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Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (Chapter 42)


DarkOwl57
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20 hours ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

NOICE!

 

And you added that one section from the other series, right? That's the one Arcazon is from?

In 2038 Arcazon moved up from Formula K to K1. However, I am hoping to expand in the future to different series as it's needed for the story.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...
Just now, SiriusRocketry said:

quiet whistling in the desert

*Mood intensifies*

Anyways from what i heard from Discord. Dark is currently busy with life atm and is currently taking a break from KSP so yeah. once he's back he'll probably continues this.

 

Still waiting for that Hermish GP dark

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I feel like y'all deserve to know what's been up recently.

What Happened?

To make a very long story short, I burned out. Plain and simple. I got caught up in a KSP group (not the forums, don't worry) that really wasn't that fun. I wasn't enjoying my time, I was stressing out, and I didn't want to turn on the computer to play Kerbal Space Program. The problem got so severe that I ended up not hating KSP, but having a strong dislike. After a little over two and a half years, I left the group in late March. This was both good and catastrophically bad, for differing reasons.

On the one hand, I was finally free of the stress that had plagued the game for the last year of its lifetime. Despite the best efforts of the moderation team, the original game died in late October of 2019. I joined an offshoot that tried to recapture the magic, but it contained the same problems as the old and even more- toxicity, cheating, and the abuse of game mechanics that started to turn me off from KSP. However, that game- the chaos and destruction notwithstanding- was what made LATT. The nations you read about in the story all come from the game, and the game's death in October was the largest hit to my story yet. However, I was determined to finish Life At The Top, no matter the cost. Until March.

When I wrote LATT, I did it in spare moments at school. I had inspiration from the environment around me (for some reason), and I was able to find little 5-minute intervals in my time at school that allowed me to write on. I was prepared to release Chapter 39- a thrilling story involving a wet and chaotic Carthian GP. I had initially planned to release it around the time of Friday, March 6th, the day before Spring Break would begin. [Edit note: Technically not true; I had a track meet on Saturday, so Sunday would be the start of the break. Technicalities.] However, the final few laps weren't finished, and I didn't want to release a rushed product. I went into Spring Break, jotting down ideas about how the story would continue and how it would go on, ready to return home. Then, the world was turned on its head. COVID rocked up everything. I returned home from Dallas on Wednesday, March 11th, but I couldn't find it to finish the chapter. School came, and the atmosphere was tense. We were preparing for the worst, and I didn't have an ounce of free time to finish the last few hundred words that would make for a thrilling end. On Thursday, March 19th, Texas suspended schools. I would never get the chance to finish the story, as stay-at-home school would take up most of the day. Around that time, the group I was in started to get toxic, growing my dislike of KSP further and further until I blamed the game for the struggles. Combine that with a general lack of inspiration in LATT, and I've never finished Chapter 39.

I want to say that I'll return, honestly, I do. However, with each passing day, it's less and less likely. Picking up the pieces would be a Herculean effort, and frankly, I don't think I have the strength. I've written myself into corners; at best, the characters feel bland and unoriginal, and at worst, they're blatant rip-offs; the story is too repetitive; I don't understand the work anymore- on and on. I also have to look at the audience. Kerbal Space Program is, at its heart, a space game first, a jet game second, and everything else third. If you made an itemized list of what KSP is at its core, racing is down at or near the very bottom. Another problem with picking the story back up: My aspirations. When I started LATT, I had this grand vision- Jeb and Max each completing over 20 seasons, retiring in 2062 with titles in the double-digits to their name. As of Chapter 39, I'm only in Season 3. The lofty goals I set myself were, at one point, achievable, as I was completing a chapter every week or so. Then it slowed to one every other week. Then a month. I lost the fire for the story, which is a big problem when you've hardly started in the grand scheme of it all. Combined with an increasing workload (I'm now in my final year of High School, preparing to apply to college), the quality and quantity of the story faltered. I set the bar too high with an overly ambitious project, thinking I would keep the same fire I did when I was young. That was my mistake.

What's next?

Honestly, I can't say. I removed KSP from my computer a couple of weeks ago to make space for F1 2019, and I can't see it returning to my desktop anytime soon. (Don't worry, it's all backed up on a drive. I'm not crazy.) I do have the LATT story on my school laptop, with backups in multiple locations across the internet. However, I do not see much of a return to writing on the novel, mainly due to the lack of inspiration and insane cabin fever thanks to the pandemic.

However...

In April (I think, time is fuzzy when you're locked down for three months), I downloaded this exciting game called "Automation" from STEAM. I had seen a few YouTubers build some wacky cars, so I figured I would come on over and see what the fuss was about. My first cars were terrible sins against the very existence of the machine we call the automobile, but I got better. I'm making progress on a (slightly less) ambitious project of writing, continuing my racing themes with a novel I've tentatively titled "One Lap At A Time." It follows four characters (Dylan Cooper, Calen Reid, Kate Star, and Marcus Rosen) in various racing series (Dylan with a GT/Endurance-style series, Calen in an F1 analog, Kate with Touring Cars, and Marcus in trucks) in cars that I've built in Automation and ported over to the popular game BeamNG.Drive. This series allows me to branch out both various bits of my personality (from the confident and maybe a bit arrogant Calen to the shy and quiet Marcus) and my tastes in racing. One issue that I had with LATT was that I was locked into F1-style races. With "One Lap," I'm able to branch out based on what interests me at the moment (Typically, my moods involving writing style last about a week before I switch to something different). The story offers me a new chance to select what I write and gives me the freedom not to be locked in. Another advantage with "One Lap" will be how I go about posting and writing the story. The way that I wrote LATT was, to put it mildly, a disaster. I bounced all over the place with ideas, I changed my style as I went, and the first chapters couldn't hold a candle to my best work later in the story. When I post OLAAT (That abbreviation is going to need some getting used to), I'll already have the finished product written; posting one chapter regularly after I've already finished writing everything. This allows me to be punctual while giving me time to write without the pressure of a made-up deadline that I imposed on myself. My current plans are to release the story to the BeamNG forums, where I'll judge interest. After that, since it doesn't mention the game at all and all names are made-up, I will possibly send the work to a publisher. Worst-case, I blow a few bucks on sending the story to the company, and it flops. Best-case, I can pay for college. We'll see where that goes.

Coming back to KSP, I'm not sure what the future holds for DarkOwl57. With school ramping up, I won't have time to work on any bits of story, and even if I do, it likely will be OLT (That's slightly better, I think). Perhaps someday, when I've finished my first big work, I'll come back and finish what I've started, little by little. Until then, I'd just like to say...

Final Remarks

Thank you. Thank you for giving me tips, ideas, and best of all, the satisfaction of seeing people reading what I wrote. You helped me to develop my own style of writing, and I couldn't have done it without every one of you along the way. Thank you to @SiriusRocketry, who worked on Arcazon with me for the short time both our stories were alive. Thank you to @MiffedStarfish for giving me details about Aquaria and its culture, and thank you to Google Translate for helping me with Spanish. (Even after dos years of that class, I still can't understand a lick of the language.) Thank you to @Mukita12 for allowing me to use Hermia in the story, even though it never came to fruition. Thank you to all the members of the "Thread for Writers to Talk About Writing" group, helping me with the story. I'll be carrying on the lessons you've taught me throughout the next many years of my writing. I'll likely be taking a back-seat on the forums for a little while, popping in a little bit to see what's up. Once school starts up (I hope it starts up), I'll probably be a bit more regular. Or not, I can't tell what's going to happen. If you've stuck around this far, thank you. I really appreciate it.

- Dark

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Thank you Dark. You’re a lot braver than me to release things you write. I wish I had been following F1 back when this was active so I could have understood it more fully, because looking back making Aquaria a street circuit was a terrible decision on my part. 

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Thanks Dark.  Coming back to post that took some guts.

It's good to hear that stopping work on LATT hasn't stopped you from starting up another story. Here's to the adventures of Dylan, Calen, Kate, and Marcus; their trials, tribulations and whatever else comes their way! And likewise, here's to DarkOwl57 and you - the person behind the name. Best of luck with BeamNG, school, college and whatever else comes your way. Maybe one day, we'll get to read that big work and tell folks about how we knew the author before he became famous. :) 

Until then - stay safe.

 

 

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It has been a real pleasure to work and write alongside you, Dark. Whether it's LATT, 'OLT' or any other story, I'll be happy to help and read whatever you end up writing. It's been an honour and and a privilege to be involved in LATT's universe, and I'll make sure the story's legacy continues. Thank you for letting me get to know you, and I'm certainly looking forward to the future. 

Your friend, 

Sirius

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  • 7 months later...

Much of yesterday’s work was rewriting and revising to update everything to my newer writing style and fix the way things sound. Today has primarily been working on the new  content.

 

Schedule:

Today: Continue working on content

Tomorrow: Continue working on content; Edit in Grammarly.

Tomorrow/Thursday: Finish Editing; Send to Editor. 
Thursday: Final Proofread, Release. 

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It's here. After over a year... It's back. Honestly, I'm as surprised as y'all are. When I left this a little under a year ago, I thought, "This is it. LATT is finished." I never thought I'd be back. I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue this, but I'm even more grateful to those that are still reading this- old or new. For the new readers, it's great to have you, and thank you for taking the time and effort to look into this story. For the old ones, I can't express enough how glad I am that y'all stuck around. The support and excitement I've seen regarding this return- not just on the forums but on Discord (where I also announced my return)- has been overwhelming to say the least. After reading through what I've done and finishing the chapter, I'm excited along with you. When I left, I thought "Oh, just a couple hundred more words and it'll be good." in a frenzy, it quickly grew to almost 6,000. But you guys didn't come here to listen to me; you came for a story! Thank you all, for supporting the comeback. Here we go, again.

