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Subject: WDC Round 4 - Balmy Bahrain rss

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David Teakle
United Kingdom
Worthing
West Sussex
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The fourth round of the WDC found the circus had arrived to the gleaming circuit of Bahrain where the predicted sunshine beat down mercilessly onto the tarmac, heating up the surroundings and the racing. For this race the buzz amongst the various teams was concentrated on the new rules imposed by the WDC Supremo Bernie Eckaslike around tire usage, with all teams dramatically changing their tactics to fit these new regulations (we’d basically been playing the soft tire wear rules totally wrong for the first 3 games!)

Already shaken by this fundamental change, the teams were thrown into further chaos when the grid positions were reversed from their expected positions, with the line up now being, front row of Delgado and Golightly (moved from the lucky 5th spot,) row 2 made up of Montoya followed by Van de Groot with the last row of Goodbuy and Wildrubber. With the new rules in the forefront of everyone’s mind everyone chose hard tires apart from one. For this race Wildrubber had installed superior traction control giving him fantastic control in the corners, and with this advantage he surmised that soft tires would be the perfect complement.

As the green lights were extinguished to start the race, both Van de Groot and Delgado managed to stall allowing their competitors to quickly catch up and cause the now expected pile-up in the first corner. Using his faster tires and more advanced technology Wildrubber quickly and efficiently moved through the pack to claim an early lead. His manoeuvring wasn’t without cost however, and his car sported a new dent in its side. The memory of Golightly’s last race (see WDC3 – Shanghai Surprise) had ramped the whole field’s paranoia over the state of their car to the max and each time the cars got close the tension was palpable.

Turn one saw Wildrubber exit first, followed by Golightly and Goodbuy, but everyone knew that their exit speed on the next corner would dictate how quickly the next 3 corners could be negotiated, the wrong gear either way would cost vital seconds and allow any front runners to pull away. Torn between slowing and accelerating for the corner and with the potentially dreadful damage to his tires the wrong choice would inflict weighing on his mind, Wildrubber hesitated bleeding vital speed required for turn three. The gap left was quickly exploited by Goodbuy and Golightly, with Goodbuy mashing gears to take a narrow lead.

The front two had hit the optimum speed for turns three and four, allowing them to pull away from the field and open a significant gap. Wildrubber chased gamely followed by Delgado, Van de Groot and Montoya, who was destined to have a race to forget and wasn’t to move from last place.

The battle for the front continued for the rest of the lap, but was costly in tires, gears and brakes for both cars. Goodbuy entered the pits first, deciding to take a long stop to repair his gears and brakes. Golightly did a quick stop, to steal a march and the lead from the Canadian. Wildrubber also elected a quick stop to try and close the gap with Delgado completing his first lap next, followed by Van de Groot and Montoya, who both forgo pitting in an attempt to catch up.

The next lap proved how enthralling Formula De racing can be. Goodbuy wrestled the lead back from Golightly whilst littering the track with bits of gear and brakes. He hit the lead before the penultimate turn, and in attempting to stretch into an unassailable lead, gambled on fifth gear. Whilst in previous rounds his risks had paid off, the high gear was a step too far. The previous wear on brakes and tires proved too much and the Canadians car surrendered to the damage, forcing him to register his first DNF of the championship. Golightly serenely passed the wreckage to record his first win and some compensation for his appalling luck in the last race.

Further back the drama was really unfolding. Wildrubber had lost contact with the front two but after the crash he was content to hold onto 2nd and score some more championship points. Delgado was comfortably in 3rd position pushing towards the car in front to score higher. Behind Delgado Van de Groot was having a poor race but out of nowhere the South African with a change of attitude transformed his fortune. Abandoning caution (and some would say logical thought) Van de Groot’s car found a turn of speed unseen until this moment. The previously safe Delgado was overhauled and passed in a blink of an eye, and on the final corner the Australian Wildrubber was chased down. Second place was slipping from Wildrubbers fingers, but the crowd wondered if he carried enough speed to fend off the charging Van de Groot. The cars exited the turn neck and neck, with Van de Groot just half a cars length behind. The tussle for second came down to the wire and once the dust had settled it became clear Wildrubber had managed to keep his nose in front to claim the higher position, but it was as close as it could have been.

For pure racing pleasure the battle for second had elevated this race above the previous round, with positions uncertain until the last possible moment. Goodbuy’s retirement whilst not good for him personally was probably a good thing for the championship to stop him from building a dominant lead over his fellow drivers. It’s the championships fourth different winner in four races, with only Van De Groot and Delgado still to register a win, but both have shown the ability to set this right at any race so this will change soon. Fifth position on its grid lost the lucky tag this race as Goodbuy was the only DNF, but the race winner was originally slated to be fifth until the pole reversed. Next up is Barcelona where Delgado will enjoy home advantage, so expect another hard fought race next round.
Race Results:

Driver

Golightly 10+1
Wildrubber 8
Van Der Root 6
Delgado 4
Montoya 2
Goodbuy DNF

One extra championship point to Golightly for fastest lap
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David Teakle
United Kingdom
Worthing
West Sussex
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WDC After 4 rounds

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