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DICKINSON: It’s All About Teamwork

Riley Dickinson files his latest Sportscar365 column amid a busy sim racing schedule…

Image: Supplied

The theme of the past few weeks can be summed up simply with one word: “Teamwork.”

With that, this month’s entry is going to highlight my experiences with the Moorespeed team as we collectively took a deeper plunge into the sim racing world, my final weeks being a high school student, and motorsports returning in the form of NASCAR. 

Since my last column, I have competed in two IMSA iRacing Pro Series events and three ACI Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge events.

I’m not going to elaborate on the races individually and give a race report for each one, but instead I’m going to shed some light as to what went into getting prepared for these races.   

The ACI Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is essentially the virtual version of the series that I currently compete in real life.

Just like in the real world, we drive the spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car and go to the same circuits that are on our calendar for the 2020 season.   

Image: Supplied

Since I compete in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, I was invited to race in the virtual edition.

However, what’s pretty cool is that David Moore, President and Owner of Moorespeed, was invited to compete in the championship as well.

That presented us the opportunity to be able to learn and get prepared for the upcoming races together.

Moorespeed is known for their driver development program and that’s one of the reasons why I got connected with the team back in 2018, then later decided to do my rookie season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA with them.

The commitment to racing and racing Porsche cars specifically, runs deep in Moorespeed’s DNA. This was very apparent once David got the invitation to compete in the ACI Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.

David brings years of racing experience and being able to finally have a chance to work with him on track was special to say the least.

Like I said before, the common theme was teamwork. Neither one of us has vast amounts of experience on the sim, but we were able to come together as a team just like in the real world and make some big strides.

We’ve done numerous sessions preparing for the few races we have competed in. Quite honestly, I lost track of how many total hours after about 25-30!

Image: Supplied

Another key piece of Moorespeed’s driver development program is our Professional Driver Coach Earl Bamber.

Earl joined us for a few sessions from Auckland. We were able to all work together and get up to speed. Just like with David; it was special to be able to drive on track with Earl for the first time as well.

Even though it was virtually, we did not treat it as such, and we all had some fun battles!

Even with all the fun, this becomes serious work. Everyone is learning more about iRacing setups, and we are no different. But in order to learn about the setup (what works, and what doesn’t), you must test, and test, and test – just as you would in real life. 

The mission is still the same, and this wave of sim racing appears to be a bit more serious than initially anticipated.

Porsche just took the most recent win at Road America in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series event, and as they indicated in Friday’s article on Sportscar365, they had to go in a “new direction” taking a new approach to set up and receiving assistance from real life sim racers – once again, teamwork.

Congrats to those guys, well done!

Image: Supplied

In the end, the e-racing format looks very similar to a traditional race week.

Hours and hours of sim work, hours of testing and setup tweaking, and every detail makes the difference – all the way down to tire pressures and fuel calculations. 

It takes a tremendous amount of support and teamwork to make these events possible. It is obvious that the IMSA crew, iRacing, announcers, and the production teams are hard at it on their side, just as we are as racers.

No different than when we are all at the track together, it takes everyone involved to pull off a successful event.

Huge thank you to everyone involved behind the scenes making these IMSA iRacing Pro series events a success!

During everything that’s been happening in the sim racing world, behind the scenes I’ve been keeping up with my highest priority right now, which is finishing school.

Last week was essentially the end of high school for me with a final round of AP tests. Throughout this entire span of online schooling, I can’t thank my teachers enough.

They were truly the backbone of the transition making it as seamless as possible. Without the hard work of my teachers, we may not have been able to graduate on time.

This example of teamwork is easily the most important to me.  What happened was unprecedented for public education and we were able to get through the balance of the year without skipping a beat.

So, to all my teachers that helped me this year, THANK YOU for everything. I can’t say enough for how much we all appreciate what you all went through the past few months for us to complete the school year! 

Some very encouraging news in the motorsports world from this past weekend, NASCAR returned to real racing at Darlington. It’s pretty cool to see motorsports as one of the first forms of professional sports in the U.S. to return to live events. 

Our series had some news on Friday as well. The 2020 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama revised schedule has been set. Still many are unsure about fan attendance, but these races will be streamed on IMSA.tv and rebroadcast on NBCSN.

Stay tuned to Sportscar365 for continued updates regarding our season!    

Riley Dickinson (@RileyD253) is the 2020 recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, competing in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama with Moorespeed.

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