EOS31 OFZ write up:
This season's rookie championship was actually more interesting than usual, instead of the best non-promotee from last season taking the championship we instead saw 3 new faces make their presence known in the league...
El Mohico, the demoted level 20 from pro, was the clear favourite before the season started and at the beginning of the season he took most of the wins too, but as the season developed his far more consistent rival, Josef started to make a comeback and even took the championship lead mid-way through the season. The two exchanged the lead numerous times throughout the season, exchanging wins along the way too and pulled away from the rest of the tier. Unfortunately, Mohico's level was just to high for Josef to continue to be able to compete and he began to pull away in the latter part of the season, leading to him wrapping up the championship fairly early! As he was pulling away, a third manager began their comeback to the top and after being quite a long way back from the top two, Jade ended the season only 39 points off of promotion and 206 points ahead of the currently longest standing OFZ rookie, Davide. Wd Mohico and Josef and good luck in the new tier! GL Jade, beating the rest of the tier was doable but now you'll also have to win against Stig and S26 rookie runner up, Alexander! GL Davide, I know you'll be pushing harder to be closer to the top 2 for S32!
The pro championship really did start off with a bang this season as Luke, the S29 rookie champ, took his first pro victory in a wet Australian GP and the championship lead with it. It would have been very easy to believe that we were up for an exciting championship with lots of mixed up positions, as you'd usually expect in pro now due to it being very close in the championship. But Paolo had other plans! Right after Luke's memorable win Paolo went on to win 7 of the next 8 races and flew to the lead of the championship. Now, with the massive gap he had, it was clear that he already had one hand on his 3rd pro championship and due to the massive amount of battling and championship swaps happening further down the tier, no one could catch up and this let Paolo win his 3rd championship by a massive 280 points. This is the most dominant Paolo has ever been, in fact it's the most dominant pro championship win since Peter S in S15, and we all know how successful he is now! So I'm excited to see how S32 will go for Paolo and how strong he'll be against one of the strongest elite tiers we've had in many seasons. Wd Paolo and GL in elite! As always, the battle below was mad. In the first third of the season the pro's really did fight each other hard to be the one to make it up to elite, some wanting to do it for the first time, others trying to return but as we moved into the middle of the season Tomas, the S17 rookie champ, finally looked like he was going to get that ticket to the top tier! And he would have done it quite easily too if it wasn't for another ex-rookie champion making a comeback of his own...
In the final third of S31, the S28 rookie champ, Will, really came into his own and won 3 of the final 4 races. With Tomas suddenly becoming super inactive his lead was completely wiped and allowed Will to pass his tally in the final race of the season and move up to elite after just 3 seasons in the tier! Similarly to Ivan and Nilvio before him, he moves up as a lvl14 showing being a high level isn't everything and being a skilled manager is what brings you to the top! Congrats Will! GL in the top tier.
As for the rest of the tier, this season, many of you broke the 100pts barrier, and almost all of you got points which shows that you're all pushing hard and making progress! GL in S32 as Claus, Maxime & El Mohico return and Josef joins experiences the tier for the first time!
Unsurprisingly, this season's elite championship wasn't as exciting as last seasons, nevertheless we still got some interesting surprises along the way!
Esko once again started off the season on a high note, winning the first gp of the season and giving him the championship lead! Dave and Tariq did surprisingly well and ivan was the biggest surprise of them all as he claimed his first ever elite OFZ point in his debut season. In terms of the other two S30 title contenders, Marc was far out of the points due to a poor qualifying position and he seemed to have lost his desire to race anymore due to his poor luck, while Peter kept himself on the podium, just holding on to 3/4 to give him 2nd in the championship.
In Malaysia the tables had turned and this time Peter got a one two while Esko had a relatively poor showing. Sak managed to get a podium with his new team and started to looked super quick despite his level. The tier moved on to China and once again Peter got a podium, while his main championship contender failed to get top 3 leading to Danish manager stretching the lead even more. Marc on the other hand, still had 0 points to his name, he really needed a massive comeback to return from the hole he found himself in at that point.
