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RIP Colin McRae

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The rally community lost one of their most spectacular drivers to ever grace the rally tracks.

Colin McRae died on September 15 on a stupid helicopter crash, along with his 5 year old son, and two friends.

Born in 1968, he was the son of 5-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae, and was the older brother of WRC pilot Alister McRae.

He started his career in 1986, competing in various Scottish Rally Championship events, driving a Talbot Sunbeam, and acquired his first WRC victory in 1993 driving a Prodrive-built Subaru Legacy, and after that, driving a Subaru Impreza, he took Subaru to 3 consecutive constructors championships from 1995 to 1997, catapulting the Subaru Impreza to stardom.

1995 was also the prime of Colin McRae's career, winning the WRC Drivers championship after an emotional duel with team mate Carlos Sainz with the legendary "555" Subaru Impreza. This title was historic for the WRC for two reasons:

  • He was the first English driver to win the Drivers Championship
  • He's currently the youngest Drivers Champion, winning the title with just 27 years of age.

In 1996, he was appointed a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

He continued rallying until 2006, even taking part on the X-Games, going against Travis Pastrana, and only lost due to a spectacular crash of his modified Subaru Impreza.

Besides being a great pilot, he was my childhood hero. I watched WRC back in 1992-1997 just because of Colin McRae.

Here are some videos of his awesomeness as a pilot:

2006 X-games against Travis Pastrana

Top Gear Special putting a Ford Cougar against a Focus WRC and a Stewart Ford F1 in Silverstone

McRae driving the legendary "555" Impreza in the Rally of Portugal

RIP Colin McRae

1968-2007

Tuner Meeting at GT

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Here I am again! How are you doing? I know what you're thinking: another 200 A-Spec race. Yep, that's true!

This time, we went to mess with t3h 1337 tun3rzz, on the Tuning Car Grand Prix.

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Car used: Amuse S2000 R1 '04

Specs: All non-power/weight upgrades, R3 tires (Alternative: R2 Tires, NA1)

Against: TRIAL Celica SS-II (ZZT231) '03, Opera Performance S2000 '04, AMUSE S2000 Street Version '04, Mine's Lancer Evolution VI '00, NISMO Fairlady Z Z-Tune (Z33) '03.

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Tracks:

Apricot Hill Reverse: Since this was a championship, it was easy to spot the lineup, and store it for later use. The main threat on the whole lineup is the Opera S2000. This car is really good, and it's ready to own you if you don't apply to your fullest. Fortunately, Apricot Hill has a critical place where you can win BOATLOADS of time: the tight S-Section at the beginning of the track, after the first corner. This place can decide the outcome of your race. I overtook the Opera S2000 at the hairpin on the 2nd lap. After this, you may only need to worry about blocking him on the stretch, since he is much faster than you.

Fuji Speedway 90's: Ah... Fuji 90's! Shortcut ahoy! And it's definitely needed, since it's a very fast track, with a BIG stretch, and the Opera S2000 doesn't want to ease things up, so you better rely on cutting the chicane at least once. Another good place to win time is the first corner. Since you bought Racing Brakes, you should be able to out-brake the competition, braking much later, and doing the corner much faster. Overtook 1st place after cutting the chicane on the second lap.

Tokyo Route 246: A very fast track! This is definitely not good for me, but it is good for the Opera S2000. Fortunately, you're running in R3 tires, so you can make some very fast corners. At the beginning, try to use your opponents as cushions to gain a very early lead, and win lots of time for the lead. Then, capitalize on the following corners: the long right sweeper, the banked S-Section (they brake unnecessarily here), the quick left hander after the double apex corner (same as before, but they brake even harder), and the last corner (they brake on the approach, and INSIDE the corner, which is something very unusual). Overtook the leader on the last corner on the 1st lap. Don't forget to block the S2000 on the long stretch.

El Capitan Reverse: No matter how many races I do here, and it doesn't matter if it is the Normal version or the Reverse version, I ALWAYS find 200 point races in here EASY. Seriously, either I'm too good of a driver, or the AI simply sucks driving here, or both. You can win time almost anywhere in this track, but the most crucial point is the hill section. Overtook the leader on the right bender before the bridge. Just to give you an idea of how easy this was: I won by 8 seconds.

Tsukuba Circuit: This was also an easy race, thanks to the blocking that the TRIAL Celica did to avoid the Opera S2000 to take over the lead (the TRIAL Celica started in the lead, and the Opera in 2nd). If that didn't happen, I'm sure I would have a much tougher time, especially taking into account the HUGE straightaway of Tsukuba. You can win some time on both hairpins if you do them smoothly, and on the last corner. Overtook 1st place before the first hairpin on Lap 2.