 

 

Chapter 39: The Rookie

 

2:00 PM, Mid-April. Round 3 of 11: Carthian Grand Prix. Mallingham, Carthia. 

 

“And welcome, one and all, to the third round of the 2038 K1 season! You join us here in the beautiful northern city of Mallingham, Carthia, for one of the most unique circuits on the calendar this season. My name’s Jim, and joining me in the commentary booth this afternoon is my good friend and long-time resident of the homeless shelters, Jeremy Kerman!”

“You used that joke last year; you could at least put in the effort to try something new. Anyways, this is a simply beautiful circuit, with a blend between the ancient and the advanced. Teams have been struggling practically all week to figure out what their setup will be. Whether they’re looking for a boost on the straight or fast cornering in the technical middle and final sectors, the teams and drivers are in for some excitement with this amazing venue. The circuit is just filled with beautiful corners, and I do not doubt that this track will become a classic within the next few seasons.”

“And speaking of the track, let’s do a rundown, shall we? Drivers come flying down the main straight, topping out anywhere from 170 to 200, depending on the setup. Then it’s a heavy braking zone down through the Highway Chicane, two 90º corners that throw the drivers downhill into one of the most fantastic camera shots we’ll see all year. After two left-handers, the drivers fly into an unbanked 180º corner that provides one of the highest lateral G’s on the entire circuit with the next three turns- 6, 7, and 8- sending the cars through the park and under the trees.

“After whipping through the Terrace Chicane, the drivers fly down into the Old City- a stunning brick road that has been in this town for hundreds of years. One of the action zones, Turns 14 through 19, fast S-like bends that the drivers have practically been straight-lining all weekend, with a massive bump down on the corner exit. Another action zone, Turn 21- a deceptively tight left-hander out of the tunnel. There’s some slight camber down out of the corner, and then a dash out of 22 up the hill.”

“Jer,’ this is a great race track and an almost perfect setup for the first race in a country that’s got loads of motorsport heritage. Arcazon Kerman, driving the 77 car, has had an up-and-down season so far, after DNF-ing at the KSC in the first round and scoring his first points last race in Tekkia after a stunning wet-race performance.”

“And it doesn’t look like we’re going to have a repeat of last week’s wet race- perfect conditions for this afternoon’s race. And so, with that out of the way, it’s time to get going! The Carthian Grand Prix, coming up!”

 

 

I looked up at the mountain’s peaks to the west and admired the way the sun glistened off the snow-capped tops. The teams were all working on their cars, with the grid up on the bridge. Carthia has to have the most unique pit lane I’ve ever seen, with the actual pit lane under the front straight, thanks to the overpass bridge. The race grid was just as unique as the circuit, with an F-Tech on the pole. Max and I were in second and third, respectively, and Arcazon up in P6. This was following up a weird race in Tekkia, with Michael taking the win in a race that required intermediate tires all night. As I looked up to the skyscrapers, Arcazon walked up with Max next to him.

“Ready to start your first home race?” I turned back to look at Arcazon, who smiled.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” he replied. “This weekend, we’ve been pretty good on pace.” Our cars were struggling in the old city portion of the circuit, no matter what we had done.

“Fans this weekend have been amazing,” Max said, waving to the grandstands and drawing a loud cheer from the crowd.

“Yeah, they’re pretty into racing,” Arcazon responded, giving a wave and getting an even louder cheer. I glanced back to the cars on the grid and saw the CM car shining in the afternoon light. The car had gotten a repaint to a more pleasant blue livery that reflected the environment with a chrome shine. Silver streaks were present on the vehicle’s edges, while gold-yellow numbers highlighted the rear driver numbers and names. Overall, a beautiful design.

“The track’s amazing- kinda annoyed we haven’t been here sooner.” Arcazon nodded and looked around.

“It’s a beautiful city all around- you guys should come by and hang out sometime.” An announcement called for the drivers to head to the cars, and he waved. “I’ll see you post-race, alright?” He turned and started jogging back to his car to join the team. Max and I walked a slightly shorter distance to get to where we needed to go.

“Jesus is good, but I think it’s just one-lap pace,” I said to Max as we walked over the bridge. “Honestly, if we can get a good start, I see us with a 1-2 before the Old City.” Max nodded, and we hit our helmets together.

“I think I’m stopping first, but we’ll see. Good luck, man.” We gave each other a high-five before separating; Max to his car in second and myself back to my car in third. I nodded to the team and hopped into the car. The team started pulling on the belts as I slipped the helmet on. The world went silent for a bit, and I relaxed as I tightened the strap and pulled the gloves on. A far-off whining filled my headset as Landin came over the radio. 

“Radio check, radio check. You got me?” I opened the visor and let the sound come in. A  cameraman turned a camera for the TV feed at me, and I gave it a brief wave before responding.

“Yeah, I got you, Landin. How do I sound for you?” I gave the engineer a thumbs-up and a handshake as he finished the belts. I shifted in my seat to feel the limits of the harness.

“Crystal clear,” she responded with a lift in her voice. “No rain expected for the race, clear skies throughout, and a slight wind is coming out of the west. Temperatures in the mid-60’s all day.” I smiled and looked around in my mirror before shifting into an announcer’s voice.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is a simply beautiful day for some racing. Sit back, relax, and let’s enjoy the show.” Landin chuckled.

“Hey, if this whole racing thing doesn’t work out for you, I think you’d make a great game show host. Just saying.” I laughed as the clock showed one minute to the Formation lap.

“‘And your very own brand-new car!’” I laughed over the radio. “Something like that?” The team scattered off to the sides after I got set, and I watched the lights for the formation lap start. I got a good grip out of the grid and came off the line with ease before tucking into line behind Max and Jesus. We were surprisingly off the pace all weekend in Carthia, and nothing seemed to work. The aero grip we’d held both this year and last had seemingly jumped out the window- leading both Max and me to run more wing than we’d prefer. We would have the same cornering performance as the others, but we were down on the main straight at top speed. Meanwhile, Monster was stepping up its game- scoring a landslide win in Tekkia from the pole. The whole race had sprinkles that never really cleared up, and the city streets at night couldn’t drain the water away to give either of us much of a chance to close in.

As we went under a highway bridge in Turn 3, we passed one of the larger grand-stands on the track. They cheered us on and waved, and I heard at least a couple of air horns from the side. The trees provided some shade in the 7-8 turns, and I felt the G-forces tugging at me through the corners. The skyscrapers towered over us out of Turn 8, throwing a shadow over parts of the track. We weaved past a drain cover and into the 9-10-11 chicane- going under a large awning and out of the corners. Even as we rolled over the esses’ curbs, the track felt slightly slick just because of the bricks alone. The car slammed over the dip and bounced off the track. The bump was rough on the car, but we glided over it at speed, so it didn’t hurt the car too bad.

As the grid got set up, I exhaled. The wind shifted and allowed me to get some air into the helmet, allowing me to cool down in the shade of the skyscrapers. I saw a green flag waved in the background, and I closed the helmet- looking up at the light tower.

One light came on, shining bright on the back metal. I pushed the clutch in, and time felt like it slowed down.

Two lights and I shifted up into the MAX engine mode. We had added the new mode in the offseason, and it gave us a bit of extra power. We only used it for the start since the fuel requirements were so harsh.

Three lights and the sound of engines started roaring down the grid.

Four. The revs rose, and the lights flashed on my steering wheel.

Five. I focused hard on the lights- quickly glancing forward to the first corner before looking back.

The lights went out, and I dropped the clutch, getting away from the line clean. I didn’t get any wheel-spin at all and shot away. Jesus couldn’t get the power down, and I swept past him on the inside. Max got a good start, but I drew alongside him down into Turn 1. I couldn’t get past, so I let him go down into the corner and entered the first turn single-file. Jesus was under fire from behind by Michael. I rolled over the temporary curbing and shot down the hill, flying down out of Turn 2 with a full head of steam. We shot underneath the bridges, and I tried to make a move inside into Turn 4. Max sliced down, and I couldn’t get by on the inside. I understeered a bit as we flew down into Turn 5, but I managed to get alongside out of Turn 6 on the inside. 

I flew past and managed to keep the advantage in 8, with Michael just behind both of us. He dove inside on Max in Turn 9 and managed to get alongside. Max slid up out of Turn 10 and cut him off, but I ended up running wide out of 11- slowing up both of them and then bringing the rest of the pack up to us. Max dove up my inside and managed to get by, but Michael was trapped outside in Turn 13. He ran off the track on the bricks and flew up into the dust, almost spinning and losing valuable spots as we dove into the opening esses.

 

“Amazing start up at the front for the OTech cars, with Max Kerman taking the gap out of Turn 13. Michael losing spots there on the outside; what a save! Jeb in second being hounded by the F-Tech of Jesus Costa, Michael Kerman in the Monster with P4, and the Carthian Motorsport car of the Rookie, Arcazon Kerman, in P5!”

 

We raced over the curbs in the esses, and I dove down into Turn 19- gritting my teeth as the car flew over the dip. I got a bit of understeer through Turn 20 and had to cut back to make Turn 21 as the sun blazed into my visor in the middle of the corner. As I pulled out of the corner, I heard a concussive thud and a squealing from the tires as the mirror behind me showed nothing but tire smoke.

 

“OH AND A CRASH! Crash in Turn 21, that’s Michael Kerman in the barriers, and everyone’s stacking up! Three, four, now five cars here out of the tunnel! Safety Car deployed as one car’s in the air; that’s the Monster of Michael Kerman. A few cars have a lot of damage- there’s the LakeFront of Adam Gardner with major damage as he limps it back to the pit lane minus the front and rear wings. They’re going to have to retire that car.”

