Author: BigD1987 PM
A race car driver's struggles during the Super Formula San Marino Grand Prix. With just a few laps remaining, time is running out for him to win one of the more important races of his life.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Suspense - Chapters: 2 - Words: 11,147 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 08-11-10 - Published: 08-09-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2836626
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Imola, Part 1
His sweaty palms held onto the steering wheel like a vice grip. He gritted his teeth in determination as he pressed down on the accelerator, then let up and applied the brakes as he turned into a chicane. His brown eyes burned with intensity. He was going to catch the leader no matter what. Now he was in a straightaway, a perfect chance to catch his rival. He gritted his teeth as the speed increased in the car, the g-forces pushing him into his seat. Although he had to slow down, he managed to gain some ground on his rival as he turned left into the quick, then into a 90-degree right turn.
Again, he sped up in the straightaway. The Ferrari of his rival was right in front of him, but then they had to turn into the curva Tosa, a sharp bend like a u-turn. Kevin, our protagonist, had to apply the break instantly. Then, once out of the tosa, the cars entered a long, arduous climb up a hill.
"Increase speed", his in-car AI said flatly.
"Shut up!" Kevin replied, his helmet hiding his anger. "I know what's next!" He quickly grabbed a joy stick near the gear shift and pressed it down. Suddenly, the car received a boost in speed and the car flew (figuratively) up the hill into a short little bend, but wasn't counted on the circuit map as a turn. There he turned off the boost. Unfortunately for him, Barrichello in his Ferrari had gained about 2-tenths of a second on him as he crested the hill. "GRAAAH!" He growled.
"Relax Kevin," his crew chief Skip Boone said in his North Carolina accent. Now they turned into the left turn Piratella, leading to a downhill descent. Applying the right pressure on the brakes and the right speed was the hard part. This circuit, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy was testing the car's limits. This car, the Chevrolet GTX5, or as Kevin referred to as the "Mach 5" because of its resemblance (at least to him, anyway) to the car of the same name from the 90s cartoon The New Adventures of Speed Racer. His car owner, Erin Disney, thought he watched too many cartoons. Of course, the Walt Disney logo on the hood kind of killed the intimidation factor.
His rival, Brazilian Heilo Barichello's Ferrari was within reach, but he just couldn't catch the guy. This was adding to Kevin's frustration even more. Especially since the GTX5 was sleeker than Barrichello's Imola, which was boxier. But then again, Barrichello had won 3 races in that car so far, so that was a bit of a moot point. Besides, the Imola was pretty sleek.
At the end of a sweeping left turn, the two cars entered the Acque Minerale. They only had about a second to react and break enough to drive through turn 10 before a short kink before a straightaway up another hill.
Reilly again sped up, pressing down on the accelerator. The engine purred despite the strain he was no doubt putting on it and underneath his racing helmet he gritted his teeth, not because he was dealing with the g-forces, but because he was trying to catch Barrichello's Imola. He could not see the wing on the back of the Imola, but the car's taillights were in view through the windshield. The HUD on his dashboard showed his speed, reaching 250 MPH. He didn't use his boost, since he knew about the quick, right-angle turn coming up called the Variante Alta. His wheels hopped off the curbs as he quickly turned on them, but he kept his hands on the steering wheel, keeping the car in control. Then, it was a quick, left turn before a long, sweeping "straightaway". The reason it's in quotation marks is because technically, it is not a straightaway, but a long, sweeping left-hand turn that only required a gentle turn of the steering wheel. It did sort of remind him of Road America, with the long, sweeping curve/straightaway between turns 4 and 5 and the one between the Kink and Canada Corner and maybe even the backstretch of his hometown Chicagoland Speedway.
Here the GTX5 began to gain some ground on the Imola. Kevin, as a former NASCAR and current Super Formula driver knew that now was a good place to gain ground on Barrichello. Even though he was only 22, the American had enough experience in racing to know when a good time to pass is and when not to pass. He pressed on the joystick, activating his speed boost. The GTX5 immediately began gaining ground on Barrichello's Imola and the cars behind him began to fade in the distance.
He smiled, thinking that he had Barrichello now. The Brazilian had won the San Marino Grand Prix for 5 straight years now, much to the delight of the Ferrari tifosi who were in full force today. Just to beat his main rival on his team's "home" circuit made the American even cockier. As turn 13 came up, Kevin deactivated the boost and applied a little pressure to the brake pedal.
