by Dean Chapman, Northern New Jersey Region PCA

Congratulations – Welcome to Installment 14!

You have found yourself on the pole position at the Dean’s List!

The Dean’s List is the place for me to ask questions of fellow PCA Sim Racing competitors, hopefully gleaning tidbits of information about their likes, dislikes, and equipment.

This installment 14 is marked by some very interesting facts. Our guest of honor is Gabriel Albano. He, of the VERY lowest iRacing number currently owned by all our PCA sim racing members! (A fact – Gabriel used to run with Tron)

Joining Gabriel, we have two ‘new to us’ members David Glenn and Tristan Bayliss…new to us but eons-old in the world of the SIM platform. As a counterbalance to these computer dinosaurs…I mean, these masters of the art, Please meet another ‘new to us’ baby fresh racer, Shea McNeely. From crib to rig in 2.3 seconds.

Go ahead and give them all a big welcome wave!

Gabriel Albano, Gold Coast, 2015- Cayman S

Tristan Bayless, Redwood Region Zone 7, 1968- 912 “Outlaw”

David Glenn,
Texas Hill Country, 2013- Boxster

Shea McNeely, Oregon Region, 1985- 944

And now, the questions:

“What is your favorite car-specific movie or documentary?”

Gabriel Albano, “Grand Prix, but I also enjoyed Rush very much.  And of course Talladega Nights!!!”

Tristan Bayless, “Movie: Le Mans, hands down. Honorable mention to Ruf Fascination Nurburgring and its sequel.
Documentary: The Quick and the Dead, about early 70s Formula 1, narrated by Stacy Keach and featuring Jackie Stewart and the late Francois Cevert. Oh, and In-Car 956 of course!”

David Glenn
, “Cannonball Run was the movie that got me hooked as an enthusiast when I was 10 (and learned to spell Lamborghini)  Recent YoutTube documentary on that exact car is cool as well).”

Shea McNeely
, “I’m a big fan of the art of racing in the rain. I’ve watched it maybe 15-20 times since I first saw it in 2019. To me it just hits a sweet spot for some reason. It’s not necessarily all about the motorsports but the story behind the main character is very encapsulating, and it has a sweet ending!.”

“What is your favorite movie with a car featured? (i.e action scenes: James Bond, Baby Driver, 6 Underground, Mission Impossible, Bullitt, etc.)”

Gabriel Albano, “Drive.”

Tristan Bayless, “Condorman. The villains assemble a pursuit squadron consisting of five 930s and a modified Kremer 935. The stunt coordinators were the same crew as The Italian Job, noteworthy for their use of realism. Condorman, an old Disney classic, is a very cool movie not many know about.”

David Glenn, “Pretty much all the James Bond films.”

Shea McNeely, “I can’t think of too many off the top of my head, but Baby Driver was really fantastic. I’m a music nut so Edgar Wrights’s cinematography always hits home.”

“What equipment do you use for your Rig? (Be as specific or brief as you like)”

Gabriel Albano, “HP OMEN 30L AMD  Ryzen 7 5800X #2GB RAM RTX 3060TI, Thrustmaster T-300 with Ferrari F1 wheel9 the old and cheap one), Thrustmaster TLC pedals, Playseat Challenge, Oculus Rift S.”

Tristan Bayless, “I built my own PC. It is a Windows box. AMD Ryzen 3700 and an Nvidia 1080ti. A mix of new and old. It does alright for itself. My rig is a Rseat N1.  My wheel is a Thrustmaster T-GT and pedal set, both of which I won in 2019 for becoming a Gran Turismo Sports world finalist.
I use an Elgato HD60S to capture my racing, and in addition, have a Blackmagic ATEM Mini for mixing several HDMI signals. I use a face cam and a foot cam overlayed on my racing using OBS software. My internet connection is Comcast gigabit, about 750down/40up.”

David Glenn, “Fanatec DD1 w/ Formula 1 rim, Fanatec Clubsport V3 inverted, Next Level Racing seat, Valve Index VR headset.”

