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Esports

Sim racer turned real racer with Rudy van Buren | The Traxion.GG Podcast, Season 2, Episode 10

Rudy van Buren has twice finished on the podium this season in the highly competitive Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, but his career path to this point has been far from conventional.

Starting out in karting, Rudy then focused his effort on sim racing, where his natural talent shone through. This culminated in two GPVWC titles in 2017, the Superleague and International Touring Cup and winning the inaugural World’s Fastest Gamer competition to become the McLaren F1 team’s simulator driver for 2018.

The 29-year-old Dutchman came third in the GT Pro Series and become a Mahindra simulator development driver in 2020 – a role he still holds today, with aspirations of having a test soon.

In our latest podcast episode, Thomas Harrison-Lord speaks to the talented esports and motorsport competitor on the differences between sim and reality.

You can follow Rudy on Twitter and Instagram.

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Below is the full transcript of this episode. It’s auto-generated, hence why it’s completely random…

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Welcome to a brand new episode of the Traxion.GG podcast. I’m Tom and joining us today is Rudy van Buren, Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland driver and rFactor 2 sim racing professional. How you doing Rudy? 

Rudy van Buren:
Hello, thanks for having me, all good on this end.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, no problem. Yeah, no problem at all. It’s very good here, although very, very warm. Not that you need to know that, but, I’m sweating right now. Yeah, so we thought we’d have a quick chat today about sim racing, esports and then also comparing that to real world motorsport as Rudy is very successful in that too. And, you might be able to see in the background, he’s got a sim set up as well, so covers all the basis. So, I mean, first of all, if you could just let our listeners know what you’re up to this year. I mentioned at the top there Carrera Cup Deutschland, I’ve seen that you finished on the podium this year. How’s that going for you at the minute? 

Rudy van Buren:
Better and better, taken off the books, was lucky enough to make my debut last year, despite all the, all the COVID around, but it was, it was a difficult season, which was bunched up in the end of the year, no time for testing, et cetera. But, this year we’re slowly getting there and now, like you just said, getting on the podium, so, you know, getting more towards where we, where we want to be, let’s say that way. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. What does it feel like to finish on the podium at Zandvoort, your home track, so to speak.

Rudy van Buren:
Well, Monza, I felt like, like a win, the first podium, Zandvoort was bittersweet, I was leading three quarters of the race, and then you should win it as well. So it felt like I won, I won it at Monza. I lost it at Zandvoort, but both same position. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
I did see that, but then at the same time, it’s still an amazing result. So don’t beat yourself up to much about it. 

Rudy van Buren:
Well, we need to do it, with the team with the way we need to do it, we’re the underdog and we’re getting there, but still, you need to grab the chances when you get them, but, it is what it is. The mistake happened and that cost the victory there. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I think so.

Rudy van Buren:
Last year it lasted about four laps in the lead, in Lausitzring in the rain, and now it just three quarters of the race. So next up we get it. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
It’s progress and you can’t just win overnight, can you?And, it looks like you’re doing an excellent job so far.

Rudy van Buren:
Thank you.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
I did actually see, I wasn’t gonna ask this, but I will do that on your Instagram that you drove a little classic Alpha Romeo recently. I mean, that’s very different to the Porsche, right. But is it the case that when you get the opportunity to drive something, you’re just gonna take it cause then the experience might help? 

Rudy van Buren:
Well, I’m not sure if there’s any experience, but my regular teammate in Germany, Sebastian Glass is a big fan of all the, all the historic racing, and he invited me, like we’re racing in Zandvoort, do you want to try it? So I said, sure. And then obviously everybody has to, do you know how to drive with three pedals? With the gearstick? And I’m like, yeah, I did some Formula Ford stuff back in the day, so I’m used to having more than two pedals. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Old school.

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah, old school. And it’s damn hard work to drive. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Is it?

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. We’re going routes, let’s say 25 seconds slower at Zandvoort than with the Porsche cup car. But the effort is double, cause half of the time with one hand on the wheel, sliding into corners, no power steering. So it was great to have an experience how well basically the car was from ’68. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. 

