The Collantine Cup™: Episode III – This Time It’s KERSonal®
It is difficult to believe two years have passed since we all connected for the first Collantine Cup event. Staged on a virtual representation of Melbourne’s Albert Park street circuit, the inaugural race was narrowly won by the revered Emperor Magnificent Geoffrey. Following him home were Common Monsoon and iamsa8, his two all-time favourite Australians. Being an Australian at the time, Geoff’s victory meant the Australian podium was only stood upon by Australians on that historic day. One year later, ed24f1 repeated Magnificent Geoffrey’s feat, and was chased to the line by the Emperor’s aforementioned friends in the same order. The Australian podium was once more owned by Australians.
Two people have managed to take home the Collantine Cup in two years. The guerdon, though never seen, was crafted in Adelaide in late 2010, and has since never managed to leave Australian shores. It speaks volumes that the only non-Australian person to have realistically challenged for the Cup considers themself an Australian. So what is it they put in the water down under? Are their children actually raised on superiority?
F1Fanatic’s favourite transcontinental amateur mini online virtual Playstation 3 Formula 1 championship returns for its third running this weekend – and it’s probably going to be won by someone from Australia. KERS, DRS and not particularly durable tyres injected a mighty kick of excitement into the Collantine Cup’s second season and, this time, we have an even more competitive field to supplement the mayhem.
16 drivers go in, 15 come out 3-and-a-bit months later dealt with the knowledge they are useless.
All races fall on Sundays at 11:00AM (GMT). The eventual calendar* was decided by a vote conducted by CCRAP, with half of the venues pre-determined by the Legendary Tracks Guaranteed to Feature on the Calendar clause.
Players from across the globe will descend on Albert Park to initiate a seasonal war that will – like the real F1 season – conclude in São Paulo. Montreal and Suzuka make popular returns to the calendar while Yeongam is set to make its Collantine Cup debut just one week after the season opener.
Pack your proverbial bags, gentlemen, for this itinerary will see us pretend to travel around the world in 91 days.
Round 1: Melbourne, Australia (December 9th)
^(Back to back weekends) v
Round 2: Yeongam, South Korea (December 16th)
Round 3: Montréal, Canada (December 30th)
Round 4: Monte-Carlo, Monaco (January 13th)
Round 5: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (January 27th)
Round 6: Marina Bay, Singapore (February 10th)
Round 7: Suzuka, Japan (February 24th)
Round 8: Interlagos, Brazil (March 10th)
*All dates are provisional and are subject to change throughout the season if they are not manageable for the majority of competitors
This season will see the largest ever field compete wheel-to-wheel for the Collantine Cup. With 16 confirmed regular drivers to fill the grid and one extra special wild card entry making sporadic appearances, there is no way of predicting what lies ahead. The much-maligned Ned Flanders fails to make an unanticipated return, prompting a nomenclatural dilemma for the previously named Morland Mug. After many hurried and non-systematic suggestions from across the CCRAP board, it was decided that the Constructors’ Championship trophy would be named after its founder. As a result, the team that finishes the season with the most points will be taking home* the Golden Fish.
Now, let us meet the class of 2012/2013.
*Award construction, postage and handling to be arranged by Magnificent Geoffrey. Safe delivery not assured.
Red Bull Racing
iamsa8 (Collantine Cup Champion)
The kid from Melbourne who frightened the grid with electrifying pace to win the Collantine Cup is back for more. More what? His competitors’ tears? Fastest laps? Crushing pole positions? Victories? Or just a bit of fun? Not only does iamsa8 race cars both virtually and in real life: he wins. There is precisely nothing he enjoys more than demoralising his opponents on a race track.
iamsa8 will want to keep his hands on the trophy he worked hard to earn last season, and the smart money is on him doing just that.
Common Monsoon (3rd)
He’s silly, people think he’s silly, he feels silly writing this silly thing about himself right now. There’s little he can do to prevent his team mate from crushing him again, and yet here he is. It makes no sense, but he somehow finds the strength to face the world anyway.
Had he not sneakily won the most recent Collantine Cup race, Slr would probably be considered the dark horse coming into season 3. Add exceptional tyre management to a repertoire of skills that already includes immensely frustrating Magnificent Geoffrey with defensive driving and you’ve got yourself a serious championship contender. And he’s quick. Will he carry his winning momentum over to a new game and a new season? Perhaps. So don’t say you weren’t warned.
David A (11th)
A regular points scorer in his first season of racing, David A is looking to improve on a sturdy beginning to his Collantine Cup career this time around. He glided effortlessly into the club of wannabe drivers and has earned their trust through hard but fair racing with none of the egotism of an amateur online virtual F1 driver. Now it’s time for David A to pounce. Watch your backs. Or indeed, be prepared to do some chasing.
After missing the final race of the second season, Electrolite was pipped to 5th by Slr after he won in Silverstone. But the two of them enjoyed a season-long battle perhaps fiercer than what we witnessed for the Cup in the grand finale, and it’s fair to say things will be no different this time around. With a bit of luck and more poles, this could be Electrolite’s season. Will anyone be surprised if he takes an overdue win? Could he do more than just win races? This guy is the one to watch.