In Bahrain Peter became the first manager to win twice, just stopping Esko from doing it by 7 tenths. With Tariq getting another massive amount of points with 4th and 9th and none of the regular contenders for 3rd, 4th and 5th showing up he began to build a gap of his own, to see him finish so highly after a few seasons of struggling would have been incredible but it's easy to forget how long a season can be, with 13 races still to go there was a lot that was yet to come...
Spain sparked the beginning of Marc's comeback as he took the win leading to Esko once again just barely losing out on victory. Peter once again managed to put a car on the podium which allowed him to hold his solid lead. Crucially Esko couldn't keep his cars together which lead to Marc gaining a lot of points on him which happened again as he stormed his way to a 2nd consecutive victory, this time with Tariq in second which gave us real hope that he could finish 4th and maybe even defend 3rd from Marc! Peter still glued himself ot the podium and with his main contender absolutely no where in the GP he now had a healthy lead going into the middle stage of the season. Marc wasn't done with his comeback yet though, he followed up his consecutive wins with a final 1-2 to put himself right with Esko in the championship. Even though Peter was gone at this point it was nice to see that Marc and Esko were potentially going to have a mini-battle of their own and to wonder if Marc could make his way to the title even after missing the first 4 races!
Up until this point Tariq had a fairly healthy lead over 5th and was holding 4th quite well, but after Turkey everything started to go downhill as Connor and E.Sloan properly began their seasons. Britain saw Connor take pole and then the win and E.S get his first top 4 of the season as the championship trio fought hard for track position. This was the first GP that Peter failed to be on the podium but due to none of the contenders being able to get two cars in a decent position the gaps stayed unchanged. In Germany Marc won once again and he somehow moved himself into 2nd in the championship, even after the mess that was his first 4 races. This lead me to wonder if he'd eventually regret not showing up to those races if he got close enough to win the championship but Peter and Esko shut that down in Hungary as they battled for the win once again. Esko finally won and he got a 1-3 with it too, dragging him a little closer to the top spot! Unfortunately for him Peter was now back to getting solid podiums so the damage was not that heavy...
Gravely for Tariq, his situation became worse as E.S, the manager in 5th at this point, backed up Connor's win with one of his own to bring him right into the battle for 4th. In the battle for first Esko began a small streak of his own and won 2 races in a row but as is expected in such a tough tier he failed to get both cars in a good position, hindering him from making any valuable ground on the championship leader. With none of the championship contenders being able to win until Esko won it in Abu Dhabi after it was all wrapped up, Peter claimed his 4th OFZ championship and his most dominantly won elite title! Wd Peter and gl in S32 as you try to become the first since Marc in S24 to defend an elite title!
As for the battle for 4th, the between Tariq, E.Sloan and Connor slowly diminished until the 3 were almost inseparable with only a few races left in the championship. E.Sloan won Singapore and Brazil while Connor got another win in Japan, this put Tariq down in 6th and he didn't seem to be anywhere near the form needed to take the fight to the other two into Abu Dhabi. Ultimately Connor just scraped enough points in the final race to beat his season long rival by a mere 3 points. An incredible result! Wd Connor and gl next season! Even though he lost the battle, E.Sloan's progression so far has been mesmerising, and with the incredible amount of pace he's had at the latter stage of the last two seasons, now I wonder if he will make the Esko style "jump" in S32! I'm excited to find out! I'm happy to see the improvements Tariq and Dave have had and I hope they have some more incredible performances in the future! I think Sak is promising considering the pace he had early on in the season and I hope he can bring the fight every race for S32 and ofc it's nice to see Ivan and Nilvio stay in the tier! I can't wait to see what Paolo and our newest elite, Will, can bring to the top tier! The only sad thing is that after competing in the league since S19, Marc is leaving the tier, but at least this allows for another FZ legend to return to the tier using my team of all things. Interestingly Ivan now joins the tier with another one of his teams so we'll how he will compete in the new season! GL to all of you next season!
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