“Yes, Jim, and now the track’s completely blocked, they’ll have to red flag it for sure here.”

 

“Track’s blocked,” Landin radioed as I flew through Turn 22- racing up the hill and trying to catch Max before the Safety Car was deployed. The lights came on just as I dove inside, and I had to back out of it into Turn 23. The steering wheel went red, and I sighed, weaving up into Max’s line to get around the corner. “Control wants everyone down into the pit lane; we’ll wait there until the debris is cleared.” I looked back in the mirror and saw Jesus’s car, the white and red F-Tech, weaving behind me. I looked a bit farther back and saw Arcazon’s dark blue CM car gleaming in the light.

As soon as I got out of the car, I went over to the computer, seeing the crash’s replay as the team got the car sorted. Max joined me around the computer as I watched. Michael had gotten jammed to the inside into Turn 21 and hit the wall, smashing the left-front. The suspension on the tire broke, and he shot to the right, hitting the LakeFront outside. The orange car spun back across the track and collided with another vehicle as Michael went straight-on, blocking off 4 or 5 cars. The camera changed to show Michael getting out and shaking his head, the radio wire dangling from the helmet.

“You know, that uniform does look pretty good,” Max said with a smirk as the replays showed the view from Michael’s car. I could understand how Michael was a bit frustrated- there was nothing he couldn’t have done differently. As the cars backed up, he ended up getting jacked up into the air up off of another car's nose. I shook my head and stepped back, turning to Max.

“Great start there. I almost hit you in 4, which I bet wouldn’t have been good.” I glanced back at Arcazon’s car back in P4. “Kid’s doing pretty good for himself.” Juan of F-Tech was behind him, with Arcazon still sitting in his car talking with his crew. I noticed that the team was focusing heavily on the right-rear of his car. Curious, I turned to the replay screen. He had managed to slip underneath the carnage, but there was contact that almost spun him around. I could only assume that it was the LakeFront of Gardner.

Following a 15-minute break, we re-fired the engines. We had just one warmup lap behind the Safety Car before we got back running. The green flag waved, and we got off to a flying start down into Turn 1. I shot down the inside, but Max managed to play the defensive, keeping me behind as we went through the first corner. Jesus hounded me through Turn 2 but couldn’t get past, darting back and forth to try and find a hole. Max got a slight lead out to Turn 5 and peeked through the turn as Jesus tried to go outside. I could see Arcazon getting passed into Turn 5, but I couldn’t focus on it too long as I defended through Turn 6.

Max got up close to the wall of Turn 7 and lost time. I dove down the inside in Turn 8 underneath the trees, sweeping past as Max slotted into line in front of Jesus to cut him off. I nailed the Turn 9 apex as Jesus tried a move outside in the hairpin. He just managed to roll past on the inside of Turn 10.

Jesus followed me close throughout the Old City section, and I had to play defensive in the wide streets of the New City. I held the inside of Turn 28, and he had to run wide, cutting Turn 29. He gave the position back but had the inside of Turn 30- forcing me up wide and taking the place.

“Come on, he cut the corner! He’s got to give the position back!” I shot inside into Turn 1 and got alongside but couldn’t get by through the chicane. Max was already about a second back, but I didn’t focus on him- instead just concentrating on catching Jesus. 

Within a few laps, the sunshine had gotten a bit darker as clouds started rolling in over the mountains. I was ready to set up my move out of Turn 11. The engine echoed off the wall as I edged closer- feathering the throttle to get traction in the off-camber corner of Turn 13. I went up the track near the white line to get a good run, but the rear stepped out on corner exit. The tires buzzed over the bricks as I threw it into the esses- the cars created sparks off the bricks as I skittered over the curbs. I rolled over the Turn 19 curbing, and the car bounced on the dip, sending up a loud crash from the rear. I lifted off the throttle and let the car coast through Turn 20, feeling the cool air of the tunnel going through my suit. I could see the skid marks on the tarmac from the first lap crash, but I ignored them- diving down into 22.

I focused on the red tail of the F-Tech in front of me, still aware of Max closing in from behind. We broke into the Traffico corner, otherwise known as Turn 23. The engine echoed off the centuries-old buildings, rattling the old windows. I flew over the dip between Turns 25 and 26, gently holding the throttle with the tires losing some grip as they separated from the ground. The sky was getting darker with each passing minute, and I could feel the air turning cooler with some wind.

“Hey, if the weather’s holding up, I’d like to get off these tires,” I radioed in, barely over-steering out of Turn 27 over the exit curbing. “Rears are starting to go off.” I shot down inside into Turn 28 but couldn’t get alongside, and we maintained the single-file running out of the chicane. Max dove into the pit lane, and I tried a fake into Turn 30. Max had started ahead of me, so I understood why he had come in first. I lost the rears on the corner exit but had the DRS run, drawing close. Jesus covered the inside, and I cut back outside. The crowd whistled and cheered as we flew down the hill single-file. “Having trouble putting down the power.” We blasted through Turn 4 and into the Fountain Curve. The aero dropped as I got into the dirty air of Jesus, but I held on- leaning on the tires as hard as I could.

“We’ll pit you in this lap; No rain from what we see down here.” I threw the car out of 5 and into 6, a rapid 1-2 punch over the curbing. I looked up the inside of the Velocidad section, actually getting the nose in through Turn 8 (Velocidad 2). Jesus, however, held the inside in the hairpin at Turn 9. The back and forth continued throughout the lap before we shot into the pits. I dove down into the heart-stopping pit lane entry and pulled into the underground pit lane, the lights flickering a bit underneath the bridge. I followed Jesus into the pits, turning left into a hairpin-like curve to the actual pit lane. He quickly pulled into the stall, and F-Tech got the car serviced quickly. Come on, I sighed to myself. Let’s get this done.

I pulled in perfectly on the mark as the team lifted me, pulling the tires off and putting on new ones in a blur. The team held me as Jesus slipped past, but I jammed the gas and caught onto his tail out of the pit lane. The engine echoed through the tunnel, but I could still hear a massive roar from the crowd. We exited the pits, and I immediately began my pursuit of Jesus. We buzzed over the bricks on the exit, flying up to meet the track in Turn 4. Jesus didn’t leave an inch of space, so I looked outside around the fountain. I peeked on the inside into Turn 6 but couldn’t get a look. Instead, I was just biding my time until I could get by- trying to force a mistake. We both rocketed through the trees as darker clouds started to roll in over the mountain’s peaks. I dove into Turn 9 and got the inside under the awning, but Jesus held the line for the tighter Turn 10. I tried to keep on the inside through Turn 11. I lost a little bit of ground and managed to cut down to only just beat me out of the corner.

“Where’s Max,” I asked as I raced down the hill into Turn 12.

“One and a half away from you two; he’s in P2 at the moment.” The rear twitched out of Turn 13, but I didn’t lose any time at all, keeping in the tire tracks into the esses.

“Who’s the leader?” Sparks flew out of the back of Jesus’s car on the dip as I chased him into the narrow tunnel.

“Ar..on… ea..er..” The radio crackled in the stone covering, but I was too focused on chasing Jesus in Turn 21. He spun the rears on exit, and I caught onto his tail- forcing a hole inside in Turn 22. I flew past and managed to get clear before the corner- cutting up to the outside brick wall reinforced by ARMCO steel.

“What?” I waited until the Classico straight to re-ask the question. Landin responded quickly before I raced into Turn 23.

“Arcazon is the leader, about 2 seconds in the clear from Max. Max plus-2 to Arcazon.” I chuckled as I broke into Turn 23. Just as I did, a fat drop of water hit my visor with a splat. I quickly wiped it off, trying to focus on catching up to Max. His tail disappeared into the Furioso section as I pulled out of Turn 24.

Huh?” I asked in bewilderment as a few more droplets fell. I flew through the Curve Grande, running up the track and buzzing off of the curbs. I tracked right up next to the wall and came back down, feeling the new tires at work as a couple of sparks popped off the bottom of the floor. The droplets stopped as I went down to Turn 28, and I exhaled a bit.

“I had some raindrops down in the last few corners of the Old City.” I dove into the chicane and kept an eye on Max ahead. “Please keep me updated on the gap.”

“You’re closing a bit, but Jesus is going to be on the attack. Max said the same thing about the rain; we’ll keep monitoring it.” I flew out of Turn 30 and saw Jesus open the DRS behind. I glanced at the pit board and saw I was down by only about a second, but I was focused on keeping the bright red car behind. I knew that Juan- the other F-Tech- was multiple seconds back from us and that Jesus was probably trying to back me up into his clutches. I blocked the inside, and Jesus shot left- electing to try the outside instead of risking a dive-bomb. I held the position into the chicane and went down the hill- Jesus still behind me. I spared a glance at the mountains as we flew through 132L, the nickname for Turn 4. Small streaks of rain off on the horizon were starting to fall, with flashes of lightning up in the peaks. I dove down into Turn 5, and Jesus backed off a little bit.

“Did we just screw up?” I threw the car into Turn 6 and got a twitch of oversteer as I pushed. “Did we screw up the strategy by making an early stop?” The radio buzzed as I flew out of Turn 8.

“We need to go hard here, Jeb, push. Rain’s on the way; repeat, rain is on the way. Get everything out of the tires; we won’t need them in a couple of laps anyway.” I shook my head before diving into the Hotel chicane.

“Any chance it’s just going to pass us by or something?” I tried to be optimistic, even as the water droplets started hitting the visor.

“Afraid not,” Landin replied. “We think it’ll get worse in just a few minutes, so push hard now.” I turned the engine up to Rich and dove down into Turn 12. Jesus was hot on my tail, but I kept the car steady out of Turn 13. The drops were coming a bit faster now- streaking up the visor in the wind.

