LAUNCH Beacon

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LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:25 pm

Transcripted from Dragon Sound, not long before the final rounds of TMMC 2012

Exerpt from Dragon Sound (Originally Podcast tonight)

Ellen Rigby:...she is now in a stable condition in Cardiff University Hospital, and the family have asked for privacy in the matter. And now for the sport, Steve.

Steve Wisner: And we're back on the tarmac with Michael Sykes who has just completed the double header down under, two good results and remains in the top ten in the TM Master cup series, however one particular rookie has been integral to his results, and Sykes would have probably had better finishes in Oz, I spoke to him over the phone, while he was still in Queensland, this morning.

<whoosh> "DRAGON SOUND" <vrrrooom> "Motor Racing"

SW: So Michael, who's this Cody Keaton

Michael Sykes: From what I hear he was originally running in Formula Overdrive, which is a much less impressive series than it sounds, not to knock the skill level of the drivers in that series, but surely there's someone better than the idiot I've had to come to terms with recently.

SW: surely thats going to open up a can of worms.

MS: Should open the floodgates, hope someone proves me wrong. He should not have been allowed near one of the TM cars, let alone the been allowed to travel to Australia, we were at Calder Thunderdome, and surely someone from his background should have done a lot better on a circuit like that, he was way too slow, I'm amazed he was allowed to start the race quite frankly, he was then holding everyone up, he ruined the lead of the race for a few of us, and all he was given was warnings, and if he couldnt deal with an oval then surely someone should have stopped him from racing at Queensland, everyone's seen what happened, not just to me, I doubt anything is going to come of it, I'm just grateful this twerp wasn't trying to run towards the end of last season.

SW: Which we'll draw a veil over, back to the Americas to complete the season, and you intend to complete a TM season for the first time?

MS: Of Course

SW: and then to 2013, with rumours of your former team mate looking at running. Ben Hurran?

MS: Yeah this was a bit of a slow burner, I'd heard something a while ago but It wasnt exactly clear who it was at the time. Then he was on the phone to me not long before we flew down here, I've got something arranged not long after the Decatur Finale, I've pulled the FLASH racing cheif's arm, and he's getting a test run along with a load of youngsters, he's going to be really out of place, it'll be hilarious...

SW: haha

MS:..but yeah, advised him on several things, but obviously its down to him what he wants to do for 2013

SW: What do you think he should do?

MS: Well if he ran as an Independant, that would ease him into the series, its not too much of a stress that way.

SW: The other news I've heard is the one-off entry for Alan Hodges at next year's TM Round of Wales.

MS: Oh yeah, this one is looking very promising, Launch Energy Motorpark's owners have allowed him to run around with us one more time, and there may be an interesting prize for the best welsh driver on that day too. No news on what that prize will be.

SW: Bragging Rights?

MS: Hodgey would rip me to shreds...

SW: pff

MS: ...I dunno, he'll be working really hard on that one race whereas me and whoever's doing the next season will have our attentions all over the place, its going to be a very interesting prospect.

SW: Finally Michael, whats this red alert all about?

MS: Red Alert 2013

SW: Yes, That, what is it.

MS: In due time Wiz

SW: tsk, typical.

MS: Well its about whats happening next year and thats all I can say at the moment.

<Vrrooom> "Dragon Sound" <whoosh> "Wales' First Choice Radio Station."

SW: Sykes now travels to Brazil for round 18 of 20 this season, then up to Canada, before the season rounds off, as it always does, at Decatur in November. Now, Ice Hockey has been a bit quiet of late in Wales, the Icebergs relocated to Ireland last year, but there's a new...


Last edited by Michael Sykes on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:41 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Cardinals5 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:15 am

(OOC: Ellen Rigby, eh? I'm watching you, Sykes Laughing )
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:06 am

(OOC: She's on the same Dragon Sound Newsteam as Lucien Desquai)
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Cardinals5 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:08 am

Michael Sykes wrote:(OOC: She's on the same Dragon Sound Newsteam as Lucien Desquai)

(OOC: Had to say that one out loud to get it)
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by day500champ1 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:44 am

Cardinals5 wrote:
Michael Sykes wrote:(OOC: She's on the same Dragon Sound Newsteam as Lucien Desquai)

(OOC: Had to say that one out loud to get it)

(OCC: That is creative Sykes, took me a while to get it and I'm the one who claims to be the fan. Laughing So, are we going to see Loretta Martin or Her Majesty on this thread?)
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Ben Atkins on Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:31 am

day500champ1 wrote:
Cardinals5 wrote:
Michael Sykes wrote:(OOC: She's on the same Dragon Sound Newsteam as Lucien Desquai)

(OOC: Had to say that one out loud to get it)

(OCC: That is creative Sykes, took me a while to get it and I'm the one who claims to be the fan. Laughing So, are we going to see Loretta Martin or Her Majesty on this thread?)

