Race Coverage of GTP Rolex Series Season V

Discussion in 'GT5 Race Reports' started by Storm_SP17, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Storm_SP17

    Storm_SP17

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    Location:
    England
    The GTPlanet Rolex Season V review!

    Since early 2012, the GTPlanet Rolex Sports Car Series has seen plenty of action both on the track and in the threads. Since Polarbear345 created the series, he has seen a host of new and regular participants that have been involved in much of that action. It has grown in size and interest, going from just about managing half the numbers on a good night, to now having to hold certain drivers as reserves due to the packed out racing in both the DP and GT classes. There have been many astounding wins, and just as many ugly encounters and rivalries. Players of all skill levels can find an equal within the pack, so there is always exciting moments of wheel-to-wheel racing. This season, GTP Rolex's fifth, will be the last season raced on Gran Turismo 5. It will most likely be the toughest for the drivers to date, as no only is Traction Control off, as well as many other mechanical and driving aids, the regulations have now been decided so that ABS is no longer in use. With a mix of DS3 users and Wheel users in both classes, it will be interesting to see if this new dynamic changes the balance, and throw in a few surprises.

    The Cars:

    GTP Rolex's fifth season will see some returning cars to the series, but also contains three long-standing manufacturers in GT. In the Prototype class, the Nissan R390 Road Car will come back for a second season, having been a proven success in differentiating driver skill, and eliminating the fears that one class of car is the better one. In the GT class, Audi, Ferrari and Chevrolet make it five out of five seasons... although only Ferrari remain with their sole competing car; the 458 Italia. The V8, 4.2L Audi R8 makes a return from the previous season, making it the third season of five that used this model. Chevrolet see out the final Gran Turismo 5 season by allowing the Corvette Z06 its first run in GTP Rolex since season 1, replacing the always competitive Camaro SS due to new weight regulations. Dodge bring back the Viper SRT10 ACR to replace the Aston Martin V12 Vantage despite a remarkable debut; weight regulations prevent it being used again.

    The Specs (and Drivers):

    Nissan R390: 601 bhp / 1062 kg [unrealanthony / cnd01 / FlyinHawaiian77 / R0ssingt0n / gtpanoz / MrMelancholy15 / RESHIRAM5]

    Audi R8: 420 bhp / 1290 kg [OrangeSquash / tbwhhs]
    Ferrari 458: 430 bhp / 1250 kg [Storm_SP17 / polarbear345]
    Chevrolet Z06: 450 bhp / 1250 kg [Rich S / MONSTER97]
    Dodge Viper ACR: 430 bhp / 1280 kg [anirishnirvana / LancerEvo7]

    Coming up soon is coverage from Round 1, Daytona Road Course!

    {{ Note: I shall be adding pictures along with the coverage, just so that there is no wall of text. Coverage is slightly out of sync by 2-3 weeks currently, but I will let you know when I am up-to-date. }}
     
  2. Storm_SP17

    Storm_SP17

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    3,502
    Location:
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    Race 1: Daytona Road Course....

    Daytona is loved and hated, as it is the first race of the season and probably the longest of the three NAEC races. The infamous Turn 1 and Bus Stop are prime places where drivers tend to find it difficult, especially now with ABS being turned off. However, the oval gives drivers a chance to go flat out and catch the draft of the person ahead, allowing them to slingshot past opponents going into these sections, dictating the braking distance and line much of the time. The tight hairpins in the road course section give drivers another chance to overtake, producing even more action during the race.



    [​IMG]
    DP Order after Qualifying:
    FlyinHawaiian77 / unrealanthony / cnd01 / MrMelancholy15 / RESHIRAM5

    GT Order after Qualifying:
    Storm_SP17 / Rich S / polarbear345 / OrangeSquash / MONSTER97 / tbwhhs / anirishnirvana / LancerEvo7

    (It is worth mentioning now that LancerEvo7 pitted in the start lap, and was racing on and off throughout; pitting for substantial amounts of time every so often.)


