear with blazers, suits, ties, and uncomfortable dress shoes make no sense, especially in a hot and humid country like Singapore, but if I showed up to work one day and my boss was in a T shirt, shorts, and sandals, I'd still be thrown for a loop. I can't help but to imagine an alternate reality where the inverse is true; where downforce generating fans are the norm and fixed, speed reliant aero devices were the novelty. Would I hate the McVGT and complain about it as much, while praising a modern Chaparral?

View attachment 1268872

It's impossible to have an apples to apples comparison for the 2J, which makes it impossible to be fair to the 2J when deciding whether its a good car or not. Hell, we've had to reach some 50 years into the future for competent competition to it, and even those had to wear Medium tyres to compete. because it's its own thing, with its own unique strengths and weaknesses that's almost impossible to hold to other cars, and even then, it feels like it's several universes away from anything I could compare against it. Then again, maybe racecars back then weren't meant to be driven and held at their absolute limits or reviewed by sim rig pretenders. I get the feeling that, back then, racecars were more a test of a driver's balls than the cars' technical excellence. The 2J was never set up to face equal competition; it's set up to blow everything out of the water with ease, and thus never had to be driven flat out. Put it up against something else that can fight back, or even against copies of itself, and the Chaparral very quickly becomes roadkill. For every mind blowing strength it has over other cars, it has an equally crippling weakness to cancel it out. It's either qualifying 2 seconds ahead of contemporary cars, or it's broken down in the sidelines. It's either gripping with all the tenacity of a pack of hyenas, or it's lying by the roadside as roadkill. It's either the most frugal car on the track with tyres, or it's drinking like it's just been dumped. It's either the most technologically advanced racing car in the game, or it's a ******* saddled with a 3 speed auto and overcooked pasta springs. This is a car that could easily clinch both the Beater of the Year and Car of the Year awards simultaneously, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

View attachment 1268860

Whatever awards and races it wins or doesn't win, though, the 2J is unequivocal proof to me that downforce is a blight on motorsports, even when done right.
Excellent commentary! Mirroring my thoughts from the PSN chat just now:

I think, when it comes to the 2J, we all need to add a footnote that a lot of the angry, unpredictable behavior Square described (and everyone has experienced) is on the factory settings for the car.

It comes with a fully customizable suspension and differential, so maybe 5 or 10 minutes of testing and tweaking is going to pull about 90% of the issues from the car - my personal setup has a bit more body roll on the rear (lower ARB) and softer dampers overall so it absorbs the weight transfer front to back better. Another thing to note here is that the 2J's ridiculously long gearing from its transmission¹ is exaggerating the peaky power curve of the engine - if you did the same gearing setup with the Escudo it'd probably do something similar. Putting on the 5 speed transmission nixes a lot of this as it gives you much more time within the power curve instead of climbing up to it.

¹@XSquareStickIt - on that transmission thing... think of it simply as a manual without a clutch.

I still maintain my Sleeper verdict on this car as my evaluation considered both stock and custom suspension settings.

I'm going to circle back to this post when I get off work (and get home) and share my tune for the 2J. I'll also share it in the PSN chat.

Edit 1: Square found this in the wild and sent it to me. Great watch.
 
Last edited:
"Oh, and I drove the 2J around the (Sardegna) grind race. ****ing hell it's mega. I can 't wait to review it. Might be COTY material." — me to Obelisk, 05/06/2023 10:59 PM.

Well, here we are.

View attachment 1268857


I've always loathed high–downforce cars. Most of it is because I'm terrible at driving them, yes, but I genuinely feel that downforce is the stupidest thing to exist in motorsport; not only does dirty air produce snooze fests of races, but it also necessitates that the cars hug the ground as closely as possible to fully capitalise on ground effects, which in turn necessitates that the suspension be set up to be unforgivingly stiff, making the cars nervous wrecks at low to mid speed, especially around circuits paved with less obsessive perfectionism than a photoshopped supermodel's face. I've never liked how I've just had to blindly trust a car at breakneck speeds just to make a turn, instead of slowly feeling and working my way up to speed. And if the car doesn't turn enough, is it because I'm going too slow, or too fast?

View attachment 1268858

All that nonsense, just so the cars go faster in select turns in clean air? That's not racing; that's just hollow spectacle. I know I'm in the microscopic minority when I say this, but I genuinely think that downforce is a blight onto motorsport. As long as the car isn't taking off on the straight, that's enough downforce for me. But maybe I feel that way because modern motorsports are doing downforce all wrong; something that Jim Hall and Hap Sharp realised as soon as their fifth applied aerodynamics racing prototype back in 1970, when they switched from sticking upside–down airplane wings on their 2H racecar to a sleek, almost featureless box of a car in the 2J.

View attachment 1268859

Unless you're a cat, it's what's in that box that properly excites; a 7.6 Litre Naturally Aspirated V8 engine producing 683HP and capable to revving to an unusually high 8,000rpm, mated to a lightning quick 3 speed stick shift automatic gearbox (don't... ask me about that), good for an as–tested top speed of 356km/h (221mph)... but nobody cares about that. Rather, it's the 247cc, two–cylinder Rockwell JLO snowmobile engine that gets all the attention and earns the nicknaming rights to the "sucker car"—it powers a pair of 17–inch fans that suck air from below the car and jettisons them out the rear, creating an area of low pressure underneath the car to cause the atmospheric air around the car to naturally push the car down into the ground, not to mention generating just a tad bit of forward thrust for good measure. All told, the 2J could reportedly generate a literal tonne of downforce with its fans, or 2,200lbs for our genius American friends. For some context, a modern day, cutting edge track toy, the Elemental RP1, can only generate that same amount at 150mph. The 2J could make that downforce at any speed, even at a standstill, regardless of whether or not it's following any other car (which is not very likely at all).

Oh, and the mass of the 2J? A mere 821kg (1,810lbs). Lighter even than the Kei car we tested for Week 2.

View attachment 1268861


All these jaw dropping facts and figures, and I haven't even told you what the car felt like in practice! In modern Formula cars and even DTM and GT500 machines without ABS, the driver has to gradually ease off the brakes as the car slows down and the downforce washes off the car to prevent wheel lockup when braking at low speeds, resulting in a sharply waning deceleration performance in conjunction with the drag generating wings and splitters. In the 2J, because the downforce is entirely independent of the speed of the car, the entirety of the brake pedal can be used without worry to slow the car to a dead stop the dry, and the tyres won't as much squeak, providing strong, sustained, and constant deceleration all the way to the turn–in of a corner with its large ventilated discs, allowing drivers to brake for corners later than common sense would suggest, even for a car that barely tips the scales. Because of its always–on downforce, the 2J will utterly destroy even modern Racing Medium slicks equipped Group 1 machinery in low speed corners, while itself wearing 50 year old Firestone Racing Hard tyres. In the mid speed sections, it matched, or even slightly bettered, the corner exit speeds of my 2008 Epson NSX GT500, with the 2J finally losing out to the echelons of modern day performance somewhere around the 220km/h (137mph) mark in my estimation, where the downforce level of modern day prototypes finally overtakes the Can–Am Cleaner. In other words, it takes a track with many high speed sweepers and a tyre advantage for a modern LMP or a VGT convert to be able to fight the 2J on somewhat equal pace!

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But, while they can match pace with the 2J under very select scenarios, those modern machines can do absolutely nothing to even palely mimic the 2J's tyre longevity; thanks to its extremely lightweight package, and possibly due to its immense downforce minimising tyre scrubbing, the 2J's tyre life is simply u n e t h i c a l ! Running the 2J and a McLaren Ultimate VGT Gr.1 both on Racing Hard tyres with horrific power detunes to fit under the 800PP limit of the lucrative Sardegna WTC800 event, the McVGT from the future was about a quarter way through its rear right tyre at the end of the 15 laps with no tyre change, and was already starting to feel skittish to drive.

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The 2J? Um, well...

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The wear was so minimal, it genuinely made me think that the developers forgot to code in tyre degradation for the 2J for a good portion of the race! That's probably a good thing, because I have no idea how long it'd take a pit crew to change the blocked off rear tyres on this fridge. While the 2J sucks fuel like its going out of fashion, its nearly nonexistent tyre wear means that the car just keeps getting faster and faster as the event wears on and the car gets even lighter with less fuel!

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And that's not all!
Because the 2J always has its one tonne downforce at any speed, it's affected much less by the rain, which sharply slashes the speed, and therefore downforce, of cars which rely on passing air to generate grip. The spray the 2J would kick up and jettison out the rear into the faces of its competitors sadly doesn't seem to be simulated, but the 2J was ultra composed and surefooted even in the wettest of conditions with full wet tyres, especially for something capable of the speeds it does, allowing drivers to carry what would qualify as reckless speeds by any daredevil into corners. In the braking zones, I could use about than 3/4 of the brake pedal without locking the wheels, meaning it can even reign back in all that speed in the twisties! If you thought the 2J was fast in the dry, wait till some rainclouds appear over the track!

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Easy Car of the Year material, right?

Unfortunately, when it came time for us to run the 2J full tilt in our weekly lobbies, I came to absolutely loathe the damn thing. You see, all the praise I had heaped on the car prior were a result of slow driving, either cautiously feeling out the grip levels in the rain, or conserving fuel with a hefty detune. When ran at full tilt, the 2J becomes a moody, psychotic, and unpredictable murderer in a box.

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The Chevrolet V8, despite being NA, is heinously peaky, making peak power just a thousand revs below its rev limit of 8,000rpm, but it doesn't even have to do 7,000rpm to break traction on the rear, in spite of its long, 190km/h (118mph) capable first gear. In practice, I notice a horrific spike in power somewhere around the 6,300rpm range when the engine finally "wakes up", making this NA unit kick the rear with almost as much ferocity as a torturously turbocharged tiny engine, with said spike being a prominent problem in 2 of its 3 forward gears. Drivers of the 2J then, will have to become very, very familiar with the very specific note of the engine raising to 6,3, and actively lift off the throttle mid turn even before traction has been broken, because when this car goes, it goes in an instant without any warning whatsoever, worse so than modern cars with conventional aero.

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You know how, with experience, you quickly learn to avoid turning too much while going over a rumble strip in the corner exit, or right at the treshold of locking up the front tyres when braking without ABS? You learn that because it's very quickly evident that asking a tyre stressed to its limits to do something more simply snaps the car and sends it spearing off into the barriers. Here's the thing, though: in a conventional racecar, it's the driver who's stressing the tyres, gradually leaning into them when they need that specific tyre to do the most work. It's the driver who presses the brakes, steers the car into a rumble strip, and knowingly brings the car to into danger. In the 2J however, all four tyres are constantly stressed by the always–on downforce. While that means that all four tyres are doing their most work at all times, what that also means is that it takes only the tiniest, almost inconspicuous things to push the 2J over the knife edge it's always teetering over, and the driver doesn't get to feel the car up to its limits, gradually lean into the tyres, or approach the danger themselves; the dangers approach the car instead, and when that happens, the constantly stressed tyres give up with all the immediacy and catastrophe of a blatantly stupid maneuver, such as giving full throttle on steering lock on a rumble strip, even if the offence was something inconspicuous, like a slight tap against a barrier or another car.

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One moment, the car has awesome grip, and a slight inconvenience later, the car is upside down, inside out, and on fire in a ditch with some Armco souvenirs. There are no "small incidents" with the 2J, what with it constantly being on the knife edge of grip and the speeds it does; every incident is an ugly, undoubtedly fatal wreck at triple digit mph speeds, because the only way a driver gets to learn what upsets a 2J and what to avoid doing in one is to have at least one big crash with any of the many possible list of offenders: the power spike in the engine. Wandering under braking. Old habits of trying to carry much more speed into a high speed sweeper, thinking more speed equals more downforce. The car naturally understeering. Turning the car too much. A bumpy public road. Kerbs. Contact with another car or a barrier. I cannot even begin to fathom how one would discover its handling limit in the real world in a safe manner, let alone stay near said limits consistently for an entire race. If you have enough virtual lives to live and learn through enough of these wrecks, you'll perhaps be able to come to some sort of understanding with the 2J and make a reasonable attempt to tame it to extract its still bountiful potential. But that of course, requires very painful unlearning and relearning of how to drive. You don't simply hop into a 2J with the experience of having driven other cars and drive it; you 2J a 2J in a very specific 2J–ish way the 2J wants you to 2J it. And I can't help but to wonder if it's worth the pain.

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If you've stayed with my long and incoherent ramblings up to this point, then hopefully you'll also pardon me if I become a little dramatic here: driving a 2J is like willfully sustaining emotional trauma. No matter how hard I tried to placate it and take every precaution, it spits me out almost every other corner, and it's distressing. It sows a very big, fast sprouting seed of paranoia into me. When I hopped into my McVGT Gr.1 for a comparison test, the whole session suddenly became fun; I could suddenly drive again. I could compete. I didn't feel like my car wanted to kill me for daring to share a space with it. I ended up 2nd and 3rd in the 2 races I brought my McVGT to race, and I didn't make a single legitimate overtake of any 2J on–track; they all fell off the wayside in ugly accidents one after another. When I braked and turned, the car didn't spit me off. When I lost grip, the car was easy to retrieve. If the McVGT was a person instead of a car, they'd probably be wondering why I'm moved to tears simply by the fact that they didn't elect to stab me in the stomach and spit in my face when we shook hands. It was a trustworthy car, but I had a very difficult time trusting it because of all my previous experiences with a 2J. That race at Laguna Seca was less me racing the 2Js around me and more a race for me to trust a modern racing car again in time before Baron and his bathtub took the chequered flag in the desert.

