CFR-Detroit 2019 Race #4: British Grand Prix

In a (boardgame) race that was held on Friday, May 10, 2019, Mickey Akins came from 13th place on the starting grid to pass the other 12 drivers to win the British Grand Prix. Mark Moellering and Mike Cook were the other podium finishers, in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. The race was contested at Pandemonium Games & Hobbies in Garden City, Michigan. Eleven of the 13 cars finished the race. This was the 4th (of 10) races of the 2019 CFR-Detroit racing season.

The race was on the Brands Hatch track. Our track was based on the old Avalon Hill Brands Hatch track design, except we modified the 2nd corner on the track to make it more logical than was its Avalon Hill design.

The modified Brands Hatch track

The modified Brands Hatch track.

We had not used the Brands Hatch track since our old Advanced Speed Circuit days in the late 1980s/early 1990s, so it needed a good going over. The lane and space dividing lines were originally painted red, and they had faded over the years to be now almost impossible to see. So those lane and space lines were re-painted in yellow. We added the red-and-yellow stripes to mark which side of the track is the inside at any particular point on the track. We also added the orange stripes alongside the track to denote the pit stop spaces. We also went over the numbers in the corners, and re-drew the red cornering arrows.

As a reminder, drivers bid for starting position by bidding some of their wear and/or skill chits, with each wear counting as 1.0 and each skill counting as 0.5 towards their qualifying bid.

Qualifying

Mark Moellering (4 wear + 18 skill) took his 2nd consecutive pole position with a bid of 13.0. Bill Worrel (6 wear + 12 skill) and Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 18 skill) each bid 12.0. Kaluzny then rolled ’95’ on the ensuing percentage dice roll to break the tie, but Worrel rolled ’98’ and thus Worrel started 2nd and Kaluzny was relegated to 3rd. Richard White (5 wear + 13 skill) and Mike Cook (6 wear + 11 skill) each bid 11.5, with White rolling ’38’ to start 4th, while Cook rolled ’02’ to start 5th. Jack Beckman (5 wear + 7 skill) bid 8.5 to start 6th. Gary Sturgeon (0 wear + 15 skill) bid 7.5 and so he started in 7th position.

Greg Lim (5 wear + 2 skill) slotted into the 8th spot with a bid of 6.0. There were two bids of 5.0: Joel Lauder (1 wear + 8 skill) and Mike St. Peter (4 wear + 2 skill). Lauder rolled ’78’ to start 9th, and St. Peter rolled ’26’ to start 10th. Jim Robinson (0 wear + 7 skill) bid only 3.5, so he began 11th. Aric Parr (0 wear + 5 skill) started 12th with a bid of 2.5. Mickey Akins (0 wear + 3 skill) bid 1.5, so he began in the 13th and final position on the grid.

The starting grid for the 2019 British Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 4 Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)        100   20    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 1 Bill Worrel (Ferrari)            100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    20   140  5x   5x   soft
 7 Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 2 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)      100   40    20   140  5x   4x   soft
 0 Greg Lim (Williams)               60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 3 Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)             60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard
 9 Mike St. Peter (McLaren)          60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard
 6 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard
10 Aric Parr (McLaren)               60   40    60   140  5x   3x   hard
27 Mickey Akins (Fiat Ferrari)       60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers (per lap); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

The starting grid at Brands Hatch

The starting grid at Brands Hatch: 1st row: Mark Moellering (blue Tyrrell) and Bill Worrel (red Ferrari); 2nd row: Garry Kaluzny (inside, #8) and Richard White (outside, #7); 3rd row: Mike Cook (yellow Lotus) and Jack Beckman (red Ferrari); 4th row: Gary Sturgeon (yellow Lotus) and Greg Lim (white/yellow/blue Williams); 5th row: Joel lauder (blue/white Tyrrell) and Mike St. Peter (orange McLaren); 6th row: Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue Williams) and Aric Parr (orange McLaren); 7th row: Mickey Akins (red/white Fiat Ferrari).

1st Lap

At the start, the front row cars of Moellering and Worrel both zoomed away at 120 mph (they both used a wear to increase their start speeds by 20 mph each as they were both on soft tires.)  The 2nd row Marlboro McLarens of Kaluzny and White also each used a wear to increase their start speeds to 80 mph. Mike Cook was then balked — he plotted 100 mph (his car’s normal start speed) but had to slow down to 80 mph due to the McLaren roadblock ahead of him. (Hey — it’s not like the McLarens were going slow — they both increased their start speeds!) Beckman used a wear to increase his Ferrari’s start speed to 80 mph, so he kept pace with Cook’s Lotus. From the outside of row 5, St. Peter made a successful dice roll to increase his starting speed to 80 mph. Lauder, on the inside of row 5, failed his -1 start speed roll, mis-shifting and so he started at only 40 mph, 20 mph below his basic starting speed. That allowed Parr to pass Lauder into 10th place when Parr successfully made his start speed dice roll. Jim Robinson rolled his start speed increase attempt using two -1 skill modifiers, but he rolled an ’11’ which became a ‘9’ and so he too mis-shifted and only started at 40 mph instead of the 80 mph he had hoped for. Akins, from the 7th row, was content to start at his normal start speed of 60 mph; that allowed him to come up on Robinson’s left side.

