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    Default The Icaras Project Team Profile



    4 – The Icaras Project (United Kingdom)

    Team Principal:

    Connor Burns ()

    Slogan:

    "Flying High"

    Backstory:

    It’s no lie that ‘everyone loves an underdog’, which gives credence to the huge number of Mirage supporters that have popped up over the more recent years, but still the big favourite amongst fans, including as the team began to challenge for titles, was The Icaras Project.

    Begun by Lancashire-based businessman Barnston Burns in 2109, The Icaras Project was an attempt to get an AG-ship to break the height record for a horizontal-thruster ship. The record was set by FEISAR’s own Sofia De La Rente in 2023 at 4,782m above sea level, and Burns was defiant he was going to see the project come to something.

    As the factory outside Clitheroe began to take shape, and the first concepts of the craft were released to the public, more and more UK citizens became interested and offered up donations of their own. People dissatisfied with the way FEISAR was treating them at the Dover plant left to work on Icaras, and fairly soon there was nobody working for FEISAR at their plant any more. The European squad had lost another of its’ constituent members and they were not happy with the vanishing of Great Britain, an industry leader in AG-technology concepts.

    Icaras’ first ever ship, the Helios floated from its’ garage on the twenty-third of June 2111 and was loaded on to a transporter for its’ first ever attempted lift off, the location being the Atacama Desert. A purpose-built hundred mile runway had been built through it several years past by the AntiGravity Race Commission for straight-line speed tests and crash testing as well. The Helios took off at five minutes past two o’clock local time with pilot George Dravere at the helm. An hour later, the Englishman returned the ship to the start point with a gloomy face.

    The height counter on his ship dashboard had maxed out at 4,743m before he began to fall and the Icaras Project hadn’t brought any more fuel for another go that day. But when he got out, there were broad smiles on all faces around him, and a man with greying hair wheeled his chair over to Dravere and offered his hand. “This is Pierre Belmondo,” Barnston Burns introduced the old man. “And he has offered us a place in his race series.” And so began Icaras’ involvement in the F7200 league.

    Nobody blamed Icaras for a poor, almost farcial start to the leagues, as their first entry was basically the Helios with stronger air brakes and a crude weapon rack, but eventually Icaras had managed to put together a proper ship, albeit one that was incredibly light and flimsy, meaning that Dravere often had to leave the hyperthrust button well alone during races, especially as they caught up to their fellow newcomers Goteki 45. But unfortunately, with the great ship blocking their path, there was no further that Icaras could go.

    The pink and brown craft never progressed higher up the grid than fifth, and that was after a double elimination of the AG-Systems and Assegai ships in a race of serious attrition. When they along with Goteki were outed after their best result of fourth due to the resultant fight in the pit lane, Icaras left the league as the worst performing team of any that had shown its’ face in AG-racing. The shame of it caused Barnston Burns’ son, Terence, to sell most of his father’s legacy and trade it in for a quiet house in the country for his father when he emerged from hospital with leg paralysis, a result of a thrown screwdriver during the Goteki-Icaras fight.

    Icaras was to stay quiet for many years until Barnston’s great-great grandson Connor Burns, inspired by the new AG-racing leagues, brought together many dissatisfied backers of FEISAR around the United Kingdom, and bought the Dover-based factory from their European fellow racers for a not-inconsiderable sum of money that Connor’s family had left over in the bank from the support money they’d got from the original Icaras project. When the Burns family discovered there their money had gone in 2197 when Icaras made the announcement of their return, there was uproar both at home for the prodigal son and from FEISAR who hadn’t considered their own factory would be used to make the new Amun-Ra craft.

    Wisely, for the start of FX300, Connor moved himself to a private resort in Modesto Heights on Makana Island where he lives to this day. Questions as to whether or not he has made peace with Keao Manumaleuna have been rebuked though as Burns has stated he will ‘never forgive’ what happened to his grandfather all those years ago. It seems though that Connor has fallen closer to the tree than most expected, and Icaras’ second place behind FEISAR in the FX350 league is solid proof of his pilot choice and how he runs his ship design.

