Spotlight On… – Tim Cullingworth
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 50 years old and live in the ‘sunny’ north east of the UK. My background is in electronics and programming but at the moment work in the entertainment industry providing lights, sound systems and video solutions for events.
What’s your racing wheel?
Back in the day when I first started racing, I used a Microsoft SideWinder steering wheel, one of the first to have any force feedback. Having got back in to simracing I was using a ClubSport base but a year ago I got a Fanatec DD2 setup. Although the Fanatec stuff is expensive, the customer service team went above and beyond what they needed too recently, and helped me out massively.
Which are your favourite simracing games?
Assetto Corsa is certainly the one I play most, as Steam claims I’ve played it for 2,500 hours. I’m also enjoying AMS2 and really hope it will take off online as I would love to do some longer races with live weather and day / night transitions.
I prefer the older loose cars to drive, they seem to suite my driving style, where as the open wheel cars are just a bit too twitchy and go too fast for an old dog like me.
My two favourite tracks are very different. I really like the Nordschleife track as it is so different to all the other tracks that we normally run. The other track is Donington as this is the only track I have actually driven round in real life, when I was supervising people test driving cars with adapted controls.
“The more of us are active members of the community the better the racing will be.”
Since when are you playing simracing games?
The first sim racing game I played was the Hard Drivin’ game in the arcade in 1988. It was originally made as a simulator to help learner drivers, with all three pedals, force feedback and load cell brake peddle, but then Atari realised they could turn the track up to 11 and sell it as a game. At home I got in to all the Geoff Crammond simulators starting out on the Stunt Car Racer and moving on to the MicroProse F1 simulators. These had some features I still miss in some of the new sims, like full telemetry in the pits and a replay with a directors feature that had a balance of highlights and close racing.
Which was your first racing game ever?
The first racing game I can remember was the top down racing game Stock Car in 1984. The cars were so tail happy you pretty much steered round corners with the back end.
How do you prepare for a race and/or a championship?
Before a championship starts I will often put in a number of laps to get a feel for the car and to play with the setup. I will often then do some races with IA to get a feel for a full length race and also learn places for overtaking. I will then do a few laps before each race to remind my self how the car / track combination work.
Are you good in setupping cars? 🙂
Not really, I will often play and get the car to behave in the way I want. Often though I will go back to the default set up after putting some laps in and find I’m faster on that and start tweaking again.
“I am a tortoise and not a hare.”
Do you race in real life too?
No. I used to race radio controlled cars in the 1980s for almost 15 years. I was never the fastest but was often in the top 10.
What is your best result in SRS?
I recently managed to win a series in AMS2. Although I won most of the races in the series, as only the first one had enough people to count the results have been deleted, but it lives on in my memory.
What you do like and what you don’t like in SRS races?
I love the community, and getting to know some of the regulars. There seems to be a good sense of people wanting to help each other. I do have some issues with people just being overly aggressive on the track and not having any sort of awareness of what’s happening around them.
Is there a particular moment in SRS races – funny, dramatic, adrenaline-filled – that you like to remind?
One of the best events I’ve been involved in on SRS was the 2.4 hour multi class race we did. I am always up for longer races.
You are one of the more active members of the SRS community. Did this came up simultaneously with racing?
I feel that the more of us who are active members of the community the better the racing will be. Partly we can help each other out and with better relationships people take more care on the track.
Which are your strongest and your weakest points in racing?
I am not the fastest by a long way. I can’t do hot lapping or pushing the car to the limits, but I do try and keep it clean when racing and give people I don’t know lots of space. Due to this I will always start at the back of the grid, as when I try qualifying I end up in the dreaded mid pack. Often I will gain 4-5 places during the first lap and due to not having incidents gain 4-6 places on the points at the end.
How would you define your racing style?
I am a tortoise and not a hare.
Thanks to Tim for kindly answering our questions!