Invictus Racing League – Round nine in review – The season hots up in Mexico City!

 

 

 

Mexico City offers a unique driving experience for Formula One, add one of the longest straights on the calendar, a dash of high braking zones and a pinch of sweeping corners and you get the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

We’ve had nine rounds so far this season, and with three to go, the end to not only the season, but of Formula One 2018 is fast approaching.

Six races, three days and a plethora of action took place this week. Who could set themselves up for a late push towards championship glory, or could our point’s leaders hold onto top spot before we head to Belgium next week?

 

No – Assist

A number of new drivers made a late debut into the league, as we saw a surge of new talent take to the track looking to take the fight to the established stars in the no-assist league.

Two of those rookies coming in were that of F2 league driver’s white-fountain and xd_Archy who after joining the Force India team got out of circuit and immediately introduced themselves to the league in a big way.

The two saw a debut session finish with them sitting in second and third place respectively, and only being beaten by the returning Scopefielder the Force India’s were delighted with their pace around the hot Mexican circuit.

Scopefielder took pole, and after some time away managed to give himself the best seat in the house for the run to turn one, whilst BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) finished in fourth and well ahead of current championship leader Samuthepito who could only qualify tenth for the Williams team.

However, after a superb start from the Force India’s they led the field away over the opening laps, and not until Scopefielder and Scott managed to pass them a third of the way into the race did white-fountain and xd_Archy look like they would be giving anyone an easy time, but after a lightning out-lap after his first pit-stop Scope was able to move past and in to a net lead.

Speed_Queen had a relatively quiet first stint, and as one of the only drivers to attempt the one-stop, she found herself at the front with 12 laps to go, but with Scope, Scott and the Force India’s chasing her down. It seemed only a matter of time before she would be demoted down the field.

The move for the lead happened on lap 28 as Scope breezed past Speed_Queen into turn one, and with Scott replicating the move two laps later, she fell into the clutches of the waiting white-fountain who duly dispatched her moments later.

The final laps saw Scott desperately try to make up time to Scope ahead, but it was to no avail as the returning Red Bull driver came home for the race victory.

It was a shock behind as Scott dramatically dropped off the podium after time penalties, and after being overtaken in the dying laps for second position, the Mercedes dropped back to fourth and with Speed_Queen fifth on circuit but with no penalties, she assumed a podium position in what was a coup for the Ferrari driver.

It was another superb race from Scope, which is something we’ve become accustomed too recently in Invictus. White-fountain impressed hugely in his debut, equally xd_archy although disappointed with fifth was running well until the final laps.

Scott takes the lead in the championship after Samuthepito could only come home sixth after a furious last lap battle with mdoran and Joel, and with Speed_Queen continuing her staggering run of top four finishes, all is to play for over the final three races.

 

Realistic Performance

Performance 1

Coming to Mexico, Realistic Performance 1 saw the battle between current champion SkyZii and AaronJSpence almost level, and with the in slower cars, it would open up the race to a new winner unless they could show some almighty pace.

Qualifying was under the hot Mexican sun, and with the softest compound tyres ‘Hypersoft’ available to the drivers, it was Tom (TL44S) who put his Renault on pole, ahead of the Sauber of Scott (BoyBetterKnowSB).

Championship contenders SkyZii and Aaron would line up seventh and ninth, whilst outside for the championship Captain_Stiff started outside of the top ten in eleventh.

The race started perfectly for Scott as he got ahead of Tom and controlled the first stint in the Sauber, although behind it was a disastrous start for Stiff, contact with Ben Muskett into turn two severely damaged his front wing and a pit-stop later and he was 40 seconds down on the rest of the field.

Tonn Albanach (WaveIntel) had endured a season to forget in Performance 1 this calendar, and after becoming used to podium finishes, the Scotsman hasn’t found any rhythym so far this season and languishes way down the order. His day wasn’t to get any better after starting in third, and overheating the tyres on his Toro Rosso, Tonn spun three times in one lap on the way to an early retirement.

Blue skies had turned grey, and the threat of a brief rain shower came across the airwaves of each driver. The rain began on lap 20 and with several drivers trying to brave it on worn tyres, the elements quickly turned against them and they dived into the pit-lane.

This is where chaos begain for the Sauber team, who fell foul of the dreaded pit-lane stall glitch as SkyZii found himself held and thus stuck in his pit-box. This not only affected the fifth place man, but race leader Scott one lap later who was equally caught and subsequently forced to retire.

The two Saubers suddenly opened up the race to the rest of the field, and it was Tom who was able to make use of the Sauber’s woes, as the Renault came across the line and took a jubilant first victory in the performance league. Ben Muskett followed him home three seconds off the leader, whilst it was a welcome return to the podium for Craig8728 as the Scot drove a magnificent race from tenth to a podium.

It was a poor race for Aaron and Stiff who could only manage seventh and eighth, with Stiff slightly ahead. The two even came into contact under the wet weather, but with SkyZii dropping points, Aaron maintains his lead in RP1. Equally, Racing AaronStiff build their lead at the top of the constructors after Tonn’s retirement.

We go to round ten next week with the championship wide open, can Aaron stretch his lead more or will SkyZii, Stiff or even Scott look for a late challenge?

 

Performance 2

Megglugpy had started the first half the season in red-hot fashion taking three wins, and one second place. But, a fifth in Britain, followed up by a retirement in Australia had opened the door for the likes of NickLJThomson and Jos Heinssie for a late push at championship glory.

Megg had been looking at getting his performances back on track, and a pole position in Mexico was just the way to do it! The McLaren swept across the sunny Mexican circuit and stole pole from Nick at the death of qualifying and made it a scintillating front row.

Scopefielder lined up third, and after his exploits on Monday would be high on confidence, whilst mj_coop in fourth gave himself a good shot at finally ending what has been a torrid season for the Englishman.

Nick got the jump of Megg into turn one, and over the first stint built a comfortable three-second lead. It was mj_coop who had made moves on the field, and using the one-stop strategy he stayed well-away from any potential battles until late in the race. This meant he was able to get his head down and put in fast laps, knowing that after his pit-stop others around him would be much quicker.

Lap 14 saw a turn in the race for Jos, after looking strong in the early stages; the Williams got out of shape exiting turn six and hit the retaining wall. This allowed Megg, Scope to stay clear of the Dutchman, whilst NickLJThomson used Jos’ lack of downforce to scythe past into turn one.

Mj_coop had made his stop, and seemed to be enjoying his time in Mexico as he caught and passed Nick for the lead on lap 23 with Nick coming in for his final stop a few laps later. Coop then enjoyed huge gap over his rivals, with the Force India circulating six seconds ahead of Nitrogash in the Ferrari and well over twenty seconds ahead of F1MrP80 who was currently holding down third in the sister Force India.

That was all to change however in what was a vicious battle for position. MrP seemed to be relentless in his attempts at holding the podium position, and engaged in a titanic battle with Megglugpy, Scopefielder, Jos and Nick. Megg was the first to catch the Force India, and with the two having a duel on track which saw the both on numerous occasions dive and bang wheels in a very fiery affair.

The action almost boiled over on the main straight with five laps remaining, Megg had made his way past MrP, but with DRS and overtake mode activated the Force India looked at coming back at McLaren but in the process almost ran Nick into the wall and then off-track at turn one in what would have been an incredibly dangerous accident for all involved.

Mj_coop stayed well ahead of all the commotion behind, and finally broke his duck and took the chequered flag, it was an absolutely dominant performance from coop who was delighted to take the win. Nitro made it another podium finish, whilst Scopefielder was the on the final podium step in third.

MrP managed to jump Megg on penalties, which will irk the championship leader, although with Jos crashing out late into the race and Nick suffering a post-race DSQ for track infringements it turned into a better day for the McLaren than first thought.

The stewards didn’t take too kindly to the battle between both Mr P and Megg, both received reprimands for their actions, with Mr P’s upgraded to an official warning after his transgressions with Scopefielder earlier in the race.

It was a dream race for mj_coop who was elated to take the victory, while Nitro took his best result of the season, and third podium in nine races.

Using Nick and Jos’ no-point scoring, Scope now assumes second in the championship and looks up at Megg with a twelve point gap between the two. He has three races to close that gap, is it now a two-horse race or will we see more twists in the tale of RP2 this season?

 

Equal Performance 

F1

You never know what you’re going to get in F1, but this week we saw a masterclass from Marqueses as he dominated the race in Mexico.

He didn’t have it all his own way in qualifying after being pushed all the way by Williams driver A_Singh99 with the two split by 0.05 of a second at the end of the 18 minute session.

Although it’s Scopefielder who leads the way in F1 currently, and the Swede kept up the pressure after missing the last two races by putting his Renault on the second row, over half a second ahead of Ben Muskett in the Ferrari.

In his first season of F1, Megglugpy has been impressive and has finished on the podium three times already this season, but starting in tenth, the Red Bull would have to do a lot of move up through the field.

Blue skies were clouded throughout the majority of the race, but that didn’t stop the field from enjoying what was a competitive race across the group of twelve on track.

Marqueses drove an impeccable race start-to-finish, and even with an extra pit-stop was able to overhaul the rest of the field pack and come home for a first win in F1 this season, after mistakes in races earlier this season that cost him potential wins, he was happy to finally come across the line to the ticker tape and coloured flares in the old baseball stadium and crossed the line first.

Second was a delighted Megglugpy, who after starting tenth drove a tactical and measured race, making sure that the one-stop would see him through to the end in Mexico City, whilst Scopefielder made it a third podium of the week in third place.

Scope’s lead at the helm of F1 is cut marginally by Megg who now sits in third, but with Nikki9095 only able to manage sixth it was a good result for Scope who now owns a 15 point lead over his title rivals heading to Spa-Francorchamps next week.

 

 

 

F2

The top of the standings in F2 this season has been anything but stable as the lead has changed seemingly race-to-race for the past five races.

GooDStuff, mj_coop and NickLJThomson all seemed to be vying over the F2 title, but with four races left of the season and the three split by fractional points difference, every point in the final races could prove crucial.

It was damp and drizzly conditions for qualifying and it certainly upset several drivers who had already set the car up to run in the dry, the field saw a number of drivers struggling with the likes of mj_coop way down the order in ninth place.

However it was the Belgian driver white-fountain who after impressing on Monday, took pole position in the Renault, over six tenths of a second ahead of Nick in second.

RudiMandragorex had another good qualifying and would line up third and he was accompanied by GooDStuff with the German hoping to make up for the last two races which saw him lose the title lead and drop behind.

A super start for pole-sitter white-fountain saw him fire away off the line and within three laps already hold a two second lead over Nick, who after briefly dropping to third managed to make it back up into his starting position.

It took until lap 12 for a swap for the lead, and with white-fountain on much more worn tyres than Nick, the Ferrari driver was able to pass for the lead into turn six and move ahead over the next laps.

Lap 15 saw white-fountain make his stop, and that released the top three in the championship into the provisional podium places, and with Nick, coop and GooDStuff all following each other, all eyes were on to see if fireworks would start.

All race long we saw drivers struggling with high tyre wear, and thus overheating issues and one of the main culprits was mj_coop who was really struggling with rear end grip in the Red Bull, and with the top three all tyre saving, the battle was mainly neutralised.

Nick led with five laps remaining, but with second to fifth split by less than four seconds, he knew that one mistake could spell the end for his chance at making it a hat-trick of wins.

Mj_coop had looked at a thirteen lap stint on the hypersofts, but with two laps remaining the Red Bull pitted after losing several positions struggling with the tyre temperatures. This really alleviated any pressure on Nick who came across the line to make it three in three.

Humbostone had seemingly had a quiet race, but made his way into second after late moves past GooDStuff and coop, but crossing the line dropped to third behind white-fountain, with the Belgian using his two-stop strategy and clean racing to jump GoodStuff and Humbo into second.

It was a day to remember for Nick who makes it three races in a row on the top step, after two poor races earlier in the season he has recovered remarkably and now leads the way by fourteen points to mj_coop, who in contrast will look to move on quickly from Mexico after a DSQ for track infringements had made his challenge for the title that little but harder.

 

F3

It’s been a strange season in F3 this season, we’ve seen some epic racing, intense battles and surprise winners. However, looking at how Mexico turned out really emphasised the mantra for not giving up.

Captain_Stiff had led the field coming to Mexico, and with Williams team-mate Tejuarr in-tow, the two have built a lead in the constructor’s championship. However since a slow start xMIKExSI has been “Mr Consistent” and has been in the top four over the past five races.

FerociousDan was looking to be Stiffs main rival, but after a retirement in Australia, his gap to the leader became a little harder to bridge.

However, at the end of F3 qualifying it was the pair of Mike and Dan who would share the front row, and with the likes of Nitrogash and osteven putting in excellent laps to start on the second row, it seemed that we could be in-store for a very interesting race.

Championship leader Stiff had looked to the radar before qualifying, and seeing that it was due to rain for the entirety of the race, a wet set-up was added to the car and therefore the lack of speed, saw him at the back and 2.5s off the pace.

As predicted it was a wet start for the race, and with intermediates the tyre of choice it was a nervy start for the field as they cautiously made their way around lap one. It was a dream start for Steven who had the perfect release off the line for the Force India as he muscled his way into second into turn two.