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There you have it! One more race done! And currently at 44380 points

Ratings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10
MR Challenge: 6.8/10
Lightweight K: 7.6/10
Spider and Roadster: 7.2/10
Sport Truck Race: 1.5/10
Clubman Cup: 7.3/10
Tuning Car GP: 6.5/10

There's nothing of too much difficulty here, only some blockage to do, and some driving skills

Next up: NA Sports

Got to use my vacations... while they last

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*looks at last post*

Wow. Been a while since I last updated this...

Anyway, I've recently decided to do another race for 200 A-Spec, since I was already missing these races!

I've turned my head to the Clubman Cup; let's see what's in store for me...

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Car used: 10km Special Toyota Supra SZ-R '97

Specs: All non-power / weight upgrades, S2 tires, 100 ballast, Nitrous at max, no driving aids, Gearbox auto-setup at 7

Against: Toyota MR2 GT-S '97, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 '85, Opel Speedster Turbo '00, Honda Integra Type R (DC5) '03, Clio Renault Sport V6 Phase 2 '03

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Tracks:

Apricot Hill Raceway: Started pretty tough in here. Since this was a pretty fast track, I would have to resort to Nitrous to win here. It took a bit for me to adapt to the extra weight on the car, but it turned out that this car was really fun to drive. The AI can't say the same about the 205, since it looked like the 205 was being driven by someone who just came out of the distillery, and drunk every bottle of whisky in stock. Anyway, I overtook the leading MR2 on the second lap on the hairpin about halfway through the track. Good places to win time are the long left hand sweeper, since the AI tends to do almost half the corner on the outside a la Ayrton Senna (RIP), and the tight S-section before the last corner. Oh and use Nitrous whenever you have a patch of straight road. Block the MR2 on the stretch.

Twin Ring Motegi East: Another fast track, but surprisingly, I thought this one was a bit easier than the last one. Don't expect the AI having the same trouble driving the 205 as it did on the last race, because that's not going to happen. Use the whole width of the track to your advantage. Overtook 1st place on the first corner of the last lap... I guess...(did this yesterday, at high night hours, so I can't remember much >_>). The technical section after the first turn is good to win time. Use nitrous on the many straightwaways.

Seoul Central Reverse: Crap, another fast track. But with a lot of straights, you can use Nitrous to your advantage. I don't know why, but the AI does the 2nd 90º turn too much on the outside. So you can win some time by using other cars as a cushion for that curve. Another good place is the S-Section before the last turn, since you can do it pretty smmothly, gaining some time. But this isn't enough to guarrantee 1st place, so you need to wallride the last corner. That's where I overtook 1st place: last corner, 3rd lap.

Clubman Stage 5: This was a pretty easy race. In fact, I don't think you need nitrous for this one at all. This used to be one of my favourite tracks from GT1. And since the Supra has a rather good weight distribution, you can do some corners (like the corner after the tunnel) almost without braking winning A LOT of time. The quick section after the tight left hander is also good to win time. Overtook 1st place on the 3rd lap, on the second to last curve.

Deep Forest Raceway: Another easy race. I can't really explain why the AI drives so badly here. You can win a lot of time almost through all of the track, but the last corner gets the award for "Most time winning corner", since you can do that corner well into 4th gear, maybe into 5th. Overtook 1st place on the last corner on the 2nd lap.

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That's it! That's all he wrote! Another rather easy event, with the 2 last tracks being extremely easy. But you need to be careful with Apricot Hill, since the AI drives pretty well in here.

Ratings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10
MR Challenge: 6.8/10
Lightweight K: 7.6/10
Spider and Roadster: 7.2/10
Sport Truck Race: 1.5/10
Clubman Cup: 7.3/10

The tuning car cup is right next door. Pretty fitting, since there will be a tuned car meeting here in Portugal next week!

American POWAHHH!!1!11!!

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So I decided to go back to the 200 A-Spec points challenge, and finish the Beginner Events for good.

The last event means a lot for Americans, since they are the No. 1 producers of Pickup Trucks. This event is a good example of how raw the American power can be *cough* Toyota Tacoma *cough* :P.

Anyway, let's start:
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Car used: Dodge Ram 1500 LARAMIE Hemi Quad Cab (that's a long name...)

