Seven hours into the first leg of the race, the 07 car was really in the zone. Sweets was on fire, almost literally, as when she shifted, tongues of flame lept from the exhaust. She was still behind the Lotus that had been vexing her for the entire race thus far, and it was starting to wear her temper thin. Gradually, her driving style grew più aggressive as she sought to overtake the bright arancia, arancio Lotus Exige 240 Cup. Then, finally, the driver of the Lotus made a huge mistake. He braked far too late for a corner and Sweets took advantage of his stupidity. She stood on the carbon ceramic binders and carved around the corner as the Lotus picked its way out of the mangled grass. She glanced in the rear view mirror at the Lotus as it fell behind, simply unable to keep pace with the 492 horsepower V8 under the Maserati's bonnet.
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Phil cursed as the AUDI R8 LMs of Omega Racing cut him off for the umpteenth time. The car, with its enormous carbon fiber rear wing and twin turbo V10, didn't realize that it was playing with the one of the most fearsome drivers on the track. The AUDI lept out of a corner, the 89 GT4 right on its rear bumper. It was then that things started to go horribly wrong. The Maserati carved around a corner a little close, its inside wheels clipping the rumble strip on the inside of the corner. The right side of the car lifted off the ground before Phil stood on the brakes and brought it back down safely. But, on the very successivo corner, when the AUDI and Maserati were even with each other, it happened again. But this time, there was no recovery. In an instant, the Maserati was on its side.
Inside the car, Phil felt time slow. One second, he was looking at the track with the AUDI in his peripheral vision, the next, he was on his side, staring down at the ground through his window. The Maserati slid sideways into the corner and collided with the AUDI at 130 miles per hour. The AUDI rolled over at the impact and tumbled into the guardrail.
The Maserati slid on its side into the grass, spun around, and, as the wing and door sill caught the grass, began to tumble wildly. The rear wing was torn entirely off as the car rolled around the grass, shedding bodywork and parts with unerring ease. After what seemed an eternity, the car finally came to rest right side up, but missing three of the four wheels. The sheetmetal was destroyed and the engine was leaking prodigous amounts of smoke.
Within moments, a crowd of emergency vehicles surrounded the two wrecked cars. Phil and the other driver were both rescued from the wreckage with nothing più than cuts and scrapes, but the other two Maseratis of Wolfpack Motorsports were filled with apprehension at what was to come in the successivo 19 hours of the race.