It was also a good start for Stiff who after starting twelfth found himself in sixth by lap three and all over the gearbox of F1Richard and after dropping behind Briggsy briefly, the two cleared Richard, but with Briggsy making a daring move on Nitro, Stiff was able to make a sublime move around the outside of the stadium section and then quickly past Nitrogash as the Williams found himself in fourth.

It seemed the majority of the field were planning on the two-stop strategy, but Mike and Stiff had other ideas and using the fresh track ahead were able to look after their tyres and with Stiff making a move into second on lap 14, he then set upon catching up the fourteen second gap to Mike.

He cut that to seven seconds over the next six laps, and with Mike pitting on lap 19 and Stiff on lap 21, somehow Stiff appeared only four seconds off of the Ferrari. The two knew they had the advantage on the now leader osteven and FerociousDan who would need to pit again, and by lap 26 the two were set free back into the top two places.

Stiff, knowing he was sitting on a three-second penalty then chased down the Slovenian, and finally on lap 31 made a brave lunge into turn one, knowing that Mike wouldn’t give any quarter in battle.

Behind, there was an excellent battle between osteven and Dan who appeared to have been joined by the hip all race long. The sleeper driver for the race was that of SnoopMarky, last week’s race winner had a spin on lap one, and after recovering through the field somehow found himself in third position and comfortably ahead of Nitro in fourth.

Stiff crossed the line and took home a third win of the season, and with that made it 42 points from 45 since the mid-season break. Mike dropped off in the final lap but picked up a best result of the season in second, whilst Snoop added to his increasing points tally in third.

A post-race penalty for Briggsy after a collision with Nitrogash demoted him from fourth to sixth, this promoted Nitro into a best of the season fourth. Whilst it was another poor race for Dan, who dropped to eighth after a fun battle with Steven saw the two get tangled and both lose time.

Stiff now sits upon a 21 point lead in F3, and with races running out can anyone catch the Williams in his breakout season. This could be one of the most impressive turnarounds for a driver, but can Stiff close it out. Mike and Snoop are now 21 and 28 points adrift, but one DNF for either of them could blow the championship wide open.

 

Join us this week for round ten of the Invictus Racing League championship as we blast through the Ardennes Forest at the iconic circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Invictus Racing League – Round seven in review – Fortune in China?

 

 

 

After the teams enjoyed a one week break, it was back to action on track for Invictus Racing League as the teams arrived in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Often a track which provides several spots for over-taking, the Shanghai International Circuit punishes the tyres and meant that set-up and strategy would play a crucial part in the results at the end of the week.

There are six rounds left in the six championships and with plenty of points left on the table, who would be the first to lay down a marker for the second half of the season?

 

No-assist

Current points leader Samuthepito was absent from the race in China this week, but with a comfortable gap back to the likes of Speed_Queen and BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott), even with a win for either, the Spaniards lead would be unaffected leaving China.

Qualifying saw a number of drivers struggling for grip, and with the likes of Phil_mcfc, Speed_Queen and Humbostone all struggling early on in the session, it allowed the Renault of Gavpig to set a provisional pole time on the ultra-soft tyre compound.

The rest of the field opted for the harder yellow soft tyre compound, and whilst Gav was unable to improve his pole time, the front row would become incredibly close. This was due to an outstanding lap from GP1_Alex as the Sauber put himself into P2 on the grid with a time one thousandth of a second slower than Gav.

It was an incredible end to qualifying, whilst Scott would be joined by Humbostone as they made up row two as he looked to take advantage of Speed_Queens mediocre session after she placed her #58 Ferrari in sixth behind the second Mercedes of Joel-V520.

Gavpig was unable to make the start due to a power issue, and in-turn would give Alex a free run down to turn one, and with the cars all seemingly getting a clean getaway, it was Joel who had a rocket of a start as he moved from fifth into second and passed his team-mate into turn two.

Lap four had seen Scott move back ahead of Joel and challenge for the lead, and after a side-by-side battle for a number of corners, the Mercedes moved into the lead of the race for the first time. Alex then started to struggle in the pack behind as he was quickly passed by Joel and then had to deal with constant pressure from Speed_Queen over the next four laps as he admirably kept her behind.

As the pit-windows opened it allowed the runners of the soft compound to pit, and as the only driver not to set a time Phil_mcfc had made superb progress in the first stint on the medium compound, and as we arrived at lap 18 he came out onto the track on the softer and faster soft compound, and would then engage in an epic fight with Scott for the lead of the race for the next eleven laps.

In the race for third, there was a four car battle between Joe, Speed_Queen, Nikki and Alex who were all eyeing up a podium position, and after an audacious move past two cars into the turn fourteen hairpin, Alex was able to move back up into third, whilst the two Ferraris and Mercedes of Joel kept up the pressure behind.

Phil was really struggling with the stewards as he was slapped with not only two-track extension penalties, but a pit-lane speeding penalty from a few laps previously had seemingly gifted Scott the race victory, and even as the two swapped places numerous times in the closing laps, Scott was able to come across the line first and won his third race of the season after a titanic battle with Phil.

Phil would devastatingly drop off of the podium after the post –race penalties were administered which promoted a delighted Nikki9095 into second, whilst Alex was able to salvage a podium after losing out to Nikki late on in the race for what was then third place.

Scott took the full complement of 15 points, and in turn closes the gap to Sam massively, but with Speed_Queen not far behind, it’s apparent the championship is only going to get hotter as we move to Australia next week.

 

 

Realistic Performance

Due to PSN issue on the evening of the race, both Performance leagues were postponed and will be run the week after the main calendar ends, we are anticipating a race on Tuesday 28th May 2019.

 

 

Equal Performance

F1

Scopefielder leads the way in F1, and missing the race on Wednesday would see his lead cut slightly as his opponents look to make ground on him coming into the second half of the season.

Highly touted driver NPyne_35 was making his debut in China, and after a slick qualifying session from the Scot saw him take a front row position in second in the McLaren there were some eyebrows raised that we may be seeing a new threat for race victories this season.

However it was celebrations in the Toro Rosso garage for Megglugpy who took home pole position ahead of NPyne, whilst Jos was able to make it onto the second row in third and with current second placed man Nikki9095 only able to qualify eighth, the likes of mdoran, TonnAlbanach (Formely WaveIntel) and Megg would all be looking at taking points away from the Red Bull driver.

It was a disastrous start for Megglugpy as he ran wide into turn one and dropped to the rear of the field, this allowed the McLaren of NPyne to soar down the inside and take turn three unchallenged as he led the field away over the first lap.

He was kept honest in the opening laps by Jos as the Renault looked to challenge for the lead, but as the laps increased Jos was frustratingly unable to get close enough to challenge the leader. The two started dropping the rest of the field at a rate of knots, and by lap ten already enjoyed a six second lead back to xd_Archy in third and an even bigger lead back to the rest of the pack.

Megglugpy had been on the fightback since his first lap excursion and by lap eleven moved into sixth as he moved by Tonn, and with points on his mind closed up to the rear end of the Sauber of mdoran and after Megg made a stop on lap 12 his one lap undercut on the drivers ahead meant he fractionally beat the Sauber out of the pit-lane as the undercut strategy worked perfectly.

NPyne made his stop and controlled the race across the final portion of the race as he came across the line to take race victory on debut for the McLaren. It was a sizable eight second gap back to Jos who seemingly couldn’t keep up with the McLaren on the medium compound.

In slight redemption a fantastic race from Megglugpy saw him move into a podium place and finishing in third he would regret his first lap mistake which made every think what could have been if he could have gone with NPyne for the race victory.

Megg moved level with Samuthepito on 44 points, whilst a late retirement from mdoran holds him back in the attempt to claw back ground on the top three. Nikki9095 had a quiet race to come home fifth, and the six points mean he now sits 12 behind Scopefielder as the league prepares to ehad down under. Can anyone catch Scope, and can NPyne continue his winning form next week after starting the league in such dominant fashion?

 

F2

The F2 season so far has seen three leaders in GooDStuff, NickLJThomson and mj_coop, and with the three drivers having shared five of the first six race wins; they enjoyed breathing space over the tight battle in the table from fourth to seventh.

GooDStuff had gone back to the top after winning in Silverstone, whilst Nick dropped a huge amount of ground due to a disqualification in the race, whilst mj_coop struggled to keep the Red Bull on track and could only pick up sixth. The battle between the top three has been fascinating all season long so far and doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon.

That proved to be the case in China as we saw more twists and turns in the F2 story, and with mj_coop taking a blistering pole position, he gave himself the best confidence boost heading into the race. It was F2 debutant and recent F3 call-up ColoMan who after taking two wins in F3 previously introduced himself to the grid by a front row start as Red Bull locked out the top end of the grid.

Nick would line up third alongside GP1 Alex who after his good run on Monday looked to have another strong result in F2. It wasn’t as good fortune for GooDStuff as the German only managed eighth in the Haas and with a lot of work to do during the race.

The race was a masterclass of close quarters driving as Nick made his way up into second ahead of Colo and challenged coop for the lead, the two enjoyed a supreme fight, and with a bad night for GooDStuff becoming even worse, he crashed out in the early stages.

GP1 Alex hadn’t given up the idea of a fight for the lead, but coop somehow managed to keep both behind until the penultimate lap where Nick was able to make a daring move into the hairpin, and with one lap left it was heartbreak for coop who wouldn’t force a way back past.

Nick crossed the line first and vanquished the bad luck which saw him pick up zero points from the previous two rounds. He moved up to within three points of second, whilst mj_coop reassumes the lead but with a much healthier ten point advantage of GooDStuff.

As mentioned previously , it’s a seismic battle for fourth currently as white-fountainn,Nismax, Humbstone and now GP1 Alex are split by less than four points with five rounds remaining.

It looks to be a three car fight for the F2 title this season, but we’ve seen the lead change so much, who knows where it will be by Monza at the close of the calendar!

 

F3

Similarly to F2, the F3 league is enjoying a fun battle at the top with Captain_Stiff and FerociousDan fighting for top spot in the title-race. The two have both tasted victory this season, and with six races left in the season, the two are evenly matched. It has been a somewhat successful season for both drivers as they finished last season joint on 49 points, so for both have almost surpassed that by round six is an achievement to applaud.

Qualifying was blitzed by the McLaren of FerociousDan, as he set a great lap on the ultra-soft tyre comfortably ahead of Briggsy who was unable to make the start after his good front row qualifying session. While behind, it was a super session for the likes of DanielFN (formely DboyDan) Osteven and Nitrogash as they all produced their best qualifying efforts to line up inside the top five.

Stiff managed to get himself inside the top ten on the medium compound with a time only fractionally off the faster soft compound runners as he showed that he would possibly be a threat late in the race.

It was a great start for Tejuarr as the Williams driver launched perfectly off the line, and scythed his way from sixth on the grid to second as he looked to challenge Dan, with the collision in Silverstone not long in the memory of either. His team-mate Stiff had also started really well and by the end of the first lap was already into sixth.

It had been a solid start for both osteven and Nitrogash, but with Stiff closing in on the pair, Nitrogash made an error at turn thirteen as he lost the rear end of the Red Bull and after hitting the grass started to spin back across the track directly into the path of the unfortunate DanielFN who took the full force of the accident ending both drivers races, somehow the two were missed by F1Richard who kept the pedal down as he just missed being caught up in the crash.

This brought out the safety car, and very early on brought amongst others, FerociousDan into the pit-lane to remove the ultra-soft tyres. This promoted SnoopMarky into the lead, whilst Stiff had made it into second on the medium tyres.

After the safety car period it was Stiff and Snoop who would fight over the lead, and on lap ten the Williams made the move into the hairpin and took to the lead for the first time, but with FerociousDan now locked into a two-stop strategy, the fight would inevitably come down to an on-track battle.

Stiff led the field away until his stop on lap 16, but as he reappeared behind SnoopMarky the fresher and faster soft compound allowed the Williams to cruise up to the Sauber and with Dan’s second stop made on lap 17 the two would fight over the effective lead.

It was a mirror manoeuvre behind as Tejuarr and Steelbl66 in the second Williams and Sauber cars were engaged in a fantastic battle in seventh and eighth with the both not giving any quarter in the fight.

Controversy mired the 18th lap as Stiff and Snoop fought over second on track, but with Stiff looking like he had the move made heading around turn seven, the two came into contact which spun the Williams into the gravel and down to fifth position. Snoop was able to recover and held onto the effective lead of the race but having a lost a couple of seconds to the likes of Dan and Mike behind.

This seemed to fire up Stiff who for the final ten laps was a man on a mission and in the next five laps passed both Notorious and Mike to move back up into second and firmly set his eyes on championship challenger Dan who had a three-second lead.

It was lap 25 when Stiff caught Dan, and after the two swapped positions twice over lap 24 and 25, Stiff was finally able make use of a mistake from Dan into turn one as he took the lead and pulled away from his McLaren rival.

After a second pit-stop had dropped him back to ninth, Snoop had done well to recover back to sixth, but with Tejuarr ahead the Williams driver made his car as wide as possible and halted Snoops charge, the battle for the midfield had really intensified, and with fifth to ninth all split by three seconds it was a close end to the race.

Stiff crossed the line almost four seconds ahead of Dan after a truly dominant display in China, after recovering from the spin he was able to close down and pass his championship rivals, and with xMIKExSI picking up another third placed finish the top three in F3 all stood on the podium.

