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President's Report 2010

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Dennis Hirrle, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. To all Club Members, Teams, Drivers, Administrators,


    I’m going to keep this rather short, firstly because most of what will follow is what I have already expressed during some of the last broadcasts of FSR’s 2010 season, and secondly because empiric statistics show that as soon as a text is longer than one paragraph, a majority of readers press X, or even worse, visit Fernando Alonso’s Facebook page instead. (You can exchange the name of the latter if you think Hockenheim was worth the try – maybe pick Felipe Albuquerque, no one knows who he actually is but he now is officially the champion of champions anyway).

    However, I’ll be pleased if you continue on reading the following lines, because it shall be a short summary of the most recent season we all witnessed. [As I now finished writing, I’m sorry it’s not as short as I wanted...]
    Firstly, we are doing all this to crown a champion, and a champion team, every year. To be more exact of course, there is more than just one, having had three divisions of racing this year. And as I say that – you got me – there was only one Team Champion indeed.
    For a team that is very successful, it is not always easy to prevail. Not so much on the track, but off the track. When someone is quick, you either cheer for them, or you wish them immediate retirement in the formation lap. Even more so if things are, sometimes, controversial. (See the first paragraph again...).
    For Precision Motorsports it wasn’t an easy year. Simply because of their (obviously stunning) results. It can be difficult to keep a balance - to the public - between ultimate performance and success on the one side, but also sympathy and good spirit from and towards fellow teams and drivers. And that is, probably, the only thing that the team can improve for 2011 and it’ll be exciting to see how that goes.
    Otherwise, facts speak for themselves. Winning all three team championships, and all three driver championships. Not to mention most of the races, pole-positions and fastest laps.
    This is why we’re doing it for, to win. In March 2010 we began that journey of looking for talent, speed, consistency, cleverness, and ultimately, performance. A few weeks ago, the 2010 trip ended, again we found what we are looking for each year.
    Therefore again, my congratulations to Precision, and its champion drivers Bono Huis, Mattias Stahre and Pedro Melim.


    Now you will say, to win is one thing, but there is more. And of course that is very much correct and not less important. I’d like to start with thanking all the other drivers who raced with us this year.
    I hope the league, and ultimately your fellow racers on track, were able to return some good fun, excitement and competition for the investment you made, contributing to the 2010 success. It was refreshing to see a couple of new names and see how they do, good to see some drivers making (vast) improvements compared to the previous year(s), and maybe also drivers and teams who had a difficult season, with things going not so well. We should not forget these too, sometimes it’s easy to forget these less successful, but they certainly don’t deserve so. Because all of the drivers and teams have shaped this package, this 2010 season, and all of them have created all the Live Broadcast action for you to see. And where there are winners, there are always “losers” as well. A winner should be thankful for all his competition, because if there were no “losers”, there’d be no winners. At the end of the day, a league can be solidly organized, the Admins can work hard, but it’ll always only be the drivers and teams on the track, no one else. (Unless rFactor 2 will come up with fancy stuff like a guy storming the Silverstone track or so).


    I’ll now shortly resume the year from an Administrative point of view. When Carr-Smith and I went into the election process more than one year ago we’ve set up a rather big document including a three-year-guide we saw fit for the league to pursue. Unfortunately the other guy did self-elimination and I was left to get on with the role of Club President, although not having planned to do so. But then I felt it would be a challenge to see if the plans we set up for that first year would be possible to carry into realism. That first year was about stabilization of the league. Several unpleasant things happened during 2009 with the league losing a bit of trust in general, along with misbelief into Administrators. If you were there, you will know and I don’t need to explain. Additionally, the 5-division-layout for 2009 had been a wrong direction and it had to be taken back for 2010. You will probably remember the big and mostly friendly and fruitful discussions we had with all league members, teams and drivers, about how we’d go for 2010.

    The system that was finally introduced, in hindsight and despite all critics, possibly worked out as one of the best FSR had. The three division layout gave an opportunity to all types of racers to go out there, compete and have fun, on their respective level, without out-ruling those who couldn’t make the Top-24 Grid, at the same time improving the level of competition in general. The fruits of the system probably only really showed once iRacing, Ferrari Academy or even F1 2010 started to gain some attraction. FSR was still able to organize tight and exciting races, continously bringing newcomers into the league, even at the last few rounds.
    The only division I was not too happy with, despite it obviously being FSR’s top business, was the World Championship in the last third of the season, with a few teams stepping away or showing with only one driver. That, however, is internal stuff and has therefore been discussed internally. I don’t assume similar issues are going to happen again next year. I think we’ve been a little lenient with general internal penalties for such occurances, actually in favour to the teams, unfortunately it backfired badly. As I said though, the necessary structures, rules and paragraphs for these things do exist and therefore 2011 should be better. If rFactor 2 will be released early enough for FSR to use, I also assume a general boost in driver (and team) numbers to happen, eliminating a few of such problems automatically.