    [​IMG]
    {{ Uh oh! What happened here then? }}

    Daytona started off badly, as right after the rolling start an incident in DP between MrMelancholy15 and RESHIRAM5 caused the cars to restart from a caution. RESHIRAM5 caught the back of MrMelancholy15 under braking, causing his car to snap left and skid; colliding with the barrier. That brought on one of the earliest caution periods of GTP Rolex's history thus far, and brought the race into a two-lap caution period, where most of the field put on fresh tyres despite not using them hardly at all... Aside from anirishnirvana in GT, the two DP cars involved in the caution did not pit. Aside from anirishnirvana taking 1st in GT due to not pitting and polarbear345 moving ahead of Rich S, the field remained unchanged, and on lap 4 the race resumed; just over 10 minutes into the race.

    [​IMG]
    {{ Audi, Dodge and Chevrolet... who will come out on top after the Bus Stop? }}

    All was smooth in DP at Turn 1 this time and for half a lap, MrMelancholy15 moved up into 2nd place. He knocked unrealanthony wide and down two extra places after the International Horseshoe (Turn 3) as he corrected his oversteer, although no caution was called. He was quickly made light work of by cnd01 before entry to the oval, and again by unrealanthony before the end of the lap. In GT, Anirishnirvana lost his place as he missed his braking point into Turn 1, falling way down into 7th. However, he moved into 6th after a three-way tussle at the Bus Stop.... tbwhhs losing out. OrangeSquash moved up to 2nd temporarily after Storm_SP17 was shunted by Rich S, who allowed Storm to retain a place ahead of him as redemption for the incident. Squash was caught out at the Horseshoe moments later, allowing Storm and Rich to reclaim 2nd and 3rd respectively.

    [​IMG]
    {{ Who's this unlucky fellow...? }}

    Rough 18 minutes into the race, the Prototypes had they're first retirement in RESHIRAM5, who seemed to be struggling all race, while at the same time around the bus stop section, FlyinHawaiian77 lost control and spun out on the tarmac allowing cnd01 the race lead with unrealanthony in second. A big fight for the lead then ensued with cnd01 and unrealanthony, which wasn't separating them even with LancerEvo7 re-joining to plug laps in his Viper making some traffic for the two to get around. In GT, all seemed locked in terms of positions 14 minutes in after anirishnirvana spun out big through the bus stop to avoid an incident with OrangeSquash and went 7th, while tbwhhs was passed by MONSTER97 before their 6th lap. Unexpectedly, however, GT leader polarbear345 pulled off before the pit straight for an unknown reason, allowing everyone bar LancerEvo7 to move up a place after just 21 minutes of racing.
    [​IMG]
    {{ The Prancing Horse dancing with The Four Rings! }}

    Laguishing MrMelancholy15 was first to pit around 24 minutes in, followed by GT Leader Storm_SP17, who pitted for fresh tyres and more fuel 5 minutes later, dropping him back to 4th ahead of anirishnirvana who'd clawed his way back to 5th with some consistent driving. unrealanthony suddenly lost connection during the race at the 29th minute, seeming to travel idly for a few moments before disappearing completely; leaving 3 DP driver's remaining, cnd01 way ahead of 2nd place FlyinHawaiian77, and MrMelancholy15 struggling to break free of GT miles behind in 3rd. The first big round of pit stops came at the 36th minute, with FlyinHawaiian77 pitting to fill his tank to the brim. Next came MONSTER97 and tbwhhs a minute later. Rich S emerged behind Storm_SP17 after his stop 38 minutes in, with DP leader cnd01 and anirishnirvana coming in after 40 minutes. LancerEvo7 pulled in once again to stop just as polarbear345 re-joined after 23 minutes of inactivity. The last to stop was Squash, who went an astonishing 43 minutes, but not before Storm_SP17 took 1st from him in GT once again.

