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Round 5 of the OTL XBOX Project Cars 2 Touring Car Championship was like every round up to this point: crucial. Heading to Hockenheim, Germany for this race, the national version of a German favourite sparked a day that played more drivers into contention than ever before. With just one to go after this, in typical OTL fashion, the OTL PC2 Touring Car Championship is still up for anyone to win.

“One mistake cost you a few places.”

JHig

Race 1

Race One was an incredible run for Tham. Starting off the day right with pole position from 1:29.673, he absolutely killed it off the line to stamp his authority on the championship. A good start from Tham saw him break away from the pack, seeing himself to a largely uneventful race at the front, winning from the pole. It was in fact, a simmered race. Everyone realizing how important the points were at this stage, etiquette up and down the field was quite friendly. With no elbows out, everyone found their place at the start and stayed there, unable to make a safe move at the tight circuit. Pressure on, the beamers were mighty off the line once again, but with such a twisty, turn-filled track, fell back. Being so, Willy and Yoda would finish the podium, second and third respectively,  condemning Fish, the leading BMW to fourth, Khaos, the championship leader, finishing tenth. Game on!

Race 2

With everyone so close on pace, it was another round showcasing the power and necessity of breaking away from your competitors. Race Two saw another escape from the pole, as this time, utter alien Khaostheory embarrassed the field with another blitz off the line. Unopposed into T1, the hard part was done, as his pace in the slower BMW was compensated for by his unreal talent. A stellar drive, yet soft win, Khaos cruised to victory in a similar fashion to Tham in Race One. Further back, however, things were getting hot, yet remained clean. No one wanting to lose any chances at some much-needed points, the boys kept the contact cordial, however, the pressure was immense. Yoda, the chasing Megane, and Fish, the fellow BMW finished both of the podium, Yoda ending in 8th, effectively nullifying Khaos’ poor race one, and Fish finished fourth, bringing him close to Yoda in contention for the championship. Ahead of these two, it was the tantalizing scrap between AJ and JHig for second and third that pulled most of the attention. Two drivers with nothing to lose, the two traded places back and forth, offering Fish the ability to stay in touch with the pair, but too much risk for him to get by. All in all, AJ would come out the victor, coming home in second, getting JHig in the closing stages to add to the rising star’s growing podium count on the season.

Race 3

Race Three saw an incredible battle between Yoda and Fish. Placed second and third in the championship respectively, the victor sought a crucial leg up as the final push was crucially underway. Yoda on pole with a 1:29.115, the blistering lap was quickly undone by the BMW’s launch, Fish already in the lead by turn 1 after starting 4th. Holding the Megane behind him, Fish masterfully piloted his white BMW, Yoda staying in touch, not letting the Brit escape. It was a great battle, clean and even until the tires battle began to swing in the favour of the Renault. With just three laps to go, Yoda snuck by Fish with a great move up the inside, the Megane working nicely on much fresher rubber. Again, however, Yoda had done himself. With five seconds of time penalties to account for, Fish had no real reason to fight the move, choosing the safer option to follow closely behind him. Unable to break touching distance, five seconds was just too big a gap to open up, leaving Fish with an easy aggregate win. Further back, the action was brutal to Willy once again, as he was unfortunately spun again after a collision with Tham, the racing incident killing any chance Tham had for a championship run; Khaos finishing the podium in the orange BMW.

Driver Interviews

Another race in the book, let’s see what our drivers had to say after a crucial race in the championship hunt.

“Hockenheim was great fun, I’m quite happy with my performance. The best part of the race was once again pulling Willy’s pants down with a great move going into turn two.

As for next round, I’m fairly relaxed. Just 6 points in it! I’m going into the final race right in the mix with Khaos. I’m feeling confident, the Megane is the best car around Brands GP, but Khaos in the BMW gets a huge advantage off the line and he’s always going to get the most out of whatever he’s driving. It’s going to be close for sure. This is my fourth season now, I’ve gotten more reliable and have learned how to stay out of any incidents. I’m just going to play it race by race, keeping a keen eye on the leaderboard and optimising my strategy from there. I need to find a way of keeping up with Khaos off the line and try to get through the pack quickly in Race One from the back of the grid.

What’s my favourite part of the season? Just being right in the mix at Race Six with a shot at the title and what could be my first league win. Just getting to the podium is a great achievement given the quality in Tier One.”

YODA

“The key to getting on the podium was a good qualifying and then getting away at the front. In the third race I did get lucky, however, as the other drivers ahead got penalties which gave me the podium. The most interesting part of these races is racing through the pack. That makes it fun and entertaining.

I would like to think my chances are good but the next track will be tough for the BMW. I need to continue to score good points and continue driving the car the way I have all season. The pressure will be more than it has all season, but the plan will be to go out and do what I have done all season: my best in the race. With how close this league has been, I don’t think strategies have played a big part for anyone. The only thing I can do is put together good races together and see how it plays out.

I don’t have a favourite part of this season. The whole thing has been brilliant; it has been that way, so close with all drivers, which has made this probably the best season yet.”

KHAOS

“With one round to go I’m out of the chance to win unless a miracle happens. My goal is to simply improve my position in the championship, which I will need to hope Willy doesn’t have a good week so I can capitalise.

The key to getting on the podium this week was finding the right rhythm and keeping the consistency going, as one mistake cost you a few places.

My strategy for the next round is to just keep it clean and hope that others make the mistakes. My favourite part of the season has to be all of it. I love racing with these boys as it’s always so close, and the admins do a great job organizing a great season of racing. Therefore, I don’t really have any pressure going into the last round as I’ve got nothing really to lose, just going to try my best and hopefully I get some good results.”

JHIG

“This week was interesting. An evenly matched fight, consistency was key. I bagged two fourths and a win which is a good night, and it meant that I could qualify for all races, giving myself a fighting chance going into the final round. The win in Race Three was vital and very welcome indeed. I really enjoyed the scrap with Yoda where I left him minimal space at almost all times but he kept coming back and got me in the end, without penalties, he would have won on track.

My favourite part of this season has been grabbing wins, for sure. There’s a real sense of achievement when you beat some of the best drivers in the game, and I have done that three times this season. My favourite race was the double win at Snetterton. Had I not disconnected from fourth in Race Two, that could have been the finest meeting I could have hoped for, and the standings now would look very different indeed. Regardless of what happens, this really has been an outstanding season

The pressure is really in full swing now and the adrenaline will be hardcore come lights out at Brands Hatch. Rest assured I will as always calculate any risks I take, but I will have to take a few most likely if I want to be at the front. Strategy wise it is very hard, as you can never be sure what will happen. The grid is so well matched from front to back and anyone can lead and win a race, this however leads to the odd collision and of course, who can forget the track limits penalties…

My chances are average going into the last round. I know this seems daft when I’m third overall and just  21 points off the lead, but overhauling the two lads above me whilst also beating the other drivers in contention is a tall order. Anything can happen, and I’ll go for any and every move I can to try and put myself in a good position to take my first league title. Nothing short of wins will do.”

MR FISH

Just one round left, will there be any other shakeups in the final round? Stay tuned! Find out next week in the season finale of OTL: The Drive. Hey, you never know, Brands may just change it all… visit otlracing.com today for more from the OTL XBOX Project Cars 2 Touring Car Championship.