Rejects of LFS

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Rejects of LFS
RoLFS logo.png
Category Open-wheeler
Country/Region Worldwide, mostly United Kingdom
Founder(s) IRDU (2011-2012)
NVRT Holdings (2014-2015)
Inaugural Season 2011 (as F1Rejects LFS Cup)
Drivers 30
Teams 18
Engine Suppliers Judd, Zytek
Tyre Suppliers Pirelli, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Avon, Michelin, Dunlop
Records
Current Driver's Champion Marcel Agyemang-Badu
Current Team's Champion MasterCard Lancia
Records
Motorsport current event.svg.png 2015 Rejects of LFS season


Rejects of LFS (formerly F1 Rejects LFS Cup and IRDU Rejects Cup), often shortened as RoLFS, was a motor racing series, initially created by the International Reject Drivers Union (IRDU) in 2011 to become "the final preparatory step for drivers hoping to step into glorious rejectfulness". It was established in early 2011 when it was realised the F1RWRS was considered by the IRDU to have become far too expensive and predictable. As a result of this, the IRDU created the F1RLFS, in the hope that the new, rival series would offer "faster, more competitive, and thrilling racing accessible for all.". In 2012 the series was renamed to IRDU Rejects Cup after the deal with Scaven Solutions - one of the strategic sponsors and developers of racing simulator Live for Speed - fell through. After some months it folded; however, the series was resurrected in 2014 thanks to new backing from a Finnish consortium, and given its current name of Rejects of LFS, only to die out after two years due to safety concerns.

Originally, the series was semi-breakaway series under IRDU management, but later the series was made as an alternative to F2RWRS and F3RWRS and became part of Road to F1RWRS.

History

When the Zimmer brothers created the Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series (F1RWRS), it was intended to be cheaper than Formula One, as F1RWRS is a breakaway from F1. However, by the end of it's maiden season (2010) competition costs skyrocketed very quickly because of the high amount of teams competing in F1RWRS by 2011. As a result some people disappointed with rising costs of F1RWRS, including the rather-mysterious founder of IRDU, John Dennis Alcatraz, created the original F1Rejects LFS Cup with Live For Speed (Scaven Solutions) made the series sponsor.

The only season that ran under IRDU control was held in 2011 with Shinobu Katayama and Sunshine Infiniti winning the driver and constructor champions (Katayama being the first female champion of the series), but Scaven Solutions suddenly withdrew it's series sponsorship; the series was renamed IRDU Rejects Cup for 2012. Many changes were due to be introduced that year, until IRDU failed to start the season after IRDU Holdings, commercial right-holder, collapsed after unable to make repayments of a loan against a leasing company; the series had to be cancelled and the organization had to be put into administration. Executives from IRDU and the leasing company, including Alcatraz himself, was soon arrested and imprisoned for corruption in January 2013.

By 2013 strong questions arose about IRDU's assets, as well as a potential revival of the series. In 2014, a Finnish company, NVRT Holdings, purchased all of the IRDU assets, and the series was finally revived that year, under the current name Rejects of LFS with Cave Johnson and Ultimate Racing winning the championships. However, problems regarding the spec chassis, Scaven S11B, and the engines, developed as the season progressed.

Demise

Following the addition of 10 more entries for 2015, and an entirely new race structure, things couldn't have been better for the rejuvenated RoLFS. Competition was high, and the first round at Blackwood played host to 3 thrilling races.

However, as in 2014, several problems with the spec chassis began to arise. The cars were very nervous, twitchy, and hard to control, which lead to several accidents throughout the season. Despite this, the drivers were still committing themselves to stupid accidents, resulting in several disqualifications and penalties. The general feeling amongst the teams was that the series was becoming more and more dangerous, with the car and the inexperienced drivers proving a volatile combination.

The danger was fully realised at the penultimate round of the season, the Round of Kyoto. MRT driver Nobushige Fukuda had spun on lap 20 of 24 of the Final, and after managing to get out of the gravel trap, rejoined the track on lap 22.

However, Fukuda rejoined straight into the path of Tristan Jung, who proceeded to collide with Fukuda at high speed, sending Fukuda into a series of barrel rolls. Aeroracing driver Tanner Jason then ignored the yellow flags for Fukuda's stricken car and hit him at full speed, sending Fukuda rolling into the air again, where he collided with advertising hoardings before landing upside down. Fukuda was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival with severe skull fractures and cerebral hemorrhaging. Aged just 27, his death was the first fatal accident in the series, as well as in the RWRS racing ladder outside F1RWRS itself, and the first on-track fatality since Dave McFaste's fatal accident in 2013.

Following close analysis of the footage, Tristan Jung and Tanner Jason were disqualified from all previous results in 2015. Tanner Jason was permanently banned from all Rejects of LFS competition for showing complete lack of respect towards the safety of his fellow competitors, and Tristan Jung was handed a 2 year ban, and had his Reject License revoked. After an appeal, Jung's results for Tarantino Autosport in the teams' championship were allowed to stand and his ban was shortened to one year.

