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Discussion in 'GT6 Race Reports' started by RCKakashi14, Jul 30, 2014.
They're going to be in for a huge shock once they find the secret to the LM55.
Page 21: Dilemma
We've been in the track all day, but for the entire afternoon, Andy and I take turns. He seems to like the car so far, despite his admission of lack of knowledge on Rotaries.
He's running for one last time before we pack up. Actually, most of the stuff already are. All the crew needs to do is to load the car back up the trailer.
It's an addicting machine, urging you to drive even more. It won't allow you to leave the track. That glorious 4-rotor soundtrack, a high-pitched one, tells you to keep pressing on the pedal and play with 8 gears.
Ahhhh... that sound. Why does it keep on calling me? I have to rest, you know? Even Andy.
Plus, Andy has to be familiar on how to run in a major endurance race. Owen has gained the experience recently, so it's his turn.
Let's call it a day, then. Besides, I have to work on the engine. Rotaries are, admittedly, quite a handful.
Location: A rented garage
Time: 7 pm
Andy and I head to a rented garage just nearby the hotel where we are staying at. I have the tools provided by the crew, so it's just all crackin'. Time for the dragon to rest. It's been a long day.
I take out the engine, then take it apart. I need to check the apex seals. It's one vital part of the Rotary engine, and needs to be seriously looked after especially on heavily modified applications.
Andy, on the other hand, could do nothing but stare at me placing the rotors and seals on the table, cleaning them and checking for any damages.
Andy: "Seriously, I have no idea what I'm seeing here. No pistons, eh?"
Takuma: "Yep, just four rotors. Seals needed to be replaced, but for now there's no need since this is still a fresh new ride. But I have a habit of checking them as much as possible, even in my FD RX-7s."
Andy: "And SKYACTIV? Seesh, car companies come up with such cheesy gimmicks in a nod for efficiency."
Takuma: "I couldn't agree more. It's basically just Mazda's technique of using lightweight engine and transmission parts in order to improve fuel economy and emissions."
Eh? The mood has suddenly changed. What's wrong, Andy?
Andy: "That day... that race... falls on the same day of my father's death anniversary."
Takuma: "Oh I'm sorry to hear that. Can you tell me what happened?"
So he lost a father too, huh? I know the feeling...
Andy: "My father... it's a long story, really. He just left me, with parting words. And years later, I just got news that he was killed in an operation in Afghanistan. They told me that he was captured and executed. Even the President had to deliver the news."
Takuma: "That's really tough, a son of a soldier who died for his country. You'll never really know when or even if he's coming back."
It's obvious from the tone of his voice that he's not comfortable sharing that. Okay, I'll stop.
Andy: "Hey, if I can help, then I'll just look at the ECU. I can't be idle like this."
Takuma: "Yeah, sure. Report to me your findings. Let me just finish putting back the parts."
Hours later, Andy returns to the garage, carrying a knapsack with him. He takes out a laptop, and a small ECU analyzer. He places them on the desk, and then takes out the LM55's ECU.
It may seem that Andy is sneaking out, but the truth of the matter is, he has to confirm Hiroyuki's doubts.
Hiroyuki: "To tell you the truth, I have doubts. Sure, it's fast and all, but there's something in it. I cannot put my finger on it."
Andy: "Well, I may be a bummer on Rotary engines, but the ECU never lies."
Andy types in for a few moments as the program had started.
Andy: "Personally, there's no reason to doubt at all. The engine response is second to none. It accelerates like a dragster. It gets to 200 miles per hour before you can even have your first sip of your coffee."
The results only show the current run, on how the car cornered and how the torque was applied after the corner exit.
Andy: "I don't care about the telemetry. I need some more facts."
Just as he is about to go into the specifications such as the torque curve, the program crashed.
Andy: "What in blue blazes."
He forcefully restarts his laptop. Moments later, he makes a second attempt, but the program crashed again.
Andy: "Never in my life have I encountered an ECU that can ruin a program. This is even a harmless little chip!"
Location: A gym in London, England
Time: 6 pm, the next day
After coming from a hectic workplace, Rob heads to the gym. He performs his usual workout routine of high intensity exercises such as 250 push ups, then switching to 500 pull-ups.
After 5 minutes of rest, he then moves on to the room where the punching bags are. He wraps his hands with bandages and then puts on the boxing gloves. He unleashes a flurry of lightning-quick punches, then followed up by multiple right and left hooks.
Next, he performs a myriad of kicks ranging from roundhouses, flying kicks, and knee thrusts. Some people watch his display of skill. After all, who wouldn't be impressed by someone who mastered various martial arts?
However, just like Andy, he too enters in a dilemma. The very reason why he has to brush up his fighting skills because he was briefed earlier in the office about a certain man named "Russell" who could be suspected of having a connection to Alan Long. Whether if it's true or not, it's definitely a lead for a rather slow-moving case.
Rob: "This chap named "Russell". I don't give a damn about his codename..."
While taking a break, he briefly has a flashback of what transpired earlier in MI6, before he gets off from work.
Conrad: "Russell is a very dangerous individual. He is armed to the teeth, and can defend himself in every single way imaginable. His close friends have seen his combat prowess, and they're all terrified of seeing him brutally beat up everyone getting in his way. He rarely puts a bullet on someone's head, but he surely makes them bleed to death.
He is known to have displayed excellent proficiency in Mixed Martial Arts, even for someone over 50 years old. He can either be a brutal Striker or a fatal Grappler. He'll use whatever he deems fit. Be extremely cautious. Hone your fighting skills whenever possible. If ever you're going to trade punches with him, give everything you got."
He deduced Conrad's warning as an opportunity of making the mission far more worthwhile. Rob shows a brief grin on his face, then goes back to his training.
His strikes are increasingly quicker and more brutal...
Rob: "Sounds like he's much more fun to trifle with. I hope a royal rumble happens."
