David Perel Professional Racing Driver Mon, 18 May 2020 19:45:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Featured in Blancpain GT Storytelling /blancpain-gt-storytelling/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blancpain-gt-storytelling /blancpain-gt-storytelling/#respond Fri, 19 Jul 2019 20:52:18 +0000 /?p=2522 The Blancpain team created an awesome video about my story of how I became a racing driver.

They were also kind enough to let me repost it on my YouTube channel.

Enjoy!

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“That’s Racing” /thats-racing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=thats-racing /thats-racing/#respond Mon, 01 Jul 2019 20:46:37 +0000 /?p=2519 Racing is a funny sport. You can have the best car, best drivers and best engineers and then you get a puncture while leading the race.

“That’s racing.”

And so we had one of those weekends in Misano. Fast in practice with a lot of potential for a double win and then issues out of our control got in the way.

In Race One, while bringing the car home in the Pro-Am lead, I was unable to avoid a spinning Audi directly in front of me on the exit of a hairpin. The contact meant we lost 4 places and despite fighting my way back up the field I was unable to regain the lead of our class.

P2 in Race one. “That’s Racing.”

In Race Two I made a decent start and eventually grabbed the lead of our class and built a 2 second gap before the pitstops. After the driver change Rinat was bringing the car home in P1 but got caught up in an incident on the last lap with a Silver Cup Audi. We crossed the line first, collected our trophies and sprayed champagne.

But when we returned to the pits we were informed that the officials had handed us a 30s post race penalty for the last lap incident.

P4 in Race Two. “That’s Racing.”

I’m now heading to Spa for a two day test, before jumping on a flight to Portugal for the Creventic 24H of Portimao this weekend. I’m hoping for a clean weekend for a change ?

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March Madness /march-madness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=march-madness /march-madness/#respond Fri, 05 Apr 2019 10:24:19 +0000 /?p=2401 This was originally published in my monthly newsletter. Subscribe… NOW.

Multiple race tracks, tons of testing, 2000km of road driving and a small fire to contend with. It’s been a busy month on track.

真人直插下面视频:Blancpain GT Testing

My first test of 2019 got off to the best possible start in Paul Ricard, France, at the Official Blancpain GT Test.We showed up with a brand new Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 and were consistently in the top 10 on both days. The car felt amazing to drive and both my co-drivers, Rinat Salikhov and Denis Bulatov, were quick. There was a tail-wind down the massive 2km back straight which resulted in top speeds just touching 300kph… which was insane, the fastest I’ve ever been in a racing car.

With 60 GT3 cars on track our relative performance was impressive but deceiving as we are not sure if the other teams were holding something back in terms of speed. I suppose we will find out next weekend at Monza.After the Blancpain Test we were scheduled to do a private test in Austria but snow cancelled those plans. I only found this out afterreturning to London and had to quickly repack my bag and head back to France for some coaching with Kessel Racing a day later.

真人直插下面视频:Switching Tracks Like a Video Game

After France I managed to get a few days of training done at home before jumping on the next flight to Italy for a test in Monza with Rinaldi. We focused entirely on the braking performance of our 488 GT3, testing different disks pads and discs.Pro drivers usually don’t do that many laps at a test, it’s usually the Gentleman Driver who does the most driving, but on this rare occasion I got all the seat time. At one point during the test I spent 2.5 hours strapped in the car, trying all kinds of things, and only got out of the drivers seat after a red flag paused the session for 15 minutes.

My day didn’t stop there though. Later that evening I jumped in my (terrible) rental car and drove 550km to France, where I focused on more testing and coaching in Paul Ricard with a Ferrari 458 GT3 for Kessel Racing the following day.

Luckily the test finished early which gave me some time to rest before another long drive the following day when I headed to Mugello in Italy, 700km away, to compete in my first race of the year. The Mugello 12 Hour by the 24H Series (confusing naming for sure).

真人直插下面视频:Mugello 12 Hour

Originally I was scheduled to race in a bright green Rinaldi Ferrari but a last minute change moved me to their sister team, ‘Wochenspiegel Team Monschau’, who made a late decision to compete in a few of the 24H Series events. WTM opt for white Ferrari’s instead of green.