“Sprinkles are getting faster on the South end of the track. The grip is okay for now.” I flew over the apexes in the 14-19 series of corners, feeling the tires at work. The engine was working as hard as possible, practically flying over the curbs. I shot out of 22, and the sprinkles seemed to stop- likely blocked by the buildings to the side. Jesus, probably after getting the same message, started his push after me. The sprinkles weren’t much worse than little dots now, but I could feel it getting worse. “How’s Max doing?” I noticed the blue and white tail getting closer as I flew out of 27. The rears almost let go but held as I set on my hot-lap pace. Jesus dropped back a bit on exit- likely leaving space for an attack down the front straight. A flash of lightning briefly lit up the sky, its low rumble barely audible under the roar of the engine.

“Max is closing on Arcazon for the lead,” Landin replied. “You’re gaining by about half a second per lap; we’ll double stack you when you box. Keep pushing and keep us updated about the weather.” I pulled out of Turn 30 and opened up the DRS. I was too far back to make a move on Max, but Jesus wasn’t- diving up my inside. He shot past, and I had to move up the track, trying to get a better run down the hill. Sparks flew out from behind as the car bounced over the bumps in the road, and I tried to make my move. The trees waved when I passed as a light breeze briefly kicked out the rear in 7. The drops were starting to get bigger as they hit the visor, filling me with anxiety. We both shot under the building cover and out over the drain strip, and I could feel the tires start to give up a little bit of grip.

“Losing the rears on power,” I reported as we flew down the hill. Jesus locked up, and I went inside, but I only lost time in Turn 13. I could see the white and red car of Juan starting to appear every so often in my mirrors- the Aquarian closing in just a bit as Jesus held me up. The F-Tech was surprisingly good in the corners this weekend- a part of the track we’d been having issues in all week, surprisingly. The tires shined with a little bit of moisture in the tunnel, and the wind howled. I forced the car through Turn 21 and had to manage wheel-spin out of the corner.

“We need to pit,” I radioed in, darting around to see if I could pass Jesus. “Tires are done. It’s too wet.” I tried to make a move in 23, but he had the inside in the next corner.

“Copy, box. Boxing this lap onto wets.” We went through the Furioso section, and I gave a gap out of Turn 26. The rain was coming down hard, and I almost lost the rear- the tires spinning in the water. We raced up to the high-speed right-hander, and all heck broke loose.

Jesus held flat through the corner, but I let off the gas- letting the rears catch a break. Suddenly, Jesus broke sideways at the apex, sliding towards the wall at a little over 160 miles an hour. My eyes widened as he hit the wall with a concussive thud. Debris shot off the car as it rebounded against the wall- skidding across the track and right into my path. I went up the track over the curbing and managed to squeeze between the ruined car and the wall. The tires buzzed over the wood and the curbing, sounding like a yell as debris and curb sparked off the floor. I went back down the track and fish-tailed off the slick curbs before regaining control. Jesus slid off to the side of the track without any of the left-side wheels. The left-rear was buried in the wall and the front hanging limp over the nose. The side of the car, once a vibrant red, had white paint caked all along its face- the side-pod torn to shreds. The yellow lights lit up on my wheel and around the track as I dove into the pit lane, my heart racing.

 

“Oh, and a huge off there for Jesus Costa out of the Curve Grande! Safety Car out immediately, but a massive shunt there for the number 22 car. There’s his teammate, Juan Kerman, getting past there, an-“

“Looks like he’s moving around there, it does look like- yes, I can see it now, Jesus Costa is moving inside that car.”

“And a very good sight; very, very lucky he wasn’t hit when the car came back across the track.”

[J. Costa Engineer Radio]: “Are you alright? Confirm you’re alright, please.”

[Jesus]: “, I’m alright… Sorry, guys. I just lost it.”

 

“Let me know if Jesus is okay,” I breathed, my heart racing as I dove into the pit lane and hit the limiter. “That was a massive hit. Is he alright?” The team finished with Max just as I arrived, and they lifted me right on point.

“Jesus is moving around; he’s moving,” Landin replied, easing my worries a bit. The tires kicked up water as we went through Turn 5, and I went a bit offline. “Everything looked good on the stop in terms of damage. Let me know if you need another stop if something feels wrong.” Arcazon’s car weaved ahead of Max- its blue/red/silver paint scheme gleaming in the street lights that had come on around the track. Lightning forked in the mountains high above us, and it felt like the downpour only sped up. 

“Old City’s going to be awful with this rain. It just came down so fast.” I weaved over the puddles out of 8 and heard the tires splashing through the water.

“Make sure to stay off the curbs; we don’t need a spin.” The field- now down to 17 of the 22 starters- rolled through the Turn 9-10-11 chicane and got a slight break from the rain before coming back out into the storm.

“Do y’all know when the rain’s going to stop?” The slow rumble of the brick rattled the car, testing the suspension as on the uneven surface.

“Negative. The front just came out of nowhere; I don’t know if it’s still forming or if it’s got an end or what.” I nodded my helmet and tested the grip in the esses. The car slid for a second in 14 before I got it back under control. The bricks felt like ice, despite the aero working hard.

“Alright. The grip is awful in the esses. Feels like I’m skating.”

“We gave you some more front wing at the stop- let us know if it works. I went up next to Max on the outside of Turn 22, looking up to the front at Arcazon’s car.

A few laps later- Lap 19- we restarted. 

 

“Green flag here, and we are back underway here in a soaked Carthian Grand Prix! Arcazon leads from the two OTech’s, followed by Juan Kerman of F-Tech and Louie of Monster!”

 

Max got a poor run out of 30, and I shot to the left. The rainwater flew into the air with the rooster tail, and I slid past Max into P2 before the braking zone. Arcazon covered the inside into Turn 1, and I couldn’t pass- forced to go outside. I held my line in Turn 2, but Arcazon had a perfect launch out of the corner and blasted away. Again, I closed out of Turn 4, but he had the inside in 5- forcing me around the long way. I cut him in the next corner and tried to see through the spray as water assaulted my visor. I dove down the inside of 7, but he was there first, anticipating the move and forcing me to check up. I lost the rear out of 7 and ran up wide as I hit a puddle while Arcazon almost didn’t seem to be affected by it. Suddenly, a red blur shot past my right side as Juan flew by out of Turn 8, capitalizing on the mistake. Damnit, I cursed myself as I slotted into line, watching as the two got some separation out of the corner. I keyed the radio before diving into Turn 9.

“Grip is absolutely atrocious. I just can’t stay with him.” I threw the car into the corner, and the rain momentarily stopped under the covering. The tire tracks laid down water lines on the dry tarmac as the lights gleamed- showcasing our cars as we passed the hotel’s entrance. I was back on Juan’s tail out of Turn 11, but both he and Arcazon pulled away out of the corner as I struggled. The rears skidded around out of the corner in the rain. “I can’t put the power down at all out of the corners. If it’s there, I just can’t use it.”

Max had given a little bit of a gap- obviously struggling as well. I had already dropped about a second back to Juan but desperately tried to catch up. I locked the left-front into Turn 12 and had to run wide as Juan tried to line up a move. He fish-tailed out of Turn 13 while Arcazon remained stable, seemingly unaffected by the downpour.

 

“Just after the re-start, and it looks like everyone is having issues out here on this soaked track, but the rookie, Arcazon Kerman, is putting on an absolute show here today.”

 

Juan held in line as the spray seemed to diminish- the water on the track running into the brick’s grooves instead of standing on the track. We all took the esses carefully for the first time, but I still ran in a bit hot in 14. Arcazon got a little bit of oversteer, and Juan looked inside before he got some oversteer himself a corner later. I managed to catch up before catching a slide out of Turn 19, almost drifting over the Big Dip as we coasted above it. I dove down into the tunnel and caught onto Juan’s tail, finally hooking up the car. Arcazon finally seemed to experience issues as he lost ground out of 21- spinning the rears a bit and letting Juan close up. I took advantage and looked inside, but Juan went first, cutting me off and moving on Arcazon, who had no defense on the outside.

Juan moved alongside and out-broke Arcazon into the corner- running wide as he hydroplaned a bit. Arcazon went to the right, which turned to the outside for Turn 24. Juan managed to slide past over the brick as Arcazon hounded him, pressuring the red and white car. Kid’s got some guts, I thought, dropping back as Juan started pulling out a gap.

 

“Amazing move by the F-Tech driver down in the Old City! Arcazon tried to hold on, but Juan Kerman made that move stick on the inside of the corner.”

[Juan K. Engineer Radio]: “Vamos, Juan. P1, P1. 15 Laps to go, push."

 

“Just manage it the best you can. We believe this front might be done in a few laps, and we can switch over to the Inters. Inter running expected in 2-3 laps.” I got understeer through Turn 27 and had to let up, fighting both the rain and the dirty air from Arcazon ahead. Max had closed the gap to me by a small amount as I fought the car, but I kept focused on the blue and red car ahead of me. Juan, now freed from anyone in front of him, got to work extending the gap. I tried to slip past Arcazon by faking him out into Turn 28, but he didn’t react to it- holding to his line and forcing me to go wide.

A couple of laps later- Lap 21- I could feel the rain start to slow down. Juan had gotten a good lead in the clean air, and I hadn’t been able to pass Arcazon. I noticed the tire tracks starting to form a bit clearer in the water- a sign that the puddles were lessening and the rain was slowing down. I dove deep into Turn 1 and almost hit Arcazon’s right side as the tires locked up, but he avoided it perfectly and still ended up ahead of me out of Turn 2.

