By Óscar Fernández
Probably we are too used to it, but we were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful sunny evening of late March, which received us on the shores of the "Mare Nostrum". The light of the Mediterranean and an almost spring-like temperature created a perfect atmosphere for a successful event.
We left our rooms separately, but soon we meet in the hall on the third floor, we took the elevator to go to the Gaudí lounge. Sincerely, we did not expect that the call was received with so huge expectation. The Main Hall was like a forest of cameras (or at least that was my first impression) and at first glance, I couldn't find the table which was presiding the room: Our place.
We had to cross the full lounge to get to it, thanks to the efforts of the public relations of the hotel, asking permission very politely, to break through. I couldn't follow our guide, who had been the focus of my attention since we left the elevator. Behind my colleagues, I realized that all the attention was directed to "the boss", Javier, C.E.O. of the team, both ‘David’ (the Corporate Director and the Team principal), who were the escort of main focus of attention in the event. Our interviewed was the real focus of attention and greeted some of the invited journalists. We took our places at the table, receiving an annoying flashes blast and trying to handle the requests from photographers. Fortunately, it did not take too much time, and as soon as we took a seat, the silence became. I took my turn to speak, according to what was agreed:
-First, we want to thank everyone for coming to this call. This Press Conference has been organized with a single informative purpose. Probably you all already know it, but then our CEO will give you more details. Let me first of all, thank to the direction of hotel and staff, for their kindness with Positive SimRacing, and their effectiveness in the Organization of this event. Now, I am pleased to give the floor to Mr. Javier Álvarez.
-Thank you, Oscar. Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming today. I would like to go directly to what is the main focus or our interest. We are proud to present the iRacing division of PSR. I think that we have managed to gather a great group of people. And I am proud to introduce Mr. Kevin Adam, the Manager of this new Division.
The hands stood up as moved by a common spring, pressing so massively that I couldn’t make an idea of the order which we should follow to give the floor. We didn't want to take too much time, and hence, I tried to find people who, with accurate questions, could resolve the press conference with some agility.
It didn't entirely wrong.
-When did you start in sim racing? Tell us about your history as a driver.
Well, frankly speaking, I am not of those who have years and years in the sim racing world on PC. I started on consoles until I got an official MS driving wheel to be able to play the Forza, NFS grid, Race Pro and later F1 2010 with the Xbox 360. To be honest, I never was completely satisfied with any game, since I always had a feeling of ‘arcade’. I didn't know all what I was missing in PC simulators until my boss began to speak me about a simulator which he had been playing quite a few months: iRacing. Speaking about renewal payments, purchase tracks and cars, I got missed. After insisting my boss, I set out to try it on my laptop. A big mistake! After one week, I gave away the console to my brother.
-What do you like in iRacing, what distinguishes it from other simulators?
Aside from his physical, which, for me, are the best I tried, there are four main reasons:
1 I can connect whenever I want and race without relying on a specific community or have a specific mod installed.
2 I can buy tracks and cars which are of interest to me and I forget of new versions,... which make them obsolete. Once you purchase any car or track, subsequent updates are free and you have that content forever.
3. The penalties system. In the majority of races I have not to worry about driver’s etiquette.
4. The Nascar world. I was already interested a long time ago in the Nascar races; In iRacing there is a direct support of Nascar. They have an IR section on the official website of Nascar, for example, something that nowadays in F1 is unthinkable.
-How was the entry into the PSR project?
Honestly this caught me by surprise. I am a regular user of a forum for video games and there were no threads about iRacing. People asked me if I would like to create one, so in August I decided to launch it. The thread was very well received and has been creating guides on the fly to answer questions, give advice on peripherals, etc.
At the beginning of 2013, I received an email from a fellow of that thread commenting that he advised the companions of the MundoGT platform for me to join the Staff. A MundoGT Manager spoke to me at the same time of a team that had much experience in rfactor but none in iRacing and they were looking for someone to start his career at IR. "The truth is that I was very surprised by both offers, but apparently they appreciated the work in my thread".
Shortly I received an email from Javier, CEO of Positive Sim Racing, explaining me the project and offering me the position of Manager of the iRacing Division. I only had a choice. To accept the offer. It was a huge honor that the Team deposit that trust in me.
It is a great challenge, because except for the organization of a championship in F1 2010 or the thread about IR, I have no experience in something similar. The project excited me a lot and although there are days without enough time for me, I am doing it with pleasure, because this world has become my main hobby, and seeing that PSR and MundoGT appreciated my work, this makes me satisfied and willing to help my new team.
-In which competitions will participate the team?
I am pleased to announce officially that in April we will begin our journey in the Blue Cup of STC (Simracing Teams Challenge). It will be our first contact with the competition and a good way to see our strong and weak points. It is an international Championship with high-level teams from all Europe. It will run with the McLaren MP4 - 12 c. It is composed of 6 tests that are run every 14 days. All races will be live broadcasted with several commentators, replays, interviews, etc. Frankly speaking, the entry list is impressive and we take the Championship as a first contact. I am convinced that all the drivers and PSR members can do a role more than decent. Just say that our desire to start is huge.
We are also working with MundoGT, who soon will organize the first Championship by teams of iRacing, in which we will also participate (still missing 2 or 3 months).
And for fall we are registered for the Black Cup of STC.
-Tell us something about the Group of drivers that you are going to manage.
At this moment we have 5 drivers: Marc Mirabet, Iván Fernández, Andrés Quintana, Javier de Diego and Kepa Zalbide.
For me, they all meet several very important qualities:
- Etiquette on track. I don't want PSR is known for its bad behavior on the path.
- Desire to work together. This means, for example, that a companion takes his time to teach the others adjustments and setting up the car.
-A certain level of driving. We do not seek the best grid (and less when we are unknown in the iRacing world), but I don't want to the team from being dragged along the track.
I think that at this moment we are a good group, but that is still far from be closed. There is a good atmosphere, camaraderie and, above all, eager to begin and represent the team colors in different Championships.
-Are there any special goals, any aim that excites you more than others, in the short term?
At this moment, my only goal is to finish the maximum of races with the smallest possible number of incidents. I think that a mistake would be to get too ambitious objectives. We are newcomers, and there are veteran teams with great drivers among its ranks (some, participants of the World Championship), so like all rookie team, the most important income is to make the maximum possible Km., and once the equipment is rolled, strengthened, there will be time of more ambitious goals.
-Something aimed at the fans, promoters or sponsors of Positive SimRacing?
Thank our sponsors (BioCross, EC sim Hardware, MightyGate, Novoa Designs) their full support and confidence shown so far. I hope that our entry in iRacing is satisfactory and beneficial for all of them. Also, I would like to thank the good relationship shown with MundoGT and STC.
Finally, I want to give my personal thanks to Javier Álvarez for his total trust in me and for his support with this new project. I think that he has awarded that when you do something passionately and selflessly, at the end, the reward comes.
A great signing, I thought. It’s a great advantage to be able to start in iRacing without having to start from scratch. It’s a privilege to have someone who can start this project from his valuable experience. I couldn't help but start a round of applause, as I watched accomplice to my companions, which was seconded by all occupants of that room. I started it and I cannot assure if it was spontaneously seconded, but I can assure you that it sounded as if it. An expert in iRacing world. And he it is with us. A luxury!