It was my first time on the Hankook Racing Tires which are quite different compared to the Pirellis and Michelins I am used to. They are more difficult to extract speed from on a single lap but also ‘last for forever’ in a race stint. This means qualifying requires some experience with the tire, which I didn’t have.

Mugello is a beautiful circuit with high speed corners linked together by big gradients and blind entries. I was consistently one of the fastest drivers in practice but qualifying didn’t go our way, in general the Rinaldi-run cars were exposed by our lack of experience with the tire and 7th on the grid, and fastest of the Rinaldi entered Ferrari’s, was the best I could manage.

The race itself is quite incredible because you have 60 cars on track consisting of varying classes, you don’t have a moment to rest, overtaking lapped cars left, right and centre. It’s a crazy experience which I better articulate in this onboard video. Our race proved to be unlucky when we lost a chunk of time in the first two hours to some strategy mix ups.

The following day I was in the car for Part 2 of the race and drove a two hour stint, climbing from 11th to 7th overall. But… Lady Luck again had other plans when our car caught fire after a pitstop and ended our race early.

真人直插下面视频:The First Big One Of 2019

With the madness of March behind me I am looking at an even crazier April with a race occurring every weekend.

Mugello, Monza, Spa and the Nordschleife are on the menu but the most important of them is the first round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza next weekend. Cannot. Wait.

April will also be the first time I get a taste of ‘The Green Hell’ when I race a Porsche Cayman at the 23km track, in an attempt to get my Nordschleife racing permit. More details on this pretty soon.

The season has barely even started and I’ve probably driven more in the last 3 weeks than I have all of last year. It’s been an incredible start but I’m ready for more.

Onwards!

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Achieving a Lifelong Dream /achieving-a-lifelong-dream/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=achieving-a-lifelong-dream /achieving-a-lifelong-dream/#respond Sat, 16 Mar 2019 16:55:39 +0000 /?p=2350 This was originally published in my monthly newsletter. Subscribe… NOW.

Ever since primary school I have been telling anyone who was willing to listen that I wanted to be a racing driver. It was all I thought about and nothing else made sense besides going around in circles at a race track.

When I left high school I assumed that I would simply jump on a plane to Europe and begin my pursuit to becoming a professional racing driver but reality hit me hard when I realised I didn’t have the financial means to do so.

So instead of getting on a plane, I got behind and a desk and built a tech company with my brother, in the hopes that I could save enough money to one day give racing another shot. Just one more attempt at becoming a professional.

Then, around the age of 30, I believed I had saved up enough money to give it another go and made the decision to turn my focus away from my desk job and back to going around in circles.

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September 2014 , my very first GT Race.

The first 3 years were incredibly tough, sleeping on the floor in dodgy hotels, finding money out of thin air for the next race and sacrificing close relationships with friends and loved ones. I sold everything I owned, moved countries and became a master at skipping meals to save money.

Things started to turn around in year 4 when I joined Rinaldi Racing and slowly but surely proved myself to be more than just an amateur pay-driver.

Now, as I enter the 2019 season, I am proud to announce that I have crossed the line from amateur to professional, as this season will be the first year I am paid to drive a racing car.

A childhood dream realised (but still more to come).

真人直插下面视频:Here are my 2019 Plans:

In a huge contrast to last year, where I didn’t have any offers until May, I have known of my program since November 2018.It’s been difficult to keep it a secret for all these months but I am happy to announce that I will be back in the Blancpain GT Series, competing in both the Endurance and Sprint Championship with Rinaldi Racing in the Silver Cup Class, using a brand new Ferrari 488 GT3 (yes, it will be green).

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Testing has already started. Lot’s planned in March!

In the Endurance Races I will be sharing the car with my 2018 Spa24-winning team mate, Rinat Salikhov, and joining us as the third driver will be Denis Bulatov, who comes over from AKKA Mercedes.In the Sprint Races it will be myself and Rinat who fight for honours in Silver Cup Class.

Outside of the Blancpain GT Series I will also be at two 12 hour races, in the Creventic Endurance Championship at Mugello in March and Spa in April.

However… most exciting of all has to be the Kyalami 9 Hour in November where I will be racing in front of my home crowd for the very first time!

This will be my busiest race season so far with at least 13 races planned and more being negotiated. I truly cannot wait.