In other words, learning how to drive a 2J fast almost makes me forget how to drive a normal car properly, and I don't much see the point in that.

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And that brings me to a very weird realisation for the conclusion to this long winded post. On paper, the 2J makes all the sense in the world. Fans generating downforce makes all the sense in the world. I would love to see what a modern car in the 2J's spirit would look and drive like, how much of the 2J's problems can be addressed with modern technology, and how much of it is simply inherent to the design. But the fact is, we live in a flawed, illogical world, where the nonsensical is the norm. To survive in it, I've had to spend all my life trying to get accustomed to that nonsense, and roll with it as a matter of course. The 2J then, appears alien and incomprehensible to me, despite it making logical sense. It's like saying formal wear with blazers, suits, ties, and uncomfortable dress shoes make no sense, especially in a hot and humid country like Singapore, but if I showed up to work one day and my boss was in a T shirt, shorts, and sandals, I'd still be thrown for a loop. I can't help but to imagine an alternate reality where the inverse is true; where downforce generating fans are the norm and fixed, speed reliant aero devices were the novelty. Would I hate the McVGT and complain about it as much, while praising a modern Chaparral?

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It's impossible to have an apples to apples comparison for the 2J, which makes it impossible to be fair to the 2J when deciding whether its a good car or not. Hell, we've had to reach some 50 years into the future for competent competition to it, and even those had to wear Medium tyres to compete. because it's its own thing, with its own unique strengths and weaknesses that's almost impossible to hold to other cars, and even then, it feels like it's several universes away from anything I could compare against it. Then again, maybe racecars back then weren't meant to be driven and held at their absolute limits or reviewed by sim rig pretenders. I get the feeling that, back then, racecars were more a test of a driver's balls than the cars' technical excellence. The 2J was never set up to face equal competition; it's set up to blow everything out of the water with ease, and thus never had to be driven flat out. Put it up against something else that can fight back, or even against copies of itself, and the Chaparral very quickly becomes roadkill. For every mind blowing strength it has over other cars, it has an equally crippling weakness to cancel it out. It's either qualifying 2 seconds ahead of contemporary cars, or it's broken down in the sidelines. It's either gripping with all the tenacity of a pack of hyenas, or it's lying by the roadside as roadkill. It's either the most frugal car on the track with tyres, or it's drinking like it's just been dumped. It's either the most technologically advanced racing car in the game, or it's a ******* saddled with a 3 speed auto and overcooked pasta springs. This is a car that could easily clinch both the Beater of the Year and Car of the Year awards simultaneously, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

View attachment 1268860

Whatever awards and races it wins or doesn't win, though, the 2J is unequivocal proof to me that downforce is a blight on motorsports, even when done right.


Great write-up Square. I’m going to be sure to test out how the downforce affects abs-off tomorrow 👍🏼
 
Many may posit that fictional concept cars in a video game are a marketing tool, but just like YouTube ads, being shoved these products when I specifically asked for something else is just going to make me despise the product you're pushing. We could've had a Prius GT300, a C8.R, or A110 GT4 just from cars that already exist in the game, but nooooooope, here's a vapourware car from a country Polyphony Digital pretends to acknowledge the existence of once every few years, and to transform it into a Gr.3 car, they've even had to turn it from an EV into an ICE.

Stephen Colbert Slow Clap GIF

And it's like whoever had naming rights to the car had never even seen a Gran Turismo game before, let alone sat down and played one; the Gr.3 and Gr.4 adaptations of the X and G70 respectively are called the "X GR3" and "G70 GR4", instead of "X Gr.3" and "G70 Gr.4". Did something got lost in translation, or did someone REALLY not care to such a baffling extent? Last I checked, "GR" in this sport most commonly stands for "Gazoo Racing", the motorsports division of Toyota. Did they have a hand in this? Isn't the original car supposed to be an EV? Why does it have intakes big enough for 3 internal combustion cars up front? It's almost like BMW and Lexus had spite sex slapping each other's ugly faces silly before procreating, and this was the abomination that spawned from that passionate night.

San Pedro__1.jpeg


And what does PD do to publicise their newest official partner and show them off in the best light? By putting it in the Circuit Experience of the (then) newly added Watkins Glen track, where it had a setup that understeered it into the ire of many players. Oh, and Genesis as a manufacturer would be guaranteed a spot in the GTWS events, being an official partner, robbing yet one more grid spot from a better deserving manufacturer. Just as "pay drivers" in Formula 1 are the most revered and beloved, so too I'm sure will these "partner manufacturers" be in Gran Turismo.

You'd think that maybe having even a single Scape location in South Korea to shoot these Korean cars in would've been nicer than all that crap.

Watkins Glen Long Course__1.jpeg


Originally an EV, the X GR3 has been given a nondescript, barely named 3,342cc turbocharged V6 engine for racing duty in Gr.3, outputting a suitable 547HP (408kW) @ 6,500rpm (525HP, 391kW with BoP at the time of writing). While the engine makes V6 noises and can actually refuel in a pit stop, the turbocharged powerplant delivers its shove in a way that feels to me like it's trying to emulate an electric motor, with its peak torque of 697N⋅m (514.1lbf⋅ft) being available at just 3,000rpm, from which it continues to deliver that tabletop shove all the way till shortly after the power curve overtakes the torque curve at 5,252rpm. This makes the GR3 a very punchy car, one that often feels like a drift car to push out of corners, as the engine always wants to twist the driver's narrative with its abundance of torque, and it does so mostly without even being vocal about it, like a silent killer lurking in the shadows of the low rev range. This forces the driver (well, maybe just me...) to either exercise paralysing paranoia out of corners, or simply use TCS1 to take off the brunt of the bite and replace it with some consistency. On the plus side, that sustained shove does mean the car is very receptive to short shifting to save fuel.

I just prefer the NA V6 of the Hyundai Genesis Gr.3 though, both to drive and to listen to.

Daytona Road Course__1.jpeg


I'll admit to never having done a single Sport Mode race in GT7, and hence my understanding of what's currently good or "meta" is limited to Super GT videos. From my understanding, the M6 has always been strong in a straight line, and so colour me surprised when I brought said M6 to a speed track like Tokyo East, and could barely gain on the GR3 in their slipstream! Around Daytona, the poor, forgotten Hyundai Genesis just got dropped like an abandoned kids toy by the Genesis X GR3. I think it's strong in a straight line, just not Supra, GT-R, or Viper levels of strong, but I could very well be wrong about this.

Tokyo Expressway - East Counterclockwise__1.jpeg


All told, the X GR3 is a passable, acceptable, nothing notable car that has its corresponding strengths and weaknesses; fast in a straight line, but sketchy in the corners... or at least, it would've been, if it didn't have an almost literal Achilles Heel: its rear differential.

Remember the drift car analogy I made earlier? I wrote that the torquey engine busts out the rear end of the GR3 very eagerly, but it's actually the differential of the GR3 that makes it more of a drift car than its engine, which is set up as though the GR3 were a GRD; even moderate power application with the steering wheel turned just initiates a slide, as though an athlete trying to run with both their shoes tied together. This of course makes it difficult to put down any power out of a corner, but the car also becomes incredibly upset by bumps, kerbs, and sharp elevation changes, making corners that involve those extremely difficult, if not risky, to exploit fully, such as the Inner Loop of Watkins Glen. Going over the rumble strips of the Inner Loop feels like a gamble, as there's about a 50/50 chance the car simply won't land nicely and snap off into a spin if there's any yaw angle at all when landing. The Corkscrew of Laguna Seca deserves special mention, as that's almost a statistical guarantee that the car will snap off the sharp downhill right hander, even with an early upshift into 3rd gear.

Watkins Glen Long Course_.jpeg


It's not just corner exits that the rear differential screws up; it's also the corner entries. As noted by many of us in the lobby this week, the GR3 understeers A LOT. But I had an epiphany when I drove this thing down the Chute of Watkins Glen, a long, slightly downhill left hander leading away from the shortcut course, where the front tyres gripped ferociously, with no juddering on the very heavy steering wheel to indicate the front tyres slipping. Yet, there's a very distinctive skipping sensation and an intermittent squeal from the inside rear tyre when you turn too much and overwhelm the rear end. In other words, the front tyres are actively having to fight the rear tyres at literally every turn to simply get the car round the corner, and without the aid of a downhill taking some weight off the rears and dumping that up the front, the tightly bound rear tyres simply can't be overwhelmed, resulting in vehement understeer and insane tyre wear, not to mention making the car wholly uncompetitive and hazardous. Despite the GR3 being on the slightly light side of Gr.3 at 1,280kg (1,318kg, 2906lbs with BoP at the time of writing), the Genesis feels incredibly heavy to maneuver around a track, especially when driven with a steering wheel because the front tyres have to constantly wrestle the rears. Even similarly sized luxobarges like the M6 GT3 and RC F GT3 feel significantly lighter both to steer and to maneuver around a bend.

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To test my theory, I simply lowered the LSD values from the Gr.3 standard of 10-30-20 to 5-10-5, and almost ALL of the car's problems immediately vanished; the crippling understeer, the twitchy oversteer, that disastrous snapping down the Corkscrew, the nervousness when taking kerbs... you name it. The only problem that loosening the LSD didn't fix was the god awful look of the car, and the disgusting taste it leaves in my mouth with the realisation that 90% of the car's problems can be fixed by just a quick, simple tweak. After all, this is fictional car made specifically and exclusively for ONE GAME, and yet it has 2 glaring, yet easily fixable faults in said game, with its name and rear differential. It begs a few questions, doesn't it? Did no one test drive this? Who signed off on it? Have they ever driven a racecar before? Why is it being showcased in the Circuit Experience of Watkins Glen when that track highlights its flaws so dramatically? Why is this turd guaranteed a spot in GTWS events? What does it share with the X concept car, aside from looks? Is the X going into production? What are Genesis trying to promote? Am I supposed to experience this and think to myself, "Hmm yes, I do think I quite want myself a Genesis product over a Merc or BMW!"

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca_.jpeg


The Genesis X GR3 is an annoying marketing stunt, looks like a turd, drives like a pig, and it just reeks of negligence from its creators. If even they don't care about it, why should I, or anyone else?
 
No story from Seven Haven for this write up, sometimes it’s just business as usual over there. :P

So let’s get to the Chapparal 2J and the Gr3 version of the Genesis X for this write up.

And boy are these two polar opposites. 🧐

The Genesis represents a modern, regulated environment that’s constantly adjusting BoP to try and keep things all equal in the ultra competitive world of Gr3/GT3 racing.

The 2J by contrast, is old school, in an unregulated environment, from a time period, to quote MCD, ‘When Sex Was Safe and Racing Was Dangerous.’. :D

The Genesis Gr3 uses a tuned up version of the road cars 3.3 twin turbo V6, which also saw duty in the now discontinued Kia Stinger.

But while the road cars makes 365hp, the Gr3 version makes 547hp, it also ditches nearly 550kgs from the road car for a 1,280kgs kerbweight and power is sent to the rear via a 6 speed sequential gearbox.

Now I do want to touch upon the looks of the Gr3 version, it’s got a certain striking appeal to me, with the original 4 door body sculpted into a 2 door coupe, the headlights, the mismatched wheel rims with the turbofan style rims upfront, It’s in my opinion, the most visually striking Gr3 on the grid, with the RX Vision GT3 sharing that honour with it. :cheers:

The 2J by contrast is a bathtub, a bathtub with a 7.6 Chevy V8 cranking out over 680hp in a 821kgs body. :P:drool:

But while that V8 was sending its power to the rear via a 3 speed Semi Automatic gearbox, there was another engine hard at work on the 2J, a 247cc 2 cylinder engine making around 45hp.

Now why would they add such an engine?:confused:

Well that engine was powering 2 turbine fans taken off a M-109 Howitzer Tank, which were sucking air out from under the car and in combination with some durable Lexan skirts, made the 2J stick to the road regardless of its actual speed. 🤔

An Aerodynamic race engineers wet dream that is Ground Effect, something that the Germans may or may not have found out the hard way during Bernd Rosemeyer’s ill fated top speed record attempt. :indiff:

The upshot of it all is this, when it worked, not even the dominant Mclaren’s could touch it for pure pace.

And the critical words in that previous section were, ‘When it worked.’.

