Spotlight On… – Simon Meisinger
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?
I’m Simon, I live together with my girlfriend and my dog in Vienna and was born in 1985. I work as an UX/UI Designer.
What’s your racing wheel?
Short answer: CSL Elite with the P1 Wheel and CSL Elite pedals. Long answer: some might be surprised that I raced with a controller until early 2020. I had a T300RS until late 2016 but had to sell it because I needed money. Then I just got used to the controller and kept racing with it. But now I got a wheel again because even if I’m not that much faster with it, it’s more fun. I still mount it to my desk but I plan on building a custom wood rig over the holidays, which might end in a complete failure so wish me luck 😀
Which are your favourite simracing games?
Assetto Corsa is the sim I race the most because of SRS, but I actually don’t like it as much as Automobilista 2 and rFactor 2. Those just feel better to me. I also race iRacing, its physics might be flawed but at least the Skip Barber and the Lotus 79 are really good cars in my opinion.
Everything old and fast. Give me as much horsepower with as little electronics as possible and I’m happy. 60s/70s/80s F1 cars, Group C, DRM, Ferrari 330P4 and so on. I also enjoy slow but tricky cars like the Lotus 25, the Russel Alexis MK14 and the Formula Easter cars.
Brands Hatch, Mugello, Spa, Zandvoort and Nordschleife. Honorable mentions to Fuji 68 and Bridgehampton.
Since when are you playing simracing games?
2015 – I still vividly remember the moment when I first exited the pits in rFactor 1. It literally was a revelation for me. Until that day I believed that Gran Turismo was a proper sim.
Which was your first racing game ever?
Grand Prix Circuit on my uncle’s PC. Some months later we got a PC at home as well and I played it for hours and hours.
How do you prepare for a race and/or a championship?
For weekly series I try to do a lot of practice laps. Around 50 laps for a race that only goes over 15 laps. The SloBros have a practice server for most of those series I attend, so I do my practice laps on their server. There are often other people from SRS there. Until recently I also practiced against the AI, they usually have a pace that matches the upper midfield in SRS. I actually don’t know why I stopped doing that. For daily series I just do a couple of practice laps until I feel comfortable and then join the race. I’m usually on pace in the second race then.
“I’m very patient with others, but I’m not patient with myself.”
Are you good in setupping cars? 🙂
Well, I theoretically know what most of the settings do and when I upload my setups to the SRS forums people seem to like them, so I must be doing something right. But then again I download somebody else’s setup and it often feels so much better. It’s cheesy but I’ll still quote Albert Einstein: “The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know”.
Do you race in real life too?
I raced Karts when I was 11–13 years old. This year I started participating in a Kart championship again but could only attend one race because of Corona. I qualified my team in 8th out of 12 after 21 years of not sitting in a Kart, so I guess sim racing indeed helps with real life racing 🙂 Other than that I attended my first track day on the Red Bull Ring with my motorcycle this year – amazingly ridiculous fun.
What is your best result in SRS? Or, reformulating: is your SRS forum signature updated?
My signature is up to date, yes, but it doesn’t include all my top five championship results 🙂 I got a 3rd place and some 4th and 5th places in championships, but those had low participation and I don’t really regard them as an achievement.
“Faster means faster, right?”
What you do like and what you don’t like in SRS races?
Things I like:
• The races are mostly clean.
• People take it serious but it’s not too competitive for not being fun anymore.
• People congratulate each other after having a good fight and usually aren’t pissed when they lose.
• After some time you get to know the other racers. There are a couple of guys I know I will have a good race with when we enter the same race.
The one thing I don’t like: The race distances. Most races are 20 minutes, which is okay for daily series but too short for weekly series. 40 minutes would be perfect for those.
Is there a particular moment in SRS races – funny, dramatic, adrenaline-filled – that you like to remind?
Three particular races will always stay in my mind:
• Russel Alexis MK14 around the Betonschleife with Jim C Russell: we had an intense fight for the win over the whole race distance. I won in the end 🙂
• DRM at the Nordschleife against Michal Janak: we raced closely with another guy for 3 laps (= almost half an hour). I’d never thought you could race so close over such a long distance on this track. I was too eager in the end, shifted down too hard and blew my engine.
• DRM at Road Atlanta: I started in 6th, got shunted from behind in T1, was at the back of the field and fought my way back to the front overtaking around 15 cars in the process. It was so much fun.
And one funny thing: I started 2nd in the Mazda 787B, the lights go out and the person in P1 just spins in front of my car because he lost control right at the start. I couldn’t even be mad, it was just so absurd (in a fun way).
“I’m a very respectful and careful racer who still knows how to fight.”
Which are your strongest and your weakest points in racing?
I’m very patient with others, which usually pays off when I don’t engage in fights that wouldn’t make sense anyways. But I’m not patient with myself. When I think I could go a couple of tenths faster I tend to overdrive the car, because faster means faster, right? No, more often than not it doesn’t. But I tend to forget this in the heat of a race. At the same time I’m too lazy. I often go slower through a particular part of the track than I could because going faster would mean putting in more effort. That’s a general problem of mine, I also had this when I played football. I’m too easily satisfied with 90% of what I could achieve instead of giving 100%. And then there are those stupid mistakes I always make. I often have the pace for a podium (or even a win if Michal Ringes isn’t in the race) but in many races I just somehow mess up. I like to tell myself that’s because of me being Austrian though. Every F1 driver from Austria since Lauda was this “Shoulda Coulda Woulda” kind of character, just like I am. That was pretty negative now, wasn’t it? Haha.
How would you define your racing style?
I think I can say that I’m a very respectful and careful racer who still knows how to fight. It’s really important for me that people think of me as somebody they can through a corner side by side without being worried. That’s probably one of the reasons why I never ended up in F1 as I’ve planned to when I was 12.
Thanks to Simon for kindly answering our questions!