I need to say a big Thank You to Rinaldi Racing and Rinat Salikhov for selecting me as one of their drivers for this season. I’ll be putting in the absolute maximum effort on and off the track to make sure we have a successful season.

Finally I need to thank my family, Claudio Piazza Musso and Alan Macdonald for helping me achieve a life long dream. You’re all heroes in my books.

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Staying Busy in the Off Season /staying-busy-in-the-off-season/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=staying-busy-in-the-off-season /staying-busy-in-the-off-season/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:50:18 +0000 /?p=2340 This was originally published in my bi-weekly newsletter. Subscribe Here!

Hello and Happy New Year!

To those of you who have just joined my newsletter, Welcome!

One of the strangest parts of being a ‘racing driver’ is the 4 – 5 month break between race seasons.

Last year was a particularly long wait as I couldn’t find a drive until April and only did my first race in May. I am happy to say that that changes this year as I’ve already managed to secure my 2019 race program and hope to announce it in the coming weeks.

My brother and I recently sold a big chunk of our business which has freed me up to focus more on my pre-season preparation than ever before. Besides a fun test in a Golf GTI TCR race car, I have been incredibly busy on my simulator, doing between 150 – 1,000km of testing per day.

I also created a new section on my YouTube channel where I broadcast and share my time on the sim and I’m happy to say that the channel has received a big jump in traffic as a result of this new strategy.

Doing 1,000km on a simulator is not just about mindless laps, there is so much more to it. For a long time I’ve been doing deliberate practice, such as replicating overtaking moves and repeating them over and over, taking inspiration from professional sportsman like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Both obsessive workers away from the court and fairway.

真人直插下面视频_

With Nick Foster doing some laps around Bathurst.

As a result I have seen clear improvements in my qualifying ability (always a pain-point for me) and race craft. In fact I see such a big benefit that I no longer recommend karting as a way to improve race craft but now suggest online racing instead.

真人直插下面视频:The benefits are clear to me:

  1. You’re still racing against humans
  2. It’s 100 times more affordable
  3. The playing field is levelled out in terms of equipment/engines/tires
  4. You can do up to 3 races per hour as opposed to 3 per weekend

It’s taken almost 20 years but Sim Racing is finally starting to see a rise in popularity and respectability. Just recently a Sim Racer legitimately beat the very experienced and talented Luca Di Grassi at the Race of Champions in a real racing car.

The tide is turning.

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Assetto Corsa Competizione Alpha: A Racing Driver’s Take /assetto-corsa-competizione-alpha-a-racing-drivers-take/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=assetto-corsa-competizione-alpha-a-racing-drivers-take /assetto-corsa-competizione-alpha-a-racing-drivers-take/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:10:58 +0000 /?p=1639 I was lucky enough to test the new game while at Circuit of Misano for the Blancpain Sprint Series and thought I’d give you all some initial feedback!

Being a massive Sim Racing fan I could not wait to try the game. I was a sim racer before I was a racing driver, so my expectations for this game are high.

First of all it needs to be said that their team is amazing, so receptive to feedback from all the pro-drivers and also genuinely enthusiastic about racing and the game itself. I could have spoken to them for hours about all aspects and they would have listened.

I got to speak with the sound guy and made a ton of suggestions on what we actually hear as drivers vs what you hear in onboard videos. I also learned how complex the rain system is and how it dynamically affects the grip on the track as it gets more wet or dry when chatting to the head of physics.

They had four demos for use on the weekend, I played two of them. The first was a hot lap session with a Ferrari 488 GT3 (same car I race) and the other was a wet race in a Mercedes AMG GT3 (a car I tested a few weeks back). Both demos were based at the Misano track.

真人直插下面视频:Track Accuracy

The track accuracy was super impressive. I place high value on how close the track in the game looks to real life and I still believe that Gran Turismo is the undisputed king in this area. But what I saw in Assetto Corsa left me very impressed.

The curbs in the game look exactly like the curbs in real life and there were even track markings and reference points which existed in the demo that we use in real life.

真人直插下面视频:Car and Handling Accuracy

The attention to detail that they’ve paid to the interior of the cars is also right up there with Gran Turismo. I loved that when I changed ABS settings, the hand of the driver moved to the central dash in the Ferrari 488. Just like we do in real life.