And away they go!

And away they go! At the start, Worrel and Moellering have opened up a 3-space lead, with Worrel taking the inside as Moellering chose to take the cornering arrow.

The cars roared around Paddock Hill Bend, Druids, and then Graham Hill Bend, with Moellering and Worrel racing wheel-to-wheel, each trying to wrest the lead from the other. When they got to the Surtees corner, Moellering had got in front of Worrel, and then two Marlboro McLarens of Kaluzny and White were right behind the leading duo. Then 3 spaces back came the rest of the pack.

Moellering leads at Surtees

Moellering leads at Surtees from Worrel, Kaluzny, and White; then came Beckman, Cook, St. Peter, Sturgeon, Parr, Lim, Akins, Robinson, and Lauder.

The cars raced down Pilgrim’s Drop, and then through Hawthorn’s. Halfway through the 1st lap, it was still Moellering leading from Worrel, then Kaluzny, White, Beckman, Cook, St. Peter, Sturgeon, Parr, Kim, Robinson, Akins, and Lauder.

Then at the Westfield corner, Worrel had to slow down. He had used all 9 of his -1 skill markers and also his only -3 skill marker in bidding for starting positions, so he had no skill chits remaining. He rolled an unmodifed deceleration roll to get down to 120 mph, and then he rolled an unmodifed chance roll for the corner. He crashed, becoming the first retirement from the race, and classified in 13th place.

Moellering leads at Westfield

Moellering leads at Westfield (blue car in upper-right corner; however, Worrel’s Ferrari crashed at that corner (upside-down car next to Moellering. White and Kaluzny and now 2nd and 3rd, Beckman 4th, Cook 5th, then came St. Peter, Parr, Sturgeon, Robinson, Lim, Akins, and Lauder.

When Parr got to the Dingle Dell corner, he failed a deceleration roll. Parr’s deceleration rating was reduced from 60 to 40 mph. Moellering pulled out a 5-space lead over Kaluzny just before Moellering went into the Clark corner. On his next move, Moellering pulled into the pits, but Kaluzny was able to move at 140 mph and was then able to pit on the same game-turn, although Kaluzny pitted 5 spaces behind Moellering. On the next game-turn, the cars of White, Sturgeon, Parr, Cook, and Beckman also pitted. Then on the next game-turn, the cars of St. Peter and Lim pitted just as Moellering and Kaluzny were leaving the pits. Not pitting were Robinson, Akins, and Lauder.

Pandemonium in the pits

Pandemonium in the pits (what did you expect at a place named Pandemonium Games?) Robinson has taken the lead on the track due to his not pitting, with Akins and Moellering right behind.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap was: Moellering (0); White (+2); Robinson (+8); Akins (+9); St. Peter (+5); Lauder (+3); Kaluzny (-4); Parr (+4); Sturgeon (-2); Cook (-5); Beckman (-5); and Lim (-4). Worrel (-11) was classified 13th due to his DNF because of the crash. The numbers in parentheses indicate how many positions a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

When the pit stops were are resolved, the actual running order on the track was: Robinson; Akins; Moellering; Lauder; Kaluzny; White; Parr; Sturgeon; Cook; Beckman; St. Peter, and Lim.

2nd Lap

As the cars rounded the Surtees corner for the 2nd time, Robinson and Akins were sidepod-to-sidepod through Pilgrim’s Drop. Four spaces behind came Moellering, Kaluzny, Lauder, and White. Another 3 spaces back were Sturgeon, Cook, St. Peter, Beckman, and Parr, and Lim was another 2 spaces behind Parr.

At the halfway mark of the race

At the halfway mark of the race, Akins (red & white car at the upper left) has taken the lead from Robinson (white car on the red arrow over the 80 space). The rest of the pack is strung out behind.

Then at Pilgrim’s Drop, Parr forced an unblocked pass on his teammate St. Peter. Parr and Cook both successfully rolled unmodified to increase their top speed on that same straightaway. But then at Dingle Dell corner, Parr again failed an unmodified deceleration dice roll; his brakes had now failed and he retired from the race in 12th place. Then St. Peter spun at Stirling’s corner just as Akins and Robinson had pulled into the pits.

Akins leads the 2nd lap

Akins leads the 2nd lap as he pulls into the pits. Robinson has also pitted, and St. Peter (orange car) has spun (upper left of picture).

The only other cars that pitted at the end of the 2nd lap were those of Lauder and St. Peter; the other cars all stayed on the track.

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap was: Akins (+12); White (+2); Moellering (-2); Sturgeon (+3); Kaluzny (-2); Cook (-1); Beckman (-1); Lim (0); Robinson (+2); St. Peter (0); and Lauder (-2). Parr was classified 12th when his brakes failed.

When the 2nd round of pit stops was over, though, the running order on the track was: White; Moellering; Sturgeon; Kaluzny; Beckman; Cook; Akins; Lim; Robinson; Lauder, and St. Peter.

3rd Lap

As the pack reached Graham Hill Bend early in the 3rd lap, White spun his car. He had been leading at the time, but dropped to 4th after recovering from the spin.

