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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.

New Horizons

by David Phillips on May 18th, 2012

iRacer Joey Hand Tackles the DTM and ALMS in 2012

If it’s good to be busy then it’s safe to say 2012 is already a good year for iRacer Joey Hand.  The 32 year old racer from Sacramento is marrying a full-time ride with BMW in the DTM (aka German Tour Car Series) with a partial ALMS season in defense of the GT title he and co-driver Dirk Müller won with BMW and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last season.

That GT title was only one of Hand’s many accomplishments last year in a season that also saw him co-drive Ganassi/Sabates Racing’s winning Riley-BMW in the 24 Hours of Daytona and score a third place in the GTE class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with a handful of top tens in Turner Motorsports’ BMW in the GRAND-AM Continental Challenge.

Is Hand a glutton for punishment or what?

Hand is one busy racer in 2012 . . . and that's just the way he likes it.

“Doing both the ALMS and DTM series, some people think that was something I was forced to do, but I wasn’t,” he grins.  “They asked me if I wanted to do DTM.  I said, ‘Yes.’  They said would you like to continue to do the ALMS?  I said, ‘I’d love to.’  They said, ‘You’re OK with the travel?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’

“I love to race.  I really believe – and it’s the same thing I’ve taught kids all my life as a coach in karting, and even their parents – the more you race, the better you’re going to be.  The more you win, the more you know how to win.  And not a lot of people know how to race, especially young kids now, not a ton of ‘em know how to race and even less of ‘em know how to win.”

If there were any doubters about whether Hand knows how to win in a career that’s seen him atop the podium in everything from go-karts and Toyota Atlantic to GT cars and Daytona Prototypes, the final hours of this year’s Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring proved otherwise.  With the race on the line, Hand bested Olivier Beretta and his Ferrari F458 in a no-holds-barred battle to stake BMW and RLL to a convincing start in their title defense.

“Winning at Sebring was a great moral booster,” he says. “Coming off a championship last year, you always wonder ‘Do we have enough to repeat?’  The other guys are no different than us; when they got beat they went back and worked twice as hard, while we were working twice as hard knowing they were too. So to win fair and square in an outright dog-fight . . . I really loved it.

“Coming off a championship last year, you always wonder ‘Do we have enough to repeat?’”

“I feel like the competition is even stronger that it was last year, which means you’ll have a tougher time winning a race.   But I predict that we can still win two or three more races and I think if we do that it will be another great year.”

In the wake of Sebring, Hand, Müller, RLL and BMW are still looking for that second win.  They rebounded from an untimely puncture to finish second at Long Beach, then survived a rough ‘n tumble race last weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to come home fourth behind their sister RLL entry driven by  Bill Auberlein and Jörg Müller.

Despite having that lone win to their credit, Hand is confident about BMW’s chances of repeating as ALMS GT champion.

“The competition is so intense and the top cars all have different strengths, so nobody’s going to dominate every weekend,” he says.  “You just have to take what you can get when you can’t win.  And now that we’re going to tracks that have historically been good for us – Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Mosport . . .  I’m not saying that we can just show up and win, but we’ll go there knowing we don’t have to have a picture perfect weekend to challenge for the win.”

Hand already has one big win to his credit in the 2012 ALMS.

However, no matter how well Hand does at Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio and Mosport, he won’t be repeating as co-GT champion.  He’ll miss the final three rounds of the ALMS season at Road America, VIR and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) due to conflicting DTM events . . . which is OK with Hand.

“DTM is my main gig, so I do all the races in the DTM and as many as I can do here,” he says.  “So that ends-up being the first seven here, and then I miss the last three.  It’s not perfect, but at least it’s not sporadic.  So I get to do seven straight, and I think at that point, we’ll either be IN the hunt or not.  Whoever comes in to replace me, it looks like it will be Jonathan Summerton, if we’re in the mix it will be up to him to hold on and be there for the drive to the finish.”

There’s little chance Hand will win the DTM title this year either.  After all, it’s his first year in the series and he’s getting accustomed to a new environment, including new tracks and a car that is very different from anything he’s driven previously – even if it is nominally named a BMW M3.

“I’ve driven so many things in my career that my adaptation skills are pretty good,” he says.  “I took to the DTM car pretty quickly, which I normally do when driving a new car.  I mean I drive a Daytona Prototype and a Continental Challenge car in the same day – so that’s a pretty big swing too!

