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Sim Chat With Andy Priaulx MBE

RaceDepartment sits down and chats with ETCC and three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx about the world of virtual motorsports.

Anyone with even half an interest in tin top racing should be familiar with the name Andy Priaulx. One of the most successful touring car drivers in the history of the sport, Priaulx holds the distinction of being the only FIA Touring Car champion to win an international-level championship for four consecutive years during his BMW stint in the early - mid 2000's, prior to moving into the world of endurance racing with the factory Ford squad from 2015.


As well as enjoying an enviable career on the racetrack in a variety of machinery, Priaulx is also something of an avid sim racer - so we thought it would be nice to have a chat with the 45-year-old Guernseyman about his thoughts on the world of virtual motorsport, and experiences racing we such famous names as Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Just prior to recording this video, Priaulx announced his intention to step down from his World Touring Car Cup commitments with Lynk & Co Cyan Racing, instead focusing his attention on the racing career of his son, Sebastian. In light of this announcement, we took the opportunity to find out what comes next in the career of one of the most successful drivers in British motorsport, and to find out if sim racing has a big future for the 2004, 05, 06 and 07 WTCC champion.

Andy Priaulx Career Highlights:
  • 1995 | British Hillclimb - Champion
  • 1998 | Formula Palmer Audi - 2nd
  • 1999 | Renault Spider Cup - Champion
  • 2001 | Macau Grand Prix - 2nd
  • 2003 | FIA ETCC - 3rd
  • 2004 | FIA ETCC - Champion
  • 2005 | FIA WTCC - Champion
  • 2006 | FIA WTCC - Champion
  • 2007 | FIA WTCC - Champion
  • 2011 | FIA Intercontinental LM Cup - 2nd
  • 2011 | Le Mans 24 Hours - 3rd
  • 2015 | European Le Mans - 2nd
  • 2017 | FIA WEC - 3rd
  • 2017 | Le Mans 24 Hours - 2nd
  • 2019 | Le Mans 24 Hours - 4th
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Andy Priaulx Footer 1.jpg

Andy Priaulx Footer 3.jpg
 
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Ole Marius Myrvold

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I haven't had the chance to listen closely to it all, but I did hear parts of it, and saw a picture of a open-wheeler-tub with the iZone logo on it.
I'm surprised that Priaulx didn't talk more about that (though, it would've been seen as advertising I guess). He did develop iZone Driver Performance, which is one of the UK's leading driver training facilites. They got different training rooms, mental and psych-work, a gym specially made for motorsport and three different simulators, from karting to F1. They got eye-tracking, HR-monitoring etc. to monitor how the drivers act and react. It's an awesome place, and in hindsight I guess I should've taken more pictures, but even with my fairly short session there, I learned quite a lot!

 

Slapped

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Copy of my comment on the youtube channel:

"Great interview and he seems very much like he's a great down to earth guy. He can lap me anytime... that sounded almost wrong, didn't it?"
 
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Bob Gnarley

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Feb 4, 2017
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Remember Andy from the Renault Spider Cup, great entertainment! You could tell he was destined for bigger and better things...
 
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Paul Jeffrey

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Cheers guys, Just to say here... I'm a bit of an Andy Priaulx fanboy as I've been a fan of his since the old Renault Spider days back in the 1990's (anyone remember those - sweet little series). To be able to have a chat about my passion with him was immense - the interview and off camera stuff actually lasted much, much longer than this, he was a really awesome guy to chat to - seriously impressed how happy he was to talk considering his massive profile, and the fact that basically nothing was in it for him apart from sharing his passion. What a lovely, lovely guy, and we still stay in touch over WhatsApp even now - legend.

They say never meet your heroes... well on this occasion I did, and it did not disappoint one bit.
 

BP

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Excellent interview Paul :thumbsup: always nice to hear from one of the real pros on their take on reality vs. sim and his stories about some of the other legends using sims were great. Seems like a genuinely nice guy...hope you can get some more interviews like this from other IRL drivers, especially in today's climate with the world spotlight still somewhat on this hobby of ours.

Hi could you expand on that a little, I won't have time to watch this till tomorrow and i am intrigued. cheers.
To not steal any thunder from the video (so check it out tomorrow for more detail), but he basically said it's getting a lot closer overall but of course it's missing the G-forces/feeling in the seat which he is more accustomed to vs. cues in the steering wheel. This is from him using high end hardware (DD wheel, high end load cell pedals, no motion or transducers) and driving mostly in RF2.
 

rabbiteer

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Excellent interview, thank you! I remember AP from the hillclimb days, so it's always great to hear from him again!
 

weopm

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thanks for this, the starting page picture of his 2003? 2004? car gives me a big flashback to the good old days of F1C 99-02 when I was working on the ETCC mods back in the day. I think we had some contact to the drivers & even our studios logo on one of the cars for a couple of races (can't remember which one...) - Andy also gave some input if I remember correctly. good guy.
 

Andrew Harper

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I wasn’t born on Guernsey but moved here back in 2004 so have become used to spotting Andy and his wife doing the shopping and enjoying a coffee in St. Peter Port. Haha, but I also really enjoyed a talk he did in aid of a charity a few years back where he described just how tough it was for him to break through into motorsport.

Like a lot of drivers he wanted to get to F1 but the money ran out. If I remember after dominating the Renault spider cup he was offered a paid drive (his first one) with BMW and the rest as they say is history.

Certainly a very gifted driver and has done huge amounts for charities on Guernsey as well.

History has repeated itself though with his Son. Started in single seaters but the budgets were huge so he’s moved across into sports cars and GT racing, and doing very well. I remember Andy talking about million pound plus budgets some drivers were bringing with them into even the very junior categories. Most of which were from very wealthy families, etc.

Definitely up there in my view with our British F1 hero’s as well.
 

Sally71

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May 23, 2020
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Excellent interview Paul :thumbsup: always nice to hear from one of the real pros on their take on reality vs. sim and his stories about some of the other legends using sims were great. Seems like a genuinely nice guy...hope you can get some more interviews like this from other IRL drivers, especially in today's climate with the world spotlight still somewhat on this hobby of ours.



To not steal any thunder from the video (so check it out tomorrow for more detail), but he basically said it's getting a lot closer overall but of course it's missing the G-forces/feeling in the seat which he is more accustomed to vs. cues in the steering wheel. This is from him using high end hardware (DD wheel, high end load cell pedals, no motion or transducers) and driving mostly in RF2.
For me i was intrigued when he talked about the oversteer state compare to real. Sim racing seems from what i took from that video a little over senstitive to oversteer, and hence his son was overcompensating this fact and was upsetting the car in doing so....

however great video!
 
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