The first of the newcomers incidentally happens to be the man who ousted the underperforming King of CCRAP. With no Collantine Cup mileage under his belt, Bradley13 is set to surprise everyone no matter where he finishes. It is no secret that he’s been heavily involved with similar online series, but how he will handle the big promotion remains to be seen. Only the bravest would bet against him at such an early stage.
Results can often misrepresent talent, and for shyguy, 7th in the championship is probably not what he’ll be hoping to take from his third season. Like Slr in season 2, shyguy managed to secure victory in the grand finale back in the first iteration of the Collantine Cup.
Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way of what’s truly unimportant, and shyguy only managed to attend 5 of the 8 races held last season which left him further down the standings than he’d have liked. But he’s giving it another go. And his speed hasn’t disappeared…
The likeable Australian made his debut in season 2, and in the process of picking up points regularly, became a fan-favourite. Making the switch from Force India to Williams gives Silverkeg a strong team mate and probably, according to him, a slightly less pretty car. But will it be enough to help him onto the podium? Or does he have something even more exciting in mind?
Supernicebob (= 7th)
Thrust into international fame after the legendary LM24L pit-lane speed-limiter incident, supernicebob was an obvious candidate for the vacant McLaren seat going into season 2, and he delivered suitably strong results from the very beginning. A proven hard and clean racer, will supernicebob be able to do his legion of loyal supporters proud once again?
It may only be his first Collantine Cup season, but if his pace in other series is anything to go by, you’d have to say Brooksy007 is in with a good chance of picking up a victory or three. Although it’s difficult to predict whether he’ll be fighting for the championship, it’s certain that Brooksy007 will be a tough competitor. Another driver worth keeping a close eye on.
A self-proclaimed “beautiful, wonderful hunk of a man”, jonnyw360f1 is aiming to become a regular attendee of Collantine Cup races in his third season. Whether or not he’ll be any good remains to be seen, but Jonny is feeling pretty confident. Perhaps that’s indicative of his personality, and his pride has seen him ditch Lotus as they became Caterham for Renault as they became Lotus. Despite everything that points to the contrary, he remains an esteemed and popular member of the club.
It is no stretch of the truth to label Spud everyone’s favourite Irishman. Being his nation’s sole representative in the Collantine Cup, you could argue he carries a decent amount of pressure around the race track with him. But it doesn’t show, and Spud’s loveable character is regarded with reverence by his fellow competitors. In his second season of racing, he’ll be hoping for some more strong finishes to improve on his championship position. Whatever happens, it’s safe to say Spud won’t be at the centre of any trouble.
One of the most exciting additions to the Collantine Cup grid is without doubt Olliekart. The youngest ever entrant brings with him a notable amount of raw pace and talent which should see him challenging at the pointy end of the field from the off. As with his fellow rookies, there is little way of determining just where Olliekart will slot in amongst the established runners, though being a real life racer, he must be feeling reasonably confident.
A late addition to the season 3 line up, JamieFranklinF1 makes up the second half of what is possibly one of the strongest teams to have ever raced in the Collantine Cup. Will he be troubling the known front-runners for podiums? It would be brave – and possibly stupid – to suggest JamieFranklinF1 won’t be a formidable competitor in his first season.
Another driver bringing unknown quantities of speed and experience to the grid is Alfie. With Ferrari being yet another all-rookie team, Alfie could be one of the most interesting drivers to follow as the season unfolds. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen, but it’s probably safe to say he’ll be gunning for regular points. Don’t forget about this guy when making your podium predictions.
“I’m pretty fast!” The intimidating message sato113 left the world hasn’t failed to instil fear in his rivals ahead of his debut. It is not possible to quantify “pretty fast” in this context, nor is it easy to tell whether it’s a subjective evaluation. But it’s a warning that should not be ignored and, as such, the world watches with heightened anticipation ahead of his first Collantine Cup race.
Magnificent Geoffrey (2nd)
After a season with his beloved Sauber team failed to give him that elusive championship, The Great Leader returns to the team that first failed to make him champion. Currently busying himself with unimportant life stuff, Magnificent Geoffrey has conceded his losing streak may be helped decidedly should he fail to attend many races. The Golden Fish is probably not going to the wild card supersub entrant’s Marussia team. Alas, Geoffrey, stranger things have not happened.
Race Distance: 50%
Weather Setting: Dynamic
Rules and Flags: Reduced
Tyre Sim: On
Fuel Sim: On
Car Damage: Visual
Car Performance: Equal
Assists: All Allowed
Race Distance – Although previous seasons featured 40% distance races, F1 2012 fails to provide the option of continuing with this tradition. As such, the races will be a few laps longer than before, so it is important to allow for increased completion times.
