We are back everyone with our third installment of the Interviewooz! I'm Beau Albert and today we have a driver who has just about done everything the site has to offer! Over on Gran Turismo he has battled for the Division 1 championship, over on iRacing he has won the iRLOZ Legend Road Series Championship and his current foray into Assetto Corsa has been no less successful, racking in championships in 5 different seasons of Division 1 competition. KoAStR, how are you?
First off, you’re a man of many, many championships in a number of different genres, but now seem to have found your home over on AC. Why is it you have moved over 3 very different platforms of game? Seeking a new challenge or trying to find something that worked for you?
Hi Beau I'm good thanks mate. Cheers for this opportunity. Wow thanks for talking me up!
Well I started out in sims on PC so long story short that is what I've come back to. Got distracted with eye candy and a PS3 was cheaper than a PC upgrade for a while but felt I was always having to re-learn how to drive in GT, leaving me searching for that extra realism and intuitive feel. So yea probably more the seeking something that worked for me.
You’ve gone over to AC and it would appear you have found your home there, what was it that got you hooked on the Kunos title?
When AC came out with laser scanned tracks, vehicle performance endorsed by the manufacturer's, next gen-graphics engine, and a fraction of the cost to iRacing and open to modding and custom serving settings like rFactor, I was very interested. The physics sealed the deal. It felt intuitive and logical to identify how to find pace. Plus I loved the variety of street, drift, and race cars through the era's that emerged! Fortunately other guys at ROOZ did too! Many disillusioned with PD made the jump from PS3 to PC and pretty quickly we went from a handful of drivers to full grids with Anon doing an awesome job getting official servers off the ground and being able to tune server settings really helped in putting successful season's together to see the ACLOZ attract new members to ROOZ and generate some great competition.
So yea, AC with the ROOZ community spirit feels like it ticks all the boxes, comprising the best elements I have enjoyed from other platforms and really renewing my enthusiasm for online sim racing.
So you've got a pretty crazy racing history that's for sure! You briefly touched on helping out with Mod duties, and you are of course a member of Team Raceonoz. For those that are not aware, what are your roles and duties on the site?
Well I started out just being enthusiastic, much like you Beau! Contributing race reports and pictures, then was asked to assist the then small mod team with results posting and championship tables. I was very happy to give something in return and my responsibilities grew from there.
We used to have a wiki page that I started maintaining with tables, procedures, results, and a Hall of Fame. It was pretty devastating when all the data there got lost, so now we keep it all within the forum hosting.
I bowed out of GT5 league around Season 5 but stayed involved with season organisation/moderation and championship tables until around Season 11. The mod team had grown by then and so had the ROOZ iRacing following so I switched over to moderating and organizing events in that space.
For a long time the forum's growth outpaced our systems development and a lot of time was spent helping out Juzzo keeping the site clean from spam attacks. From there I got more into helping out with the less critical back end administration since I was a regular on the forums I could often see to it faster than Juzzo. I'm no webmaster. But the frame work here is great so I don't need to be, and fortunately spam is not an issue now thanks to Juzzo.
Nowadays I do general moderation and administration like setup and maintain the Hall of Fame, maintain forum sections and prefixes as required (like adding the relatively new PCARS league section), approve new users and ban naughty ones, maintain the new members info, adjudicate occasional protest appeals, and more recently knocked up the promotional banners for our sponsored seasons.
More specifically on the AC side I helped out Anon with season organisation and promotion early on (vids and home page articles etc), server funding and moderating, am a team captain, produce team liveries, recently took over the season results tables together since we introduced ballast calculations... and generally loiter around like a smelly hobo! Hehe.
The team is great and we all do our bit to keep things rolling.
Well your certainly kept busy on the Forums then in between competing at the top level and keeping everything on the site running smoothly! When you do get a chance to find a track to yourself, what do you often find yourself doing? It appears your a bit of a drifting fan!
It can be busy at times but mostly it doesn't all happen at once. The most regular task is the weekly results at the moment.
But yea I love a bit of drifting! Doing mad skids is good for the soul and definitely a favorite for a solo session. Dirt Rally is another favorite. Both make for good replays so sometimes I relax with a bit of video editing. My other passion is classics and historics. I love thrashing something loud and loose, like a early era GP car or a classic tin top around an iconic track like Nordschliefe or a point to point circuit.
Is there a favorite that you have? One classic weapon that you love most? Or perhaps an era of racing that takes your fancy?
Ferrari 312, from the 60's GP... this thing screeeams and looks like predator
I only wish it would make it from Grand Prix Legends into a modern sim along side the Lotus 49. It's successor the 312 in AC is great though. The Alfa GTA or Escort RS1600 come to mind as well.
