"Holden" my own... A race report / story in 14 parts.

Discussion in 'GT4 Race Reports' started by Smallhorses, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Can we expect more soon?
     
  2. Thiele

    Thiele

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    I saw a couple of the new Monaro's in Adelaide the last couple of days. My uncle used to drive a Monaro til he crashed it into a tree. :lol:

    Good news for Paulie, we might be getting a VY Commodore. :) Bad news, we'll still have the Magna and i might be learning to drive on that. :(

    After reading this story, i feel like driving a Monaro on GT4 now, but GT4 doesn't work. :(
     
  3. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Good for you man, I hope it doesn't have a crappy 4spd auto in it though.

    Magna is better than a 1980's Subaru L-Series Wagon.:p

    I want to get in a Monaro as well, but in GT5 already!:scared:
     
  4. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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    Panic ye not! Another part should arrive at the weekend all being well.
    Real life has gotten busier in the run up to Christmas holidays so I've not been able to spend so much time on this as I'd've liked.
    I've also been on a major push to get my ultimate GT4 goal out of the way before the year end, and completed it last week. :tup:
    (Pictures & description of that achievement are here.) :O
     
  5. Thiele

    Thiele

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    Yeah. It's a station wagon, but it's okay.

    I need to get a PS3 first. :lol:

    Hey that reminds me. I think i had a dream that i got a PS3 last night. :)
     
  6. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Excellent.:D
     
  7. zed300

    zed300

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    You may have seen a Pontiac GTO 2000- 2002 yer........... same car!!!


    Enjoyable reading
     
  8. Adamgp

    Adamgp Premium

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    GTO's are 2004-2006.

    Same car, but GTO's had more power. 350hp in the '04's, 400hp in '05-'06's.
     
  9. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    HSV GTS had 402hp. That was HSV's Monaro.
    Anyway, I can't wait for the weekend, family christmas get together and more of this story. Should be good.:)
     
  10. Thiele

    Thiele

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    I saw a GTO a few weeks back, the first time i ever saw one of them. :odd:
     
  11. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    As in proper HSV GTO or some Pontiac GTO?:odd: If it was right hand drive, and a Pontiac GTO, it was probably just an aftermarket nose and badges fitted to a Holden. Why you'd do that is beyond me though.:sly:
     
  12. Thiele

    Thiele

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    I'm not sure. I guess it could've just been a Holden with badges. :odd:
     
  13. Adamgp

    Adamgp Premium

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    I was talking Pontiac GTO vs regular Holden Manaro.
     
  14. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    But then you have to remember that you guys also get the HSVs as Pontiacs (eg. Pontiac G8 GXP is an HSV rebadged pretty much). It's not like the Pontiac version had more power, it just had the HSV engine later in its life.
     
  15. Adamgp

    Adamgp Premium

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    Again, I was comparing the regular Holden Manaro to the Pontiac GTO

    2004 Manaro - 328hp, 340ft/lbs
    2004 GTO - 350hp, 365 ft/lbs

    2005 Monaro - 349hp, 369ft/lbs
    2005 GTO - 400hp, 395ft/lbs

    Also, the '09 G8 GXP isn't a rebadged HSV, its based on the SS, with some HSV bits and peices. About 3/4 of an HSV. Being a Pontiac driver myself I frequent the Pontiac/GM forums alot and many of us are pissed at GM for doing that.

    Enough threadjacking, more story please. :)
     
  16. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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    Excellent point! ;)

    Next chapter is about 2/3rds complete at the moment. Life got busy (somewhat expectedly) in the run up to Christmas. The update should happen tomorrow or Monday, but it'll be the last one for about a month since I'm due to make a 15,000 mile roundtrip to visit family & friends and won't have access to PS2 for pictures or t'internet for GTPlanety goodness for a wee while. After that chapters will be forthcoming in snow-permitting intervals. :D
     
  17. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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    Chapter 5: Losing My Lead In Le Mans.

    Sure enough, Rashid is the driver who clambers from the Lotus, clapping me heartily on the back and offering congratulatory praise when we reach the paddock back at Nurburgring.
    "It seems I need a little more practice with this car & venue," he concedes, "so many turns and bumps to upset what I think are my optimal lines."

    We're joined in parc ferme by some of the other drivers and I get a more formal introduction to them:
    Yves is as French as his name suggests, and is associated with Peugeot Citroen who've supplied the 206cc that he's driving. Left a little outclassed he's not optomistic about his chances at all, but hopes the exposure might help further his racing ventures in future.
    Dae-Hyun hails from South Korea and is also the offspring of a successful family. His prediliction with Hondas lead him to his choice of the S2000 for this series, but he grumbles a little about his Father believing him too young to handle an NSX properly, which in fairness given his youthful 18 years is probably not such a bad thing, but he's got a precocious talent and is hoping that he'll raise the cash to buy his dream ride and prove Dad wrong!