Richard White spins at Graham Hill Bend

Richard White (backwards facing white & orange McLaren) spins at Graham Hill Bend. Note that Mickey Akins is currently 7th.

Moellering then found himself in the lead, and he pulled out a 3-space lead over the now 2nd-place Kaluzny coming out of the Surtees corner. As the pack passed through Hawthorn’s corner for the last time, there was but a half-lap left to race. Moellering still led by two spaces from the pack of Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Cook, White, Beckman, and Akins, then behind that pack came Robinson, Lim, and Lauder, and then another 13 spaces back came St. Peter.

Going into the Westfield corner, Akins was 7th; coming out of Westfield, he was in 4th place. The rest of the pack had now caught up with Moellering. While most of the leading cars were discovering they had very few remaining wear, Akins still had a comfortable amount of wear. At Dingle Dell, Akins moved into 3rd, alongside the 2nd-place Cook.

Akins moves into 3rd place

Akins moves into 3rd place. The running order is: Moellering, Cook, Akins, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Beckman, White, Robinson, Lauder, Lim, and St. Peter (not in the picture).

At the next corner, Stirling’s, Akins pulled up next to the race leader Moellering, and then Akins passed Moellering for the lead whilst on Clearways. Coming through the final corner, the Clark Curve, Akins was 2-spaces clear from Moellering.

Akins takes the checkered flag

Akins (red & white Fiat Ferrari) takes the checkered flag to win the British Grand Prix.

At the checkered flag, it was Akins winning by 4 spaces from Moellering and Cook. The two team Marlboro McLarens of White and Kaluzny were drag-racing for 4th and 5th place. Kaluzny damaged his engine by over-revving it, and so White was 4th and Kaluzny had to settle for 5th. Jim Robinson came home in 6th, and Sturgeon was 7th. Greg Lim snagged 8th place, the final points paying position. Beckman was 9th, and Lauder was 10th. Lauder had tried a forced-pass on Robinson at the finish line, but was blocked. Lauder could not slow down, and so he spun right at the finish line. But Lauder kept his 10th place, because 11th place, St. Peter, was 8 spaces behind at that moment.

The official order at the finish of the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch: 1st-Mickey Akins (+12); 2nd-Mark Moellering (-1); 3rd-Mike Cook (+2); 4th-Richard White (0); 5th-Garry Kaluzny (-2); 6th-Jim Robinson (+5); 7th-Gary Sturgeon (0); 8th-Greg Lim (0); 9th-Jack Beckman (-3); 10th-Joel Lauder (-1); 11th-Mike St. Peter (). Two DNFs were classified: Aric Parr (0) was 12th (brakes); and Bill Worrel (-11) was 13th (accident).

Aftermath

Points awarded at the 2019 British Grand Prix: Akins 15; Moellering 12; Cook 10; White 8; Kaluzny 6; Robinson 4; Sturgeon 2, and Lim 1.

Team points awarded at the 2019 British Grand Prix: Fiat Ferrari 15; Marlboro McLaren 14; Tyrrell 12; Camel Lotus 12; Williams 5.

The points standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 4 of 10 races):

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1T  Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  36
  1T  Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  36
  3   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           35
  4   Bill Worrel (Ferrari)             30
  5   Aric Parr (McLaren)               22
  6   Jim Robinson (Williams)           16
  7   Mickey Akins (Fiat Ferrari)       15
  8   Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)         14
  9   Greg Lim (Williams)                8
 10   Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)        7
 11T  Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)              4
 11T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              4
 13T  Mike St. Peter (McLaren)           2
 13T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             2
 15   Brian Robinson (Benetton)          1

Drivers can only count their 7 best finishes out of the 10 races.

The team championship standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 4 of 10 races):

Place Team              Points
  1   Marlboro McLaren    72
  2   Camel Lotus         42
  3   Ferrari             32
  4T  McLaren             24
  4T  Williams            24
  6   Tyrrell             18
  7   Fiat Ferrari        15
  8   Benetton             5

Teams can only count their 2 best finishing cars from each race.

Another Thought

It seems at most of our CFR-Detroit races, there is wild bidding to ensure starting up front. Most cars also start on soft tires to then can spend a wear to automatically increase their starting speed without having to roll dice (which could result in a stall!) Then it is a race on the first lap to get into the pits before anyone else, switch to hard tires, and try to eke out two laps on your remaining wear. It was refreshing to see Mickey Akins reverse that strategy. He bid only 3 skill, and started last on hard tires. He carefully nursed his wear through the first two laps, then pitted at the end of the 2nd lap. He emerged on soft tires, and while he had to pick his way through several cars that had got in front on him during his pit stop, has was able to use his extra wear on the final lap to guide his car to victory.

Akins set the CFR-Detroit record for winning from the lowest starting position (13th place). The previous record was winning from 7th place, by Jack Beckman at Abu Dhabi in 2018.

The next (5th) race of the 2019 CFR-Detroit racing season was on Saturday, July 13, at Guild of Blades in Clawson, Michigan. It was the Michigan Grand Prix, raced on the downtown Detroit track.

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