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RDHGP S6 - Round 8 - Spa Francorchamps - 200km - 26th Feb 2011

Discussion in 'GT Legends' started by Stuart Thomson, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. Stuart Thomson

    Stuart Thomson
    The Stoat Without Fear ™ Premium

    2 manky hookers and a racist dwarf? I'm off home.

    Welcome to Round 8 - the finale - of the RDHGP season 6.

    As seems to be the custom with these things, I can’t believe we’re at the last round already, it fels just a couple of weeks ago that Carlos & I were pulling the entries together and assigning liveries. Please remember that this race breaks with format and schedule so we have a 200km event, run on a Saturday.

    Although I’ve mentioned the reason before, I’ll state it again – this is a double length race, so to prevent some timezones from running very late into a Friday morning when people have to get up for work the next day, it’s moved to a Saturday.

    As it is a 200km event, a pitstop will almost certainly be required. It’s a default track, so there will be no occurrence of the (admittedly fairly rare) “pitcrew ignoring you” bug. Maybe some of the cars in the League can do a full race length on a single tank, but even if they could, I personally wouldn’t fancy trying to navigate Spa on 20+ lap old tyres.

    Unlike the Club enduros we occasinally run, the fuel & tyres will run at normal (1x) usage and wear rates.

    Please go here for a GTL pitstop guide, written by our own Warren Dawes.

    This is more of an endurance style event, so please be prepared for the possibility that it might not be nose to nose racing for the approx 90 minutes. The very best of luck to all competitors.

    We go over 5,750 miles from Okayama, to a curiously familiar sort of First for the RDHGP - the first track that we're visiting for the second time since I've been running RDHGP - and Sap-Francorchamps in Belgium.


    Circuit Notes

    Circuit Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most famous tracks in motor racing history. Situated between the towns of Francorchamps, Stevlot & Malmedy, it originally used public roads, hence some of the corner names. In 1979 it was brutally cut from its previous 14km layout, losing some of the most famous (and most dangerous) corners. Les Combes was a left hander back then, rather than a right hander, leading out to the high speed sections past the village of Burnenville, through the dramatic downhill twisting drop away of Malmedy (the current corner called Malmedy is so called because it is closest to the town of Malmedy, but has no relation to its fearsome forebear), downhill to the infamous Masta Kink, where Jackie Stewart once found himself upside down in a farmhouse cellar with petrol pouring over him.

    Spa also houses the famous Eau Rouge corner, a downhill/uphill, right/left/right complex where bravery can be rewarded with either a great lap time, or an intimate knowledge of the barriers.

    The track cut did not affect one of the more idiosyncratic features of Spa, in that the Ardennes climate can often mean one end of the track is dry, while the other is experiencing rain.

    Among its many prestigious events, it hold the Historic Touring Car Spa 6 hour race. This is our homage to that great event.

    We are running the 2005/06 layout of the track, hence the slightly dated trackmap below.

    A lap of Spa, on the version we are running, starts on the downhill S/F straight with (depending on size of field) the back markers starting pressed up against the exit of the final corner. Holding the cars on the brakes to stop a rolling start, and then getting onto the accelerator for the actual start will require some nifty footwork if the clutch pedal is used. Roaring away from grid, we immediately approach one of the most famous and fearsome corner complexes in racing - T1aL + T1bR Eau Rouge - followed by T2L - Raidillon. Eau Rouge sends you down and left into a dip, then sharply up and right, fully compressing the suspension, and then the Raidillon appears after the crest of Eau Rouge, needing some grip to negotiate it at full speed. The Raidillon has a section of track on the outer edge that looks like tarmac, behind which you can see the pit exit. That stretch of grey between the track and the pit exit is deceiving, being desperately slippery. You will not be able to just keep your foot in it and drive on out.

    Full speed is needed too, as the Raidillon opens onto one of the reminders of Spa's previous, high speed 14km incarnation - the long Kemmel straight which contains T3R an unnamed kink so shallow no-one will really have to do anything but floor the power through it, and right up to top speed before some heavy braking is required for T4aR + T4bL - Les Combes.

    Les Combes is a fairly shallow and widely spaced chicane, but taking liberties with it can upset the cars over the kerbs. With high speeds, late braking points, a long race and close walls, caution is probably the wisest approach to this corner.

    Out of Les Combes, we hit T5R - Malmedy, a fairly standard downhill 90° right hander, nowhere near as fearsome as it's predecessor on the old layout. From there, it's a short downhill squirt into T6R Rivage, a fairly wide-radiused 180° hairpin that starts with +ve camber and exits on -ve camber. Patience is required here, over eagerness on the throttle will cause some adverse reaction here.

    A successful exit from Rivage leads into T6L, an inviting corner that allows you to attack it positively, and onto a decent sized downhill section before one of the most technically demanding corners on Spa - T7aL + T7bL - Pouhon. Pouhon is a quick complex, but the penalty for overcooking it through the first part is a trip to the waiting sandpit. As with so many corners at Spa, a good exit is required from T7bL as it opens onto a decent length straight, under the gantry before the heavy braking area for T8aR + T8bL - Fagnes.

    Another couple of standard 90° corners, like Les Combes they are too widely spaced to be considered a true chicane, and too sharp to be Esses. They are followed closely by very important corners with regard to laptimes, T9aL + T9bL - Stavelot.

    Like Eau Rouge & The Raidillon, there is a long stretch of full acceleration following Stavelot, but unlike those earlier corners, the entry speed is far lower, so a clean but aggressive exit is everything out of T9bL.

    Exiting Stavelot, it's a long blast uphill - the uphill component making it harder to reach top speed than on Kemmel - you go through a gentle kink that's treated as just a straight, before the very tricky T10L - Blanchimont. Some drivers will drop a gear from top for Blanchimont, some will go with a dab of brakes and a feather, but either way, Blanchimont definitely demands some respect.

    It has a section of track on the outer edge that is made of the same stuff as outside the Raidillon, very low grip but tarmac looking surface.

    Out of Blanchimont, and it's a braking contest into T11La + T11bR - The bus stop chicane. The pit entrance is here as well, and as this is a double length race, it will be generating some traffic.

    Out of the Bus Stop, T12L is shallow, taken at full acceleration towards the pit wall, bearing off to the left and up to some high
    speeds before standing on the anchors for the last corner on the lap - T13R - La Source. The tightest corner on the circuit, it's a negatively cambered hairpin, where running wide at entry will only send you further into the outside walls. Stabilising the squirming car out of La Source, it a blast downhill across the S/F line to start another lap of Spa.


    The Race Director has some notes for drivers. Please see the track map above for location of Race Direction note:-

    All Corners Without Exception – The kerbs are not deemed as track, therefore 2 wheels must be within the white lines, on the tarmac, At All Times. Again, there are NO exceptions to this rule at any point on the circuit. Any exception to this rule is deemed illegal, any advantage gained by this method must be ceded immediately. Report people deliberately and excessively cutting.

    T1aL + T1bR – Eau Rouge, T2L - Raidillon. Crowthorne - This corner, especially on the first lap, will be tricky due to the heavy braking zone, cold tyres, vehicle proximity and high speeds. As always, be aware in Lap 1 of people as you turn in here, it will be slower than on susbsequent laps and very, very crowded. The different car types will also have very different cornering strategies – be aware of people around you. Even after the crowded first lap, that slippery overrun on the outside of The Raidillon will cause problems for anyone getting too uppity.

    In addition, the pit exit opens onto the Raidillon, so observe the pit exit lines. People coming out of the pits - as long as they don't merge over the exit line - are under no obligation to delay their exit if someone is approaching.

    T4aR + T4bL - Les Combes. This is the scene of numerous "outbraking myself" incidents. If you hit the grass, regain control before regaining the racing surface - DO NOT try and keep your foot in it across the grass to save time.

    T7aL + T7bL - Pouhon. This is historically a big site for going off, so I'll warn you all about safe re-entries to the racing surface from the sandpit.

    T10L - Blanchimont. The high speed nature of Blanchimont, combined with the slippery overrun and tapering wall can mean some pretty hefty impacts here - possibly throwing stricken cars into the path of oncomers.

    All points on the track – General Items
    No lights are to be flashed at any stage, under any circumstances, during the race.
    No Chat during the Quali or Race except by Race Control for information.
    You may put your lights on if you are on a timed Qualifying lap to inform people in front of you. If they themselves are on a timed lap, they are not under any obligation to move for you.
    The Track must be re-entered safely so as not to ruin other peoples races.
    Car damage must be assessed realistically to know if it is possible to make the pits or not.

    Another reminder - this is a double length, 200km race. As a result:-
    • This race is being run on Saturday 26th - NOT a Thursday
    • Race position points are DOUBLE - see the updated chart below.
    • Pitstops will almost certainly be required by all drivers - If you do not practice your pitstops, only you can be held responsible for any failure or mistake. READ THE GUIDE LINKED ABOVE.
    Incidents, Investigations and Penalties

    There are no incident reports arising from Round 7.

    Please remember, the League staff will only review incidents if they are reported to them.

    No report = no review.

    Please try and remember the incident reporting guidelines: review, cool off, review again. Only after following the above process, and if you are convinced you still need to report it, should you let the League staff know. Please give as much information as possible during the report (time of incident, drivers involved etc.) Accident reports made within 24 hours of race completion will be ignored.

    Any accusations or complaints aired in the Chat during or after a race will mean a penalty levied on the person complaining or making the accusations, even if a subsequent official complaint gets found in their favour. I simply will NOT tolerate any post race finger pointing.


    You have chosen your car and livery already, and you must only drive your chosen car at any time during an RDHGP event. Every driver has a unique livery in this season of RDHGP.

    Scoring System

    Points are scored down to P20 (75% distance completion required) so people can fight for some points no matter where they are on the track, and hopefully have a season long battle with people around them in the League.

    The Distribution is as follows for 200km events :

    P1 - 50 pts
    P2 - 44
    P3 - 40
    P4 - 36
    P5 - 32
    P6 - 30
    P7 - 28
    P8 - 26
    P9 - 24
    P10 - 22
    P11 - 20
    P12 - 18
    P13 - 16
    P14 - 14
    P15 - 12
    P16 - 10
    P17 - 8
    P18 - 6
    P19 - 4
    P20 - 2

    1 point for fastest race lap
    1 point for qualifying on Pole
  2. Stuart Thomson

    Stuart Thomson
    The Stoat Without Fear ™ Premium

    Thread open.
  3. Top briefing again Stu cheers :). As you say i cant believe its the last race already, i was thinking surely thats a mistake and we must of missed a couple of races:confused:. Well they do say time flies when your having fun.......:wink:
  4. Hans Sneep

    Hans Sneep

    Great writing as always, thanks Stuart last race already,what Jay said time flies.......
  5. Jack Smith

    Jack Smith

    :frown:Regrettably I am unable to attend this one on Saturday due to other commitments.
  6. Great read, as usual :thanks:. Can't wait.

    Also, too bad Jack :frown:
  7. Thanks for the flyer/intro my life is now in harmony again. Sad that this is the last race of a most excellent adventure.
  8. Cheers Stu its nice to be reading a little bit again :).

    Not just the whole series,but every race has flown past very quickly from my POV,and the usual double bubble finale' points mean its all to play for at Spa.

    Best of luck to all drivers.........total bummer missing this Jack m8 you done yourself proud with your first league here,i suspect not your last.
  9. Gary just needs a top 8 to be assured of the title :)

    Thanks for the briefing once again Stu :)
  10. welcome in my home guys :)

    eat a lot of "frites"("french fries" google say in english) and drink a lot of "bieres"(beers, not needed to google it lool) ;)
  11. Uuuhhmmm! :eek:
    Can I have a couple of boxes of Jupiler? Now I understand where Greg gets such a high speed on the track...:cool::cool::cool:
  12. my secret come more from Holland... :D
  13. Jack Smith

    Jack Smith

    Thanks Gary.... a real disappointment for sure.
  14. OMG this is what i call HAVEN...omg..desktop pic ...and i fall in love..
  15. Hans Sneep

    Hans Sneep

    What about me than? running 200K al on my own, an Senad is in the Mood so can't hold him either:eek:

    Gary is right,you did a great season Jack:good: giving me a good competition !!
  16. Jack Smith

    Jack Smith

    I like to eat some " fast food " just before a race, but not too early. Give it sometime to absorb into the body where it can do some good.

    Thanks Hans.
  17. The last, longest, most important race of the season (for me), and one of my all time favorite tracks... that should be magical, 200.000 meters of pure driving heaven.

    You know, the track name is spot on - Spa, it surely is. :)
  18. Top brief again Tommo me lad. As others have said, can't belive were at the end of another season but end it must. Jack if you'er unable to attend well done on your first season mate. I hope you enjoyed the experience and come back for some more. GL to all drivers.
  19. Jack Smith

    Jack Smith

    Update: The band is going to set up the gear the night before ( Friday) now so that should give me a window of opportunity to squeeze in the race before heading to a "gig", so I should be able to attend the race.:cool:
  20. Stuart Thomson

    Stuart Thomson
    The Stoat Without Fear ™ Premium

    Top news! :good:
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