by Dean Chapman, Northern New Jersey Region PCA
Congratulations, you have found yourself in the pole position on 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.
Installment 15 is a fast one! We welcome this winner’s selection of Podium step heroes, champions, and fast closing speedsters. You’ll find their interviews compelling and enlightening.
Get ready for a fast ride through the PCA regions for some more SIMtastic facts.
PCA Region: Great Plains
Car: 2007 Cayman base 5-speed
“I’m currently serving Active Duty in the Air Force and I dabble in a few instruments as a hobby aside from sim racing, piano and guitar.
I also assist the painters of the team I race for, Alpinestars Geodesic, in producing car paints for the whole team. Cars you might have seen that were my work include Porsche 919, Driver/Pit Crew suits, VW Beetle, Hyundai Veloster, Formula iR-04, FR500 Mustang, XFinity Mustang, ARCA Chevy, Big Block Modified, 358 Modified, Winged Sprint Cars, Dirt Street Stock, NextGen Camry, Camaro, and Mustang, Ford GT3, Subaru WRX, and others that borrowed from other paints such as the Formula Renault 2.0 and USF2000.”
PCA Region: Kansas City
Car: Radical SR3 RSX
“Owner of Taylor Consulting – a software development shop focused on food animal production.”
PCA Region: California Inland
Car: 2017 Porsche Cayman S
“Director at Holland America Group, a joint venture of the cruise lines Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruises, and P&O Australia. Other hobbies, when I have some time: golf, sailing, and taking multi-day road trips on the back roads of the United States.”
PCA Region: Upper Canada
Car: 2016 GT4
“Partner at TGC CPA firm. Other than racing in my iRacing Porsche, I also enjoy tracking the real Porsche!”
PCA Region: Palmetto Region
Car: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe
“I’m from the Palmetto Region (Charleston, SC), my Porsche is a 1992 911 Carrera 2 coupe (white on white). Currently, I’m the Director of Media Production for Tactical Baby Gear, aka a photographer and content creator, pre-pandemic I was a motorsport photographer and before that, I was a lead Race mechanic/Car Chief for Autometrics Motorsports (Porsche team).”
And now, the questions!
What is your favorite car-specific movie or documentary?
Michael Coholich, “Cars”
Garrett Taylor, “Ford v Ferrari”
Jochem Bakker, “Right now, the “Road to LeMans series” made by Porsche, following Michael Fassbender and the team he is racing with.”
Terrence Tong, “Ford vs Ferrari is one of my favorite car movies. Documentary: Drive to Survive.”
Travis Brodie, “I’m a big fan of Porsche’s YouTube series, “Road to LeMans” with Michael Fassbender, as well as the APEX series from J.F Musial.“
What is your favorite movie with a car featured?
Garrett Taylor, “Gone in 60 Seconds”
Jochem Bakker, “Christine (1983)”
Terrence Tong, “Tomorrow Never Dies. I remember when I was a little kid watching this movie, I was so jealous of James Bond and his BMW 750iL!”
Travis Brodie, “Ronin always comes to mind as one of my favorite car chase movies, Im also a huge Bond fan, especially the Daniel Craig modern ones. My dad got me into Ronin and Bullet when I was younger and I think that had a huge impact on my love for fast cars.”
What equipment do you use for your rig?
Michael Coholich, “VRS DirectForce Wheelbase, VRS DirectForce Pedals, GSI FPE Tony Kanaan Edition and The driver’s seat from a junkyard 2003 Mini Cooper.”
Garrett Taylor, “Rim – Cube Controls Formula Pro: Wheelbase – Simucube Pro 2: Pedals – Heusinkveld Ultimate+: Rig – Next Level Racing GT Elite: Monitor – Single 50″ 4k TV”
Jochem Bakker, “8020 aluminum rig, with a separate monitor stand for 3 32” monitors; a Fanatec CSL DD wheelbase with a McLaren GT3 v2 steering wheel; Fanatec V3 pedals.”
Terrence Tong, “Fanatec Clubsport v3 pedals, Fanatec Clubsport v2.5 wheelbase, Fanatec Clubsport F1 eSport steering wheel, Samsung 49″ monitor.”
Travis Brodie, “I just upgraded from base model Fanatec CSL wheel and pedals to the DD1 and V3 pedals, along with a GSI wheel. I run 3 32” curved monitors with a 4th 32” above those all on an Obutto Revolution chassis.”
What car would you like to drive?
Michael Coholich, “997 Coupe. Don’t care if it’s a 2, 4, 2S, 4S, manual, auto… If I can afford it and it’s not a ticking time bomb of maintenance, whatever. Sell me your beater 997.”
Garrett Taylor, “Carrera GT. Has to be the best sounding motor ever produced.”
