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October 2014

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iRacing TV

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The Team

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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 SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield county, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to Corey's aunt!

  • 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 iRacing.com 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.

  • Brooks Westfall
    Silver Crown Writer

    I've been sim racing since 2011 when I joined iRacing. I've jumped to many different sims, including rFactor, Richard Burns Rally, and the famous NASCAR Racing 2003. I picked up a copy of NR2003 with my birthday money when I was only 9, but was limited to a keyboard and a controller. After reciving a G25 for Christmas in '11, I've loved sim racing and the community iRacing has. I hope to end up writing for a car magazine or website in the near future, and intend on attending university to accomplish that.
    Aside from my career in sim racing and the real world, I hope to have my own small, yet functional race team soon with the purchace of a go kart. Since I'm currently residing in Maryland, I don't have a wide range of racing to choose from. My only options on a small budget are drag racing or kart racing. After the completion of my senior year in high school next year, I hope that inRacing News and other affiliates will help my dreams of writing for Road & Track become a reality!

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    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 iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • 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.

  • Marc Dorval
    series contributor

    Marc Dorval has been a dedicated but talentless iRacer since 2009. Currently hanging out near the back of the Lotus 79 pack, he nonetheless contributes to the community through posts, statistics, and a weekly recap on the main events of the Lotus 79 series.
    Outside of iRacing, Marc is married with two grown-up children, loves Jaguar cars, and runs an IT consulting practice.

  • Matt Holden
    Contributor

    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 iRacing.com 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.

  • Ray Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Thiago Izequiel
    Contributor

    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.

  • Tom O'Leary
    author

    Tom is an 18-year old student from London, UK. Tom started sim-racing quite recently, although his passion for motorsport started at an early age, watching BTCC since the late 90s. Tom has since then expanded his interests in motorsport, watching Le Mans 24hr (and endurance racing as a whole) as well as the DTM, F1, and since starting to write about the NASCAR iRacing Series - NASCAR!

    Tom appeared on the sim-racing scene by trying out rFactor, rFactor 2 and then iRacing - where he spends most of his time racing in the Star Mazda Series where he has claimed third and then second overall in the two full seasons he has competed. On the oval side, Tom has completed a few races in the NASCAR Class C (Fixed) although he most enjoys the road side. Tom is an active member of Friction Racing, a team which focuses on the Star Mazda and the Williams-Toyota FW31, with the aim of reaching the Pro Series - and the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series.

    In his personal life, Tom spend time with his girlfriend (they have been together for two years) and likes a variety of games and has started to livestream his races/gameplay on Twitch, to give an insight to his approach to racing and gaming.

  • 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
    iRacing.com 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.

Mogar DG Filho: Next Stop iWCGPS

by Chris Hall on February 19th, 2013

As the opening round of the 2013 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series at Spa-Francorchamps on March 2 edges ever closer, we can look forward to seeing some new and familiar names battling for the most coveted sim-racing title in the world . . . and prizes valued at nearly $20,000.   One fresh-faced individual who will be debuting and looking to make his mark on the championship is Mogar Filho, who recently qualified for the iWCGPS by securing second position in the 2012 iRacing Road Pro Series in January.

For Filho, it’s another step in a long-established online racing career that has seen him progress from blocky pixels to high definition. “I always preferred racing games when I started playing video games (back on Atari days), but always looked for the most realistic ones,” the Brazilian told inRacingNews this week. “On 2003 I had contact with racing simulators and bought a steering wheel for my computer, and this became almost my only choice for gaming. On 2005 I started racing on private leagues for sim-racing on Live for Speed, and on 2010 switched to iRacing.

“Initially the iRacing service made me quit from league racing, and I was not interested on high level competition. But later I went again for league racing, and started to improve my license.

“On Season 1 2012 the iRacing Brasil league started a season on Williams-Toyota FW31 where Hugo Luis was going to race (I know him from long time ago).  I decided to participate to learn driving this car by being on track with him and studying his lines and techniques, and with the performances I had he encouraged me on trying to reach the Pro license and joining the World Championship Series.”

Filho is not the first Brazil-based sim-racer to step up to the top level of iRacing, and he heralds an influx of South Americans who are discovering the joys of online competition. “The Brazilian people have a passion for racing for a long time, but some factors like computer hardware price (due to taxes they are very expensive here), (steering) wheels availability, and the difficulties on getting international credit cards made the Brazilian community to grow slowly,” the electronics engineer explains. “Now things are more accessible (not only on hardware options but also the money exchange rate) and this allowed more Brazilians to show up.”

Although Filho has only been using the iRacing service for a relatively short time, his talent and achievements brought him to the attention of the Radicals Racing Team, who wasted no time in signing him to their ranks. “My performances on the Williams-Toyota FW31 car at the Brazilian league got attention from Carlos Passos (a Radicals driver who is part of the Brazilian community) and he presented me to Andy [Kirschetorte], our team principal. Since my philosophy matched the team’s philosophy, I’ve been invited to make part of it.”

Filho’s talent was quickly recognized by the Radicals Racing Team.