    I'd have to wait until the next race, in a fortnights time, to meet the other drivers properly, but the circus is rolling on ready for the next race which'll take place at another vaunted racing location steeped in petrol-fuelled history. Le Mans.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This time around I'd been able to arrive early enough to give the car a shot at qualifying, everything working out neatly with my direct flight to Paris in this instance, followed by a quick 1 hour drive. To my huge surprise, given the abundance of straights on this track, I installed myself neatly in pole-position for the rolling-start race, but I was going to have the fire-breathing Lotus clawing at my heels right from the get-go!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Even before we get to Dunlop Curve Rashid eases the Lotus up to the back of the Holden which requires a longer run-up to hit the same speeds. Moving toward the left so I can cut back at the apex of the sweeping righthand turn before the left-right chicane, Rashid sneaks the Lotus through into the lead and a "Battle-Royale" is initiated. I track him through the Esses and I notice that I can be quicker through Tertre-Rouge than he is, however, he's able to remain in front while I take advantage of his slipstream, edging the Holden over the 165mph mark before we brake hard for L'Arche Chicane.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Neat lines through La Florandiere Chicane and Mulsanne Hairpin mean I'm still holding on as we accelerate as hard as we can for the run down to Indianapolis although he starts to draw away.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm beginning to think it's a lost cause as we've another fast run from the tight Arnage turn through the Porsche Curves, but he's somewhat cautious in the faster turns, just like I'd seen at Tertre-Rouge and by keeping the hammer down I gently reel him in again, so much so that as we brake for the second of the Ford Chicanes, I spot a gap.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Jumping on the brakes hard enough to bruise my chest on the seat harness and feeling like the fillings are being ripped from my teeth, I keep a close eye on my right-hand wing mirror to see the Lotus appear before I turn in. A jarring ride across the rumblestrip has me clenching my teeth, and other areas best not mentioned for that matter, as the Holden's weight shifts into the latter part of the complex, leaving me enormously relieved as the tyres bite and I power through to complete a lap of the legendary Circuit de La Sarthe in 1st place, a feat I'd never managed in my Nissan.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm left with enough room between us to avoid a repeat of Rashid's passing move at Dunlop Curve this time, although the speed with which the Lotus sucks up the gap is unnerving. My only chance of getting away is taking advantage of his weakness in the fast turns, meaning that I'd have to nail each of them perfectly. Approaching Tertre-Rouge I hurl the bloated mass of Aussie muscle hard at the rumbly on the left before shifting the entire weight, screaming and protesting, to the right and aim for the apex. I deftly drag the brake left-footed as I go, stabilising the car a little and hoping to avoid the front-end ploughing into understeer or the back-end snapping into sudden oversteer, either of which would mean a visit to the massive sandtrap and an unplanned day at the beach!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I keep the Holden out front until we've passed L'Arche Chicane a 2nd time, whereupon Rashid is close enough to feel the tow from the massive hole in the air which my car is punching. Trying to bury the throttle through the floorpan to gain anything more from the overstretched engine, I'm powerless to watch as the Lotus gracefully glides by before the braking zone for La Florandiere Chicane. I'm absolutely busting a gut to stay with him, and although I can close on him for braking, his quicker acceleration eases him away again even while I'm in his slipstream. We pass Indianapolis & Arnage separated by only a few car-lengths, but it's no problem for him this time through Porsche Curves and as we exit Maison Blanche he's somewhat distant.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It seems to breed some complacency in him though, he backs off a lot for the Ford Chicanes and his gap evaporates at the line! Just 100 meters further on and the finishing positions would've been reversed. As it is he's staggered that I'm alongside him as we cross the line, neither of us knowing who broke the timing beam first...

    The TV audience is gripped, as are the trackside spectators. My heart is pounding like an overwound clock, but it seems that Rashid has just done enough to clinch the win. 0.072s, that's it. The gap after 2 laps and 9 1/2 minutes of racing came down to 7/100ths of a second. Rashid had learned an important racing lesson today, but as the points standings show, we're neck-and-neck on 16 points apiece after 2 races.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  18. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    Awesome!! Having Rashid winning that race makes the plot all the more interesting in my opinion :tup:. It's a shame we'll have to wait so long for the next one :(.

    *Go holden*...
     