Engine sound and gear shift sounds were also spot on.

The car braked and handled as I have come to expect, behaving really well during cornering and responded similarly to over-eager throttle application. GT3 cars have a tendency to slide slowly then snap suddenly, especially during the final phase of corner exit and they somehow nailed this in the game.

Braking was good, the demo’s had a conservative front-bias setup and I could tell immediately. This is a good thing. The moment they gave me more rear bias I was able to manipulate the car in the same way I do in real life.

There is every reason to be excited for this game, it has the potential to be the best off-the-shelf sim racer on the market.

真人直插下面视频:Areas of Improvement

The primary issue is in the Force Feedback. I asked if they could add a bit more feeling in areas such as braking and understeer. When you brake in a GT3 car the sound of the ABS and the brakes is quite aggressive but you cannot hear it from onboard videos. It’s a loud grinding sound that could definitely be added to the audio and force feedback.

In the wet conditions (which are really good by the way) I wanted a bit more feedback from the wheel when you get understeer or when the fronts start to lock (this can happen, even with ABS on), just so we get a better idea of where the car is.

To their credit they said they still have a lot data to use to refine the feedback and a big update will be made for the next demonstration.

真人直插下面视频:Final Thoughts

I cannot overstate how receptive the development team were to our suggestions and driver feedback. I think this is a critical factor to bringing this game as close as possible to the real thing.

If I was to score the game now it would be a healthy 8.5 out of 10. Areas that need more refinement are in the Force Feedback, AI aggression (apparently an easy fix and not really worth mentioning in this Alpha review) and Audio Feedback for auxiliary actions such as ABS and tire noise.

There is every reason to be excited for this game, it has the potential to be the best off-the-shelf sim racer on the market.

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Joining Rinaldi Racing in the GT Open Championship /joining-rinaldi-racing-in-the-gt-open-championship/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=joining-rinaldi-racing-in-the-gt-open-championship /joining-rinaldi-racing-in-the-gt-open-championship/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 09:19:14 +0000 /?p=1590 It’s with a huge amount of satisfaction that I am able to announce that I’ll be joining?Rinaldi Racing?in the 2018 GT Open Championship, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3.

Based near the Nurburgring, Rinaldi is a seriously impressive outfit, having won the 2017 Blancpain Pro-Am Championship along with a bunch of other races and championships in various GT Series’.

I am already quite familiar with the team as we have done three tests together in France and Italy, all of which went better than expected.

真人直插下面视频_

Now that I am a Pro ranked driver there will be no place for me to hide when it comes to my performance on track. My work rate away from the race track has improved significantly, with?2 hour simulator sessions?everyday, and the regular fitness regime that every racing driver is expected to adhere to (you need to run, a lot).

I absolutely cannot wait to get this partnership going, our first scheduled race is in Estoril, Portugal, on the weekend of the 14/15th of April. All races are streamed live on YouTube via the?GT Open Channel.

Thank you to everyone here for your continued support, I hope to make you proud during the 2018 season 真人直插下面视频_?

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How to Become a Racing Driver /become-a-racing-driver/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=become-a-racing-driver /become-a-racing-driver/#comments Fri, 29 Dec 2017 22:00:37 +0000 /?p=1557 The number one question I get asked all the time is “How do I become a racing driver?”

It’s a question I had to ask as well, particularly when I got back on the horse to pursue a GT Career, in 2014, after a six year break. I mailed a Semi-Pro driver called David Heinemeier Hansson, on the weekend of Le Mans that year and to my surprise he responded immediately…

Since that day I promised to reply to every single person who asked me the same question but maybe it’s time I write something more substantial instead.

The first thing to recognize is that becoming a Professional Racing Driver takes a lot of time and A LOT of money… and of course a decent dose of talent.

If you didn’t race a kart or a car before your 20’s it does get considerably more difficult. It’s much like someone saying they want to become a Premier League Football player, having never played a serious game of football their whole lives. Professional racing drivers are on a similar level, aka brilliant.

Don’t let that get in your way though, I was 29 years and 6 months old when I decided it was time to take it seriously. What I did have in my favour was a decent karting career in my late teens to early twenties… and a total obsession since I was 3 years old.