    Icaras and their pilots have been known as pleasant folk amongst the grid, making them welcome in the Harimau and Mirage camps in particular, though Burns has admitted that he is ‘incapable of resisting’ the good personality of Feliks Levovitch of Qirex. A few critics of the near constant supply of whisky and girls that find themselves in the private elevators at Modesto Heights have commented though if Burns is after no more than one of Feliks’ pilots and his many gifts of potent vodka.

    Allies: Qirex, Mirage
    Rivals: FEISAR, Piranha
    Arch-Rival: Goteki 45

    Ship Details:
    Following the tradition of all Icaras craft, the Project’s ‘Fury’ ship is named after an ancient sun god, in this case ‘Alaunus’, an ancient Celtic deity half in respect and half as a joke to Connor’s mother, a practicing Druid. Burns apparently wanted the ship to be named after a Mayan god but after a leak in one of the press conferences the name has stuck and Connor is the only one who doesn’t refer to it by name, simply calling it the ‘Fury Ship’ when he can.

    Much like the AG-Systems, FEISAR and to a certain extent the Piranha ships, the Alaunus is more evolution than revolution, mimicking the old ship closely in shape though scaled up a little due to the FX500 regulations demanding larger minimum ship size, more armour plating and the chance to add a few more additions to the ship. Icaras has chosen to work on their sometimes poor handling ability, working on an aero package to help improve responsiveness – hence the small two ‘winglets’ at the front of the ship. Despite the heavier armour that the rules specify though, there has been no major improvements to the famously sensitive shields of the British team and the pilots are once again going to have to take care on track.

    Lead Pilot – Sibrand Van Saur ()

    There are two good reasons that Van Saur is known as ‘The Scalpel’ amongst his fellow racers, despite what some say that it is no more than an attack on his nationality. The first is his incredible knowledge of the human body stemming from his father’s occupation as a Dusseldörf surgeon and the second being his completely uncompromising, razor-sharp racing lines.

    Van Saur joined the University of Munich’s Anti-Gravity Research facility, one that many European colleges and universities had at the time, all with links to the well-known and respected Federal European Industrial Science And Research programmes. Van Saur quickly gained respect amongst his peers if he was not liked, for he became the team’s vice captain at the age of twenty while still achieving excellent results in his current course.

    A colleague of his at the time noted that while Sibrand was ‘Fantastic and intelligent... quick witted and able to spot problems from a mile away’, it never truly reflected in how he was able to work as a team player. He would always strive to be the lead in every project and begin to direct everyone to their selected tasks with military precision without any regard for what the others might think. So when FEISAR’s recruitment men came knocking for potential pilots, they discarded Van Saur’s application with the reasoning that they didn’t need such a domineering force, especially not with their new rising star in Ezio Di’Rosso. What turned FEISAR away though drew Icaras like a moth to the flame.

    With Icaras’ return in 2197, the team had limited testing facilities especially with FEISAR’s large presence at Talon’s Junction, the closest working track to home that was fully FX300 league licensed (this was before it was given the mag-lock loop) and had to do most of their tests on the ancient tarmac roads around the north of England and Scotland. They needed a fully competent pilot who would know precisely how to develop the ship, and Connor Burns found just his man.

    Sibrand Van Saur has never truly integrated himself within the team as other charismatic lead pilots have, but nobody denies that he was Icaras’ saving grace. While their rivals Goteki 45 came to the FX300 league at about the same level, the lack of innate ability in Ferrai as a lead pilot meant that Icaras was able to take advantage of Triakis and AG-Systems’ fall from grace in FX350 and net the team second behind one of the many other pilots he has declared a private war on – Di’Rosso of FEISAR.

    Other notable enemies of Sibrand have been Leona Silvaris of Piranha, of whom the two have a shouting match almost every press conference they are involved in; Buster Harding of Triakis, whom he accuses of being ‘as big a pig-headed idiot as the ship he flies’ and most recently Nyoko Kassan of Assegai after watching the young Kenyan barrel roll his ship in places he claims that have no right being shortcuts. And yet as unpopular as Sibrand makes himself, that didn’t hurt him becoming #6 in a recent ‘weird crush’ competition held in a womens’ gossip magazine, his ‘tall, angular face’ and ‘elegantly combed blonde hair’ earning him the place. He has yet to comment on this.