Shea McNeely, “As a college student, I don’t have much space (or money) to race with, so I keep it cheap and compact. I have a Fanatec ClubSport and the ClubSport v3 pedals, table-mounted of course! As for my steering wheel, I use a custom-built LMP2 Wheel from Pokornyi Engineering, its served me well for the most part, with the occasional breakdown (due to my own poor building skills). As for displays I have a triple screen setup of 27’ monitors, which allows for a good view of all the other scoundrels around me.”

“If you could, what Car would you like to drive? (Any era, any value)”

Gabriel Albano, “1979 Porsche 935 K3.”

Tristan Bayless, “Unraced Porsche developments, such as the 9R3 LMP900, or the 16-cylinder hillclimber 917. Mark Donohue wrote of the latter, saying one could hear one half of the engine fire up before the other!”

David Glenn, “As many as I can.  (… having driven in 27 different countries so far, 1000 km across Vietnam on a 150cc enduro probably the most memorable just yet).”

Shea McNeely, “Ever since becoming my own Porsche owner, I have always wanted a turbo 930. They are the perfect Porsche for me. Something about that Whale Tail just gets me!”

“What’s your favorite non-Porsche iRacing car?”

Gabriel Albano, “Lambo GT3, Radical, Miata.”

Tristan Bayless, “I enjoy the Kamel GT Nissan and Audi a lot for their involvement – nothing else on iRacing comes close to how these two sound and feel.”

David Glenn, “Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.”

Shea McNeely, “I think right now I’m bound to the BMW M4 GT3, the only GT3 I’ll race outside of the 911GT3 R.”

“What’s your favorite Porsche iRacing car?”

Gabriel Albano, “992 Cup.”

Tristan Bayless, “I like the 919 a lot. It is remarkably easy to drive fast.”

David Glenn, “the RSR.”

Shea McNeely, “I was a huge fan of the 911 RSR, but now that it is gone, for the most part, I’m in love with the GT3 R. It’s definitely been my favorite since I started the ZGQ in November!”

“Do you have a favorite iRacing circuit?”

Gabriel Albano, “Nordschleife, Sebring, Red Bull Ring.”
Tristan Bayless, “Sonoma Raceway, home track!”
David Glenn, “I mostly enjoy learning new ones. Ones I’ve raced in real life (Laguna, Sonoma, Autoclub… on two wheels).”
Shea McNeely, “Watkins Glen, Road America, And Red Bull Ring – The only tracks I can win at.”

“Shoes, socks, or slippers when you drive your rig?”

Gabriel Albano, “socks.”
Tristan Bayless, “A large variety of colorful socks.”
David Glenn, “socks.”
Shea McNeely, “I’ve got a couple of pairs of Piloti Shift’s that serve me well. Not sure if I like the black or navy blue pair the most…”

“Gloves (what brand?), au-natural, or …mittens??  when you drive your rig??”

Gabriel Albano, “$10 Lightweight Summer Fingerless Gloves off Amazon.  I need fingerless gloves to be able to use my wireless keyboard with a trackpad while using VR since my Seat is fairly away from my computer and I can’t have a mouse.”

Tristan Bayless, “Usually gloveless, but sometimes I’ll use my OMP fireproof gloves from my days at Jim Russell 20 years ago.”

David Glenn, “Recently started wearing a pair of full-finger Pearl Izumi cycling gloves.”

Shea McNeely, “Yes! I have a pair of long, Aquila Racing Team Branded, IMB racewear gloves. They do a great job at protecting my hands from the Alcantara of my wheel, especially in those long endurance races.”

“How long have you SIM raced?”

Gabriel Albano, “Too long!  This will show my age, but I started with Papyrus Indy 500 The Simulation!  Then Indy Car Racing I and II, Nascar 1, 2, 3, 4, and whatever they called it after that.  But I started online with Nascar 2 and never looked back.  I have been in Iracing since it was not called iRacing yet; I was one of the very original beta testers all the way until it opened to the general public.  I took a break for a very long time, and I got back into it in 2020 because of PCA Sim Racing. I have the lowest iRacing number in the whole PCA Sim Racing list so far: 15088.”