    The introduction of the AutoGP sponsor and its partner companies (not forgetting other sponsors such as GTOmega Racing, and the great collaboration with RaceDepartment giving us a good boost) was a great step for the league, and also a totally unique step for any simracing league. Of course the benefits of that will only really show once the test happens and footage can be produced and spread. That will also be one of the main early tasks for the next Administration.
    Reducing cost but at the same time improving overall quality of things was another not un-easy task I had set for this year. I don’t know the exact figures right now, and of course for the public these are not meant to be seen anyway, but considering the Club bought back two WC licences before the season start, spending around 1500€, spending another 3500€ total amount for 2010 prize money, and a decent amount for all the expenses such as server, website, broadcast, promotion and so on, I have to say we managed really well. As I said, Pedro knows the exact figures but from what I recall from the recent status, we’ve actually been able to put (= increase) money into the Club budget, rather than continue to lose money like in almost all earlier years.

    Reduction of cost and improving quality as mentioned above, for example, meant using a much cheaper but better mod distribution system, vastly improved live broadcasts for reasonable pricing, less expenses for servers but with better reliability, and so on. It kinda also meant, improving the media aspect of FSR which we have massively done this year, for every round. Of course, some of these things can be achieved with some research, experience and cleverness, other things can only be achieved with the dedication of members, i.e. Simon Adebisi and others (even the Club President :) ). But the outcome is the same, more quality for lesser price. And that effectively meant not only an improved “outside” aspect and appeal for the league showing in higher statistic peaks comparing to previous years, but better “inside” appeal as well (for teams and drivers) through prize money and other things you cannot enjoy in other leagues.
    Certainly I don’t want to leave a big factor un-mentioned, which was all your contribution in terms of funding driver and team licences, which have increased quite a bit from previous years. And I’m happy that you have decided to make that investment into the league, as mentioned above, and also as mentioned above, despite the odd critics, this wasn’t a big factor in terms of losing drivers overall. With the system of prize money we had, it is also quite clear to see that those who are consistent and appear for every (or at least most) of the races get their deserved reward. It’s not only about raw speed sometimes, rather “just” about commitment and taking things seriously which gets you your reward, which is what this Administration wanted from the drivers. I can only congratulate those.


    Mentioning stabilization for the last time and therefore finishing with this short summary, I should stress the fact we had no major issues of any kind during the season, unlike previously. For me it was important to have a maybe small, but neat and effective reliable staff doing the things for you. That starts with the rule and mod making process in the winter, continues with organizing races week in, week out, producing consistent media and promotion for these, and it ends with keeping potential cheaters out of the league, and keeping the Club healthy in all aspects. (I won’t mention the other one million things that also want to get done every week...)
    I’m probably most aware that it is impossible to please everyone. Of course everyone of us also does a mistake sometimes, like the drivers do on track, mistakes also happen behind the scenes and, sure, there is always things to improve and we were not faultless. But what you and we all produced in 2010 I think will be a good base for the next Administration to build on. And that’s what effectively counts.

    I have started this message with thanking the teams and drivers. And I want to finish it with thanking those behind the scenes as they deserve. All I can say is that I think the Administration did its best, and it did so well! The 2010 Administration was the first since several years to work relatively flawlessly. A simple example would be, since several years, 2010 was the first time we had no changes of race directors throughout the season. Mikko Puumalainen, John-Eric Saxén and Stefan Kanitz, for the three divisions respectively, have done an awesome and certainly underestimated job to bring the racing to you. I think they deserve a big credit for that, and if you wish you can express so with a reply to this post, same thing for all the people following now.

    Likewise for Pedro Rodrigues, mostly working hard behind the scenes, or broadcasting races, and always coming up with fruitful innovations and opinions.
    Simon Adebisi, the video god. I’ll just say he’s the best, I can’t even say more. Maybe one thing. He is one of those persons that when they say they do things, he actually does them. :) Always. No matter what. Thank you Simon.
    Christian Smirnoff, with his vastly improved FSR Manager anti-cheating software has made an awesome contribution as well. I would like to have his skills. (I don’t envy him for his TOA Chairman job though :) ). Christian will along with myself and Stefan Kanitz leave the Administration. Both of them deserve best of luck in whatever they’ll pursue for the future.
    Scott Wilde, our WC race commentator! That was brilliant. Along with all the other commentators, and especially Jack Nicholls, who did his awesome race-previews for the first couple of races. Later he got busy with his commentating career and with some luck he’ll soon replace Jonathan Legard (I’m sorry Jack if that doesn’t sound like a compliment...but it actually is! hehe).

    I can’t list every name of course, but the likes of Joakim Bengtsson, Laurent Keersmaekers and Mattias Stahre for our 2010 Mod they produced with an incredible passion, Ivan Kaloyanov, Henri Viirok, Edgar Herrero, Damian Dainhumain, Xose Estrada, Eric Kaczmarek, Bram Hengeveld, Roald Reurink, Bruno Marques, Jaakko Mikkonen, Patrick De Wit and many more helped out a great deal also. I also want to mention Ernesto De Angelis for the things he did especially in 2009, and also giving some advice during this year, much appreciated. Thanks to all of you and everyone else making this possible and contributing to the work behind the scenes.

