2012 F1RWRS Belgian Grand Prix
The 2012 F1RWRS Belgian Grand Prix was the fifth race of the 2012 F1RWRS season. The race was won by Phoenix McAllister driving for his own team, but the race was remembered best as the catalyst for a series of arguments and both on- and off-track incidents involving primarily Barii Mori and Sammy Jones, but also McAllister and Rhys Davies, that would ultimately lead to three of the four drivers being handed multiple race bans later on in the season.
Pre-Qualifying and Aguri Suzuki Cup
Barii Mori topped pre-qualifying with a 1:39.11 over Chris Dagnall and Phoenix McAllister. 2010 champion Gary Cameron was the quickest of the non-qualifiers. Frank Zimmer, James Davies, Darren Older Jr. and Luca Pacchiarini joined him on the sidelines. The Aguri Suzuki Cup was won by Dean O'Lauchlan who beat Zimmer and Damon Cannon to take the win. O'Lauchlan's win would prove to be the last in the Aguri Suzuki Cup as the cup was dissolved after the Belgian Grand Prix due to lack of interest from fans and media.
Before the race, secret talks took place between the F1 Rejects Council in Sydney, Australia and a new group under the leadership of Daniel Prieto. Rumors were kept to a minimum and neither side made any major announcements.
Qualifying was tightly contested but McAllister made good on his pre-qualifying pace to take pole by 0.04 seconds. He was followed by Hagane Shizuka in the Manx-Anglo-Nippon. Super Aguri Footwork Team Phoenix Honda had a good day with Mori taking third. The two championship leaders, Kay Lon and Pippa Mann qualified sixth and eighth, respectively. The two RubberTex Jones cars qualified fourth and fifth.
Shizuka made a terrible getaway from the line and was down to ninth at La Source. McAllister held the lead at the conclusion of Lap 1, followed by Chris Dagnall who passed Barii Mori for second at the Bus Stop Chicane. Several cars in the back (Jari Kekkonen and Richie White, specifically) lost their front wings on the first lap. Pippa Mann had made her way up to sixth but went straight on at Les Combes, dropping back to twelfth. Davies passed Jones for third on Lap 3. David Koczo went wide at La Source and lost a few places. On Lap 5, the sibling rivalry between Douglas and Pippa Mann burst when Douglas tried an ambitious move on Pippa into La Source. The pair collided and both immediately retired. Ashley Watkinson made up four spots in one lap to move up to sixth.
Dagnall and McAllister continued to swap the lead although McAllister held the lead throughout the first fifteen laps. Then, on Lap 9, one of the most famous events in F1RWRS history set off with a bang. Barii Mori got out of shape slowed up in the middle of Eau Rouge while running in third. Rhys Davies avoided the Kahama but Sammy Jones was unable to avoid Mori. Davies spun out into the grass and rejoined quickly but Jones smashed straight into the back of Mori's car. Jones flew into the air momentarily before hitting into the ground and slamming into the barriers at high speed. Miraculously, Jones was able to walk away with minor injuries and Mori continued on in the race. Thomas De Bock was the next to retire after a collision with Kay Lon. Kekkonen slammed into Lon and was forced to pit. The majority of the field pitted on Lap 13; only six cars stayed out of the pit lane. Nathanael Spencer crashed one lap later.
Melrose followed his great rival Spencer into the wall at La Source. Mori finally pitted on Lap 19 and McAllister retook the lead after the pit rotation. Dagnall, Watkinson and Davies remained in their respective positions. Hagane Shizuka tried a last-gasp pass on Hemo Goblin but failed. Mori nearly passed a resurgent Davies but the Holden driver held off Mori. McAllister took his first career win and his first win of the season. The top seven finishers (McAllister, Dagnall, Watkinson, Davies, etc.) all finished within seven seconds of each other. Kay Lon's retirement left Pippa Mann with a two-point lead in the Drivers' Championship.
A war of words ensued between Mori, McAllister and Jones. Jones was initially candid about the accident but Mori began to make inflammatory statements to the press (perhaps goaded on by his team boss McAllister). The situation got out of hand quickly and Jones made comments to Autosport one week later. Jones criticized Mori's relative inexperience and questioned Mori's merits.
Standings after the race
- Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
- Drivers' Championship standings
|=5||Darren Older Jr.||16|
- Constructors' Championship standings
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
| Previous race:
2012 Luxembourg Grand Prix
| Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series Championship
| Next race:|
2012 Dutch Grand Prix
| Previous race:
2011 Belgian Grand Prix
|Belgian Grand Prix|| Next race:|
2013 Belgian Grand Prix