The mostly-blue car, save for the white front tip and doors and red trimming on the hood and also tipped the wing on the rear of the car, slowly turned as it went downhill. Then, Kevin had to apply the brakes again as the famous Rivazza, a pair of 90-degree left turns, came up. It was here that the Imola began to gain ground because Kevin was still not used to the Indy-like turns. Well, they weren't exactly Indy-like, since these were sharper turns and had no banking on them. His left wheels bounced off the curb of the first one and bounced off the second one. Soon, Barrichello began to pull away, not doubt using his power boost. But the obtuse angle turn that came up next required that Barrichello deactivate his power boost, but it was too late for Kevin to gain any ground.
Kevin banked his hopes on the Variante Bassa, the final chicane before they entered the main straightaway and the main arena. "Hard left turn and right turn coming up," his on-board AI said, its lights flashing in its little ball on top of the dashboard.
"Shut up!" Kevin snapped.
"Reilly, you don't need to badmouth the AI," Boone said in the radio. Kevin quickly turned left and then right before entering the main straightaway.
In the pit lane, Kevin's crew looked out of the garage area as the two cars approached. Reggie Williams, a big African-American jack man and the heart and soul of the team watched with a nervous look on his face. The Ferrari Imola crossed the line to the delight of the clearly partisan Italian fans, many waving Ferrari banners. Of course, the fans also booed as Kevin sped past. They thought he made a bad move picking a fight with Barrichello early in the season, which started their rivalry. But then again, the sport was gaining fans because of the American newcomer's rivalry with one of its established stars.
"Ten more laps Kevin, ten more laps," said Skip.
"Ten laps!" Kevin said over the radio. "You gotta be kidding me!"
"Just stay calm Kevin, you've caught him before," said Skip. "You can do it again, just like in Monaco."
"Yeah, but that time he had engine problems!" Kevin said in return. "He hasn't had any problems yet!"
"You still caught him last time, didn't you?" Skip asked with an annoyed tone.
"Well, yeah," said Kevin.
"Well then, quit complaining!" Skip shouted back. "When did you get like this, you've never acted like this in the Sprint Cup, why are you acting like this now! Now get your butt in gear, focus, and GET HIM!!!"
"Alright!" Kevin shouted back.
Meanwhile, in the suites overlooking the circuit, Kevin's car owner Erin Disney watched her car and the Ferrari speed past the suites. Her face was firm as she watched her driver struggle to catch Barrichello. Despite the loud roar of the engines, she could still hear the roar of the crowd and she frowned in response. After the last race in Monza, her driver had vowed to beat Barrichello at Ferrari's "home track". But on this late afternoon in June, things were not looking good. But she kept her composure, anyhow.
"Buon pomeriggio, la signorina Disney," a male voice said to her. She turned around to look over her left shoulder as an older man approached her. "Are you enjoying the race so far?" Fabio Boiocchi, one of the big wigs, not only in the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, but the Ferrari Company in general, had come over to her.
"It could be better," Erin replied in her firm Southern California accent. It was no Valley Girl voice, not one bit. Her brown hair was tied in a ponytail and in the front her hair was parted to the right. Her business suit and skirt made her look older than her true age of 22. She was not plain-looking, but quite a looker, despite her glasses, which were only a fashion accessory. But that didn't matter, not one bit. The FIA Super Formula World Championship (which, despite its name invoking the now-dead Formula 1 and taking over its history, was not an open-wheel competition exclusively; the GTX5 is not one of the open-wheel cars) demanded that a person show strength. Whatever this man was trying to do, she would not show any weakness.
"Are you enjoying your time in Italy?" He asked again.
"I am, and so is my team," she replied. "They love your country, and they especially love your wine and women. Your country is nice and I would love to stay longer. I might even come back on holiday in Tuscany, Napoli or Rome. "
"I'm glad you like Italy," he replied. "If you want me to, I could find a place for you to stay.
"That's nice, but there's another thing," she said. "Right now, we have no intention of leaving without a win."
"Really?" Boiocchi asked, "Because your driver has yet to catch ours. Did you really think a sponsorship from Disney could help you? It just seems like you were trying to get them to acknowledge your relation to Walt Disney."
"I am distantly related to Walt Disney," she replied. "But that's not the point. I just hope your team hasn't sabotaged my team in any way."
"Veramente, la signorina Disney," Boiocchi replied in his native Italian. "Why would we? Ferrari makes some of the best cars in the world. What point is there in cheating? All that's happening is our driver is out driving yours."