    Second Pilot – Gryffyth Dawod ()

    Dawod began his AG-Racing career as a trainee pilot for FEISAR, but found himself at the Dover factory when Connor Burns came in with the proposal for James Paget-Newman, the owner of the plant and suggested it to his staff. The young pilot, who was eager for his chance to shine, came up to offer his services as a test or second pilot if need be. Surprised somewhat by Gryffyth’s forwardness, Connor allowed him to come and help Van Saur with the development of the ship. With no other takers for the role of second pilot, Gryffyth was given the place for FX300 and Burns has said retaining the Welshman is one of the best moves of his career.

    Amongst the pilots of the FX leagues, many paint the man from Burry Port as the most well liked and personable. Always with a smile on his face, Wales’ most beloved son has never refused an interview and always approached them with a big smile on his face even after eliminations, laughing and insisting he’ll ‘get them next time’ or ‘just won’t let them catch him’. His cartwheels down the nose of his ship into the engineers after race wins cause a few snorts from the other teams but the crowds roar in approval and especially back home whenever Dawod has convinced the track marshals to put the Dragon on the podium instead of the Union Jack.

    FEISAR have been asked a few times if they regret losing such a personable and quick pilot to Icaras to which Nicolo Testa has said many times that he’s glad he didn’t have to deal with the more tiresome parts of Dawod’s personality though, one of which is that of the track’s ladies’ man. Gryffyth never claims to be the most attractive man on the grid, and has noted with a grin several times that he’d be a father of hundreds now if it wasn’t for this ‘bloody ginger hair’, but he has had no qualms about openly flirting with as many pilots on the grid as can be. As it happens, the only injury from this has been a solid kick between the legs from Andrea Santiago which put the poor man out of action for a few races previous season. He holds no ill will against the Chilean and has written her a formal letter of apology, which was summarily fed to the air thrusters of the woman’s ‘Mauna Loa’ craft the next race.

    Third Pilot – Alvaro Montera ()

    Montera is a new permanent pilot to the FX500 season, however his experience of top-grade machinery is nothing to be sniffed at. Montera was at Vineta K, the finishing location of the ‘Poseidon Challenge’ underwater race from Stockholm to Makana to collect his trophy, which was to be presented at the podium ceremony in which the first race of the FX350 league would take place in order to garner the maximum amount of attention and publicity to the new series and take the sting of the Triakis-AG-Systems controversy of the previous season away from the mouth.

    Disaster befell Icaras as they were drawn for the first race as Gryffyth Dawod’s remarks about Andrea Santiago’s race suit earned him a firm racing boot right in the family jewels. Still miles away due to a delayed flight in Germany, Van Saur couldn’t turn up for the race and Icaras had no backup pilots. The AG-League rules at the time forbade pilot swapping between different teams and Connor Burns had to look around for a replacement. Montera was willing and able, climbing into the cockpit of the ‘Amun Ra’ with a cry of ‘how hard can it be?’.

    To the surprise of all, the pilot of submersibles took well to Venom-class speeds and finished a very respectable fourth for his first race, turning the opinions of most in the paddock on their heads. With third pilots being optional but advised for future races, Burns offered Montera a permanent seat during the submersible racing off-season. The Portuguese pilot took it without another thought and slipped right into the cockpit.

    A good friend of most on the grid, Alvaro is personable and easy-going, more traits rarely found in AG-pilots. He lacked for allies on the grid initially, but he has good relationships going with Balawyn Samirsdøttir of Qirex and Malik Al-Tamassal of Mirage, the three of whom are often seen touring the streets of Makana together. His big failings though are in high speed events where he is un-used to the level of reflexes needed especially in weapons-on races. His submersible racing days have left him with good endurance skills though, and he can stay focussed for much longer than other pilots in long events, holding several records for 20-lap Venom and Flash races.
    Last edited by MetaKraken; 24th January 2015 at 04:57 AM.

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