So to become a racing driver, fundamentally you need to tick these items:

  1. Unbelievable dedication
  2. Talent behind a wheel
  3. Money, a lot of it

真人直插下面视频:Unbelievable Dedication

This is the number 1 requirement to becoming a professional sportsman. If you can’t motivate yourself to get out of bed everyday and do exactly what’s required to achieve your goals, then you will stumble and fail.

Dedication is not just being able to exercise everyday or watch what you eat. There are many other elements that will get in your way. These include raising a ton of money, sacrificing certain luxuries and materialistic items, dealing with friends and family questioning your life choices and of course the challenge of learning to be a fast racing driver.

Standard questions I ask young kids who want to follow in my footsteps:

  • Are you willing to sell your Playstation to become a racing driver?
  • Are you willing to sell your car, couch, tv, watch, shoes etc to become a racing driver?
  • Are you willing to break up with your girl/boyfriend to become a racing driver? (yes really, it can get to this level)

If you answer “No” to any of those questions then we have a problem because the person who’s going to get your seat has likely gone to that level and way beyond to become a Pro. I know I ticked all those boxes, as painful as they were.

真人直插下面视频:Talent Behind the Wheel

So we have ticked the dedication box, you’re willing to pack it all up and leave town but before you can do that… you need to find out if you have the ability behind the wheel.

I am not talking about being able to drive your road car fast, a billion people can do that. I am talking about being able to drive fast while being precise, never missing apexes, doing the same lap times over and over, dealing with the pressure of racing and the disappointments of being beaten.

You’ve got talent? So what, so does everyone in Pro motorsport. Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Senna, Mansell – you name them – they all had to find ways to fund their junior careers.

Luckily to find out is not so difficult. Ok, it’s not the cheapest, but there’s no better way: Karting.

Most Pro’s started in karting, of course there are exceptions but they’re just that, exceptions.

Karting teaches you how to do all of the things I mentioned above and because it’s so physical you will also learn if you have the fitness to keep up.

To get started in Karting is really easy. Simply use Google to search for your local kart track and then find out the best karting teams and karting shops nearby. Give them a call and ask them if you can buy a pre-owned kart and engine.

If you’re based in South Africa then visit the?Race Driver SA?website and give them a call.

Do some practice and then sign up for a season of racing. See where you land up and don’t worry if you finish last in your first few races, this is completely normal. What you’re doing here is proving to yourself that you have what it takes, because Karting is like the big thing but with less pressure and less money required.

If you choose to skip karting then I highly recommend a cheap ‘tin-top’ series like Polo, Clio or Scirocco cup (depending on where you live, you’ll need to research this). BUT BE WARNED, these are much more expensive exercises and you get much less mileage.

真人直插下面视频:Money, A Lot of It

We’ve got the dedication, we have bundles of talent… but do we have One Million Euros?

And this is where 99% of aspiring race drivers fail.

For many of us we believe that because we’re talented we deserve a free or paid seat at a racing team. But this is where most people get it wrong.

You’ve got talent? So what, so does everyone in Pro motorsport. Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Senna, Mansell – you name them – they all had to find ways to fund their junior careers.

Having talent is table stakes. That means it’s the minimum requirement, not the defining factor.

You will spend at least 2 – 5 years, after karting, trying to prove yourself in the dog-eat-dog world of big circuit Professional Motorsport. Everyone who is a Pro had to fight tooth and nail to get there and they’re not going to let a ‘no name’ take their place easily.

Team owners aren’t going to give you a shot just because you want to become a racing driver. Instead they’ll offer you a seat in their car at a certain price and as you prove yourself, so those prices may decrease or even go to zero… and in the very rare case they’ll pay you to race (I haven’t figured out the last step yet).

To give you an idea of costs (please note these are just rough estimates)

  1. 150,000+ for a season in a GT4 Championship
  2. 300,000+ for a season in a GT3 Championship
  3. 500,000+ for Le Mans
  4. 1,000,000+ for WEC
  5. Add 20% to those numbers for LMP2
  6. Double those numbers for Single Seaters

These prices can go down depending on speed, reputation, results and politics.

How do you raise money? Well this is not an easy answer. Some drivers are lucky enough to have friends or family who fund their entire careers and good for them. But most of us have to get creative.

