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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

iRacer Profile: Sandeep Banerjee

by Jason Noble on September 12th, 2009

Sim-racing is not for everyone. Many iRacing members will be the only sim-racer in their household, or the only one amongst their group of friends. Some of you may even be the only iRacer in your town or region. But spare a thought for Sandeep Banerjee: he is the only active iRacer in his country. And he lives in India, which makes him a one in 1.2 billion kind of guy! We caught up with Sandeep recently.

inRacingNews: India has a lot of people but only one active iRacer.  How does it feel to be the sole local representative?

Sandeep: It feels lonely! No, seriously, I’m surprised in a way as I know there are many here that follow racing — F1 mostly as it’s the most publicized and known-about form of racing of course — and computer gaming is big too, but the concept of sim-racing just hasn’t taken off. Most of the racing ‘fraternity’ here is in the south where they have a few small touring car and minor formula racing series at a couple of very basic race tracks that look like British club circuits from the sixties. Maybe those guys sim-race but they probably aren’t into racing online or we’d have seen them show up at some of the leagues or whatever. I can count on one finger the number of guys from India I’ve come across that have done some online racing only to disappear without a trace.

Thanks to Sandeep Banerjee, Force India is not India's only international motorsports presence

Thanks to Sandeep Banerjee, Force India is not India's only international motorsports presence.

inRacingNews: With more than a billion people there must be some great Indian drivers: what could iRacing do to reach them?

Sandeep: At the most, play some commercials during the motorsport broadcasts here or during some of the other motorsports related programs. But it’s probably better to wait for the awareness of racing to build up more to begin with. To be interested in iRacing, you first have to be somewhat of an ardent motorsport enthusiast.

inRacingNews: So are there a lot of motorsport fans in India?  Has the Force India team made a difference?

Sandeep: Like I said, it’s catching on more and more, mostly with F1. But when you run the way Force India have run, it’s hard to expect people to be paying attention for too long. Few people care that it’s a new team and are willing to give them time to learn the ropes. But yeah, Vijay Mallya forming the team, the new F1 race track coming up in India soon, and, of course, Fisichella’s podium at Spa — all of these things have definitely created some new fans.

Personally, I wish Mallya had gone to NASCAR instead as they’d have possibly found more success there. I say that because of the recession in the US: with his deep pockets, Mallya could have hired a lot of the talented people who are out of a job and possibly had some good runs in Sprint Cup. Not to mention popularizing his Kingfisher brand of beer in the US. I could have genuinely cheered them on! I don’t really have that much of an interest in F1 anyway, or road racing in general. But any sort of presence is important. Maybe Mr. Mallya could branch out into other forms of motorsport in the future too, like how Mr. Mateschitz of Red Bull has his hand in just about every series in the world.

inRacingNews: Whereabouts in India do you live?

Sandeep: I live in the island city of Mumbai in western India. It’s the commercial capital of the country and has a very cosmopolitan culture. The weather is typically tropical. Mostly warm and humid with a mid-year monsoon. You’ll see a unique contrast in the city. In some areas, you’ll see the poverty that is, to many outsiders, an unfortunate hallmark of India, but on the other hand, you’ll also see rapid development and progress in all areas of life.

MIS to Mumbai, Sandeep Banerjee is the face of in India.

MIS to Mumbai, Sandeep Banerjee is the face of in India.

inRacingNews: What about your equipment: your wheel, pedals, and so on?  What do you use?  Was it difficult to find the right gear in India?

Sandeep: I just use a standard assembled rig with as many choice parts as I could find. Computer peripherals here cost almost double what they do in the US, but there’s nothing you can do about that other than flying out to nearby Singapore and buying stuff from there. That only makes sense if you’re buying something where the cost justifies the travelling. So I bought the G25 from Singapore as it was only half what it cost here. In the future, I’d like to expand to a full blown rig with triple screens and all of that, once I can afford it.

inRacingNews: Before iRacing, was there a single moment that got you hooked on the sim-racing experience?  Can you tell us about that?