Specs: Stock on S2

Against: Chevrolet SSR, Chevrolet Silverado SST Concept, Dodge Ram 1500 LARAMIE Hemi Quad Cab, Toyota Tacoma X-Runner, Ford F-150 Lightning. (The cars are always the same, the only thing that is different is the positions in which they start)

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Tracks:

Fuji Speedway 90's: This race was very easy. If you get used to the stiff handling, that is vintage of the pickups, you'll get around this course pretty easily, even if you don't cut the chicane. Gained 1st place on the S-section at about 1/3 of the track. Word of advice: be very careful on the stretch, since the Silverado is much faster than the Ram. Block him.

Laguna Seca: Another very easy race. Although you need to be careful in some corners, since you can't do them too fast, or the Ram will understeer your ass into outside the track. Special attention on the downhill corner after the "corkscrew",because the car can tailgate a lot on that one. I even drifted my way on that corner on the second lap! I'll upload the pic as soon as I have time. Overtook first place on the corner before the quick lefthand corner.

Seattle Circuit Reverse: I guess I won't be able to find an event as easy as this one. Not a lot of things to point out, other than the fact that you need to be careful while doing the chicane, due to the size of the Ram. Overtook first place on the corner after crossing the railroad tracks.

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So that's it! Beginner events are all done for 200 A-Spec points. Now we will enter the Professional events.

Current A-Spec: Around 42612 points, I think

Ratings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10
MR Challenge: 6.8/10
Lightweight K: 7.6/10
Spider and Roadster: 7.2/10
Sport Truck Race: 1.5/10

Very, very easy challenge. 0.5 points are there because of the roadblocking you need to do in Fuji

Off to the next one!

Back in Action! Easter Vacations Style!

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It's been a long time since I last updated this. But now, with some much needed vacations, I felt this was the perfect time to do a 200 A-Spec point race!

So without further ado, let's do this.

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Car used: Lotus Elise Type 72 (told you I would use this car in the future :D)

Specs: S1 Tires, all non-power upgrades (except weight reduction), 120 Ballast, Nitrous at max (for Twin Ring East). Reads 122 Hp at the Parts Change/Settings menu

Lineup: Vauxhall VX220, Toyota MR2 GT-S, Opel Speedster, Nissan 350Z Roadster, MG TF160 (an easy way to get this lineup: Instead of entering the race, preview it, then enter. You'll get this lineup)

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Tracks:

Twin Ring Motegi East: I was in a really bad mood when I decided to do this race. And when I am in a bad mood, this can only mean one thing: the AI better be careful, or they might find themselves eating some dirt after I ram them into oblivion. Anyway, I already knew this was going to be a tough one, since it was a track that had very few technical corners, and a lot of high speed straights. But the race was pretty fun, since I almost used everyone as a cushion to overtake them. But I had to use Nitrous on the second lap, otherwise I would lose. I overtook 1st place on the second lap after ramming it on the tight corner before the bridge overpass. The technical section after the first corner is a good place to win some time.

Trial Mountain Reverse: Nothing like a good technical circuit for an easy race. The AI brakes too much on this track, and you can use it to your advantage, if you know what you're doing. But be careful on the stretch before the tunnel. The competition is fast enough to overtake you here (you'll overtake them on the next corner, anyways...). I overtook 1st place on the last corner of the first lap. The whole downhill section after the second tunnel is a great place to win a lot of time, since you can make those curves pretty much without braking.

Infineon Raceway Sports: Another technical circuit, but much faster than Trial Mountain, so you'll have a bit more trouble here. Good places to win time are: the quick corner before the uphill S section in the beginning of the track, the long downhill corner at about halfway, and the two S-sections after the double-apex turn. Overtook 1st place after ramming it on the double apex turn, on lap 2.

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That's another one! My current A-Spec lies in 42042. Funny number, eh? Didn't add much points this time, since I did these races before for about 170 points (with the Chevrolet Bathtub..... I mean, the Chevrolet Corvette Convertible).

Rankings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10
MR Challenge: 6.8/10
Lightweight K: 7.6/10
Spider and Roadster: 7.2/10

The only really tough one is Twin Ring, and it's made easy with the Nitrous equipped.

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There's only one race for me to complete the beginner events: The Pickup Truck race. So let's save this game.....

Uh Oh... this isn't good...

As soon as the game finishes saving, the controller turned itself off. And now, I can't do anything with it! :(. Even after opening the controller, I can't seem to find anything wrong!

Well... it looks like my controller is dead... It held on its own for more than 5 years...

Luckily, I have a spare one, since I bought my slim PS2! Time to give some work to that DS2!

K-Car? Does thie mean Kilo Car?

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:P:P

Here am I again. School has started... t3h suck500rzzzz :(. Even worse, I fell that one of my disciplines is going to take all my free time in about a month... :( :(

Oh well, let's do another race for 200 A-Spec points, this time... with micro cars...

