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Brands Hatch: swinging curbs, little runoff, and storied history, the perfect place to hold an OTL Championship Round isn’t it?

After what has to be easily the most contested OTL XBOX Touring Car League in recent history, once again it came down to one final shootout on home soil.

“It’s just a checkered piece of cloth, …but it means so much…”

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Race 1

Race One in what would be an insane and mind-boggling finale, was crucial, as was every one that night. Taking pole position was AJWRacing with a stunning 1:28.977. The blue and white machine well and away at the front, it was an epic chance for AJ to once again show his class and steal another win away from the frontrunners. A great start and the Beamers far behind, AJ stole away at the front to maintain his lead from a hard charging JHIG, also in a Megane. A largely uneventful couple of laps really heated up when on Lap 4, Yoda, Khaos’s main championship rival, closed right up onto his rear bumper after a failed overtake on Willy held him up. Close, but no cigar on this occasion, saw Yoda stay behind the Orange BMW, as Khaos, with his supreme pace continued up the order, finishing in a commanding, and perfect for him, 4th place. However, Yoda, who finished seventh, took off him the race’s fastest lap, but more on that later.

Race 2

Qualifying for Race Two saw GTR Yoda taking pole with an ever better 1:28.261, his 7th position allowing him to qualify, a crucial feat that once again must have occurred to stop Khaos from ending the championship then and there. Off the line, Fish, another championship contender, made an incredible start from fifth, taking him to third position, challenging Yoda for second place into T1, but the Brit was unable to get him there. It was a gargantuan battle: the pace of Khaos vs. the tyres of Yoda, under half a second from flag to flag, the pressure was on, Yoda needing to best Khaos to keep his hopes alive. Getting a better exit onto the home straight, a brilliant exit as the tyres reached an advantaged state for the Megane, saw Yoda sneak in through the BMWs inside on the way into T1. Clean and clear, the pace of Yoda went into full swing, extending his gap to well over a second, and furthermore, crucially, once again with the help of the race’s fastest lap, garnering him a much needed point to keep the championship alive. Fish, with an incredible race, took the headlines in third after he beat Willy to the line by under a quarter second.

Race 3

It was truly all here when congratulations were being awarded to Khaos. After a truly dominant season, the championship wasn’t clinched, but it may as well have been, barring a truly unusual race, he would be champion, but what came next was the wrench in the championship no one saw coming. For the final race of the year, it was Woof who would see pole with a nicely done 1:28.653, our crowd favourite coming alive right at the season’s end. A slow start from Woof would see him fall to third by the first corner however, both JHIG and AJ getting through, AJ showing his potential leading the field once again. In what was supposed to be Khaos’s victory lap, this however, was where those there for the race could feel something truly special was on the horizon. Contact forcing a spin, Khaos’s BMW fell to LAST PLACE at the hairpin, over 8 seconds behind the leaders by the opening sector! The crowd exhibiting mass disbelief, all attention switched to Yoda and his progress from the back of the field. Unscathed, Yoda, now in the hot seat, made an impressive move around the outside of CrunkCronic to get himself into sixth. Could he really pull off the impossible? These next laps would tell. After an incredible fight between AJ and JHIG broke out at the front, stealing the show, all attention turned to the third sector, where under braking, Crampy made a mistake, saving the car, but in the process, going wide into the gravel, gifting the fifth place to Yoda, slashing the points gap. Fighting him hard, but unable to get by WIlly, Yoda’s progress was halted by the Irishman, where further back the race for the title heated up even more with some fortune falling the way this time of Khaos, who after some fast laps, passing Fish, was also able to sneak by Tham after he went off into the gravel in T1. Now in ninth, and after Yoda received some more time penalties, with two minutes left in the race, the momentum seemed to be switching back into Khaos’s favour. With a stunning maneuver, Yoda overtook Willy for a crucial fourth place, putting the pressure once again on Khaos to respond.  Coming onto the final lap, luck befell Khaos once again, who overtook Woof after he made a mistake, for eight place putting our trackside mathematicians to work once again, claiming that despite all, as it stands Khaos would win the championship on a tie, Yoda just one point short. It all seemed done and dusted, a tie, a win for Khaos, AJ far away in first, and Yoda with pace only good for fourth, where else could one break the gap? Look no further than Fastest Lap. Forgot about it? Ah so did we. With one lap to go, it all came down to this: three sectors, two imperfect tyres, and one twenty-nine to beat. As the lap times came back, all eyes were on the sector times. First sector: green. All the YODA fans made a collective sigh as all seemed lost. Coming around the next couple corners, the car screamed to life, the Brit pushing it for all its worth. The second sector: purple. Excited cheers erupted in the room as the fans erupted to life, their hope restored. A tense final sector to come, penalties further behind nullified any chance of losing position due to added time, meaning one thing: this would either be won or lost here and now. Rounding the final corner, all eyes were glued to the screen as the car crossed the line. Silence: purple. The crowd erupted! HED DONE IT! With a smashing 1:28.481, Yoda took fourth, sweeping the round’s fastest laps, and with it, the OTL XBOX Touring Car Championship by just one point. Incredible!

All said and done, Third place comes home to standout AJ who finished just 14 points off the lead, leapfrogging Fish at the final round after a series of brilliant performances on the day. Fifth in the championship goes to Willyblackhamer, CalmBIGTHAM in sixth, narrowly beating JHIG, who finished in seventh. CaptinCrampy brings it home in eighth, followed by the esteemed DStack in ninth, CrunkCronic rounding out the top ten. Woof and WizardEwe would finish best of the rest in eleventh and twelfth respectively, bringing the season to a close in what was an intense competition.

The season ended, we are once again shown what it means to really race. Unpredictable, nail-biting, and utterly captivating, the boys once again put on an absolute stormer of a show.

That’s it for us! Season One of OTL: The Drive is finito; but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Visit otlracing.com for more from OnTheLimit Community Racing. Get in on leagues, photo competitions, and special events today! Happy Holidays!