The ultimate trial of Endurance in Asia and Europe.
Categories: Super Prototype & GT Endurance PRO (Tier A)
EURO = European Union of Racing Organizations
Curiously, despite the common perception among the public, not all Prototypes are built to contest for overall victories. As the penultimate step in the Endurance ladder, the Super Prototype class has been a mainstay for over three decades in different forms. Essentially a 'lite' version of the higher-up Works Prototype cars, these little siblings fought every bit as hard as their bigger Works counterparts for class victories. The class is highly popular with small, underdog race car constructors with Endurance aspirations but nowhere near the budget to compete at the top level, and the story is the same for many of the teams who compete in this class.
The class is almost exclusively targeted towards privateer teams, with a common cost cap, technology equivalency balancing, and yearly-only homologation updates. Like GT Endurance PRO, these measures were introduced to prevent the power wars that plagued the Works Prototype and GT-E PRO categories for decades. As a result, the class is frequently chaotic and competitive for consisting almost entirely small, private constructors.
The Eurasian UEC has been a mainstay in various forms over the decades of Endurance racing since the 80's. First introduced as an all-Prototypes series just before the popularity explosion of what is now the RETRO Works Prototype class, the series toured many of Europe's finest and most grueling Endurance races. Despite suffering numerous cost escalation wars over its lifetime, the series has weathered out the storm time and time again. It first introduced GT cars to the series in the 90's after the Works and Super Prototype classes were reformed, and has maintained a mix of Prototype and GT cars since. Despite the long races, the series is hugely popular with sports car racing fans from all over Europe and Asia, and winning here has often proved to be a huge boost of popularity and sponsorship for all involved.
GT Endurance PRO
Although each of the GT-E PRO cars are quite a bit different from one another despite the heavy regulation of performance, there is the usual bit of advice for Endurance cars. While these cars CAN be drifted, you WILL kill your tires. Power over these cars at your peril!
Super Prototypes are all mid-engine, rear-wheel drive beasts. Their acceleration is impressive and much like a Grand Prix or high-end Pro Tuned car, you'll need to trust the aerodynamics to stick you to the floor at speed. Like any Endurance car, avoid sliding as much as you can. While certainly possible at lower speeds, all it will accomplish is a set of fried rear tires, a bad thing in races as long as these.
Fuchsia Autosportif are a team well-known in the Mediterranean road racing scene, if not for their racing skill, then it is at least for their distinctive pink livery. Team founder Alexis Kokinos created the team after the World Grand Prix team he was a part of went bankrupt a decade ago; the pink, white, and bare carbon livery is his symbol of believing in "the purity of competition". Their HPD-powered Ligier JS-SEP race car is a departure from their normal tuning methods; focusing on power and response, the car is good at overtaking and battling for positions, but a bit nervous in traffic and on the limit. Driving for the team this season are Bernhard Heinrich and Bethany Tudor, both relatively inexperienced at this level of competition. Consider it a development season for them.
Grunder Speedlabs are one of Germany's longest running tuning shops. Founded initially as Grunder Modifikationsgruppe, the company has used Endurance and Touring Car racing as a proving ground for its products since its founding in the late 70's. The company went international in the 1990's and became the Speedlabs brand that fans of German cars love. Their switch to the Marek RP 219D from two seasons ago is a curious one; rumors have it that the car is planned to be used as a test bed for several diesel sport compacts popular in Europe. With extra power and a lighter chassis compared to last year's car, this Marek can use its low drag to its full advantage and is ideal on fast stop-and-go circuits. Driving for the team this season are Touring car stars David Learner Jr, and Endurance pro Gustav Bahr. Though the car is a little underdeveloped, the team certainly is not.
IMAS Performance Moe Moe, known as de la Sarthe Motorsport in their olden days, are one of France's longest-running and most prestigious teams, even with their silly title sponsor. Founded in the "frontier era" of auto racing, the team's experience spans well over 70 years. Their recipe is simple; power and control in equal measure. Their Oreca 05 SEP is no exception, with improved aerodynamics, more power, and an updated chassis to round out an already excellent package. Though Louise de la Sarthe is regarded as the lesser of the two Sarthe sisters driving for the team, she's no scrub, and neither is her teammate for this season, Jason Fontaine, a former Lightning Car driver. Both drivers are poised to strike for victory, but given how closely matched the competition is this year, their chances may as well be rolled on a d20.
TechForce Motorsport are a team heavily affiliated with Nissan's Endurance racing program in Europe, especially after the acquisition of the team by Marc van Dach. Though a bit young compared to some of the other teams, many of its staff are ex-Works team engineers and personnel, which had allowed the team to shoot its way up the rankings quickly. Experience and money are two entirely different things, however, and the team's rather modest budget has mostly produced a car that is easy to drive and easy to recover. Filip Gradek and Maria Dahlmeier are both relatively inexperienced at this level of competition, and will be likely to bring up the rear of the SEP class field if the other teams don't run into mishaps.