End of Page 21
Give Rob a reason to be motivated and you get one explosive bullet waiting to blow up at the slightest provocation... Boy, this will be quite the rivalry, as if Rob didn't have enough of those...
And the mystery of the Black Dragon continues... Just what is hidden inside this so-called "harmless chip"?
Page 22: Poke
The next morning, we head back to Daytona Speedway for another bout of practice. Oh look, we're not alone. I do hear another racing exhaust note.
It's Blue Streak. Yeah, I recognize the chief Stephan DuBois, Nina, and Dmitri waiting for Louis to come back. I suppose they take turns.
Nigel: "Oh look, they're running a Pescarolo prototype. It seems that it won't be very easy for us."
Andy: "Sounds like new to me."
Nigel: "But they are not to be trifled with. Pescarolo was once a privateer team that awestruck everyone in Le Mans because the C60 kept pace with the Audis despite little funding."
Andy: "Just goes to show that money is no object in racing. Skills pay the bills."
I looked back to see if the crew has unloaded the car. It's there, ready to be tinkered. Oh... what is Dmitri doing there? I approached him. We haven't spoken each other for a while.
Takuma: "Hey Dmitri! How you've been? I'm surprised you joined Blue Streak."
Dmitri: "Your victories are more than enough for me to get out of my slump. Life isn't over yet."
So he laid low since our last race, eh?
Dmitri: "I'm actually looking forward for our duel in the 24 Hours. So, how much power does that Mazda make?"
Takuma: "According to the person who built this, the rotary engine makes 500 horsepower. Coincidentally, we are restricted to such because of that engine and the fact that it drives all four wheels. There's no adjustment needed in terms of that."
Dmitri: "Interesting. You quite made a gamble. You have the advantage of traction, but had to offset it with power limitations."
Takuma: "And I take it that your car makes more?"
Dmitri: "100 more to be exact."
We are in hot water. Majority of the track is a large high speed section. But Rotary engines making over 500 horsepower can compete with the big boys too. Ask an FD owner and they'll probably tell you the same.
But the real score is the driver. Louis isn't going to let off for a second.
He sets a lap time of 1 minute and 35.8 seconds. I wonder how the LM55 would fare?
Meanwhile, both Andy and Hiroyuki are not too enthusiastic about today's session, while Takuma starts his first run.
Andy: "We're in big trouble here, Hiroyuki-san..."
Hiroyuki: "What about it?"
Andy: "Can't work my way into the LM55's ECU. The program keeps on crashing whenever I attempt to get into its specifications and torque curve. The parameters would go blank and then the program would freeze.
In short, we'll never find out the car's true power output. I think there's finally a reason why you should doubt."
Hiroyuki: "I knew it, Kaido. What are you trying to play here?"
As the LM55 gets past its warm up lap, Nigel starts to record the time.
Hiroyuki: "Back in my day, we don't rely on ECU nor telemetry in order to find out what's wrong. We use our gut feeling, because the vibrations that we feel on our hands and even on our back are signs. Your generation is spoiled by the transparency of modern technology. Even numerical figures don't tell the story."
Hiroyuki: "I'm afraid Takuma has been hypnotized by the allure of the LM55, even in its sleep. A true dragon indeed. Magnificent and alluring when calm, but destructive when provoked."
Andy: "You mentioned "sleep". Why do you say so?"
Hiroyuki: "That's the exact description uttered by my close friend who built that car. Now you see why I'm doubting."
Andy: "I kinda discovered something when I first drove it. While the acceleration is undoubtedly superb, it felt that it ran out of breath when it reached sixth gear. I thought that it's just natural for a Rotary since it's compact and only has 500 horsepower."
Hiroyuki: "Do you and Takuma actually believe that it "only" has 500 horsepower?"
Nigel shakes his head as the LM55 crosses the line.
Hiroyuki: "What time did he clock in?"
Nigel: "1 minute and 36.8 seconds. A full second slower."
Hiroyuki: "This should be a wake up call for Takuma."
Location: A rented garage
Time: 7 pm
We did improve our lap time before the day ended, but Hiroyuki-san wasn't at all satisfied. There were some minor adjustments to the suspension that did help, but none of them alleviated his doubts at all.
Clearly this isn't the best day. And we're running out of time.
Hiroyuki: "Takuma, you are an expert on Rotary engines, so you out of all people in this team should be able to figure out what's wrong. You were easily captivated by the LM55's presence. I know the feeling of reunion with what was once a burned Furai, but it's time for you to get back to your senses. You said Kaido wasn't forthcoming, so you should have doubted too."
That was a hard hit. But he's right... I'm being distracted by the car. It's deceptive. What is that Black Dragon hiding?
Andy: "I wasn't able to find out what's going on in the ECU. So we can't really say how the engine performs. In my perspective, I felt that it ran out of breath on top end."
I somehow feel the same as Andy's. Rotary engines are on their best when you stick to the high rpm range. But on today's session, it felt... different. While it is no question that it has a top speed of over 320 km/h recorded earlier, it seems that it was restrained.
Nigel: "Ummmmm.... mind if I help? Andy, please open your laptop and I'll connect to it. Then hand over the ECU Analyzer to me. Takuma-san, please surrender the LM55's ECU."
Takuma: "Roger that. Do as you please."
How embarrassing that a robot will be the one to eventually find out, someone who haven't driven the car nor gained an attachment to it.
So to get this dealt with, Andy opened his laptop, Nigel acted as the analyzer. I inserted the ECU in the drive connected by Nigel's cable. Nigel's eyes glow red as a sign that a task is being carried out.
I hope he doesn't crash.
A few moments later, the robot's eyes turned green.
Nigel: "Analysis complete. Data transferring to Andy's laptop."
The results are then projected to his laptop. And we're in for a quake-inducing shock.
Andy: "What is this? It's only making 52.8 percent of its power?"