A second engine just means something else that can fail in a race car, but in the 2J’s case, it was pretty much undriveable without the fan assist and with that engine being roasted by the main engine, it tended to fail a lot. :guilty:

Yet despite being a statistical failure, the 2J is still a car fondly remember by those who know of its potential(You don’t have to look far in this thread to see that. :lol:) and essentially got a second wind from the world of Gran Turismo. :)

Now how do both of them drive?

Well this is actually where both cars have some common ground, their stock settings leave a lot to be desired. :crazy:

Both felt skittish at the rear on low speed corner exits with both meets with the 2 cars having drivers loop them around on corner exit.

If you dial out the questionable stock settings, both cars are much more wonderful to drive. 👍

Now the Genesis Gr3 costs the same as the majority of Gr3’s, a modest 450,000Cr, compared to the 2.5 million asking price for the 2J. :embarrassed:

Now is 2.5 million too much for a car that is statistically a failure? yes.

But is it too much for a car that now doesn’t have to worry about reliability and can now truly shine as the performance monster it always could be?

Nope, it’s a bargain when it’s put that way and mind you, there are worse ways of burning such an amount of money. :boggled:

If you know, you know. :sly:

Genesis X Gr3: Neutral 🙂
Chappy 2J: Sleeper 😉👍
 
"Cheer up! I'm sure there are many other opportunities to explore your other talents, Bath_Mat! I hope you enjoyed your time here in Seven Haven!"

"HEY—"

Beep


"Bad time?" A petite figure draped in black emerges from behind Sarah's back, silently pulling herself a chair across.

"Es! How long have you been there?", booms Sarah with both her arms in the air. Usually a gathering spot for enthusiasts and even some industry figures after office hours, the now tranquil GT Café has only Sarah and the oddball racers she drags in with her as regulars in the weekday afternoons; her luminescent presence perhaps something the staff has gotten a little too used to.

"Only long enough to catch the last sentence. Work not letting you off?", the contrasting calmness and composure of Esther replies as she fluidly works her messenger bag off her shoulder with an almost eerie silence, hanging it onto the backing of the chair she's sat.

"I have it a lot easier than you, Ms. Erina Always–In–Formal–Wear–And–Has–To–Be–Booked–Months–In–Advance–For–An–Ice–Cream–Date Mami."

Esther scowls at being called her real Japanese name, looking out the window she's sat beside, only to be greeted by a familiar looking Nissan Silvia in the mostly barren pebblestone parking lot. She was about to apologise to her one female friend in this line of work, but thought better of it.

"Come on, it's my treat! I get to tease you a bit for that, don't I, Esu–nee?"

"It's your treat because you're trying to get me to twist some arms in Car of the Week, Ms. Sarah Forgets–Her–Debts–As–She's–Transacting Çuhadaroğlu."

Sarah recoils into the back of her seat, lightly slapping her forehead while sticking her tongue out to reveal a faint layer of vanilla coating her taste buds.

"Rude."

"You were late! The Japanese are never late!"

"Distancing myself from them saves me from Karoshi."

"What's that?"

"Nevermind. Can I have some Oolong Tea and an Azuki Soft Serve?"

"Ugh. So Japanese."

"Nihonjin desukara, moushiwake gozaimasen!", snarks Esther.

Sarah laughs, slightly standing up to slap Esther's neatly bunned up hair with the menu, not understanding a word that was just spoken, but somehow getting the jist of it regardless.

"What was that about just now?", inquires Esther after recovering from her slight wince.

"Some clown boasting about his skill and passion behind the wheel, you know the type. I tasked him to go upgrade his '65 Mini in preparation for the next race I have in mind, and he tells me he can't find the Mini he was delivered literally Two. Days. Ago!", vents Sarah, slamming her fists lightly on the table with the last three words, causing the cutlery to cling and clang on each impact. "And after all the effort of dragging him to the Used Car Dealer, and making sure there's a '65 Mini in stock!"

"You have a weird Mini obsession as of late. Why?", asks Esther as she buries her deep black eyes into the face of Seven Haven.

"I've just caught up with the Mexican COTW issues! I'm so, so curious about the Mini Countryman now! Please! You have to let your branch test it! I have to know why it's so popular in Mexico, to the point where it's called "Mini Mexico!""

"Uh, yeah, about that...", mutters Esther, her eyes wandering back onto that white Silvia glistening in the sun's rays outside. "I couldn't get BMW to agree to supply them for review. I... kinda have history with them, so... eto..."

"You? Couldn't get someone to give you something?", Sarah's eyes widen with genuine shock as she leans forward, palms on table. For the first time that afternoon, Sarah was taking the conversation seriously.

"Hey, I'm only one person, okay? But I did manage to broker a deal for something similar... I hope. I don't know much about the car's technical specifications, but I did try to get it looking as close to the Countryman you showed me...", rambles Esther as she reaches back into her bag for an iPad, furiously swiping away with the precision and ferocity of a Samurai at war, before neatly presenting with both hands the device facing Sarah, as though offering up a hunted prey. "Here."

Colorado Springs - Lake_.jpeg


"Wh— This... This is a Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo! How... How d—"

"It wasn't easy. I had to—"

"HOW DARE YOU!!!"

"Hey! I tried my ass off, okay? If you don't like it—"

"How dare you surprise me with such a bucket of awesome?!", leaps Sarah from her seat with joy, rushing over and giving Esther an aggressive side hug, almost plastering the editor against the glass walls of the café.

"Right... I forgot... you like any car...argh", squirms Esther in the hopping embrace of Sarah.

"0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds, top speed of 290km/h, lightweight 1,050kg body, a racing 6 speed sequential shifter... HOW did you get BMW to agree to feature this car?!"

"It... isn't a production car. Made things ea...sier!"

"I love you I love you I LOVE you!", proclaims Sarah in between pecks of Esther's soft and rapidly blushing cheeks, still not used to how openly Westerners display physical affection. And to think, after this, she's got to deal with an angry, disgruntled Singaporean who vehemently hates concept cars. At least no one can say her job is monotonous.
 
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SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 13 - Genesis X GR.3


full

Will X go and give it to me? Or will it bite me in the X?


So, a race car's this week's excursion?

Holding a racer's wing, a special bodykit and based off electric concept 2+2 grand tourer known as the Genesis X Concept, the X GR.3 is a Gran Turismo 7 offshoot of the car that's meant to compete with the various grouped machinery, particularly the most popular lot of RWD only Group 3, based off GT racers. The car of course carries the Two Lines philosophy of these Genesis concepts, as seen with the car's front and brake lights extending to the side with the shape of, you guessed it: two lines.

I did mention the car's base model being electric, no? Don't worry. We don't have that weird hydrogen conversion we got with the Group 1 Hyundai. The car instead gets its powerplant taken from the sole road going Genesis: the G70 3.3T. But of course it's turbo charged heart gets upped to 547 horses, carrying a 2822 lbs load, of course not yet counting BOP. Even as a main car brand for GT7's competitive series, this Group 3 racer's not known to be dominant or in any ways majorly successful. But it does have its moments.

The Genesis X GR.3 would also be the first COTW nominee that personally is marked by me as a in story universe signature car, particularly within the not as well unveiled Signature Racecars, driven to perfection in Episode 3 by than none other than the Mythic Verse's expy of Top Gear's tamed race driver: The Guts. Some say he's going to look extra good today, and he's not the character of focus for this week's side story: the planned last of the lot.

ODD TWIST EH?! Like I said, kids are cruel, Jack.

I have to get that random Sundowner out of my system.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Episode 13: Jacob Ross - The Dark One


5 days ago..


A rented out homestay
Just outside of Ahrweiler, Eifel, Germany
Dawn



Inside a small, well furnished homestay, a shirtless man finds himself struggling as he challenges more than gravity through a series of push-ups.


Rin: "45, 46, 47, come on, Jake! 48, 49.. and.. there you go!"


Seeing him sweaty all over, Rin stands tall above her relatively fit husband as she hops to the side, allowing him to push himself back up to stand..

Eyes wide open and grinning with excitement, Rin shares her feelings..



Rin: "Woww! A new record?"


Wiping his body with a nearby towel, Jacob's facial muscles tensed down, replying with doubt..


Jake Ross: "Whew.. Did you even time?"

Rin: "Nah, whenever you do reach 50, that's a win in my book."


Towel on his shoulders, he then wipes his head and crossed his arms, sharing his thoughts calmly..


Jake Ross: "Right. Perhaps with the Outlaw's concoction, you probably won't be ready to see the power I can hold.."


Supposedly feeling angry, Rin instead replied in an unnatural but more pleasing joyful way, walking about with arms flailing.


Rin: "We agreed that you use that for when it's needed, not for extra strength."

Jake Ross: "Argh, of course. Naturally."


Leaving a moment to pause, Jacob takes note of Rin's more jovial personality, usually never sure what kind of mood she hangs with on dawn time.


Jake Ross: "Glad to see you chipper, dear. Looks to me you're going to crush qualifying."

Rin: "I wish it was that easy, you know that, but thanks for the enthusiasm."


And just as Rin prepares to wash up, Jacob takes a peek at an aching, sourced in his left arm.

There, he saw his muscles, while built like a tree, bringing out a red glow that's obviously unnatural, getting him to mention in concern..



Jake Ross: "Odd."


Turning her head, she too sees this phenomenon, and asks..


Rin: "Whoa? Odd, indeed. Has it ever glow red like that?"

Jake Ross: "Thinkin' we got rid of the tats.. so no."

Rin: "I'm sure it's nothing. You mind if I clean up first?"


She's already rid of her sleeping attire and covered only with a towel, giving Jacob no choice as he responds in agreement..


Jake Ross: "Knock yourself out."

Rin: "Heehee, I won't be long, you sweaty cow. Moo~"


That last statement straightened his eyebrows and brought out that frown as he nonchalantly gives out a..


Jake Ross: "Oh shut up."


As she closes the door to the only washroom, but the thoughts of being mentioned as a cow flooded his usually serious mind.

He then mentions, alone and without any notable emotion standing out..



Jake Ross: "Darling, I hate sweat's much as you, but.. hold up.. Missy, cow's a female term!"


Much Later.png



Now with their usual clothing setup, the couple steps out from a wooden door, closing it from behind, and immediately noting the chilly German morning.


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Jake Ross: "Such a chill. I don't feel your usual getup's fine for this."

Rin: "Scarf and armsocks's all I need. So, how are we getting to the Ring?"

Jake Ross: "Lena has the Mustang, and I recall a certain you didn't want a certain Lexus or Copen out of California."


She's still in that joyful self, so she turns to her husband and pulls her eyes, expressing..


Rin: "Guiltyyy~"


Jacob however ignored most of that and looked by the empty street, eyes winced as if he's searching.


Jake Ross: "So. I settled for something more.. domesticated. Watch out, Jess: I'm going to summon the tamed racing animal."


She stood straight and her face couldn't hide the surprised reaction hinted by the raised eyes and facial muscles.


Rin: "Hold on! There's no way that kind of witchcraft can ever work."


Keeping up with the ignoring, he then spoke as if he's doing a ritual on national television.


Jake Ross: "Yeah yeah.. some say his favorite flavor of ice cream is vantablack, and he's the fellow with the world record for holding a T-pose the longest as a human being.. all I know is.. he's The Guts!"


A dramatic pan would happen if this was a television show.

But the pause caused nothing short of dramatic, prompting Rin to reply in meek feeling to this delusion.



Rin: "Well, nothing's happening, Ot-to, so.."


But before she knew, The Guts appeared in between them, with Rin hopping to the side hastily, reacting in shock.


Rin: "HUUWAAAAHHH!"

Jake Ross: "Heh heh. Told you. Thanks for turning up, Guts. Sophia?"


Not far away, the blue bloused ambassador makes her entry through a quick jog in, replying to her name heard..


Sophia: "Amici! I'm right here!"


She took a pause, leaning down to catch her breath, then stood back up and readjusted her large spectacles now seeing the odd couple.

Jacob interrupts the moment with a greeting..



Jake Ross: "How strange would it be to see you two apart? In any case.. morning to you, missy."

Sophia: "Whew.. From me and him, buongiorno to you two too. Shall we get going? I do savor me this anticipation of some action in the Nurburgring later!"


Hands rubbing, eyes shut and that nasty grin returning, Rin excitedly responds..


Rin: "Heehee, oh yes yes yes!"


But Jacob, not really doing anything but being boring, asks sternly..


Jake Ross: "Any guesses on how long this commute be?"

Sophia: "Well, I say an hour, but we can't be sure how fast Signore Guts wants to take us. Not too fast and reckless today, Signore.. we're carrying a cop behind us."


Although he's never really showed a reply proper to requests, Rin however agitates, clenching fists as she spoke..


Rin: "Hey! Unless you ran over someone, you're free to drive fast as you can. I'm not punched in."

Jake Ross: "Bern is."

Rin: "Don't matter; His and my schedules are mutually exclusive."

Sophia: "Right, unless you have something to discuss, the car's right over there."


As they notice the Guts walking away, Sophia begins to follow, but Rin reaches out, by hand first before the voice.


Rin: "Wait! We'd like a quick word without you, Sophia-san."


Not expecting anything, Jacob crossed his arms and spoke..