Credit goes to Notorious who came home fourth in a much more positive result for the Irishman, whilst it was disappointment for osteven who looked so promising for a good result. The late pit-stop allowed the field to catch the Force India and even with fresh tyres he was unable to hold onto position as he eventually came home ninth.

Stiff adds to his lead in F3 and it now stands at seven points back to Dan, whilst Mike is fourteen off the leader, but with at least eight drivers in F3 all potential podium placers F3 is competitive as ever.

 

Join us in Albert Park, Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix this week. The eighth round of the league calendar is a circuit which punishes mistakes and is notoriously hard to over-take around. Who can produce a bonza lap around the street circuit and give themselves the advantage for the race?

Invictus Racing League – Round six in review – Leaving Britain with the best deal in the championship

 

The season hit its half way point in Silverstone this week as the iconic British circuit hosted an array of incredible races across the week. Often a fan-favourite, Silverstone offers up a quick and sweeping circuit where drivers will be on the edge of grip, whilst battling the unpredictable British weather conditions.

The track is a regular attraction on the Invictus calendar, and with the prospect of a one week break after round six, it would be certain that all drivers would be looking at finishing the first half of the season on a high.

 

No-assist

Coming into round six, it was Williams driver Samuthepito who was in red-hot form after taking the last three race wins, and in-turn a commanding lead in the drivers’ championship.

Silverstone is a much different circuit to the likes of Canada and Austria where Sam had been so dominant, with sweeping sections and heavy braking zones confined to the start and end of the lap, it would be all about following the driver ahead and punishing mistakes and it was a damp and drizzly start to qualifying for the field which only added to the difficulty when looking at keeping the car within the white lines on the exit of turns like Abbey or Copse.

Sam has been very impressive in the wet sessions so far this season; however it was his closest rival in the championship Scopefielder who set the fastest time of the session on the intermediate tyres. The Red Bull drove a super lap to be the only driver to dip under 97 seconds as his 1m36.996 was easily good enough to fight off the likes of Scott (BoyBetterKnowSB) into second, whilst Sam would share the second row alongside reigning champion Speed_Queen80.

Although lining up third, Sam had a rocket of a start off of the line as he took the lead into turn two, whilst Scott managed to jump the pole-sitter Scope. Scott would then make an audacious move around the outside of Sam into Maggotts as he somehow took the lead off the Spaniard in a jaw-dropping move.

The top three ran nose-to-tail over the opening four laps, but disaster for the Mercedes of Scott on lap five as the leading two collided into the loop at turn four and spun Scott around as the rest of the field streamed past, the contact also allowed Scopefielder through as he resumed first on track after losing it so quickly off the line.

Lap eleven saw the first retirement after Stifler1980 lost control of the McLaren on the exit of Copse and hit the wall, but luckily staying off track meaning only a localised yellow flag was brought out, whilst next lap saw a strange accident for NeverMiss00 who suffered a technical fault in the Sauber as he ran off-line at the Wellington straight and directly into the wall on the entry to Brooklands, in what looked a very nasty crash for the young driver.

This brought out the Virtual Safety Car which had worked perfectly for the pair of Sam and Speed_Queen who had stayed out longer than Scopefielder, and using the slowed pace were able to resume the top two positions with a comfortable lead over Scope. However the man on the move after the VSC was Scott, his early spin had dropped him down the order, but using excellent pace around Silverstone he had been able to claw back time on the rest of the field, and by lap twenty was already back into sixth.

At the head of the pack Samuthepito had kept Speed_Queen at a comfortable distance, and after she started to build up some pressure on the Williams, he seemingly just turned it up another gear and steadily pulled away from the Ferrari in the remaining laps.

The chequered flag was out as the cars completed lap 26 and Sam made it four-in-a-row for Williams and continued to build a huge gap in the driver’s standings.  Speed_Queen once again had a strong showing with another podium, and with the top two not yet finishing lower than fourth this season gave an idea to the consistency required to excel at this level.

Scott had done a superb job to climb back into a podium place by the end of the race after late overtakes on nikki9095, Scopefielder and GP1 Alex, however a penalty would relegate the Mercedes back off the podium. The surprise addition to the top three was that of GP1_Alex, the Sauber drove a fantastic race and although finished fifth on track, his calm driving ability saw him promoted to a second third place finish in three races.

Sam’s dominance once again sees him open up a 24 point lead over Speed_Queen in the overall standings, and taking a 26 point lead over Scopefielder in tier 2. Whilst almost single-handily taking control in constructors, as Williams lead Ferrari by three points.

It’s been a storming start for Sam, and with Speed_Queen, Scope and Scott all with a lot of ground to reclaim if they are to challenge him come the end of the season, perhaps the one week break comes at the wrong time for him?

 

Realistic Performance

Performance 1

In what was possibly one of the most exciting Performance League races in recent memory, the depleted field of ten drivers made up for it in what was a thrilling race at Silverstone.

It was an all Red Bull front row in qualifying as the team-mates of ColinJ and SirSpud both locked out the front row in a well needed result for the Sir Colin Racing Team. Whilst current points leader AaronJSpence lined up third with championship rival SkyZii in fourth.

It was a good start for Colin who got away well, but team-mate Spud lost the rear on the entry to turn two running wide and having to drop well down the order, subsequent contact with Mike into Brooklands would then add to his frustration as he pitted on lap one.

Colin had led the field away, but an excellent move from SkyZii saw the Sauber take the lead at Luffield, as Colin was then quickly passed by Aaron on lap two allowing Aaron and SkyZii to enter a race long battle for the win.

WaveIntel has seen a share of struggles in his attempt to win another Performance league championship, but with a move on Colin on lap seven, he was able to move into a podium position and begin what was a fascinating three car battle for the lead over the next ten laps. However contact between the three on lap 14 would see WaveIntel pick up minor damage and effectively halt his chances as he retired the next lap.

Ten laps were left in the race and Aaron and SkyZii continued to trade first and second almost every lap, and as they counted down a new threat started to emerge, as the Ferrari of Fascone who after starting on fresh tyres was showing mighty pace in the final third of the race, and by lap 20 was well onto the rear end of the leading two.

In the fight for fourth, we saw an unbelievable final six laps from the quintuple of Tom444, SirSpud, xMIKExSI, Captain_Stiff and Benjym214 and with the five all circulating within two seconds of each other, something was brewing that would impress everyone.

Ahead, Fascone caught the Haas of Aaron, and with his attention away from SkyZii briefly he went on the defensive in the vain attempt at holding the Ferrari behind, however lap 23 saw Fascone make his move into second as the Ferrari power was just too much for Aaron.

It all came down to the final lap! Two battles, one for the podium places and the other for fourth to eighth. Fascone was on the tail of SkyZii for the whole lap, but low of useable energy he did not have power to pass the Sauber allowing SkyZii to come home and finally pick up his first victory in the Performance league at the eighteenth attempt. Whilst Aaron had to settle for third as the top three were split by one second.

It didn’t stop there for action, as behind the fight for fourth saw an incredible four wide drag down the Wellington Straight with a brave Captain_Stiff making a move on the three into Brooklands, and whilst there was banging of wheels into Luffield all drivers escaped unscathed and pushed hard over the final two sectors, and on aging tyres SirSpud who had seen himself in fourth briefly lost time on the Hangar Straight and crossing the line had seen fourth become eighth.

Mike was the eventual owner of fourth, whilst Stiff and Benjym came from no-where to claim fifth and sixth, whilst seventh and eighth went to Tom and Spud who suffered with late penalties.

It was a breath-taking race in Performance 1 on Tuesday, and the drivers will hope to continue with the same pace in China in two weeks. What a race.

 

Performance 2

Megglugpy leads the way in Performance 2 as we reach the half way stage in the championship, and with a healthy 15 point advantage back to NickLJThomson in second, he will be looking at building on his early season success in a fortnight in Shanghai.

After his hat-trick of wins was halted by Nick in Montreal, the championship leader had looked to maintain a strong performance leaving Silverstone.

Mj_coop’s fortunes in the performance league this season are yet to match his F2 campaign as fifth is his current best finish this season, but with pole position at Silverstone, he would look to vanquish those woes and give a late kick-start to his season.

He had Sab alongside him on the front row, and with the likes of Nick and Megglugpy in fifth and seventh respectively, the main challenger in the early part of the race would come from Scopefielder in third.

However it turned out to be a disappointing race for Sab, after starting well and running high up the order he lost the car on the exit of Copse and at such speeds had little to no chance at stopping the car, as the Red Bull hit the wall and ended his race prematurely.

Whilst the pack were filtering into the correct positioning in the early stages, Tejuarr had made steady progress into the top five until contact with mj_coop effectively ended both driver’s races, and ended a torrid start to the season for coop in a championship that he would have looked at challenging for in the pre-season.

Scopefielder made his way to the front, and there he stayed for the duration of the race. The Swedish driver was looking for better fortunes on Tuesday than his Monday night race, and as he crossed the line to the chequered flag he could finally breathe a sigh of relief, as not only did he pick up the victory in Britain, but his 15 points now puts him one point behind Nick and sixteen behind Megg for the overall driver’s championship.

Nick was able to make it two podiums in succession with a second place finish, whilst Jos_Heinssie made it a fourth third place in sixth races, and sits on forty points after non-scoring in Bahrain and Japan.

Megglugpy was well off the pace in the Williams tonight, and finished 45 seconds off the leaders in fifth, and with his team-mate coop’s retirement, they give up the lead in the constructors back to Scopefielder and Jos who take a six point advantage into the break.

It’s been a solid start to the season for Megglugpy, he’ll be hoping for more of the same from round seven; however Nick, Scope and Jos will all be looking at a charge late in the calendar.

 

Equal Performance

F1

Swedish supremo Scopefielder made it a fourth win from the six races so far this season, and with championship rival Samuthepito absent from the race, the Renault driver looked in great shape to extend his championship lead in F1.

It has been Nikki9095 who has benefitted from Sam missing the race, as a number of excellent drives this season has seen him overhaul the Spaniard in the championship standings. He now makes it a third podium in a row, and after coming home second in Silverstone moves into second, but with an 18 point deficit to Scopefielder, he and the rest of the pack have a huge task to catch the current favourite for the title.

Scope enjoyed a perfect evening in Silverstone, as he went from flag to flag in first position after a superb pole lap gave him the best possible run down to Abbey at turn one. He started alongside Megglugpy, who was looking at a good result after a strong qualifying session, and at the end of the 26 laps, although dropping behind Nikki on track was able to make it a second podium finish of the season.

After dominating around Silverstone, Scope will look at stretching his lead in the second half of the season and putting the F1 title out of reach for everyone else as early as possible. Renault own a 29 point advantage in the constructors battle, as Scope and Jos have built a comprehensive lead over the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.

It’s a game of catch-up in F1 for the next six races, can anyone make up the gap to Scopefielder, or will it be a debut Equal Performance championship for Scopefielder?

 

F2

Coming into the sixth round of the season, Formula Two has been engaged in a superb battle at the top of the table, but with mj_coop, NickLJThomson and GooDStuff all vying over top spot, the eyes will firmly be on a close battle in the second half of the season.

Qualifying went well for the Ferrari of Nick, and with the chequered flag out at the end of the 18 minute session he sat in second place behind the McLaren of Humbostone, but as the final car to cross the line he set a blistering lap to claim pole and place him in the perfect position on the grid.

GooDStuff managed to jump up onto the second row alongside debutant Partridge99, whilst mj_coop couldn’t improve and slipped to sixth behind white-fountainn.

It was a great launch for Nick from P1, but chaos immediately ensued from P2 as Humbostone lit the rear tyres up and slid across the track, after clipping the rear of GooDStuff the German was lucky to escape, however the McLaren then hurtled back across the track directly into the path of GP1 Alex and Steen, with Steen suffering most and retiring before even getting to turn one.

Double disaster for McLaren saw NeverMiss00 spin at Abbey as both McLarens dropped to the tail of the pack early in the race.

An early safety car shook the field up, and with the leader Nick the only one to pit, he would go onto the durable but much slower super-hard compound, and with drivers ahead like ColinJ and Partridge equally going for the blue walled tyre, it would be a real test for the Ferrari to climb back up the order.

There was controversy on lap eight as both Nick and GP1 Alex were given the black flag by the stewards for not serving a drive-through penalty. The misdemeanour would prove to be huge come the end of the race and as Nick pulled into the garage he knew that his championship chances took a huge hit.

As the pit window opened, it was GooDStuff who had been leading, but with the likes of Partridge and ColinJ on the tyres to the end, GooDStuff would need to clear the leading pair if he was to reclaim the lead in the race.

Mj_coop had been in a relatively quiet race, and as the laps started counting down the 20 mark, he started closing in on the Renault of white-fountainn for fourth place, the Red Bull driver knew that with GooDStuff at least picking up a podium, he would need as many points as possible to keep in touch with the Haas car.

A change for P2 on lap 22 saw GooDStuff move past Colin, who was starting to really struggle on the very worn super-hard tyres, and with three laps remaining it looked though Partridge would be picking up a debut victory in the Force India.

A final lap push from GooDStuff proved to be decisive, and with Partridge across the line with nine seconds of penalties, the Haas in second place came across the line and snatched the victory by one tenth of a second!

