Layout Racing League - Round 5, Mini Monaco, Race Summary
The unforgiving confines of the principality tackled by the drivers in Round 5 of the Layout Racing League! With bold overtakes and incidents throughout the race, a valiant drive by [TC-R] Pete
sees him claim his third LRL win!
The streets of Monaco is hard to tame, as many drivers found out during the final Free Practice session. Qualifying kicked off with J.Pickard making a rare cameo appearance in the series, and setting the track alight in the early stages along with [LCS-R] Ltras and Pete, as drivers struggled to find an opening to get a clear lap.
Trespasser was absent from the event, unable to make it in time, which gave a chance for Pete to gain points - however, he was pushed to 4th by the top qualifiers, while newly-recruited Team Teho driver Ngottini and [6S] SIMOX somehow found time on the green track to get 2nd and 3rd. The pole was secured mid-way through qualifying by Pickard, who set a blistering 1:16.9 to put himself 3 tenths clear of the next car.
Azyer made a reappearance into the league since his quiet temporary departure from Air Attack, placing his UF1 a respectable 5th on the grid ahead of Texas, who suffered with traffic in the closing stages of the session. His teammate Ltras, unable to find pace, laid in 10th, just behind (FR) Seb and ahead of M@CI3K. [TC-R] Adam barely made it on time to set a lap, with less than a second to spare as he crossed the line to begin his do-or-die lap - landing him a position near the back with Dude and [WCL] T.Soini.
LLM Sobis +1L Technical
B2r Rayman +2L Accident
Dude +2L Technical
GT4Tube +10L Accident
B2r Ayoub_MaRoC +20L Accident
PitlaneRacer +25L Accident
(FR)Seb +29L Did Not Start
NEWRY +29L Did Not Start
[AMG] Derinus +0L Disqualified
Fastest Lap : J.Pickard - 1:17.04
[AMG] Derinus - DISQUALIFIED - Penalty Infringement
[LCS-R] Texas - 5-SECOND POST RACE PENALTY - Causing a Collision
J.Pickard - POST RACE REPRIMAND - Contact Warning (Lap 15)
Pending Investigations :
M@CI3K <> [TC-R] Elmo - No Further Action taken (Racing Incident)
It's go for Round 5 of LRL!
Field negotiating the first corner
With a long run into turn 1, drivers aimed to gain positions but most were denied by the confines of the circuit - essentially falling line-of-stern as they exited the corner. Pickard maintained his all-important lead whilst behind him, [TC-R] Pete threaded the needle between Ngottini and SIMOX to slip by into 2nd.
Ngottini then went wide at Turn 2, giving up a spot to [LCS-R] Texas. Further behind, mid-field jostling resulted in a spin for [AMG] Derinus, dropping him to the back of the pack. The end of Lap 1 saw [TC-R] Adam come in for an pitstop to undercut, hoping to make up time on the cars ahead.
PitlaneRacer rolls exiting the Tunnel
As the race settled in for what was to be a long first stint, it was clear the top 4 had a pace difference, and were slowly gapping 5th-placed Ngottini. A train of cars were soon forming behind the Teho driver, stretching from Azyer in 6th all the way down to [MRc] Michal in 13th, with Azyer eyeing up an overtake before the first Safety Car period was called due to a roll by PitlaneRacer.
The drivers at the front blinked and took a their mandatory pit stop, however, Pickard chose to stay out to maintain track position, with the [LCS-R] boys of Ltras and Texas also choosing not to pit as well. Further in the mid-field, drivers were split on pitting and staying out, thus mixing in the positions as the field prepared for the restart. In the tight pit lane, [TC-R] Elmo led ahead of a train of cars, stopping on the first pit-stall, which resulted in being rear-ended by M@CI3K with nowhere to go and with cars behind him. The resulting time lost saw Elmo drop out of a point's paying position.
Pickard dropped the hammer and led away in a perfectly executed restart, ahead of Texas, with Pete the meat in a [LCS-R] sandwich ahead of Ltras who had not pitted.
Tight mid-field battles
As the field slowly spread out again once more, mid field duels were occuring throughout - M@CI3K and [MRc] Michal fought over 10th as [TC-R] Elmo slowly picked positions off from the back. [TC-R] Adam had a brief tussle with B2r Rayman, pulling off a stunning sequence of switchbacks to pass the B2r driver.
Out at the front, the front runners were pulling away once more, with Pickard pulling out a small lead over Texas, with Pete in third still unable to find a way past. Ltras lay forth just ahead of a recovering SIMOX, with Ngottini and Azyer fighting it out for fifth.
An uncharacteristic error
With the mid-field tight and frustrations brewing, B2r MaRoC made an unforced error chasing his rival Derinus, rolling over the same anti-cut as PitlaneRacer, causing another Safety Car.
Pickard, with his lead over 2nd, pitted to complete his pit stop, as well as Ltras. Pickard emerged in 5th ahead of Azyer, while Ltras came out in 9th, only just beating M@CI3K to the pit exit merging line. [WCL] T.Soini running at the back, pitted on the end of the Safety Car period with ample space to chase the cars ahead. GT4Tube, running in a good position, threw away his race with a pit exit violation, earning him a penalty.
The chasing pack on Restart 2
The restart saw the field status quo, with drivers timing their restarts right to not get overtaken. A late braking move into Turn 1 however, saw B2r Rayman pass LLM Sobis for 14th. Meanwhile, up front, [LCS-R] Texas was being hounded by the chasing pack, with Pete searching for opportunities to slip one up the inside.
The move for the lead
Lap 15 and Pete took his chance with a bold pass at the Swimming Pool to take the lead of the race. With a great run through Louis Chrion, an inside line saw the [TC-R] driver draw alongside at the braking zone, with Texas leaving the door wide open, only to realise too late, making contact at the apex, sending the [LCS-R] driver wide and giving SIMOX a great run down into La Rascasse to steal 2nd away as well.
3rd Safety Car period, caused by GT4Tube
At the back of the pack, LLM Sobis was heading a small train of cars, after getting dropped by the drivers in front, with [AMG] Derinus right behind. We saw the third appearance of the Safety Car after GT4Tube, running in a lonely 16th, made an error exiting Swimming Pool.
Race finishing under Safety Car
The 3rd restart began and went on for only a short while before Rayman tripped over the chicane, rolling over on the penultimate lap, bringing out the Safety Car. Unfortunate circumstances saw Dude and LLM Sobis disconnect with only a few kilometers to the finish. In what was a race of attrition, the final lap was taken under the Safety Car, driven by Dekojester, ending the race under yellow.
In an exciting race with a nail-biter finish, it was ultimately [TC-R] Pete who once again proved why he deserves to run with the top racers, claiming his 3rd LRL win and taking a 18-point lead over Trespasser. Pickard, who looked favourite to win the race, was let down by a bad strategy, setting the fastest lap in showing he had the pace to win. SIMOX, Ngottini and Azyer held their own in 3rd, 4th and 5th, with a stunning recovery drive by Ltras to finish 6th. [MRc] Michal finished a decent outing in 8th while [TC-R] Adam was the mover of the race, claiming points from a lowly starting position.
Derinus was sadly disqualified after failing to serve a Drive-Through Penalty in the required laps, dropping him out of his points position.
Driver's Championship as of Round 5
Pete regains his championship lead heading into the second half of the season! Will he be able to be LRL's first Driver's Champion?
Round 6 - Woodland Raceway, FZ5 (27 July 2019)
Round 7 - Rony RGE Sprint 8 Reversed, XRT (3 August 2019) [Subject to change]