All fantastic cars and some that you really need to knuckle down to get the most out of. As mentioned before, you've had your fair share of success on the site, but what race sticks out to you as your best on the site?
There's a couple that stand out
Gt5 s2 r4 Toms Castrol Supra enduro around Nordschleife
AC s1 r7 epic battle with Tovey around Spa in Tatuus Formula Abarth
AC s7 r5 enduro recovered from some early incidents to battle Anon for the lead culminating in this pass in the dying laps around Lemans In Audi LMS
If i had to pick one it would be the sustained battle with Tovey in the Formula Abarth
Close racing over on the AC side! For those wondering on the PC side of the site, how's your Racing Setup looking? What wheel are you using, PC specs perhaps?
It's pretty basic.
Logitech G25 with foam packed into the brake spring to stiffen it up, and a handbrake improvised from a Logitech extreme 3Dpro flight stick cable tied to a board clamped under the wheel. I originally went with G25 for the PC / PS3 cross compatibility.
That's all bolted to a NLR GTXtreme2 courtesy of Pagnian imports with a key board stand.
PC has an i5 processor, 120gb SSD and Sapphire ATI 6970HD gpu. Originally had 8gb ram but some of that died so upgraded to 16gb. Plus a bulk storage HDD. All in a coolermaster tower. Nothing too flash but solid for 1080p on a 42" LCD ☺
The full PC build spec is in the PC building thread OP and there's pics of my rig as it's been added to and moved around the house throughout the Sim cockpit setup thread
Epic work with the Handbrake! Thats an awesome idea i might have to steal!
When it comes to real world motorsport, whats your favourite series?
Haha cheers yea the HB works really well, especially being an analogue axis rather than a button. And cheap! I had the flight stick lying around unused anyway.
Usually like to watch tin tops. V8SC or some saloons. Got into some redbull frozen rush recently. Redbull xfighters FMX series is sweet too. But I don't keep up with any of it as much as I should.
You have gone through a number of different racing titles, why was that? Looking for a new challenge?
Need for Speed 1 got me interested as a youngster and Grand Prix Legends on a non-FFB Madcatz wheel was where the search for something pure really started and for a long time remained the benchmark for realistic physics. I still enjoy that game. From there got into a bit of rFactor and when I got the G25 shortly after the PS3 had my first crack at online racing in rFactor historix Escort mid with JFF racing.
My PC was barely up to scratch and internet was slow so downloading mods and skins was a pain and I started spending more time on GT prologue and then GT5 for the eye-candy and plug-n-play-ability. The first GT Academy released about the time I got my G25 so I had a crack. I was stoked to finish in the top 50 still getting used to GT and a FFB wheel, especially it being mounted on a makeshift arrangement of chairs and boards that would fall apart if I got too vigorous!
Well that got me hooked on improving my driving through the online time-trial events, since I didn't know where to look for quality door to door racing. Trent aka Carn_the_pies, a founder of ROOZ (GTLOZ at the time) recruited me trawling the TT leader-boards for aussie based racers with a random message about GTLOZ and the allure of a cash prize for season 2 winners! I was in and so keen. Submitted my quali and pleasantly surprised to be placed in Div 1. New to the online scene I remember my massive disappointment as the first race started without me - I didn't know what button to press to get to track. Anyway I turned disappointment into something constructive and started practising for the following weeks race and getting to know the guys. It paid off and I took home a win in full wet conditions around Monza in Tom's Castrol Supra and went on to claim runner up for the season. The guys were great and the community started to thrive with race reports, figuring out photo mode and transferring to PC, and then side events like the GT500... I was here to stay. The community here more than made up for any short comings of the GT5 platform being a great forum to improve driving skills and race craft.
After a few seasons I needed a break to fit in some more summer life and was also helping out with mod duties by then, which I continued along with some casual race meets.
iRacing2.0 was released and a few friends from GTLOZ and TTR started migrating. I built up a PC and followed. It was great to get back into some PC racing, being a purist I loved the enforced cockpit view and no assist (which I ran in GT5, even using H-Pat+clutch and ABS set to 0 for most events). It was excellent for a while but it consumed more time than I had available, was hard to get races in cars I was interested in especially being in WA, and so I just didn't feel I was getting value for money. I missed a bigger variety of cars, tyre options, drifting etc and although the realism was excellent there was still something less than intuitive about the physics and I struggled to keep up the quirks of the ever changing tyre model. Outside of the few ROOZ events the community just wasn't the same either.
Awesome, thanks so much for your time Koastr! Hopefully everyone has learned a little something about you and has an idea of what an important member you are to the site as a moderator and a racer.
Until next time….