Jake Ross: "This'll be good, I wager."

Sophia: "No worries! That is okay. See you in a little bit."


And as Sophia exits, Rin turns to her husband and asks..


Rin: "You know she's still on our suspect list, Jake."

Jake Ross: "I ain't forgetting that. Any new leads on that?"

Rin: "I told you work stuff is forbidden, but so I can keep you silent about it, I'll just say nothing's come up."

Jake Ross: "As expected."


That last word got Rin to tense up, fists facing down and eyes tightening inwards..


Rin: "What, you're saying we don't do good work?!"

Jake Ross: "I didn't even mention if what you do's shoddy or half assed, missy."

Rin: "By this time, Moto-san would come up and go cutting the air, y'know."

Jake Ross: "Nah. Not on this episode, he ain't."

Rin: "(imitating) as expected."


But Jacob has another thought..


Jake Ross: "Like I said. By the way, you're going to be in Deep Forest later this week."

Rin: "Aside any emergency, of course I'll be there. It's all a big reunion party, way I see it, ehe."

Jake Ross: "Reunion, ehh?"


Nurburgring GP Circuit
Nurburg, Ahrweiler, Germany
Morning



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Strolling down the pit lane, Jacob walks with his wife across the busy rear side of the pits.

Having nothing noteworthy to do, Jacob follows her lead until she stopped, mentioning..



Rin: "Well, my team's that way, big guy."

Jake Ross: "We stopped. Don't you want me to come along?"

Rin: "To be honest, I have to be careful. Any hint my husband is the Interpol bounty high score holder.."


That last blurb of her talk got Jacob feeling concerned as he frowns and lets out a mild glower.


Jake Ross: "High score?!"

Rin: "It's their term. Umm, 'one of the most wanted' better for you?"


It's not instant, but the frown's gone at least.


Jake Ross: "Continue."

Rin: "One of the most wanted is going to get me arrested for charges I feel is going to be miles worse than what Zumi-san's charged for. And a garage full of Interpol means they're eventually going to add two and two with you around."

Jake Ross: "Well, ain't that convincing. Interesting you mention Izzy. She here?"

Rin: "Nah. She's with Bern. Which reminds me.. Ciya-kun's around, and perhaps alone."


It's near impossible for him to, but Jacob teases that name, putting up a small smile upon mention..


Jake Ross: "You mean Lulu?"

Rin: "Yes, Lulu.. ehehe. Candy-san's lingo on her sure is fascinating. And cute, heehee.. quick side note: never mention that to her.."

Jake Ross: "Much as she's most likely going to be at Deep Forest with a few surprises at the ready."

Rin: "For sure!"

Jake Ross: "Well, I won't keep you waiting. I'll go find.. those guys. See what new kind of wisecrack Sonny's bound to bring up."


They split up, and as Jacob slowly marches forwards to see a few numbers, he stops by the garage with the #666..


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He then catches sight on his target conversing casually with yet another familiar, highlands born face..


Paul: "Tis all a bunch of wee issues compounding the bigger picture, lad. Besides.. am more partial to this generation of the V12. Reminds me of me old stallion.."

Sonny: "Sentimentality's always come back, but to bite or not bite, is another thing. And speaking of stallions.."


He's not thinking of any deceit as Jacob walks in to the conversation, tensed and stern all over his body thanks to the one man he knows all too well.


Jake Ross: "You better start talking something with sense, Son, or I might just strangle you."


With arms wide out, Sonny greets his old friend with that punchable grin..


Sonny: "Eeehh, nice to see you too, big guy."

Jake Ross: "Likewise."

Paul: "Considering the wifey's here to be challenging us on these sacred roads, we be expecting yer presence."


And he turns to Paul with a reply on mind..


Jake Ross: "Ironic, considering my position in racing's not as high as you. You're breaking my heart."


He slowly clenches his fist, meant to intimidate, of which it works as Paul sweats away a reply with hands raised in worry.


Paul: "I dinnae mean anything of that!"


He kept up the game with a threatening response..


Jake Ross: "I. Know. Where's Bon?"

Paul: "That fool? You believe he be wine tasting?! Say's he's to be here in a couple hours."

Sonny: "Shame you're not into alcohol no more, pal. French guy's gone and got us invites for this vineyard opening event back in Cali. Sounds like a bucket load of fun."


Hesitant, Jacob can't help but mention..


Jake Ross: "It hurts to say I agree. What I don't agree in is his tight schedule."

Sonny: "It's either he's confident, or insane. I'm going with the latter, beh, who's with me?"


Chastising his rival, Paul didn't hesitate..


Paul: "Aye."

Sonny: "How about you, man?"

Jake Ross: "Yeah. You just can't stuff s[BLEEP]t after s[BLEEP]t. But.. idle chit chat's not my thing."


Inquisitive, Sonny leans forwards and holds his hairy chin, asking..


Sonny: "Why so serious?"

???: "Perhaps I'll take it from here, my boy."


From behind, a well dressed, aged fellow makes himself stand out among these younger folk.

Formerly known in transitional 80s-90s era as The Bristol Harbinger, Alan Robinson casually strides in the conversation.

The first to ask is..



Jake Ross: "Old man Alan.. what brings you over?"

Alan: "Oh, nothing of your concern. Perhaps a little commentary for this set of racing's televised audience?"

Jake Ross: "I agree, then also disagree. Don't bul[BLEEP]t me, old man. Y'know I'm smarter than that."


Challenged, Alan too also didn't hold back..


Alan: "Tough nut, eh? Of course. But then we have my own two prides of mentorship. First they're going to be rambling it out on the ring on equal footing. How doesn't that not excite you, Jacob?"

Jake Ross: "That I'm the more worthy candidate for this undertaking?"

Alan: "Oh, Jacob. Never the sort to sell yourself short."

Jake Ross: "I don't got no heart in it, but family pride's truly strong in my being. It's part of me, admittedly."


Done with this showing of pride, Alan notes, as he rubs his hands and raises an eye, satisfied..


Alan: "That much hasn't changed, eh? Jolly good. I feel now's the time we go find Lucia."

Jake Ross: "Eager, ain't you? These days, she goes by Lulu. Ready the storm though, captain."

Alan: "Oh? Pardon me, a 'Lulu'?"

Jake Ross: "Heh. Quite a story, really. I'll fill you in."


Strolling on, the right sign then finally appears along the stretched out pit lane..


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Jake Ross: "One race worthy Z4 in sight."

Alan: "Great. And right in the thick of it."


They both walk in through the busy pit crew, and note Lucia, already ready to practice, standing with a certain race driver..


Alan: "Lul-I mean, Lucia?"


Hearing that voice, Lucia responds in joy, smiling with her eyes shrinking by her cheeks.


Lucia: "Alan? Teacher, umm.."


Alan walks close and holds her shoulder, mentioning..


Alan: "We're past that era, Lucia. Really, we're friends now. Alan will do."

Lucia: "Oh? ..but honest, teacher or Alan or BH, I'm happy to see you. As you see, I'm a little occupied right now."


Noting the scene, being in front of The Guts has Jacob note with a raised tone..


Jake Ross: "You don't win staring contests with The Guts, Luce."

Alan: "Think of it this way: the lad could be asleep in there standing. It's happened to me few times."


Jacob only can feel such an eccentric vibe, glowers curiously as he mentions..


Jake Ross: "Of all the things you do WITH him.."


Feeling mostly neutral, Lucia then asks curiously..


Lucia: "Perhaps you'd like to shed some light on why he's so keen on seeing me, Herr Ross?"

Jake Ross: "Nothing. Alan?"

Alan: "Same here. Sophia's even befuddled with this logic, as are we."

Lucia: "Nothing? Auf jeden.. Perhaps Candy might know?"


This combination of facts has Jacob of course point out as he winks his eyes and puts out his small smile..


Jake Ross: "Thing I hear about Candy and the animal is a phone on the hands where they don't belong."

Alan: "Goody, a favorite past time of his. Along with extended hugs with Max."


Jacob then notes about The Guts with his raised shoulders and posed in glimmering confidence.


Jake Ross: "What a glow up. I hear enough body language that hints he cares about you, Luce."

Lucia: "The 'what' I am aware of, but the 'why' is the real mode of concern.."


Baffled, Jacob says..


Jake Ross: "We stand before him as the ones who understand him the most.. aside of Sophia."

Lucia: "I'm not sure about this, Herr Ross, but Herr Guts has a sense of distrust from Sophia."

Jake Ross: "As do I. And Rin."


Curious, Lucia inquires more into this.


Lucia: "Does she strike you as an unusual individual?"

Alan: "Not that she tries to be any suspicious.. but Max notes of her trust being.. a tad too obvious it's not real."


Unsure on how to follow through, Jacob suddenly had a thought, then inquires..


Jake Ross: "Right.. apologies about this sudden feeling.. but I feel I want a one of one with my doppelganger."

Alan: "Doppelganger?"


Understanding that word, he then quickly shifts his thoughts to Jacob and The Guts' physical forms, then notes in excitement..


Alan: "Upon mention, the resemblance is striking."

Lucia: "Ja.."

Jake Ross: "Alright, we'll take our leave. Let's go."


And as they leave, Lucia feels it's time to share..


Lucia: "There we go. Harkens me back to that time in California.. The Guts is Jacob's secret weapon within his ranks of The List.."


And to say his mind was blown is just the surface of it..


Alan: "That.. is Jacob's street racing crew! Like, where did-how did?"


Now on the way back, The Guts now slides his fingers on Jacob's smartphone, on a drawing app.

The first image was a neat sketch of a bunned up lady with large round glasses, obviously saying it's Sophia.



Jake Ross: "Me, Jess, the gang.. we're working on it.."


Then, he drew thick vertical lines on the whole sketch..


Jake Ross: "We can't catch her if she ain't doing nothing illegal like. She's your upstanding law abiding citizen, more than I will ever be."


As he listens, Jacob then looks ahead and notes..


Jake Ross: "I don't see the reason of distress, though... but my interest lies more in your car."


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Jake Ross: "Genesis X GR3.. it's a stylish ride, but no matter what's under the hood, you make it look untouchable."


He hands back the phone, then shows a strong superhero pose with shoulders strong, legs wide out and arms on hips.


Jake Ross: "Always willing to prove your worth. What drives you, really?"


The Guts then points back at Jacob, then crosses his arms, expecting a reply, and as soon as that clicks, Jacob then monologues in a calm cool tone..


Jake Ross: "You ask me? Well.. it's the one thing my family lives and thrives upon. I was born in this sport, and I soon realize I was never to let go, however dark these roads take me."


As he's done, The Guts then walks towards the car's driver side door, and opens it, entering just after.


Jake Ross: "Ready to go? I'll see you later then, Guts."


He then takes off, exiting the pit lane, leaving Jacob to watch, then mutter to himself..


Jake Ross: "Why do I stand here? My heart argues.. that I should be out there.."


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Genesis is a word that reminds me of two things: classic English rock band from Surrey, and important plot device from the second Star Trek movie.. hehe.. the way William Shatner's portrayal of Captain Kirk shouts KHAN is reflected on me when I fail a license test due to the orange cones. You get that, I'm sure. Definitely not luxury brand of automotive Korean giant Hyundai. If I look at it in a more literal way, Genesis means it's the source, the first, the beginning. If anything, this definitely is the beginning for me to take on this brand in general.


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Providing us with a similar case of Mazda offing up a case study via its' RX-Vision concept car, Genesis game us the X concept. X, as if in.. the main character of a spiritual successor to Mr. Jump & Shoot Man. But unlike the Mazda also retaining its heart, the X is electric, and was given a long runnning turbocharged Hyundai V6. When I mean long running, it's that the Genesis X GR3 and the Hyundai Genesis Gr. 3 share the same engine note if not for the turbo. And the differences don't end there.

The Genesis Gr. 3's a notable easy to pick up Group 3 car that I notably find lacking in Sport, even with a massive power boost. That boost just makes it harder to manage. And that for some reason translates indirectly here to the Genesis X, as if even with different names their souls can somewhat travel through its own car transference realm.. sounds like a plot for some weird anime. Anywho, it's the kind of car with throttle oversteer from low RPMs that's apparent in the early gears. Nasty stuff. It's also got tendencies for understeer: something that comes in various forms in different front engined Group 3 machinery, this being a front engined car with a 52:48 balance.


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The problems don't end there. Hitting undulations with this car is going to test your countersteering depending on the situation, noted be me taking on the Chicane of Doom with this car being a mixed bag of pain or pleasure. All in all, this is a car that wants to keep you on your toes, even if you are on your butt. The mid speed BOP for the car reduces it to 525 HP, on top of 2906 pounds to carry with. That's a minus power and plus weight, which means the game knows it's a challenge to keep straight at all times. To replicate this, output is at 96, and ballast at 38.

But why race this Genesis? It's another one of those all rounder Group 3 cars, with a slight leaning towards power. It's no Supra or GT-R, but this car's accelerating prowess is shockingly stellar, especially on later RPM ranges. That's the turbo for you! Not to mention it's one you can find little issue bringing to any track on the GT racing calendar. If you need a little extra straight line in a low speed BOP or some extra handling (mind the oversteer) on a high speed BOP. Although, to me, this car on the whole isn't remarkable when you note that specialization will always best being the jack of all trades. It's no exception here.


