Marcelo Paschoalin
Santo André
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Interlagos was the stage for the final race of our championship, and it proved to be one of the best races on the season (11 races total). For this special event I've bought two trophies: one for the Best Team and one for the Best Driver.

I believed the Best Team trophy would be easy to win, as I've had a good margin of victory against the other fellows. The Driver trophy wouldn't be so easy, as my lead was made of only 4 points...

...and did I mention we start each race on the reverse order of the championship points? That means my leading car was in the back of the pack.

We all came with different approaches of setup. I hoarded tires, while another team hoarded brakes, and the other hoarded engines... That would lead to some interesting and tough choices during our final 3-lap race.

At least the sun shone all day.

The mix of results could give 4 drivers the trophy. From the 9 cars in the championship, that would be a nice change of pace. But the things were far from easy (for example, one driver needed to win the race and not allow two others get 5th or better ending position...).

So off we went. Or, at least 8 of the 9 cars went... My greatest rival stalled his car.

And I've got the "great" idea of pulling on his side forcing a collision (if he didn't finished the race, I would win unless a third car came out in 1st)... And 1 of my 2 body points was spent uselessly... That was my greatest mistake in the whole race, as now I needed to run extra carefully. And my opponents surely took that in consideration.

At least the "S do Senna" was the point where I put my car back on the race, leaving in 5th gear while half of the field left in 4th. Those extra tires really helped...

The first casuality was one of the cars of my team: a second colision (yes, two of our cars started with only 2 body points) by the other "S" still on the first lap took him out. That meant only 3 cars had a chance of winning the Trophy now.

With most engines on high rotations, and a few cars trading paint, the race quickly became a obstacle course. For example, on the first lap the two outer lanes of the "Descida do Lago" on the end of the "Reta Oposta" had dangerous spots on their first space. That meant the only safe route there was using the shortest path possible (something a few cars coming in 6th gear learned the hardest way). No one was eliminated there, but the threat remained.

By the end of the 1st lap, the three contendants were in 3rd, 5th and 7th places. That still could give me the trophy, but there was much to be raced on...

All but two cars pitted before entering the second lap. Those who didn't had different fates: one opened a large margin, the other lost a turn before reaching the "S do Senna" but rolling one less space than he needed (and we use the "red lining" house rule--he wanted to save the engines for last).

Second lap was more or less eventful than the first, but some nice tactics were displayed by many of the teams, overtaking each other in succession. Another car of my team was forced over a dangerous spot and left the race on the "Pinheirinho"... At the moment I was not thinking about it, but the Best Team trophy was slipping through our fingers...

Third lap. One car was on the back of the pack without any chances of reaching the 5th or better spot, but it was not one of the candidates to the Best Driver trophy. I was firmly exchanging positions with another car, battling for 4th... Even a 5th place would be nice, but nothing beyond that would be enough...

One car that was not battling for the title kept the lead (in fact, he was on the lead since the middle of the first lap), having 1 turn of advantage over the second place (my fiercest rival, only 4 points behind me). At this time I was hoping that the race ended as such, but then there was the "S do Senna" once again...

...leaving the "S do Senna", my fiercest rival and my own car had no Transmission and no Brake points left. I had 2 body points (holy pits), 2 engines and 2 suspension, and he had 1 engine, 3 body points and 1 suspension.

We both raced through the "Reta Oposta" in 5th gear. Then I saw my demise--if I kept the 5th gear I could not reach the "Descida do Lago", if I lowered the gear to 4th I could be easily overtaken by the 6th place car (one of his team mates) and say farewell to the trophy.

He risked 4th (he was in the second place after all).

I risked 6th.

He made the turn, still a turn ahead. I barely made it, losing ALL my tires but one (a 30 on the die would signal the end of my race, a 29 would spin my car... I've rolled a 28).

Next turn, same decisions. I've managed to go up to 4th spot in the race, but he still was in second. He risked the 5th gear and entered the turn.

My decisions were the same: 5th could bring me near the turn and I would overshoot it with 4th (remember: no transmission points left). I risked 6th. Anything higher than 25 would spell my doom. I've rolled 23.

But that put me next to another car and I've took a body damage. Another collision would spell my doom (okay, my car was in bad shape... really bad).

And another car rolls a 20 on the 5th gear, we all roll our black dice and... I take another engine damage. One more and I was out (at least my rival had the same problem).

Now we need to approach the "S". He managed to do that in two 4th gears.

I needed to roll a 5th, than a 4th, and I couldn't overshoot the turn...

Rolling the 5th: 12. Fantastic.

Than the chase begun.

As I was now in 3rd and he was in 2nd (with no chance of winning the race), the only way my rival would win the trophy was wreaking my car. The 4th place was a car of his team, so he begun to try to place his car alongside mine forcing a collision. For me, the race became a cat-and-mouse game.

By the last turn, I was in 4th gear while the chaser was right behind me. The winner of the race was already decided, and the second place was on my rival's hands.

4th gear for me, 4th for the chaser.

With no engine points to spare, I wouldn't risk a 5th gear, but I could force a more interesting decision...

3rd gear for me, 4th for him. He overtook me (I was in 4th--5th was my limit).

3rd for him, 3rd for me. The 5th placer was coming at 5th, with the 6th and 7th places on the chase.

4th for him, 4th for me. I overtook him. Bad. Really bad.

We both were overtaken. 3rd place was decided.

3rd for me (rolled a 8). 4th for him. He overtook me by 2 spaces.

And then there was the risk of falling to 6th, as the car behind me was in 5th gear ready to roll a 6th and I was still 10 spaces short of the finishing line.

4th for him, he crossed.

4th for me. Rolled a 9: 1 space short of the finishing line. Farewell trophy, as the guy behind me would roll a 6th gear...

He rolled. 30. Then he rolled for engine damage.

He was out.

I've managed to finish 5th. The trophy was mine!

But let me tell you: we tied in points (me and my rival), so the first tiebraker was number of 1st places.


Number of second places? Tied.

Number of third places: I had 1 more. That granted me the trophy.

Then I've accounted the team points.

Roz Motorsports had 76. Scuderia Rogeriana (my rival's team) had 86.
We've got 87. The loss of two cars on this final race almost made us lose the trophy everyone thought it was already ours!

And if that car hadn't blowed his engine, we would lose the Team and the Driver trophies as well!

Never a race was so exciting for us.

Here's the final standings:
(1st place gets 9, 2nd gets 6, 3rd gets 4, 4th gets 3, 5th gets 2, 6th gets 1--Drivers that Did Not Finish earn no points, regardless of final position on the race).

Car -- Team -- Points
Ligier -- Fermmoylle Racing -- 38
Minardi -- Scuderia Rogeriana -- 38
March -- Roz Motorsports -- 33
Lotus -- Roz Motorsports -- 28
Ferrari -- Fermmoylle Racing -- 27
Williams -- Scuderia Rogeriana -- 26
Benetton -- Fermmoylle Racing -- 22
Tyrrell -- Scuderia Rogeriana -- 22
McLaren -- Roz Motorsports -- 15

Team -- Points
Fermmoylle Racing -- 87
Scuderia Rogeriana -- 86
Roz Motorsports -- 76
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Daniel Sundström
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Sounds like a fantastic race! I would have loved to be a part of it!
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