A tumultuous race on Amerca’s west coast proved that no team or driver can be counted on to lose. People said Koenig-RTK would take time to find their balance, and they stole the podium. Others said Nergal would start on the back foot after their late season development last year, and they took the top step. Amid worries that Centurion would fall behind as they lost Koenig’s support were squelched by race pace, even if their results left something to be desired. Wright performed admirably during the race as well, rounding out the grid with a fourth team that could vie for the championship on equal footing. What this means for the rest of the season remains to be seen, but it is certain that the Malaysia Grand Prix will be an exciting event nonetheless.
Nergal Happy to Maintain Winning Streak
With Leonard McGee’s win at Long Beach, it marked the third consecutive season in which Nergal won the first race. Indeed, no other driver or team on the grid has won a season opener since the sport’s inception. “We’re happy that we’ve always had a strong start to the season, even if things haven’t always gone our way throughout,” team principal Jim Robinson said. “Our race didn’t go as well as it could have with McJergens’ retirement, but a win definitely helps to dull the ache.”
Koenig-RTK Strong Out of the Gate
No one knew exactly what to expect when Koenig-RTK rose from the ashes of L’equipe Duchamp. Doubts have been silenced, however, as the team rounded out the podium nicely at Long Beach. “They surprised me, I have to say,” Cory Sylvester of Centurion GP Racing said after the race. “I thought the team would have teething troubles, but they’re right there setting the pace. This is going to be an incredible fight this season.”
As predicted, the weather did not change drastically from the day before. A cloud-covered sky loomed ominously over the beach. As such, the Nergal cars chose to start on Primes. Wright went with a riskier strategy, going out on Options. Meanwhile the Koenig-RTK and Centurion cars had to start on the Primes on which they qualified. Continue reading
Qualifying was a cloudy affair, with rain threatening the entire weekend. Due to the lack of stringent pre-season testing of setups, all teams opted to run their default configurations for this race. Additionally, Koenig-RTK continued the tradition of their predecessors by being the only team to not run KERS. Continue reading
Costs, Time Cited in Lack of Testing – In general, the season begins with a testing period, giving the teams a chance to fine tune their planned setups for the season. However, this season’s test session was surprisingly short, with only a half of a lap at Laguna Seca designed more to test qualifying rules than chassis setups. The teams brought home some data, but how will this affect them in their first race of the season?
Everything New Is News Again – The season is about to begin, and a series of new regulations, a brand new team, and two new drivers are going to make this the most interesting season yet. Koenig-RTK Formula D promises to carry on strongly in the wake of L’equipe Duchamp. And to balance out the existing field, new gearbox regulations and the new qualifying session will keep everyone on an even keel. Who will take advantage of these new rules and come out on top in the early season?
Fifth Team Interested in Championship – News has come out recently that there is a fifth team interested in taking part in a limited number of races during the season. Their identity has not been disclosed yet, but reports indicate that they will enter only a few races towards the middle and end of the season in order to test their car for a season 4 bid for the championship. More news on this as it develops.
Change has come to the Formula D World Championship. L’equipe Duchamp is gone, replaced by the very German car company that supplied its engines for two years. Now the teams must qualify to earn their grid positions, forcing them to think strategically and drive carefully or risk having to start from the pitlane. Gearboxes are more resilient but more vital than ever, and every team has a different idea on how best to make use of them. With all of these changes in mind, however, the teams return to a track not seen since the very first season. Long Beach, with its incredible straights and winding corners, will prove to be a trial by fire for four teams who performed very limited pre-season testing. Who will deal with the changes best as the United States Grand Prix West begins?
Formula D is a story. The characters are the people, both in the cars and out.
“Caughlin’s engine is on its last legs. Attack now.”
“The new driver at Wright has built up an absurd lead! Focus on defending your position right now.”
“This is your last chance, Richardson. Put down a clean lap.”
The characters are also the cars. Each has its own personality.
“Mic, can you bring it back around to the pits?”
“The car’s doing most of the work at this point.”
“Are you okay, Mariana?”
“The engine gave up! I can’t believe it!”
“Damn! Stalled again!”
“Okay. Just be careful as the grid passes.”
The characters are also the tracks. Every feature has a history and unique flair.
“Be careful at the hairpin. There’s a pack of cars just behind.”
“You can’t go full throttle down the straight or your engine is going to go.”
“Rain’s coming. Don’t take too many chances until you box.”
As with any good characters, personalities clash.
“That idiot Castro rammed me!”
“He’s blocking me on purpose! I can’t get around!”
“Mikhail, Deryl is faster than you. You are NOT racing him right now.”
There are personal battles to overcome.
“McJergens did that on purpose!”
“We’ve already notified the stewards.”
“I can’t get around the debris.”
“Go straight on and pray.”
“It started raining. Do you think you can do this whole lap on dry tires?”
“I don’t have a choice!”
At the end, there can only be one victor.
“Congratulations! You two got the first one-two finish in Formula D history!”
“You just won your first race, Andres! Well done!”
“You did it again, Len! You’re our world champion!”
But when one story ends, another begins.