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Who needs a V8? Fulvio Policardi victorious with a 1300cc 4 pot.
The spring 2011 season was designed to pit the powerful, big engined V8 cars, against the less powerful but more nimble machinery. To do this the tyre wear in the game was increased, so that the bigger machines had to stop for tyres before the end of each race.
You could loosely divide the cars into 3 categories:
  • The lightweights such as the Renault Alpine, Alfa Romeo GTA & Lotus Cortina. These cars were fairly easy on tyres and had good cornering speed.
  • Then middle-weight cars such as the Jaguar E-Type and Ferrari 250. They had to be driven with some care to make the end of the race without a tyre stop.
  • The tyre destroying heavy-weight V8s. In the end, only I choose to use a powerful V8 for the whole season. The Ford Falcon struggled to make half distance on its tyres. The car can be seen in the tyre wall in the picture below.
In the end it was Fulvio Policardi who came out on top, driving the most under powered car in the field. However, what the car lacked in power, it made up for in the corners. The Alpine was also probably the easiest car on tyres, leaving drivers with enough reserves to push hard at the end of the races. New driver Patrick Ducourthial also put in some great results in the Alpine. Fulvio seemed to benefit a great deal from a setup that his team mate lent him early in the season. Being new Patrick hadn't realised that you should never lend Fulvio a good setup :)
David and Goliath. Above we see the consequences of trying to take on Fulvio's 134bhp Alpine Renault with a 385bhp Ford Falcon. After a long and drawn out battle for the lead in the first half of Laguna Seca, the Falcon attempts to take back 1st place. It is successful for about a second, before meeting the corner of a well constructed barrier, that finished its race.

Second place was taken by Clive Loynes in the Jaguar E-Type. I think it is fair to say that Clive was probably favourite for the title. However, graphics card freezes put pay to his hopes, and he had to settle for second in the end. Hopefully, Clive can get his pc running more consistently for next season.
Here we see Clive Loynes battling the two Alpines of Patrick Ducourthial and Fulvio Policardi at Algarve in the rain. Clive is well known for his love of wet conditions. If you look carefully inside the cockpit you can see him grinning away. Or is that a grimace? Clive was to finish 2nd in the championsip after suffering a lot of problems with his PC.

Ronny van de Pol earns third place this season after leading the Alfa charge. The Alfa was a popular choice of car and Ronny's distinctive gold livery machine could always be seen towards the front of the field. Ronny did suffer from tyre wear on the fronts quite a bit. This often made things more tricky towards the end of the races.
Ronny van de Pol was very strong this season earning a well deserved 3rd place overall. Here we see him leading the early stages of Brands Hatch chased by Clive.

The combination of cars did prove to be a little frustrating for some of the drivers this season. The smaller cars were often held up by the more powerful machines through the twisty sections of track. This wouldn't be so much of a problem, if they weren't left standing as soon as they got to the next straight. Sometimes it would be a case of waiting for the tyres of the bigger cars to go off before pouncing. As usual at MARA, many of the drivers tended to choose cars that might give them more of a challenge, making the racing as close as possible.
MARA saw 3 new drivers join us this season, namely Patrick Ducourthial, Tudor Morris and Syd Drake. All of the new pilots put in some very impressive drives.
Further details of the season including race reports and scores can be found here. MARA is currently in the process of organising the next season. Details to follow shortly.