Hiroyuki: "So basically Kaido restrained the power output."
Andy: "But the torque curve isn't right."
Yeah... it just dropped once it reaches 6000 rpm. This isn't right at all. Rotaries are not like that! Kaido messed it up.
Because of that, I'll mess up his face.
Hiroyuki: "Dragons in folklore are portrayed as magnificent, but provoke them and they cause destruction. Why not try "poking" that dragon with a stick?"
Nigel: "I'll put the power back to 100%, then. And it's all up to Takuma-san to correct the torque curve."
I then raised my sleeves and reach for the tools.
Takuma: "Time to get to work. All of you can leave me be and go to sleep. I won't rest until I sort this thing out."
End of Page 22
Hoo boy, the beast shall awaken...
Page 23: Unleashed
Time to get working. Nigel also prepped the dyno. Damn Kaido, why the heck give us a lot of trouble? You will get a concussion from me the next time we meet.
Andy gets to work on the gear ratios, since we have successfully removed the damn limiter.
We have all night.
Nigel: "The dynamometer is ready. Please place the car for the measurement."
I then hear a clanking sound coming from a wrench.
Andy: "Gearing done."
I start up the car. Oh yeah... that "brap" noise on idle.
Takuma: "Brap brap brap..."
Tread carefully. The LM55 is low... really low. It could even compete in the "Stance" department.
Upon placing it, Andy places the straps behind the car, and then a large fan is turned on. I then floored the accelerator, then shift up a gear.
Yeah... the roar of that 4-rotor behind me. It now has a much clearer intention of domination.
Nigel: "Look! It makes 791 horsepower at the wheels!"
Andy: "At the crank that would be around 830."
Unbelievable. It makes 830 horsepower on full? That's a LOT MORE than the 787B! The car weighs 830 kilograms, so it gives a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1!
Takuma: "This will keep me up all night. Heh. The torque curve has also improved significantly."
Andy: "Let's have a run tomorrow. We don't have much time."
Nigel: "But please do keep in mind that we are restricted to 500 horsepower."
Takuma: "Roger. I just have to keep poking on this dragon. Then we'll make the necessary adjustments."
Location: Daytona Speedway
Time: 7 am, the next day
We returned the track the next morning despite the lack of sleep. Next week is the big race, and we have to make sure this car is in top shape.
For today, I have to check out the car's TRUE POTENTIAL. The chains are temporarily taken away. This will be the basis of my adjustment when we take back the limiter.
Without further stalling, I set off from the pit lane. Hopefully I'm back in one piece.
There's something really ominous. I feel that the dragon is breathing down on me... angry and ready to devour me.
After exiting the first corner, I floored it. This happens next...
My eyes could not keep up! This level of acceleration is something I NEVER FELT before! Not even the 787B can hope to match this! This is 830 horsepower at work!
My reflexes simply could not keep up!
I braked in early as a result. Whew... I thought it would spit me off. Now now, calm down my little dragon.
Corner exit speed is pure madness! I'm pushed back violently.
Naturally the speed threw me off, both mentally and literally.
Shoot! I'm barely keeping her in check!
Nigel: "Oh no..."
Andy: "This is not going to end well."
Hiroyuki: "Basically, Kaido made us idiots."
Behave! Never mind the lap time. I just want to see and feel what you're truly capable of.
The way it gains speed is simply mind-boggling. It's an endless wave of acceleration! It gets to speeds over 350 km/h in no time at all!
Time to hit the brakes. Whew... at the nick of time. It's so fast that the straights are over in a blink of an eye. This is teleportation!
After the chicane, it's the home stretch. I'm back at 350 km/h already. Is this a even a rotary or a jet engine?!
Nigel: "Speed recorded at 357 kilometers per hour or 221 miles per hour."
Andy: "That's insane. That's a lot more than today's NASCAR race machines. Not even Daytona Prototypes can match it."
Nigel: "My hypothesis is that it can touch 250 miles per hour on the Mulsanne Straight of Le Mans without the chicanes. Or even more..."
Andy: "That's no question."
Braking for the first corner...
Dammit, it's misbehaving again! It's just too fast! The rear end broke loose under hard braking!
There it goes again...
Aaaaaaand it's over. I'm blown away. This is what the LM55 could muster? I even can't...
I simply hit my fist on the wheel out of frustration. I was fooled. It isn't Kaido's fault. I'm to blame. I was easily taken by the car's allure. I didn't pay attention to smallest details at all.
Hiroyuki: "Make sure this isn't a waste of time. I don't want a car that will make us a laughingstock. I'll call Kaido about this."
Hiroyuki grabs his phone in and selects Kaido's name in an instant. It's ringing, and then Kaido answers the call. It's 9 pm in Tokyo.
Kaido: "Oh hello? Good thing you called before I hopped on the bed."
Hiroyuki: "I'll make sure you're not going to sleep soundly after this conversation."
End of Page 23
Angry Hiroyuki, away! By the time their conversation is over, Kaido's ears will be boiling red from all the tongue-lashing Hiro will give him...
But Jesus, how did you come up with those specs for the LM55? They aren't normal LMP specs, they are LMP-destroying ones! If you can master them, that is.
If you go to an online room and set HP restrictions, you'll find out the LM55's true HP rating. Someone in this site had shown us how, and it's used on cars that have unknown specs.
Oh, is that so? Wasn't quite aware of that, although I recall hearing about that before... Guess that just goes to show how mental Mazda was during the LM55's creating process. The Furai is a kitty compared to a such a monster, especially with such a power-to-weight ratio...
Page 24: Rotary 4 Life
Seems like I've teased the dragon too much. It bit me. It served a warning.
I'm frustrated at this point. How ironic that a car that drives all four wheels will turn into a death trap. Everything became frantic, I wasn't able to react properly.
We decided to put back its leash. But we will make it behave the way we want to. 500 horsepower it is, but the one that we will exploit at its fullest.