(OOC: I actually clicked onto the RDT Thread then went "OOOOHHHHHH" out loud as I got it. Very clever Razz)

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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Vincent Giacalone on Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:26 pm

Stop haxxing Sykes' character names, Griffin. Razz
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by navycook75 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Nascarboy426 wrote:Stop haxxing Sykes' character names, Griffin. Razz
shut up Vinny Very Happy
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by BWard on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:59 pm

navycook75 wrote:
Nascarboy426 wrote:Stop haxxing Sykes' character names, Griffin. Razz
shut up Vinny Very Happy

otherwise he will partner up with Cody Keaton (on the track, not in a romantic way)
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:56 pm

Extended cut of the Sykes Interview from the Dragon Sound website:

Steve Wisner: A lot of people have now got access to the history of motorsport online, and I believe you've had soemthing to say about what's been said on TMPedia

Michael Sykes: I can't say I'm annoyed about it, however it would be wise of me to let the listeners know the truth. When you look at the "British Touring Cars" bit of my biography, the last piece says "Lured by the prospect of big money".

Steve Wisner: With Desswindel, it wasn't for the money? They certainly were throwing their wallets at people.

Michael Sykes: Whoah there Steve! Here's the truth...

SW: OK...

MS: I had the big crash in 93, couldn't risk my legs for the majority of the season, but I was coaxed into a test with Desswindel about 3 or 4 weeks before I was cleared to actually get back into the car. Desswindel have long since departed the motoring world so I feel I'm allowed to say this. They had a LOT of money, or at least they said they did, and at the time it certainly looked like they did, but it was more about R&D than it was about the drivers, their recruiting officers were very emotive in getting me to have a run in one of their prototypes, which was fitted with hand controls rather than pedals, remember this is 1993 we're talking about, I have said, on many occasions, great things about Desswindel's attempts at technological advantages, even Koswieger at the time.

SW: So how come the pay packet was ludicrous.

MS: Really Wiz? Investigative Journalism at its finest? They were pre-emptive in their recruiting, 2 years before my Inglesby contract would run out, and they basically put a deal together that would eclipse anything offered by anyone else, other teams knew this at the time, and basically bailed out. Desswindel went bust before the first round of the year, and I was almost left to have to walk home from Germany!

SW: Really?

MS: There was some compensation when administration set in, I got by for about 3 months in Germany, remember, this is in a time before the internet, so the only way I could get in touch with back home was being able to get back to Britain and back home, It was a very dark time and I'm glad I was able to get out of it.

SW: It must have took some nerve to go back there in 1996

MS: I felt it was unfinished business and it was more about exorcising personal demons. It wasn't the greatest thing ever, the cars may have been, but I had to see it through. Much like this year in TM, I still haven't a full season here.

SW: Yes certainly, lets get back to that...
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:55 am

Transcripted from Dragon Sound, on the late evening after the Brands Hatch Race:

Jenna Siss:...and we're still stuck with a courtcase with no outcome, the judge has ordered a retrial on August the 4th.

DRAGON SOUND <Crowd cheer><referee's whistle><vrrooom><tennis racket> Sports Update

Steve Wisner: And as of almost 4 hours ago, a Torrential TM Master Cup race at Brands Hatch ended, I caught up with a damp Michael Sykes via skype just before we went live...

<Vrooom>

Michael Sykes:...In all honesty, other than Divina, I'm amazed there are any other drivers happy with the result of the race, you saw it, I was a victim of certain circumstances, and I'm utterly utterly amazed to say I'm a top five finisher in...that...

Steve W:...the last wet race you attempted was the 2011 round of British Columbia...

MS:...well technically I didn't start, according to the records of...that...race...

SW:...but still, this was a completely different car from 2 years ago.

MS: certainly, I doubt there's any stone unturned in any development of next generation cars, but I think there were a number of us who didn't expect this car to be that bad in weather we should have been prepared for, you only have to look at the highlights to see how many big names ended up eating green stuff on more than one occasion.

SW: ...a 5th place finish then, and still within shouting distance of...

MS:...dont jinx it now Wiz...