  19. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Good chapter and very close race.:tup: Nice to see some flavour in the races, you can't win them all eh?:)
     
  20. GR

    GR Premium

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    I saw this thread and wanted to see what the story is about and everything I can say is.. AWESOME STORY!!! :tup: I liked it from the beginning up to the last chapter you've written.. It was worth the one hour I invested into reading it ;) .. Can't await the next chapter :( :lol:

    Go on this way, buddy :)

    Best wishes,

    S-Line Audi Fan
     
  21. Skygrasper550

    Skygrasper550 Premium

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    I just read the last chapter..., uh....Dae-Hyun?? South Korea?? :lol::lol:

    awesome story, we want the next chapter NOW!! :D
     
  22. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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    Hmmm, never noticed that! I searched for Korean boy's names and looked at the meaning of Dae-Hyun and thought it sounded fitting for a lad from a wealthy family. It's derived from the Korean words for "great" and "honour", two good qualities for a racer. :tup:

    It's only now that you've pointed it out and I've re-read it that I see the funny side, Dae-Hyun -> Hyundai! :dunce:

    It really was unintentional. :guilty:

    Anyway, I've been really busy snowboarding, 3 weekends out of the past 5, so I've not had chance to work on this recently, but my wife's gone shopping and running errands, so I've got chance while she's out and about to work on the next chapter which should be forthcoming later today or tomorrow. :)
     
  23. MinoltaMan89

    MinoltaMan89

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    I want more! One of the best Race Reports I've ever seen, if not THE best.
    I like how the Lotus won, gives a bit of variety. By the way, that's far closer than any Le Mans race in real life. But yours wasn't a 24-hour enduro, just a ten-minute two-lapper.
     
  24. Lucas

    Lucas

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    I'm waiting patiently, Smallhorses! :) Your reports are always interesting. Only your race reports pay so much attention to little details, as places, names and such. I wish I could be as smart as you are :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  25. GR

    GR Premium

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    I'm asking myself when Smallhorses is going to upload the next chapter.. Mhh.. Let's just hope it'll be soon :) Note: An excellent chapter needs its time ;)..

    Best wishes,

    S-Line Audi Fan :cheers:
     
  26. Skygrasper550

    Skygrasper550 Premium

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    :lol: no problems here.., ;)

    how about now??
     
  27. MinoltaMan89

    MinoltaMan89

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    So Hyundai means "honor great"? Hyundai doesn't get (deserve) much honor, and by no means is any Hyundai great. Except the Genesis Coupe.

    Makes me wonder where they got Kia from. :)

    Oh and D24/7, how about we tell Smallhorses' wife that she forgot the milk at the store, so he can write the next chapter? :lol:
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  28. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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    Chapter 6: Taking On Tokyo.

    With the European races completed, the circus shifted it's attention to the 5 races planned in Japan, with a street track laid out in Japan's capital city of Tokyo as our first venue.

    [​IMG]

    Once again I was too late for qualifying. Sadly even leaving San Francisco on a Friday afternoon aboard the Narita-bound Japan Airlines flight: JL1, crossing the International date line (IDL) meant I arrived there approaching 5PM on Saturday after around a 11 hour flight. Having grabbed my bags and headed out for the shuttle to my hotel, I've still got another 1.5 hours of travelling to do before the bus drops me outside the Century Hyatt hotel in Shinjuku, close by the enormous Tokyo Metro Building from which the snowcapped top of Mt. Fuji is easily visible on a clear day.

    [​IMG]