And then, Hiroyuki-san is on rage mode.
Hiroyuki: "You have a lot of explaining to do. I don't care if you'll spend the entire night awake."
Kaido: "Hehehehehe... I would always love a chat. No problem. Where shall I start?
Ah.... you see it all started as a gift of gratitude coming from the Mazda engineer that was saved from the Vision GT project. That's right, the LM55 was meant to be part of Kazunori's fleet of dream cars. When he returned home, he came to me with the intention of helping you out. He has the blueprint, and the engine was secretly stashed, not even Kazunori knows of it.
Then the big dilemma entered. You see, while Mazda was grateful for the rescue, the top brass expressed very little interest in that 4-rotor crate engine, as they were still finding ways to make the whole Rotary concept work. So that engineer and I took matters onto our hands and put that motor in the new chassis. It was at its fullest power, but for reliability concerns, we decided to restrain it. It wasn't complete at all.
I then deduced, that Takuma's knowledge will harness the engine to its fullest potential."
Hiroyuki: "Which happened just now, almost killing him in the process."
Kaido: "That's surprising. I thought Takuma can handle anything he holds. I guess everyone has its limits."
Hiroyuki: "Only if he knows about what he's driving. We're going to spend the entire day setting up the car, to make things right. Something you must have done."
Kaido: "Hey hey, I have limits too. For one, I reject Rotary owners. In fact, the engineer did all the tuning work and all I did was putting it in and testing it."
Hiroyuki: "You will receive a hit at the back of your head when I arrive home."
Kaido: "You know, instead of pestering me, why not focus on what's ahead of you? I recently caught wind that...
...Louis is currently working as a Bugatti test driver. And I heard, that the car in question could be faster than the LM55."
Meanwhile, we spent hours tinkering the engine, making sure that the torque curve of something 500 horsepower is acceptable for a Rotary, where it truly shines at high rpm range.
Andy: "All right. You're cleared to go."
Nigel: "Please observe the changes."
Set out for another try. As soon as I gunned the throttle, everything seems correct. All right...
All right all right... it truly sings! This doesn't feel powerless anymore!
I'm not doing this for myself. I am sharing my pride with the entire team! Plus...
...it's Andy's turn to carry the Stars and Stripes. I will make him represent, hence why I'm working so hard for this.
Yeah sure, Rotaries are a pain to work on. But it's all worth it once you turn the key and hear it roar, then let it soar past unsuspecting competition. Unreliable, oil drinking, fuel-guzzling heap of junk? Who cares?
Location: Louis' hotel room
Time: 3 pm
While the Dream Alliance spends the entire day at the track, Louis takes a brief nap in the hotel where he's staying at. Surprisingly, it's within the proximity of the track.
And due to that, he hears the LM55's high-pitched roar all the way from his room, while lying down. This made him restless, as the sound evoked some sort of nostalgia.
Louis: "That sound... it's familiar. It's strikingly similar to the Mazda 787B that raced in Le Mans two years ago as Dream Alliance's first attempt of that endurance race."
Louis: "I didn't really get to see Dream Alliance's car, while Dmitri did. He said that it's "menacing." I want to see it for myself. I can't rest. It's now calling me."
Just to quell his restlessness, he sets out and takes a stroll until he reaches Daytona Speedway. He then goes to the bleachers. The LM55's cries are getting louder as he draws near.
He descends further through the rows of empty seats as he sees the car blazing through the home stretch.
Of course Louis didn't seem to recognize it in an instant due to its speed, but that speed and sound alone send down shivers to his spine.
Louis: "It's no car. It's a monster waiting to be unleashed from the gates. Can I handle it? Who shall I deal with?"
He takes a closer look to the pit lane. He sees Takuma and Hiroyuki watching.
Louis: "Wait. Rob has gone back home to UK. But since Takuma is watching, then that means...
...I'm battling with Andy once more? I think I need to start taking him more seriously. He isn't a mere newbie anymore."
End of Page 24
Page 25: The Final Challenge
Location: Daytona Speedway
Time: 3 pm, Daytona 24 Hours
Time for us to shine once again in one of the most intense forms of American motorsport - the Daytona 24 Hours. It's dominated by prototypes, but I do see a small roster of GT racing cars too.
Andy is warming up, though it isn't his turn. It's Takanori's.
Strangely enough, I don't see Hiroyuki-san's petty little brother. Someone is taking charge in Ravenwest. Though I don't give a damn.
I see Andy talking to his friend, Ridley who still is in hiatus.
Andy: "Hey, where's your boss?"
Ridley: "He left the country some days ago. He didn't even tell me where he went. He's kinda secretive lately, especially that "deal" he made recently with some stranger over the phone."
Andy: "I see. Well, as long as there is someone covering for him, your team shouldn't have troubles."
Ridley: "Unless you're giving them. Heh."
Andy: "I'll assure your team that they will have a great time. For the meantime though, let's just watch."
The race begins at exactly 3 pm. Takanori is in battle mode. Don't break the car, little shrimp.
Takanori: "When was the last time I ran in an endurance race? Two... three years ago? But I'm not losing my touch for sure!"
Takanori: "Guess I should stop on bashing Rotaries now, huh?"
Meanwhile, Hiroyuki-san is surprised by his brother's absence. Shouldn't that actually make him feel better?
Hiroyuki: "What a pleasant surprise, my dear brother isn't here."
Takuma: "That should clear your troubles for a while."
Hiroyuki: "I'm not sure if I should be happy about this or not. Nevertheless, we all have to get serious, with or without him."
Takuma: "Plus, Blue Streak joined the party too."
Andy: "You know what I don't like about these Endurance runs? You're being held back. You don't want to break your ride. I want something that's to be settled in an instant, no holds-barred."
Ridley: "You never changed, huh? But I think this one will finally hit you on the head, one way or another."