Tristan Bayless, “If Gran Turismo counts, since 1997. If not, and by measurement of PC only, then since early 2006. The first proper sim was GTR2 by Simbin, followed by rFactor.”

David Glenn, “Video game racing at home since Night Driver on the Atari 2600 and pretty much every decent console or PC game since on and off with highlights being the launch of Gran Turismo right around when I started working in the video game industry.  Early 2000’s F1 games for a while, then picked up a Logitech G29 and found iRacing in late 2017.  On and off with work changes and moving from CA to TX.
In 2020, finally have a proper office with space for the rig and get back into it with PCA. Good fun.”

Shea McNeely, “Not long enough! Since about August 2019.”

“Is there another SIM car race platform you’ve tried? (Like?)”

Gabriel Albano, “Grand Prix Legends, RFactor, GTR2, Race – The Official WTCC, Forza Motorsport 7.”

Tristan Bayless, “Gran Turismo is lovely, and the next title coming out this March promises big leaps in physics model, tire model, etc.
GTR2 was a class leader I loved dearly until it became unsupported.
rFactor enjoyed a long shelf life for me, I played it with leagues a ton between 2006-2013, the most often with Race2Play. Between 2014 and 2017 I did not sim race very much.
Gran Turismo Sport arrived in late 2017 and I got hooked early on. I’ve probably put 100,000 miles of sim time into GT Sport over the last four years. Their World Tour events which I qualified for took me to Salzburg, Tokyo, Monaco, Las Vegas, and Sydney.”

David Glenn, “Others like ACC and Project Cars look nice, but really enjoy the community of iRacing and especially PCA Sim Racing.”

Shea McNeely, “I’ve tried just about everything from Assetto Corsa Competizione (and regular), to rFactor 2.
Nothing quite scratches that itch as iRacing does.”

“What are your most used Steering Wheel Hot Keys (mapped buttons)?”

Gabriel Albano, “Black box scrolling, Pit Limiter, push-to-talk, Brake Bias.”

Tristan Bayless, “Mic cue, return to pits, brake balance adjustment, look left/right. Not in that order, haha”

David Glenn, “Rotator wheels to cycle black box and lap info, push to talk, brake bias, center VR, #add fuel.”

Shea McNeely, “My steering wheel has a total of about 21 inputs between buttons and rotaries. I’ve got pit limiter, push to talk, flashers, the list goes on. I think my favorite though would have to be the dual-clutch controls on the back that I can never seem to get to work. Maybe someday!”

“Do you follow any car-related websites? Blogs? YouTube Channels / Twitch? Etc Please share with us.”

Gabriel Albano, “Vinwiki, Barn Find Hunter, Revelations with Jason Cammisa.  And of course JakesterRacing!.”

Tristan Bayless
, “Yes plenty!  Mulsanne’s Corner, technical racecar analysis blog

On, I follow Tony Kanaan (iRacing), Quirkitized (iRacing), Tyrannocyrusrex (Gran Turismo Sport), and others but those are the main ones I spend time watching. I stream on Twitch myself,

On Youtube, I follow Porsche’s excellent Road to Le Mans series with Michael Fassbender in particular. Naturally, I have one too, I post mostly sim racing and autocrossing content, but there’s a lot in there. Many hundreds of uploads over the years.

I follow lots of motorsport accounts on Twitter to stay up to date on leaks, news, etc. For the most part, my attention stays centered on Formula 1, which I adore.”

David Glenn
, “Harry’s Garage, TFL, Hoovie’s Garage, VIN Wiki, Shmee, DaveCam, Matt Malone, Lando Norris, Nikik Thiim, Nico Rosberg.”

Shea McNeely
, “I  follow everything that the normal 2000’s 18 year old would nowadays. Mostly Donut Media, and the occasional retro motor trend reviews. A lot of the content I watch is something I happen across while browsing Youtube.”

“What’s your favorite tipple (drink)?”

Gabriel Albano, “I have been a wine drinker all my life, but lately, I am discovering the whiskey/bourbon world, and I am a sucker for a good Old Fashioned.”
Tristan Bayless, “Bavarian Dunkles Hefeweizen, or a good bloody mary.”
David Glenn, “Guinness.”
Shea McNeely, “Being 18 I don’t have much experience in that department. Doesn’t help I’m severely allergic to alcohol… Root beer!”