    [​IMG]
    {{ A major impact... but who was it, and why? }}

    With gaps in DP and GT between cars being very wide, there was a lull in the action taking place on track for positions. Everyone at the hour mark of the race was plugging laps, trying to be consistent in the hopes that they're rivals were coming unstuck elsewhere. The gap between cnd01 and FlyinHawaiian77 was 28.012 seconds after an hour had passed, both driver on lap 33 of 56 and at least 2 laps ahead of the leading GT car. Current GT leader Storm_SP17 was 15.174 seconds ahead of Rich S in second, with OrangeSquash some 37.129 seconds further behind in third, with half of GT transitioning into lap 31 on the hour. Suddenly, a loud crash erupted from Turn 5 as FlyinHawaiian77 ploughed headlong into the barriers at 140 mph; His connection had failed on him, meaning that he disconnected just a couple of seconds later leaving cnd01 as the only DP driver in the race, and had effectively won. However, this wasn't the end to the drama....

    [​IMG]
    {{ A fight for position in GT, Audi vs. Chevrolet again! }}

    There was still a relative lull in GT, though pitstops were shifting positions momentarily, and some traffic was being found by the top 3 at times. GT were preparing for cnd01 to finish the race some 4-5 laps ahead of them, before their 3-minute end timer started. Although, it was likely that some were contemplating shifting strategies if cnd01 fell vitcim to connection errors also, given his issues last season. Orange Squash ended up in a skirmish to try and keep 2nd place from Rich S under 1 hour and 20 minutes in, but having not pitted, the skirmish was short-lived. LancerEvo7 randomly stopped racing again, allowing polarbear345 to take 7th, although both were well over 10 laps behind their GT competitors by now.


    [​IMG]
    {{ Rich S on a charge, breezing past tbwhhs! }}

    With the race coming to a close, Storm_SP17 made a few errors which cost him vital time on Rich S, running off at the International Horseshoe, then a few laps later crashing into the right-hand tyre wall on entry to Turn 1. To make matters worse, it seemed at though cnd01 was driving errarically, allowing GT to finish all 56 laps of the race with the way he was driving along the inner flat section of the ovals at little more than 80 mph. Fuel was the deciding factor in the race, and getting just enough fuel in the car to run quickly but bring it home was crucial. With cnd01 slowing to allow GT to finish all 56 laps, it threw much of the strategy out of balance, and seemed as though this new and late revelation was about to claim some victims, much to the despair of the GT runners.

    [​IMG]
    {{ An Audi limping to the pits.... is it tbwhhs!? }}

    Unfortunately, OrangeSquash was the one to fall victim. A freak fuel error meant that his pit stop on lap 51 did not add fuel to his tank, and his Audi subsequently cut power and dropped to 50mph leading around the oval and down into the Bus Stop, not only giving MONSTER97 third place due to pitting, but falling further behind him. The blip even allowed anirishnirvana up into 4th, who MONSTER97 had overtaken due to anirishnirvana pitting on lap 49 for a safe splash of fuel. Eyes fell on Storm_SP17 and Rich S, who were already a lap ahead of the field at this point and separated by a diminishing gap of 9.5 seconds. Storm_SP17's Ferrari was not fuel efficient in this race compared to Rich S's Chevrolet, and to add, he was on much older tyres than Rich S at this stage. Both cars were down to less than 10 litres of fuel, with 4 more laps to go and a massive decision to make.... would they stop?

    [​IMG]
    {{ Rich S crosses the line on lap 54, but in what position? }}

    Well on the end of lap 53, Storm_SP17 pitted with less than 2 litres of fuel in the tank; filling up with 14 litres of fuel to be on the safe side, timing the exchange perfectly as new tyres went on and the jacks dropped to let him go. Unfortunately, Rich S had passed him and was through Turn 1 as Storm_SP17 pulled out of his box. Rich S was now 20.5 seconds ahead of Storm_SP17 on lap 55 and 1 hour, 45 minutes had elapsed. With his fuel running low as well, however, Rich S was taking a huge gamble fighting for the win and risking the same fate OrangeSquash had endured. Thinking back to season 4, this was a very similar gap and situation that both these guys had been in before, and it was Rich S who prevailed that time, so could lightning strike twice for Rich S in the Chevrolet, or would Storm_SP17's early pitting decisions throughout this race, and even a little lady luck, allow him a chance to claw it back?