SW:...now come on!.. would I?

MS:.....I'm on form lets just leave it at that shall we? Loooong way to go yet, lets not tarnish this with talk of titles...

SW: Michael, great to hear from you, cant wait for the Round of Wales

MS: Me too! Sunniest race of the year hopefully.

SW:...dont jinx it now sykes!

<p-p-p-pow> Dragon Radio

Steve Wisner: A few rounds before the teams head to Launch Energy Motorpark on what is essentialy the TMMC European Tour, France first, then a scandanavian double header including the 37th Karjala Grand prix, and then the Vnukovo Airport in Russia where Sykes had that first unexpected win for LAUNCH. And that will round off the first half of a long haul 2013 TM Master Cup season.

<crowd cheer>

Steve Wisner: The UK Urban Sports scene will gather in Cardiff for the Brixtreme Games, Skateboarding, BMX, Parkour, you name it, you've fallen off them, they're here and a serious sport, and in preparation for the event Dragon Radio's Urban Cultre reporter Jon N'yoko was talking to the organisers ahead of the openinc ceremony...
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Michael Sykes Retirement Announcement.

Post by Michael Sykes on Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:10 pm

Dear TMMC Fraternity and Fans.

The following is an announcement that I need to make, before talk becomes a little bit messed up, I would like to make this as clear as daylight.

I am to retire from driving in the TM Master Cup at the end of the current season.

In the four years I've been here, I've experienced the highs and the lows that this championship can throw at you, I've been welcomed from my first visit as a mere sightseer in 2009, talked myself into a return to racing after 6 years out, made my footprint in 2010, shot it all to bits in 2011 after one win and a major league ego trip that I will accept the blame for, having a great team like Launch rescue my career in 2012, and with ALERT in 2013 being in the dogfight at the top. It may seem like an odd move to make, a big deal in a driver's career when he could potentially win a title, or one of the remaining "big" races, but It does not matter, when I made my comeback I wanted to prove my worth as a front runner, and I believe I have done so. I believe the timing has never been better, once the season is over, for me to step aside and let some younger, for the sake of argument better, drivers to make their name, in my obvious opinion to be the best racing championship, of the modern era, in the world.

I'd like to thank Lance Andrews, not only for being the biggest supporter of my racing career outside of my immediate family, but for talking me into a return, his belief that I should be racing in this, To my original crew members at ADX Racing for their commitment through the six races in 2010, and win the Independants Trophy, good luck helping Ashley in the Launch Drift World Series, To each and every one of you with whom I've raced, even the one-hit wonders. Frank Lawrence and Adam Samson for saving my TM career at least, after it all ever so nearly collapsed at the end of 2011. To Steve Wisner and Dragon Sport in Wales for making sure my efforts were not missed to some extent back home, to Launch Energy who are doing some amazing things in the future, things that I look forward to being involved with next year. To my former and current Team-Mates, Gaspar De Souza, Leonid Roderick, Juho Kivela, "Captain Wetlook Leggings" Chris Davenport, and Mika Pasonen, thanks to all of you for putting up with this old git in the next garage. And most importantly my wife, my girlfriend, the love of my life, Penny Xarier, who originally had to put up with me being all fat and crazy, and having stress after stress and dieting and fitness regimeing like a motherlover in these last 4 years, am now skinny and crazy, you can worry no longer when Decatur ends.

Thank's for taking the time to read this, see you in Quebec, good racing everyone.
Michael Sykes.
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:10 am

Excerpt from the Monday Motorsport Report on Dragon TV...

...during the AGM of Launch Energy, Christian Lau, founder and CEO of Launch made a bold statement about their investments in sports, he was clear to say Investments and not sponsorships, especially in Motorsport...

"...our investment has got to a point where we have our own team in the TM Master Cup, and we intend to stay there for as long as possible, our partnership with Frank Lawrence and Adam Samson has put us in a position to take the next ultimate step, and a plan to develop our own team.

In Wheaton, Illinois, we have begun building our own state of the art garage, specifically for the TM Master Cup team ALERT, this will begin operation in 2015.

At the same time we will then hand control of the FLASH racing organisation back to Frank Lawrence and Adam Samson in Indianapolis, this includes the support of Inglesby.

ALERT will be looking for a new manufacturer for the 2015 season, and intend to be given 100% support by this new supplier by 2017.

ALERT's current driver lineup will change gradually over the next few years, our goal is to maintain a US-centric profile, two drivers from the United States, one under the age of 33, the other under the age of 26, and then one International driver under the age of 23.