Once Filho was assimilated into the Radicals team, the improvements it brought to his racing became instantly apparent. “The first thing that made an immediate difference was being able to practice with other drivers used to high level sim-racing,” the São Paulo resident shares. “Practicing with them made me learn a lot about driving under pressure in a close pack, and also about how to set up the car. Although driving on simulators since 2003, the things I learnt were crucial to allow me to fight for top positions on the Class A series (iRacing Grand Prix Series) and on Pro Series. Also, the team has a great atmosphere.”

“The first thing that made an immediate difference was being able to practice with other drivers used to high level sim-racing . . . Also the team has a great atmosphere.”

When an individual harbors such talent, many account it to the equipment they use.  But as Filho shows, even a basic setup can yield results. “My equipment is not that special,” he offers earnestly. “I have a standard G27 without modifications or accessories, a mainstream computer with one 20”screen and a Playseat evolution cockpit. The only thing ‘special’ that I do is that I clean the pedal sensors periodically to ensure they are working with brand new precision.”

What Filho does believe, is there are several facets to perform at the top level of online-racing. “I believe that there are three keys that you can’t separate: talent, knowledge and practice. You can’t do well and keep on high level without one of the three,” observes the 31 year old.

To bag his his seat in the iRacing World Championship Series, Filho had to secure a top 25 position in the iRPS. But he surpassed that, by ending the season in the runners up spot, with multiple podium finishes to his name. “Initially I didn’t think I would able to fight for victories, specially looking at the line-up, although I was very confident I would be on top 25 to qualify for the iWCGPS.

“I’m happy with the performance I had and the consistency on races,”he reflects, “but I think that there are some areas to improve, like improving my speed on cold tyres and under draft conditions. Given the quality of the drivers who drove this series, I’m very pleased with the position I ended the championship.”

Filho captured eight top five finishes en route to runner-up in the 2012 iRPS.

However, despite consistent high finishes, an outright victory always eluded Filho. “Some races I admit I got frustrated, especially Road America and Indy where I had the pace for win, but race conditions didn’t allow me,” he adds, “But as I said before, I’m satisfied with the performance I had, and I don’t think the lack of victories takes my confidence away. I’ll always try to do my best, and try to be focused on what I’m doing.”

Like all other entrants to the iWCGPS, Filho had to work his way through the various ranks and cars, which proved to be a valuable learning curve. “First car I took was the SpecRacer Ford, which I raced both official series and league races,” he said about the path he took through the iRacing service. “I really like this car, and it teaches a lot about how to control weight transfer and how pedal inputs change the car behavior. It was also a good setup school, since it doesn’t have a lot of parameters to change, but have enough to you start learning their influence. After that, I took the Skip Barber due to a league championship where some friends were going to race. Then I went almost straight to the F1 due to the Brazilian league I told before that Hugo Luis was going to race.

“I really like (the SRF) . . . it teaches a lot about how to control weight transfer and how pedal inputs change the car behavior.”

“During that league championship, I decided to try the Class A championship and kept focused on this car.”

For any would be champions looking to make their way to the upper echelons of sim-racing, Filho has some sage words. “First advice would be to don’t rush,” he offers to new members of iRacing. “Take each step, do the rookie series, master each car before stepping to the next car, and try to take most of it both on driving techniques and setups. The knowledge you will build through this process will do a difference when you are at a higher level.”

No stranger to sim-racing when he joined iRacing, Filho nevertheless worked his way up through the ranks beginning with SRF in the inRacingNews Challenge.

Turning to the forthcoming 2013 World Championship, the Brazilian is aiming high and hoping for similar success to his 2012 iRPS season. “My aim is to be at top 10. We can’t forget that there are legends on sim-racing on this series, and even the mid-pack is very competitive,” Filho positively shares. “I believe it’s the strongest field in the world of sim-racing. It’s really special to qualify for this series, and top 10 is already an excellent result.

“I expect that I will be fighting closely with [Richie] Stanaway and [Emile] Spindel, that did great at the Pro Series, but I expect also to be fighting for positions with my teammates, that are very fast.”

Arguably, one of the biggest new names in online-racing is Hugo Luis, Filho’s fellow countryman who claimed the World Championship title in 2011 and challenged until the end in 2012, when the crown went to Greger Huttu. For Filho, Luis’ performances serve as a marker for his sim-racing career. “He is a reference for us, not only on speed but sportsmanship,” he enthuses.

“(Hugo Luis) is a reference for us, not only on speed but sportsmanship.”

When the iWCGPS returns, it will once again pitch up to 40 sim-racers against each other in digital replicas of the Williams-Toyota FW31. The car’s uncompromising speed and handling are a challenge within itself, a fact not lost on Filho. “This is a hard car to setup and has a big weight variation as fuel is consumed,” he says of the dynamic Formula One car. “The various controls allow you to do fine adjustments during the race to compensate balance under different weight, tyre conditions and draft conditions. Those features are really nice, but you need to know how the car will behave on each condition. It’s never a good thing to have unknown reactions on a car with so small reaction times.

