GT Sport: 2019 FIA Manufacturers Exhibition Series. Round 5: Fuji International Speedway

Qualifying position: 11th

I went into this race having rage quit out of Rounds 3 and 4, mostly due to issues with my control pad that I’m only experiencing on GT Sport where the car will suddenly refuse to turn, especially going into left handers. For Round 5 I decided to switch to using the d-pad and it wasn’t anyway near as bad as I thought it would be. There was some difficulty getting the car to turn in or be stable during long fast corners but I’m sure in time I’ll adjust.

I managed to put my Mercedes in 11th on the grid which I was fine with, there were points during Qualifying where I was placed 6th and 7th but faster laps went in at the end and I couldn’t improve.

I always find the opening lap/s to be a case of just staying out of trouble, which in the replay footage above you can see I more than managed until I was punted by the VW going into the hairpin at the start of the second lap, I then cut the following corner trying to keep my speed and got hit with a penalty to be served at the end of the lap. Fair enough, problem being though that I kept struggling to keep the car on the track in the second to last corner, and did so for a few laps.

Short penalty served I was part of the mid-pack and there was jostling and bumping all over the place. At one point two in front of me, including Eusebiosomethingorother (who I found was involved in most of the jostling), were serving their penalties in the appointed area, Eusebio moved off the line, the other guy didnt but I knew that he’d Ghost so I could go through him, the game forced us to clip and threw me onto the grass so an easy pass ended with my being the second car in a very close pack of four going into a 1st gear hairpin corner.

As we were coming up to the pit window I had another penalty to serve, I think I took a corner too close or rubbed someone a little too hard, its difficult to recall, but it was near the end of the lap so it was set to be served at the end of the following. My medium tyres had gone at this point, I could barely get any grip going into corners and the car was running too straight so I chucked it down the pit lane, missed the chicane but didnt get punished for it (and flew in front of the VW who’d punted me off earlier as we entered the pit limiter area), quickly changed to Softs, no extra fuel and left the pits where I started.

Unfortunately I was thrown off by the increased grip of my new tyres and cut two corners heavily and was given a 6.5 second penalty. But my increased speed and others pitting too late pushed me up to sixth and in clear air. I couldn’t close the gap to Eusebio so just continued running my own race but felt my tyres pretty much go two laps from the end and the gap between myself and seventh closed really rather quickly. If I hadn’t have cut those corners earlier and recieved the larger penalty I could maybe have hung on to the position, but as it stood once the Honda (I believe) caught up to me there was no fight left in my tyres and getting the car slowed enough to get it through the corners and point the front end where I wanted it to go was proving too difficult and I just let him through, cut my losses and watched the gap to 8th, trying to manage it and ultimately succeeding.

I’m aware this is the first raced I’ve blogged on, I’ll try and continue to do the rest of the races, I didnt think of recording previous races here.

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