Here's a bit of logic: micro cars -> micro size -> micro engines ->micro power -> 00ber boredom...

Anyway...


Car used: Daihatsu Midget II D-Type

Specs: All non-power upgrades, N3 Tires, no driving aids, body refreshment, Nitrous at 100, used oil (56730 Km/35456.25 Mi). Reads 31 Hp at the Parts Change/ Settings menu (whoopee :? Why do the Japanese LOVE this kind of cars?)

Against: Suzuki Kei Works '02, Suzuki Cappuccino (EA21R)'95, Daihatsu Copen Active Top '02, Honda Beat Version Z '93, Nissan PAO '89


Tracks:

Motorland: Nitrous all around. Otherwise, you'll keep riding at that slower-than-**** speed that this car has (and so does the opposition) and never overtake anyone, unless you cut some corners. Fun moment happened at Lap 1: the Copen ate some dirt on the double apex turn next to the long sweepers, and clobbered the Beat, reducing its speed. Advantage me! Overtook 1st place on the sharp corner, before the small stretch close to the S section, on Lap 3. Medium to hard race. You can win time on the technical section of this track, since the opposition unnecessarily tends to make the corners out-in-out, and you can capitalize this by putting yourself in front of them, and receive a bump from behind to boost your speed.

Tsukuba: Oh boy... My first real challenge. I need to adjust the gearbox, because the car tops out at 119 KPH (an ass-whooping 74 MPH), and if the Cappuccino overtakes 1st place... goodbye my little race. Again, nitrous all around. Even so, raising the auto setup made the Midget a much better car. Even overtook the 1st place Cappuccino on the first corner of Lap 3 (with a little bump), but this race was very hard. You can do the long sweeper almost without decelerating.

Beginner's Course: Holy ****!! 7 Laps?? I know the course is short but damn... 7 laps on a Micro Machine is BAD! Nitrous all around.The quick Bus-Stop-like chicane is a great place to win time, and that's what makes this one much easier than the last two. Overtook 1st place on the stretch just before the start of lap 4.


Phew! This one's done. Remind me that I still need this car for its one make race... Otherwise, he's going to the garbage. :)

Rankings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10
MR Challenge: 6.8/10
Lightweight K: 7.6/10

The enourmous difficulty of Tsukuba made the difficulty skyrocket. But it can be compensated by stretching the gears a bit (auto setup 6 is good enough).


Another one done! The next one will make me drive a REAL car. In fact... I already used it...

See you! :)

Rant about price differences in different countries that go too high...

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Since the blog is the perfect place to share thoughts and opinions, I think I should talk about something that bothers me for quite some time: price differences between different countries that go too high... because of excessive taxes.

Let's take an example: my favourite car, the Viper SRT-10 (not the coupé version). An 8.3 V10 510 Hp beast.

I've searched some sites that could contain the car's price in USD (dollars). I found one... it costs 74952$. At the current exchange rate (USD/EUR = 0.762), it would cost 57113.42 EUR. 

Then I went to search one that could contain the price in GBP (pounds). Found one for 69787 GBP. That would be 103982.63 EUR (GBP/EUR = 1.49). Well... that's a bit more.

A few months ago, I got a magazine with the Viper SRT-10 being tested... Price: 194000 EUR. More than half of this price: taxes

So let's recap:

America: 57113.42 EUR
UK: 103982.63
Portugal: 194000 EUR

Self-explanatory. I guess it's better to import it from America...

MR Challenge

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Nothing like a good 200 A-spec race to start the weekend! Of all the drivetrain specific races, this was the only one missing. So let's do this!


Car used: Lotus Elise Type 72

Specs: S1 Tires, No driving aids, Nitrous (for New York). Reads 122 Hp at the Parts Change/Settings menu.

Against: NSX Type S Zero '97, Lotus Esprit Turbo HC '87, NSX Type R '02, ASL Garaiya '02, Toyota MR2 GT-S '97


Tracks:

Beginner's Course: This course is narrow as hell, and the opposition has the alarming problem of being FAT. So in order to overtake the opposition, you have to resort to a bit of grass cutting, and bumping the opposition out of the way. If you can do this, it's an easy race. Overtook 1st place on the turn right before the finish line, on lap 3. The Chicane is a good point to win time. Just be careful with the S1 Tires.

Autumn Ring Reverse: This one needs a bit of practice, since the NSX Type S Zero in the lead can give you some headaches. If you can't overtake 2nd place quickly, either you have nitrous, or it's a lost race. The Bus Stop chicane can be done without braking, winning some valuable time. The series of quick turns at the start, the loop-like corner, and the hairpin at about halfway of the track are great points to win time. Overtook 1st place in that hairpin at halfway of the second lap.