Sandeep: Even though I was already into sims pretty well by then, NASCAR Racing 4 really grabbed me by the kahoonies. It was every stock car fan’s dream come true to see the sublime GPL engine put into a stock car sim (after years of using the outdated IndyCar Racing II-derived engine in all the Papyrus NASCAR sims until that point) and it didn’t disappoint one bit. You had all the tracks from Daytona to Homestead for the first time as well, all rendered in levels of detail that broke new ground for the series.

inRacingNews: Where are we likely to find you in iRacing this year?  Do you have a favourite car or series?

Sandeep: Any of the stock car series. I race ’em all whenever I can.

inRacingNews: And what’s your primary goal in iRacing?

Sandeep: To make the iRacing Drivers World Championship for ovals.

inRacingNews: I see you’re near the bubble, 57th in the Pro Series right now, so good luck.  Next question: what if you could change one thing about iRacing?  What would it be?

Sandeep: More focus on incorporating features we have never seen in sim-racing before, like realistic weather effects and dynamic race track conditions over the course of a run (rubber and oil build-up on track, formation of more prominent racing grooves where most people run, slicker surface from higher temperatures, etc.). Things like that which bring us closer to the real deal: we still have it way too easy in sim-racing!

Look for Sandeep Banerjee -- aka iRacing's Team India -- on the ovals

Look for Sandeep Banerjee -- aka iRacing's Team India -- on the ovals.

inRacingNews: What’s it like to be in Club International?

Sandeep: I’m afraid I’ve never been into the Club aspect of iRacing too much. It’s just hard to as there’s nothing to endear or motivate me to feel any sort of attachment to the club. Since I’ve started sim-racing, I’ve had friends online from all over. I can’t see how that should change just because I’m now put in a club. I suspect many others feel the same.

inRacingNews: Best piece of advice for someone just starting out in iRacing?

Sandeep: Don’t try to learn driving techniques watching other cars online. Netcode and latency make it look like they’re braking later and going through the turns more sideways than they actually are.

inRacingNews: Best piece of racing advice in general?

Sandeep: Patience.

inRacingNews: If you could do a guest race in one real-world series, current or historical, which one would it be?

Sandeep: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Preferably in the 90s so I could race with men like Rusty Wallace, Ernie Irvan, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Ricky Rudd and Sterling Marlin in their prime, driving those sexy Luminas, Pontiacs and Thunderbirds.

inRacingNews: When you’re not racing, what do you do?

Sandeep: I’m currently studying animation; have been for the past couple of years. Once that’s completed, I’m hoping to make a career in the industry either in animation or film editing. No other hobbies really. I like to go cycling daily as it’s good exercise and I get to check out what’s up in the neighborhood.

inRacingNews: Thanks for talking to us!

29 Comments or Trackbacks

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  1. Name Email

  1. Karolis Pranckevicius
    September 12th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    “Thanks to Sandeep Banerjee, Force India is not India’s only international motorsports presence.”
    these words are totally not true. Narain Karthikeyan, Armaan Ebrahim and Karun Chandhok are (i think) pretty well known international race car drivers from India

  2. Ray Bryden
    September 12th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Nice article! Do they carry NASCAR races live in India, or do you rely on Internet streaming or tape-delay coverage? Good work Jason and Sand-man

  3. John Prather
    September 12th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    This is awesome.

  4. Sandeep Banerjee
    September 13th, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Any way possible Ray, streams, downloads, or on TV if it’s live.

    Thanks to Jason for doing the interview.

  5. Lincoln Miner
    September 13th, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Very interesting interview. Nice work. I’m really surprised Sandeep is the only sim racer in iRacing from India! I’m sure there will be more at some point.