A late battle, saw ColinJ slip behind white-fountainn, whilst coop really strggled with time penalties and dropped from fourth at the line to sixth, and in the process saw the lead at the top of F2 disappear with GooDStuff now back in charge.

It was a fantastic race for Colin to come home fourth from a 15th place start, but he will be disappointed to have lost the podium place so close to the end.

A fantastic penalty free run from GooDStuff launches him back into the lead in F2 leaving Great Britain, and with coop and Nick both dropping a huge amount of points, he takes a 7 point lead going into the break.

Coop sits on 49, whilst Nick’s DSQ drops him well within reach of Nismax and white-fountainn. Whilst in the constructors, Haas are comfortably ahead on 81 points, with Red Bull, Ferrari and Renault fighting out over second currently.

 

F3

After a game glitch ruined the first attempt of F3, the field took another go at running the race during the one week break, and with a slightly smaller field of drivers in Silverstone for the second attempt, it would give the 12 involved a great chance at picking up some valuable championship points.

FerociousDan led the way in the title by 4 points to Captain_Stiff, but xMIKExSI, F1Richard and Tejuarr were all well aware that a good result could elevate them well into a championship fight for the second half of the season.

Last race we saw the debut of Coloman, and the Renault took the victory in Canada at a canter, and after strong pace in the first attempt would certainly be the man to beat in F3.

It seemed to be a case of de ja vu for F3 as Coloman absolutely dominated the field, and took pole position by a staggering margin to FerociousDan, and with the fast starting SnoopMarky and F1Richard in third and fourth, Colo would have to ensure he had the perfect getaway on lap one.

A good start for Colo saw him maintain the lead, whilst behind, contact from Dboydan and then from Steelbl66 put championship challenger Stiff into a spin at tun one, and as the pack all streamed by the Williams dropped to the rear of the field and with a lot of work to do if he was to claim points.

Tejuarr had made a great start in the sister Williams, and on lap three was all over the rear end of Snoop’s Sauber, but with the two catching the McLaren of F1Richard ahead, the three car battle for third would see Snoop take the place from Richard entering Stowe on lap four.

Snoop then immediately went on the hunt for FerociousDan for second, and with the two fighting over second it brought Richard, Tejuarr and the impressive Steelbl into play. The cars entered lap five and was Snoop went for the move on Dan, the second McLaren of Richard was unsighted in the breaking point and the two collided with Richard losing front aero from the McLaren front wing.

However the controversial moment in the race happened one sector later, and with McLaren and Williams locked in a battle for the constructor’s championship. FerociousDan and Tejuarr came into contact, with both spearing off into the gravel on both sides of Maggotts! The two would ultimately retire, but the chaos continued in the Woking team’s garage, and with Richard struggling with a damaged wing, he hit the sidepod of Bren_Ons Red Bull and this time not only losing more front wing, spun on the loop section and when recovering to the track, the Toro Rosso of Dboydan lost control avoiding the McLaren and hit the wall ending his race. It was a crazy start, but with everything going on behind, the leader Coloman had built a solid four-second lead.

The incident strewn race had worked into the favour of Captain_Stiff, and after his lap one spin, the Williams was back into the points and nose to tail with the improving xMIKExSI as the two exited the pits, the chance for fourth was the goal.

At the front of the field Coloman had built an eight second lead to SnoopMarky, and turned the car down to coast home for his second consecutive victory in F3, he was followed home by the two Saubers as Snoop and Steelbl celebrated  a superb double podium, and best ever result for the third placed Steelbl66.

Mike overhauled Bren in the closing laps, but a spin on the last lap also dropped Bren behind Captain_Stiff and the Williams took a very unlikely fifth placed finish.

Even with a smaller grid, the action on track was frenetic, and with a disasterous race for McLaren, not only does Dan lose his lead in the drivers’ standings to Stiff once again, but Williams have tied it up in the constructors after six rounds.

Coloman was rewarded after his dominance with a call up to F2, whilst the news in the paddock was that ColinJ of F2 would replace him at Renault for the final six rounds.

It was another great rounds racing at Invictus Racing League, and with six rounds completed and 50% distance in the championship marked off, the tables are slowly starting to take shape, who can make a late season charge and look to get their name on the winner’s trophy at the end of the season.

 

Join us in Shanghai for round seven, as we tackle the Chinese Grand Prix. The track allows varying set-ups, unpredictable weather conditions and promotes close racing and over-taking!

Invictus Racing League – Round five in review – Mixed conditions in Canada

 

 

Montreal in Quebec, Canada has seen numerous action filled races on the Invictus calendar in recent seasons. The circuit is home to the infamous “Wall of Champions” on the exit of turn 13, and is an ever present reminder of how unforgiving the final chicane can be.

The six leagues have all so far this season provided some thrilling action, and with five of twelve rounds completed the championships are now starting to take shape.

 

No-assist

Williams driver Samuthepito had taken race victory in the last two outings in the no-assist league, and after a superb start to the season for the Spaniard he led the way in the title race ahead of Scopefielder, but with the likes of BoyBetterKnow and Speed_Queen80 still in with a chance of the title, the race would be highly competitive and really put the field to the test.

Although the drivers’ enjoyed a dry qualifying session, the prospect of a fully wet race was well on the minds of the fifteen cars that took to the track on Monday evening. The majority of the field all elected to use the Hypersoft tyres, and it was the McLaren of Phil_mcfc who continued his impressive one lap pace in qualifying as he blew the field away and set a time in the 1m7’s comfortably ahead of championship leader Sam who dragged his Williams into second.

However, it was a poor session for BoyBetterKnow who could only place his Mercedes in thirteenth, whilst team-mate Joel V520 even lower in fifteenth. The Renault team were delighted as their driver’s would start fourth and fifth behind Speed_Queen, but wary that the pair would have championship challenger Scopefielder for company early in the race.

As expected it was a treacherous and difficult track for the race, highlighted by pole-sitter phil hitting the wall on the formation lap, and with standing water across the track, it would make the early stages very spray heavy and difficult to pass  with the danger of aquaplaning a real threat.

Sam took the lead off the line and from there looked in a class above as he stretched a four-second gap in first five laps, whilst behind Phil, Scopefielder and Speed_Queen all tried to keep up with the Spanish driver.

The battle for fifth had been close in the early laps, and after team-mate Nismax had struggled in the opening lap and dropped down the order, the second Renault of Gavpig struggled to keep hold of the top five place, and on exit of turn thirteen hit the “Wall of Champions” and with GP1_Alex and Humbostone in close quarters behind, all three were caught in the accident and retired, not only strewing car parts and carbon fibre across the track, but in turn bringing out the Safety Car.

Even under the neutralised race there was controversy, as race leader Sam hit the “Wall of Champions” and lost a significant portion of his front wing, whilst BoyBetterKnow came into contact with team-mate Joel and picked up a big penalty.

Staying out on a broken wing Sam masterfully kept the field behind until his stop, but even with the added time to repair the wing, it never deterred the current leader as he fought his way back through the pack, and moving into second place he knew that then leader Nikki9095 would be receiving a post-race penalty for track extension, therefore with Nikki crossing the line first after a very good race for the Ferrari driver, he was inevitably jumped by Sam, who apart from his own incident under the safety car drove a flawless race.

Nikki held onto second and a much-needed podium after a long time away from the rostrum, whilst SJD recovered after a similar wing change to Sam after contact with Speed_Queen, and after his victory in the wet in France last season proved that he seems to enjoy the rainy conditions.

Sam now takes a 17 point lead to Silverstone ahead of Scope who only placed in ninth after a disastrous mistake from the Red Bull pit-crew held him in the pit-lane for almost 90 seconds. His second place is now under threat from Speed_Queen who’s fourth place finish moved her within four points of Scope.

 

Performance 1

Captain_Stiff had assumed the Performance One lead after victory in Austria, but it’s his team-mate AaronJSpence who’s the one looking more likely for a title run this season, and as both came to Montreal in the Renault and Force India cars respectively, the two would be looking to pick up solid points for both drivers and constructors championships.

It was a pleasant day in Montreal for qualifying, and it was the Alfa Romeo Sauber’s of LoZac97 and Benjym214 who would end up battling over pole position, and after early season bad luck for LoZac, he finally managed to grab pole position after a stunning lap on the ultrasoft tyres ahead of rivals on the faster hypersofts.

It was a good session for WaveIntel who has seen his season not yet left first gear and sits way off the pace on the standings, but after a third place in qualifying would give himself a good shot for a good result. Whilst the current champion SkyZii who is still awaiting that elusive first win in the Performance league managed fifth in the Williams.

The race started well for LoZac as he built an early lead over Ben in second, whilst SkyZii was managing remarkable pace in the Williams and by lap seven was running well in third.

The man on the mission in the early part of the race was current championship leader Captain_Stiff, the Renault had started in eleventh, but after passing WaveIntel on lap seven had already moved up to sixth place, and as the race went on, team-tactics at Racing AaronStiff would see the two team-mates trading positions in the attempt at using slip-stream to make up ground on the top five.

As the race progressed, it looked increasingly likely that LoZac would win at a canter, but an accumulation of penalties was making the final laps increasingly intriguing, and with Benjym closing the gap it would be tight finish between the two Sauber’s.

LoZac was able to hold on, and even with 12 seconds of penalties managed to pick up his first Invictus Racing League win in a fantastic result for the Swiss driver.

Behind, the battle for the podium had gone down to the wire, and the Toro Rosso of WaveIntel and Force India of AaronJSpence traded positions across the final two laps. The Toro Rosso eventually crossed the line ahead of Aaron, but penalties would demote WaveIntel off of the podium and into fifth place. This gave Aaron another podium and the championship lead once again leaving Canada.

Racing AaronStiff build a 17 point lead in the championship, and as we almost reach half distance in the season give themselves the best possible chance at a first constructor’s championship.

 

 

Performance 2

Championship leader Megglugpy had taken the last three race victories and a dominant lead in Performance 2, and with the likes of NickLJThomson and Scopefielder unable to keep up, the Englishman is already looking well on track to win his first performance championship after missing out last season by four points.

However, it was Nick who would take pole in the Renault, but an ominously fast lap from Megg saw him join Nick on the front row on the slower ultra-soft compound tyre.

Nick started well and led the likes of Megg and third placed man Luke Bailey in the Ferrari, but it was Jos in the Sauber who was starting to make in-roads on the top three, and by lap eight Jos was able to overhaul Luke into the final corner.

Having started on the Hypersofts, Nick was the first of the front-runners to pit, but a strong first stint saw him appear in fifth and able to use the fresh rubber to lay down some blistering out laps, this would help propel him back above Megg after the Sauber’s pit-stop, and with Jos the last to pit on lap 22 Nick was able to re-take the lead and it’s there he stayed for the next 12 laps.

Lap 34 of 35, and Megg had caught the Renault ahead and superbly used the second DRS zone to zip around the outside of Nick into turn eight. It started to look like ‘de ja vu’ and that Megg would make it a fourth win in five races, but Nick was un-relenting and kept on the rear end of the championship leader.

It paid off perfectly for Nick, who found out that Megg was due to be given a penalty and only needed to stay within six seconds of his on-track rival. He did as such and finally broke the winning streak of Megglugpy who could only manage second.

It was a good race for Jos as he made up several positions to pick up his third 3rd place of the season, whilst Luke Bailey’s fourth meant he joins Jos on 30 points for the season.

Megg now owns a 21 point lead over Nick and with seven races left it will be a hard task for the others to catch him.

 

Equal Performance

F1

It’s three wins in five for Scopefielder as he picked up victory in Canada on Wednesday in mixed conditions. After missing the last round his lead in the title race had been cut by no-assist rival Samuthepito, but with the two looking over their shoulders at the likes of Nikki9095 and mdoran09 who are still not out of the fight.

Scope was looking for a much more positive result after Monday’s disappointment, and that only spurred him onto taking a great win in Canada.

However Sam is only four points behind in the championship, and his second place on Wednesday keeps up the pressure on the Swedish driver and maintains intrigue heading into the sixth round of the championship.

After Nikki9095 picked up the win in Austria, he added another podium and a glimpse at challenging for the F1 championship. Whilst mdoran09 had a gutting retirement, which will really harm his chances at catching the likes of Scope and Sam.

 

 

F2

GooDStuff had maintained his excellent form in qualifying as he claimed another pole position; he was joined on the front row by Tony-Y who was delighted after a difficult start to the season saw him on four points from four races.

White-fountain already has a race win to his name this season, and his lap on the harder ultra-soft tyres was superbly rewarded with a fourth place start.

Rookie driver Victor had made a lightning start from seventh, and by lap seven was starting to put GooDStuff under intense pressure for the lead, he made the move stick into turn twelve and looked in great shape to take a debut podium in F2.

However, the shock of the round was the stunning start of mj_coop, who after starting sixteenth found himself passing the pole-sitter for second on lap eight. He would seemingly be a man on fire as he then passed Victor for the race lead of lap eleven as the Red Bull flew around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The race had started in the worst possible way for championship challenger NickLJThomson, who after picking up wing damage on lap two found himself tumbling down the order as he came in for a stop on lap three that effectively rule him out of a podium chance.

The field saw a number of different strategies in play on Wednesday, and by the time lap 22 of 35 was crossed off, it was mj_coop who was looking likely to re-take the lead from Victor, who himself had stopped eight laps prior, and into the final corner on lap 23 coop made his move for the effective race lead with twelve laps remaining.