    [​IMG]
    {{ There's Storm_SP17, but where's Rich S? It's Lap 56! }}

    The red fuel indicator began to flash on the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, just as Rich S was about to exit the Bus Stop chicance on lap 55; 1 ltr remaining. Not only that, but a mistake coming onto the oval at Turn 6 meant he also lost 5 seconds in Sector 2 alone. To make everything even worse, a sneaky shortcut entry cost him even more time as Rich S desperately tried to enter the pits, forcing the game to glitch him back to the entry zone to the pits. In the hope that he could sieze victory, Storm_SP17 posted a last almost three seconds faster than Rich S on the previous lap, and made up all the time he had lost from a couple of laps before; entering Turn 1 as Rich S was released onto the pit road. 36.7 seconds after cnd01 finally took his Nissan R390 over the line, Storm_SP17 brought the Prancing Horse home to victory in the GT class. In the end, he was 22.5 seconds ahead of Rich S who valiantly took 2nd place in GT.


    Results:
    DP:
    cnd01 / FlyinHawaiian77 [DNF] / Mr.Melancholy15 [DNF] / unrealanthony [DNF] / RESHIRAM5 [DNF]

    GT:
    Storm_SP17 / Rich S / MONSTER97 / anirishnirvana / OrangeSquash / tbwhhs / polarbear345 / LancerEvo7

    Coming up soon is Round 2.... Grand Valley Speedway!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  3. Storm_SP17

    Storm_SP17

    Messages:
    3,502
    Location:
    England
    Round 2: Grand Valley Speedway....

    One of the Original tracks dating back from the very first Gran Turismo, Grand Valley Speedway is definitely one of the old favourites. The track has various areas that need a good degree of high and low speed cornering, stability, speed and more importantly, stopping power. Turns 2 and 6 are definitely areas that require heavy braking, especially at Turn 6 where the cars are being sucked downhill into a hairpin. Leading into the event, the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR had been given a 10 kg weight reduction in the specs; running at 1270 kg. Round 2 fell on the raceday of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2013, which unfortunately meant that nearly all of the DP class did not show. Also, earlier in the day, it had been announced that Allan Simonsen, one of the three drivers in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, had died following his crash at the event in the 10th minute. Some of the drivers opted to sport Danish and AMR colours for the event, as a mark of respect for the late great Dane.


    DP Qualifying:
    FlyinHawaiian77 was the only DP to qualify, although Storm_SP17 momentarily took DP pole when he drove the Nissan for a while instead of his Ferrari 458 Italia. Of course, Storm_SP17 reverted back to his GT class, but ran out of time to qualify in-class.

    GT Qualifying:
    polarbear345 / OrangeSquash / LancerEvo7 / anirishnirvana / Rich S / MONSTER97 / Storm_SP17 / tbwhhs

    It was no surprised that a Ferrari, Audi and Dodge managed to take the first 4 positions, being able to perform better than the Chevrolet due to having more downforce available for the high speed corners abundant here. Storm_SP17 did not make an official GT laptime, and tbwhhs arrived too late to make a qualifying time.


    [​IMG]
    {{ anirishnirvana making a break through GT! Will it last, though? }}

    At the start of the race, it was a little lonely for FlyinHawaiian77, who had that cnd01 feeling from last week having to race solo in his class. However, the packed-out GT crowd made one hell of a start. From 4th, anirishnirvana in the Viper made a dash up the inside of Turn 1 after performing a fantastic start to catch his teammate, LancerEvo7, off-guard as they crossed the line. He then took the outside line to overtake OrangeSquash in the Audi at Turn 2, planting himself firmly behind polarbear345. Squash dropped back to 4th after LancerEvo7 swept past him on the inside of Turn 2, and Storm_SP17 slipped into last place after a lack-lustre start at the line. Anirishnirvana's great start was short-lived as the GT field ran towards Turn 6; locking the brakes under braking and sending the Dodge wide, catching the sand pit and dropping all the way to the back.



    [​IMG]
    {{ Rich S makes a good start, but OrangeSquash is hunting him down! }}

    Rich S managed to find some pace that didn't seem present in qualifying, moving into 3rd before lap 3. However, polarbear345 and LancerEvo7 were marching away from him and the rest of the pack. Unfortunately for him as well, OrangeSquash was stalking him in 4th, waiting for a clear chance to pass. Storm_SP17 bided his time perfectly, overtaking tbwhhs and MONSTER97 through the double hairpin chicanes to take 5th, with anirishnirvana following suit, just missing out on 6th thanks to a last-gasp block before the final corner from the red Chevrolet of MONSTER97.



    [​IMG]
    {{ Skid marks and smoke, strewn across the start/finish straight! What went on? }}

    Leading into the final straight to hit lap 5, Rich S lost the back of the car, narrowly missing the pit wall by inches as he skidded out of control. After a couple of spins, his car got going again, although the whole ordeal nearly took out OrangeSquash who was initially behind him, and Storm_SP17, who was going close to 140 mph when he had to swerve to the inside wall. However, anirishnirvana did not get through so easily, and caught Rich S squarely in the rear bumper at high speed. To make matter's worse, even Rich S's fellow Chevrolet teammate MONSTER97 could not avoid him, try as he might as Rich lost control after anirishnirvana's impact. All three called the caution into play, and as the cars proceeded around under caution, all three occupied 6th (M97), 7th (A.I.N) and 8th (Rich). During the pits under caution, LancerEvo7 took 1st with a quicker pit stop than polarbear345, while tbwhhs leapfrogged Storm_SP17 in the same manner; taking 4th.



    [​IMG]
    {{ Storm_SP17 and LancerEvo7 in the colours of Denmark and AMR. R.I.P. Allan Simonsen... }}

    At the restart on lap 7, Storm_SP17 took 4th again, while Rich S jumped from 8th to 5th in a fantastic start from the line, despite the single file. OrangeSquash struggled for positions on lap 8, losing the car at Turn 4 to drop behind Storm_SP17, then losing the fight to Rich S around Turn 11 into the tunnel. By lap 10, polarbeaer345 was charging away in the Ferrari, leaving teammate Storm_SP17 to fend off the Viper of LancerEvo7. Behind them, a big gap had formed between the other 5 drivers, with anirishnirvana in the Viper capitalising on mistakes to take 4th from last in just two laps. That group then split with anirishnirvana and tbwhhs finding good speed to break away, while Squash, Rich and MONSTER fought for 5th. Things looked pretty locked in position on lap 13 between the top 5, but a mistake in braking by Squash meant that Rich S was rear-ended off the track, bringing out a caution.



    [​IMG]
    {{ unrealanthony making a pass around the outside of FlyinHawaiian77... will it stick? }}

    Just as the cars were about to restart on lap 15, unrealanthony made an appearence, and it was decided that, to give FlyinHawaiian77 someone to race with, the drivers would restart the race with 15 laps to go with the inclusion of unrealanthony. FlyinHawaiian77 felt the pressure of unrealanthony chasing him, and it took almost a whole lap before his red, gold-rimmed Nissan was overtaken. Despite being relegated to 7th and 8th, Rich S and OrangeSquash squeezed past both tbwhhs and anirirshnirvana, while polarbear345, LancerEvo7, Storm_SP17 and MONSTER97 held respective 1st to 4th a few seconds ahead of them. By lap 4 however, Squash has broken free and was hunting down MONSTER97, who'd started to slip back from the top 3.