This can include marketing yourself via social media, networking in the right circles, meeting someone who’s willing to back your talent & dedication, winning the lottery… or just working your ass off in a well paying job or business you’ve founded.

In my case I stopped karting at 23 and then focused all of my efforts on my business, along with my brother Marc, and when I had saved enough money for a full season in GT Racing (±150,000) I cold-called racing teams and spent every dime I had.

I learned how to market and sell by watching people like Gary Vaynerchuk and reading books about marketing and business.

The following year I found a personal sponsor who covered half of my budget and I came up with the rest by using social media and my personal income. The rest is history.

The truth is that there is no easy answer to how you raise money, which is why Unbelievable Dedication is the number 1 requirement. There will be times where you have done exceptionally well on track but you still find yourself without a drive because you don’t have the money to pay for it. This is par-for-the-course and you need a thick skin to fight through those moments.

My mistake was only realising this after my karting career had failed. But if you can make fund-raising your main practical focus then the rest will fall into place.

I need to add that you must not let these CRAZY numbers get you down. I took it one step at a time and when a door opened I figured out a way to walk through it.

You may notice that I haven’t mentioned stuff like training 2 hours a day, using a simulator to stay sharp, eating the right foods or putting together the perfect qualifying lap.

Don’t worry about those things, if this is what you really want then all of that will come naturally. But focus on the first step, buy a kart, or a simulator, do some local races, see if you have what it takes and then go to the next level.

Good luck and believe in yourself.

UPDATE: I have long held a strong belief that the best place to get started in racing is with Sim Racing. If you are looking to start sim racing or want to take your skills to the next level, check out my new website: Coach Dave Academy.

On the Coach Dave Academy we provide sim coaching lessons, incredible Assetto Corsa Competizione car setups and one-on-one sessions with real race engineers.

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My 2017 season in review. Pretty unbelievable. /2017-season-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2017-season-review /2017-season-review/#comments Fri, 22 Dec 2017 20:32:24 +0000 /?p=1484 In many ways my season kicked off in December 2016 driving in the Gulf 12 Hour with my new teammates Jacques Duyver and Marco Zanuttini.

Qualifying 3rd in class, we lost a lap in the first hour due to an unfortunate Safety Car / Pit Stop calculation and spent the next 11 hours chasing, but with an hour remaining we took the class win. Probably the biggest win of my GT career to that point.

Turns out we were just getting started.

After resigning with Kessel Ferrari for 2017, I would compete in a Ferrari 488 GT3 along with my teammates from the Gulf 12 Hour in the Blancpain Endurance Series AM category.

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The 2017 machine, the Ferrari 488 GT3

Testing went well but the first race in Monza was a non-starter after Marco got caught up in the first corner pile up caused by some overzealous Pro Cars.

We immediately recovered in round 2 at Silverstone where I took Pole in class, and claimed my first podium in the Endurance Series finishing 2nd in AM.

After Silverstone I got the call from Kessel telling me I would be racing in the Blancpain Sprint Series as well with my 2016 team mate Stephen Earle. The prospect of becoming an overall Blancpain GT Champion now became a possibility.

We headed to Zolder where I took another Pole in class and we won both races. Despite driving the previous generation 458 GT3 this was valuable track time for me, giving me confidence as we headed to the Paul Ricard 6hr in the 488.

The event turned out to be one of my best, constantly in the top 10 overall in free practice, and then bringing our car from a lap behind in the final two hours to take the AM win. In the process I was one of the fastest cars on the Blancpain grid and winning my first race in the Endurance Series felt amazing – especially in the circumstances in which we managed to do it.

From Paul Ricard our focus switched to the big one, the Spa 24 Hour. Testing went smoothly, which turned out to be a preview of our race weekend.

In the end I again managed Pole in class, including out pacing my Gold and Silver ranked team mates in the sister 488 Kessel Ferrari. However the highlight was actually *winning* the Spa 24 Hours, leading all but one hour of the event and showing respectable pace throughout.

By now we had taken the lead of the Endurance Championship but my attention had to turn back to Sprint Racing as we headed to Hungary.

If you’d told me I would win the Paul Ricard 6 Hour, Spa 24 and all three Blancpain titles… I would have thought you mad.

