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Interview with the founder of Precision Motorsports Johannes Kunkel

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Johannes Kunkel, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Johannes Kunkel

    Johannes Kunkel

    With just 7 races to go and a demonstrative championship leads in all Formula SimRacing categories, we today take a chat with Precision Motorsports team owner Johannes Kunkel, who has seen the team's rise from its early struggle into the current dynasty.


    1. Hello, nice to meet you. As maybe the background of the team is not so well known, tell us a little about the process of founding team Precision Motorsports and how you got involved in this success story?

    Hello, to tell the story I should go back to early 2007 when I was working with the Mak Modding Group as a 3d-modeler. In May 2007, I wanted to get into Formula 1 racing and I refound the Mak-Racing Team and started driving in the FSR Amateur Series. In January 2008 I decided to found my own team under a new name. This was the moment when Precision Motorsports was born. Shortly after the team was found I got contacted by Virtual-Games.com as they wanted to loan their World Championship License for 2008. After we came to the agreement to loan their License we tried to build up a team to compete in the most competitive simracing league in the world. Of course we knew that 2008 was going to be a learning year without many good results. For the most part of 2008 we had to fight with a very high driver fluctuation, which unfortunately always is a problem for new teams. After finishing last in the 2008 Constructors Championship we wanted to improve for 2009 and build up a new concept. One of the key factors of this concept was to get new drivers in the team. We failed completely on this task, mostly due to missing reputation back then I think. So we started 2009 with a not very strong and a very inconsistent Lineup, which cost me a lot of motivation. In june 2009 the team was about to collapse as several main characters left. This situation only gave me the choice to give up and close down Precision Motorsports or to get it going again. To get it going again we needed a massive change, so I talked to Ondrej Kuncman who had just lost his job as teammanager due to the end of another team. He joined Precision Motorsports and we started to rebuild the team completely. From then on it went uphill quite a lot which brought us to the point where we are now.

    2. The first year and a half in FSR did not bring any "tremendous" success in the higher categories, but now the team is on the top of the game. Obviously some right choices was made along the way?

    Yes, in the past we took some very important and right decisions. Now, watching back, I see that there has been a good thing in every drawback we had to experience. Even though they brought the team to a point where I almost wanted to give up. An important decision back then was to take Ondrej Kuncman as the new teammanager. I also can say that we took many good decisions concerning our lineup. Seeing basically everyone is still working and no one left the team or gave up, I have to say that this is a very rare situation in simracing.

    3. In WC especially, the young drivers, with Bono at the front, have been constantly quicker than their much more experienced opponents. What do you think the reason for this could be and how would you comment on the performances of your drivers in general this season?

    There are just some incredibly talented drivers and unlike the old generation they get a lot help from their team so they don´t have to learn everything by themselves which is a big advantage.
    In general I´m very happy with the performance of my drivers. Everyone is giving his best and trying to get good results.

    4. I suppose everyone wants to know the secrets behind Precision's 2010 success. What would you comment on that and on the team work in general, are there any secrets?

    There is not a real secret. It´s just all about a good preparation and organizing as well as structuring the whole work within the team in an efficient way. We don´t rely on luck. We prepare ourselves very precisely, but of course even then mistakes happen. Also we have a well balanced team of young, talented drivers and experienced veterans, and for the future we want to keep this mix.

    5. Having secured a strong position in the AutoGP World Championship with 7 races left to go, what are your thoughts about the upcoming test drive and how likely do you see that Precision is represented on the Monza grid?

    I hope very much that we will be represented in the AutoGP test in Monza. It´s a great opportunity for those who get the chance. I´m really looking forward to see what they will do.

    6. Tell us a few words about your own work related to the team. What is the trickiest part with being a team owner?

    A big part of managing a team is communication, keeping the team together in difficult situations (as we just had to discover) and make everyone feel as one team. Another big part of my work is the outside presentation of the team and the work with sponsors and partners.
    We are already working on concepts to push the team even further, some of it will be released very soon.

    7. How difficult has it been securing sponsors and how has the MAK-corp partnership turned out?

    Securing sponsors in simracing is very difficult, and I had to experience that since early 2008 when I found the team. Working with Mak-Corp.net as a partner is great. I´ve personally known Petros Mak the CEO since late 2006. He has a good concept for the future and based on the already released SimRDispX Display Unit we will see some very nice products coming from them.

    8. Precision has clearly put most effort on FSR with the exception being the 24H Le Mans endurance in June. Are there some plans already made for future appearances in endurances or other events?

    Of course there are plans to expand into other series and leagues. But wherever we will put a team in the future we want to do it with a good concept and drivers who can always fight for victories. LeMans was a perfect example for this, we had this race in mind for a long time but first we wanted to see how the technical side with driverchanges work and if it´s just a case of luck or not to finish such a long race. That´s why we drove a 6h in February. It turned out that with a good preparation it´s possible to finish such a long race, so we only had to find a LineUp which can compete to win. In the end we can say we took many correct decision which ultimately gave us the victory of the 24h of LeMans.

    9. Finally where do you expect your team to stand after the season is over in terms of championship positions?

    Before the season started we wrote down our expectations and which result we can consider success or failure. So far everything looks very good and I hope we can keep the positions we have now.

    10. What do you promise the sim racing audience for the rest of the 2010?

    I promise we will do everything to provide great racing on the broadcasts and we will fight as hard as we can to be on top at the end of the year.

    Good luck for the remaining season.

    Check out Johannes' Profile here

    Precision Motorsports Press
    interview by John-Eric Saxen
  2. Kevin Ascher

    Kevin Ascher
    #47 Roaring Pipes Maniacs

    Good read ;)
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