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The Genesis X also has another thing to help consider: its stability. Aside from losing rear grip from power mismanagement, there's little issue on trying to be tricky with the car. It feels well planted, and thus rewards the trail braker in you massively. You won't be flying off a corner by engine braking too. It's a simple car with the charm of being a new addition to the game's roster of raceable brands for Manufacturer's. And to me, it stands out better than Hyundai, like Lexus to Toyota.

I should end with a segment considering Group 3 and 4 machinery: that is why choose Genesis for Manufacturer's? The Group 4 car's not especially notable in the AWD bunch of Group 4, and same with Group 3. This is comparable to Nissan: a brand that has the same offering in many ways, but are top tier in both the groups. If you're in DR C or lower, consider getting another brand to hop on: the Genesis X is not for newbies to drive. But if I'm not going to stop you, the car drives excellently with TC on, because like I said: it's stable and consistent outside of the oversteer. And as the growth within you has you consider getting that suggestion dropped, you might be able to feel that sense of evolution coming in.


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much much much later.jpg



Within a private room's small lounging area, a group of five racers come together with their post qualifying results in main focus.

He didn't take long, but Sonny gets into his cool casual self and lays it all out..

Sonny: "Looks to me I got me, you two, and Guts to mess with for the lead, and the ladies some distance behind?"

Rin: "I don't think a win's what I'm here for. The experience to feel this track is enough for me."

Boniface: "Wasn't it quite fun? Us together, on track, racing for the first time?"

Paul: "That's tomorrow, eejit."


Sitting next to him was Lucia, and an oncoming slap to the back of his head was the next move.


Lucia: "Paul! He's. Not. Wrong.."

Paul: "Argh! Oi!"

Lucia: "You two will need to get along proper before we can let Nash declare us a team.."

Sonny: "She's right, y'know."

Rin: "Oh yes!"

Paul: "That dinna have to be an excuse to slap me silly, lass."


Feeling an ounce of pity, Sonny confidently mentions..


Sonny: "Keh, usually I get the shortest end of that stick, bucko. Get used to it. If I was to hold grudges, Luce owes me thousands in dental procedures."

Boniface: "Does she now? I find that a bill like that would be gone in a flash with my companionship around, mademoiselle."

Lucia: "I appreciate it, but.. let's say financially I don't need your help."


He didn't make it apparent, and the door to the room opens with Jacob silently walking in, though he's not exactly discreet about it when everyone hears his actions.


Paul: "There ye are, Jake. Where ya been? The praise all belongs here, lad."

Jake Ross: "Putting said praise in the right place by congratulating the racer on pole for tomorrow's festivities."


And just like a diss rap, everyone else had to..


Rin: "Owww.."

Sonny: "Damnnn.."

Boniface: "Hissss~"

Lucia: "That's cold."


Even with limited exposure together, Sonny responds in regards towards the leader of the qualifying run..


Sonny: "Only he can get under 1:56 around here.. he just flies with that Genesis, meh."

Jake Ross: "Sophia told me if this was his first days in it.. you'd have a chance. She and I had some words.. It's got this.. unfriendly streak of snap oversteer."


Raised eyes and open mouth, Rin reacts..


Rin: "Well, that's an ailment that splits the pros from the youngsters."

Jake Ross: "Jess, you insinuating I'm a.. youngster?"


She might be the wife, but his threats penetrate through all forms of courage, as her emotions rocket to add a hint of fear..


Rin: "Aaaahh! No, no! Of course not.. just.. underqualified."

Lucia: "He's hardly that."

Sonny: "With how well you did the Willow Springs Challenge that time.. I'm surprised they haven't signed you up."

Jake Ross: "Just a hint of my talent and perceived luck ain't going to work. But it reminds me.. that prospective Mythic applicant Candy was the one who set that up."


With an aura of ooohs and aaahhs echoing around the space, Boniface raised his curiosity..


Boniface: "Candy, eh? Hmm.. May I inquire: What's the challenge like?"

Rin: "She put up a 1:08 around Big Willow. All we have to do is just beat that with the then brand new Group 3 regulations within BOP. In under a week, Jake's the only person that got just shy a second's difference."

Lucia: "That's more than enough reason to sign you up, even for Group 4."

Jake Ross: "Months later, Nirvana set me up for a Group 4 showdown, and even with a top 3 finish, that didn't quite satisfy anyone."


Paul though had an opinion..


Paul: "They be wasting you to time, lad."

Sonny: "A moment without Jake on track to test my mettle is such a shame. Who else am I going to kill Top Gun style?"


Despite the corny talk from his friend, he agreed, stating..


Jake Ross: "In any case, I can't deny being the one element remaining outside the bounds of greatness.."

Boniface: "Perhaps I may not relate, but Paul is right: your talent is being misused."

Rin: "We're doing all we can. aren't we?"

Jake Ross: "I'm afraid it's how this looks, Jess. I'll leave you to it then."


He's obviously hiding his anguish of the situation, and everyone still in the room notes..


Rin: "As he strides away, I too feel that strain in his heart."

Sonny: "It's that story I keep hearing, beh. About how the K-man's the one taking his glory."

Lucia: "Heard it's something to do with his childhood. Rin?"

Rin: "He never made it a subject of discussion. And even as I inch closer, I feel it shouldn't ever come.."

Paul: "Curtains over what be a touchy subject, eh?"

Boniface: "Where we stand, I do hope that when it uncovers, we will be there for him."


Despite the short moment of glumness, Sonny thought of a way to change that..


Sonny: "By the way, Luce.. I heard about you and Candy. You're not short or anything like she is, but that name's now in circulation: Lulu, was it?"


The immediate thing that came was a small vase nearby smashing through the air in high speed towards Sonny's prized face..


Sonny: "WAH LAU!"


And the only person that could do so had eyes of rage and perhaps steam coming out of every hole on her head..


Lucia: "I HEAR ONE MORE MENTION OF LULU, AND IT"S WEEWOO FOR YOU!"


TOMORROW..

As noon breaks, so does the checkered flag for a semi-long exhibition race of various racers around the world.


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But up at front however..


full



Sonny: "Haiyaa.. You sure have a way with strategems, SpongeGuts Blackpants.."


While the race was underway, some of the competitors weren't so lucky.

Not unfortunate enough to suffer a crash, a retired Lucia walks out her garage as her team deals with her car's newly diagnosed transmission issues.



Lucia: "Urgh.. this stinks. At least I fared better. I'm sure there's a driver or two I can mingle with.."


Not far off, she found the only other person she can think of..


Lucia: "Sophia!"


Hearing that, Sophia jolts with excitement, as she turns from watching the screens, to the German..


Sophia: "Well if it isn't Lucia? Unfortunte on what happened. But, I suppose I can hand you another training session with Signore Guts again if you feel you need to step up again?"

Lucia: "You're a darling, Sophia, but I'm not here for that. Not yet."

Sophia: "How can I help you, then? Perhaps we can kill the time with a few games. Ohh, do you play that hit game: Among Us?"


For some reason, Lucia wasn't in the mood to find out who's been sabotaging, accusing or venting, as she vents..


Lucia: "I DON'T have the patience for pointing fingers, Sophia!!"


Hearing that, Sophia thinks more physically and gets to the BMW, holding her glasses in thought.


Sophia: "Fine. Alora, so you seemed to be getting a grip with the Z4? I hear among the racers that it's a more capable car than the other BMWs on track."

Lucia: "This sounds like you're making me look bad for the trouble it's gone through today, Frau.."

Sophia: "No, no. That's a tragedy, really. I can have a look at your telemetry data; perhaps that will be the judge of your ability."

Lucia: "I'd be surprised if I can let my team hand that to you.."


And speaking of surprises, Lucia sees a person on crutches slowly approaching with each increment of stick leg stick..

He might be wearing a casual look, but the balaclava mask on top hints to her his identity as she glances back..



Lucia: "Herr Guts?!"


Hearing this and that the man also leading the race unable to co-exist supposedly, Lucia raises hostility and wants answers, prompting a now attended Sophia to reply..


Sophia: "Uh oh, it appears she knows something's not right."

Lucia: "You better tell me.. if this is Herr Guts with an injury, then who is.."

Sophia: "As he would say it.. the doppelganger."


Remembering that word from yesterday, now it all adds up..


Lucia: "Wait.. WAIT WHAT?!"


Later 3.jpg



As Sophia readies the communications device..


Sophia: "Someone is here to talk to you, 'Guts'."


Lucia's patience wears drastically thin, snatching the headset quick and then spoke up..


Lucia: "Hand me that.. Jacob!!"


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It was a moment's silence, but she's not buying it.


Lucia: "Don't play that silent treatment with me, Herr Ross. I know you can hear me."

Jake Ross: "S[BLEEP]t, that indeed I do. This ain't the time for a nag though, Luce.."

Lucia: "Nein, that isn't what I intend. I.. can't believe the dream.. all 6 of us on one track.. It's real. Wait till everyone finds out you're behind that Genesis. It'll be a sight."

Jake Ross: "Humph, I'll be expecting something.. Ross out."


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Jake Ross: "It's showtime."


Unshakeable
Celldweller
Wish Upon A Blackstar

Upon first glance, I can tell that driving the Genesis X GR3 is definitely a test of your patience, stamina, will.. and patience. Driving the car as is for FIA online racing is way too taxing for a guy like me. Of course this tuning segment is to alleviate the issues the car has.

But what did I cover earlier? Quick recap: Snap oversteer via powerband. Overly stiff damping/compression ratios. A hatred for gripping while cornering at low speeds. And understeer for days when doing something funny. This is essentially the Group 3 Nissan and Lexus but with extra steps, and if you recall Week 5, they baffle me.


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So, I went on and saw a few tunes for the car online in the tuning forum, and they are the kind of tunes that would be such an insult, so much it might bring back that HOW DARE YOU phase that I got just about a year ago. I'm celebrating that next week, but how that's going to happen, we'll find out.

Of course, as S-Kill would say in Divekick: if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself. Let's begin.

So with the Genesis X, you can change its turbo to medium and high RPM turbos. Of course, if you let them on without change of any other setting, you've turned a high risk ride to a definite death sentence. But what I do instead is put on the high RPM turbo, but reduce power through its restrictor rather than the ECU, which allows you to get this boost in power with little sacrifice to stability. Might I even say this is the right way to bring the car's performance up a notch while retaining the 730 PP limit for certain events?


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Let's tackle the suspension. To fix understeer, what I did is lower the front to the floor, and raise the rear to about 105. Then, there's that nasty stiff front expansion. That has to go. I use the no-nonsense setup of bringing the compression to be in line with the expression, of course rear being harder. This is a stable car, and thus we need to unsettle it a bit.

And speaking of unsettling it: boost rear camber to 40, and rear toe to +0.40. And suspension frequency.. ohh boy, what the heck is this?! Equalize it or make the rear slightly harder, maybe much more harder if you want the Genesis to violate you in some form. Okay enough innuendo.

The diff also baffle me as much. Acceleration at 30?! Eugh. No.. What I did i get all this to 5, but you can get acceleration sensitivity up to 10 if you want some extra oversteer. This isn't an overpowered muscle car, but it looks like it might be. The deceleration/braking sensitivity is also at 5 because this is how understeer gets the eff out just like odours and Febreeze.

I didn't touch on it much, but I did raise 1st and 2nd's width on the transmission while lowering the later gears. This detail I didn't go quite through much because let's face it I know to do this with a car like this anyways.


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The result? I managed to cut at least a second while running this at Seaside compared to BOP settings, with stock aerodynamic values and a 700 PP setup. It felt like driving the Genesis Gr. 3 in Sport, where it was after all the exceptionally easy to drive but lacking in pace option. Perhaps they are more related than I ever imagined. We're probably going to see yet another saved by the tune verdict, but as you can see.. story's still got a strong bit left to speak.


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Rin: "There is an intense air here up front... I must remain vigilant!"


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Paul: "With Bon out of the picture.. now it's just me and you.. SONNY!!"

Sonny: "Highlander guy's close and personal. Don't fret, laddy.. there can be only one!!"


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Jake Ross: "The home favorite Volkswagen's going in hard.."

Sonny: "Guts-a-Manger.. your pace is iffy, bro."


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Sonny: "Saying Paul's dead just isn't so.. Maverick of me.."

Paul: "Ahh cripes. Get tae!"


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"And there's a THREE WIDE into turn 1"

Paul: "Brake darn it!"

Sonny: "Smooth.. smooth like a cucumber.."


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Rin: "Bye bye, Bonny!! Jake would be proud to see 8 valves slamming down 6!"

Boniface "Sacre bleu.. this, is not my day."


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Jake Ross: "Sonny Meng and a Viper's a powerful combination. I musn't hold back now."

Sonny: "Ha HAHHH! Take the snake's bite, my silent friend. Time to let it seep.."