“Combining it with the fact that everything happens very fast on this car, especially on fight for positions, it’s an extra challenge for concentration.”

Filho expects to renew acquaintances with iRPS rivals like Stanaway in the iWCGPS.

Whilst setting-up the car is a key skill, Filho argues it can’t totally overcome the talent gap. “I think that setup does matter, especially on a field where you can find a dozen of drivers under the same half of a second, but I don’t think that setup can make-up the gap on talent (except on cases where someone find some way to exploit the simulator physics and get unfair advantages, what on iRacing is quite hard to happen since physics are updated every three months),” he asserts. “To build good setups you need a lot of driving skills, sensitivity and knowledge on mechanics, so building the ‘killer’ setup is a merit and depends on talent. Also, the fast setups usually require a lot of talent and practice to be taken to the limit, so the slow or inexperienced drivers may not be able to take any advantage from them.”

In the 2012 iRacing Road Pro Series, Filho established a reputation for clean competitive racing, with blistering starts, which was a crucial part of his total performance. “Starts used to be my weak point, and I did a lot of practice to improve it,” he offers. “There is not really a special secret on my start technique, just practiced a lot to find the optimal throttle and clutch points, and practiced a lot to be able to hit those points with all the pressure you have when green light goes on.

“Building the ‘killer’ setup is a merit and depends on talent.”

“This car is very tricky at starts, and since the 2009 F1 cars were not easy at all to overtake (those were pre-DRS days), so I think that starts are one of the best opportunities to overtake (or ruin your race).”

Apart from raw pace, strategy plays a key role in races that see the digital Formula One cars make several visits to pit-lane during the course of a race, as Filho explains. “Those who watched the Road Pro Series Road America race broadcast could see how strategy can be important to the race result (I was leading the race, but got stuck behind a driver on a different strategy for some laps on a critical part of the race [which] made me drop to fourth after the second round of pit-stops, and allowed [Davy] Decorps that was on a one-stop strategy to win).

“Like on game theory, the strategy of the other drivers can determine if your strategy will be successful or not,” he adds.  “It’s not just a matter of which one will be the fastest.  I expect strategy playing a similar role for the 2013 Word Championship season.”

It takes more than raw speed to win at the top levels of iRacing . . . as Filho learned at the Road America iRPS race.

Although Mogar will be playing out his own racing soap-opera, he’s confident that viewers of the live broadcast racers will be constantly entertained. “I believe they can expect very close racing, with lots of fights for positions on the whole grid. It will really be exciting to watch.”

With an 18 race calendar, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for Filho to make his mark, and the Radicals Team pilot will be aiming for top performances at several of the millimeter perfect renditions of the world’s greatest circuits.  High on the list is Autódromo José Carlos Pace (aka Interlagos), the newest addition to iRacing’s inventory of race tracks.

“Of course I’m looking forward to Interlagos,” he says. “This track is located in my hometown (São Paulo), and I had already the opportunity to be on this track on a commemorative event, but I think that my chance for best results will be at Spa due to driving style.”

Of course, to perform at the pinnacle of sim-racing takes a lot of time and dedication, as Filho explains. “The Pro Series took me a lot of time, way more that I was used to. Not only the schedule was very tight, but also most of my teammates were on a well-deserved vacation after the 2012 World Championship, so I had to lead the car and strategy development.  I had to dedicate up to 10 hours/week of practice, building setups, studying telemetry and strategies. The iWCGPS  has one race each two weeks, so this same time can be spread over two weeks. Also, for the iWCGPS my team will be at full steam, so I will have more drivers to share information and test different things.”

Despite the time Filho spends on his sim-racing ‘career,’ his family understands his passion. “My family understands that I take this as a cheap way to be involved with races (real life racing is more expensive than I can afford on the level I would like to compete),” he confesses. “Most of my friends don’t understand the difference between sim-racing and arcade racing games, nor are avid racing fans.”

Racing against the likes of Barrichello, Kanaan and Piquet, Jr in the Granja Viana 500 was a dream come true for Filho.

For Filho, his iRacing exploits are just one branch of his hobby, having also put in plenty of track time at real life circuits in his time. “I did some private amateur go-kart cups with 13hp go-karts, with like 70 drivers competing and could win some of them,” he proudly tells inRacingNews.

“But my biggest real racing adventure was competing on Granja Viana 500 mile. It was a 500 mile go-kart race, where real life drivers like Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, (Nelson) Piquet Jr., Lucas di Grassi, Vitor Meira and Felipe Giaffone among several others worldwide known drivers took part. My team, despite budget limitations and an engine failure that cost us over 30 minutes repair finished 38th among 60 teams. It was a dream that came true to be on track with those drivers. One of the best experiences I had on my whole life.”

Mogar’s forthcoming appearance in the 2013 iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series will be his first time at the highest level of sim-racing. So is he nervous? “Not that much. I think that I’m a bit less than for the Pro Series debut since I feel that being part of it is already a victory. But I’m anxious to see the green light.”

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