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Subject: St Pete (Florida) Indy Car PBEM rss

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Charlie Heckman
United States
Ocoee
Florida
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The race started with 6 teams of 2 cars on a beautiful day on Florida's Gulf Coast.

We used the Alternate Start Mechanism. Basically, the 6 primary cars started line abreast on an artificially wide track that narrows down by 2 lanes every 4 spaces you move towards the Start/Finish Line. The 6 secondary cars started two spaces behind their lead driver. (Once the last car passes the S/F line, the artificial "inverted pyramid" track section is removed.

Jay Lee Hooker, Team Habituation's lead driver was fastest off the start jumping out to a quick lead. At the other end of the spectrum was Clutch Carbone, Checker-Argent's lead driver who stalled on the grid. It was a sign of trouble ahead for Checker-Argent!

Hooker lead the field down the runway and into the first turn, but an early mistake allowed TBD Racing's Street Martin to sneak ahead as the cars snaked down 1st Street and onto the more technical portion of the course.

The field battled along behind Martin until it was time to reengage the drag strip portion of the course on the three wide runway front straight. One of the Space Available cars slide off the track in the final hairpin triggered a crash between Trinacria's Vanina Ickx and Checker-Argent's Enar Vikingar. Both cars were totaled and the Pace Car came out for a full course caution.

Team Bad Habit was the only team to pit during the Yellow and hit the restart with a fresh set of tires but at the end of the pack.

Rita Yuk Racing got the best of the restart with Badcat Stunts and Flash Marker running 1 & 3 bracketing Street Martin. As the field flowed through Turn 1, disaster struck again for Checker-Argent when lead driver Clutch Carbone crashed wide into the tire wall for an early retirement.

This time there was no full course caution and the field raced on.

The remaining Trinacria car quietly moved up through the field. As the racers approached the half way mark, Badcat Stunts was leading with Jacky Ickx on his tail and a 3 second lead on the rest of the drivers.

Stunts and Ickx pitted, leaving Street Martin racing Jay Lee Hooker of Team Habituation for the lead.

Hooker really started to push and managed to open a two second lead on Martin going onto the Bayshore backstretch of Lap 3. Meanwhile, Ickx had turned a very quick Pit Stop into a return to contention.

The trio of Hooker, Martin and Ickx were stretching their lead entering the final hairpin of Lap 3 and preparing for the race down the runway. Trouble for Hooker as he got onto the marbles and crumpled his nose cone on the runway safety wall. Fortunately, he could still make a dive into the pits to fix the damage. With Martin also pitting, Ickx was running free in the lead with a decent set of tires.

Stunts began to give chase on the runway when sudden smoke revealed engine damage. With the inability to really push his car on the last lap, Badcat could only hope the competition could not close to steal 2nd place.

So, the final lap starts with Ickx running free, Stunts with a small lead on the field and engine damage and Hooker tearing out of the pits on a fresh set of softs and a new nose cone.

In a lap of madness, Hooker pushes every corner to the extreme limit, riding his skill and his sticky softs to close on Stunts tail when they make the marina turn.

Ickx has the win locked in and a duel for second place ensues. Hooker patiently waits for the runway strip and uses his healthy Mach power to roar next to Stunts, narrowly clipping him in a photo finish at the line for 2nd place.

The podium:

1. Jacky Ickx - Trinacria (Chapparal) - Avg Spd: 101.075mph
2. JayLee Hooker - Habituation (Mach 3) - Avg Spd: 98.437
3. Badcat Stunts - Rita-Yuk Racing (Chapparal 2) - Avg Spd: 98.428

A wild race of sudden death for many of the cars involved. Though Hooker and Stunts untimely issues prevented them from challenging Ickx for the win, the Trinacria lead driver had the healthiest tires and clearly the advantage even before those setbacks to the competition. It was Ickx's skill, not the dice that put the black and gold car in that position.

Hooker's mad lap of shredding tires and rolling dice earned him the 2nd place finish in a blaze of glory!
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Charlie Heckman
United States
Ocoee
Florida
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If anyone is interested in joining us for our second race, we are in the planning phase now.

Geek mail me or email me at flheckman[AT]yahoo[DOT]com

- C
 
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