Nismax7 had made quiet and steady progress in the Sauber from P16 on track, and with ten laps in the race remaining had made his way superbly into second place, and with the laps counting down started to become a real threat to coop for the win, with the two streaking ahead of the rest of the pack.

GooDStuff had endured a torrid evening, and that was compounded on lap 27 after an incident saw himself and GP1 Alex both retire well down the order, serving a huge dent to both driver’s championship ambitions.

As the race came to its conclusion coop had managed to stave off the attack from Nismax, but knowing that he would be due a penalty it would be a nervy and tentative end of the race, and whilst coop would cross the line ahead of Nismax, the South African driver managed to overhaul coop on post-race penalties and took what was a truly spectacular win.

Tony-Y was able to shrug off what has been an awful start to the season and picked up a very credible third place in the Ferrari. Whilst a late retirement for Nick meant his run of good results in F2 stopped abruptly in Montreal.

The F2 championship was blown wide open this week with the dramatic retirements of GooDStuff and NickLJThomson. The two had traded the lead in F2 over the opening races, but its mj_coop who now sits on 44 points at the top – three ahead of GooDStuff and five ahead of Nick.

 

F3

FerociousDan and Captain_Stiff had started the season on fire, and after the opening four rounds the two were split by five points and fifteen ahead of their nearest rivals, while going into Canada, their respective constructors were only split by two points with McLaren currently edging out their British rivals Williams in second.

It was a dark and miserable qualifying session, and with the heavy rain unrelenting for the entirety of the 18 minutes, it would be up to the drivers to get the best time out of the soaking wet track surface on the extreme wet compound.

It turned out to be a shootout between four drivers as the_willo, debutant Coloman, Booje89 and Captain_Stiff all set purple times in the tricky session. However it was the_willo who prevailed and placed himself on the front row, whilst Coloman impressed in second.

It was a good start for the front four, as all got away well and joined by SnoopMarky in fifth made an early breakaway in much sunnier conditions. The two McLarens in F1Richard and FerociousDan had both struggled during qualifying, and wing damage from Richard early into the race only exacerbated the pace issue as he struggled in the high-speed corners, as his team-mate had his own issues after starting in 12th place.

Contact between Booje and Stiff saw the latter receive wing damage and require a longer first stop, and coming out into traffic would effectively end his podium challenge, but it was willo and Coloman who would battle for the race lead over the first stint.

As the race progressed, Colo was able to move past willo for the lead of the race on lap 23, and with SnoopMarky at the time in a clear third it seemed they would romp away to this week’s podium finishes.

There was drama late into the race, and with Captain_Stiff making his second stop, he re-appeared on track directly into the battle between his team-mate Tejuarr, the Red Bull of Bren_Ons and F1Richard in McLaren as the three fought over sixth, the four cars banged wheels over lap 27 and 28 all jostling for position, but after slight contact between Tejuarr, Stiff and Bren into the hairpin on lap 29 it was the hypersoft tyres of Captain_Stiff who eventually emerged ahead.

xMIKEXSI has been making steady progress this season after a slow start, and after picking up good points last week in Austria, he found himself running a very strong one-stop strategy and by lap 32 was running in fourth, within striking distance of willo after the Haas made his second stop.

Coloman spent the final laps on his own, and subsequently came home to win his first ever race in Invictus in convincing style, he blew the field away with his pace and in the process left a number of championship contenders in his wake.

SnoopMarky drove a superb race in second, whilst penalties denied the_willo a podium as he was demoted to fourth, which in turn promoted a thrilled Mike into third and elevated him well into the championship conversation.

Captain_Stiff was able to overhaul Booje into fifth, and with championship leader Dan struggling into ninth place, the battle at the top closes to two points! Mike jumps into third ahead of Tejuarr, but with seven rounds left in F3 this one are far from over in what has been a fascinating season so far.

 

Next week we go to the “Home of British Motorsport” as Silverstone hosts round six of the championship, and the 50% distance in the Invictus calendar. The league will take a one week break where drivers’ can relax and prepare for the final run-in, and if the season continues as thus far, we are in store for another spectacular six weeks of racing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invictus Racing League – Round four in review – Gone in almost 60 seconds

 

 

 

Round four of this season’s Invictus Racing League came to the beautiful hills of Austria, as the six leagues all looked at climbing to the top of their respective mountains and come away from our brief stop-over in Europe with maximum points.

The track has only eight real corners, and plenty of options when it comes to strategy, it allows the racing to be furious and unpredictable. It signals the 25% distance in all championship’s, but with plenty of racing left to go this season, who would come out on top before we make our way to Canada for round five.

 

No-assist

Last week’s race winner Samuthepito had taken the lead in the championship, but with Scopefielder only a point behind the title looks wide open in the early stages. BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) gave up his lead after a technical failure in Japan caused a dramatic crash at 130R, but he and the likes of Speed_Queen80 still have strong title ambitions moving forward.

Qualifying was contested in full wet conditions, and with drivers struggling to adapt to the extreme wet tyres it was championship leader Sam who would annihilate the field with a time over eight tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival as GP1_Alex set a superb late lap to start alongside Sam on the front row.

The race session was due to be dry, so the field knew that they would be starting on fresh dry tyres that would give them all choice as to what strategy to utilise come race-time.

The top four made a breakaway in the early portion of the race with Sam, Alex, Scope and Speed_Queen all building a gap over the rest of the field, but by half-distance Scopefielder had leapt Alex into second and looked to chase down the Spanish driver.

Scott had struggled with pace in the first stint, but using a good undercut he managed to catch and would engage in a fantastic battle with Speed_Queen over fourth and fifth for the remaining fifteen laps. Whilst further down the grid Nikki9095 and Gavpig both fought over seventh and eighth in a fun battle between the two.

Late into the race and with six laps remaining Scope made a move for the lead, the Swede would look at keeping his rival at arm’s length, but a mistake from Scope on lap 32 let the Williams back through and a clear run to the line. Sam would eventually meet the chequered flag and collect a second win on the spin, and in the process extending his lead in the championship to four points.

Scopefielder came home second and made it four podiums in four, whilst it was a superb race for GP1_Alex who picked up a debut no-assist podium in third as the Sauber team celebrated on the pit-wall.

Scott and Sam both sit on two wins this season, who will be the first to three or will we see Scopefielder make his run of podiums become an elusive first win of the season?

 

 

 

 

Realistic Performance

Performance 1

BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) had taken the lead of the Performance 1 title race after victory in Suzuka; he was being kept honest by AaronJSpence who sat just behind him in second place.

The Ferrari of SirSpud72 dominated qualifying, and took pole position ahead of ColinJ in the Red Bull, whilst a strong lap from Captain_Stiff in the Mercedes would set him up on row two on the supersoft tyres.

It was a disastrous start for championship leader Scott who starting well down the order, went deep into turn one and collided with Benjym214 and retired a few moments later. Whilst at the front, Spud had a poor getaway off the line, and by the end of the first sector had disappointingly dropped to sixth place. However, it was SkyZii who had a rocket of a start and muscled his way through into the lead by the end of the first lap. The Frenchman had the perfect launch off the line in the Sauber, and whilst others jostled for position he swiftly made his way through and led the field around the first laps.

Aaron and Craig8728 were both enjoying a close fight in the Haas cars as the two fought over fifth and sixth places after the pit-stops, whilst the likes of SJD and Mike went wheel-to-wheel for the final few points paying positions.

SkyZii had used the undercut to re-take the lead from Stiff, but the Mercedes proved too powerful for the French driver to keep behind and the two swapped positions again, SirSpud had been slowly making his way back through the pack after his slow start, and after dispatching SkyZii for second it supplied us with a fantastic battle with Stiff for the win in the final eight laps.

The two traded the lead numerous times in the final laps, but after a second three-second penalty was applied to Spud, he dropped off and it allowed Stiff to come home and pick up his second win of the season.

Spud maintained second, whilst ColinJ used an effective two stop strategy to finish on the podium, in the battle of the Haas’ it was Craig who crossed the line ahead of Aaron, but a pre-existing penalty from Japan for Craig would frustratingly drop him well down the order in his attempt to claw back some points in the title race.

Stiff returns to the top of the table with 30 points, with the top seven split by nine points.

In the constructor’s title race, Racing AaronStiff takes the lead in the standings after a disappointing outing for Know Nothing Racing for Craig and Scott who fall eleven points back.

 

Performance 2

Megglugpy had taken the last two wins in Spain and Japan and looking for the hat-trick in Austria, he would have to get it done in the considerably lower powered Sauber.

The qualifying session started in controversy as Wesleyvanrens stopped at the end of the pit-lane after a mix up in the garage and was subsequently disqualified from the session.

Out on track, high on confidence the session was ruled by Megglugpy, the Sauber driver put himself on pole, he was joined by the impressive Nitrogash in the Mercedes who was happy after his good performance in Japan last week to keep a strong pace.

Wesleyvanrens was due to start at the rear of the field due to his disqualification in the previous session, but this meant he would start on fresh tyres in a field of driver’s on used tyres, and using this advantage the Dutch driver quickly moved forward through the field in the early part of the race.

The Force India found his way to the front, and using good pace in the aerodynamically strong machine led the field around after jumping the leader Megglugpy, who looked to have settled for second.

It was a disaster for NickLJThomson, who had to make a second stop late in the race that dropped him way down the order and well out of contention for a good result, in what looked like a real blow to his attempts to keep pace with Megg.

Wesley would cross the line to the chequered flag, but penalties demoted him to second with Megglugpy able to overhaul the Force India and subsequently take home the coveted hat-trick of victories.

He takes a 13 point lead in the championship after Scopefielder was unable to make the grid, Wesley’s second puts him fourth in the title race, whilst Jos_Heinssie was happy to take the sister Sauber to a second podium of the season, but with Jos already 28 points behind Megg in the title race, the Dutchman has a lot of work to do to reel him in.

 

 

Equal Performance

F1

Wednesday night in F1 was the VSR_Odemz show, as the Irishman totally dominated both sessions by an alarming rate. The Haas driver set pole on the middle compound supersoft tyres almost half a second ahead of the nearest rival Jos_Heinssie in the Renault on the ultrasoft tyres.

This translated to race pace for Odemz, who after a good start ran away from the field and even on the two stop strategy was unable to be caught and in the process set the fastest lap of the race over one and half seconds faster than anyone else.

Controversy mired the mid-point of the race as Tombombtank, who had already been involved in a tense battle with Foxyred that had caught out an innocent WaveIntel, spun on the exit on turn one, and as he recovered Megglugpy was exiting turn one, and with Tom focused on turning around, drove into the Toro Rosso of Megg ending both driver’s races with terminal damage in a very messy showing for Tom in the Sauber.

Obviously spurred on after his mistake in Japan last week, Odemz strolled to the race victory in Austria by well over fifteen seconds, whilst behind the action was somewhat closer and with several drivers all in close quarters, it was a much feistier battle for the points. Nikki9095 continued his recovery run after not scoring in the opening two rounds, as the Red Bull driver made it into second ahead of Jos_Heinssie in third.

Point’s leader Scopefielder was absent for the race, and with the rest of the field able to make up ground, he now only owns a one point leader to Samuthepito, whilst it’s 15 points for Odemz as he looks to recover lost ground after a rocky start to the championship.

Scope will look to get back winning ways next week in Canada, but if Odemz is in the form that we saw on Wednesday then we may have some serious fireworks in store for round five.

 

F2

After losing the lead in the championship to NickLJThomson last week, GooDStuff was desperate to have a good night in Austria. The Haas driver celebrated with team-mate GP1_Alex as they locked out the front row in a supreme showing for the American outfit.

Current leader Nick was only able to make it into fifth in the Ferrari, and sat six tenths off of his German rival GooDStuff as both knew that a good start would be crucial. It was contrasting starts for both Haas cars as GooDStuff launched perfectly off the line and left a big gap between himself and Alex in second, which was filled by the Red Bull of mj_coop, whilst RudiMandragorex somehow got his Sauber back on track after taking the inside line from fourth as he soared across the pack into turn one and somehow missed collecting the pole-sitter, as Rudi used the run off to cheekily recover to second ahead of coop.

Alex had a poor start from second and dropped to fifth and was subsequently under pressure from Nick, but with the retirement of Rudi moments later who seemed to cause his own incident promoted the field up one position.

From there GooDStuff protected his lead in the race, and slowly started pulling away from the field, and with mj_coop and Alex having to navigate a lot of traffic on different strategies, it only further allowed the leader to stretch his lead, and by the time the pit-stops had all taken effect he owned a lead of almost nine seconds and a clear track ahead.

Ferrari team-mates of Nick and Tony-Y had been given the all clear to fight and the two swapped positions for fifth and sixth on lap 28 of 36 as Nick recovered back to his starting position and what could be vital extra point come round twelve.

GooDStuff kept his lead over the final five laps and completed a dominant flag to flag victory, whilst mj_coop will be disappointed to drop behind Alex on penalties at the end of the race, as Alex made it a Haas one-two in Austria and the maximum 27 points for the constructors, who now take a commanding 18 point lead.

Winner GooDStuff returns to the top of the standings with a two point advantage heading to Canada, but with three podiums in four races mj_coop is not one to sleep on, the battle is only starting to heat up in F2.

