by Dean Chapman, Northern New Jersey Region PCA
Grab a bag of great advice from these wizards of the race track!
Michael Coholich, PCA Region: Great Plains. Car: 2007 Cayman base 5-speed
Garrett Taylor, PCA Region: Kansas City. Car: Radical SR3 RSX
Jochem Bakker, PCA Region: California Inland. Car: 2017 Porsche Cayman S
Terrence Tong, PCA Region: Upper Canada. Car: 2016 GT4
Travis Brodie, PCA Region: Palmetto Region. Car: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe
What do you ensure you always do before a race?
Michael Coholich, “Practice! Detailed practice! Practice with someone way faster than me and take their advice. Practiced so much that I could drive the track in my head without missing a single detail. Practice until I’m bored so it’s effortless in the race. Having an unlimited amount of time to practice is a luxury we have in sim racing as opposed to real life, so go take advantage of that!”
Garrett Taylor, “Turn the AC down, get some water, and visualize the race.”
Jochem Bakker, “Do a full restart of my computer, to ensure it’s running optimally.”
Terrence Tong, “Make myself a double espresso and pray to the racing gods.”
Travis Brodie, “Eat, especially before an endurance stint.”
What do you ensure you always do in a race?
Michael Coholich, “Remember my practice! It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and let your driving go haywire. Get out of your way while you’re trying to reap the rewards of your efforts in practice.”
Garrett Taylor, “Try to have fun and be satisfied with wherever I’m at in the running order.”
Jochem Bakker, “Have something to drink nearby, especially for longer races.”
Terrence Tong, “Ask crew chief how much fuel I need.”
Travis Brodie, “Drink water and relax on the straights.”
What do you recommend racers never do before a race?
Michael Coholich, “Get a poor night’s sleep.”
Garrett Taylor, “Change anything! Racing is hard enough, and changing anything before a race just makes it harder.”
Jochem Bakker, “Not practice!”
Terrence Tong, “Never drink too much just before the race.”
Travis Brodie, “Forget to put the car in gear at the start….”
What do you recommend racers never do while in a race?
Michael Coholich, “Read Twitch chat.”
Garrett Taylor, “Set a new personal best lap. Pushing to go faster than I ever have, always ends up with me in the grass, wall, or pit lane.”
Jochem Bakker, “Too many adjustments in menus, unless you are on a long straight and there’s no traffic around.”
Terrence Tong, “I would recommend racers never try a new racing line in a race.”
Travis Brodie, “Get distracted by their naked girlfriend (or boyfriend) and crash….”
How do you keep motivated for sim racing?
Michael Coholich, “Maintain a purpose for doing it and find a good group of guys to consistently race with. I struggle to grind Official races like many others because it feels pointless at times racing to increase our imaginary number called iRating, but having the guys to join races with makes racing much more enjoyable.”
Garrett Taylor, “My goal is to get to the podium every race, and if I’m not fast enough to be there that gives me the energy to keep practicing.”
Jochem Bakker, “I’m still so new to this that there is a lot to improve on. Pace, race craft, consistency, learning about setups, etc. One step at a time.”
Terrence Tong, “Compare lap times between friends. Setting goals with targeted SR and IR that I want to achieve/maintain.”
Travis Brodie, “I try to limit my time in the sim to keep from getting burnt out, I also try to play other sims to keep things fresh.”
Any other advice you’d share?
Michael Coholich, “PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! More than 15 hours of practice went into Suzuka and Knockhill, and 8 hours into Monza and Zandvoort for these past Series 8 Pro races.”
Garrett Taylor, “Have fun! Sim racing is much less demanding than IRL racing if you don’t get consumed with constant practice.”
Jochem Bakker, “Get Virtual Racing School (VRS). Looking at your data and comparing it to others can teach you so much and helps learn how to drive tracks.
Travis Brodie, “Just remember, if you ain’t first, you’re last.”
And a bonus in this installment!
Some advice I’ve taken to hand, by the late Sir Sterling Moss, “To achieve anything in this game you must be prepared to dabble in the boundary of disaster.”
I do hit the boundaries regularly, along with the Armco, and the walls!
If you like what you’re reading here…
….and feel there’s some more to add, have comments, or just pleasantries, hit up the Dean’s List Discord Channels! The more feedback the merrier!
Thanks again for reading. See you out there soon.