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"Now in the final stretches, Car #666 has widened the gap to a whopping 5 seconds!"


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"The Genesis isn't letting up as we approach the last rounds!"


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Jake Ross: "He's not ready for this fear.. let's touch this ego of yours, Son.."

Sonny: "Right on my tail?! Wasn't he just.."


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"Oooohhh nooo!! Disaster at the chicane! The Viper's locked up!"

Sonny: "AUGGGHH! Wipe out at the last lap! I wave the flag, Gutsy.. if you even are.."

Jake Ross: "Now it's my turn.. fare thee well, my Singaporean freak of nature.."


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"The Guts takes it all, but what happened at those last moments exactly?"

Sophia: "Magificent work! You truly have exceeded my expectation. Now I shall do my part, si?"

Jake Ross: "I look forward to that.. let's play this game for a little longer now."


While nothing was to note on Jacob's grand victory, a lack of general fanfare was due to the expected result of The Guts taking victory.

However, upon return to the Genesis garage, a small ovation approaches the driver, who takes off his helmet, showing exhaustion overridden by satisfaction.

Sophia approaches the now revealed Jacob, and expresses..



Sophia: "A congratulazioni to you, the other Signore Guts! That must be taxing, I'm sure.."

Jake Ross: "I'm not used to the helmet.. but I appreciate you enthusiasm, Sophia."


She's expected praise, but she playfully pushes the man's shoulder as takes the compliment..


Sophia: "That tone. How dare you even say that, Signore.. But now I figure it's high time we expose this truth, but first: a few words from some spectators.."


And on the side, along with a crutched up Guts, is an old school pairing of Alan and Lucia, approaching with calm steps, but with smiles and praise on their faces.


Alan: "A splendid victory, oho! I too can feel that hint of a race well done behind that exhausted face of yours, Jacob, my boy."

Jake Ross: "It's no chore, but maybe after today that'll not be an issue. Simply put.. it felt great."

Lucia: "Look at that, teacher.. he's embraced your style."

Alan: "Lucia, about that.. never mind. What say you about the others?"

Jake Ross: "I figure they ain't dumb enough to see The Guts driving a little off putting today."


And with that in mind, he turned to The Guts, questioning..


Jake Ross: "I still don't got that 1:55 time around the GP circuit malarkey, Guts. You indeed are an anomaly of the racing circuit.."


Just as it was to continue, Sophia walks in close with phone on one ear..


Sophia: "Uhuh? Ohh? Why, well? Understandable."


And finished with it, she puts it by a nearby surface and informs the small crowd of a recent emergence, speaking..


Sophia: "I just got off the phone from the racing team president. Consider what's going to happen my gift for what you've done last night."

Jake Ross: "What's he tell you?"

Sophia: "That should no other manufacturer sign you up, Hyundai or Genesis will welcome it, subject to availability."

Jake Ross: "Just in case?"

Sophia: "Just in case. You might have won this race as The Guts, but today will be the milestone for a career I'm sure I agree needs to gain traction sooner."

Jake Ross: "Looks to me it's time to get a certain photo of us leaked."

Sophia: "Si. Oh mamma mia, where did I put that.."


She definitely looked at the surface earlier, but even with crutches, The Guts playfully waves the wanted device with his right hand.


Jake Ross: "One leg out of action and he's still the master phone robber."

Sophia: "One day, you need to teach me that. It'll make me the life of the party, fufu.."


After a brief pause, Lucia speaks up, arms on her hips, noting..


Lucia: "Ohh Jacob.. I suppose I'll have to expose you for this eventually, so how about.."

Sonny: "BAM!"


He intrudes the peace like he's always done, but oddly without Bohemian Like You getting involved this time around.


Lucia: "..now?? How does he?"

Sonny: "One Step Ahead, baby! Whoosh!"


And he then zips by towards Jacob, confirming his theory as he notes The Guts' racing attire on his long time friend, cheerily asking..


Sonny: "You were behind that Genesis, were you, Jake? I can sense that driving style anywhere, my dude. I take that last moment choke graciously, but wait till Rin and the others get here: we won us a dominating Group 3 racer to be!"

Jake Ross: "You of all people probably saw through the helmet."

Sonny: "Also lah: Rin also noted your radio silence for this long while.. Something came last night, I wager?"


Just as that question was raised, Jacob stared momentarily at Alan, smiling as he gets a nod from the aged racer..


Jake Ross: "Hmm.. As a matter of fact.."


LAST NIGHT..


He might've exited the comfort of his colleagues in insignificance, but he still took his time to mend these doubts with a more formal reunion with an old mentor in Alan.

A cafe in a nearby community gets their services finished and dues paid, while the men would mingle about recent events, notably as mentioned by Jacob..



Jake Ross: "And that's how Candy Lam of all people finds her way a connection.."

Alan: "Shinzo had a third protege? I know he's passed, but.. if there was a way to bring him back to ask.. Maybe I'll see her myself."

Jake Ross: "She's quite a clammed one, Alan. Gotta force it open to get her character out."

Alan: "So how did you do it?"

Jake Ross: "At close proximity to a well kept, sharpened machete, as she loses air from a tight neck grip.."


Not a fan of Jacob's new habit, Alan mildly raises an argument..


Alan: "I swear, that thing comes close to her, and I'll ask Max to lay you down."

Jake Ross: "Is that a dare?"

Alan: "Of course not, dear me. The last thing I want to do is get people I know in conflict through violence."


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While the people are no stranger to performance vehicles in this region, Alan's signature ride however is designed to turn heads, not excluding the dark one's..


Jake Ross: "Look here.. you brought the old XJ220?"

Alan: "Why, it's been collecting dust: it's courtesy it comes along with me for the time being. How did you get here anyways?"

Jake Ross: "Cab. Oh, remember that time in Japan?"

Alan: "Oh yes. You, on shotgun as I took it out for a thrashing. Oh yes, indeed. It's going to be a while before it finds itself in my garage again. A V6 must remain maintained via some action.."

Jake Ross: "Enough time for that racer's convention in Deep Forest?"

Alan: "Of course. There's going to be a Sim Gear coverage of it, so I have to be there."

Jake Ross: "And Nash?"

Alan: "And Nash. What, are you nervous?"


He paused a moment, then mentioned as he regained composure through adjusting his posture, and rubbing his hat.


Jake Ross: "He's the only one that's vocally opposing my recent behaviour.. he might have more than just harsh words."

Alan: "Ohh.."


But a nearby car parking has Jacob look over in affront..


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Jake Ross: "The Outlaw's Mustang. Lena better have a good reason to bring it here.."

Alan: "Is something happening?"

Jake Ross: "..not that I've planned. Hush now. Let's see what she has to say."

Alan: "My my.."


The woman driving the car opens the door and exits it, sternly closes by Jacob in her usual classy sexy flair.


Lena: "She said you were here.. Good evening, nachal'nik. Forgive me, I should have called, but now: we have situation."

Jake Ross: "Straight to it, eh, Lena? Let's hear it."

Lena: "Ho? Long story short, it involve of this small bunch: independent, self-serving violent Balkan immigrants. Makes a stir with community with drugs, da? Leader of them makes some impressive laps around Nordschliefe. Want challenge. Then he notice me: Queen of The List."

Jake Ross: "To me, a race with you around Green Hell is asking for hell."


But she then responds with a disturbed tone.


Lena: "Nyet. He wants the Outlaw. In an hour, or they start making big stir. The things they say to me even Will could not stomach."


And she saw her boss, arms crossed and eyes winked with a shallow frown..


Lena: "What is your reply?"

Jake Ross: "Come: let's not keep these people waiting long.. But now I'll have to inform my beloved I have an obligation tonight. "


But as he steps away from the cafe table, Alan follows suit, speaking in worry..


Alan: "Jacob, my boy. Let me follow. This is the first I hear of the Nordschliefe underground."

Jake Ross: "That is indeed a potent, but yet vexing statement. I see this as a monumental waste of my time. But if you want to come along and see what I do best, you're welcome to, Alan. Bring some adult diapers, just in case.."


Normally not open at this time, a quick street hustle takes place around Green Hell as night comes down..


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Without remorse, The Outlaw took his chance and pays off as the heavily modified Ford passes its opponent through Hatzenbach.


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Thinking this all is a waste of time, he zooms ahead with a significant lead, as he adopts his cool cruising phase.


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But as nasty thoughts fester, the opportunity to round the Nordschliefe again is one he might not do again with the Prince of Darkness.


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The car weaves through its challenging tight bends and corners like a dancer moving around in grace.


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Those thoughts sour again as he reaches the line, suggesting the 20 second lead he's made would end this supposedly long race prematurely..


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Just by the tourist entrance, a crowd of people gather around The Outlaw, impatiently waiting for his opponent's arrival with a small crowd consisting of local street racing enthusiasts, as well as his opposition's small group.

As as soon as the modified Ferrari appears, he gets off the hood of his Mustang, and approaches him, observing his opponent's car, but with no cordial thought in mind..



The Outlaw: "CLEAN. I APPROVE.. 20 SECONDS BEHIND.. TO SAY THIS IS THE PACE I WANT TO BRING WITH 3 LAPS.. NOT QUITE."

Balkan: "Consider that all warm up, yes? I will be faster than you the next time."

The Outlaw: "EXCUSES LIKE THAT ARE NOT WHAT THE STREET RACING ELITE'S ABOUT. LUCKY I DO NOT ASK FOR MONEY OR THE CAR THIS NIGHT."

Balkan: "This is not over, idiot. Next time.."


Hinted by Lena earlier of their behavior and actions, The Outlaw stood and makes his ultimatum, threatening and clear..


The Outlaw: "MAY I MAKE A SUGGESTION YOU DO NOT RAISE ANY MORE FLUFF WITH THESE PEOPLE EVER AGAIN, AND YOU WILL STAY AWAY FROM THE LIST FOR ALL ETERNITY. AS AN OFFICIAL WORD OF THE OUTLAW, YOU WILL HONOR THIS GIFT AND ACCEPT THIS AS THIS SIGN.. YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY AGAINST YOUR BETTERS."


He leaves the small European gang behind, turning back to a small crowd cheering and taking pictures.

His focus then turns to the woman bringing this issue to his attention..



The Outlaw: "IF THAT MAY BE ALL, QUEENIE?"

Lena: "That is so. Thank you for putting them in their place, nachal'nik."

The Outlaw: "WITH ALL HONESTY, THEY EVEN WOULD HAVE NO QUARREL WITH THE LIKES OF FRED."

Lena: "You mean the new and improved 'Clean Gator' who runs around this Green Hell with that truck of his?"

The Outlaw: "HOWEVER THOSE INTENTIONS, YOU MUST ADMIRE THAT MAN'S ENTHUSIASM."


But as he was to split, Lena sees that the Balkans behind didn't have sportsmanship in taking a loss, profoundly as she notices a laser pointed towards her superior's armored headwear.


Lena: "JAKE, LOOK OUT!"

The Outlaw: "LENA?!"


Hearing a ricochet, the whole situation turns to a mess as people begin to escape.


Lena: "They're no good scumbags, alright.."

The Outlaw: "THOSE BUSHES.."


While the men take advantage of the situation, The Outlaw observes the moment as the crowd disperses, overhearing The Outlaw being mentioned by these men.

Covered in darkness behind the nearby bushes, he also hears the bullet ejection format..



The Outlaw: "FIRING NATO ROUNDS.."

Lena: "The coat cannot take rifle bullets, right?"

The Outlaw: "I LEARNED SINCE THE BANK ROBBERY.. I'VE DONE INSTALLED ARMOR PLATING ALL OVER MY SUIT AS A RESULT, I CARRY 15 KILOGRAMS AT ALL TIMES. LET ME HANDLE THEM. GET THE CROWDS AWAY."

Lena: "It is power armor, is it?"

The Outlaw: "THAT AIN'T THE FIRST I HEAR OF THAT. ON 3: 1, 2..."

Lena: "3!"


While Lena moves that way, The Outlaw slowly heads into the firing line and gestures, like he did in Maggiore..


The Outlaw: "DARE TO STEP FORWARD, AND MEET YOUR DOOM?"


One of the men shouted and tried to hit him with the butt of his rifle, only to have his attack overpowered, receive a punch to the gut, then..

Lose his gun and receive the gun's discharge of a single shot to his head.

The Outlaw, not keen on using these, dismantles it with his bare hands, thanks to a combination of the enhancement drug gassed into his mask and the suit's hydraulic powered support on the gloves.

After wiping away the blood and hearing the cries of anguish, he reiterates the situation strongly..



The Outlaw: "YOU RAISED YOUR GUNS.. SO I WILL RAISE THE STAKES. BEWARE THAT THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS."


Just before the second of the man beings to attack, he receives a swift projectile in form of the Outlaw's hefty ominous coin: the same he used against Candy in Big Sur.

But instead, he tosses it to the man's face, rendering him unable to see ahead.

What follows is a claw grip to his skull, forcibly lowering him to the floor, then struck with a swift slice by the machete across his neck, blood spurting all over..