 

F3

FerociousDan had won last week in Suzuka, and in the process significantly closed the gap to surprise early leader Captain_Stiff, and with a track with a lap time fractionally over 65 seconds, it would be a fast and furious paced qualifying session.

That was only intensified with the threat of rain at the end of the session, and with cars flooding on track early, it was Dan who would set the fastest lap on the ultrasoft tyres, but with Booje and willo less than seven hundredths slower in second and third, the race was poised to be ultra-competitive.

Stiff had seen success on Tuesday night, and equally high confidence in Austria, put his car on row three on the supersoft tyres. As the session concluded in wet conditions the top six were split by a quarter of a second meaning the start would be huge for those using the purple walled ultrasoft tyres in what was looking to be a very competitive field.

A perfect start from Dan maintained his lead, but with Steelbl running into the side-pod of Booje into turn two, the Renault lost ground to McLaren allowing willo through. Steel struggling with a lack of downforce went wide at turn three, and with team-mate SnoopMarky then spinning from fourth, both Saubers went from a top five start to last in a blow to their constructors hopes.

Dan and willo looked on course to use the two stop strategy, whilst Booje and Stiff stuck to the one stop, and this provided real excitement with the two stoppers having to cut their way back through the field twice, and as the second stop for Dan and Willo brought them out fractionally behind the two Williams, the action would real start to intensify.

Dispatching Tejuarr on lap 25 both cars then set upon catching then second place Stiff, who finally relented to Dan on lap 29. However, willo would not fair as easily against his Williams counterpart who on older, harder tyres impressed by re-passing the Haas several times un-willing to give up the podium.

Willo finally prevailed on lap 31, but the battle had brought the flying Ferrari of xMIKExSI into the fray, as he desperately tried to find a way past the Williams in the closing laps.

Up at the front, Booje had driven a strong and commanding race after recovering well from his turn two incident, and with one lap remaining led by five seconds, but two early penalties proved to be his downfall as he was overhauled by Dan who took a second consecutive race win and the effective championship lead.

Stiff was able to fractionally keep Mike at bay as he picked up a third podium in four races due to multiple penalties demoting willo to seventh, and with team-mate Tejuarr in fifth, the Williams team keep up with McLaren in the constructors with the two split by two points, forty ahead of the rest of the pack.

Dan now owns a three point lead over Stiff heading to Canada, but Booje will bemoan his poor luck in rounds two and three as he sits on 27 points and sixteen off Dan. Can Dan extend his lead in Montreal or will we see the likes of Tejuarr, Willo or F1Richard try to make up lost ground to the leaders?

 

Next week we head to North America and the Canadian Grand Prix, with the infamous “Wall of Champions” an obstacle that has caught out many in it’s time, who can attack the track and leave Montreal with all 15 points. The conditions are always variable, so prepare for every eventuality! It could be our most exciting race yet!

Check out @InvictusRL for all stream links and details on next week’s racing

Invictus Racing League – Round three in review – Iconic corners and eye catching battles

 

 

 

The ‘Land of the rising sun’ played host to round three of the Invictus Racing League this week, as Suzuka in Japan was the next stop on the 12 round calendar.

Bahrain and Spain had already produced so scintillating action, and with the prospect of the fast figure eight circuit highlighted by the iconic 130r, which sees the cars take the fast left hand turn at well over 190mph.

Japan has a tricky first sector, and only with one corner taken at less than 62mph, it is a fast and circuit that requires the upmost concentration for the whole duration of the 27 lap distance.

 

 

No Assist

BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) had taken the first two wins of the season and led the driver’s standings by eight points to Scopefielder with the Swede having taken consecutive podiums behind the Englishman.

Qualifying saw a battle between team-mates as Delange93 and Scopefielder traded fastest lap times in the Red Bull. It was the Swede who would win out, but the two lock out the front row for Red Bull. Whilst behind the returning Philip_mcfc set a sparkling lap on the harder soft compound to qualify third ahead of Canadian Force India driver RickWR88.

The race started without a hitch for the majority of the field, and with Scopefielder building a two second lead over the first lap it seemed ominous for the rest of the grid to catch him.

The second lap saw a disaster for Delange as contact from Rick put the Red Bull into the wall and out of the race, Rick’s Force India then spun into Dunlop curve at collected the Renault of Nismax7. That seemed to unsight the second of the Renaults, as Gavpig and Stifler1980 came into contact and narrowly missed the stricken Force India.

Scopefielder stretched a lead out over the field, but without the rear gunner of Delange, it had allowed Phil, Scott and Speed_Queen to fight over the podium positions. They continued their battle throughout the pit-window, but much to their surprise the Williams of Samuthepito came up from 11th place and used the reverse strategy to move into second and well in striking distance of Scopefielder.

Moving onto the soft tyres Sam had optimal pace versus the mediums of Scopefielder as he quickly reeled in and passed the leader. He would then control the race from the front and gap a lead in excess of ten seconds over Scope who seemed to settle for second.

Scott had been fighting with Phil and Speed_Queen over what was now third to fifth, however a late mechanical failure saw the Mercedes hit the wall on the exit of 130r and retire in a damning blow to his early championship aspirations.

Sam would come across the line and take a dominant first victory within Invictus Racing League; he did superbly well to move up from eleventh, whilst Scopefielder and Speed_Queen made up the final places on the podium, with Speed_Queen using a late penalty for Phil to jump the impressive McLaren onto the podium.

In a race that saw six retirements, it was a masterful display from the Spanish driver. Sam has shown great speed since joining the league and the win seemed almost inevitable, but with Scott non scoring it blows the championship wide open as we head back to Europe and the Austrian Grand Prix.

 

Realistic Performance

Performance 1

Racing AaronStiff had shared both wins in the first two rounds of the season, but Craig8728 led the championship after a strong start to the season. The potential for a race to remember was definitely on the cards for the Performance 1 league, and with a number of drivers capable to win the race, it was a guessing game early on to decide who would be on the podium by the end of Tuesday night.

Using another excellent lap in qualifying, Aaron made it consecutive pole positions as he topped the timing sheets in his Force India. The team were delighted with his pace, but with the likes of BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) alongside him in row one, and with SJD in third on the soft compound they looked to be a real threat to the pole-sitter.

The race began well for Aaron and Scott who get away well off the line, but a bad line into turn one disastrously dropped SJD back down to 12th position as the majority of the field streamed by the Renault. Scott made a move for the lead early on, and after getting his Toro Rosso to the front of the pack would stretch a two and half second lead early into the race.

Current driver’s leader Craig had started on the back row after a fault in qualifying, and after a group of cars ahead all caused chaos into the final chicane, Betrayer46 had come away with wing damage and as he tried to enter the pit-lane he collided with the tyre wall and with no-where to go, both Craig and Captain_Stiff careened into the rear end of the Haas with all three retiring abruptly on lap four.

xMIKexSI had made his way towards the front in the Ferrari, but contact with SirSpud early into the race had ended the Red Bull’s evening early at the final chicane. Mike shook off the initial remorseful reaction and got back on the pace and through the mid-point of the race made a move on Aaron for second position into turn one, and after contact with the Force India he muscled his way through.

Scott had a commanding lead at the front, and would come home unchallenged for his first win in Performance 1; the Toro Rosso didn’t put a foot wrong all night and made up for his disaster in No-Assists one night previous to take all 15 points.

Mike picked up a first podium of the season in the Ferrari ahead of SJD who will be happy with his third place after his disappointing start to the race.

Scott takes the lead in the championship after Craig and Stiff both retired, Aaron sits in second four points off the leader. Whilst in the constructors, it’s as you were with Know Nothing Racing leading Racing AaronStiff, but the pack is starting to catch up to the early leaders.

 

Performance 2

A small grid on Tuesday would only intensify the talent that was still on show. Scopefielder had set the early pace as he looks to retain his Performance 2 title, however it was Megglugpy who won last week in Spain, and the Brit would look at continuing that form after a poor round one saw him pick up only three points.

Qualifying saw a return to form for Nitrogash after what seems like months of bad luck, the experienced British driver dropped his Mercedes on pole alongside Scopefielder.

Megglugpy had been the only driver to start of the medium compound, and with drivers around him struggling for tyre wear late into the first stint, he was able to keep up and eventually take the lead after the round of stops.

He would eventually break a three second lead over F1_MrP80 who had a superb session in the Haas to pick up a debut podium, whilst Nitrogash finally celebrated a podium which has long eluded him. It was well received by all and the ten championship points are a huge boost in the championship.

Scopefielder could only manage fourth in the Williams, but the result still maintains his lead in the race for the title, but with the gap back to Megg now only at two points. The grid will start to notice possible cracks in the armour of the Swedish driver.

 

Equal Performance

F1

Mdoran09 was leading after the first two races in the championship, but with Scopefielder having picked up the victory in Spain last week, the Swedish driver was high on confidence, and after a good performance in the Performance league the night before, Scope would go into round three with his sights firmly set on a second win.

However qualifying was set alight by A_Singh99 in the Williams after a fascinating battle with the lightning fast VSR_Odemz in the Haas, the two traded fastest laps but with time running out on the session it was Singh who was able to take pole position by five hundredths of a second.

Bright blue skies in qualifying were replaced by a damp and drizzly circuit for the race, the pack knew that they would need to be incredibly careful into the first sector and that grip would be at a minimum.

Odemz blasted past Singh off the line, the pole sitter had a shocker as he spun the wheels on the greasy surface, he then ran wide into turn one and by the end of the first sector had already dropped to fourth.

The leader began to stream away from the field, and by lap six had already accumulated a nine second lead over Scopefielder in second. Whilst behind a superb battle ensued over sixth as a number of cars including WaveIntel, Betrayer and mdoran09 fought over the position.

Looking almost unbeatable, the Haas driver of Odemz made a very early stop on the intermediate tyres, but immediately started making up lost ground as he passed Megglugpy for fourth and with the move done before 130r he looked in fine shape to chase down the top three, but in the blink of an eye around 130R he touched the run off area and speared into the wall and out of the race.

The track had started to dry up and on lap ten WaveIntel was the first one to brave a dry tyre choice, this turned out to be a poor decision for the Scot, with no traction available into turn ten he ran his Toro Rosso into the wall and out of the race, this seemed to spark a mad minute in F1 as both Tombombtank and Singh retired along with Betrayer and Samuthepito all hitting different walls, as the cars struggled on the worn intermediate tyres.

Scopefielder had driven a perfectly executed race, and moving onto the medium tyres at the right time, he would come home and take another victory in F1 and a statement making result in the championship. He would come ahead of Foxyred and Megglugpy who fought hard over the final stages on the race, but it would be the McLaren of Foxy who would win out ahead of the Toro Rosso on time penalties.

Scope assumes the championship lead as we head to Austria, but if Odemz is able to make a regular showing in the season then we the field may have a real battle to keep the championship competitive to round twelves. That isn’t understating Scope’s win, and after two on the bounce for the Renault driver, he looks well placed early on to be a front-runner in the F1 title race.

 

F2

Invictus rookie F2 runner GoodStuff had won the first race in Bahrain, but a late problem in Spain dropped him off the podium and made the gap between him and the field much smaller as we came to Japan. The likes to NickLJThomson, Humbostone and mj_coop would all be on high alert in Suzuka, with all of them aware that a win could propel them into top spot in the standings.

Qualifying was contested under an overcast and dreary day in Suzuka, and with the ever present threat of rain, the paddock knew that laps on the board early would be important.

Time was counting down in the session, and although GP1_Alex and Humbostone looked well placed to battle over pole position, they would be surpassed by an excellent lap from Craig8728 in the Toro Rosso. It proved to be unbeatable as time expired in the session, as Craig took a fantastic pole position ahead of Humbostone and GP1_Alex. Whilst title leader GooDStuff was in sixth on the harder soft compound tyre compared to the drivers ahead.

It was a superb launch off the line for the McLaren of Humbostone in P2 as he thundered past a helpless Craig into turn one as the rest of the field made their way through cleanly.

NeverMiss00 had seen a superb start and moved up from fourteenth into ninth in the second McLaren, whilst it was a frustrating start for Nismax who picked up damage on lap one and had to stop on lap one and dropped to the back of the pack.

Craig started to struggle on the older supersoft tyres, and by lap seven had already dropped to fourth behind Nick and Alex, whilst GooDStuff and mj_coop were certainly starting to swarm the rear end of the Scot’s gearbox.

We saw a brief flurry of retirements and incidents early in the race, with Vintinho coming into contact with Jamie6328, whilst Steen retired abruptly on lap seven with NeverMiss having also dropped way down the order.

Last week’s race winner White-Fountain wasn’t fairing as well in Japan, and whilst fighting in the midfield, a clash of wheels at 130r with Humbostone put the Renault into the wall and then the unfortunate Tinuss would be a passenger as the White-Fountains cars rebounded back on track ultimately ending both drivers’ races on lap 12 in a disappointing end for both drivers.

Disaster for the pole-sitter Craig on lap 18, a spin into turn one would drop him way down the order, and with his race going from bad to worse, he would find himself last of the runners in eleventh place with less than ten laps to go.

At the head of the field NickLJThomson made a move for the lead on Humbostone, and with three laps remaining he pushed hard to stretch a three second lead to negate a penalty, but it wasn’t to be for the Ferrari who although crossing the line first would drop behind Humbostone in the race classification. GP1 Alex equally found the stewards at his detriment as penalties would relegate him off the podium and promoted a relieved mj_coop who after a zero point score last week needed a return to form.

