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Simracing Team Challenge admins and partners interviewed

Discussion in 'Simracing Team Challenge' started by Xosé Estrada, Aug 4, 2010.

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  1. Xosé Estrada

    Xosé Estrada
    Premium Member

    So guys, thanks for answering my call and joining me at this interesting place (a little family restaurant in the Granada old town, near to La Alhambra). We are now in the middle of what everybody knows as summer holydays, but I know some of you guys are actually working and preparing stuff for next seasson, so I will only steal a bit of your time and I will start with the questions.

    stcthumb.png Xosé Estrada STC manager, thanks for joining us. STC wll start in September his 5th seasson with the current format, and 6th if we include the first 4 teams format seasson. The series are improving in quality and participation, with a waiting list of 5 or 6 teams already. What is the key for the succes of the series?

    Xosé:
    For me STC came to a point when we were actually making great efforts in other areas, specially the sport related ones thanks to David Garcia enthusiasm and will to develop the series, and because the fact of having a fantastic level of GT racing without almost any exposure out of the teams involved, even while we were having PSRtv broadcasts every race."

    The next step as logical considering how STC was born. The very first attempt of something similar to STC, the "Blue Cup", was a summer team championship proposed by Blue Flag Racing as pre-season tournament for RD Touring Car Championship. The aim of this tournament was to allow teams without own server train together in the TBR server.

    After it, we decided to establish the league as an independent tournament, so we created a web structure for it, but was strange to have it totally disconnected from RD as most of people involved was part of the community, we, TBR, included. So I decided to ask RD for hosting us."

    Bram, thanks for joining us, it is such a privilege having you. I would like to start your questions asking you about the STC/RD relation. As some people might know STC had his own forums hosted out of RaceDepartment.com at the beggining, and after some time they decided to go hand by hand and open what now we know as the official STC forum in the RaceDepartment leagues section, what obviously was a step forward for STC. Could you please explain how, when and why that happened?

    Bram:
    Thanks for having me David. The STC and RD relationship goes a long way back in time. Before we started the RD community as we know it today we had our own little team forum RPMnet.org on which multiple teams had their homebase. As I recall correctly besides the RPM team there were also teams that we still know from STC nowadays like The Black Rebels (TBR) and Blue Flag Racing (BFR) and a competitive french team that not longer exists.
    After a few seasons where the STC forums were hosted on their own domain Xose and I had a talk to give STC more exposure to the broader public and we decided to build our own little home here at RD. As per that day I think its a perfect match. RD as the home for many competitive simracing leagues and STC as the best team simracing championship out there. The STC concept is still after years very orginal and I havent heard any driver or team that didnt like it. Some of the world best drivers are racing here on weekly basis and we are proud to have you guys!!

    Xosé:
    Another main reason to do this is my view about simracing world, it's too divided, there is no place where you can go and check the results of the best leagues , a real "simracing central", all we have is different payment sites calling themselves that, but there is no space inside for independent leagues like STC or the widely recognized simracing F1 world championship, FormulaSimracing, that recently joined RD as well.

    What do you think guys each part is providing the other?

    Xosé:
    For STC is good to be in a place with fantastic own leagues, like the RDTCC, RDHGP, WTM (I will miss many) and the best independent ones like FSR. I think everybody wins with it.

    Where your relation comes from with STC and STC staff guys? Where we have to go back in time?

    Eckhart:
    My relation couldn’t be closer because some years back I approached the Black Rebels with the idea to host a team tournament on their server. Back then it was still Race07, so we took the WTCC cars for the first tournament, which somebody at Rebels called “The Blue Cup” – or was it “The Black Cup”? I forget …. That’s how it all started.

    Eckhart von Glan, alias "The Friendly Voice" and Andreas Hultgren known as "The Friend of the Fiendly Voice", or Batman & Robin, thanks for joining us tonight. After listening in all the seasson broadcasts it will be weird being reading and not listening you, but interest will be still there when reading your answers. Eckhart, what was the highest and lowest part last STC seasson for you?