Launch will seek to provide sponsorship of teams in the other divisions, TM Lights, The TM National and Regional Championships. The ARLA divisions, and the Dash Cup. This will then mean we're able to create the ideal driver development steps or "Launch Ladder" into the TM Master Cup from a grass-roots level.

Our base in Wheaton will also be a racing school, including simulation rigs, a kart circuit, a short track oval, we also intend to put an online competition in place for the winner to get a chance to race in the TM Master Cup within 10 years.

Michael Sykes will oversee the driver recruitment process during this time in his new role as Launch's Director of Motorsport."

At last, even though he said he was to retire from racing at the end of this season, talk of Michael's future in the sport has been put to rest, and hopefully a positive finish to the end of this, the 2013 TMMC season, to end his career on a high...
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:58 pm

Dragon Sound excerpt post-Ohio wrote:

Steve Wisner: An action packed and slightly controversial round of the TM Master Cup at Ohio, ended with Michael Sykes topping the table with a 5th place finish, however...

<vrooom><"Dragon Sound"><"GreenGreenGreenGreen">

Michael Sykes (Via Skype to SW):...I'm starting from the back of the grid for the next round

Steve Wisner: Is that for the incident with Ben Atkins?

MS: It looks like it

SW:...going through the race there was nothing else you did wrong, so it has to be driving Ben Atkins into the pit wall.

MS: I must admit it doesnt look good on TV, but I've never been involved in an incident like this, I could explain my actions, but I'd be wasting my time.

SW: Atkins has been quite vocal about this.

MS: yeah well, good for him, thinks very highly of himself. I've did a good job up until now of retiring gracefully, I'd have liked to have kept it that way. I wasted my time looking for Ben Tw...Ben Atkins after the race, but the Tutino guys seemed very keen on not letting me near him, they were expecting me to throw my arms at him or something, I just wanted a word, simple as. And yet they didnt give me the chance, and he's given these armchair experts something to chew on, tweets are very easy to throw, but they break nothing.

SW: Sykesy, thanks for your time

<"Great Driving, Good Job"><"TM Master Cup"><vrrrrrrrooooom><"on Dragon Sport">

SW: Sykes now heads to Quincy, and the Grand Detour of Western Illinois, and he's got a job on his hands no matter what time he puts in for Qualifying, he will start the race at the Death Bowl at the back of the pack, and we'll see his survival Live on Dragon Sport, channel 433 on TVD and online via DragonNation.
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Re: LAUNCH Beacon

Post by Michael Sykes on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:28 pm

4 months later

[Intro Music][Montage of Channel 44's sporting history with added visual effects]

44 for 44
Narrator: This edition of Fourty-four for fourty-four is brought to you by Launch Energy Drinks, prepare for lift off.

...

Ratingen
Dusseldorf
26th of February 2015

Cameras look down several streets, panning across the soon to be demolished Hitzfeldplatz, a derelict block of flats. A sign (In german) says "30 days to demolition", the surrounding area is being fenced off, apart from one or two areas, one being cleard of any remains in the flats, and the other for a small camera crew, and someone in a blue shirt with a "Launch" logo on the left-hand side of the chest,  black jeans, and some sneakers...

"20 years ago...bloody hell...it doesnt look any better now than it did then"

Inside one flat, about six or seven floors up, derelict, apart from one dusty telephone on the floor, one of those old fashion spin-dial ones that are useless, unless they're plugged into a wall. The man in the blue shirt walks in and immediately notices the phone and laughs.

"...you're kidding right? who put this here? there's no way this would have been here all this time..."

He slides his finger over the handle, the phone caked in dust, a thousand dark memories instantly flush back into his head, we know by now that it's 2013 TMMC Champion Michael Sykes.

"...no [silenced but lip-read expletive] way, this is the phone!...this is the phone that, 20 years ago, was my only connection to back home, the internet was new back then, and expensive, nowadays...and slow, nowadays it seems so easy, if you're lost anywhere, as long as you have a phone and a credit card, you can ping yourself back home or anywhere within about 4 taps of a cellphone, 20 years ago, it took three months"

[instantly cutting away to a 26th of February 1995 BTV News report]

Tanner Millman: BTCC Champion Michael Sykes is not only without a drive this season, but is also stuck in Germany, Sykes was expected to be joining the Desswindel German Supercar team, but the manufacturer went into immediate liquidation after 5 years of hidden debt to the tune of 500 million Deutchemarks, and job losses on an unprescidented scale, from the assembly floor, to the excecutive offices, and it's racing team.