The 300 kilometer race at Kyoto Racing was added to the schedule, but was shortened to 200 kilometer following the incident, which spelt the end for Rejects of LFS. The teams got together and succesfully lobbied for a whole new rules package to be introduced, including an all-new spec chassis and a return to the established European motorsport venues. The new series was named International Formula Reject Challenge, which ironically used the same Lola FN06 chassis that IRDU planned to use in their cancelled 2012 season. The Aston 24 Hours would go ahead as scheduled, but it would be the last race governed by the Rejects of LFS Commission, which would dissolve itself on 20th October 2015.

In all of the three seasons the series was held on, the drivers' champions came outside from Europe.

Rejects Cup car

The original Rejects Cup car featured a Scaven-based chassis in original season, with IRDU planning to use Lola FN06 with Toyota engine at the cancelled 2012 season. The chassis was eventually reused for RoLFS's successor IFRC.

During the 2014 season, all teams started out with a Scaven S11B chassis coupled with a Judd V8 engine. Car development was allowed, although strictly limited. A team was not allowed to improve their engine power and chassis beyond certain limits per race weekend. Failure to comply with the regulations would've lead to disqualification.

For the 2015 season, the teams used an updated, lighter chassis called Scaven S15. The teams were now allowed to choose between two different engine configurations, each having their different strengths and weaknesses. For the first time, the teams could also choose from different tyre manufacturers, again each of them having different performance. However, the chassis was problematic and criticised for being unsafe.

Planned changes for 2016 included two more engine configurations as well as three completely new chassis choices. However, the series was cancelled before any of those materialised.

Qualifying

In 2014, RoLFS utilized an elimination qualifying format similar to the one used in Formula One. In the first round, 15 best cars continued to Q2. From Q2, 10 of the best cars continued on to the final session, where the final top 10 was decided.

If a driver failed to submit a time under a 104% of the pole position time, he/she was not be allowed to start the race. A maximum of four cars would have been removed from the race on the basis of this rule to prevent a dominant team from clearing out most of the grid with a superior pole time.

If there was to be more than 20 entries, but less than 26, then instead of the elimination and time rule there would've been two separate qualifying sessions of which the 20 best qualifiers had been eligible to race, and the rest would've failed to qualify.

For 2015, the number of entries reached a record number of 30. Instead of having one feature and sprint race, there was two semifinal heats with 15 cars each; the grids for them were determined in an earlier qualifying session. From both heats 10 of the fastest cars advanced to the main feature race.

Had there been less than 10 finishers in one of the heats, then more finishers from the another heat would've been permitted into the feature race until the combined total was 20. If the combined total was still less than 20, then the drivers who completed the most race distance without finishing would've been allowed to participate as well. After the 20 participants were confirmed, a final qualifying session was held to determine the grid for the feature race.

The sole exception for this system was the last GP of the season, Nippon Super 200. There the grid was determined via a single qualifying session, with 10 of the slowest cars not being allowed to race.

Rules

Teams could've been penalized from sabotaging another team. The team that believed to have been a target of sabotage had to file a complaint about the matter before the next race took place, and to be able to receive full compensation they must've correctly identified the saboteur. However, if the offended team accused the wrong team for the sabotage, or didn't accuse anyone in particular at all, no-one was penalized and the offended team only received half of the compensation. If the team was wrong in their belief that they'd been sabotaged, both of the cars of the accusing team would've received a 5-second penalty in the next race.

Each team was limited to a maximum two cars, but one-car teams were also possible. However, each manager was only allowed to control one team at a time, unless given a special permission by the RoLFS Commission. A team was limited to four driver changes per year, unless otherwise required due to penalties or an injury.

Season Calendar

In 2014, the race calendar had 12 events, with each race weekend consisting of two races on the same circuit: feature and sprint. The feature race was approximately 100 kilometres long, and contained one mandatory pit stop. The sprint race was approximately 50 kilometres long. In 2014, the starting grid of a sprint race was a reversed list of finishers from the feature race, with the 20th-placed driver from the Feature race starting first, the 11th-placed driver starting 10th and the 1st-placed driver starting last. If there were less than 20 classified drivers in a feature race, the format was adjusted accordingly.

For the 2015 season, the setup stayed relatively same with an additional endurance event held on an oval circuit at the end of the season. The feature race was now approximately 175 kilometres long. Also, instead of a single sprint race after the feature race, there were two heat races with 15 cars each held before the feature race to determine the 20 cars which will take part in it. The heat races maintained the same points scoring as the former sprint races while being approximately 100 kilometres in length.

Points system

In a feature race, points were given based on the 1991-2002 Formula One system: 10-6-4-3-2-1, plus an additional point for both the pole position and fastest lap. In sprint/heat races, the points given were 5-3-2-1 instead, i.e. only the top four finishers scored, with an additional point given for the fastest lap. In the endurance race the points given were 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, i.e. the top 10 scored points.

Rejects Cup seasons

Season Driver Team Wins Podiums Points
2011 (as F1Rejects LFS Cup) Flag of Japan svg.png Shinobu Katayama Flag of Japan svg.png Sunshine Infiniti 1 3 28
2012 (as IRDU Rejects Cup) cancelled cancelled cancelled cancelled cancelled
2014 Flag of the United States svg.png Cave Johnson Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png Ultimate Racing 2 4 36
2015 Flag of Ghana svg.png Marcel Agyemang-Badu Flag of Italy svg.png MasterCard Lancia 4 4 37
2016 cancelled cancelled cancelled cancelled cancelled