Autumn Ring Mini
The man was back. Omar Miller, a semi-retired schoolteachter from Pensauken, New Jersey
looked to his wife, Daphe Walsh. He would be driving an old Nissan, she a much newer Honda Fit.
"But they didn't
say anything about him showing up!" Omar said in his mafia man-ish accent. "You show-a you read that roster right?"
show-a" said Daphe, "It's him. Look and see fer yaself".
Yes indeed. Dirk "Meth Hed" Bryant was back.
Back in the Sunday Cup, back to racing! Rumors had spread about him not negotiating for GT5 racing contracts, but here
he was. Here was his name, anyways. The man, the star, the multiple winner of countless races over the past seven years, was
back to destroy Daphe and Omar in this race, but he was not at the track yet, and there was less than an hour until track
When he finally showed, our two early protagonists were a little shocked. Multi-millionaire Dirk Bryant
didnt' show up with an entourage. There was no limousine. No, the man himself drove into Autumn Ring's paddock area.
Not wearing a suit or even a nice leather jacket, but flannel. His infamous cowboy boots
were scuffed in person, and he was wearing jeans. He loooked as if he had just come to race after a wood cutting expedition.
Or perhaps he had been hunting.
"Hi y'all" he said with a grin, walking by casually as if the day couldn't be
any finer. As one of the track squires drove Dirk's "new" car, a 1979 Nissan 910 SSS, Omar
looked at Daphe, his wide face drained of color, as if Bruce Springsteen had walked by!
Everyone knew of
Dirk's reputation in the various Gran Turismo leagues over the years. He had started long ago, back in the days when
I.M. Reechasheet bought Autumn Ring Mini, an aging kart track, and made it his first official Gran Turismo league venue.
Dirk had started way back when in a Sunday Cup just like this one, driving a black '91 Nissan 240SX to many victories.
Before long, he had also won many more driving one of his infamous Dodge Vipers. GT League, National Leagues, and
finally the World Championship. The years rolled by and the wins (and a few losses) continued. The TV show, the books,
The '79 Nissan was something he picked up from a retired antique dealer in California. It had
been sitting in his garage for years; all it needed was a new battery, new tires, and various other bits and peices. Dirk
had a page buy the car in secrecy, and so far so good. Dirk's name had not made the tabloids. By the time he he
showed up at the Autumn Ring Mini track day, Dirk was worth roughly 18 million dollars, and had become somewhat good
at avoiding the awful GT press.
Dirk had become known as "Meth Hed" because of the press (tabloids, TV "documentaries",
etc) even though it had been years since he even touched the stuff. His devout born-again Christian way of life and constant
preaching about racing and spirituality had done nothing to change his past; the tabloids never seemed to get over it!
was shocked to learn Dirk's car would be running stock. Omar's 240SX had some nice "Hard-grade" sports tires.
It was also making worthwhile power. Dirk's car, on the other hand, would be running on cheap radials and needed
an oil change! On the roster Omar had viewed earlier, it mentioned every car's weight and power. Dirk's 810 would be
making just 95 horses!
Didn't matter, though. During the race, Dirk expertly carved up those corners!
Often taking them from the outside, rather than the inside, and making his way slowly past all the other drivers.
As lap 2 came to an end, Dirk slid across the finish line in a cloud of smoke, not realizing this would be a 3 lap race!
Dirk had not bothered to read the GT5 Sunday Cup regulations which stated this would be a 3 lap race.
Didn't matter. He
passed up by three cars (including Omar's Nissan) but made his way back into the lead near the end of lap 3!
After his sudden appearance, win, and odd Lap 2 behavior at western Pennsylvania's Autumn
Ring Mini track, the tabloids swarmed! METH HED BACK ON DRUGS! An 8 year old picture of Dirk re-surfaced from
the archives. A younger Dirk, 33 years old, just after his release from jail. He had gone to jail after his methamphetimine
lab blew up. But he got involved with racing and all was good. He had been clean now for years, yet the tabloids
always brought this back.
Dirk took it all in stride. He expected the blows and knew to stay away from the press.
Lots of GT drivers made the mistake of trying to go to the press, the TV day shows, in an effort to clear their names.
Dirk did none of this. "The lord will provide" he said confidently to his small travelling staff. "The lord always provides".
He would blow it over as usual, raking in the money and praising Jezus!
Before his next race at France's
Grand Valley East, he perused a near-flawless 1971 Nissan 240ZG for $54,218. This was
a lot of money, and Dirk's GT5 account was left with just over 10 grand. Although it had a lowish 148
horsepower, Dirk would not be able to drive it in the Sundays. But that was okay. Dirk was able to also locate a
full set of radial tire types (harder and softer grades) for his Nissan 910. He would be able to legally use
the softer-grade radials in France.
Whenever in France, Dirk "Meth Hed" Bryant encountered small bits of nationalism
against him. As a devout American patriot, Bryant wasn't always liked in France, where many times over the years he had won
at Grand Valley (including the infamous 300 KM event) countless times. Today would not be one of his finer days.
Jaeger, Albanian-French Mick Jagger impersionist, would be driving a late-model Citroen C4. "Give
it up Meth Hed" said Jaeger. Your days as Gran Turismo championship are dated".
And he was right, at least
for now. Mick started on Pole position, and was able to maintain this lead for much of the race. Towards the end, Dirk
finally caught and passed the C4, but a brief blip over the sand trap in GVE's final turn caused Dirk's Nissan to slow.
He finished 2nd here, collecting $3,600. Not bad, but there was work to be done.
Valley East, Day 2
To commemorate his first loss, Dirk had his car a dull steel gray color. The Gran
Turismo organization had finally allowed drivers to paint their cars various colors. The drab shade was a sign of "penance",
Dirk explained. "To throw thyself at the Lord, one must first beg forgiveness" he said while the onlookers rolled their
eyes. Today he was speaking in a small lobby before the race, wearing a more professional GT jacket and slacks.
had not had any practice laps here, but was confident of a win.
During the race, every car except a Mazda 2 being
driven by mannequin director Carla Figeuriola got ahead of Dirk's Nissan. But he managed to wrestle
himself to 1st place anyways by Lap 2. Down the straight, now he gets passed by a Suzki Swift Sport! But in a cloud of
Smoke out of the hairpin, Meth Hed roared back to first and HELD it until the very end!