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Giuseppe Reali Thrashed Us
The second MARA season of 2011 included two separate championships. Race 1 was for over 2 Litre GT Cars. The second race used the IROC Porsche 911. As customary at MARA, drivers used one car in each championship for the whole season. Drivers were not allowed to share cars. Unfortunately this meant that somebody had to drive a pink Porsche.
The Shelby Cobra 289 Coupe and Roadsters dominated the Over 2 Litre GT championship. In real life the car was dubbed the "Widow Maker" for obvious reasons. Luckily at MARA an accident in one these only results in a lot of swearing at the pc. Out of the two Cobras, the coupe may have been a slightly better choice. The joys of open top motoring seemed to come at a price of understeer in the high speed corners. Seven drivers in total chose the Shelby Cobra at the start of the season. None of them would have mentioned this to the wife.
There were other cars in the fray. Vincenzo Giagheddu, Fulvio Policardi and Mark Craggs drove the Shelby GT350 (Mustang). Ronny van de Pol and Tudor Morris drove L72 & L76 Corvettes. Jaguar E-Types, Ferrari 275s and Shelby Daytonas were also seen in the mix. To even things out slightly, some of the quickest cars such as the Daytona were not made available to every driver.
In the end it was Giuseppe Reali who proved to be the man to beat in the Over 2 Litre GT championship, with fellow Cobra drivers Clive Loynes and Erik Roeterdink taking 2nd and 3rd. Although Giuseppe dominated, he didn't have it all his own way. Erik managed 3 wins even though he missed the first 6 races of the championship. Ronny van de Pol notched up 3 victories where he could put all of his Vettes 435 horses to good use, while Koit Reispass and Marco Casadei also had wins.
Giuseppe leads the charge at Spa. The black Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster becomes a familiar sight at the front of the field.

The 911 IROC championship didn't prove as popular as the O2L GT. The Porsches take a certain amount of getting used to, and where drivers felt they only had time to race 1 car they tended to choose the GTs. It was still fairly well attended however.
The master of the 911 Porsches turned out to be Giuseppe Reali once more, while the ever consistent Clive Loynes helped himself to another second place. Giuseppe totally dominated, winning 14 out of a total of 17 rounds. Clive jokingly described himself as the first placed non alien. Certainly most of us probably spent the season trying to work out what the hell we were doing so wrong. Each week I turned up with yet another promising setup and went to bed even more disillusioned. Perhaps Sergio Desini (who probably wasn't born on earth either) may have been able to make an impression, if he had been able to attend more races.
Giuseppe drops into T1 at the start of the Whatkins Glen IROC race. Giuseppe dominates this championship from start to finish.

The final race of the season was unusual in that it was held on an oval. The famous Indianapolis circuit proved a refreshing challenge, requiring a different driving technique and setup. There were no reports of dizziness either.
Patrick Ducourthial leads the Porshes at Indianapolis for much of the race. Is he a secret NASCAR veteran?

Further details of the season including race reports and scores can be found here. MARA is hoping to organise another season early in 2012. We are likely to use the excellent GTR2 Power and Glory modification once again.