Behind the visor - Jack Keithley

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Johannes Kunkel, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Johannes Kunkel

    Johannes Kunkel

    After the FSR season finish it's time to interview one of the most improved drivers this season, namely Jack Keithley. Keithley won the FSR World Series title in clear fashion, in a season including 4 victories and 10 podiums. Furthermore, he finished two times on the podium in the World Championship, finishing second only behind Bono Huis at Interlagos.


    Hello and welcome. Firstly, congratulation for winning the FSR 2012 World Series title. Reflecting back at your successful season, what are your thoughts and feelings?
    Well it's been fantastic, it really has and it just goes to show how much you can achieve if you work hard enough and want it badly enough. I was on the verge of quitting FSR to be honest as i had totally lost motivation to carry on, but I got a call from Precision out of the blue and the rest is now history and I'm very proud of what we achieved in my first season - just getting my first win was unbelievable, and getting the championship was a dream come true really as It's something I never expected to do and I still pinch myself to see if i'm awake sometimes.

    This year you changed team to Precision Motorsports, which as we all know has won the series many times. Can you tell about your approach to racing and if the new team changed this in any regard?
    I think it's fair to say that once you join a team like Precision you are immediately under a bit more pressure to perform simply because of the team's reputaion and history, but once we got to work on the new car I didn't really think about it too much as the team was really easy to get along with and it's been a lot of fun even though we worked our socks off. What impressed me the most though was the utter professionalism of how the team went about preparing for the races and leaving nothing to chance, and when you have that kind of backup you can just concentrate on the job in hand and that really gives you confidence in everything you do. I think the WS race at Spa sums up perfectly how important it is to work as a team, as although I won the race I consider it Ondrej's win as without him making vital calls we wouldn't have won that one.

    Can you tell us a bit about your racing background and what brought you into the wicked world of sim racing?
    I loved playing racing games as a kid but we didn't actually have a computer until I was about 10 or 11, so I was doing all my driving on the Playstation on with TOCA, Formula One and the sequels. My favourite game though was NASCAR Racing so when we got a computer my first games were Nascar 2002/03 and thats pretty much what got me hooked on racing online as I just loved the close combat of oval racing and still do.

    You have been known to be quick with any type of race car under any circumstances, proven by wins in various closed wheel leagues and last year we saw you at the final in Precision Motorsports Race of Champions. How do you compare driving different types of race cars, what are the main differences?
    Oooh tough one for me to explain as I've never tried to drive any car differently which may explain why I've always been more succesful in touring car sytle events as you only have to make the tyres last 20 minutes. I've always had this kind of reputation as a car killer due to how hard i push it, but the strange thing is that driving say Nascar 2003 with big, heavy Stock Cars I have been very good at saving the fuel and tyres and have won many races on fuel mileage, but I have never been able to transfer that side of my driving into rFactor or Race 07 until this season when it's all finally come together.

    The past season was your fourth in FSR despite your young age. Do you still feel you have motivation and ambition to improve as a sim racer?
    Absolutely. I don't think there are many drivers who think they are as good as they can be and I'm no exception and I'm always looking to improve and if having the 3 times World Champion in the team doesn't motivate you to improve then nothing will.

    Besides sim racing, are there any other things you enjoy to do in your free time?
    Just the normal stuff really like my beloved 360 and watching motorsports...lots of it.

    Do you have any ambitions in real racing and do you think sim racing can give you tools to race real cars?
    I certainly would love to try my hand at driving a real racecar, especially around Daytona, but sadly It's always going to be a dream as it takes too much money. I really do think though that simracing can get you competitively into real racing providing you are fit enough, and if I ever got the chance to emulate Norbert Michelisz I'd grab it with both hands.

    Finally, what are your goals for the future and how do you see the upcoming season?
    Well it's whole new ball game with RF2 looking likely to be the platform of choice for FSR, so I will be scaling down my other racing commitments in the new year in order to focus on the main job in hand which is to do well in World Championship next season. I'm under no illusion about how tough it's going to be, but I'm hungry for more success at that level and I'll be working harder than ever to make that happen and if the team give us cars like we had in 2012 it's gonna be very interesting and a lot of fun.

    Precision Motorsports Press
    written by John-Eric Saxen
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