Uguu Power Sports are widely considered by Aussies to be their country's equivalent to the de la Sarthe Motorsports team; equally childish-sounding title sponsors (manufacturer of Asian-style sweets, in this case), hugely talented drivers, and a lot of money to back it up. Lead by Touring Car legend Peter Bathurst, the team are unusual in that a huge percentage of their winnings go straight towards charities around the world. Don't mistake their loving charity for weakness, though; the RWD Motorsports P20 they wield is a capable weapon with efficient aerodynamics and a well-tuned chassis for all but the fastest tracks. Lily Bathurst is no stranger to Endurance, but the real surprise of the team is Peter Bathurst's adopted daughter, Ayu Sepang. Even at the young age of 15, she is equally as capable as anyone else on the grid.
de Witte World Racing Team are essentially Einzbern AG's works team, having been a part of the company's racing program since its inception in the late 50's. A storied name in racing, the de Witte family have had racing successes in the discipline stretch back even further, back in the days of cross-country road races. The Einzbern Iris I8 JS-RSR the de Wittes are running for this season are running an experimental package, focused on power and response. With the added power, the car is very quick on straights, but is nervous in the corners. Ilya de Witte is skilled behind the wheel and surprisingly more disciplined compared to his mother, but Aoko Ooshima is as unruly as a driver comes. Expect these drivers to be in the mid-pack.
Global Grip Fiends were once a small group of tuners from the Mediterranean region. After being united by racing driver Bruno de Leon, their combined forces allowed the team to become a dark horse among the regular front runners. Though relatively new to professional competition as a whole, their plucky characteristics allowed them to shine in situations where other young teams would choke. The Lamborghini RS-V JSA-GT the team fields improves upon its strengths in the straights with an improved engine, and upgraded the chassis to better handle the extra power. Hildegard Stern has yet to truly prove herself at the top level of competition, but she's adapted surprisingly quickly; her teammate Karl Wieland is no joke either. Expect them to fight hard for points, but ultimately lose out on outright wins.
Tohno Tires Team Tornado aren't just one of Japan's biggest drifting sensations; they're a serious Endurance racing team that uses the discipline to prove the viability of their products. Though Japanese in origin, their drivers and personnel hail from all over the world, making them a melting pot of some of the better engineers and drivers in recent years. Light on its feet and quick to respond, the Einzbern Iris I8 JS-RSR they field is an ace on tight, twisty tracks. Though both Yeong-Jun Kim and Natalia Esposito are no strangers to Endurance racing, this will be their first year competing at this tier of competition. Their battle to stay out of the bottom half may prove to be a frustrating exercise in surviving the distance.
Tsuchigami no Kyojin were once just a loving couple in their local street racing scene. Though the Garage House Tsuchigami brand has been one of the longest-running service brands in the country, their involvement in racing was kept at a relatively local level. This all changed in the 90's once said loving couple wanted to ditch the streets and hit the track. Fitting to their name, the Tsuchigami's Honda HSV-010 GT is a pure powerhouse with augmentations to the Honda's already immense downforce levels. The result is a high speed cornering monster that is tough to tame. Representing the team for this season is Ludwig Stern, older brother and rival to Hildegard Stern; his teammate Ai Tsuchigami is both his lover and a tough opponent to take down. This team will definitely be fighting for podium places, but whether they can take on Sabina Jerez of Yukihiro Racing Engineering is an entirely different matter.
Yukihiro Racing Engineering have similar backgrounds to Garage House Tsuchigami, being a family run automotive service business. Though the family is on friendly terms with the Tsuchigamis, they're still rivals due to their allegiances with differing brands and philosophies. Rather than building upon existing strengths, the Yukihiro family have built their name on bringing harmonious balance to their machines. As a result, their Lexus SC430 JSA-GT has good all-round handling, is light, and is reasonably quick down long straights. Running with the team's banner in this series are Sabina Jerez, best friends with lead driver Megumi Yukihiro; her teammate is Megumi's valiant but ultimately outclassed son, Ryou Yukihiro. Sabina Jerez is a class above the rest (literally), but Ryou will be struggling to fight his way to the front of the field.
[*]Alesheim Ultimate Endurance Masters at Alesheim (GP layout) by Qurpiz, conditions: Normal
[*]The Longest Sunset of de Lucia at de Lucia by Mikey B, conditions: Sunset
[*]Eclipse Festival of Haranno at Haranno Raceway (Road Course) by mith612, conditions: Night
[*]Mt. Bunya's Ultimate Endurance at Mt. Bunya Raceway by Aeon, conditions: Normal
[*]Tsukihime Starlight Endurance at Izumi Raceway Park (GP layout) by Haruna, conditions: Night[/list]
Tire Wear: 1%
Fuel Consumption: 4%
Fuel Mass: 75 kg (100 liters)
Race Distance: 50 km (short) / 100 km (long)
NOTE: As this series is intended to be multi-class, you should try the following mixes of vehicles:
3 GT-E PRO + your GT-E PRO + 2 SUPER Prototypes
2 GT-E PRO + your SUPER Prototype + 3 SUPER Prototypes
3 GT-E PRO + 3 SUPER Prototypes
[*]David Learner Jr. is a reference to Learner Driver from Destruction Derby... though David is a major badass here.
[*]Ayu Sepang, despite her team affiliation, does NOT have "uguu" as her catchphrase.
[*]Andreas Brunestud is an In Name Only reference to the main heroine of Tsukihime, Arcueid Brunestud.
[*]Sara Hanamaki is supposed to be roughly parallel to Shiki Tohno, also from Tsukihime: Hanamaki and Tohno are cities in the Iwata Prefecture.
[*]If Iris de Witte is Irisviel from Fate/Zero, does that make Ilya de Witte a reference to Irisviel's daughter?
[*]Aoko Ooshima sounds awfully similar to a certain Miss Blue from Melty Blood, a fighting game spin-off which uses characters from Tsukihime...
[*]Hildegard Stern denies ever being a warrior princess in a past life, but she often wonders how cool it would be.
[*]Amusingly, if you put the given names of Haruna and Ai Tsuchigami together, you get the name of an idol, Haruna Ai. This is completely coincidental.[/list]