“Places where you’d be braking at the 300 marker in the GT car, you’re braking at 100 in the DTM car . . .”

“The biggest thing with the DTM car is downforce and brakes.  In first, second and even a little bit in third gear corners, you’re still driving a GT car – a stiff, low center of gravity GT car.  But when you start getting in those higher speed corners you really recognize the aero – the faster you go the more grip you have.  If you go through a particular corner slow, you struggle; but when you go through faster it’s better.

“Then you have carbon brakes.  When they’re cold they don’t work real well, but when they get warm, they’re really good.  That takes some getting used to because the brake zone is very, very short.  Places where you’d be braking at the 300 marker in the GT car, you’re braking at 100 in the DTM car . . .

“It’s definitely different but you’re still pushing it to the limit.  It’s still a matter of ‘Is the tire sliding or is it not sliding?’  Ultimately, that’s all we do: manage the tires – in the rear and in the front.  So that never changes, but it’s a different beast.”

The BMW M3 DTM? “It’s definitely different but you’re still pushing it to the limit," says Hand.

To date, Hand’s two DTM races have been something of a mixed bag.  He’s been right on the pace in practice, but failed to nail a good qualifying time.  In his debut at Hockenheim he made a mistake on what should have been his best lap; at the Lausitzring he ran into traffic on his best lap and, again, failed to advance into the final round of knock-out qualifying.  Starting mid-field both times, he failed to make much progress.

“Hockenheim was the first race and everybody was super-aggressive, lots of banging,” he says. “I got hit a couple of times but still managed to finish, and I was happy to get a full race under my belt.  At Lausitz I made a good start and moved-up a couple of spots but it was tough to make any more headway.  I struggled on my second set of tires, lost some ground and eventually finished where I started.

“It’s so competitive.  The three seconds I lost on the second set of tires at Lausitz translated to four positions at the finish.  The races are an hour and ten minutes – heck I drive longer stints than that in ALMS – and it’s at a qualifying pace the whole time.”

This weekend sees something new for Hand in his DTM career – a track with which he is familiar:  Brands Hatch.  Not only did he race Palmer Audi open wheel cars there in Y2K as part of the Team USA Scholarship program, as an iRacer he’s been able to refresh his memory of the tricky circuit online.

“What I need to do more than anything is practice my iRacing for the next All Star race!”

“I wish iRacing had more European tracks!” he says (stay tuned Joey – Ed).  “I have iRacing locked and loaded at home and I can’t use it as much as I need to to practice.  Hockenheim, Lausitzring, Nurburgring . . . but we have Brands Hatch and Zandvoort.

“Zandvoort is one of the tougher tracks to learn, so that’s going to be something I really work on.  I’ve been trying to do whatever I do when I’m coming up to that race, instead of trying to do everything all at once, like working  on Zandvoort now when the race isn’t until August.  I’m taking it one step at a time and I will definitely use iRacing to get ready.”

There’s an ever better reason for Hand to be practicing his sim racing skills, one that has less to do with either the DTM or ALMS, more to do with something that really matters: the Pro Race of Champions II.  After all, he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory in the inaugural event last December.

Hand renewed acquaintances with Scott Speed in the Pro Race of Champions last year.

“What I need to do more than anything is practice my iRacing for the next All Star race!” Hand says.  “I was definitely not as good as I could have been.  I’d never done an oval race up until that day, when I started practicing a little bit.  I had a real dog-fight in the race with Ron Capps.

‘I really enjoyed it.  Landon Cassill was on there talking to me.  It was cool to be on there with all those different guys, some of ‘ em you know, some you just recognize by name, and everybody’s talkin smack — ‘Hey get out of the way!’

“It was a lot of fun for everyone.  I hope the people watching it enjoyed it half as much as we did, and I know that event is only going to get bigger in the future.”

With all the new horizons Joey Hand is exploring this season, it’s reassuring to know he still has his priorities right be it DTM, ALMS or Pro Race of Champions.

One Comment or Trackback

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  1. does it matter
    May 18th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    So….when do we get the BMW license and the new BMW M3 DTM?

    Indie companies have managed to get the license/partnership for free so what is the excuse iRacing. Listen to your fellow American as well, we need more european tracks.

    The big ones, not an indie-track somewhere out in woods.

    Monza, Imola, Hockenheim, Nurburgring etc.