    Eckhart:
    Well, hi everybody and thanks for the invite David. Nice Cerveza you have round here. (It was a really cold Alhambra Reserva). So, starting off with the bad experience, I suppose seeing players mindumped off one by one at Daytona was quite dreadful. We had some problems before, but this one topped it off for sure. The best moments always happen when I am actually in the game as a player, so here the first half of the Hockenheim event would be my best moment of the season. I actually managed some clean overtakes before my race was finished in the pits by a mysterious wheel malfunction.

    Andreas:
    I have it a bit easier than Eckhart, if everything works out as planned that is. I am "in the booth" to help Eckhart out and give another opinion on the actions on track. Sometimes it feels like he doesn't need me as he is a master at comenting but I am having a blast every time.
    Then we have those times where everything does not work as planned. It has happened that Eckhart gets disconnected and then it is all up to me to try and keep it entertaining for the viewers, which is a difficult task really. Hard to match Eckhart's performance but so far it has worked out ok those times as well.

    How is the "speaker experience" guys? Can you explain a bit how you prepare your races as commentator, what info you look for, etc.?

    Eckhart:
    Well, my preparation usually starts the night before an STC game. I try to get some information on the track by vsisiting the tracks’ homepages. You’d be surprised at how different they are! Some don’t even give you a proper map which names all the turns. However, after some research I usually have a printout of the track and some info that may be interesting for the viewers printed out on a piece of paper to be ticked off in the course of the broadcast. I then visit the STC homepage to print out a copy of the current standings and the results of last race.
    Thursday nights I am usually home late from work, so it’s basically a quick dinner and then online. At times, my son has helped me by joining the server so I could still do a bit of housework before going on airJ. Other nights found me doing the commentary still in my shirt and tie, I remember once I joined so late I only remembered to loosen my tie and open the top button of my shirt with about 10 mins of the race to go! While Xose tells me all about the latest problems I usually do a printout of the player lineup and follow the quali, making a note of the first ten in quali. During warmup it’s time to grab a cold, alcfree beer and a huge glass of water, visit the toilet and presto: SHOWTIME.

    Andreas:
    I don't do as much as Eckhart for preperation. I go through the start list and try to see who is racing. After a few seasons you learn who is driving in which team so it is not that difficult anymore. During the race I also go through the field on many occasions and point Xosé (via MSN) to where the battles are. I am of course having the live timing up to be able to answer questions on the gap between drivers etc. and I am also on the live chat to get impressions from the viewers, too. Visiting the toilet before the broadcast starts and having water next to me during the broadcast is vital! I forgot the water once and my throat was rough and dry as sandpaper after the race (laughs).
    How is your relation with STC at the moment and what you expect from next seassons?

    Eckhart:
    My relation has never been better, staff has been involved in all the steps leading up to the new season, so right now I am definitely looking forward to another exciting season this autumn. It will be a new experience to have all players in the same kind of car, but cups like the Clio Cup or the Seat Cup have been very successful in real life, haven’t they?

    Andreas:
    I agree with Eckhart on all parts here. It is a very friendly place, both within the staff and between the teams and it is really a pleasure to be part of it all from the inside so to speak. My expectations for the upcoming season is that we will have a faultfree season with no bugs or errors, just pure racing from start to finish and with it a really good looking product with all there is.

    Back to you Xosé, why the Doran? I mean, it is a cool car with a really powerfull engine and faster than the last seasson cars, it can make races more interesting... but why, what reassons made you pick this one? Specially, why you finally discarded the last seasson MOD?

    Xosé:
    About the Doran, because I like the Grand-Am series, but mostly because it really remembers me the Group C prototypes that raced in the 80's, that's why I proposed it. Then David Garcia went more into the real important aspects such as the handling and specs, and the work with the modders, and I think a very interesting and exclusive car came out.

    The reason to drop the mod was assure a fair competition. The mod was a huge work, done again by David García, our modders, and our test group, but EVO proved to be very special for some things so people was having problems in their machines while others weren't... that made impossible to detect the problems and fix them, and we had to take the safe path after a very complicated season with many technical problems, that's why we decided to drop it and choice a one car mod.