Damage – Cosmetic/visual damage makes its return to the Collantine Cup after a season-long absence. It is important to remember that although you may lose parts of your car as significant as the front wing, the performance will remain unaffected. If you are involved in an accident and sustain any cosmetic scarring, pitting for repairs is entirely unnecessary. The inclusion of cosmetic damage came after it was agreed upon that flying shards of carbon fibre compliments the Collantine Cup’s perceived image.
Do Nots – Connecting from many different corners of the globe results in some unusual lag, and it is unreasonable to expect you will finish every race without making contact with a fellow competitor. However, CCRAP’s leniency does have its limits, and there are certain things that could result in warnings and, in extreme cases, bans.
First and foremost, it is important to recognise immediately that the Collantine Cup is, as much as it tries to be, not a cash reward or even a shiny trophy as its name suggests. Winning is fun, and it’s absolutely natural to want to achieve your best, but this series is about clean and fair winning (and losing!). As with previous seasons, deliberately making contact with other drivers, corner cutting, excessive weaving, driving around the track the wrong way, blocking others by parking your car across the track and other dangerous or unsportsmanlike behaviour is absolutely not tolerated. No-one’s perfect, and mistakes will be made, but as soon as you start consciously playing against the rules of fair play, you’re stepping over the line.
Absences – Drivers that fail to attend races without giving prior warning will be given a warning that – if not heeded – may result in their seat being offered to a reserve. If it’s not possible to attend a race and you notify the others in advance, you will not be penalised.
Forum Behaviour – The philosophy hasn’t changed since last season: if you have a grievance about something that happens on track involving another competitor, do NOT make angry, accusatory, childish comments in this thread. We do not accept or put up with that sort of thing in this series. That is your one and only warning. If you have an issue with someone else, first of all remember that this is a video game and if you’re really that upset by it, you should maybe reconsider your life priorities. Secondly, if you wish, contact the person with whom you have a grievance in private, either through F1F PM, PSN or another private channel.
Penalties – Penalties will once again be set to “Reduced”. The in-game penalty system is not perfect, but it’s the only absolutist solution for managing unfair driving. Although there may be loopholes in the penalty system, drivers are reminded they must completely refrain from exploiting them to gain an unfair advantage. Again, we’re here to have fun. But winning isn’t fun for anyone if it’s achieved through unsportsmanlike tactics. CCRAP reserves the right to review driving standards should anyone be seen to be deliberately racing against the spirit of the series. If you’re here to win at all costs, now is your chance to withdraw your entry, for overly competitive racing is not the purpose of the Collantine Cup’s existence.
Although sometimes unjustified, penalties will not be overturned by CCRAP, as harsh as they may seem. However, if you can provide irrefutable video evidence of an incident that you feel resulted in an unfair penalty and the field unanimously agrees, we do reserve the right to overturn time penalties in such cases. But it is important to remember this will only occur in extreme circumstances. If you race fair and try to stay out of trouble, luck tends to even itself out over a season. Otherwise, be prepared to smile and move on. This is, after all, merely a game we’re playing for a bit of fun.
Invites will be sent out at 10:55am GMT (5 minutes before event start). Drivers can join at any time between then and the 11:00am GMT start, but if a driver fails to enter the room within that time without notifying that they will be late, the race will begin and that driver will not be allowed to join the session.
As ever, there will be a XMB chat room created for each Round of the Championship. You are strongly encouraged to join it, even if you have a microphone, so you can stay informed as to what is going on at all times. The use of a USB keyboard is strongly recommended if you have one available to help make typing easier.
After qualifying, there will be a 2 minute wait to allow drivers to make a toilet break, get a drink or do whatever else is required to prepare for the race. During this time, no one is to select ‘Go to Race’ on the menu screen. Electrolite (or whoever is the nominated host for that particular round) will ask you all to confirm that you are ready to proceed before beginning the countdown to the start of the race.
If you have a microphone, you’re welcome to use it but please keep it muted if you’re not talking during racing and keep comments to a minimum. If you want to apologise to or thank someone, that’s perfectly fine, but no one particularly wants to hear your conversation with your girlfriend, boyfriend, mum, pet tortoise or the force feedback on your wheel in the background.
There will only be one attempt at each race with no restarts. In extreme cases where multiple people lose connection during qualifying, the session may be, as in the past, restarted.
Collantine Cup TV
One of the most enjoyable parts of Collantine Cup racing is not the racing itself, but watching the events back from another competitor’s (or your own!) perspective. If you have access to a video camera, PVR, laptop with a webcam, phone with video capabilities or digital camera with video capabilities, you are strongly encouraged to make an effort to capture the race. As silly as it may feel to record your TV, it makes for fascinating viewing and we’ve seen some great footage in the past. If you don’t have the time to cut your race up, that’s fine: our YouTube channel allows for uploads that may be longer than the standard 15 minute time limit. Even if your unedited video goes for an hour, it’s always a lot better than nothing.
Collantine Cup FM
The Collantine Cup Spotify playlist is teeming with proper driving music. Everyone is welcome to join and contribute songs that get you in the mood for racing prior to, or during Collantine Cup Grands Prix.
And the rest of the story is to be written by you guys.