"Reilly is one of the best drivers not only in NASCAR, but in the world," Erin replied. "If you're trying to fool me, then forget it."
"He should not have come to Super Formula," Ferrari replied in a darker tone. "He belongs in your silly little sorry excuse for racing called NASCAR, not here."
"Like I said," Erin said. "He is among the best. Your ego just tells you that he's not. After all, he did win in Monaco and nearly beat your driver last week in Monza."
Boiocchi laughed. Although most of the teams and manufacturers in the league were not like this, Ferrari didn't like Team Disney in the league. "You have a good sense of humor, Signorina Disney," he said. Erin glared at him. "But I must tell you this: your driver should not have challenged Helio Barrichello like he did. This rivalry between the two is one-sided. Barrichello will win the driver's championship this year. Suddenly, they heard the PA announcer.
"C'è una cautela sul percorso. Si tratta di un corso completo cautela." Erin was intrigued. A full-course caution was out. What just happened?
As Kevin turned onto the Piratella, he had a sudden strange feeling, like a sixth sense. He and Barrichello were among some lapped cars and Barrichello had used them to put some distance between him and Kevin. Kevin's already growing frustration was getting even bigger. McLaren's Finnish driver, Alexi Hämäläinen was the one directly in front of him. Suddenly, Kevin sensed something. Hämäläinen's loose! He thought to himself. Although the AI system in his car didn't notice it, Kevin certainly did. Instantly, he jerked the steering wheel to the left just as the silver-colored McLaren got loose and nearly collided with the GTX5. However, thanks to Kevin's quick thinking, he avoided the car nearly hitting him and he watched in his right rear-view mirror the McLaren getting into a wreck with several other cars.
"Crash behind us," the on-board computer said about a second too late. Kevin shook his head and rolled his eyes. They can make a smart computer, but they can't replace the human element, not one bit.
Erin, meanwhile, looked at the video screen to see Kevin just barely get by Hämäläinen. She sighed in relief, thankful her driver didn't hit the McLaren car. The Ferrari boss, meanwhile, was disappointed that Kevin missed him. He had hoped the American would wreck and end up out of the race. Now instead, Barrichello's teammate Luca Capello was caught in the fray as his Milano hit the McLaren dead on. No doubt he was going to be sore about that for a while. The Italian fans too weren't happy, as their own driver was pretty much out of the race. "I'm sorry," she said. "But didn't you say that he belonged in NASCAR? Because that looked like a move any good driver will make."
"He was lucky," Boiocchi replied. "But he still won't win the race."
"Oh, he will," Erin replied. "Just you watch."
"Kevin, are you okay?" Skip asked with worry on his tone.
"I'm fine," Kevin replied. "I dodged him just in time." He could hear his pit crew sigh in relief. The race was not lost yet. Especially with what Skip said next.
"We've got a full-course caution now," Skip said over the radio. Sure enough, yellow caution flags were being waved on the course. Kevin breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed the grip on the steering wheel. His palms were so sweaty that he felt like he had dipped his gloves in water. With the caution out, he took the opportunity to take them off, at least for now. His heartbeat also slowed down to a calmer pace. He also lifted up his visor, exposing his brown eyes and a little bit of fair skin, but not much since his mouth was still covered by the helmet. "Alright, what do you want to do?" Skip asked.
"I dunno," Kevin replied.
"Do you want to come it, get some new tires, and all that?" Skip asked, asking if Kevin wanted to pit. Kevin though about it for a moment. "You should probably ask the car, though. I know you're reluctant, but it might be a good idea."
"Alright," Kevin replied. "Okay, GTX5, do we need to stop?"
"It would not be necessary," the car's A.I. replied. "But I would recommend four tires and some fuel just to be sure."
"Ah, if Barrichello does come in," he said. "If that's the case, then let's get the full load, 4 tires, some gas, clean my windshield and all that. And get me some new gloves, too, I feel like I dropped them in a lake!"
"10-4," Skip replied. "Although I'm not sure about the gloves. The temp inside the cockpit should be at a comfortable level for you."
"I've been gripping it hard," Kevin replied. The pace car was soon out on the track and the field stayed on the course. The pit lane was still closed and would most likely stay closed for another lap. When Kevin did get close to the crash scene, he got a good look at the carnage. Five cars were involved in the wreck; Hämäläinen's McLaren, Capello's Milano, the Force India car of Argentine driver Jose Torres, the Renault of German driver Ingo Schmidt and the Mercedes of Canadian driver Alex Johnson. Of course, Kevin didn't feel lucky to avoid it. He knew he could dodge it. And since the caution came out, he knew he had a chance of catching Barrichello.