“Tires are starting to go,” I said as I resumed the attack, keeping in Arcazon’s tire tracks. “Might want to switch to the inters sometime soon. Feel like it’s drying up.” I lost time through Turn 5 and had to slow my pace- giving Max a chance to close up on me.

 

[Arcazon K. Radio]: "What’s the strategy call here? I can go to dries if you want.”

[Engineer]: “If we pit onto dries in a couple of laps, then we can get a Top Five.”

[Arcazon]: “I’m going for the win, Teddy. Tell me what you want me to do.”

[Engineer]: “Copy. We’re boxing next lap.”

 

I dove into the 9-10-11 chicane and almost locked the brakes as the tires lost grip on the wet tarmac. Max held back and let me slide back up to the racing line. I whipped through the chicane and had the line, keeping just a couple of inches between my nose and Arc’s rear.

“I’ll need more power on the straights if you can give it to me.” I dove to the inside of Turn 12 and forced my way through, sweeping past the Carthian. The wet tires kicked spray into the air before I rejoined the racing line- cutting down the track in 13.

“Copy. Good overtake, let’s focus on catching Juan now. We think that the conditions will be right to box for inters next lap.” I slid over the bricks and forced the car over the curbs to keep Arcazon behind. Arcazon closed in Turn 20, but I kept my line and forced him to move outside in 21. He somehow held the line and slid past in the next corner.

 

“And what a move! Arcazon Kerman, in just his third race in K1, going wheel-to-wheel with Jebediah Kerman in one of the tightest sections on the whole track!”

“And look at that, the OTech lost some ground there after getting forced off-line!”

“Third race versus third year, and it’s the young-gun who takes P2!”

 

“Box, Box, we are pitting onto Inters this lap. Box box inters this lap. Watch your delta.” I focused on catching Arcazon all over again.

“What’s Juan doing?” I noticed that Louie had joined the fray behind Max, who I could tell was getting anxious at being held up.

“F-Tech is getting ready. It looks like it’s the Inters. They are pitting onto the intermediate tires this lap, so we’re on the same strategy. Push hard.”

“I can’t push if I’m stuck behind.” Arcazon got a great run out of Turn 27, and I shook my head. “He’s just so quick out of the corners.” I dove into the pit lane and could see the red tail of Juan making the turn. “Fast stop here, guys; I need to close up.”

“You will be racing Blomqvist and Williams on exit; Racing on exit.” I pulled into the box, and the team quickly got the car serviced. I noticed that they didn’t change the wings, which I was grateful for. Juan drove past, but I peeled out of the box closer than I had entered. Before I could exit the pit lane, however, the steering wheel lit up with yellow lights. “Okay, Safety Car, Safety Car!” I punched my steering wheel in anger as I released the pit limiter to get up to speed.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I exited ahead of the two cars that Landin told me I would be racing, but it was still only P7. “This is the second time this race! COME ON!” The radio was silent for a few moments before Landin came over the radio again.

“Are the inters okay, or do you want to just take the hit and box now onto the Dries? Everyone who hasn’t stopped is going to be boxing now; I think that all of them are going to be boxing onto intermediates.” I weaved around to test the grip and didn’t feel any significant issues.

“Inters are good for now. Still too wet for the dries. Depending on when we go green, I think that we can afford to box onto Dries either the lap after green or on the Green Lap.”

“Copy. Just.. Keep me updated.”

“Yeah.” Juan sped up to catch the cars in front, and I keyed the radio again. “I wasn’t yelling at you, by the way. I just…” I groaned.

“It’s alright. I know what you mean.” There was a slight pause. “Do you want a run-down?” I chuckled before rolling under the awning at Turn 10.

“Sure, why not?”

“Do you want to go outward or just down the line?”

“Let’s go down the line, keep it consistent.”

“Copy. So you and Juan are the only ones on Inters. Arcazon leads, with Max and Louie behind him, all on Wets. Chris of PhantomTech P4, then it’s the TT of Ward. Juan on Inters in 6, with you in P7. Behind is Blomqvist from CM, Williams from LakeFront, Lewis tenth, Ellis, Walker, Saul, Anker, and Green in the Archer at 15. White in the other Archer pulled off out of 22, which is why we’re under the Safety Car. Again, everyone except you and Juan are on Wets. Nine laps to go; looks like we’ll go green with six.”

“Thanks.” We rolled through Turn 20, and the radio crackled, but I could understand the message.

“N.. Problem.” I passed the shut-down #88 car of Lucas White, with Marshals pushing the car towards Turn 23, where there was an available post. We passed the pit lane, and everyone pulled off- except for one.

“Okay, so Arc is staying out.” I weaved behind Juan and focused on the Safety Car that had been deployed in front. “He’s still on Wets… He’s going to get destroyed on the restart.”

“Free position. Safety Car is probably going to be in next lap; they’re still working on clearing that car.” Max exited the pit lane first, with Louie behind him. Everyone was on the Intermediate tires, but I knew that the race to the pit lane would be what won or lost the race. “Safety Car will be in this lap; I just got the message. Remember to charge your battery. We’ll be using E1 on the jump.” I worked to get heat into the tires while still maintaining the line.

“There’s a dry line starting to form. Give it another lap, and we’ll be golden.”

“Copy, so we’ll be boxing next lap. I think that’s what everyone else wants to do.”

“This restart is going to be spicy.” We rolled through the esses and took the dip slowly, and I almost chuckled at the Safety Car’s suspension throwing the vehicle into the air.

“Oh, for sure.” Juan worked to get some extra heat into the tires, and I keyed an off-line radio transmission (One that wouldn’t be picked up on the broadcast).

“Tell Max to be right on top of me for the restart. I’m going to send it into Turn 1, so the hole is going to be there.” There was silence before I got confirmation.

“Affirmative. You’ll have maximum deployment available. I’ll let you know when we deactivate it.”

“Can I just keep it on?” We coasted through 21 as the Safety Car’s lights turned off.

“Negative, we need to save the engine.” I groaned and shook the wheel.

“Got it.”

 

“And so here we are, coming up on seven laps to go. Arcazon Kerman leads, with Juan and the two OTech’s behind. Jeremy, what do you think’s going to happen on this restart?”

“Well, Jim, Carthia Motorsports frankly made the wrong call. The track is too dry for-“

[Engineer]: “You know what to do."

[Arcazon K. Radio]: “Copy.”

 

“Be ready for Arcazon to go out of 26. You have the better engine mode to close on Juan.” The Safety Car started to pull away. Arcazon backed the field up in 24. My heart was racing as I turned the engine dial to its highest setting. “Safety Car in 27. Be ready. No overtaking until the Safety Car line.” Before I could react, Arcazon slammed out a downshift and gunned the throttle- leaping away as we tried to recover. Juan got a slight advantage over me, but I took a crisp line through Turn 26 to close up. We were nose-to-tail coming out of Turn 27, and I had to let off the throttle just a little bit to not ram into the rear of the car. Through the wing gap, I noticed that Arcazon didn’t make a move into Turn 28. I didn’t react- too focused on keeping Juan in my sights. I saw Max barreling up to me in my mirrors.

“P-Ten, on Overtake. I’ll inform you when to deactivate.” P-Ten, which meant “Power Mode Ten,” was the absolute maximum engine mode we had- full deployment of the Electric Power System and the combustion engine. It used tons of fuel and even more energy, so we hardly used it- even for qualifying. 

I dove into Turn 30 right on the mark, but Juan was more aggressive and made a small gap on me. I pushed the EPB/Overtake button and felt the engine start to move. Every upshift was right on point, and I grinned as the car began to pull. I stayed in the slipstream as long as I could before feinting left to draw Juan over. As soon as he did, I darted to the right. Spray shot into the air from all four wheels as I went off-line to the inside with Max right behind me. Max was in my slipstream as I got clear and got his wheel alongside in the braking zone. I out-broke Juan and Max followed suit, clearing the F-Tech on the apex.

 

“Green flags in the air, and look at the OTech! Jebediah isn’t letting Juan get comfortable at all, and Max Kerman right behind! Jeb in the slipstream, he goes to the outside- now inside! Jeb to the inside, and he’s clear! WHAT A FANTASTIC MOVE!!!”

 

“Can I use Nine?” We went down the hill single-file, but the F-Tech was coming back on a charge. The engine mode, P-Nine, was the MAX mode- tons of power at the cost of efficiency.

“Affirmative, move to P-Nine.” I flew out of Turn 4 and got on top of the curb before responding.

“Keep me updated on the fuel.”

 

“What a fantastic restart by the two OTech cars, and-“

[Max K. Radio]: “Am I clear to push, or.. what do you want me to do?”

[Claire Radio]: “You’re clear.”

 

“Copy. Arcazon is on dries; it’ll be close. Do you feel good?” Juan’s rear stepped out through 5 and allowed Louie past, but Max was close.

“It’s dry. Confirm box.” I followed the dry line in Turn 6 and let the left-rear gently kiss the exit curb- almost spinning due to a combination of high load, high power, and low grip. Louie fell for the same thing and almost lost the car himself. Juan couldn’t react quick enough and had to slow down instead of passing. Max tried a move inside but slotted back into line, making me instinctively shake the wheel a bit before diving into 7.

“Hey, tell Max to back off, please.” I had to release the radio through the turn and re-keyed it as I exited Turn 8. “If we fight, it’s just going to slow us down.” Before he could get the message, Max dove up my inside through Turn 9. I held my position and got the place on the switch-back. Louie and Juan were falling back, but I could tell that they were both chomping at the bit to close in.

“He has been given the message; he has been told.” I went into Turn 12 on the mark, but Max locked up- losing a little bit of time and creating a small gap.

