Spotlight on… – Dario Bucalo
The man behind the wheel: a short interview with Sim Racing System racers. Let’s know a little more of the guys that are always one place ahead.
Would you briefly introduce yourself for the site’s readers?
Sure! My name is Dario, I’m 29 years old and I live in Italy. I’d initially say that I’ve never been a big fan of the motorsports, in fact I considered them boring… until the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown begun. In that time I watched some live streamings of virtual races, and met SRS then. I decided to give it a try and started to join some races with my PS4 joystick – yes, it’s mad, I’m sorry about that – and I immediately liked it. I took off the closet my old wheel and got passionate despite the poor results. Along this couple of months I had the chance to meet a lot of nice people, my teammates Gianluca and Omer among them. Also thanks to them I improved a lot… and started to achieve some good results!
What’s your racing wheel?
I have a Thrustmaster T150 Pro with T3PA pedals and a braking mod (which gives me better braking feelings).
Which are your favourite simracing games?
Of course Assetto Corsa, since it’s the only one I played with up to now.
“I like when I can feel the performance limits of the cars.”
I haven’t a certain one at the moment, but I realized that I like when I can feel the performance limits of the cars. I appreciated a lot the Peugeot 106 Rallye series then and the last one with the Nissan Primera BTCC ’99.
Mugello, absolutely. It’s the default track for me when I test a new car.
Since when are you playing simracing games?
Since the beginning of the lockdown, that means April 2020.
Which was your first racing game ever?
I cherish the memory of it: V-Rally 2. I was 9 years old and it was my first game for the PlayStation 1. I remember the long challenges for the best laptime between me, my brother and my father – only with the Ford Focus in the “Australia” track! Really fond memories!
“Even if it’s virtual racing, feeling and sensations are for real!”
How do you prepare for a race and/or a championship?
It’s a step by step process: I do some practice sessions with car and track of the week, although I learn a lot during the first race, stealing racing lines and tricks from the fastest guys.
Are you good in setupping cars? 🙂
I only hitted the target once, with the Peugeot 106 Rallye, but in that car anyone one could setup the wheel toe only. So I’d say: no.
Do you race in real life too?
Quite the contrary. I take it very easy with driving in real life, since to me a car it’s just a vector from A to B point and I do not endure those who run like hell in public roads as if they were on a racing track. However, I have a lot of fun on lapping with karts when I have the chance to do it. Last time I involved my girlfriend too, who also became passionate. Maybe in the future will have to buy her a wheel too…
“I’m aware of my skills, so I know what can be aimed from me in a race.“
What you do like and what you don’t like in SRS races?
What I like best and that immediately moved me is the community. A lot of nice and helpful people that want to have fun. That’s why I went on with racing and choosed “4Fun” as the team’s name. I also like that even if it’s virtual racing, feeling and sensations are for real! I don’t like much overly aggressive racers that don’t care about contacts. I had a flying start with incidents and I’m struggling hard to lower my incidents ratio, so I fear contacts a lot.
Which are your strongest and your weakest points in racing?
I’d say that my strongest point is that I’m aware of my skills, so I know what can be aimed from me in a race. I focus on my pace, trying to be consistent as much as I can. My weakest point is that sometimes I lose concentration in the last laps, especially if I’m in a comfort zone. This leads sometimes to avoidable mistakes and worst final placements.
How would you define your racing style?
In the very beginning, as one would expect from a rookie, I was very aggressive. Now I try to be as smooth as I can, and more consistent as well. This leaded in the end to my first win. I’ll try to go on like this then.