  6. Michal
    September 13th, 2009 at 4:34 am

    I am the only one in Oman and no story about me…..:)

  7. Jordan Erickson
    September 13th, 2009 at 5:30 am


  8. God
    September 13th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Sandeep. This is God.

  9. Thomas Hendrickson
    September 14th, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Hey, I knew this guy before he was famous! In V8Thunder! haha

    Cool article…

  10. Mathieu Souphy
    September 14th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Cool story Sandeep … it’s always a pleasure to race you in V8Thunder, hope to see you on track in iRacing someday :)

  11. Nelson Rivera
    September 15th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Very interesting read. Good luck to you Sandeep. Your one of the good guys.

  12. Ant Collett
    September 16th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Nice story, thanks Jason.

    It got me thinking surely there are more Indian sim racers than Sandeep. So i did a bit of digging & guess what? I found most of them!. Seven Hundred & Eighty Three Indian LFS sim racers.

    I would guess they just cant afford it but they are out there.

  13. Bart Van Nevel
    September 17th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Nice to see a profile article from you Sandeep!

  14. Andy Kirschetorte
    September 18th, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Really excellent read. Great stuff Sandeep…

  15. Sandeep Banerjee
    September 18th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Thanks guys.

    Ant, isn’t LFS a pay-and-play software too? I know it’s certainly not free to buy the initial software so it can’t be an issue of not being able to afford iRacing because at the very least, they could’ve tried the iRacing 1-month trial which gives 3 cars and tracks. I would assume those are more likely numbers of those who tried the demo as the demo was put on a lot of companion CDs to computer magazines here so a lot of people might’ve tried it out just like any other game demo on the CDs.

  16. Mahesh Rumale
    September 18th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Hey, I am an Indian. I am currently in the US but still an Indian racing on iRacing. And to add to the subject more Indians watch F1 than Sprint Cup or Nascar. Quarter of the Indian population who watch any motor sport wouldn’t even know anything except F1 and Rallying. Since F1 is telecast-ed in India and Rallying has been one of the more well known sport in India.

    Nice to know more folks are out there, and here I was thinking I was the lone guy. Hehehehe :)

    Personally I like Road tracks more than the ovals.

    Cheers Sandeep.

  17. Sandeep Banerjee
    September 18th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Nice, Mahesh! Where in India are you from?

  18. Rick Savage
    September 19th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Great interview and write-up Jason..

  19. Robin Clarke
    September 20th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Sandeep may be a minority in India, but his name has been a part of our community for many years now.. Great read on an outstanding competitor and gentleman. Regards ~

  20. Sandeep Banerjee
    September 21st, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Thanks Robin, you’re too kind.

  21. Mahesh Rumale
    September 23rd, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I am from Bangalore.

    I hear you are the man to beat in iRacing. I will look you up and add you as a friend. Hope to learn from you and meet you some day on track (virtually that is). Though we seem to prefer different kind of tracks, you never know.

      April 5th, 2012 at 5:14 am

      Hi Sandeep,
      Could you please guide me on joining iracing ? It has been four years now that I have been watching NASCAR sprint cup series and playing Nascar Thunder 2003 on my pc. I feel pretty confident about my driving skills.
      Could you tell me what all i need to have before I join iracing ?

  22. Paul Kelly
    October 27th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Go, Sandeep, go! A good friend of mine grew up in Chennai. He now lives in the USA and is a big motorsports fan. I need to get him on iRacing!

  23. Tony Gardner
    December 22nd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Great Story

  24. Dick Housey
    April 30th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I liked this interview. Sandeep has given a little insight to his part of the world. I know from the forum, he is an intelligent and friendly read. Good Luck Sandeep 1 in a Billion!

    Dick Housey

  25. Lee Ward
    May 23rd, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Glad to see that WR Racing put you on the right track :)

  26. praveen
    May 27th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    firstly thanks to u mr.sandeep as u are the one from india in iracing.
    even i am intrested in racing and willing to move on to iracing. but situations demad ,so at present i try still for iracing in future

  27. Mudit Grover
    May 5th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I am from India as well.. Looking forward to iRacing.. Order a new set of gaming wheel. I have been playing LFS and now getting to iRacing.

    Glad to see a “Extreme” Sim racer from India.

    Very exciting.