“Thanks.” I got out of MAX and moved the engine mode down to save fuel and energy. We raced through the esses for the first time on inters, and I almost slid up into the wall in Turn 19. The side of the circuit was less dramatic of a drop than the racing line, which made the bump less painful on the car. I flew through Turn 20, not worrying about tire wear or excess heat.

“Confirm box.” I went all the way to the edge of the track at Turn 22 before answering.

“Confirm. Keep me updated on the gaps.” The gaps had spread out- I was about a second clear of Max, who was a second and a half clear from Juan. He had managed an overtake and was closing in. Fast. We entered the canyon of Turn 24, and I managed to grip a wider line over the bricks. The transition through 25 and 26 was smooth, and I carried all of the speed I could- transitioning from crisp, aggressive lines to smooth, flowing lines that went from edge to edge on the track limits. I braved the curbing in Curve Grande and felt the grip come to me, which gave me confidence for the dry compound.

“Watch your speed on the limiter; we’ll be racing on the way out.” Everyone followed me in, and I could hear the echo of 14 engines on the tunnel-designed pit lane. I hit my box perfectly, and the team was on point, but they held me. Louie entered the box ahead of me, delaying my stop and forcing Max to wait further behind me. I eventually peeled out of the pit lane, but not before losing a position to Juan.

“Aaah damnit! Sorry, guys.” I followed him down the pit lane and released the limiter.

“It’s alright. You are 6 seconds behind Arcazon. He just set the fastest lap of the race. Six laps to go.”

“Copy.”

 

“And look at this! Arcazon Kerman, in his third race ever in K1, is leading with just six to go!”

[Arcazon K. Radio]: "Give me the gap, mate. I need to know the gaps, every sector."

[Engineer]: “Gap is 5.5 behind, don’t let up.”

[Arcazon]: “I don’t plan on it.”

 

“Landin, keep me updated on the gaps. I need to know what pace I need to run.” I rocketed out into Turn 5, using the momentum to my advantage.

“Just push as hard as you can.” Juan already had a half-second advantage, but I was determined to close.

“What engine modes are available?” I kept the car within the racing line and felt the aero wash over the front wing. Still, I was closing in slightly.

“You can run P-Nine, but we will not make it to the end running it the whole way. Recommend we run either P-Six or P-Seven.” I moved up to the Overtake mode of P-Seven and utilized the extra energy deployment with the Overtake button out of Turn 8. Juan started to lose ground to me down the straight, and I knew that an overtake would have to be sooner rather than later.

“Copy. I need to get past this guy if I’m going to catch the leader.” I couldn’t complete a move into Turn 12 and groaned. With the track being as tight as it was, I’d have to wait until Turn 28 to make another move.

 

[Juan K. Radio]: “Guys, I have an issue. I’m losing power.”

[Engineer]: “Okay, we are looking into-“

[Juan]: “D-Limit, D-Limit.”

[Engineer]: “Standby, we are looking. Maintain position.”

 

“Okay, Jeb, Juan has an issue, repeat, Juan has an issue, it appears to be the battery. Try and harvest energy if you can wait until Sector 3.” I held myself behind in the Esses, letting my energy charge up while saving fuel. If I couldn’t pass, I might as well help the car out the best I could. I allowed the engine to relax through Turn 20 before turning it up to Rich- trying to surprise Juan with a push down into Turn 23. He was expecting the move, and I had to try an overtake around the outside. Predictably, it went no-where.

“This guy is holding me up! Come on…” I stuck my hand in the air in anger as Juan went defensive into Turn 24.

 

[Juan K. Radio]: “This guy is crazy.. Is the issue fixable?”

[Engineer Radio]: “Negative, negative, we believe it is a failure in the PDS. We’re working on a fix, standby. Authorizing Mode 6 to counter.”

[Juan]: “Copy. Just let me know what you need me to do.”

 

I held station in Turn 27 and looked inside, but the bright-red F-Tech was already on the defensive. I stayed behind and attacked the curbs before taking a wide line into Turn 30, which gave me both momentum and a gap ahead to utilize a run.

“Use Overtake.” I pushed the button down and twisted the dial to P-Nine. Electrics on Overtake, fuel on its second-highest setting, slipstream, DRS. I let the engine carry me up to the back of Juan’s car and gapped him before we were halfway down the straight. My heart was pounding as I flew down the road.

“Fantastic job, the gap is 6 seconds. Five laps to go; you can do this.” I turned the engine down to Rich and lowered the electrics to help them recharge under braking.

“I need the gap every sector; tell me where I’m faster. Keep me updated on the fuel.” Five hot-laps to try and catch the kid, and I could feel the adrenaline shooting through me. I threw the car down the ramp out of Turn 2, keeping the engine at high energy to push. I had one-lap fresher tires and a better engine, but six seconds in five laps was a daunting task. 

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “Okay, Jebediah has just moved up to P2. Push hard; he will close.”

[Arcazon]: “I need to use Scenario Seven.”

[Engineer]: “We need to conserve the engine for later, do not advise.”

[Arcazon]: “I want this win, Teddy. It’s all or nothing.”

[Engineer]: “Affirm.”

 

“Gap is 5.5. Good pace.” I threw the car into the Turn 9 braking zone and attacked the chicane as hard as I dared. The car got up onto two wheels on both curbs, and I went on the attack. Everything was going into the effort, and I wasn’t giving a rest. I was either going to win, or I was going to crash.

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “Arc, the engine will not survive this stress.”

[Arcazon]: “I don’t care.”

[Engineer]: “You need to reduce the engine mode if you want to make it to the end.”

[Arcazon]: “Just buy me as much time as you can.”

 

I shot through the esses and flew over the dip- barely getting a hint of contact with the floor as I exited the corner. The car understeered through Turn 20, but I threw it hard into Turn 21- on top of the curb and right next to the wall. I used the momentum to swing through Turn 22.

“Gap is 5.4; you’re two tenths off the delta.” I took the car up to the barrier and cut it down into Turn 24, utilizing the aerodynamics to help in the middle sector.

“I just can’t go as fast in the middle sector.” I flew up to the curb on the outside of Turn 27- even using what little bit of the runoff I could. Little puffs of spray came off the tires as I turned back onto the racing line with scraping from the floor and sparks from the curbs.

“You’re authorized to use P-Nine down the straight to close.” I flew into the final chicane and abused the curbing- trying to go as fast as I could. I was hitting perfect lines and using everything I could to attack the straights. “Gap is 4.9; you’re one-tenth off. You’re losing three tenths in Sector 2, but you were much better in the First Sector. You’re setting fastest laps, but we need more.”

“I need more power down the straight. I need P-Ten.” I dialed the engine up to P-Nine and waited.

“Confirmed. P-Ten authorized in Sector One.”

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “Full Power authorized. The gap is 4.9; you’re on pace. Four to go.”

 

I pushed as hard as I could down the straight to make up for lost time without the DRS. I threw the car into Turn 1 and barely got the car under control for the chicane. I got through the corner and raced down the hill, using gravity to help me in my pursuit.

“Max just made an overtake for P3, and he is three back. No threat behind.” I moved to Rich before racing into Turn 5, but the engine still revved high. “Fuel is looking good for the time being.” I flung the car into the triple-right before I got the next update. “Okay, that’s 4.2; you gained three tenths on the delta.”

“I’m just losing time in the middle sector.” I shot through the chicane and into the Old City, gritting my teeth as the car lost front-end grip.

“Just do your best; you’re eating into his gap little by little. You’re faster. Keep it up.”

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “Pace is good; you’re forcing him to push harder than he wants to. If you want, we can conserve and save energy to draw him close for a counter-surge.”

[Arcazon]: “I don’t want to let him get the chance to come close.”

 

I shot into the esses with all the speed I could and had to rely heavily on the aerodynamics to help me through the corners. The car banged over the dip, and I had to recover a slight moment of oversteer before barreling into Turn 20. The car had good grip, but the understeer got me again through 21. I kept pushing through 22.

“3.9, you lost a tenth on where we need to be, but the delta is positive. Keep going.” The car responded flawlessly through the Curve Grande, and I went right up next to the wall yet again- testing the limits of the car and the track. By the time I had returned to the track, I was already turning in for 28- utilizing the entirety of the racing surface. The attack was good, but I had to keep it up. The car turned in perfectly through Turn 30, and I went up next to the wall to take as much track as possible in my quest to close in. The tires were holding well, but at this aggressive pace, I knew that they couldn’t have much left before I started to feel wear.

“Okay, that’s 3.6; you are on top of the Delta. Three laps to go, you’re reeling him in by over a second per lap.” I moved up to P-Ten and tried to make as little movement on the wheel as possible. I was even hunkering down in the cockpit to reduce the drag.

“It’s not enough.. Tell me where I need to step it up.” I again threw the car through the opening chicane and almost lost the rear out of T1 as I tested every limit available.

“The second sector mainly, you’re losing about two tenths on the delta there per lap. Recommend B-B Minus-2 to help.” I changed the engine down to Overtake and moved the Brake Balance down a couple of notches. Pushing the brake bias to the rear would help turn into corners, but it made the back slightly less stable. It was a risk I was willing to take.

“B-B Minus-2 got it.” I immediately got rotation through Turn 5 and used it well to lean on the tires.

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “Okay, your pace is good. Keep this pace; Delta is good.”

[Arcazon]: “Copy.”

 

I flew wide out of Turn 6 and let the momentum carry me up to the wall. The buzzing of the curbs blurred my vision for a brief second before I adjusted and got off the curbs. The wall seemed to tower over the low-to-the-ground car, but I didn’t let it distract me. I attacked the inside curb of Turn 7, and I ran wide onto the white painted line. An unfortunate leaf was thrown into the air by the wheel before I again attacked Turn 8.