As the cars approached the start-finish line again, the pit crews got out on pit lane in case their respective driver needed to come in. With only 8 laps to go and possibly less than 5 laps left on the restart, it almost didn't seem necessary. But, it was better to be safe than sorry. The Chevy-Disney team, meanwhile, waited nervously. Reggie did his best to calm his fellow crewmembers down. Like Kevin's driver's suit, their suits were mostly blue and white, with blue shoulders & arms, a white body and a red collar and trimming.
The field approched, and the pit crews got ready. It was as if the field was waiting for race leader Helio Barrichello to pit so they could pit, too. Helinho, as he was called, had a charisma like that. The field kept approaching, with the Imola not making a move. It seemed as if barrichello would stay on the track until the car turned onto pit road. The other cars on the lead lap, including Kevin, followed him onto pit road.
"Okay, here he comes!" Reggie shouted. The rest of the pit crew prepped for Kevin's arrival. The rest of the field came down pit road, going 55 MPH with Barrichello leading. Barrichello's car, a truly futuristic Ferrari drove past the Team Disney crew. The car was red, the natural color of Ferrari and a white #4 was on the door. The wing on the back was like that of a GT race car from the early part of the century. From the front, the car almost looked angry. The car drove past and soon, Kevin pulled into the pit stall.
The GTX5 didn't look as intimidating, what with the two right triangle-grills below the headlights. The two air ducts on the side kind of blocked the tires, but Kevin flipped a swith that brought the parts covering the tires up like a drawbridge. The front end looked like a Chevrolet Camaro from the early 1990s, which is probably one reason Kevin thought it looked like a car from an old animated kid's show. "Okay, let's go!" Reggie shouted as the car pulled in. The crew got to work immediately. Reggie pumped on the jack handle, lifting the right side of the car off the ground while the two tire changers got to work removing the lugnuts and tires as fast as possible on the right front and rear tires. The gas man, meanwhile, plugged the ethanol fuel pump into the car's fuel nozzle.
The two right-side tires were on and Reggie dropped the car. Like a true NASCAR pit crew, they weren't changing any thing. They quickly sprinted to the left side to work on the left side tires. Meanwhile, a man with a long squeegee wiped Kevin's windshield and another crewmember handed him new gloves and a water bottle which he quickly got to drinking. Another wiped off the roof of his car. Soon, Reggie and the tire changers were done and dropped the car. "GOGOGOGOGOGO!!" Skip shouted. The crewmembers gave Kevin a push as he pulled out of the pit stall. The crewmembers high-fived and congratulated themselves on another job well done, as Kevin came back out in second behind Barrichello.
Upstairs, Erin smiled in satisfaction as her pit crew did its job with efficiency. Even though most pit crews in Super Formula didn't use old NASCAR pit crew techniques, like changing the tires on one side of the car and then the other. But since they were just as efficent that way, it didn't matter and they didn't have to jump over a pit wall anymore, so that helped things out. Boiocchi, meanwhile, shook his head. The 30-year-old Barrichello was still in the lead, but he just couldn't see why the NASCAR-style pit crew was so efficent. "I'm still confused," he said. "They should be slower than most of the pit crews."
"It's like the old saying," Erin replied before sipping some of her champange. "Like they say, 'If it's not broken, then don't fix it'." Of course, the saying is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," but since she's speaking formally, it made more sense for her to say it that way.
"You were lucky," Boiocchi replied. For an Italian, he sure was arrogant.
"Luck had nothing to do with it," Erin replied. "Skill is what makes them good. They don't need luck, and neither does Kev—I mean, Reilly." It almost sounded like she was going to say Kevin's name before going back to Reilly. Boiocchi shook his head. This woman was stubborn.
Kevin finished putting his gloves on and got his hands back on the steering wheel. His visor was still up, but he'd have to put it down once he got the signal to go green again. He jerked the steering wheel around a bit in an attemp to break in the fresh tires he had just gotten. Other cars were also swerving around to break their tires in. "Who's in the top five right now?" He asked.
"Barrichello's in the lead, followed by you, but you already know that," Skip said. "You've got Sebastian Dechamps of Renault behind you in 3rd, Dave Rooney of McLaren in 4th and Lotus-Williams' Henrik Johanssen in 5th." So he had a Frenchman, and Englishman and a Swede behind him. Should be interesting.