With a drastic loss for composure, the Balkan gang backs off and tries to escape behind them: onto the dark of the track itself..

The Outlaw plans to give chase, but notices known faces from behind..



The Outlaw: "GO AND RUN. I WILL END YOUR MISERABLE EXISTENCE."


But they weren't backup per se; just a deeply concerned old man coming close with the Russian dame letting out warnings.


Lena: "Get back to safety, old man!"


And as soon as he saw the bodies on the floor, he shakes to no end..


Alan: "Jacob! Oh my word.. it IS real!"


He walks in, confident that even as he's jumped from the side and assaulted by the third and fourth of these men, he would speak as he takes no recoil from their blows of their rifles.

But he would point his arms diagonally away, releasing one of his toxic chemicals to take advantage of the situation..

With his extra strength, the third of these men met his demise through repeated blows to the head, and then stuffed into a nearby tree.

Done with him, he sees the last of this man's cronies, and asks..



The Outlaw: "HOW WISE ARE YOU?"


The taunt prompts him to take out his combat knife, and as he lunges in for a stab, his target shifts to the side..

And just as he tries for another go, this time the one extra person that appears is The Outlaw's backup, and he would extend his leg, getting this man to trip into a powerful fist to his chin, breaking his neck.



The Outlaw: "VERY UNWISE, AND VERY DEAD."


And as The Outlaw notices his assistance, he sees a certain tamed racing animal, and while questions come in why he's here, he instead asks..


The Outlaw: "IS THAT ALL OF THEM?!"


He replies by showing a five on his hand.


The Outlaw: "ONE MORE?! IT'S ALWAYS A TEAM OF 5, IS IT?"


That earlier thought then came up, getting The Outlaw to inquire momentarily..


The Outlaw: "WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE? I'M GUESSING.. A HOSTAGE? IT'S THE DESPERATE THAT SHOW COWARDICE. IT'LL BE HIS LAST.


Just as he's to answer, he then sees the laser pointer by the carbon fibre helmet, and pushes him as a salvo comes raining towards them.

Pulling the racing animal towards a lower spot, The Outlaw looks out to see the last man escaping, then looks down to see blood..



The Outlaw: "GUTS?! DAMN! THAT WAS A CHEAP SHOT.."


And more backup came..


Alan: "Eugh, oh goodness.. Jacob!"

The Outlaw: "OLD MAN.. WE NEED EMS. HIS LEG'S BLEEDING."

Alan: "Guts? What on Earth's he doing here?"

The Outlaw: "UNIMPORTANT. THINK YOU CAN GET HIM TO A HOSPITAL QUICK?!"


It'd be unwise for him to say no, so Alan shows a brave face and speaks..


Alan: "I-uhh.. I'll do my best. You?"

The Outlaw: "THERE'S ONE MORE IN THESE WOODS. HIS TAINTED ACTS WILL PAY THE PRICE."


The Outlaw leaves them and gives chase, towards where he guesses the assailant might've run off to..

And not long, he finds him, reloading his gun behind a small viewing porch..



The Outlaw: "THERE YOU ARE. I DON'T FEEL YOU COMING OUT ALIVE AS A VIABLE SCENARIO. HAHAHA.."

Balkan: "Back off, big man. This is where we will end out little game."

The Outlaw: "THE GUTS WAS YOUR HOSTAGE, EH? NO MATTER. LIST OR NOT, I SUGGEST YOU BEG FOR YOUR LIFE."


And after a step is made, The Outlaw meets a full firing squad of a snubbed assault rifle.

Just as he runs out of bullets, the armor plating additions seemed to have done its job..



Balkan: "What is this?! S-stay away, demon!!"

The Outlaw: "I'M NOT JUST ANY DEMON.. HOW ABOUT.."


Afterwards, the crimson mist arises, a mixture he's used over in the past, and the debilitating effect came to the lone target..

He knows he's won, and thus, The Outlaw depressurizes his mask to open it, now speaking infuriated as..



Jake Ross: "The devil himself?"


And he drops his headwear to circle around his stunned target, taking out the machete, wiping its blood..


Jake Ross: "Should've just ran. Should've just ran.. but this mindless wanton aggression now you drew forced my hand."


He might be able to move, but Jacob was ready for any move as he continues..


Jake Ross: "Helpless? Out of options? I've a machete that's hungry for blood of the wicked. Like a certain Lucille.. it might as well be vampiric.."


Now holding its hilt downwards, Jacob finishes his speech..


Jake Ross: "Now what part of the body should we begin butchering?"


But before aiming low to the nether regions, something unexpected happens as the man slumps to the side, then holding his chest in pain in a shocking manner..

And as he drops down, dead, Jacob scratches his head in wonder, noting..



Jake Ross: "Oh? Cardiac arrest? Strange.. I've never offed nobody with fear by it's lonesome, until today.."


And as he's picked up his mask, he hears a sound he's very familiar with..


Jake Ross: "Sirens.."


Not long after, the crime scene's all been made secure by local police forces, alongside a certain Interpol agent..


Rin: "So, this Ferrari's the only thing remaining on the scene? Any other evidence?"


She asks towards a policeman, who then receives information in German from his colleagues.

The next piece of information then came..



Rin: "Bodies? Five men.. known drug smugglers? Any camera footage?"


Receiving a negative, Rin went on to the last sentence she spoke and then had a lightbulb moment on how to follow the investigation.


Rin: "No? But.. if these men are KNOWN, then I suggest a purge on the local police department. Someone's taking bribes to not take these people in."


And as the policemen leave her alone, she frowns, sadly realizing who's handiwork this all is..


Rin: "He's doing this again.. ohh... [sniffles] Rin-san.. he's taken care of some drug related individuals.. the reasoning is sound.."


Meanwhile.jpg



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In a nearby hospital, Alan exits his Jaguar's driver seat in a hurry, Jacob following suit on the other side.


Alan: "And here we are. This is where they'd admitted him."

Jake Ross: "That fool.. he's got a race tomorrow and.. I did not anticipate his intrusion. I must apologize to Sophia."

Alan: "She will understand.."

Jake Ross: "We've yet to explain to her that I'm The Outlaw. Sounds to me it might be tricky."


And in the dark night, they aren't alone in this small hospital's parking lot..


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Alan: "Pardon me, but that's your Lena, not mine. Not that I do have any other Lena.."

Jake Ross: "Old man.. I've requested her presence in person."

Alan: "Oh?"


As Lena exits her car, Jacob is already awaiting her, hands by the side and a stern, smiled face of satisfaction.


Jake Ross: "Mighty fine work tonight, Lena."

Lena: "I appreciate that, comrade. Not another hurt soul, far as I hear. Shame about the animal."

Jake Ross: "Rin pretty much confirmed that for me. Though, Sophia needs a tale to hear about it. I'm aiming for a twist of what came tonight.. Alan's here to back me up."


Upon mention, Lena sees Alan in mild distress, and has an idea.


Lena: "Oh, you.."

Alan: "Yes?"

Lena: "I heard EMS.. should animal be left in forest, that wound can be worse than what they found. Reckless it might be, da, that act saved a life."


Alan responded with a large grin, looking aside for a moment..


Alan: "You heard that, Janie? Saved me a life with these old bones."

Lena: "Who now?"

Alan: "My passed first wife. Let's move on."


As Alan moves towards the entrance, Jake and Lena have business to attend to about The Outlaw..


Lena: "Nachal'nik. The Mustang is stored in secure spot, as is the 'power armor'."

Jake Ross: "That needs a name.. but then, I say you're done. I'll wire you something to compensate.."

Lena: "No need. Your handling of those men is enough. Their deaths shall be revelled."

Jake Ross: "Sure? Suit yourself. I'll see you soon, Queenie."


Leaving Lena to have her exit with the SLS, Jacob heads in, finding Sophia just outside the emergency area, Alan following.


Jake Ross: "Sophia."

Sophia: "Alan? With signore Ross! Mamma mia, I wasn't expecting you all here tonight."

Jake Ross: "I'm here bearing news about Guts. It's that.."


His sincerity was to come, but Sophia intervened..


Sophia: "Good sir, I am not wanting to hear that. What's done is done. He was shot in his leg, and is going to have a little trouble walking for the time being."

Jake Ross: "Nothing serious? How about funding?"

Sophia: "Insured by the Kirkham Foundation.. a part of our Sim Gear contracts, isn't that so, Alan?"

Alan: "Right you are, Sophia."


Not normally one would find Sophia rearranging her glasses in stress, but she's not hiding any of that as she eventually mentions..


Sophia: "Upper management is going to have a fit about this, by the way. I'm going to have to take that in. I would ask for your assistance if you can, amici."


But as she turned towards Jacob, she leaned forwards, and glared with her glasses to shine..


Sophia: "In fact.. you seem a quite familiar in shape.. I'm with Guts so often, perhaps you can fit in his suit?"


He wanted this day to come, but not like this, and not so suddenly, but he reacted, hesitating..


Jake Ross: "Hold on.. what are you suggesting??"

Sophia: "Nothing serious, but.. I studied your portfolio one time. Past era racer Louie Ross Jr's eldest son, getting a 1:09 time around Big Willow in a Group 3 Mustang.. I can exploit this racer's talent for you. It's no wonder I can see you going around with The List. You are a fan, aren't you?"


She says eagerly, giving Jacob a close call as he replies with a pretend nervousness..


Jake Ross: "Quite so.. I recall that time.. in Japan.."

Sophia: "Then I would propose a gamble. How about you take The Guts' place for tomorrow's race? That would mean you have a chance at taking on your peers with them on track."

Jake Ross: "I.. would love that. But how about a second opinion?"

Sophia: "Of course. Alan?"

Alan: "I trust Sophia with my being on her bang on the money decisions, Jacob. And you musn't remain behind Keith forever. Go for it. Tell me how it is afterwards."


If anything Alan is good at, it's convincing others with a mix of logic and charisma, to which Jacob then, in mild disbelief, replies, eventually confident..


Jake Ross: "I say let's do it. But I need some time with the car.."

Sophia: "That I will arrange. Be at the Genesis garage, 7 AM sharp."

Jake Ross: "Then it's a deal."


PRESENT DAY..


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Returning once again back to Deep Forest, an event tent meant to house hungry visitors finds itself playing a recording of the earlier race through a projector.

At the time, the only occupant within this air conditioned area is a certain yellow individual, singing a song as she faces a plate of raspberry cheesecake with coffee on the side..



Miranda: "~Mmmhmmmmm... It's like candy, candy.. so good! So good, yeeaaaheeyeeaaahheyeah..~"


Without realize, she's not alone in the tent and the benches, with a certain trio watching the projected race, and their chatter as it goes on..


Cierra: "hoo.. Sim Gear's BH, on commentary is like.. WOWW.."

Candy: "Volume control, Cierra."

Lucia: "It can't be helped, Candy."

Candy: "That's nonsense, Lulu. I suggest we find Sophia. Any idea if she's around?"

Lucia: "Herr Guts is here, but there isn't any sighting of his lovely ambassador Sophia."

Candy: "Odd. By the way, Lulu.. you were in this race, right?"

Lucia: "Retired due to a fault in the transmission. We're past that in this replay."


Sight now away from the screen, Cierra spun towards Candy, inquiring..


Cierra: "Aren't y-you also in Group 3, Candy? Shouldn't you be there too?"

Candy: "Hypertension came up, so I had to pass."

Lucia: "Ohh.."

Candy: "Don't feel pity. It's what happens. Anything interesting coming up?"


Lucia scrolls her phone upon hearing that, noting..


Lucia: "Umm.. Sim Gear steps up stage in 5 minutes?"


And hearing Sim Gear again has Candy remark..


Candy: "I'm still sort of baffled that your crew boss is Sim Gear host Clark Kayne, Cierra."

Cierra: "A.."

Candy: "Just 'a'? That's not the kind of reply you give to me."

Lucia: "Candy.."


Realizing they're being towered, she look to see the Sim Gear hosts themselves, ready for said event.

Of course, Candy's thoughts of them are of awe, glowing eyes and hands clenched together..



Candy: "Fascinating.. It's them!"


The de facto leader of the bunch then replies in his absolute British voice..


Nash: "Afternoon."

Clark: "Just a quick check on you, Candy. I'm sure f[BLEEP]ing hypertension yesterday isn't going to stop you, and gladly I'm correct."


And the odd one out makes his introductions..


Alan: "So this is Candy Lam? Jacob told me a lot about you. Alan Robinson."


Not intending to offend Nash's sensitivity to age, Candy chose her words carefully with this one.


Candy: "Look at this one.. you're a generation ahead, right?"

Alan: "Perhaps I'm twice your age. But don't rule me out so quickly like that. You might've seen a certain Group C Jag with my name on it."

Nash: "We should head for the stage now, lads."

Clark: "Go then, I want a word with her."

Alan: "We'll be waiting for you anyways, Max."


Clark of course wants this word with his underling..


Clark: "Cierra.. for today you're to protect her from any sorts of trouble. That and The Cinderella, wherever she might be."