Andy: "Louis is another headache for me, that's for sure. I think I'm bound to clash him once again."
Ridley: "Just found out that Francois is Louis' cousin, but both have really bad blood."
Andy: "Louis has been whooping our butts lately. However, that will end. My team will stage its retribution, right here, right now."
So far, no race car has limped. It would be a shame if you already encounter problems from the very start. But that's the cruel reality of Endurance racing. You'll never know when problems will hit you.
Audi sure has an impressive fleet of Le Mans Prototypes at their disposal. Can't deny German engineering. Ravenwest's R18 demonstrates a pretty strong run.
Hang on for a bit, my little black dragon. When it's my turn, we'll definitely rock and roll.
Location: Suzuka Circuit, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Time: 6 am, the next day
While the grueling endurance race takes place in the West, a solo run happens in the East.
A grumbling bellow coupled with the distinct whine that only superchargers emit, is what starts the day in Suzuka. Someone must be a true early bird...
Ryuji: "I need not to know what happens in Daytona right now. I have a score to settle here."
It turns out that Ryuji is in Japan all along, preparing himself for another battle. He hasn't driven for a decade, but there is no sign of degrading skill as the heavyweight Shelby GT500 follows the ideal racing line of the track.
Ryuji: "Hiroyuki, let us settle this like real men. It has been you and me all along, but this time around, let us clash our own driving skills!
Hmph.... I hope you shake off the dust from you. I knew you raced and won recently, so there's no excuse.
Let us see how far your coolness will bring you, thirty years since you prevailed over me. I despise people like you, acting like elitists."
End of Page 25
- Looks like the culminating battle will take place in Japan, after all. Sorry, Hiroyuki-san.
Time for history to repeat itself again.
You may notice that I haven't been posting for two weeks. Chief of the reasons is the fact that I got a PS4, and it takes the spot where the PS3 used to be.
Right now, I'm working on finding a new place for the PS3.
Rest assured, the story will still progress. I do need a break from writing, along with the fact that Kaz seemingly drove away from GT6.
Page 26: Back Off
The battle rages on. No anomalies to report for the entire day.
And Ravenwest seems to run well even without its top brass pulling the strings. Well, that is to be expected from a team who has established a global presence for years.
But I guess tonight won't just be a typical night...
I'm taking the helm of the LM55 once again. Both Andy and Takanori did impressive runs, but none of us managed to capture the lead, thanks to the sheer speed and strategy of the Blue Streak team. Don't give me that smug look, Dmitri. Louis is the one I'm dealing with as of this moment.
Louis and Francois are at it once again. I just learned that there's a bad blood between the two. Looks like I can't make a simple pass.
My foot is already all the way down to the floor and the LM55 launched effortlessly out of the corner, but those two LMPs are no slouch either! A difference of 100 horsepower is large indeed!
Entering the high speed banking, Louis gets overtaken as the Pescarolo slides off its pace.
I won't be able to make a move. Who knows, things might turn ugly considering the history of those two. You can't afford to do anything foolish in an endurance race!
My heart says overtake, but my brain yells louder, that I'm just an audience!
This is bollocks. And no, I don't want to sound like Rob, but I grew up in London, so... deal with it.
Location: Rob's home, London, UK
Time: 4 am, the next day
Rob is awake at the crack of dawn, a part of his everyday routine. He starts off by heading down to the basement to train for his upcoming mission while his wife and his son Jason are sleeping.
After putting on his punching gloves, he turns on the laptop he brought along, to watch the live stream of the Daytona 24 Hour race.
Seeing his teammate holding back his pace, Rob simply puts up a grin.
Rob: "Well well well, look who's struggling to pick up. But it would be logical not to interfere. Those two French buffoons are locking heads."
He starts punching on the hanging heavy bag, with increasing strength. However, his next punch manages to rip open the bag, leaking out sand in the process.
Rob: "New bag again, I suppose. Another one for the year."
Nonetheless he carries on, while spectating the race.
Location: Daytona International Speedway
Time: 11:30 pm
Back in the action, Hiroyuki crosses his arms as a sign of unwavering composure. Though his robotic racer Nigel expresses concern.
Nigel: "You should sleep, Hiroyuki-san. I can take charge for the night."
Hiroyuki: "No worries. I have energy to direct this team to victory, as I must always do.
Out of a sudden, Nigel sees Hiroyuki's vibrating phone on the table. He immediately hands it over.
Hiroyuki: "Nobuhiko? What seems to be the matter?"
He answers the call, all the way from Tokyo.
Nobuhiko: "Oyaji, did I wake you up? I don't know much about time zones."
Hiroyuki: "I'm still awake, and it's 11:30 in the evening over here."
Nobuhiko: "You shouldn't stay up that late, Oyaji."
Hiroyuki: "I'm not frail, you silly child. Why did you call?"
Nobuhiko: "A contact of mine has spotted Ryuji-ojisan doing runs in Suzuka this morning."
Upon finally finding out his younger brother's whereabouts, Hiroyuki shows a light touch of laughter.
Hiroyuki: "Hehehehe... so he went to Japan after all? What for? And Suzuka?"
Nobuhiko: "I am aware of your rivalry, but..."
Hiroyuki: "I know where this will end. Nobuhiko, I need you to do a favor for me. Go to my home, and ask your mother to give the LFA's key fob to you. Bring the car to Kaido for some adjustments, so that idiot will have a chance to redeem himself."
Nobuhiko: "Ah yes, your "Million-Mile" Lexus. Hehe. You use that EVERYDAY to bring you to places, instead of buying a compact car."
Hiroyuki: "I am very well aware of a car's true purpose. I'm not a showoff like the rest of you. Anyway, just bring that to Kaido and tell him that it needs a few adjustments to the chassis."
Nobuhiko: "So you plan on racing him using the LFA?"