“Given a few hours locked away, what would you prefer to watch…”

Gabriel Albano, “Formula 1.”

Tristan Bayless, “Formula 1 any day, any time. I subscribe to F1TV specifically for the ability to mute the commentators and hear only the crowd and the music of the cars. It heightens the experience so great and I urge anyone who watches F1 to try it.”

David Glenn, “MotoGP, F1, then just about anything with wheels and a motor.”

Shea McNeely, “I’m a diehard F1 fan for Ferrari. I’ve been glued to it since I was born just about, watching races with my dad. However now I’m breaking into GT racing supporting whatever team I can find an association to.”

“Does SIM racing ’scratch your itch’ for car racing? or would you always prefer to race in real life?

Gabriel Albano, “I have no desire to race IRL, but I enjoy HPDE very much.  But no, it doesn’t.  Simracing is a different kind of itch :-).”

Tristan Bayless, “It does for me. Although I certainly enjoy and look forward to any real-life opportunities, I think I prefer sim racing because it is cost-effective, much safer and a more accessible universe. In simming, I can book a “track day” at 2 am and drive in my underwear. Sorry for the mental image.”

David Glenn, “Somewhat, only raced two wheels in real life, getting into cars sounds like a fun time.”

Shea McNeely, “I have never actually had seat time at a track. I look forward to it, but for right now it scratches that itch for me. I feel like I am actually achieving something when winning a race, be it the ZGC or a league.”

“If you were the boss at iRacing command, what new feature, improvement, race category or class would you make?”

Gabriel Albano, “I would update the slow-down penalties.  The time penalties are not in line with the gains by the off track, and they also affect you for more than a lap.  I make sure you always get incident points instead, either 2 or 4, so the lap will not count, and if you abuse it you will hit the limit and get a black flag and get DQ..”

Tristan Bayless, “There are roughly 1,800 racing circuits in North America alone. Thousands more across the world. Old, epic tracks that still exist for laser scanning, such as Solitude, south of Stuttgart. I’d say, “Get on it!!!”

I might also implement a “post-race lobby” or events page, something Race2Play had, which allowed participants to post their “story” of what happened for them, how their setup changes went down, what their battles were like.

R2P had the means to upload and share screenshots, tag others in them, “like” them, etc. iRacing is missing this, and I feel missing it sorely.

iRacing is wonderful technically but feels so clinical and sterile to me sometimes. When the race is over, we all are immediately left alone to our own devices. Yeah, we have a few minutes to chitchat with those still connected to the race server, but that’s as far as it goes, and after a short while we’re all back to being alone in our sim chairs.

Joining PCA Sim Racing is a step for me in what I think is the right direction, to meet a group of like-minded simmers who enjoy bench racing each other and sharing in the joys of vehicular combat.”

David Glenn, “Add Monaco and Miller Motorsports Park (Utah Motorsports Park).”

Shea McNeely, “I can’t wait for that rain that’s coming. If I was head honcho I’d just make it come out quicker!”

“If you were the boss at PCA Sim Racing HQ, what new feature, improvement, race category or class would you make?”

Gabriel Albano, “I would look into splitting the Pro class into Pro and ProAM, kinda like GTPRO and GTAM.  They will race altogether, run the same cars but have separate results and standings.”

Tristan Bayless, “I don’t know if you might do this already, but it would be arranging for Week 13 type races. Fun runs with silly combos, stuff that gets us laughing on a discord chat..” ((excellent idea. 919 v MX5’s))

David Glenn, “Not sure yet, just getting started, great so far.”

Shea McNeely, “I would have to say I’m liking it as it is! The 3 race only ZGC is a bit intimidating, but I still think everything works well.”

Thank You, for your time and I look forward to receiving any feedback or comments on the next questions, driver recommendations, etc for this Dean’s List section!

Don’t forget to check out the Tip Jar for more wisdom and general SIM racing good practice …

Read other Dean’s List Installments here!