Jochem Bakker, “Porsche GT2 RS”
Terrence Tong, “It might not be the most exciting car but I would definitely want to fulfill my childhood dream and drive/own a 1998 Mercedes SL600 in silver.”
Travis Brodie, “I really want to drive a 98 GT1, like real bad……if anyone has one, let me know :)”
What’s your favorite non-Porsche iRacing car?
Michael Coholich, “The Indy Pro 2000 is a hidden gem nowadays (catch the broadcast race on Thursday nights! 10:15 pm and 9:15 pm when the clocks turn back).”
Garrett Taylor, “Radical SR8.”
Jochem Bakker, “the Skippy i guess.”
Terrence Tong, “Radical.”
Travis Brodie, “This is a toss-up, either the Aston Martin GT1 or the Subaru RallyX Car on the tarmac, they are both awesome.”
What’s your favorite Porsche iRacing car?
Michael Coholich, “Sometimes I miss the previous Cup car, but the IVRA races I’ve done in the GT4 have been enjoyable as well. Hard to pick one.”
Garrett Taylor, “992 Cup.”
Jochem Bakker, “The 992 has really grown on me. New to the platform, I’ve only driven the GT3 R, 992 and GT4. Simply have not had time to drive the others yet.”
Terrence Tong, “GT3R.”
Travis Brodie, “Currently the 991 GT3R is my fav, it seems to be the most well developed at the moment.”
Do you have a favorite iRacing circuit?
Michael Coholich, “Suzuka, Nordschleife, Mosport, Okayama… gosh there are too many to list but those are special.”
Jochem Bakker, “For now, Spa. But there are still so many tracks in the game that I have not driven yet….”
Terrence Tong, “Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen.”
Travis Brodie, “#1 is Watkins Glen, closely followed by Road Atlanta. I have so many laps around those 2 tracks…”
Shoes, socks, or slippers when you drive your rig?
Michael Coholich, “Socks all day no one can change my mind.”
Garrett Taylor, “Shoes. Always shoes. I am a high brake force driver so I must wear shoes.”
Jochem Bakker, “thin-soled loafers.”
Terrence Tong, “Loafers.”
Travis Brodie, “I prefer shoes, but also have a very firm, grippy brake pedal so just socks isn’t very comfy.”
Gloves (which brand?), au-natural, or mittens?
Michael Coholich, “Couldn’t even tell you the brand. It’s a pair out of a 3-pack of work gloves I got for $10 at a hardware store.”
Garrett Taylor, “Sparco Hypergrip+”
Jochem Bakker, “Sparco pit crew ones. I don’t like the longer ones.”
Terrence Tong, “K1 racing gloves.”
Travis Brodie, “Currently running minus273 brand karting gloves, they seem to be holding up well.”
How long have you sim racing?
Michael Coholich, “The game that really got me into cars and racing at all was Gran Turismo 5, but for the sim racing purists I started iRacing in 2013 with a Logitech G27 and a folding chair. Took quite a long break from 2014ish until COVID happened and launched me back into it.”
Garrett Taylor, “Besides dabbling, I started with PCA Sim Racing Series 7”
Jochem Bakker, “In the simple form: several years. simple as in: 1 tv, a thrustmaster wheel with potentiometer pedals, on the PS4 platform. Really only played the F1 game. I upgraded to a full rig and gaming computer in November 2021, and got into iRacing. I found the PCA simracing team about a month later.”
Terrence Tong, “I started sim racing since December 2020 so it’s about 1.5 years.”
Travis Brodie, “At Autometrics in about 2010 we build our own sim rig for driver development, that turned into a lot of late nights and weekend at the shop turning laps, but we didn’t really race online then. I stopped sim driving when I left the team but built my own rig again at the beginning of 2020 (like everyone else).”
Is there another sim racing platform you’ve tried? (Like?)
Michael Coholich, “The original Assetto Corsa is my favorite outside of iRacing.”
Jochem Bakker, “I got both AC and ACC. But the PCA simracing league is causing me to focus 95% of my time on the iRacing platform. I do like AC, for the extra tracks and roads you can drive, like the Angeles Crest roads and the Mulholland hills, etc. I live close by these, and it’s fun to drive them both IRL as well as in the game.”
Travis Brodie, “Raceroom is really fun because they have 964 cup cars and 90s DTM, also the original Assetto Corsa because of the variety of cars you can drive.”
What are your most used steering wheel hotkeys (mapped buttons)?
Michael Coholich, “The buttons I use to navigate the black box menus.”
Garrett Taylor, “Reset car. I’m very aggressive during a practice session and spend a lot of time upside down.”