Pending a steward’s enquiry after the incident with white-fountain, Humbostone closes the gap to GooDStuff, but it’s NickLJThomson who sits behind the leader by one point. However, he will move into first if Humbostone is awarded a penalty for his part in the incident. F2 is going to be close this season, and mistakes could prove costly by the time we go to Monza for round twelve. Who can keep their nerve?

 

F3

After taking 27 from a possible 30 points early in the season, Captain_Stiff was F3’s unlikely leader and with an eleven point margin back to team-mate Tejuarr, both Williams drivers would be looking at maintaining their good starts early in the season.

However qualifying didn’t go to plan for either, and with Stiff not posting a competitive lap and Tejuarr only able to make it into fifth both would have work to do. It was a much more productive session for the_willo97 in the Haas who scored a brilliant pole position ahead of pre-season title favourite FerociousDan.

The race started well for willo off the line and leading the pack away he was able to keep both McLarens and last week’s second place man Briggsy500 at bay. In contrast at the back, the trio of Stiff, Booje and Fascone were all caught out by a spinning Steelbl66 and with severe wing damage to all three, it would require very early stops and effectively rule them out of contention.

Booje had gone into the season along with Dan and Richard as the favourites for the F3 title, but after a poor showing in Spain in the wet the Renault was looking at clawing back some points in the title race, he certainly wasn’t expecting to be retiring early on in Japan, but unfortunately that’s exactly how it transpired, and with Fascone equally retiring after his pit-stop both will see themselves as incredible unlucky so early into the season.

Throughout the early part of the race, willo did very well as the McLaren of Dan added relentless pressure, whilst the Woking based outfit were delighted as Richard sat in third ahead of SnoopMarky in fourth. The pit-stops saw the top three mimic each other and go for the ultra-aggressive supersoft-soft tyre strategy, and it would see them having to really take care across the bumpy circuit.

A slow exit from the final chicane on lap 18 from Willo would line up Dan perfectly, and the McLaren who never needs a second invitation soared down the inside into turn one into the lead. The two would continue to battle, but with tyres fading and willo knowing that he was due a time penalty, it became a race of preservation as he slowly started dropping back from the McLaren.

Dan crossed the line and took McLaren’s first race win of the season, and with the constructor behind Williams in the title race, it was a much needed and celebrated win. Willo held on for second, whilst SnoopMarky celebrated a second career F3 podium in third after overhauling F1Richard.

It was a sublime battle between Dan and Willo who both deserved the applause of the fans, but more importantly for Dan, he recovers a huge amount of ground in both the drivers and constructors. The Williams suffered all race long, with Tejuarr unable to make up ground in sixth and Stiff recovering from his early contact into eighth, Williams and McLaren now sit joint top on 51 points after three races.

The title race has been blown wide open now after Dan outscored Stiff by 12 points, and he now sits only two points off Stiff, but with Austria next, a track which promotes close racing and overtaking, we look to be instore for another high quality F3 race.

 

 

Join us in Austria for another round of superb F1 action, we will be at 25% distance in the calendar and will start to see who can put themselves into contention for a championship run. Check out @InvictusRL for all stream links and details on next week’s racing

In memory – Charlie Whiting (1952-2019)

 

 

 

Today we wake up to the saddest of news from Melbourne, as Formula One race director and long serving member of the Formula One paddock has sadly passed away suddenly at the age of 66.

Whilst we play on the virtual representation of the sport that we all love dearly, Charlie Whiting was instrumental in the implementation of several safety measures, along with the sign off for some now much-loved Formula One calendar circuits that we race on.

The season is due to start tonight at 00.30am so to lose an instrumental member of the Formula One community so close is a tragic loss and bitter blow to all within the community whether online or off.

Invictus Racing League extends our deepest sympathies and condolences to Charlie’s friends and family, and positive thoughts to all in the Formula One community while we celebrate the life of the iconic Charlie Whiting.

Rest well Charlie, your work was immeasurable and will be remembered forever. We thank you.

 

Invictus Racing League.

Season Seven – Round Two in review – A fight to the finish

 

 

 

Barcelona was host to round two of the Invictus Racing League calendar, the track is a tricky mix of fast flowing and high downforce corners with over-taking positions limited.

The race hasn’t featured on the Invictus calendar since the opening round of season five so it would give the driver’s some homework to do before the race week to find the optimum pace come the pit-lane light flashing green.

The track sees two DRS zones which offer the best over-taking opportunities, but with the chance of rain always present in Barcelona, could it come into play during the week?

 

No-Assist

After his victory last week BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) was eyeing up a second consecutive race victory in the no-assist league, but with blue skies for the qualifying but the prospect of a wet start to the race, it certainly made qualifying a very important session.

Humbostone was the man on form in qualifying; he would eventually place his Haas on pole position alongside the Red Bull of Scopefielder as both driver’s looked to kick-start their season. The Mercedes of Scott and team-mate Joel seemed to have a shocker of a session with both cars qualifying well outside of the top ten, and with track position highly sought after in Spain. It would be a tricky race for the Brackley team.

The rain was drizzling down as the lights went out to start Grand Prix, it was a worst case scenario for both SJD and Samuthepito as jump starts would mean an early drive through penalties for the pair.

Humbostone lost ground off the start and almost collected the rear end of Scopefielder into turn one, the grid struggled in the damp and greasy conditions early on, but with the clouds breaking and the rain starting to dissipate, it would become a game of bravery to when the crossover period was going to strike.

Whilst others struggled on the dry tyres initially, Samuthepito made perfect use of the drying track on the medium tyres, he scythed his way through the field from seventh and into the effective lead of the race, the Spanish driver on his home circuit was looking almost invincible, but a late strategy call from the Williams pit-wall would cause upset in the garage post-race.

Sam was called in with eight laps remaining for a fresh set of soft tyres, but with the top three of Scopefielder, Scott and Speed_Queen all staying out for the duration of the race, it seemed Williams had cost the Spaniard a home race victory.

Scopefielder led the race with five laps remaining, but Scott had made superb progress through the field, and with two laps remaining made his move for the lead of the race. It appeared both cars were running low on tyre grip, but Scott was able to hold off the Swedish driver for the final lap, he would cross the line to take a second win on the bounce and add another fifteen points in the championship.

The podium was rounded off by Scopefielder and Speed_Queen, whilst a late fight back from Samuthepito saw him claw back over thirteen seconds after his late stop but would finish just off the podium in fourth.

Scott maintains his lead in the title, but with a train of cars lining up behind him, it’ll all be to play for in Suzuka next week.

 

Realistic Performance

Performance 1

After last week’s blitz in Bahrain for Captain_Stiff, his team-mate AaronJSpence was the man of the night around the Catalonian circuit.

The Red Bull driver dominated the qualifying session setting several provisional pole lap times to keep the Irishman Fascone at bay, whilst reigning champion SkyZii managed to place his McLaren on row two in fourth, as he looked to recover after a disappointing start to the season last week.

It was a stark contrast for last week’s top three as BoyBetterKnow, Stiff and Craig all lined up alongside each other, but this time it would be from eleventh to thirteenth.

As the lights went out, Aaron certainly looked confident and was edging out a gap to Fascone in second, but the battle behind for several positions was intense, the track which is often hard to over-take on certainly didn’t halt the progress for many of the Performance 1 drivers as Betrayer, WaveIntel and Benjym all made moves early into the race.

There was a wash of different strategies in the early stage of the race, with several drivers on the medium tyres that had started outside of the top ten, such as Stiff, Craig8728 and xMIKExSI moving through the field, it would mean they would have much better pace later in the race.

The pit-stops saw Fascone try the under-cut on Aaron, however a miscalculation from the pit-wall saw him re-appear into heavy traffic, whilst a lap later Aaron used his five second advantage to come out in second behind team-mate Stiff, who smartly let him by. Aaron would control the race from there and stretch a lead out to thirteen seconds before the end of the race.

The action behind the leaders was frenetic; we saw a seven car battle from lap 26 to lap 30 with several cars swapping positions from fifth all the way down to twelfth on the line. Last week’s winner Stiff had already had one trip into the gravel on lap 19, but one final mistake on lap 31 would drop him out of the points and ultimately give up the lead in the young championship.

Aaron would come across the line and take victory in Spain and make it two wins in two for the Racing AaronStiff team as they go joint top with Know Nothing Racing on 30 points at the top of the constructors.

Fascone would finish second in a welcome return to the podium, whilst SkyZii will be delighted to be back on the podium again, although that race victory still eludes the French driver.

Craig8728 benefited from Stiff’s mistake for a comfortable run fourth place, which means the Scot takes control in the driver standings with a five point advantage over both Aaron and Stiff as we head to Suzuka.

 

 

Performance 2

Swedish driver Scopefielder started off his defence of the Performance 2 title in strong fashion last week after victory in Bahrain, but with a much different test in Barcelona this week, he would certainly have to pull out all the stops.

Megglugpy had somewhat of a quiet start to his season after finishing eighth last week, but after a superb lap in qualifying, the English driver would put himself in prime place with pole position.

He was joined on the front row by the impressive F1_MrP80 in the Renault, who after retiring in round one was on the lookout for a good points haul to help PB Racing in the constructors’ championship.

The race saw a fantastic five car battle in the mid-point of the race, but it was Megglugpy who would make the most of the free track ahead of him as he came home in the Haas to take the win in Spain.

Scopefielder will be happy with a good nights work as he moved up from third to second after MrP unfortunately dropped way down the order and eventually finished one minute off the lead. This ensured Scope extends his lead at the top of the table to nine points.

They were joined on the podium by Jos_Heinssie, as Kamikaze F1 stretched out a fifteen point gap over BS Racing and Megacoop Racing in the constructor’s table. The two are already reigning champions and have definitely started where they left off from lasts season.

It’s onto Japan next week, will Scope continue to build a lead out over his rivals, or will the likes of Megglugpy, NickLJThomson and mj_coop start to put the pressure on the Swede?

 

Equal Performance

F1

Last week saw the closest race finish in the history of Invictus Racing League as mdoran and Danester were separated by fifteen thousandths of a second.

Qualifying saw an overcast Barcelona play havoc with the tyres, as driver’s struggled to get enough temperature into the medium compound on the one lap out lap but after the sun broke from the clouds late into the session, Swedish driver Scopefielder produced an excellent lap with five seconds left in the session to take pole ahead of local driver Samuthepito by eight hundredths of a second.

Sam would take the lead off the line; whilst behind Speed_Queen found herself being collected by fellow McLaren team-mate FoxyRed with the pit-wall looking on in disbelief, she would carry on, but quickly found herself at the back on the field.

Sam and Scope continued at the head of the pack for the entire race with the Spanish driver looking in good form to take his first win in Invictus. However, a late safety car after a crash from Danestar at turn fourteen, and a crash for Im_west down the main straight simultaneously would bunch up the field. This would bring the fans a fantastic three-way shoot-out for the win between Sam, Scope and a miraculous BoyBetterKnow, who had made his way up from last on the grid at the start to well in contention for the victory.

Two laps remained, and with Sam leading the race, Scott and Scope rounded turn three, and with the slightest of touches from Scope, Scott was put into a spin and out of contention. Scope would then chase down the leader ahead, and on the final lap overtook the Spaniard coming across the line to win by under two tenths of a second.

WaveIntel would celebrate a first F1 podium after penalties relegated mdoran off the podium, whilst Betrayer and Speed_Queen both made good progress for fifth and sixth places respectively.

F1 has seen its first two races finish with first and second split by a collective 0.195s. this shows just how strong the line-up this season, but with several driver’s lining up for a shot at the championship, this could be a stunning season in Invictus’ premier formula.

 

F2

GoodStuff had taken a debut victory in his first out in F2 last week, and the rookie driver would be looking at adding to his championship lead after leaving the Catalonian circuit.

He would start off in the best way possible, as a late lap blew away the competition and secured him with a second consecutive pole position. He was joined by the returning Tony_Y in the Ferrari, whilst the Force India of Vitinhoh1108 looked on course to be a thorn in the side of GoodStuff, but after hitting the wall on entry to the pit-lane, he would exit the qualifying session early.

It was a clean start, with the top four all getting away well and maintaining position. White-fountain had seen a monster of a start in the Renault, and over the first lap made up eight places to sit in fifth.

The leader held on to the top spot throughout the pit-stop window, and with 12 laps remaining was looking well on course to make it two wins from two.

NickLJThomson is another driver who will be looking at a push for the title this season and the Ferrari driver had made excellent progress into third, but with Humbostone closely following behind it looked to be fight between the two for the final place on the podium.

NeverMiss00 unfortunately couldn’t live up to his names-sake, on lap 29 the young Brit lost control of the McLaren on the exit of turn nine, and after hitting the wall with four laps remaining the field was put under a virtual safety car.

White-fountain had made superb progress through the pack since his thirteenth place start and on the final lap overtook race leader GoodStuff, into turn one, but disaster for the now second placed man, as he lost control of the Haas and ran into the gravel.

This gave white-fountain a free run to the chequered flag and a first Invictus win for the Belgian, NickLJThomson and Humbostone utilised GoodStuff’s late error and subsequent post-race penalties to elevate themselves into second and third, whilst GoodStuff will be disappointed after performing so well until the final laps.

