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Written by Jon Rosario

Tier Two in most OTL leagues have had the misfortune of playing second fiddle to the boys in the upper class. Between unstreamed races and inexperienced driver casts, Tier Two has in the past, gotten the short end of the stick. Some think that just because the pace in the evaluation period wasn’t the best, these guys can’t put on a show. This season, the boys in the second division are determined to put that rumour to bed. With big action, close racing, and prevalent strategy, Tier Two may actually end up being the split to watch as the season progresses.

“…Although the level of pace is behind tier1 the consistency of the drivers is not. One small mistake can see many positions lost…”

Crabby

The season opener at beautiful, temperate, Watkins Glen proved a good race could be had from Tier One, now it was Tier Two’s turn to light up the track. Race one was a really good, close battle. As the jitters of preseason went away with the lights, the racing mass, featuring no BMW’s, made their way onto what would be a crazy race. Race 1 saw flying newcomer Woof on pole, completing the feat with a 1:12.5. Crabby, qualifying P2, did what he does best, and got off the line well, putting himself in a great position doing what he needed to do to stay with Woof in P1. Woof, a new driver for this season, and an absolute Blitzer in preseason testing, showed his pace, gapping everyone as the race went on, furthermore taking Crabby out of a battle for victory with each corner. In these intense laps during the race, Woof would be unlucky, getting 3 seconds of penalties for track limits. After a few mistakes from Crabby put him out of the penalty zone, he would claw back the time on the line JUST to take the season’s maiden victory.

Interestingly, for some reason, those that do well in one race Watkins Glen usually don’t have a good run the second time around, a theory that held true in Race 2. His rivals overjoyed with his starting position at the back, it was always going to be tough for Crabby to make the places back up in such a competitive crowd. Making a great start, overtook a few people, regaining positions going up the hill into the bustop. His classic move, trying to overtake on the brakes going into the bustop, didn’t go as planned this time, however. Not leaving enough room on the outside cars were sent spinning off into the grass, a major incident that threw both driver’s races away. At the front, BrothaSimo, the poleman was rocketing away in first, a long train of cars nipping at his heels. After a strong, collected drive, Simo made a tiny error, clipping the grass, which ultimately lost him FOUR positions. This allowed Zute, the head of the field, to come storming back through the top end, beating Jonny barely to his first win of the season.

The championship picture beginning to set, the emerging contenders, Zute, Jonny, Crabby, and Woof, had one more chance to stamp their initial authority on what would be a crucial championship race. Crabby, starting P2 had Woof in P1, the Brit on fire, making that his second podium of the day. A borderline jump start from Crabby saw Woof’s fellow countryman get a jump and past him on the run into T1. Woof, getting wheelspin off the line, dropped to fourth, a cruel fate after a great qualifying performance. Now on the back foot, the comeback was on as the Brit started to cruise back through the field. Pushing hard at the front was Crabby, who left the pack behind to come home in a stress-free first place, but behind him, it was anything but peaceful for the remaining podium places. Woof, angrily disposing of the pack one by one, was met with the steadfast wills of Dani, Simo, and Mallone, all of which who saw this as an opportunity for the day’s first (or Mallone’s second) podium. Putting up brilliant defences, it was incredibly difficult to make any headway on the trio, but sizing them up one by one, Woof picked off the pair of them, completing an excellent recovery drive to finish second, Danny 3rd, Simo 4th, and Mallone 5th.