“Three-tenths to the good on the delta, that was a fantastic sector. You’re three-tenths faster than the delta.” Sparks flashed in my mirror before I dove into Turn 9. The lights reflected off the nose of my car as I whipped the car over the curbing. The racing line’s black rubber hadn’t been washed away by the rain, and I followed it over the chicane to pinpoint detail.

“The engine can keep this up, right?” I dove into the Turn 12 hairpin and followed the line- missing the apex curb to get a wide entry and gain momentum for Turn 13.

“Affirm. The engine is good as long as we keep doing what we’re doing. No unnecessary risks.” The esses flew by in a blur, and I felt like I glided over Turn 19. It was an all-or-nothing lap. I understeered into Turn 20 and lost momentum as I had to slow down for Turn 21.

“Okay, you’re back on the delta again. Stay focused; we can still get this.” The mistake was costly- a three-tenths advantage gone in just a corner. I dove into Turn 23 and carried the speed over the bricks. The buzz of the centuries-old surface sounded more like a yell than a rumble. Fans cheered from the balconies above, while a small grandstand on the outside of Turn 24 was making their presence known as well. I kept attacking, trying to claw back whatever time I could. Arcazon and I were about equal in the 3rd sector, while I had the advantage in the third when it came to the delta. My race would be won or lost in the middle.

“Two laps to go, you’re 2.4 out. You are on the delta.” The car rocketed up to speed.

“If I can just clean up Turn 20, then I’ll be good.” I dove into Turn 1 and immediately gritted my teeth. The right front erupted in a cloud of smoke, and I heard the tire squeal on the pavement. I reduced the pedal pressure and managed to get turned in, but I could see through the apex that the tire was damaged.

“No, no, no! Damnit!” The crowd erupted into cheers at the mistake as I weaved through the runoff road- a left-right-left triple chicane into the highway ramp. “Sorry, guys. I screwed it up.” The radio was silent as I ran down through the double-apex.

“Can you continue to push?” I could feel a vibration from the flat-spot and had to suffer through Turn 5. Going from 200mph to 40 always carries its risks; a lock-up was one of them.

“No… I flat-spotted it really bad.”

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “Okay, good job, you’re holding the delta.”

“This race is- OOH, LOCKUP BY THE OTECH! He goes on into the runoff area, at the chicane!”

“That’s going to cost him the win, I feel.”

“Well, they’re already cheering, in the grandstands, for that one, and it has cost him, big!”

 

“Alright. Engine P-Five to recover, B-B Minus-1. Max is four back, no pressure behind.” I twisted the knobs on the wheel as the Carthian fans started to celebrate.

 

[Arcazon K. Engineer Radio]: “The car behind has had an issue, car behind with an issue. Scenario Three, Scenario Three; Hit your marks.”

[Arcazon]: “Repeat?!”

[Engineer]: “Car behind had an issue, no pressure behind. Go to Scenario Three. The gap to the car behind is 4.1; there is no pressure behind.”

[Arcazon]: “Are you sure?!?”

[Engineer]: “Affirm.”

 

“Vibrations are bad. I cooked the tire.” The tire resisted the stress in Turn 12, but I could feel the effect of vibration. Combined with the road’s rough surface, it was not a fun experience. The car understeered off of the tunnel, and I sighed. The gap, which was at just a bit over two seconds, was now at four.

“Do you need to pit?” I fought understeer through Turn 23 and briefly locked the right-front again in 24. 

“No, it’s just… Just really rough on the bricks.” The car created sparks over the dip between 25 and 26 before the track changed to the tarmac, and I was relieved. The surface of the brick was slippery enough- the understeer didn’t help one bit.

“Alright. Bring it home here, one lap to go.” I could just see Arcazon’s car disappearing into the first corner as I passed the start-finish line, now over 4 seconds behind. “Gap behind is 3.7 seconds. P-Four is available if you want to conserve the engine a bit.” The Carthian crowd had seen the gap grow with their own eyes, and they were celebrating. Even over the engine, I could hear the air horns and the cheers start to rise. Turn 1 was smooth for the final lap, but I could see the lockup skid mark on the track’s surface.

 

“And now, as he comes through the chicane for the final time, young Arcazon Kerman is just one lap away from winning his home Grand Prix!”

[Engineer Radio]: “Okay, just hit your marks here; he’s slowed his pace. The gap is 4 seconds.”

[Arcazon]: (Exhale) “Okay, copy.”

 

I raced down the hill and took Turns 3 and 4 at speed to finish the lap on a semi-high note. Even though I had reduced the engine mode, the car was still pulling well. The sky above had begun to turn orange, with the setting sun beginning to shine off what little storm clouds remained over the city. The run through Turn 5 was at speed, without a hint of understeer. I moved the engine down after exiting six and ran hard over the double-apex. Though it was fast, it wasn’t enough. The vibration was starting to get worse- my vision was beginning to blur. 

The run through the hotel was bright, but I didn’t let the lights distract me. I was still upset about the mistake. Even with the flat-spot, I was able to hit my marks cleanly. I could hear the celebrations starting, and I could see waves of blue smoke beginning to blow out of the corridor of buildings between Turns 23 and 24. Sure enough, the fans in the stands outside of Turn 24 had started their celebrations- waving flags and smoke canisters. I had to smile a bit beneath the visor before turning in for the corner. Even though the sun was setting, I could feel that the party was just getting started.

 

“And now, coming out of the final turn! He had everything against him today, but he’s coped brilliantly! Arcazon Kerman, with the brand-new Carthia Motorsports team, WINS IN MALLINGHAM!!! ARCAZON KERMAN, A RACE-WINNER!!!”

[Arcazon]: “OH MY GOD!! WHAT DID WE JUST DO?!?! YEAAAAAAAAH!!!” (Deep exhale) “Thank you… Thank you all so much… I just need a moment..”

[Engineer]: “ARCAZON KERMAN, YOU ARE A RACE WINNER! CONGRATULATIONS, MATE!!”

“You can just hear the emotion from that radio, a superb job throughout by the team, and what a race by the rookie!”

“He did a wonderful job all day, and the celebrations are 100% deserved. The damage at the start, the rain, and to hold off those top cars the way he did- fantastic drive by him today.”

 

“Good job, everyone today,” I said, waving to the team on the wall as I passed the line. “Sorry I couldn’t get it for y’all. You deserved it.” I watched the flat-spot rotate around the tire as I slowed, waving to the massive crowd that had begun the celebration.

“Hey, it’s all good. We’ll get them next race. P-One and pick up rubber.” The drive back to the podium was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. The crowd was ecstatic, with flags, smoke, and air horns going off all around the circuit. Even though I hadn’t managed to take the win, I couldn’t help but grin at the reactions. The podium was in a unique location- a stand located above the final corner. We took the chicane and pulled into the runoff, and I pulled onto the mark. “Zero-Zero, and you’re good, remember to keep your gloves and helmet. See you on the podium.” I pulled the switch to shut down the engine and stepped out, watching Arcazon sit in his car. After a few seconds, he got out and ran over to the team, visor up and eyes wet with tears. While he embraced the team, I walked over to my crew- giving them all high-fives. On the way to the weigh scales, I spared a glance at Arcazon’s car. Besides the regular battle scars (Paint blackened by dirt and grime from the track, scrapes on the paint, etc.), I noticed that the right rear floor had a gaping hole in it where the aero bits typically were. The rear wing’s bottom was also beat up- likely due to damage from the Lap 1 incident. I nodded. Impressive that he went the whole race like that.. After the weighing, we went to the lounge.

“Did Juan have an issue when you passed him?” I turned to look at Max, who had ruffled up his hair to relieve some of the heat.

“Yeah, Landin said it was some kind of battery issue. What about you?” I sipped on my water bottle and laid down on the couch.

“When I passed, he was super slow, but then he started to come back towards the end. How close did you get?” I shook my head, and a few beads of sweat went through the air.

“Two seconds, I think, before I locked up. I was on pace to get him before I messed it up.” Just then, Arcazon came into the room, wiping his eyes with a grin. I stood up and went over to him, wrapping him up in a big hug. “You earned it, kid. Heck of a drive.” I grinned at him, and he nodded, still a bit too choked up to really talk. I didn’t mind one bit. This was his moment.

Despite being so close, I was glad to have been a part of it.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good news everyone! After the success of the last chapter, I'm continuing work on Chapter 40! I hit a brief snag of writers block earlier, but now I'm back at it! A quick little Q&A I've prepared, to pass the time:

Q: How do you decide what the tracks look like?
A: There are a few tracks that I have saved to my computer that I use, but most of them come from my head. I have the custom tracks drawn out on (very worn) sheets of notebook paper that follow me wherever I go.

Q: What are the teams?
A: Fantastic question. In the 2038 season, the teams are OTech Race Team, Monster Racing, F-Tech Velocidad, LakeFront Racing Team, Carthia Motors, Racing Line Kindia, PhantomTech Engineering, OTech GP Racing, TT Motorsports, Vitesse Courses, and Archer Motorsports.

Q: Who are the drivers, and is there any analogues to real-life drivers?
A: To get a full list of drivers for the 2038 season, I have a spreadsheet that also has all of the season results for each race. However, I can't share that with y'all, since it would spoil the story! I can, however, tell you some analogies. Max Kerman (OTech) is obviously drawn from current F1 driver Max Verstappen, but only on the racing side (Aggressive and bold). Louie Kerman (Monster) is semi-based on current F1 driver Pierre Gasly. Juan Kerman (F-Tech) is a comparison to current F1 driver Charles Leclerc, while LakeFront's Marty Williams is based off of former F1 driver Mark Webber. Riley Mitchell (Kindia) is a loose tie-in to current F1 driver Sergio Pérez, and fellow RLK driver Emily Walker is a female tie-in to Romain Grosjean, former F1 driver and current IndyCar driver. Mark Kerman (TT) takes the role of 7-time NASCAR champion and current IndyCar driver Jimmie Johnson, while Lewis Kerman (OTech GP) takes the role of, you guessed it, 7-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Some drivers share their numbers with current F1 drivers (Michael Kerman: #3 (Daniel Ricciardo); Max Kerman: #33 (Max Verstappen); Jesus Costa: #22 (Yuki Tsonoda), etc.), as well, but some coincidences are unintentional. I will spoiler a full list below.

