King Alexander literally left his mark on Arraphka today following the running of the first Arraphka Formula C (Chariot) GP. After an eventual qualifying session, which saw the deaths of no less than 8,000 (according to sources) Persian competitors and 1 Macedonian (probably called Amyntas), the grid lined up as follows:
3rd Black (Gold) Cleitus
4th White (Gold) Cleitus
5th Lysimachus + dog
6th a Persian
8th – 24th unnamed Persians and Macedonians
The streets of Arraphka are unpaved, so all the competitors started on Super Tough Power/Control of Italia (founder L. Marcus Pirellius) wheels. The race got off to a reckless start when a number of back makers collided and – in the heat of the moment – pulled their swords on each other. The Safety Chariot was brought out while the circuit was cleared of bodies.
Once the Safety Chariot came into the pits, Alexander pulled out an impressive lead of 7 minutes, only to lose it when he saw Parmenion in trouble. Not for the first time, the grey haired general’s left wing had broken.
As Alexander helped Parmenion and his dodgy left wing, Black (Gold) Cleitus rode past. It was an impressive display of charioteering by the man who had earlier in the week been failed to win a court case over naming rights with White (Gold) Cleitus.
Once back in his chariot, Alexander found the racing line round Arraphka’s mazy streets and was soon biting at the heels of Lysimachus. Unfortunately for the king, Lysimachus’ dog was more than up for the challenge, forcing the new Lord of Asia to back off.
Unable to find a way past Lysimachus, Alexander pitted. As per the regulations, he changed onto Pirellius’ Intermediate wheels. The stop took an impressive eight minutes to complete.
Out on the track, the Cleitii were neck-and-neck until Craterus, still drunk after an all night bender with Ptolemy, accidentally wandered onto the track. White (Gold) Cleitus was forced to take evasive action; he failed, and his chariot crashed into The Hardest Man in Macedon (Alexander’s 1st – 3rd Regnal year).
Unsurprisingly, it was the chariot and horse that came off worse. Well, relatively. The chariot flipped over and ended up in a bale of hay in several pieces. Cleitus received only brusies, but his race was over; lunch for his horse, however, had only just begun. Craterus was uninjured, although there is no word as yet on the condition of the flowers that he was carrying.
More laps passed and Alexander rode like Zephyros himself to close the gap on Black (Gold) Cleitus. He was ten minutes behind him when Cleitus, whose ST wheels were now shot through, pitted. Alas for the man in black (gold), disaster struck when a wheel nut jammed. Cleitus could only watch as Alexander roared past.
But the race was not over yet, for the competitors still had to make a fuel stop. This happened towards the end of the race when Cleitus had caught up with the king. They pitted together. Their horses were untied and led into the paddock stable for some hay. Alexander and Cleitus had a glass of wine (several in fact) and some food before the horses were brought back together. The pit stop took a brilliant 43 minutes to complete.
Alexander and Black (Gold) Cleitus left the pits side-by-side – against the regulations, but Alexander later waived them. For lap after lap they traded first and second place. There was a lot of contact between the chariots, eyeballing and sledging. Black (Gold) Cleitus was heard to use the words “Philip” and “was a better king than you” many times.
In the end, their personal battle handed the win to Eumenes, Alexander’s Secretary; he had run a quiet race, keeping well out of trouble by running last. The rumour is that he actually studied the circuit before hand and availed himself of statistics compiled by Perdiccas regarding the most effective way round.
Not that that helped him. Eumenes won because on the last lap Alexander and Black (Gold) Cleitus stopped to have a fight. Alexander won that, got into his chariot, only to see Eumenes trot by. The king tried hard to overtake his secretary, but in the strangely named ‘Monaco’ section of the circuit, this proved to be impossible. Eumenes rode on to take the Arraphka flag and the accolades of winner.
Much wine was consumed by the podium finishers, resulting in the post-race propagadist conference being postponed.
3rd Who cares.
UPDATE: Craterus’ flowers were fine. They were subsequently delivered to Sexy Euridike, who declared herself well pleased with them [AOS]