Jochem Bakker, “I have one button for my crew chief, one to talk in-game, and one for discord talk. I can also set a selector switch for discord so I can talk continuously without holding that button.”
Terrence Tong, “Push to talk button so my friends can hear me scream.”
Travis Brodie, “Tow/reset for sure… I’m good at crashing.”
Do you follow any car-related websites, blogs, or channels?
Michael Coholich, “Top 3 podcasts: Collecting Cars Podcast with Chris Harris. The episodes with Jenson Button and Martin Brundle are standouts.
Dale Jr. Download when he has on old-timers that tell stories of cheating or their personal history in racing. Darrell Waltrip, Andy Petree, and Chip Knaus are good.
My favorite by far is The Curmudgeon Show. I flew through an entire 10 hour car ride on a binge. Jason Cammisa and Derek Tam-Scott (the hyphen is pronounced) from the Hagerty and ISSIMI youtube channels respectively. The Pontiac Endurance Test [very explicit].”
Garrett Taylor, ” I watch Seen Through Glass, Mr JWW, and Top Gear on Youtube.”
Terrence Tong, “If we don’t count the amount of time I spent on Autotrader and Kijiji Auto, I probably spent too much time reading on Rennlist, watching thestraightpipes and throttle house.”
Travis Brodie, “Mostly I follow YouTube, some of my favorites are: Subaru’s “Launch Control” Rally series, CarPrime is also great, basically the old BEST MOTORING Japanese group that made a Youtube series testing and racing various old and new Japanese cars, AMMO NYC for detailing stuff, and MOTOGEO for my 2 wheel fix.”
What’s your favorite drink?
Michael Coholich, “White Russian, sub black coffee in for Kahlua.”
Garrett Taylor, “On occasion, a jalapeno margarita.”
Jochem Bakker, “Gin (Haymans/Hendricks/Bombay/Monkey47) and tonic (fever tree).”
Terrence Tong, “I haven’t drunk any alcohol for a long time. That’s probably how I can afford to buy cars.”
Travis Brodie, “Dr. Pepper, from Chick-Fil-A”
Given a few hours locked away, what would you prefer to watch?”
Michael Coholich, “Honestly, as much as I love Formula 1, I still fall asleep during races sometimes. I’d rather be driving!”
Garrett Taylor, “IndyCar always has a lot of action. F1 would get too boring after several hours.”
Jochem Bakker, “Formula 1”
Terrence Tong, “Formula 1”
Travis Brodie, “I think I would have to go with Porsche SuperCup from the 997 Era. It’s the best, period.”
Does sim racing ’scratch your itch’ for car racing or would you always prefer to race in real life?
Michael Coholich, “Absolutely not. Every single chance I get I’m in a kart, or in more rare cases in a car on the track. The adrenaline rush from flying a couple of inches off the pavement in a glorified shopping cart is unmatched by anything.”
Garrett Taylor, “I always prefer a real car, but sim racing does a great job of ticking most of the boxes. With my current workload and family life, sim racing is the best option.”
Jochem Bakker, “Absolutely, If I could afford frequent IRL racing, I would, but this is a great way to get seat time in. I have not really taken my built-up simracing experience to the real track yet, but I’ve been told it will improve my IRL driving drastically.”
Terrence Tong, “SIM racing definitely scratches my itch until I’m willing to bump the budget for real racing.”
Travis Brodie, “Most of the time, yes, but it can also make it worse, especially when I race against my real-life Pro driver friends.”
If you were the boss at iRacing, what new feature, improvement, race category, or class would you make?
Michael Coholich, “Reduce the amount of series. Despite iRacing thriving since COVID hit, series dilution is becoming worse and worse.”
Garrett Taylor, “I’d love to see a way for hobbyists to add more local tracks. Sim racing is a great way to learn tracks but there aren’t enough locals on the service.”
Jochem Bakker, “AI available on all tracks (limited right now); add a damage indicator.”
Terrence Tong, “Graphics improvement, more track updates.”
Travis Brodie, “First task would be to overhaul the “slowdown” penalty system and make off tracks more consistent track to track.”
If you were the boss at PCA Sim Racing, what new feature, improvement, race category or class would you make?
Jochem Bakker, “Do a review of the class placement. I went through the entry league and classification (and believe I am in the right class), but I believe a lot of people did not. Looking at the performance within classes, some people are punching well above their weight and should be moved up to 1 or more classes.
Also, some people would likely be much more competitive in a lower class. If people are competitive, they are much more likely to keep racing, I believe.
I believe an inquiry with active drivers to ask if they feel they are in the right class could be beneficial. Lastly, maybe a Pro-am class, in between club and Pro?”
Terrence Tong, “More frequent multi-class solo racing.”
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!