    What do you think guys about the car decision?

    Eckhart:
    I basically like cups involving only one kind of car, it levels the playing field nicely. When I was a kid, BMW used to do the M1 cup on the day before Grand Prixs with the full formula one grid participating. It was great to see the backbenchers getting their chance! However, this won’t happen in the STC, the top teams will still be the top teams, trust me. The car itself is butt ugly but leaves a great impression out there on the virtual track, really aggressive and in your face. It should make for some exciting racing.

    Andreas:
    Haha, I have to agree that the car isn't exacly a beauty but it is a beast to race with, loads of fun! After driving the car both in practice and in race it is looking to be a very competetive season.

    Xosé let´s go now talking about the schedule. David was trying to set a world champ calendar, with circuits all around the world. Where are you leading this seasson (if you are able to unveil something) and why you picked that circuits? Is stability on the schedule important? Why?

    Xosé:
    Hahaha this is an eternal subject between David and me, but at the end I think we have a good compromise between calendar stability, which simplifies team's life because they can use setup and driving tips they already have from other seasons, and interesting uncommon tracks that really add a special touch to STC.

    As usual, this year we are leading to have a good mix of fast and slow tracks, distributed all around the world... with special attention to Latin America this year, but still keeping the 70% of the calendar stable.

    Wich one was your favourite circuit in the last STC season for you guys?

    Xosé:
    Spa

    Bram:
    Haha, although it wasn't on last years calendar, I keep saying Nordschleife as that track should be a fixed venue on every racing calendar. The ultimate challenge for drivers and teams.

    Eckhart:
    I always like the virtual version of Mid-Ohio because it has been done with such great attention to detail. Portimoa has become another one of my favourites because each turn poses a unique challenge.

    Andreas:
    Portimao gave us a really good race but the one that I was driving, Daytona, was going to be a unique experience as it was the first "roval" for me. But the race got cancelled after a few laps due to technical issues which of course was a disapointment. But overall it was a good schedule.

    Bram, we know RaceDepartment is a very interesting place to visit for any motorsports or sim racing fan out there, but, could you explain people why should they stay tunned to RD?

    Bram:
    RD is still a non-profit website ran by a dedicated staff of moderators, racing staff and administrators who dedicate a lot of their free time into this website on daily basis to keep things running. Visitors that end up here looking for stuff on our forums are often hit by the professional level of our leagues and enjoy the friendly environment of our community. The positive reactions we get from our members is what keeps us motivating to keep the show running.

    What plans you have for the near future?

    Bram:
    We hope to continue what we do today. I hope that people will still enjoy visiting us in 10 years time from now.

    Apart of it, everybody knows you are racing for the Dutch team Roaring Pipes Maniacs. How is the team going and what plans you have for STC next seasson?

    Bram:
    Our first goal is always to enjoy ourselves and race in the cleanest way possible. We will never try to win in an dirty way. Which makes me proud to be part of this great team of drivers. It's a group of friends that races together since 2006 and we all have one common hobby: Listening to the great Mahna-Mahna song of The Muppet Show. Internally we call ourselves the Roaring Pipes Muppets.

    You already won a seasson so I guess you plan to win the second one. With the roster you have a reinforcement is not needed but, is there any reinforcement at the team, any new face?

    Bram:
    Yes we will bring a new talented driver to the scene who graduated from the RPM Youth Academy recently and mix that with some alien ingredients from the older members. Could become a success.

    I have to say I have already seen the RPM colours on the new STC Doran shape and it is a blast, tell us something about it please.

    Bran:
    The STC Doran car is a great looking car by itself. Add some orange flavors and it might be a winning combination!

    Eckhart, what about the Blue Flags? I have already seen some comments about people who can´t wait to see your car unveiled, me included. Will it be again Krister Larsson taking care of the car design again?

    Eckhart:
    Well, Krister’s skin is all set and ready in our nicely cleand up and newly decorated Blue Flag garage. However, Konrad Stanczak has also done skins for the team and he has asked Krister for the numberplates and other material, so we might actually be in the lucky position to choose! The one I have seen so far is top of the pops.

