Spotlight On… – Gianluca Roncaglia
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?
49 years old, married, a degree in Italian Literature and Filmology. Work as proofreaders’ coordinator for a comics publisher. Former volleyball player. I’m from Modena, near Maranello, but I don’t own a Ferrari.
What’s your racing wheel?
I started with a Logitech Momo in 2005, followed by a second hand Fanatec CSR. After robbing a bank I recently bought a CSL Elite with CSL Elite pedals and Load Cell brake.
Which are your favourite simracing games?
Just Assetto Corsa for now. I played a lot of simcade games (TOCA series, Forza Motorsport) but recently wanted to try something more “serious”. The biggest point in AC is that is deep and reliable as a simracing game without being too irksome.
Mostly little street cars. Speed is not that necessary to me, and I’m not strong enough to tame track beasts. Ah, and FWD, of course.
Unfortunately most of them – Lausitzring, Adria, Barbagallo, Philip Island, Bathurst, Adelaide – are usually not in SRS track rotation. I guess I had the most funny online races of my life in Norisring with the DTM in TOCA 2 and 3. In AC I liked a lot racing in Ahvenisto. I don’t like that much Silverstone but had almost the halft of my SRS wins there, who knows why. In general terms of track layout, anyway, I think that Spa is beyond perfection.
“I’m really bad at starts.”
Since when are you playing simracing games?
Since 2020, not considering short and aborted tries in the past.
Which was your first racing game ever?
It’s not really the first, but in my mind it’s absolutely Pole Position from Atari, back in 1982 when I was a kid. One of the first racing games with a wheel.
How do you prepare for a race and/or a championship?
Still learning on this. In most cases I do a couple of laps with the standard setup, then I start experimenting. Once I sign a personal best, I save the setup and do some other changes until I have another PB, and so on. I have in most cases a couple of setups (up to 10!), and then I try to mix up things a little. Moreover, if I have time I do one or more races with AI, especially to see how the car behaves at start and to see how to face T1 when starting from the grid (in front or in the middle of the pack).
Are you good in setupping cars? 🙂
Absolutely not. Since I’m a zero in car mechanics and physics, setupping for me it’s just a blindfolded trial-and-error process. Of course I read tutorials and watched videos, but my brain just refuses to soak up anything.
Do you race in real life too?
Just some karts with friends and workmates every now and then. To be honest, I don’t like a lot to drive in real life. How this is related to my passion for racing games, is a matter for psychoanalization.
“SRS can be demanding in the very beginning, but it is very rewarding later.”
What you do like and what you don’t like in SRS races?
Pros: almost everything. SRS is a sort of an ultimate experience for those who like racing games in my opinion. It’s vaste, various, and the community is great. I’m also very proud and happy of becoming friend and teammate to Dario and Omer, and seeing our little team grow since Matteo joined it. Cons: sometimes it’s hard to make your life fit with racing schedules; being confident with the system may be a hard task in the beginning and may push someone out; it would be better if people would take some time to learn tracks, cars, rules and so on. SRS can be demanding in the very beginning, but it is very rewarding later.
Which are your strongest and your weakest points in racing?
I’m really slow on learning, mastering a car and a track requires a lot of practice to me. And my lack of knowledge in mechanics and physics is a big handicap. Moreover, sometimes I think I still approach races as if I’m in an arcade or a simcade, and I guess that some inaccuracies will never be fixed. In the end, sometimes I feel the pressure a lot, and this turns often to inconsistency and silly mistakes. One more blemish: I’m really bad at starts. Nevertheless, I noticed after a couple of months in SRS that I could be competitive, and started to have good placements and wins too. A pleasant surprise. I don’t think it’s skill: practice rewards.
How would you define your racing style?