Rudy van Buren:
How that was. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. We’re probably supposed to be talking more about Porsche’s, right? But I just saw that and thought that’s, that’s such a cool car. I’ve bet It’s good fun. 

Rudy van Buren:
That’s more common this year also, with buggies and European races. So.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Oh yeah. Are you allowed to talk about that or?

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. I am allowed, I am allowed, but it will happen probably first week in September. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Well, okay. Well, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for that. Sort of switching to the sim racing side of things slightly. Obviously this year, you’ve got a partnership with rFactor 2, the big logo for the sim is on the bonnet of the Porsche. What’s it like representing and working with them?

Rudy van Buren:
It’s an honor, being supported by such a big game, sim, whatever you want to call it. Everybody has their own.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. Controversial. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah, racing platform. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, probably safe to say that.

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. No, it’s cool to have the trust from everybody in there, To represent them in the sim. Sorry, in the real world, but also still a little bit in the sim world, helping out quite a lot in the background with physics and so on trying to get the overlap going between the, the knowledge I gain in the real car, getting it to the physics in rFactor. So there’s quite a two way street going on but down the line, it’s really cool that they, they offer the support now for two years already. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. That’s a brilliant, and it shows that just, how much they believe in you, I suppose as a driver, it’s good validation of that. When it comes to, yeah, the game or sim world and the real-world, what are the key things that are like transferable skills? You obviously sim race a lot, you race in the real world a lot. Do they both help eachother?

Rudy van Buren:
Yes. Yeah. I always tend to say that one will never replace the order, but it does make each other stronger. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yes. 

Rudy van Buren:
Plenty of stuff. You can run through the same before race weekend. And there’s also plenty of stuff you can’t. With the sim, you have the unlimited practice. It doesn’t matter if you do 10, 100 or 1000 laps, you get them. Well in real life, most of the time you have two labs because then the tire mileage is already trying to eat on your pace and so on. So it’s a completely different atmosphere, but like, like I said, definitely there’s things that, as in race preparation, from getting the flow of the track, all these kinds of stuff there there’s overlap. And in the end it’s still a wheel and two or three pedals. Just in real life, there’s the, the force, the fear, everything that comes in play. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. And, do you still use on a regular basis to practice for certain events? 

Rudy van Buren:
Yup. Not on the tracks that I really know, because. This year I’m quite busy with coaching in the sim and it’s quite difficult to then let’s say jump in the sim for fun, because I’m either busy with racing, with the coaching. Then take the extra step and let’s say be this guy that does two or three hours of sim racing every day, that’s difficult. I wouldn’t say daily in the sim, but at least three or four days a week. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Right. So it’s still, it’s still useful to, stay sharp and in the zone, but it’s not like hardcore every single day. Right?

Rudy van Buren:
No.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Are you, I’m still following esports? Do you, do you watch any? And if so, what catches your eye at the minute? 

Rudy van Buren:
Well, I think I watch more than people expect, even when I’m in the hotel or something, obviously still part of Team Redline. So then in the discord chat, you see stuff going on, races happening, and then you go, you kind of watch the big races when you can. I think I’m pretty up to date of everything going on. Like I watched the first race of Formula Pro.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, what did you think to that?

Rudy van Buren:
I think it was surprisingly good. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. But you’re not tempted to try it yourself?

Rudy van Buren:
I did, but it’s just the lack of time. And then I’m in the position where I say, I either do it good or don’t at all and in this case then I opt for the don’t at all. If it would have been winter time, I would have done it, a hundred percent. I think the cost.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah.

Rudy van Buren:
I’m not sure about the racing just yet. Spa looked promising, but it’s Spa, so I’m curious what happens at Silverstone, if it becomes a train again or that they can actually fight, but for now, It was good. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. I would agree with that. Just might be track dependent. Certainly the car is a bit of a handful and that might be, provide some good, good fun racing. Cool. All right. Well, obviously we’ve touched upon sim racing on your current season there, but let’s rewind the clock a bit for those who don’t know, how did it all start, where did this passion for motorsport and racing come from?

Rudy van Buren:
Very, very early age. As far as I can remember from the moment I got my first bicycle or, oh, you call this, not the go kart, but the one you pedal yourself.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Oh okay, like a pedal car or something. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. Sorry, that’s the word I’m looking for? So everything was about doing laps and around cones and racing and all those kinds of things. So it was kind of natural that I got a go kart for my eighth birthday, not as natural, that it’s normal, but it’s good be in the line of expectation where if you’re in a racing family and my dad used to race. So, I got it on my eighth birthday, did go karting till my 16th, tried to take a step into car racing, which wasn’t possible at the time, jumped into sim racing. Well, here we are. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. So I think you did, did some karting, you might have, did you win a championship? In the early days?

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah the Belgium championship and some local leagues, or whatever you wanna call it. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah but then I suppose, making the jump further. It’s, I don’t know if this the case for you, but it’s certainly not cheap and it can be quite difficult to make that next step and for you sim racing. 

Rudy van Buren:
There was multiple things going on, which make me, make me want to say stop the racing real life. It was, as it was at the time, sometimes someone needs to pull the plug and my parents did at the time. And therefore you get the other stuff sorted. There’s plenty of examples of people that try to hang in there too long, double mortgage, all these kinds of things. Mine opted to say, time to focus on school. And so I did, and sim racing was a clear replacement for me at the time for the racing. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. What, what was the first sort of sim platform or racing platform that you have? You know, you can remember really getting into?

Rudy van Buren:
GTR 2. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Ah, yeah, good one. 

Rudy van Buren:
We, back in the time and Holland, we had these places for either DVDs or games or whatever. And I have a very short amount of focus on a game normally. So I tended to, to rent games, play them flat out for two weeks and then bring them back instead of buying them because renting was like a few euros or whatever we had at the time. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Those were the days.

Rudy van Buren:
Yes, those were the good days. I didn’t know what all the DVDs were at the time. I had no idea. 16 year olds so. Not that far at that time, but, GTR 2 ran into it, played it on the keyboard and thought, this is cool, sounds good, It looks cool, I need a wheel for this. Did my local job until I had enough money to buy a wheel, put it on the desk while, you know, how it goes, then new PC, new this, new that, and there you go.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. You can certainly build from there can’t it, yeah. And obviously from there you got really into it. How did it combinate in being on world’s fastest gamer? 

Rudy van Buren:
Wow. This is like eight years after that. So I’ve had my time in GTR 2, Lift for Speed, a lot of first years.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Ah, me too, with a keyboard as well. 

Rudy van Buren:
No, I had a full on wheel, but so much Live for Speed in a time to the point where my parents said, don’t you have friends or something, that’s the amount of amount I played. Then it became Race 07, rFactor 1, rFactor 2, iRacing temporarily. And then back to rFactor 2, when they really got their feet on the ground. And well, at that point, world’s fastest gamer came around, opted to take part, and the rest is history. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. For those that don’t know, I mean, it’s not really a spoiler at this point. Right. But you did win that. And you obviously, that was a big TV series at the time. It quite pioneering, what was it like being part of that big production and then becoming the McLaren simulator driver. 

Rudy van Buren:
It was, it was overwhelming at first. You get to a McLaren factory, which is really, really detailed to perfection.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Mindblowing.

Rudy van Buren:
Yes. Yeah. You can, you can still see Ron Dennis’ his hand in that whole facility. Everything is done to ultimate perfection. You get to see around, you see the cars, you see the people, you get to meet the drivers and then it’s, it’s overwhelming at first, but you get used to it quickly. And then I think from the second day onwards the focus was, how do I win this? 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
How did you win it? You know, was it extra back to practice, ultimate focus, skills that you’ve learned from that? 

Rudy van Buren:
Well, the thing was like half of the pre-races there onsite, we had 12 people and everything. They were like this Christmas tree thing, a drop-off, and half of the first rounds was iRacing. And at the time, I was still at the time, So right now as well, I am not a iRacing pro, but we raised the Williams Formula 1 car at the time, which was at that moment, the world championship car, where some of the competitors were actually competing in. So before we even started actually, I’m screwed in this. So then I decided, okay, I need to be as close as possible to them because the, the people with the knowledge here about the game know that they have more knowledge about the car. And that was the initial strategy from my side, do good in the media, do good in the fitness, be as good as you can be in the platforms you’re not familiar with. And then strike in rFactor 1 and lay indefinitely later on when we go to the, to the real simulators which has nothing to do with anything we play at home. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. Are they really that different? The actual, F1 team simulators too…

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
…some of the platforms.

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. I think by now the home sims have caught up to like Formula 3-ish sims, but not in, not in detail, like the basic feels there, but the Formula 3 sims go more in detail and then higher up it’s, it’s a different league. The higher up you go, the more difficult becomes to drive. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Oh, I would love to try one, but at the same time, it wouldn’t want to be embarrassing to myself there.

Rudy van Buren:
I don’t know if it’s embarrassing, I’d call it a reality check, that, what those guys do isn’t a, it’s not easy. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. I suppose it would make you appreciate more what they can do.

Rudy van Buren:
For sure. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. This is a slight tangent, I suppose, but speaking of TV shows, I suppose I see you’ve been on the, was it the F1 Cafe on Ziggo Sport, which as someone who doesn’t understand Dutch, you know, I don’t know what’s going on by following like Tom Coronel and people on Instagram and they seem like, it seems like a really good fun show, is it? 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah, it is. It’s really this bar type feeling which is going on. And by being there more often, you kind of know the guys more, you get more of this chemistry going on on the table and, it’s just good to be a part of it. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. I think that’s really cool that you’re on this sort of. Is on like a, you know, it’s on TV right in the Netherlands?

Rudy van Buren:
Every Friday evening, 10 o’clock. 10:30 in Holland. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Cool. And, well, we’ll just briefly mention Formula 1 for a minute. And just for context for people listening, I want you to, we’re recording this just after the, the British Grand Prix, which is kind of controversial, well, just quickly, you know, we don’t want to get bogged down and that too much, but who do you think will win the world championship this year. And are you following it more than ever?

Rudy van Buren:
I think that one’s easy. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. We don’t need to answer to that. Who do you think? I think will win the title. 

Rudy van Buren:
Well, if you even watch Dutch Formula 1 shows, then I assume Max. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, I am British. So obviously, I’m a Hamilton fan, but I do think Max will be, he’s doing an amazing job this year. Let’s put it that way. And what I really want is a close fight to the end of the season. I think everyone really wants that. Right? 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. That’s that’s, if people asked me the same question, you get the same answer, like, for now they both, they both will win races. In the end, if you give me the choice, who do you prefer? Well, we know the obvious answer, but as long as it’s a good fight and it’s exciting for us to watch, which this season is, like, for me, it doesn’t need to get to the point that it last weekend, but, the scrap they had before that let’s say that like with the small stuff at the start and so on. I think that makes exciting for all of us. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. So not, not Formula 1, but let’s talk Formula E obviously, you were, uh, signed as like a simulator development driver. Is that correct for the Mahindra team?

Rudy van Buren:
Am. Still am.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Still am? So that’s great. So how is that going? What’s the relationship like that? And what does the role involve? 

Rudy van Buren:
No, it’s actually getting better and better. Like it’s the same with everything. If you go to a new school or a new team, or it doesn’t matter, you need time with the people to get familiar with them, to know their nicknames, to be able to trash talk with them and to be comfortable around them. Now I’m quite easy going with new people, but still when you’re working in such a pressure cooker at the time when you’re doing track support and so on, you need to be on the same page with them. Because when you’re on the same page, you use less words, they know what you mean, and you improve bit by bit. This relationship is just getting better and better. I’d say, in the initial phase, I needed to learn how to handle with Formula E, because we all think this whole re-gen and so on is automatically, but there’s a whole process behind it, which you actually do from a driver’s side. 

Rudy van Buren:
And I’m not going to lie. I got smoked on race pace initially, there in the sim, but quali pace, no issue. Cause that’s in the end, it’s the same. You drive it as fast as you can around a track. You just have a lot of power, no grip and walls. And I don’t mean to make it easy with that, but it’s an easier path to get quick too, because it’s more in line with what we always do. But then you go racing and you need to lift and coast, pull the re-gen pedal in a certain way, let it go, brake. Sometimes you don’t even brake at a track, like this this is.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Really?

Rudy van Buren:
Yes. It’s like specific points of lifting, different driving lines, keeping momentum, switching between various, energy modes during the race, which means that the whole, the lifting points change, et cetera, et cetera. 

Rudy van Buren:
So it’s so much the learn upfront. This is also why during the season, especially this season, for example, you see Mercedes was super strong initially, and then they come to another track, same car and they’re nowhere. And I don’t mean this to diss Mercedes cause you see it happening all through the field. But this was the team which was dominating the first rounds with the extraordinary pace and the last ones they’re struggling and suddenly BMW is back. And they had the other thing around last year. So Formula E is mad in that regard, the preparation. And, I can go on and on about it. You see Venturi win the last race, for Venturi is a copy of the car from Mercedes. Why can Venturi do it and Mercedes doesn’t with the same equipment? There’s so much, they try to plan behind strategies, there’s a whole world people tend to miss. I’d say.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, I think the next round is in London. I don’t know if I can get tickets.

Rudy van Buren:
It’s half indoor, half outdoor. And if you see the weather forecast, it’s going to be half wet, half dry. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
I mean, that’s why I was semi tempted to go down and see it because it was just such a unique, strange track. I don’t know if they’ll come back another year, but certainly can be different. 

Rudy van Buren:
Well basically freedom day has been, so I guess it’s one big party. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, yeah. That’s all we’re doing now, we’re just jumping around, drinking champagne. 

Rudy van Buren:
There’s no limitation on people there. It’s going to be crowded. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. Yeah. So as you saw in the British Grand Prix, it was full house. Which is good, cause you can hear the crowd cheering, which has been a long, long time since that happened. And yeah, so at the Formula E event, because it’s one of the first events after the freedom day, I think it will be pretty busy. And maybe that provides some extra atmosphere. It’s good, but yeah, you’re right. You hear a lot about energy recuperation, or looking after the energy, in Formula E towards the end of the race especially, but maybe you don’t fully appreciate or understand the amount of hard work and effort that goes into planning that before. And I suppose as you say, that’s probably one of the biggest learning things you’ve got from that experience. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah and especially how to stay quick while doing all of this. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Right. Yeah true.

Rudy van Buren:
It’s the obvious answer, but it’s the difficult bit in the beginning. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Is it difficult for you to come out of the Formula E mindset and go into the Porsche brain? 

Rudy van Buren:
No. No, because when you’re Formula E, you can also switch to quali mode as in quali mode is in full push.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Right? 

Rudy van Buren:
No, it’s no, it’s two different worlds. If it would be closer to each other saying, wow, maybe it’s difficult. It’s so far apart that it just jumping from one to the other. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Oh, fair enough. Have you got plans to do more Formula E work then in the future? Or is it just going to continue. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah, of course. I know it continues, we’re planning on driving a car soon. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Well, yeah, that’s sorry. That’s maybe what I should’ve been asking that that’s kind of what I was alluding to, you know, is there an opportunity to drive the car.

Rudy van Buren:
There’s opportunity to drive the car without opportunity to compete in the championship. Let’s get that out of the way straight away. There’s no hope for a racing seat or anything. No, no, no. If I drive the car it’s to help and calibrate certain things from the simulator. But there’s no intention to end up in a racing seat. Nope. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. But that will still be cool to test the vehicle. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yes. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
You know, an actual top spec.

Rudy van Buren:
Seat is made, everything’s ready. It was suppose, to happen last year before COVID really hit. And if you go back on my Instagram, you’ll find the pictures it’s in the car. There’s no issue. Everything’s ready to go. We’re just waiting for the right moment, which now obviously will be after the season has ended. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Well, good luck. And I hope the opportunity finally comes. You’ve obviously been waiting probably nearly two years, or 18 months at least for that.

Rudy van Buren:
It is what it is. Sometimes things take time. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. Absolutely. And especially recently it’s been unprecedented times, hasn’t it? So I’m sure it will. It will come in the end. An so just in terms of esports, I don’t suppose you tried the Formula E content within rFactor 2. 

Rudy van Buren:
All right. Yep. It’s actually quite close. It’s the same.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Is it? 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. The, the grip level is quite close. We can argue about slip angles, but let’s say the lack of grip is truly comparable to the, to the real car. The software we use in the, let’s say the Formula E sims is a more detailed with the re-gen, but it’s definitely a step in the, saying the correct way, how the real car actually drives, especially the last update. Got it a lot closer. And I think it made it cool with the energy saving. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. It’s something I’m struggling with, certainly, but I’m enjoying it. 

Rudy van Buren:
It’s nothing you can’t learn. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, exactly. It’s time and I’m enjoying how the car was handle. Yeah, but like I say, I need to have enough energy towards the end of the race. And speaking about rFactor 2 again, I noticed that you finished, was it third GT Pro, one of the GT Pro seasons in 2020?

Rudy van Buren:
First one. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
First one, yeah. How was that season for you? Do enjoy competing in the GT cars?

Rudy van Buren:
Did I enjoy it? No I didn’t enjoy everything. There was plenty of (inaudible), which got the enjoyment far away from me, but, I think we made the best out of it in the end. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Quite a feisty series. 

Rudy van Buren:
It was. Started off with a win, then there was two rounds where I didn’t click, a crash, DNF, all these kinds of things happen. So third was best I could do in the end. But also there was a limited on time. And that was the biggest issue, because all the people that now think that these league race, everybody prepares 30, 40 laps. Well, good luck. You need to add one zero, potentially two, which goes into preparation because it’s full time races, which is fine. But if you can’t compete with the same amount of laps upfront, I think with preparation, it becomes really difficult. And there’s a, there’s a point where you say, okay, I either do it good. Or I don’t, like I said, with Formula Pro, and the, the first GT pro series was difficult time-wise which then resulted in good and bad rounds where I’d say, okay, if I have time, I’ll do it again. If real life racing takes too much time, then that goes ahead and that has happened. So we’ll see. There’s something, something cool coming on with the, with the endurance series later in the year, which I’ll be part of. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Oh, okay, cool. Yes. Looking forward to see more on that. So I suppose in terms of this year, then it’s the Porsche Carrera Cup tha’s your made priorities, is that fair to say over some, esports at the minute. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. I can say easier over everything. There’s so much time and effort in getting this season together that it’s main priority over everything. And then we’ll see what comes out of it. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. Well, it seems to be going well so far, like we said, and, I’m sure if you put that effort in the results will come eventually. I’m just thinking on the esports series a little bit, just like you to run through your sort of ideal equipment set up, if that’s okay? You know, often we see on Traxion, you know, people talking about, what sort of wheelbase to the use, pedals, monitor set up. What do you use at the, at the minute? What’s your preferred set up? 

Rudy van Buren:
I have Heusinkveld Ultimate’s, I have a Simucube 2, with a custom steering wheel. I have triple 32 inch curved screens and a gaming PC, which at the moment as a 2080 super graphic card in it. So nothing super fancy as long as it’s stable. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah. Yeah. And then is that the priority for you? The stability? 

Rudy van Buren:
Yes. I know I’m most of the graphics aren’t low. I’m very sensitive to hiccups and everything. So I actually run 120 FPS and not even 144, drop the frames or sorry drop their graphics. Just to keep it smooth because I hate it when I’ve stutters. I know everybody hates it, but I’m really, you feel it sort of forced feedback. I just try to avoid everything get a bit of overkill on the specs and then tune it down and be safe. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
I think that’s a fair, fair compromise. I think that is what I, a fair amount of, professional e-sports racers prioritize is the smoothness and the consistency, as opposed to the out and out graphics. You know, if you get like a big framework drop where you go through a shadow or next to competitors, not ideal scenarios. Yeah. 