It was a race to forget for the likes of mj_coop and Craig8728 who finished well down the order, but with Japan next week, will they be able to get their season kick started?

GoodStuff retains the title lead in the driver standings heading into round three, but white-fountain and Nick are within striking range, it’s very early into the championship so all is to play for as we head to Suzuka.

 

F3

Bahrain gave the viewers of F3 a fantastic start to the season last week, the win went down to the wire, and with late controversy it was Booje who came away with the victory with the Renault well placed to maintain his good start in Barcelona.

Qualifying started well for Haas driver the_willo97, who after a disappointing start last week would be looking at bouncing back in Spain, he led the field with time counting down, but a phenomenal late lap from SnoopMarky saw the Sauber take provisional pole position, and with the_willo only able to improve by a few tenths Snoop lined up with a clear track turn one.

The cars lined up on the grid, and as the final red light illuminated and extinguished, the grid thundered down to turn one. It seemed a clean run into turn one, but all hell seemed to break loose in turn two.

Force India team-mates of NotoriousL_I_P and osteven002 were both caught in separate incidents as both cars spun into oncoming traffic, this caused chaos at turn three as cars scrambled to find a path through the carbon fibre debris. It would unfortunately see a premature end to the race for Nitrogash and then Dboydan22, but with a number of cars requiring new front wings, the first lap would be a huge factor come the end of the race.

The two major beneficiaries of the incident were the Williams drivers of Tejuarr and Captain_Stiff, as both moved up into the top six by the end of lap one, with the latter having started in fifteenth position.

The top two had made it away cleanly, but with both starting on the super-soft tyres they made an early stop, which released Tejuarr into the race lead, with F1Richard and Stiff hot on his heels. A devastating blow for the Sauber team saw pole-sitter SnoopMarky retire early and eventually team-mate Steelbl66 with the pit-crew unable to release them from the pit-stall. Snoop had looked well on form in Spain and cut a dejected figure in the paddock after the race.

Race engineers had their hands out in the air, and with the threat of rain approaching it appeared that the driver’s would have to deal with changing conditions.

Whilst the field all struggled with tyre choices before the rain, Captain_Stiff had stretched his initial mediums 24 laps and with DRS disabled on lap 28 he would take the lead of the race from Briggsy who equally had done a magnificent job to get into second, whilst the McLarens and the_willo struggled out on the wet circuit.

Stiff would hold it together and come across the line to win and take a debut F3 victory, Briggsy celebrated a podium in his second ever race, while it was loud cheers in the Williams garage as Tejuarr made it a double podium and a popular visit back to the rostrum for the experienced racer.

It’s been a strong start to the season for Stiff, and with 27 points from a possible 30 he leads the way by eleven points. The field will be looking at clawing back that gap in Suzuka, with nine races there are plenty more twists and turns in F3.

 

 

 

Round three heads to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix next week, and with the iconic130R. The Invictus paddock will look at conquering the figure eight track and continuing a superb start to the season. Check out @InvictusRL for all announcements 

 

Season seven – Round one in review – A nail-biting finish!

 

 

 

 

Season seven of the Invictus Racing League made it across the desert sand after an explosive pre-season, and as the leagues readied up for Bahrain the excitement level in the paddock was palpable.

It proved to be a fantastic start to the season, and with the race taking place at night it certainly didn’t drop the temperature of the action on track which was red hot from Monday through to Wednesday evening.

One race saw what is yet to be confirmed the closest finish of all time in Invictus Racing League, whilst we saw shocks and surprises across the week with Invictus Racing League rookie winners and a first ever league race win!

 

No-Assist

It was a superlative-laden race on Monday night as the no-assists league kicked off-season seven for Invictus, in what was one of the best races in recent memory. We saw one of the closest on track battles for the race victory for several seasons and it did not disappoint.

Qualifying saw interesting team tactics from the Mercedes early on, but it would be the Force India of RICKWR88 who at the end of the session sat on pole after using the fastest super-soft compound, but eyebrows were raised by debutant driver Samuthepito who lined up alongside the Canadian on the harder soft tyres compound, he had out-qualified several drivers on faster tyres and ahead of the pre-season favourites of BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) and Speed_Queen80 who started third and thirteenth respectively.

The viewers were treated to an absolute classic after the lights extinguished and sent the grid rolling down to turn one, it was an unfortunate start for Rick as he struggled off the line and dropped to third by turn four, and after picking up wing damage early into the race would fall to the rear of the field and struggle to recover.

This allowed Samuthepito and Scott to make a break-away from the field and the two engaged in an enthralling battle for the entirety of the race, the two maintaining a gap within one second of each other for the 35 lap distance and traded the lead on several occasions.

Lap 15 saw a huge accident between Stifler1980 and Nikki9095 as the two battled over fifth and sixth, the Force India of Nikki seemed to stray into the McLarens line on the exit of turn two, and as the two hit the wall, Stifler was catapulted back onto the track surface directly into the path of the Ferrari of xMIKExSI who was desperately unlucky with no-where to go in such a short space of time as all three retired.

Ultimately it would be Scott who would cross the line two tenths ahead of his on-track rival who was unfortunate to pick up a time penalty with four laps remaining that really spoiled what was one of the best battles we have seen in a long time.

Scopefielder would come home in third, he had desperately tried to interject himself into the fight for the win, but the Mercedes team-mate of Scott in Joel-v520 would play the ‘team-game’ as he got ahead of the Swedish driver and held him up effectively ending his fight to make it a three car battle for the win.

Reigning champion Speed_Queen could only manage a fourth place finish, to which she will be happy after starting well out of the top ten in thirteenth.

It was a thrilling start to the season, but it only shaped up what was to become a great week of racing across all leagues. It was a race not to be missed and the commentary and viewers a-like left wanting more as the cars crossed the finishing line to the fireworks display.

 

 

Realistic Performance

Performance 1

As the Performance One grid rolled out onto the track for qualifying on Tuesday, it seemed a varying mix of strategy had been used across the field of drivers’ all looking at being the first race winner of the season.

The red-walled supersoft tyres were the fastest tyre to be on and it was just that compound which Tom_444 in the Haas would use to take the first pole position of the season. He was joined on row one by the Red Bull of ColinJ, both would their hands full in the early stint of the race as Craig8728 was on the soft tyres and looking very competitive in the Renault.

After the start, a boisterous BoyBetterKnowSB (Scott) would make his way up and past a number of driver’s ahead, including reigning champion SkyZii, the French driver found himself off-line at turn two and tumbling down the order early as the cars rounded lap one.

Tom_444 pitted early allowing Craig to assume the lead, and with Scott, Spud and Colin for company, the four seemed to break-away from the main pack.

The man on the charge was Captain_Stiff in the Ferrari, whilst on the reverse strategy after starting on the mediums was really starting to close that gap. The pit-stops saw all the top four onto the mediums, but with Stiff still out on the older medium tyres, a superb in-lap from him would see him appear well in striking range for the win as he exited the pit-lane.

Stiff dispatched both Red Bulls in successive laps on the fresh softs, and in the following laps passed both Scott and then Craig for the race-lead with eight laps remaining.

The British driver would stretch his lead out to nine seconds over his Scottish counter-part and come home to take a first-ever league race win. Craig and Scott would make up the podium after consistent pace rewarded the two with season opening silverware ensuring their team Know Nothing Racing leaves Bahrain with 22 points and leads in the constructors’ championship.

 

Performance 2

It was a race to forget for pole-sitter The-Warislander in the first outing in Performance 2 this season, the Dutchman dropped all the way down to ninth by the end of the race and well over 70 seconds down on the eventual winner.

Swedish driver Scopefielder has already shown in pre-season that he is looking sharp and in-line for another championship run to add to his successful season last time out. The McLaren driver defied the odds in the under-powered manufacture to come from fifth on the grid and take the first race win of the season. He was joined on the podium by Sab7786 and NickLJThomson, Sab will rue a mechanical failure that possibly halted his battle for the win as the Red Bull suffered DRS failure for the first third of the race.

Nick was also aggrieved at the end of the race as contact with WesleyVanRens seemingly cost the Sauber the chance at taking the fight to Sab and Scope ahead. The two crossed the line split by one tenth of a second, but the Dutch driver of Wes was unable to recover the position after starting alongside team-mate Warislander on the front row.

Scope starts off the season in much the same way that he closed the last, he looks the man to beat on track, will his luck change in Barcelona next week?

 

 

Equal Performance

F1

Invictus Racing Leagues premier crop of drivers took to the track for their first race to the season on Wednesday night; the grid is stacked with talent, and with new drivers added to an already strong line-up, it seems this season could be as unpredictable as ever.

Reigning no-assist champion, Speed_Queen80 was the recipient of the first pole position of the season; she used the super-soft tyres to place her McLaren in the most sought after position on the grid. However, it wasn’t to be for the multi-time champion in Invictus, the two-stop strategy that she employed would eventually drop her down to a ninth place finish in what was a disappointing start for the experienced driver.

She had been joined on the front row by mdoran09, and the Irishman wasn’t going to let the same happen to him. However, Danestar_51 was well in the fight having started in fourth, and with nine laps left to go, the two would embrace in what was another incredible battle.

Trading places lap-on-lap, the two engaged in wheel-to-wheel combat across the dusty desert circuit wowing the fans watching. It all came down to a final lap showdown between the two, and as they exited the final corner it was neck and neck!

The two crossed the line side-by-side and after a photo finish checked the results, mdoran would win by fifteen thousandths of a second! This had Invictus officials looking through the record books to see if it was the closest finish of all time!?

It was a nail-biting end to the race and with the top two taking the headlines, but behind the battle for third was equally raging for BoyBetterKnowSB, once again involved in a battle with no-assist rival samuthepito as the two were separated by half a second across the line.

Scott and Sam seemed locked together this week, and in both races (No assist and F1) their combined gap at the finish was less than three-quarters of a second.

It was an unbelievable end to what was fantastic race, the top two put on an incredible show for the fans, equally Scott and Sam look like that could be a rivalry we may have to get used to across Invictus.

Special mention goes to WaveIntel, the young Scot celebrated his 18th birthday the day before with a superb race in the top league as he made his way up from eleventh to fifth, as he continues his remarkable ascent in pace.

 

F2

It was a perfect night for debutant German driver GooDStuff-7, the rookie F2 driver took a well-earned flag to flag victory ahead of South African Nismax7 who equally will enjoy his promotion from seventh to second during the race.

GooDStuff took pole in the Haas after utilising the super-soft tyres, and using the difficult super-soft to medium strategy, he was able to keep Nismax at bay with the Sauber four and half seconds back.

Mj_coop had started off well and his strategy had seen him jump the eventual winner and Nismax, but with GooDStuff making a superb move on the British driver, he then dropped behind the South African Nixmax on a post-race applied penalty, but managed to take away a podium and ten championship points.

Italian driver RudiMandragorex will be delighted with his race, a twelfth place start saw him charge through the field to take home eight championship points for a fourth place finish, whilst Craig8728 and NickLJThomson came home in sixth and seventh, both will be looking for a more positive result in Spain next week.

It was a risk well taken for GooDStuff who takes the first step towards a championship, but with a number of drivers over his shoulder, this season of F2 is far from a foregone conclusion.

F3

Booje89 was one of the drivers’ highly touted in pre-season for a successful season, and that was proved right as he took his first win in F3 on Wednesday night.

The Renault driver had started on pole, but after relinquishing the lead of the race to Sab7786 early in the race, it looked like the Mercedes would take the fifteen points as we left the gulf state, but devastatingly a pit-lane speeding penalty would demote Sab from the race win off the podium with the top four all finishing in close quarters.

The race saw an early spin for a fast-starting osteven002 after contact with xMIKExSI, whilst the pack saw a superb fight back for both Tejuarr in the Williams and FerociousDan in the McLaren. The two made their way from 16th and 17th respectively to a fifth and sixth place finish after both crashed out in the early stages of qualifying.

Booje would fight off the ever impressive F1Richard in the final laps, whilst on a high from his win on Tuesday, Captain_Stiff used the softer tyre at end of the race to move past Richard with two laps remaining as he made excellent progress after a ninth place start.

Sab was furious with the stewards ruling, and knows with the prospect of missing the next three races the point’s loss could be huge come the end of the season. Booje however would celebrate a first win ahead of Stiff and Richard. This seems to already be shaping up to a close fight, with the top six and many more eyeing up a potential championship challenge in not only the driver’s but constructors standings. As reported in pre-season, this could be the most competitive F3 season yet.

 

That’s round one in the books and what a start to the seventh season at Invictus Racing League! Next week we head to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix, the notoriously tricky circuit can catch out even the best of driver’s. Make sure you check out @InvictusRL for all news and announcements before round two! 

Season seven starts tonight!

 

 

It’s finally here! Invictus Racing League season seven begins tonight in Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix, the race will be contested under the lights in the Gulf state and give our drivers’ a circuit which promotes over-taking and close battles. The action on track is sure to be as hot as the desert sun, can the field keep their cool once the lights go out and we charge down to turn one?

Make sure you tune in from 8pm tonight with Gareth and Sab for live commentary of the no-assist league, who as always kick off what is going to be an awesome week of racing!

No-Assist twitch channel 

Commentary team 

Gareth

Sab