Spoiler

Intended reference: Meant to match personality and car driving style (with number)

Semi-reference: Number reference but not much personality continuity

 

#3: Michael Kerman (Monster) + Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren, F1). Unintended driver number connection.

#4: Chris Kerman (PhantomTech) + Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing, IndyCar) + Lando Norris (McLaren, F1). Semi-reference for Daly + Norris.

#5: Marty Williams (LakeFront) + James Hinchcliffe (Andretti, IndyCar) + Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin, F1). Intended Reference (Hinchcliffe); Unintended for Vettel.

#6: Kelli Blu (LakeFront, 2039 season) + Nicholas Latifi (Williams, F1) + Nico Rosberg (Mercedes, F1). Intended reference to Rosberg; unintended for Latifi.

#8: Emily Walker (Kindia) + Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar). Intended reference.

#9: Nikolai Aleksandrov (PhantomTech, 2039 season) + Nikita Mazepin (Haas, F1). Unfortunately intended reference.

#10: Louie Kerman (Monster) + Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri, F1). Intended reference.

#11: Riley Mitchell (Kindia) + Sergio Perez (Red Bull, F1). Semi-reference.

#13: Jebediah Kerman (OTech) + Pastor Maldonardo (Lotus, F1). EXTREMELY UNINTENDED REFERENCE I JUST REALLY LIKE THE NUMBER 13.

#14: Hope Anker (Vitesse) + Fernando Alonso (Alpine, F1). Semi-reference if you ignore how old Fernando is.

#15: Hayden Green (Archer, 2039 season) + Graham Rahal (IndyCar). Unintended Reference

#16: Juan Kerman (F-Tech) + Charles Leclerc (Ferrari, F1). Intended reference.

#17: Retired by K1 + Jules Bianchi (Marussia, F1). Intended reference. 

#21: Saul Kerman (OTGP) + Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber, F1). Unintended reference.

#22: Jesus Costa (F-Tech) + Yuki Tsonoda (AlphaTauri, F1). Unintended reference. (Reference to Helio Castroneves, #3 in IndyCar)

#24: Gabby Ward (TT) + Jeff Gordon (NASCAR). Semi-reference to number.

#27: Felicia Dürr (Kindia, 2039 season) + Nico Hülkenberg (F1, Former). Intended Reference.

#31: Alexia Ellis (Vitesse) + Esteban Ocon (Alpine, F1). Intended Reference.

#33: Max Kerman (OTech) + Max Verstappen (Red Bull, F1). Intended Reference.

#44: Lewis Kerman (OTGP) + Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, F1). Intended Reference.

#48: Mark Kerman (TT) + Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR). Intended Reference.

#55: Carlos Kerman (CM, 2039 season) + Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari, F1). Intended Reference.

#77: Arcazon Kerman (CM) + Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, F1). Unintended Reference.

#88: Lucas White (Archer) + Robert Kubica (Williams, F1, Former). Unintended Reference.

#99: Matthias Blomqvist (CM) + Antonio Giovinazzi (Alpha Romeo, F1). Unintended Reference.

 

Q: How do you keep up with what happens in a race?
A: The spreadsheet that was mentioned before, mainly. In big events like crashes or retirements, I comment what happened to cause the event. This includes a brief description of the incident, as well as lap numbers, where they retired, and what actions were taken (Safety Car, VSC, Local Yellow, etc.). This helps a lot when it comes to races that are way off in the future, so that I know what happens!

Q: Is there a place I can understand exactly what's going on?
A: I'm working on a dictionary. 

 

That's all for now- back to the racing!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/7/2021 at 10:54 PM, DarkOwl57 said:

Good news everyone! After the success of the last chapter, I'm continuing work on Chapter 40! I hit a brief snag of writers block earlier, but now I'm back at it! A quick little Q&A I've prepared, to pass the time:

Q: How do you decide what the tracks look like?
A: There are a few tracks that I have saved to my computer that I use, but most of them come from my head. I have the custom tracks drawn out on (very worn) sheets of notebook paper that follow me wherever I go.

Q: What are the teams?
A: Fantastic question. In the 2038 season, the teams are OTech Race Team, Monster Racing, F-Tech Velocidad, LakeFront Racing Team, Carthia Motors, Racing Line Kindia, PhantomTech Engineering, OTech GP Racing, TT Motorsports, Vitesse Courses, and Archer Motorsports.

Q: Who are the drivers, and is there any analogues to real-life drivers?
A: To get a full list of drivers for the 2038 season, I have a spreadsheet that also has all of the season results for each race. However, I can't share that with y'all, since it would spoil the story! I can, however, tell you some analogies. Max Kerman (OTech) is obviously drawn from current F1 driver Max Verstappen, but only on the racing side (Aggressive and bold). Louie Kerman (Monster) is semi-based on current F1 driver Pierre Gasly. Juan Kerman (F-Tech) is a comparison to current F1 driver Charles Leclerc, while LakeFront's Marty Williams is based off of former F1 driver Mark Webber. Riley Mitchell (Kindia) is a loose tie-in to current F1 driver Sergio Pérez, and fellow RLK driver Emily Walker is a female tie-in to Romain Grosjean, former F1 driver and current IndyCar driver. Mark Kerman (TT) takes the role of 7-time NASCAR champion and current IndyCar driver Jimmie Johnson, while Lewis Kerman (OTech GP) takes the role of, you guessed it, 7-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Some drivers share their numbers with current F1 drivers (Michael Kerman: #3 (Daniel Ricciardo); Max Kerman: #33 (Max Verstappen); Jesus Costa: #22 (Yuki Tsonoda), etc.), as well, but some coincidences are unintentional. I will spoiler a full list below.

  Reveal hidden contents

Intended reference: Meant to match personality and car driving style (with number)

Semi-reference: Number reference but not much personality continuity

 

#3: Michael Kerman (Monster) + Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren, F1). Unintended driver number connection.

#4: Chris Kerman (PhantomTech) + Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing, IndyCar) + Lando Norris (McLaren, F1). Semi-reference for Daly + Norris.

#5: Marty Williams (LakeFront) + James Hinchcliffe (Andretti, IndyCar) + Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin, F1). Intended Reference (Hinchcliffe); Unintended for Vettel.

#6: Kelli Blu (LakeFront, 2039 season) + Nicholas Latifi (Williams, F1) + Nico Rosberg (Mercedes, F1). Intended reference to Rosberg; unintended for Latifi.

#8: Emily Walker (Kindia) + Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar). Intended reference.

#9: Nikolai Aleksandrov (PhantomTech, 2039 season) + Nikita Mazepin (Haas, F1). Unfortunately intended reference.

#10: Louie Kerman (Monster) + Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri, F1). Intended reference.

#11: Riley Mitchell (Kindia) + Sergio Perez (Red Bull, F1). Semi-reference.

#13: Jebediah Kerman (OTech) + Pastor Maldonardo (Lotus, F1). EXTREMELY UNINTENDED REFERENCE I JUST REALLY LIKE THE NUMBER 13.

#14: Hope Anker (Vitesse) + Fernando Alonso (Alpine, F1). Semi-reference if you ignore how old Fernando is.

#15: Hayden Green (Archer, 2039 season) + Graham Rahal (IndyCar). Unintended Reference

#16: Juan Kerman (F-Tech) + Charles Leclerc (Ferrari, F1). Intended reference.

#17: Retired by K1 + Jules Bianchi (Marussia, F1). Intended reference. 

#21: Saul Kerman (OTGP) + Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber, F1). Unintended reference.

#22: Jesus Costa (F-Tech) + Yuki Tsonoda (AlphaTauri, F1). Unintended reference. (Reference to Helio Castroneves, #3 in IndyCar)

#24: Gabby Ward (TT) + Jeff Gordon (NASCAR). Semi-reference to number.

#27: Felicia Dürr (Kindia, 2039 season) + Nico Hülkenberg (F1, Former). Intended Reference.

#31: Alexia Ellis (Vitesse) + Esteban Ocon (Alpine, F1). Intended Reference.

#33: Max Kerman (OTech) + Max Verstappen (Red Bull, F1). Intended Reference.

#44: Lewis Kerman (OTGP) + Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, F1). Intended Reference.

#48: Mark Kerman (TT) + Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR). Intended Reference.

#55: Carlos Kerman (CM, 2039 season) + Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari, F1). Intended Reference.

#77: Arcazon Kerman (CM) + Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, F1). Unintended Reference.

#88: Lucas White (Archer) + Robert Kubica (Williams, F1, Former). Unintended Reference.

#99: Matthias Blomqvist (CM) + Antonio Giovinazzi (Alpha Romeo, F1). Unintended Reference.

 

Q: How do you keep up with what happens in a race?
A: The spreadsheet that was mentioned before, mainly. In big events like crashes or retirements, I comment what happened to cause the event. This includes a brief description of the incident, as well as lap numbers, where they retired, and what actions were taken (Safety Car, VSC, Local Yellow, etc.). This helps a lot when it comes to races that are way off in the future, so that I know what happens!

Q: Is there a place I can understand exactly what's going on?
A: I'm working on a dictionary. 

 

That's all for now- back to the racing!

Awesome. As the great palpatine would say
"We'll watch your career with great interest"

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