The founders, Rudolf Dessler, Kohl Wingaerd and Mauro Delphine, are set to face corruption charges, and what is expected to be the longest and most drawn out case in legal history"

...

The Koswieger Phoenix Komplex.
Formerly the Desswindel RKO.

The original concrete building still stands, but with a few additions over the years by Koswieger, based in Kaiserslautern, who picked up the remaining pieces of Desswindel's wreckage.

Sykes sits on the hill just next to the entry, the other side of the hill stands the word "PHOENIX" set in concrete.

"The last day I was here as a never to be Desswindel driver, I was scared... I sat here, with no idea what to do, it was just me that agreed to move over, no agent, no advisor, these things new drivers would have to find nessasary these days if there was to be a massive change of scene, maybe even if you were to switch from one big team to another, Desswindel "had" them, the guys with suits and breifcases, but when they were in trouble, they jumped the sinking ship aswell, they were the ones that coaxed me into moving, and I'd...I'd lost a lot of trust, sitting here, alone... And then I heared a beep in the traffic just over there [Sykes points to the road near the entry and exit to the Komplex] I ignored it thinking it was just traffic, it usually is, and then another beep followed by shouting "MiKKeLL... MiKKeLL" I looked up, and it was Penelope, waving like a lunatic, "MIKKELL ARE YOU LOST? I CAN 'ELP"

A photo of Penelope "Penny" Xarier from 1995 now appears on screen, and then we see Penny 20 years later, sitting next to Michael in front of a camera, in that typical sports documentary interview style...

"My Brother, was expected to move out of a flat, Michael was pretty much stranded in Germany, I suggested that he moved there for a while until he could get back home, I was supposed to be Michael's trainer for the Team before it all went wrong. I felt like I had to help him after what had happened"

Michael: "I had to very quickly grasp a language I hardly spoke in order to get by, a part-time job, thankfully it was a delivery job so it was pretty much asking for signatures, not really any questions to reply to."

Several photos of Michael from his isolation in Germany flicker through in montage, and then through the magic of digital editing, there is a rewind effect put on the video, rewinding back through 1994, and even further back, and back, and then we're presented with how Michael's career began...
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The 1st Launch Academy Graduates

Post by Michael Sykes on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:58 pm

Via a vlog sometime before the start of the 2014 racing season...

This is Michael Skyes, Director Of Motorsport at the Launch Academy in Wheaton, Illinois, and I'm here to announce the eight competitors who have graduated through the 1st ever Launch Academy system, and will begin their racing careers with a full season in a competitive car, in a competitive championship

These are in no particular order (the vlog displays the graduates photos in their Launch colours, and some trackside shots of them doing laps in the many facilities at the Wheaten Academy.

For the Corsair Crossover series, a new championship in cars that are basically somewhere between Karting and Single Seater racing on the food chain, and the two hotshots we've designated for this series were the most adept in the Karts at Wheaton, Alfred McCogan 19 from Scotland, one of the winners of our Online campagn, and Eddie Nagel another 19 year old born in Yemen, but raised in New York.

We didn't expect to have many entries who wanted to race in europe, but out of necessity we've allocated some seats in the European Cadet Series, a silhouet hatchback series on a budget, and ideal training for the two drivers who also wanted to give touring car racing a go: Harris Pyper, Canadian, 18 years old, and Nenad Limoy Hamdanic from Serbia and one of the oldest graduates, 20 years old.

We're going to dabble in one of the newest racing championships out there, Formula Voltage (OOC: no prizes for guessing which one this is), where there appears to be some fairly hefty names involved in the championship, so where better to go for a couple of newcomers who will no doubt give the experienced mainstays a run for their money: Mark Webster (17) and Sarah Bellham (19), both from England, have worked hard at the academy and I believe they can go toe to toe with the best in the business.

And the last two are those that were the best in the Academy, and I'm hoping for a future in the TMMC for at least one of the next two, who will race in ALERT prepared Formula Ingleby cars in the United States championship, and a run in the Festival at Brands Hatch at the end of the year:

Chester Field, an 18 year old, from Chicago, and Peter Gorras, an unexpected 20 year old talent from Hungary, who blew everyone out of the water in our inaugural Launch Online Challenge, and took to the real deal like a duck to water with previously zero on-track experience.

All the best to the first great eight, and it the academy will open its doors again in 12 months time...
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