    Consistency is the BF team weapon, so what you plan for the next STC seasson? As one of the founding teams, and the ones bringing the STC concept idea, what is your feeling about racing the series? I guess it is something special.

    Eckhart:
    As I said earlier, at least my connection to STC is indeed special, I do get all fatherly and protective when I am involved with it. The rest of the team are looking forward to another season, too, because it’s an honour to compete at such a high level. Consistency was indeed our hallmark once, last season, however, saw us lose many players, myself included, due to hardware or connection problems. We hope to do this part of sim-racing better in the coming season. Danielsson has clearly shown that speed and reliabilty are two sides of the same coin.

    Are there new faces on the team?

    Eckhart:
    Rumour has it that our fastest guy, Rober Crone, may be back after a long sojourn into TrackMania, where he made it into the world top 100, or so I have been told. The last time we fielded him, he was fighting DHR for positions 1 and 2 at Nürburg GP …
    Xosé & Andreas, as Black Rebels you are, can you tell us what you expect from next seasson. You have scored a P3 and P4 as best results in the series. Do you see options of improving it?

    Xosé:
    The team received big reinforcements last year, and we were close to the third place, so I hope we can be around that position at the end of this season.

    Andreas:
    My personal goal for the team is to again be able to fight for at least 3rd in the standings, a place we were oh so close to last season. We have the drivers to be able to fight for wins on occasions so I am crossing my fingers.

    Are there new faces in the team in the last months?
    Xosé:
    Yes, we are happy that all the people that joined the team integrated very fast (which means they have mental problems too.

    Andreas:
    James Chesters is our newest member. He joined right at the end of last season. Then we have a couple of drivers who havn't participated in STC but have been on the team for a while and who might show up.

    What about your car design, are you completely happy with it?
    Xosé:
    About the car desing, I personally love it, remembers me the classic RENAULT livery.

    Why the team is called The Black Rebels? I mean, Roaring Pipes Maniacs or Blue Flags Racing has something to do with motorsports, but TBR, why? Where does it comes from?

    Xosé:
    You have to ask David about that one, I think he is the author of the name. But fits us well as we are kind of simracing pirates, we never shut up, are too emotional, have no issues with team orders (in fact you can ear directly "this is ridiculous, move over you old Caribbean turtle" between our drivers in radio) and more important, we are all in the same boat, the contact and friendship between team members is real and last for long.

    Andreas:
    It comes from David, if my memory serves me right? Wasn't it his nickname in the past and then when he founded TBR he put it as the team name. Am I correct?

    Well you are Andreas, but David´s nick name comes from a Rock and Roll band who takes his name from a Marlon Brando´s movie called The Wild Ones, where there is a motorcycle band called Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

    Xosé, I´ve heard something about a real trophy for the series, and I´ve heard some rumors pointing at the fact of the 5 seasson winning team getting it on propoerty as the old football world cup. Is this only a rumor? Can you confirm or advance something?

    Xosé:
    This is a total secret, I can't tell you anything about it. But yes, we are looking for a cool trophy where all the season winners will be written and then will be awarded to the first team winning 5 STC seasons.

    Thanks a lot for answering guys, it will be a really interesting interview for the readers.

    Cheers,
    David
     
  2. Caramidaru Andrei Bogdan

    Caramidaru Andrei Bogdan
    Mr. C Premium Member

    wow realy nice and intriging interwiew....10-x u all for al the effort u put in u;r work




    p.s.> i'm avaible for joining in a team :)
     
  3. Thanks for your words! Take a look HERE
     
  4. maybe sb should sort out the problem with the image files that haven't been uploaded ...
     
  5. Omer Said

    Omer Said
    Weresloth Staff Premium Member

    Great interview, thank you all participated :)
     
  6. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff Premium Member

    nice article.
     
  7. Are there new faces in the team in the last months?
    Xosé:
    Yes, we are happy that all the people that joined the team integrated very fast (which means they have mental problems too.)


    looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool
     
  8. Where is my Prozac? :cool:
     
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