Hiroyuki: "If Ryuji wants a fight, then I'll give it to him, simple as that. Once again, it's time to shake that rust off of me."
Nobuhiko: "Rust? Really? More of cleaning a sharp blade."
End of Page 26
Page 27: Farewell
I hate it when I'm forced to do nothing, letting something slip past by.
But if I make a move, things will get disastrous. I am aware of the bad blood between those two in front of me.
Background Music - Test of the L'Cie (Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack)
Hiroyuki: "Takuma! Status?"
Takuma: "Oil temperature okay. Water temperature is far from its boiling point. Oil pressure is stable. I just can't make a move here, Hiroyuki-san. I don't want this car to end up in bits."
Hiroyuki: "Wise decision. Let those fools lock heads. One of them is bound to give in."
Oh fine. But Louis is slipping up there. Perhaps that's just pressure building up.
Francois: "All glory is fleeting, my dear cousin. Nothing lasts forever in this field."
Louis: "No one who knows my name escapes my wrath. NO ONE."
Using the Pescarolo's speed advantage, Louis floors it again at the high speed section. I'm impressed by that car's top end, easily exceeding both the Audi and this LM55.
On the other hand, the Audi makes it up for its more advanced aero.
But that itself isn't even much needed in a track like this. I have to admit, that Pescarolo is the fastest LMP I have ever come across with!
As we are entering another lap... Louis makes a move. What is he doing?! He's pinning the Audi to the wall!
Louis: "Brûle en l’enfer!" (Burn in hell!)
Francois: "Are you crazy?! What is wrong with you?! Are you serious on taking my life?!"
This prompts the Ravenwest Audi to stop, to avoid hitting the barrier.
Francois: "Buffoon! Eh? What the?!"
To his shock, he notices that the oil and water temperature levels have spiked up, not because of Louis' stunt, but rather the engine was running beyond its limit for the race. Talk about adding insult to the injury.
Seems like the Audi didn't bother the continue. Mechanical issues? Either way, it's just a duel between two teams from this point on.
I'll reserve our fight for another day. This car is relatively new. I can't risk it too soon.
Louis: "Hmph! Adieu!"
End of Page 27
Francois really needs to give up at this point.
Page 28: Andy's Push
Woah... I wonder what really happened between Louis and his cousin Francois? To think for the former to attack the latter without hesitation.
But the struggle persists in our side. While we are amazed by the LM55's reliability despite only having a few shakedowns, we're no match to the Pescarolo's speed. We only rely on one consolation - we can slipstream behind it if we're fast enough to catch its draft. And that has been our routine ever since Ravenwest has retired.
I can't even sleep with all of these dilemmas. I have to help Andy claim his glory on his own country.
3 pm... one final pit stop. I can feel Andy's troubles whilst I'm looking at Blue Streak team doing the tire changes.
Takuma: "Andy, I know you're hanging on."
Andy: "This is much tougher than expected. I wish I raced with you in Le Mans."
Takuma: "This type of race is what Louis does best. We're basically gambling here, and on a losing streak."
I then notice a change in Andy's tone.
Andy: "I'll sort this one out, then. This is my moment. It has to have a bang."
He's still willing to take the risk. Heh... that's the spirit. We, at Dream Alliance, will never back down even in the final moments!
Our hopes have rejuvenated as the two cars leave the pit lane.
This is it, Andy. For one final shot, take home the trophy. You're doing this not only for us, but also for yourself.
Make sure that once this race is over, your name will be the talk of the town.
Louis: "Andy again, huh? Are you gambling, Dream Alliance? Not that I'm questioning his abilities, though."
Andy: "Hey Louis, the race is still on. Don't lower your guard."
However, the Pescarolo's strength once again shows itself. The speed alone beats the more modern chassis of the LM55. That 100-horsepower handicap for Rotaries turned out as a grievous punishment.
Andy: "My only chance is through those turns? And they're only a few of them in Daytona! There has to be a way..."
How can we sprint past this hurdle? Andy... we did everything we could for the car. The rest is up to you.
I'm not the one who'd definitely settle for the second best, but I have come to accept the fact that we have a strong possibility of defeat.
But Andy sure is a fighter... like the rest of the team. I'm sure he won't just sit down and watch after coming this far. THIS IS HIS BIG BREAK!
Andy: "Damn! Too fast for entry!"
Don't let that set you back. Keep your foot stomped on the pedal!
Don't worry, just do what you do best. The LM55 will take care of the traction. That dragon is willing to fly with you on its back.
Nigel: "We have very little time left! At this moment, it's the start of the final lap!"
I checked on the timer, and the moment the two started another lap, it's just one minute left. Indeed it is the final lap.
Andy: "The final lap? In that case, forgive me..."
Andy: "...as I'm going to steal your winning moment, Louis! Time to rock and roll!"
End of Page 28
Time to unleash the beast.
Page 29: Motto
One final minute to risk it all. It's all up to Andy to make or break his career. We're doing this race mainly for his sake. Our reputation has been solid, anyway, even with 2nd place finishes lately.
Andy... the spotlight is yours. It's the matter of grabbing it!
Background Music - Station To Station (Initial D 2nd Stage Soundtrack)
Andy: "Your luck won't last long..."
Step on it, Andy! Louis is losing momentum thanks to your consistent pressuring!
Time for one last small pep talk.
Takuma: "Listen, Andy. I know this isn't the right time, but take a page from the Kanonji book! Even at the final moments, never ever give up even if it deemed hopeless! Our team is comprised of fighters, remember that.
Keep on fighting. You're a fighter. We are fighters."
Andy: "You're right. The concert hasn't stopped. The final verse has yet to be sung!"
Now that's an epic form of encouragement! Andy has finally snapped from his slump. Time to show your friend Alan what real success is! He's watching for sure!
Home stretch! Don't let go, Andy. Louis will fall into your hands.