Cierra: "Yup! All f-fine here. Nearby there's only... umm.. her?"


Pointing towards Miranda, it seems that her pre dessert ritual isn't quite done yet..


Miranda: "~It's like candy! Candy, candy.. Just like candy! Doo doo doooo~"


Not feeling anything about it, Clark remarked..


Clark: "Unless she's somehow related to.. mayhaps the Assassin's Guild, she seems.. alright. Right, I'll be off now."


And as Clark left, Candy watches on this man, remembering a fact from the morning..


Candy: "And away he goes. You know, Giles gone mentioned his backstory to me."

Lucia: "The girlfriend who sacrificed herself, was it? That's all true. It was in the news."

Candy: "Not saying.. I have my doubts.. Umm.."


They turn to see a black dressed race suit with bespoke helmet, arms crossed and staring intently at Lucia.


Lucia: "Herr Guts?! Good day to you."

Candy: "The supermassive phone thief. Shouldn't he be with the Sim Gear gang?"


And behind him..


Jake Ross: "He should? Well, go on and git."


The Guts left as soon as that's heard..

The man behind him however..



Jake Ross: "Looking better, missy."

Candy: "As are you, dark one. Is something up with The Guts? He walks funny.."

Jake Ross: "Complicated, that one, but to put it bluntly, he had a complication I had to personally take care of.."


And with that race on show behind, Candy had to mention..


Candy: "But that race on the Nurburgring.. it's true, right? You took the tamed racing animal's place and won the thing."

Jake Ross: "I can't deny that. Sophia made me an offer that's just plain stupid for me to deny. And you saw how he walked, right? Those details can come later. Right now, I got me a good shot in a GT racing career, however sudden it is."

Lucia: "It's high time I get some tutoring for racing from the likes of you, Jake."

Jake Ross: "Perhaps. Now I must make my leave.. a lucrative package is incoming."


And he left just as quickly as he appeared, but Candy had other plans hearing that..


Candy: "Package? I wonder why here and now."

Lucia: "He probably doesn't mean it literally, Candy. Oh? Cierra, were you hiding?"

Cierra: "N-n-no, I mean, I might.. I MEAN YESS!!"


She's intimidated, but not Candy as she shares..


Candy: "Well screw that. I'm curious. Time for some spying.."

Lucia: "You're leaving us? Candy.."

Candy: "I won't be long, Lulu."


Candy too left the scene, with Lucia and Cierra watching on..


Lucia: "If it wasn't Candy, I think I feel like hurting someone. Then again, it's not like anyone's heard anything.."

Miranda: "Sweeties.. pardon me, so.. Lulu, was it? May I ask a thing?"

Lucia: "ME, AND MY BIG MOUTH!!"


Later 2.jpg



Not far away, Candy finds Jacob standing by the packed visitors parking lot..


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Hiding between a few cars in the distance, she's watching..


Candy: "That's Jake Ross alright.. he's awaiting.."


Menu Theme
Vanessa Lorena
Need For Speed - Most Wanted: A Criterion Game


Expecting a literal package, a man with a bespoke blue leather jacket comes in and greets with arms wide open, and she knows from yesterday this is the man she can't beat, but has that ready for the next undertaking, and he's known as..


Candy: "Sonny Meng.. the man's lifelong friend: one that I know of.."


And another man came: taller than the two, obviously middle eastern with a turban and a two tone suit with gold accents all over.


Candy: "Who's this? An Arab? Looks wealthy.."


The next man arrived, and from his sporty setup and near balding blonde head, it was the obviously British man she's met in Sainte Croix..


Candy: "Barrington? Of course.."


Following that, a large obese American walked in, greeting Jacob with what might be a crushing bear hug.


Candy: "Here's a big American man if I had to describe."


Behind him is the ice queen, with a very lofty, custom dress..


Candy: "Lena Mashakov.. self appointed Queen of the Nordschliefe.."


But the last person is one Candy recognizes, thanks to his hawaiian buttoned up shirt and short slacks: an iconic industry man of speed in her home city of Tokyo..


Candy: "Oji-san Ramlie Ajie? You should've told me you were coming.."


However, should one decide to zoom out Candy's situation, another lady squats behind her, knowing that Candy's unaware of her presence.


Rin: "Teehee.. shhh.."


With a one two three, Rin proceeds to kick down her unofficial little sister, then bind her to cuffs as she couldn't react..


Rin: "Spying on us, little sis? You must be PUNISHED!"


Following that, she then grabs by the chinese dress neck seam and drags Candy across the asphalt..


Candy: "Owww.. uncalled for, Rin-san!! AHHH!! NO NO, not the collar.."


As if she's a farmer dragging a stubborn bovine, Rin enters the attention of Jacob's package: a complete package of The List, with a twist..


Rin: "Jake! Look here! Looks to me you know how to lure in trouble.."

Jake Ross: "Of course I do.. she's such a spunky brat, ain't she? Let her down."


Positioned in the right place, Candy looks on to be towered by a mix of familiar and unfamiliar figures, but at least unlike last time, she's not pressured..


Candy: "Look at this.. Dark one.. with Sonny Meng, Murph, Oji-san?? Who on earth are you all?"


And similar to earlier, Jacob stands forward as the de facto leader, announcing in his normally darkened tone as he rolls The Outlaw's Chip..


Jake Ross: "Missy.. what you see gathered here is the very people that make up the foundations of The List."


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A difficult car to handle for beginners, to me the X GR3 gets a straight Neutral. It has the presentation points for sure, but the performance points perhaps needs an overhaul. May I suggest lowering the power more, but get its weight checked so that it's more friendly to drive. Or, y'know.. do something with the stock setup.

Mr. White, what were they thinking with that, yo?


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I can see a lot of good with the car, but it really does take a special kind of dude to bring it to the top of the class. I'm not that dude, and so is 95% of the people who do play Sport mode.


OOHH DARN IT WEEK 12 SPD!!

NEXT WEEK IS SIMPLE, NEXT WEEK IS SIMPLE. NOOPE, I CHOSE TO WRITE ABOUT MY OLD MAIN CHARACTER, PLOW THROUGH HIS NEW MODUS OPERANDI AS A 'HERO' AND TAKE US THROUGH SOME PROGRESSION. NOT TO MENTION HE'S EASILY THE MOST DEVELOPED CHARACTER THAT REALLY BENEFITS SEEING HIM AWAY FROM THAT FREAKING MAIN CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT!! UGHH, SIMPLE MY ASS.

OOHH YES I KNOW WHAT NEXT WEEK IS, I CAN'T BELIEVE I LET THAT SKIM THROUGH SO SIMPLY. IT'S NOT WEEK 34, BUT 52 WEEKS A YEAR + 34 EQUALS 86: I CAN COUNT. WHY AM I VENTING HERE? BECAUSE HOW DARE YOU EVEN ASK THAT!!


Enough pre-script..

One newcomer. This is definitely getting slower. As intended. I'm really filtering the 60+ people in my roster until I can reboot them.

It's quite packed this week, but at least the right people's placed at the right places. No need an overwhelming crowd.

Alan's easily the cliche old mentor, but of course there are some liberties that I suppose would get explained under. Also the final of the 4 that would make up my Top Gear expy. 3 hosts and a driver.

Also, I've went back and reduced the flooding my posts make on this thread with the format I've begun utilizing on my Chaparral entry. Along with some extra trivia in certain episodes. What's next? I'm thinking of putting a link on these reference biographies. That's the next big edit plan for me, at least.


For The Outlaw/Jacob Ross (5) and Rin Nishimura/Jessica Ross (5)
see Episode 2

For Sophia D'Antonio (Sport), Tamed Racing Animal 'The Guts' (Sport) and Sonny Meng Xian Zhen (5)
see Episode 3

For Paul Henderson (5)
see Episode 5

For Lucia Weiss (5)
see Episode 6

For Boniface Richelieu (6)
see Episode 7

For Lena Mashakov (5), Clark Kayne (5) and Cierra Mercer (Sport)
see Episode 9

For Nash Kirkham (5)
see Episode 10

For Miranda Summers (Sport)
see Episode 12

A legend of the past generation. Alan's time as The Bristol Harbinger echoes on into his terrible parenting and the contrary of such when it comes to mentoring. A classy charismatic figure who craves at the chance to push hard a racing machine again.

Theme Song: Queen - You Take My Breath Away
Racing Duel Music: The Cure - Wrong Number (acoustic)
Gender: Male
Nationality: British
Age: 59
Current occupation: Retired racer
Distinct features: Short, combed back, clean greyed chestnut hair. Heart shaped face. Similarly colored goatee on top of a stubble. Thin hooded blue eyes, thick but shallow funnel nose, and thin, wide peach mouth. Average height and slightly less weight.
Choice of clothing: Strictly a cardigan over a suit vest, fine pants and just as fine slip ons and woolen gloves. Never without his specially engraved pendant, engraved AR-CR.
Cars: Jaguar XJ220, Aston Martin DB11

Once known as the Bristol Harbinger, it's no surprise Alan's humble origins were within Bristol, specifically behind the heritage of a metalworking industry heavy family. Aspiring to make a living in one of the larger engineering factories producing ships and planes, Alan's dreams took a turn when his father: the foreman of a prominent steel milling factory, got the factory involved in producing various machinations for Jaguar. At his younger ages, he's greatly exposed to the hard works in the mills and the foundries, but never found himself in serious dedication to it, despite humbling towards its peoples.

Amassing wealth, Alan and his sole sister eventually was personally exposed to the racing world in form of their wealthy father's collection of classic cars, notably those made iconic within the gentlemen racers era. By the time they reached adulthood and are proven able to drive, they've been handed down one car of their choosing. Both went for Germans, as Alan's first car would come in the eventually rare BMW 507. Unaware of why his peers and relatives start to distance away from him, he's never been made aware that the car's value reflected to his person: something future Alan found out.

His calling for the track came when the foundry workers started organizing quick, but overall grueling rally events around the industrial areas they worked in. There, not only would this younger Alan find his calling by being the quickest in the tiny classics raced, but also found he wants to earn his glory, not be handed down them. Respect for this form of him is gained, and he would gain a catchphrase, stating that "What's once hard can be bested with self improvement, and we keep getting on with it until it's all a chore.". That all would move on to his greatest age in his career: handling Group C Jaguars.

Eventually wedded a lady and raised a daughter, the wife's sudden death by an accident put a rift between this pair, blaming one another for the cause of this separation. It was then he's made an abrupt retirement to the racing game. Wealth was never an issue then, thanks to his past and then work's role as a racing school instructor. Usually not straying further ahead open wheel racing, Alan's problems started to fade upon meeting his daughter's sweetheart: a young Scottish enthusiast. The bond they created as mentor and pupil also cast away the social barriers between him and his daughter. Now with a keenness on helping others, he didn't hesitate when a German racing family asked him personally for his services.

Age might've slowed his senses, but this current Sim Gear host's always on the lookout for fresh talent, or even a way back into the game.


Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother. (5)
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina.
The Bristol Harbinger (5)
'Ginnie': Gary's current long distance girlfriend who he's strangely trying to keep discreet (5)
Graham: an individual with close ties to Miranda and Carlyle (Sport)
Will: first of the new age The List members, also Lucia's older brother (5)
'Izzy': nickname of Rin's closest friend within Interpol (5)

Members of The List Foundations yet to be introduced proper:
The Arab: wealthy benefactor of The List in its early days, as well as a driving force for reviving Group B racing. (6)
'Clean Gator': A hearty, overweight truck racer (5)
Ramlie Ajie: Malaysian well known as Tokyo's Fastest Taxi Driver (5)
 
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Well, there goes my color scheme.
I made that livery just for the announcement post. You're entitled to it if you want something unique! I'll go make something else for race day.
I went on and saw a few tunes for the car online in the tuning forum, and they are the kind of tunes that would be such an insult, so much it might bring back that HOW DARE YOU phase that I got just about a year ago.
Were the tunes you sourced from before March this year? Update 1.31 massively reworked the physics of the game, which also broke a lot of tunes.
 
I made that livery just for the announcement post. You're entitled to it if you want something unique! I'll go make something else for race day.

Yeah, I was just off the game canvas this evening with a racing design because it's a racecar.

Like there's no way I'm not using it because I went ahead and drew bloodshot eyes on it.


hagred-hagred-harry-potter.gif


Were the tunes you sourced from before March this year? Update 1.31 massively reworked the physics of the game, which also broke a lot of tunes.

To me, the physics change did little to the car's drivability. Though, yeah I think the tune I saw was pre 1.31, but I didn't remember because I became a Divekick final boss for a moment, sitting in frustration on figuring out what that's going to accomplish.
 
To me, the physics change did little to the car's drivability. Though, yeah I think the tune I saw was pre 1.31, but I didn't remember because I became a Divekick final boss for a moment, sitting in frustration on figuring out what that's going to accomplish.
Honestly, I think the physics change made the Genesis X worse. I ran it in a Nations race at Glen last year and didn’t have issues putting the power down.

Which made the current X’s tail-happy nature a rude surprise for me last week.
 

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