Once again in the 458 GT3 we were up against a grid full of current machinery only just missed out on the top 15 qualifying shoot out by 0.15 second against the world’s finest GT drivers. It was one of the best laps I’ve driven, and according to my Kessel engineer, the fastest lap in a 458 at the Hungaroring.

In Race One we ended with a win and the Sprint Cup Championship. Race Two wasn’t as lucky, with a DNF when a Bentley took out my unsuspecting team mate, Stephen Earle – who was heroic driving two categories in unbelievable heat, on the same weekend!

Shortly after Hungary we arrived at the Nurburgring for the final Sprint event, and despite my first time there our pace was really good.

I out qualified my more experienced Gold ranked team mate in the sister 488 and again just missed out on a top 15 slot for super pole.

With the Sprint Cup in the bag we had the freedom to go ‘all out’ in the races. A highlight for me was taking over the car from Earle in Race Two and pulling away from the leading Pro Cars who were fighting for a Championship themselves. Nurburgring quickly became one of my favorite tracks.

Two Championships in the bag (Sprint and Overall), one to go!

For the final round of the Endurance Championship we only had to finish the race to win it, however I was super focused on making it a Championship hat trick for my first full season of Blancpain. So there was nothing relaxing about it.

We were quick and proved as much when I beat my more experienced Gold ranked team mate in qualifying. For the race we turned everything down and just brought our car home in 3rd place, enough to seal the most important title in the Blancpain GT Series.

If you’d told me I would win the Paul Ricard 6 Hour, Spa 24 and all three Blancpain titles… I would have thought you mad. But it happened all in the same year. Amazing.

For 2018 I have been upgraded to Silver which puts me in a perfect position for my dream of competing in a GT or LMP car in the Le Mans 24 Hour.

My last event was defending my Abu Dhabi 12 hour 2016 win in Dragon Racing’s 458 GT3 which we did, a nice cherry on the 2017 season David Perel cake!

I need to finish off by saying a big thank you to everyone who made my season possible: My whole family, Alan Macdonald, Ronnie Kessel, Giacomo Piccini, Ricci Zani, Geo Regazzoni, Tiziana Borghi, Franzi Baier, the whole Kessel team and importantly my co-drivers Stephen Earle, Jacques Duyver, Marco Zanuttini and Nikki Cadei. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much this year.

Thank you also to everyone who supported me this year, it’s been a surreal experience and I hope to continue to make South Africans proud into the future!

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My new simulator is on order, here is what I got /new-simulator/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-simulator /new-simulator/#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 17:03:35 +0000 /?p=1475 With the 2017 race season now firmly in my rear view mirror I have to find ways to keep myself busy until March of next year. Luckily for me that is not difficult as I still run a web company with my brother along with some other side-projects which keep me distracted.

真人直插下面视频:I finally bought a simulator

2017 is the first year where I haven’t had a simulator at my disposal for pre-race practice. I started using a gaming wheel when I was about 12 years old, three years before I started racing karts, and have relied on them ever since.

However with the crazy costs of travel and racing this year I was not able to invest in a virtual setup. Ironically the first thing I bought when I moved to London was a Playstation but it sayed in a box for quite a long time until I could afford the TV to go with it!

真人直插下面视频_

My sim doesn’t look like this one… maybe one day!

Now that my season is over I can dedicate some ‘tin’ to getting a decent setup. I’m not fancy when it comes to this stuff, I prefer practicality and recommend any aspiring racing driver to stick to the basics.

I’ve gone with a middle of the range combination:

  • Fanatec CS Elite Wheel
  • Fanatec Clubsport Pedals
  • Playseat Rig
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Project Cars 2
  • Assetto Corsa

All-in it cost just over 1500 which is literally 1/20th of the cost of a proper rig. All of the games I’ve bought are perfect for what I need to achieve. The simulated accuracy in the games you play is not as critical as the mindset you apply to simulating.

It’s never about setting the best time but instead working on your technique and challenging yourself to stay focussed enough so that you make no mistakes over a long sim session. This is the number one thing I preach when people ask me about simulators. Use them as a tool but don’t rely on them for everything – there is still nothing like the real thing.

I’ll post some pics when it has arrived and is all setup.

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