by Dean Chapman, Northern New Jersey Region PCA
Congratulations and Welcome!
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 Racers, iRacing competitors, and more. Hopefully gleaning tidbits of information about their likes, dislikes, and equipment.
As our PCA Sim organization grows, I thought it’d be fun to peer in from the other side and ask… Who are the aliens that we revere in esports? What are they like? etc.
…well, today we meet one of these fast-rising super “e” drivers.
Let’s say a big hello to Isaac Gillisson from the Netherlands.
(it’s obvious I have all his attributes…I have arms, legs, eyes…but, sadly I lack his sharp skills and quick brain…oh and I’ll never be able to get those 30 plus years back either… doh there goes my e-racing dreams!)
Buckle up, get in gear, drop the clutch when the lights go greeeeeeen…..
Tell us a little about yourself, Isaac;
Isaac Gillissen, “I’m a 21-year-old Aeronautical engineering student from the Netherlands and have been simracing for about 10 years now.
At the end of 2015, I started competing in esports competitions on Project Cars. Over the next 3 years I qualified for numerous offline esports finals around Europe and got to travel to cities like Vienna, Cologne and London.”
“At the end of 2019, I managed to win the Logitech G challenge European finals and World final in Las Vegas and therefore qualified for the Mclaren Shadow project, which meant I got to spend a week at the Mclaren F1 factory competing in the sim and on the Top Gear test track in a Mclaren GT4 car.
After finishing P3 in this final, Veloce Esports picked me up as one of their Esports drivers.”
“At that same time I started coaching for Driver 61’s sim racing academy, and together with Veloce and Driver61 I was fortunate enough to drive in races like the Le Mans 24h Virtual and got to drive a couple of endurance races together with drivers like Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, and Tony Kanaan.
At the moment I am competing in the $250,000 Le Mans Virtual Series for Yas Heat (One of Veloce’s managed teams) and am busy trying to make the step from the virtual track to the real track a reality!”
“What is your favorite car-specific movie or documentary?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Rush (2013)”
“What is your favorite movie with a car featured? (i.e action scenes: James Bond, Baby Driver, 6 Underground, Mission Impossible, Bullitt, etc.)”
Isaac Gillissen, “James Bond: Spectre (The Jaguar and Aston Martin car chase through Rome!)”
“What equipment do you use for your Rig? (Be as specific or brief as you like)”
Isaac Gillissen, “Trakracer TR160 rig, with Simucube 2 sport and Fanatec Mclaren GT3 rim. Heusinkveld Ultimate pedals. Single 24-inch monitor, but a VR headset if I want more immersion!”
“If you could, what Car would you like to drive? (Any era, any value)”
Isaac Gillissen, “Porsche Singer DLS”
What was your first real-life car?
Isaac Gillissen, “1997 Mitsubishi Colt (grey)”
“Do you like to drive fast IRL?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Only on the track! Not much room to get to any speed here in the Netherlands, but did have the privilege to drive 2 proper race cars on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Top Gear Test Track. Hoping to expand my real track experience next year though!”
“What’s your favorite iRacing Porsche?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Porsche 911 RSR”
“Do you have favorite iRacing circuits?”
Isaac Gillissen, “I love the Nordschleife! For me, it’s the Green ‘’Heaven’’, because the more corners, the better.
I also really like old-school circuits like Long Beach and Barber Motorsports Park. Especially that last one in a downforce car!”
“How many hours per week do you train?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Depends on if I have a competitive race coming up. If that’s the case, 18 hours a week, starting 2 weeks in advance of the race.”
“Do you have seasons/ months where you race more / less? What are the reasons?”
Isaac Gillissen, “If I’m not competing in a championship I sometimes don’t drive for a week. In my spare time, I like to mountain bike, cook, and play the piano!”
“Shoes, socks, or slippers ☺ when you drive your rig?”
Isaac Gillissen, “With the heavy Heusinkveld pedals, I drive with Sparco racing shoes.”
“Gloves (what brand?), au-natural, or …mittens ☺ when you drive your rig?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Sparco gloves as well!”
“Are there other SIM car race platforms you’ve tried? (Like?) Tell us your views on the other SIM platforms?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Over the last year I’ve tried to become competent at every sim to be able to be competitive in any championship I like. (And to be able to coach on any sim as well).
- “iRacing: Great track models and online competition system.
- rFactor2: Best tire model and force feedback out of the bunch. F1 teams use this software in their simulators as well. Lacks in the online competition system, however.
- RaceRoom Racing Experience: Runs on the old rFactor physics, so good realism. Has many esports competitions you often have to qualify for through an online leaderboard.
- Assetto Corsa: Very realistic sim again with good force feedback. The main strength of this sim is the moddability, meaning 3rd parties can very easily make their own cars and tracks and share it online.
- F1 2021: Very popular game for beginning sim racers as F1 is arguably the most popular of motorsports.
- Gran Turismo Sport: The classic racing game everyone has played! Not as realistic, but it’s got a very nice online competition system (like iRacing) and good esports competitions. Main racing game on the PlayStation.”
“What are your most used Steering Wheel Hot Keys (mapped buttons)?”
Isaac Gillissen, “The headlights flash button.”
What’s your favorite drink?
Isaac Gillissen, “A strong cup of coffee.”
“What do you drink in-car during longer multi-hour race events?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Coffee as well! Good steady source of caffeine and low sugar.”
“Favorite Cookies? Candies?…do you eat at the Rig?”
Isaac Gillissen, “No cookies and candies, only protein bars and bananas! Got to stay sharp. ;)”
“Given a few hours locked away, what would you prefer to watch…NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Rallycross, GT racing, other…?”
Isaac Gillissen, “I love watching F1, but also historic races like the Le Mans 24h, the Nurburgring 24h, and the Indy 500.”
“Do you follow any Car related websites? Blogs? YouTube Channels / Twitch? Etc..please share with us.”
Isaac Gillissen, “Driver61 on Youtube, I think he has great F1 analyses.”
“If you were the boss at iRacing command, what new feature, improvement, race category or class(es) would you make?”
Isaac Gillissen, “I would make iRacing moddable, like on Assetto Corsa. Opens the sim up for more creativity with cars and competitions.”
“Where do you see SIM racing heading in the next 5 years? The next 10?”
Isaac Gillissen, “I’m hoping with the growth of F1 and other motorsports, the same will happen in simracing esports with bigger and more competitions.”
“Anything else you’d like to add?”
Isaac Gillissen, “Yes sure! So if they’d like coaching, they can sign up with a trial on the homepage here: https://sra.driver61.com/ They will get invited for a short call so they’re all set up (discord, iRacing, driver61 system, etc.), and then they can request me as their coach. I’m afraid there isn’t a link to directly book a session with me straightaway.”
Thank You, Isaac!
Dean – I can attest to Isaac’s great coaching insights, and calm cool, and collected instruction methodology -a huge thumbs up from me!