New York Reverse: You have to use Nitrous for this one to compensate the inferior top speed of the Elise, when comparing them to the NSX. The opposition loses a lot of time in the 90º turns, so if you do them nicely, you can win a lot of time. Use the Nitrous on both stretches, and this one's done.

Fuji Speedway 90's: This is an easy one, due to the fact that it's Fuji 90's, so you can cut that chicane for lots of time (around 10 seconds). And keep looking to the rear of your car, and block the NSX on the end of the first lap, otherwise, he'll blow past you like none of his business.

El Capitan: This car was MADE for this track. I can't believe the serious ownage I did to both NSXs on this track. The hill section after the tunnel, and the technical section near the end of the track are excellent to win loads of time. I overtook 1st place on the first lap on that hairpin after the downhill stretch, and went to win the race by more than 6.5 seconds...


Another one bites the dust!.

Current A-Spec: 41356 Points

Ratings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10
MR Challenge: 6.8/10

Very close, difficulty wise to the first 2 drivetrain challenges. The real pain is Autumn Ring, and New York is made easy due to the use of Nitrous.

Next up: Lightweight K-Car Cup! :)

4WD Mania!

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After some absence from this, due to the championships, I've returned to the 200 A-Spec Challenge.

The next one was up: 4WD Challenge.


Car Used: Mitsubishi 3000 GT SR (J) '96

Specs: Burned oil (425xx Km), Semi-Racing Exhaust, Racing Chip, VCD at 10,  all non-power upgrades... except Racing Suspension. Reads 220 Hp at Parts Change/Setting menu, no Driving Aids

Against: Audi Quattro, Audi RS6, Hyundai Clix, Ford RS200, Impreza WRX STi. (2nd Lineup)


Tracks:

Grand Valley East: I removed the Racing Suspension because the car was getting too stiff for me. And I kind of did a good choice. The track was much easier this way, although the car still understeers. On the first lap, I played some bumper cars with a lot of the opponents, and a really bad curve gave me a one way ticket to the wall. However, I was able to recover, and overtake 1st place on the sharp corner before the tunnel. Good points to win time are: the sharp corner before the tunnel, and both S sections (after the hairpin and after the tunnel)

Autumn Ring Mini Reverse: Very short course, that's why it has 4 laps. But even if it had two, it would be a cake walk. Had to overtake 5th place on the outside, otherwise I would bump into it. Bus stop chicane is a key place, and so is the hairpin, since they decelerate too much on these two corners. Overtook 1st place on the hairpin, before entering 3rd Lap.

Suzuka East: Remember when I did the FF Challenge? I told you that I was midway through the S-Bends, and I was almost in first place? It happened the same thing, here. But this time I overtook 1st place here. This course's S-Bends are great to win time, but be alert on the last corner, as it tightens halfway. This was so easy, I already had a 2.7 second advantage to the first place on the beginning of the second lap. Then I did the first turn too fast and ate some sand, but I avoided a 360 spin, and returned to the track, with the 2nd place well behind me.

El Capitan Reverse: This race was made easy because of the technical section at the beginning of this track. At the end of it, I was second. I was able to overtake 1st place on the hairpin before that uphill road, just before the long curve. Another important spot is the hill that you go up and down. If you climb it too fast, your car will fly, and you'll hit the wall, but the downhill section can be done almost with no deceleration, due to the fact that it increases the downforce of the car. And for some reason, I couldn't complete the chicane after the tunnel cleanly on both laps, which made me lose the lead on the last lap. Eventually won it again on the second to last curve, and forcing the opponent to the wall.

Fuji Speedway 90's: w00t! Fuji 90's! I can cut the chicane to win over 10 seconds!!! Easy put: Easy win. At first, those SOBs didn't want me to overtake them, since I wanted to overtake 5th place, but 5th place wanted to overtake 4th place, and I bumped 5th place on the rear. The chicane was cut, overtook 1st place there (second lap only, since I didn't want to do on the first one), but got off too confident and exited to the outside. I had to block 2nd place from overtaking me on the stretch.


Ratings:

Sunday Cup: 5.8/10
FF Challenge: 6.6/10
FR Challenge: 7.1/10
4WD Challenge: 5/10

This one was easier than the others I did (mainly because of Fuji). All courses are relatively easy-to-medium, and there isn't any track with a unforgivingly hard difficulty.

Right now I broke the 40000 A-Spec barrier. I'm at 40382 A-Spec right now.

Next up: MR Challenge

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