    From December 1st 2010 (which is, right now), Johannes Kunkel will be the new ISR Club President. I’d also like to thank Scott Wilde again for stepping up in the election process too and I’m confident the next Administration is going to bring you a stunning 2011 season. I wish them good luck.

    For myself, that was it. I’ve been in FSR since 2004, as driver but also as Administrator, every year. It does get exhausting and now is the time to stop. There has to be, and will be new people who will now have to take some of the responsibility.
    It was a great pleasure to be here and enjoy “meeting” so many different people, and the racing, of course. I must admit, after all these years, especially after this year with a lot of work behind, I feel very empty. I feel little pleasure with racing, basically that chapter was over for me after 2009. And being in pretty much every administrative position ever created in the bureocracy of the ISR Club, I’m not unhappy to let go on that too. And maybe you feel the same way with me, hah, then we are on a good path.
    I wish you all the best for your future.

    My personal special thanks for my time, finally, go to Martin Gosmann, Richard Bornhoffer, Joel Roux, Phil Estrada, Roy Kolbe, Bruno Marques, and the amazing Twister-Racing team. 8 years of membership must be a record. Thanks guys.


    [FONT=&quot]“And from me, it’s good-bye.”[/FONT]
     
  2. Thanks Dennis for all the hard work.

    Also for helping me into Twister-Racing and being a good teammate/friend to talk to!

    Good luck with your current/future plans outside FSR.
     
  3. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong
    Premium Member

    Thank you for all of your hard work this year Dennis.

    54 races run with only one server failure, all races broadcast, no lag issues all year, incredible prizes on offer, possibly one of the best F1 mods available for rFactor, no political scandals, no massive forum arguments, and an unprecedented level of clean driving in the WC.

    These are facts that no other rFactor league in the world can boast.

    I joined FSR at the start of 2008, and I regard 2010 as being the most successful season by far. The whole administration ran a very tight ship, and the man at the top is surely the one who is owed the most thanks for that.

    I'm sorry to see you go Dennis.

    Best of luck in the future m8 :wink:
     
  4. Thank you very much, Dennis. You did a lot of (good) things this year, a lot more than most people thinks :)
     
  5. Thanks so much for turning fsr around and setting it into the right direction after the disastrous 2009 season.Good luck in your future plans!
     
  6. I know who's Filipe Albuquerque. :p He's very good. hehe

    Thanks for your work too and see you around.
     
  7. This was amazing season, thank you and good luck in future.
     
  8. Thank you Dennis, broadcasts and the league were top class this season. Best of luck.
     
  9. Thank you Dennis, and everyone else behind the scenes that make FSR the best league in the world :)
     
  10. Thanks a lot Dennis, for keep FSR up, for your awesome work, and everyone behind the scenes and doing the work :) since 2004, wow... 6 years now, almost 7, all the best for you in this new stage :)

    FSR - The best league in the world

    Greetings!
     
  11. Thanks mate
     
  12. Hi Dennis,

    Firstly, i know we didnt always see eye to eye mainly through my 'seeing red' whenever something happened lol but id just like to say thanks for one hell of a season.. i didnt get any good results this season realy.. but the effort i had to put in to get upfront and near the pace was amazing the level of performace of the rest of the field can only be put down to there effort and motivation from what you brough to the league (Administration Stability & Great Prizes lol) it was not like this last year, getting on the podium was far easier.

    I realy enjoyed racing here in 2010.. it had its moment but i like to think any accusations and bad words are all part of the game.. after all we are all competing !

    Maybe this is not the end for you.. i think you still have a lot left in you to become champion one day again.

    I know Dennis did not do everything on his own so i thank the others involved too, Mikko Pummalinen my race director who was also very far this season to me, Pedro Rodrigues who helped me a few times with payments (I still think i ow some lol)

    I cant wait for 2011 and i hope it goes well for FSR

    All the best Dennis ! and thanks for all the effort !

    Regards, Lee
     
  13. Very interesting read Dennis. As some of you know I was (and still am) very good friends with Mr Carr-Smith and other former FSR racers who felt discontented at the start of the season. I have been racing in the breakaway league all year, and it is exactly what I want from my racing, relaxed testing-free fun. But if I had the time I would LOVE to be back in FSR, as there is no denying that it is still the most competitive F1 league in the world, and I am very proud to be associated with it.
     
  14. I'm sure we'll see Dennis on track again, someone will hire him to do some driving. I don't think he can stay away from FSR. He's too fast a driver.

    Phil
     
  15. Thanks Dennis, we sure had some discussions, but in the end it was a good season. I'm glad I could contribute with signing those sponsors and I hope I can welcome you to the AutoGP event when it is there.
     
  16. Jo Dennis,

    for me personally it is really sad to see you leaving. When I first got in touch with FSR it was you who came over to my place and set up my settings for getting started with practice for the upcoming season (which was 2010).
    Thank you for all your work you´ve put into this. This is just great.
    I hope we stay friends even though you are not longer active in FSR.
    Also thank you for inviting me to that trip to SPA together with the guys. That was just great.

    All the best,
    see you,

    Andi
     
  17. Thx for all the hard work m8, splendid job.