There wasn't much action for about several more laps, since it was all under caution. But the wreck muct have been bad enough that it took longer than it should have to clean it race could have been red-flagged, but the cars had slid of the track when they wrecked, leaving a red flag out of the question. The drivers involved in the pile-up had all walked away just fine. The cars in Super Formula were among the safest in auto racing.
"When are we going to get the green?" Kevin asked.
"Couple more laps," Skip replied. "Just got the word from FIA, they're going to fly the green with two laps left."
"Are they really doing this on purpose?" Kevin asked rhetorically, muttering under his breath.
"Actually, I think they're giving us three laps," said Skip. "So one to go till green."
"Nice," Kevin said to himself. At some point, the lights on the safety/pace car turned out and the cars all lined up in a double-file formation. The double-file restart was a rule change adopted by FIA, getting the idea from NASCAR, of all places.
"Now, if NASCAR is a silly little sorry excuse for a racing league, why have they adopted a NASCAR rule?" Erin asked her current adversary. Ferrari shook his head as if to say this was stupid.
The field approached the start/finish line, and the safety/pace car ducked onto the pit lane, leaving the field to approach the line. "Three laps remaining in the 2025 San Marino Grand Prix," the BBC announcer said. "Will Helio Barrichello win his sixth-straight race here or will Kevin Reilly, Dave Rooney or any of these other drivers end that streak? We're about to find out!" The flagman kept the field waiting, prepping to wave the green flag. Kevin licked his lips underneath his helmet in anticipation. Barrichello was on his left side, going for the inside when they went into the first bend right after the start/finish line. He was hoping to get a good jump on Barrichello when the flag waved. His heart rate began to increase and he gripped the steering wheel harder. He almost thought that if he kept gripping it like this, the car's A.I. would yell at him.
Finally, the flagman waved the green flag. "Green flag, green flag!" Skip shouted. Instantly, all 19 cars left in the race sped up and broke formation as they passed the start/finish line. The roar of the engines created a din that drowned out the crowd noice.
"And it's a clean restart as Barrichello leads the field into turn number 1!" Barrichello got a jump on the field and sped up, much to Kevin's displeasure. But Kevin did not intend to let Barrichello get a big jump on him, so he slammed down on the accelerator and began to pull away from Dechamps. The field went into turn one, a slight left-handed turn lined on both sides by a tunnel of trees. Then they went into turn 2, the Traguardo, a sharp right-hand turn that was the first part of a chicane. Then they went through turn 3 before turn 4, the Tamburello.
Kevin shifted gears as he got out of the turn, now onto the straightaway between turns 4 and 5. He used a quick boost to try and catch up to Barrichello. He managed to gain .2 of a secondon Barrichello, enough to get on the back of the Barzilian's bumper. This is where the NASCAR side of Kevin came. He gave Barrichello a tap in the rear bumper, letting him know he was there. There was no doubt the Brazilian noticed him.
"Have him stop harrassing my driver!" Boiocchi shouted, watching Kevin bump Barrichello's bumper. "What kind of driver does that, anyway? It's not right!"
"Au contraire," Erin replied. "They do that all the time in NASCAR. He's just letting him know he's behind him."
"But it's not right for a driver to do that!" Boiocchi replied. He seemed indignant that Kevin would use his NASCAR experience in the highly respectable racing league. It must have been that Forumla 1 experince.
"It's just like the old saying," Erin replied. She sure liked old axioms and proverbs. "You can take the driver out of NASCAR, but you can't take the NASCAR our of the driver."
"That's how we say 'hi' in NASCAR, bitch!" Kevin shouted. He couldn't see Barrichello in the car, but he had a good guess that the Brazilian was getting mad at him.
Suddenly, he felt a jolt in his rear bumper. He got a look in his rearview mirror to see Dave Rooney, who had overtaken Dechamps earlier, getting up in his bumper. Instead of getting mad at Rooney, Kevin could only laugh at the Englishman's pathetic attempts at driving like him. "Awww, he wants to play!" Kevin said tauntingly. Of course, this attitude didn't really endear him to the other drivers.
At the curva Tosa, Kevin ducked to the inside to get Barrichello off guard. Barrichello, however, must have known because he made a move to block Kevin. It was a clean move though, and Kevin really didn't have much of a chance as they sped up the hill. They crested the hill a second later, allowing Barrichello to pull ahead of Kevin before the Piratella turn. "Oh no, you don't!" Kevin said, activating his power boost. The car sped up instantly after the post-Piratella curve and into the Acque Minerale and back up the hill.