Andy: "Yo, Louis! I think you forgot something. I'm American. And Americans love NASCAR. NASCAR teaches you one harsh reality..."
Andy: "...that there is no such thing as a SURE FIRE WIN!
Andy: "Your glory in NASCAR can be taken away in an instant. Sorry, Louis. I am stealing your thunder once more."
Louis: "What the hell! He's..."
Andy: "Hit me, and both of us we'll be sent flying. I DARE YOU!"
In the pit lane, everyone is surprised by the sudden turn of events. Everyone is anticipating for Blue Streak's victory, but Dream Alliance is clearly an ace when it comes to turning the tables.
Takanori: "Yeah! Push it! Pedal to the medal, bro!"
And here goes the checkered flag! Another major race got in the bag! Looks like we're regaining our reputation from this point on.
Hiroyuki: "I bet no one is expecting that. Andy turned the impossible, possible."
Takuma: "We always have to fight until the very end. That's what life taught me. I live by that motto every single moment.
I think that everyone too, needs to apply it. It's a simple rule to live by."
Takuma: "The final lap showed everyone how that motto brings wonders. Andy has now turned into a bright star. He'll make sure that he will never fade, ever again."
Meanwhile, at Blue Streak's pit garage...
Stephan: "Well, what do you know? This is unexpected."
Nina: "I have even deduced that we're going to take the victory, based on our car's performance and driver performance."
Dmitri: "We have learned the hard way, that victory is never certain. No amount of figures can explain that."
Stephan: "Louis might feel bad after this. Let's make this easy for him."
They all watch the podium finishers being rained down by confetti. Andy shows a more delightful smile, having now stood on the podium in a major race for the very first time.
If there will be a change that will take place, that is, he will no longer race in the sidelines. His victory will open up a path to more opportunities around the globe through his team.
Now on to the next dilemma...
...how will Takuma train the dragon? Definitely he won't let it bound by chains for far too long. Only time will tell. For now, the dragon gets a much deserved rest, after the grueling bout.
End of Page 29
Page 30: Next Mission
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Time: 4:00 pm, Sunday
After a rather simple celebration from Andy's home coming from their victory in Daytona 24 Hours, Dream Alliance members have parted ways and gone home. But Andy, having seen a new lease in life after his victory, then decided to fully commit himself to the team, hence coming along with Nigel to Germany in order to receive formal race training in their headquarters.
Hiroyuki, on the other hand, heads back home to Japan to deliver the news to his family and celebrate as well.
But he spends his Sunday like any other Sunday. After lunch with his children, he goes back to his home with his wife for little rest.
However, in a shocking change of pace, he decides to go out for a drive in his LFA that Kaido recently modified under request.
While it doesn't sport any major cosmetic changes, only the ride height has been lowered as part of the modifications. The LFA lies in wait, for the person who tinkered with it, Kaido.
The tuner exits from his home immediately after Hiroyuki made a single honk. He carefully enters the car as it now dons a roll cage for extra rigidity.
Kaido: "Oh look, I'm inside the Million-Mile Lexus."
They set off, intending to head over to Ginza for a little snack at a tea house that Hiroyuki frequents.
Hiroyuki: "I fancy a snack. And you deserve a little reward for granting my request."
Kaido: "It's rather unusual for you to go out on Sunday afternoons. Has the wind changed its direction?"
Hiroyuki: "It already has, the day that Dream Alliance first formed."
Hiroyuki: "Days are going very fast indeed. Much faster than a Formula 1 car. To think my three new members have shown exceptional potential. Andy has expressed his full commitment to the team, and he's now in Germany for further training."
Kaido: "And yet you are still overseeing everything."
Hiroyuki: "Fifty-six years old is still young by today's standards. I am not yet ready to leave the team be. They still need me, and I need them. I, too, am eager to learn from them every single day.
Now, I'm eager to feel what have you done here, and if you've done it right."
Upon turning right at the next intersection, Hiroyuki floors the throttle in order for the car let loose even only a little. Its high pitched wail was briefly heard by the bystanders.
Hiroyuki: "It's stickier than expected."
Kaido: "I changed the tires too. Tires, brakes and suspension always go together. You can't just leave one of them and set off."
While seemingly satisfied with the result, Kaido breathes out a sigh...
Kaido: "And yet... sigh... both you and Ryuji fight like kids."
Hiroyuki: "He's the one acting like a spoiled brat. I already left him alone after I defeated him soundly thirty years ago."
Hiroyuki: "So all this time, he's been managing teams as a grand plan for proving himself to me that he isn't weak. I already believed in him, and yet he provoked me the moment he joined Ravenwest and poured in everything just to defeat me in an indirect manner."
Kaido: "Hopefully our efforts for this car will not be in vain. Ryuji's Shelby GT500 is no joke."
Hiroyuki: "If his GT350 was a joke back then, I'll make sure that his new car will be, and his ambition."
Hiroyuki firmly grasps his hold on the steering wheel. Kaido sees it as a sign.
Kaido: "Hehehehe... you always scare me, Hiroyuki."
Location: Mont Bleu, Pays de la Loire, France
Time: 8 am
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe where the sun has just started shining...
In a fictional mountainside located nearby the famous Circuit de la Sarthe, a car meet takes place.
Louis is a member of the club hosting the said car meet. He is taking a break after the endurance race, and his 2nd place finish didn't affect him at all. He is very well-aware of the capabilities of Dream Alliance's drivers, including the newbie Andy.
The club members are ready to leave, and so does he. After a brief chat with his fellow members, they set off.
What is Louis driving? A blue Alpine A110 he purchased before he went Stateside.
While keeping pace with the others, Louis suddenly receives a phone call from Stephan.
Louis: "Hello? Oh good morning, sir."
Stephan: "Are you free by the afternoon? Your dear friend, Rob Hatch, is in Paris eager to meet you at that time."
Upon hearing the name of the person he'll be seeing, Louis puts up a grin.