    [​IMG]
    {{ With the tunnel looming, FlyinHawaiian takes the overall lead! For how long? }}

    After being overtaken by unrealanthony, FlyinHawaiian77 looked as though he was slipping further behind with every lap at the start of lap 5, and in GT, mistakes under braking at Turn 2 cost polarbear345 the lead to LancerEvo7 and Storm_SP17, and MONSTER97's mistake allowed OrangeSquash to close him down from way back, and pass without issue. unrealanthony began to slow up unexpectedly, and allowed FlyinHawaiian77 a sniff at the lead with, but only until the start/finish straight; unrealanthony seeming to have better top speed. The racing between DP and GT was close for a number of laps after, Storm_SP17 taking first for a while in GT on lap 8, until polarbear345 had composed himself, passing LancerEvo7 in 2nd to hassle his teammate for the lead once again by lap 11. The two DP drivers had been exchanging overtakes for the last 6 laps, and even after the two of them bumped into Turn 6, FlyinHawaiian77 was sporting enough to slow right down for his rival and allow him the position back, allowing the flow of the race to continue.



    [​IMG]
    {{ FylinHawaiian77 suffers a spin, is that race over for him? }}

    The Chevrolets had been falling back hugely in the race, with Rich S languishing in last place for GT; pitting for tyres very late on and putting himself even further behind. His teammate MONSTER97 slipped back a further place, into 6th, behind anirishnirvana in the Viper a little earlier in the race, threatened with the prospect of 7th place by Audi's tbwhhs going into their 12th lap. FlyinHawaiian77 lost the back-end of his Nissan at Turn 2 on DP's 13th lap, and seemed as though unrealanthony was going to run away with victory, but graciously enough, his fellow DP racer waited for him to recover, such is unrealanthony's impressive selflessness. GT leader polarbear345 looked in control, and left the fellow Ferrari of Storm_SP17 to fend off the ominous AMR coloured Viper of LancerEvo7, which was proving difficult.



    [​IMG]
    {{ Disaster for LancerEvo7! Turn 18 claims another victim! }}

    Rich S had been experiencing some difficulties the whole race, and with only a couple of laps to go, pitted to the remainder of the race. LancerEvo7 ran off the slippery curb at Turn 18, spinning out, clattering the barriers just before the pit wall, which allowed the two Ferraris to prance off into the distance. Though damage was heavy on the car, the lobby had set the damage so that it would repair itself, but not before OrangeSquash could close the gap to him in the Audi. It would be good to mention that there was some unexpected and distracting commentary from random newcomers to the lobby, and as a result of snapping at one of them, LancerEvo7 was closed down by OrangeSquash. He soon lost his podium place through the final few turns of lap 14, Squash's straight-line speed setup, AWD grip and well-kept tyres playing a huge part in the run to the last tunnel.



    [​IMG]
    {{ DP cross the line.... AND....? }}

    LancerEvo7 lost the car again at the same corner, this time burying it into the pit sign. This allowed anirishnirvana, who was closing down the Audi and fellow Viper, to pass him leading into the final lap. After a worryingly long lap 14 for the DP cars, FylinHawaiian77 having to take care of some personal matters quickly, unrealanthony waited graciously again so they could finish their high-speed game of leapfrog. With the positions in GT essentially decided at this point, the final lap and main action was with FlyinHawaiian77 and unrealanthony. Going into the final lap, they were separated by 0.213 seconds, and looked as though it was going to be another round of leapfrog between the Nissans. However, FlyinHawaiian77 held the lead for much of the lap, and despite getting a good run out of the final corner and draft to aid him, unrealanthony only just missed out on the win; by 0.061 seconds. polarbear345 came through to win for GT, his teammate grabbing a comfortable 2nd place finish. OrangeSquash's good luck here made up for his crushing bad luck at Daytona, and allowed him to take 3rd place.

    Results:
    DP:
    FlyinHawaiian77 / unrealanthony.

    GT:
    polarbear345 / Storm_SP17 / OrangeSquash / anirishnirvana / LancerEvo7 / tbwhhs / MONSTER97 / Rich S.


    Coming up next will be..... Round 3: Motegi Full Course!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013