Kevin deactivated the boost as he turned in the Acque Minerale and then in turn 10 and the post-turn 10 bend and into the straightaway in hot pursuit of Barrichello. Kevin knew he needed to get aggressive, since there was only 2 laps remaining after this. But in order to do that, he could not use his power boost to gain ground on Barrichello, so he simply pressed down on the accelerator before having to let up and brake, entering the slight right turn of turn 13 and then the Rivazza.
The three cars exited the Rivazza and sped towards the final turns of the lap, a quick chicane before the main straightaway. The three exited turn 17 to the roar of the Italian crowd as they sped past the main arena, now only 2 laps remaining.
Now Kevin began to make his move. He was passive for most of the race, staying out of trouble and biding his time. Now was the time to get aggressive. After the first quick bend right after the start/finished line and as they entered turn 1, Kevin turned on his boost, only slightly, but just enough to get some speed to make a a move past Barrichello. In his rear-view mirror, he could see Rooney's silver McLaren and the yellow-red-and-white Renault of Dechamps battling for third place. He had no reason to worry about those two. If they stayed distracted it would give him a chance to focus on Barrichello.
Kevin turned the steering wheel left, then right, then left in the Traguardo, turn 3 and the Tamburello. Then he pressed on the joy stick to give him a power boost. He felt the g-forces push him into the seat as he sped forward to catch Barrichello. He ducked to the inside of Barrichello, hoping to get him in turn 5 and possibly the Tosa. He hummed the song "Flirtin' With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet just to give him some motivational music. He pulled up beside Barrichello in time to slow down for turn 5, a quick left-hand turn before another turn, the Villeneuve, which Barrichello had the inside lane for. But at least he was on the inside for the Tosa. Despite the restrictiveness of his HANS device, he could see Barrichello pull away. He knew he had to keep Barrichello on the outside so he would get a good jump on the Tosa. Soon, they had gotten close enough to the Tosa that he could make his move.
"Reilly ducks to the inside, going into turn # 7," the BBC announcer said. "He's going to get there, makes the move…" Kevin hugged the inside of the turn as he sharply turned the steering wheel. Eventually, he got enough that he was able to come out of the Tosa in the lead. "Reilly takes the lead heading up the hill! He's just barely ahead, but it's enough against Barrichello!"
Although Barrichello would have the inside lane for the quick kink before the Piratella and the trip downhill, Kevin had positioned himself for the inside on that particular turn. They crested the hill with Barrichello taking a slight lead, but Kevin stayed on the inside at the Piratella and he turned in. Again, with the inside lane, Kevin was able to pull ahead of Barrichello.
In his helmet headset, he could hear his crew chief cheering as he went downhill on the long turn before pulling into the Acque Minerale. Here, Barrichello had the inside lane and he took the opportunity to try and pass Kevin on the inside. But he didn't need to do too much, as the Imola caught up to him in turn 10 before the final chicane into the long straightaway. Here, Kevin went to the inside to try and get a good jump on him. "Hard right turn in 500 feet," his onboard A.I. said. "Followed by hard left turn."
"Shut up, I know that!" Kevin snapped. Eventually, he reached the turn, the Variante Alta. Again, he was on the outside but he was on the inside for turn 12 as they went down the long, curved straightaway. The GTX5 and the Imola battled it out in the curved straightaway and Kevin was able to get a slight advantage in the Rivazza once they got to them. He turned to gain an advantage over barrichello as he exited the second Rivazza turn.
Now he had to get to the start/finish line where the white flag, signifying the final lap would come out. His heart began racing again, this time in nervous anticipation. He really didn't like Barrichello being right behind him. He didn't like the Brazilian one bit, but he had to admit he was a fantastic driver. Now he exited the final chicane, darting to the left a bit onto the straightaway and the main arena, gaining a lead on Barrichello.
"And here they come onto the main straightaway as the White flag comes out!" The BBC announcer said. "It's Kevin Reilly the American, followed by Ferrari's Brazilian ace Helio Barrichello followed by Renault's Frenchman Sebastian Dechamps! Then it's Red Bull's Russian driver Andrei Dimitriov and Lotus-William's Spanish driver Carlos Fernandez! Which one of these drivers will win? We'll find out in one more lap!"
To be continued