    The other guys were already there, and as night fell we went with our Japanese guide to take a look at the glowing mass of neon lights that illuminate the Shinjuku skyline, bars, clubs and seedier venues. We drank sake & Sapporo until the wee-hours of the morning, making fun of the guide who insists on calling me "Mr. Gordon-san" and getting to hear about some of the trips that the drivers who'd arrived early had taken, rides on the infamous Shinkansen 700 known as "The Platypus", visits to Akihabara "electronics town" and the Sensō-ji Shrine in Asakusa, before we head back to the hotel for some rest.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Oscar, an affable Brazilian is the driver of the Toyota Supra which is showing signs of it's age, and sadly lacking the turbo of it's RZ cousin, a benefit which would've made it somewhat more competetive with the Subaru which is driven by a surly German named Ernst, whose mechanical knowledge and attention to detail puts the rest of us to shame. A pity then that his driving, while improving wasn't up to par with his technical expertise. He still managed to qualify 2nd for the race on Sunday, and given the standing start believes that his superior 4WD traction may be an advantage off the line.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Assembled on the starting grid, I'm suddenly reminded of the sheer length of the main drag here, and while short in comparison with the vast swathes of tarmac that we've just left behind at Le Mans, it's still a worrying prospect given the straightline speed of Rashid's Lotus, and the fact that there's 4 cars between us as he sits pretty on pole! Gunning the big muscly V8 I feel the adrenaline building in preparation for the starting lights coming on. I'm also secretly hoping that Yves in the Peugeot just ahead of me and to the right will be sufficiently intimidated by the noise that he'll not even contemplate trying to move across!
    The green signal goes on and the Holden leaps forward, easily slipping under the Peugeot which scrabbles for grip off the line, even with it's comparitively low power, the front-wheel drive layout isn't as conducive to good launches as those in the rest of the cars.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Accelerating through the first turn, a mild left kink in the Aoyama Dori, National Route #246 straight that the circuit takes it's name from, I'm easily able to keep powering on past Oscar's Supra before we come to the braking zone for the sharp Akasaka-Mitsuke second turn, and I'm sandwiched between Dae-Hyun & Oscar as we enter the curiously narrow area named Shuto-Ko while Rashid and Ernst pull away. I have to get on the brakes a few times up through Sotobori Dori as I close up to the back of the S2000 ahead, but I pull wide to the right then hard left over the first apex of the two at the Marunouchi Subway Line turn which grants me a quicker, inside line on the second apex and I howl through into 3rd place cleanly and easily.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Pulling away I catch Ernst's Subaru in the long looping Shuto Ko Expressway turn, and it seems his cold tyres are giving him understeer issues as he narrowly misses the Armco exiting the turn. I get a good run on him out of the final Icho-Namiki Dori turn, going through into 2nd place as we conclude the first of 5 laps.
    Back in the field, Oscar's Supra is looking fine as he navigates the fast turn by the Jingu Baseball Stadium and Yves' backmarking Peugeot is still having the thrashing of a lifetime at his hands while he rounds the last turn, even if he's already lost touch with the pack.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Hard on the brakes for Akasaka-Mitsuke turn again, and the weight shifts forward hard causing the front discs to glow orange in the dim light of the overpass' shade. The bulk of the Holden means that I have to dab the brakes through the fast kink by Akasaka Palace, a turn I was able to power through with the Nissan's throttle wide open. Keeping the lines smooth, cutting the kerbs hard and avoiding any speed-sapping barrier brushes I'm able to cut into Rashid's lead before we hit the long straight again and he spools up the Lotus' turbo, under the "246" sign, to draw away by a few lengths.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Though I catch up through the Shuto-Ko area, I'm not close enough to make a move at the Marunouchi Subway Line turn this time, and I spent the remainder of lap 3 swarming around the back of the Lotus, trying to coax a mistake or an opening from Rashid, but he's learned well from his errors at Sarthe and isn't giving an inch here. Once again the increased power and lighter weight of his Lotus stretch the gap between us as we go into lap 4. My tyres are optimally warm now, and cornering is an finely balanced but fluid motion, allowing me to catch him into Marunouchi Subway Line turn, slipping by in a similar fashion to that which Dae-Hyun's Honda succumbed to, as this filmstrip I was given by a trackside photographer shows.

    [​IMG]

    Out in front, but with arguably the fastest car behind me, I have a flashback to my race here in the Nissan, when I had a moment of negligence similar to Rashid's at Sarthe, which also nearly cost me the race as a black Supra, very similar to that which Oscar is driving, pulled out a staggeringly quick final lap and caused my leading cushion to evaporate!

    [​IMG]

    I'm thus concious of not having a repeat of that scare, and that means holding my nerve and focus for another lap and a half. I stare down the road, picking the turn-in points and braking zones and casting only the briefest of glances at the mirror to see where the Lotus is. I half expect to hear the banshee-wail of turbocharged V8 storming by me down the straight before we begin the final lap, but it never comes. He gets close into the sharp second turn, but nowhere near enough to make a meaningful move, and his challenge fades as he grazes the wall outside the first apex of the Marunouchi Subway Line turn, scuffing the paintwork and spoiling his rhythm. He's never too far behind though and under 2s separates us at the finish line, and the large crowd here for the main event seems to have appreciated the race.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    10 more points and $20,000 are mine, as my championship lead is restored. The guys pack up leisurely as they're staying on in Japan, but no such luck for me and I'm due on a flight back from Tokyo's Narita Airport later on. Thankfully the IDL is a help this way round, and I technically arrive back in San Francisco before I've left Tokyo due to the time shift, so I can make the sprint back to the city in time for another week of being a corporate desk-jockey...
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  29. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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    Thanks. :tup:
    Take a look at my endurance companion (blue link in my signature) for my 24hr reports at Sarthe and Nurburgring.
    There's also a failed 200 point writeup in Smallhorses' Race Report Link Dump, it's the one with the crying smily! :(

    Your patience is appreciated, and there's a new chapter up, in the post above now.
    Enjoy! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  30. theewar

    theewar

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    :tup:Great Stuff smallhorses..looking forward to the next race:)


    Also great photos the camera man got,mate of yours?:sly:
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009