Louis: "Oh, that One Punch Man? Sure. Let me just..."
Louis floors the throttle, despite the rather dangerous twists right ahead.
Louis: "I'm driving. I'll call you again when I arrive in Paris."
He cuts off the conversation as he blitzes past his peers.
They are surprised by Louis' stunt, obviously, considering how dangerous this stretch of road is.
He makes mincemeat on the leading member...
...and quickly widens the gap.
Louis: "Rob? I wonder what's he up to? Why he's eager to see me?"
The small French sports car is now out of sight, much to the surprise of the club's members.
End of Page 30
Interesting times ahead for Louis.
How long will it take for Louis to name Rob as "One Punch Deckard"? And will he be able to do so before Takuma does? All these questions are important, you know...
Page 31: LFA's Song
Location: Champs-Elysees, Paris, France
Time: 6:00 pm
Paris' most popular avenue, where it attracts millions of tourists every year, is brimming with energy and shows no signs of fading even if the sun is about to set.
The tiny Alpine A110 makes it way through, and manages to find a parking spot. Louis heads out and walks his way to a cafe where Rob is waiting.
Upon entering, Louis sits down with his friend, without even bothering to order anything while the latter is slurping his coffee.
Rob: "Bonsoir, mon ami. So, how's coping up?"
Louis: "What are you talking about, stupide? I'm fine with my finish during that race. I take losses gracefully. Why are you eager to see me, Mr. Saitama? Heh."
Hearing that new name which is an obvious reference to a recently popular anime due to Rob's baldness, Rob also lets out a grin.
Rob: "All it takes is one single punch to send you to the morgue. Anyway, you see, I do need your skills for my mission."
Louis: "MI6? And why me again? I'm no agent."
Rob: "Exactly. Part of my mission is going undercover. And obviously, the person should be someone they least expect. You are the perfect candidate."
Louis: "All right. Just make sure I'm back in Paris in one piece."
Rob: "Then get packing. I'll see you in London this Saturday."
Location: Nobuhiko's apartment suite, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Time: 2 pm, Saturday
It's a tidy and large apartment room that Nobuhiko purchased for his own family. He now has two children, both male (namely Toushirou and Sarada) and just a year apart between them. While his wife Kasumi dusts off some decors, Nobuhiko plays with his sons, as his way of letting his presence known and as well as showing how he truly embraced fatherhood.
In the midst of activity, the cordless telephone rings which prompts Kasumi to answer. After a brief exchange, she hands over the phone to her husband.
Kasumi: "Your cousin, Nobunaga, wishes to speak to you."
Nobuhiko: "Nobunaga? When was the last time I talked to him? It's been a while..."
Nobuhiko takes the call.
Nobunaga: "It's been a while. You may wonder why I called, but I'll just keep this short and simple. Our fathers will duke out in Suzuka tomorrow."
Nobuhiko shows a slight gasp.
Background Music: A God of Death I (Initial D 5th Stage Soundtrack)
Nobunaga: "They act like kids, seriously. They should just grow a pair and then relax. I don't even know what my father did during his stay in America. Last thing I knew was the fact that he runs Ravenwest, and that's it.
Say, why don't we have a little family reunion there? I'm sure you're worried about your father too. Let's just watch them lock horns and see who retires first for good. I'm heading there tonight and check in a hotel somewhere."
Nobuhiko: "I see. I'll tell my mother and brother about this. We're definitely going."
Nobunaga: "Very well then. See you."
The conversation ends. Nobuhiko stands up and takes a large bag from the cabinet.
Kasumi: "Eh??? What are you doing?"
Nobuhiko: "I'm heading to Mie Prefecture tonight. You stay here for the kids, okay? I'll be back tomorrow night."
Kasumi: "What's going on?"
Nobuhiko: "My father and uncle are having a showdown in Suzuka tomorrow. It is of no wonder why I cannot contact him this morning. My mother might be there too."
Nobuhiko then starts taking some pieces of clothing for the short trip. The showdown is inevitable, and his worries are increasing.
Location: Suzuka Circuit, Mie Prefecture
Meanwhile, Suzuka Circuit is the sole listener of the song of Hiroyuki's LFA echoing throughout the premises...
Ryuji arrives about to do the same thing, but is surprised by the presence of his older brother doing the runs. He then sees the speeding supercar at the straightaway.
Ryuji: "Oh there he is. Seriously though, why an LFA? I thought you are more into driving purity. The LFA is nothing more than a niche car for the snobs who want an easy peasy track day car."
Ryuji: "You can get a serious performance car like my GT500 for a fraction of that LFA. Maybe the world has gone topsy-turvy."
Ryuji: "But one thing is for sure, though..."
Ryuji briefly clenches his fist.
Ryuji: "....history will repeat itself. But I'll be the one that will make a change."
Ryuji: "Hiroyuki keeps on claiming that he is covered in rust. Heh... I won't fall for that. He has always been a sharpened blade!"
End of Page 31
Is this continuing ? I really like it
It will be once GTSport comes around as far as I know.
That's right. I'll resume the story once GT Sport will be out. Besides, my new job makes me rarely touch GT6 and write drafts at all.
I'll drop hints as to what will happen to the story once GT Sport comes out.
- A secret elite racing team smashes lap records across the globe. Members are actually from different racing teams WITHOUT the knowledge of their respective crews. Their alignment is unknown...
- The McLaren 650S GT3 and the Renault R.S. 01 are so far the cars I can confirm to appear in the story .
- One of the members of that said secret elite racing team (will be introduced early in the story) mentioned above is an arch-nemesis of Andy who has the skill level equalling that of Rob and Louis. Think of him as an American equivalent of those two.
Uh oh .
Blue Streak has been very busy lately.
Yes, those are Driveclub photos, but the car will also pop up in GT Sport, anyway...
So here's a little teaser: