Time again for the annual Formula D race. This year, I chose Valencia which proved to be a rather brutal track. As usual we ran 3 laps with a requirement that each car pits at least once in the race.
Tony and Jacqui were not able to make it this year, so we started with only a small field of 5 cars. If I recall correctly, the grid was Michael, then Tim, me, Tatiana and Dave in last place.
The start was congested with many near misses and three collisions before we got through the second corner. Importantly, that left a debris marker in the centre of the long track through that corner restricting the options for future turns.
Michael led coming out of the corner, with the rest of us jostling for second place. Embarrassingly, I took a calculated risk to line up for the final corner. Unfortunately, it did not pay of and I bumped Tim's car in front of me, causing damage to my own car and forcing me out of the race. Yes, I had not even completed ONE lap! At the end of the first lap, there were 5 debris markers on the track. Michael led, followed by Tim, then Tatiana and then Dave.
The second lap was uneventful except that Michael decided to pit. His crew were obviously not on the ball and he did not make it out in one turn. This allowed Tim to overtake him and Dave to catch up. By the time they hit the second corner again, on the final lap, all 4 cars were bunched up, but Michael had narrowly regained the lead.
Coming out of the second corner, Tim overtook Michael again and raced through the third corner. Michael decided it was now or never and put on a burst of speed. However, it was just too much and he spun out as he exited the corner. Still in the race, but now back in first gear. All he could do was watch Tim race away and Dave and Tatiana pass him as he tried to build up speed again.
At this point, Tim may have thought it was in the bag, but some remarkable driving from Dave saw him hit every corner perfectly and by the final corner he was only a car length behind Tim. It would truly come down to the last die roll.
Tim flew out of the corner in fifth gear, rolling a 19 and crossing the finish line. Dave followed also in fifth and rolled a 20 to take second place in an almost photo finish. A turn later Tatiana cruised over the line for third.
Michael, some distance behind, and presumably thinking the road was clear, again put on too much speed through the final corner and crashed out.
There is always next year!