Rudy van Buren:
Terrible, I actually had to last year, when COVID strikes in the beginning, we had quite some, some big events and there were two events where I was so struggling with the computer. I just couldn’t get it hooked up every time, the same stuff at the start that everything was delayed and so on, which in the end turned out to be graphic related as well that we tweaked. And as soon as it worked again and the results came back as well, the level is so high it’s in the detail and so it’s often also in these. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, that’s fair. I suppose we’re coming to the end of our time together, but I would like you to ask a couple of key questions about where you think the future of sim racing might go, if that’s okay. So in terms of the current simulator market or games or platforms as we want to call them out there, you know, is there anything that, you’ve learned from the real world that you’d like to see be implemented better perhaps in the virtual world? 

Rudy van Buren:
I think the first question I think the virtual world would benefit from, first of all, limited amount of tires during an event, just these things put more pressure on events. So let’s say, you have three sets of tires for your qualy and your race, those kinds of things. Surprise leagues, not basically, something which cuts out this amount, amazing amount of preparation upfront. I think that will make for a really interesting league, but it’s, it’s really difficult to get this hooked up because if you say it can be either one of these five cars or 10 trakcs, people just test 50 tracks, Yeah, so,.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
But it could be that it’s just like any track or car in this particular platform. 

Rudy van Buren:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s chasing the chasing the impossible, but, I think that will be cool, but there’s already plenty series with fixed setups and so on which, take these amazing amounts of practice hours down. And then when I think that the sim world is getting better and better broadcast platforms are better. social media is getting better. There isn’t that much. I’d say, get it over. Rain would be nice. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
That’s come up a few times. 

Rudy van Buren:
Rain comes up, but, I will just go for a few more things with, make it more hardcore realistic. And if that means that no end game, oh no end game overlays, nothing of this stuff, damage repair costs time, even in practice those kinds of things. I remember we had this in netKar Pro you know, netKar Pro. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, I’ve never played it by I’m aware of it.

Rudy van Buren:
You even needed to click a few buttons to start your engine, like click ignition and then click the, starter button. but it had all of the features. I just mentioned where the tire is damaged and that was bloody nerve wracking racing because there’s always this one corner, which is on the edge and you need to do it. But if you do, you’re well, potentially stuck in the box for 10 minutes on repairs. And there’s a really different dimension to the, let’s say the race evening. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Well, I think a lot, yeah. That there is a lack of jeopardy that say in some respects, if you could just do a quick repair. Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, maybe, some features like, or certain leagues that use certain features like that could, could improve 

Rudy van Buren:
So it’s been spoken about with Marcel before, once they don’t recognize the name straight away. I don’t know who it is, but, we just spoke about, about this hardcore hardcore mode, Yeah. It will be possible to implement such things.

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Oh, in that case, let’s see fingers crossed. Yeah. I guess, just to finish off for you to, where do you see e-sports in, and sims in a few years time, you know, do you think it’s going to continue growing as it is? And do you think more drivers will use it for testing and come across into real wheel racing? 

Rudy van Buren:
Yes, but I think that the leap it took last year, it won’t take again because obviously last year, every racing driver was stuck at home. Oh damn I need to sim and we get so much drivers, but it will chip higher up the ranks. And like I said before in the interview, it will never one won’t replace the other, but will definitley make each other stronger, you will see fluctuating amount of drivers going around, especially in winter time. More people will jump into the, into the sim. And I think that will be more and more teams appreciate the sim more and more as prep and that games will obviously develop. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, that’s fair. Yeah. Especially I say wintertime, I think at the minute, a lot of race drivers who are racing virtually last year when they couldn’t real race, they’re sort of stopped for now. on pause and sort of focusing on the season, but I will expect to see like a few real race series come back with more e-sports events over the wintertime. Right. Because I think a lot of people got into it for the first time last year and that can, they need to carry that on that momentum. So that’d be good to see. They will. Nice. Okay. Well, I think we’ll call it an end there Rudy, really thank you very much for your time. I think what we’d like to say, everybody listening and watching, which you the very best of luck with the Carrera Cup Deutschland races for the rest of the season, I’m pretty sure you’ll get the win I’m going to predict you’re going to get a win. So that will be nice. And the next round is in Nürburgring from the 16th of August. Uh, so keep your eyes peeled.

Rudy van Buren:
That is small disclaimer to the Nürburgring one, obviously in that area stuff going around at the moment, which are way more important than driving. So I’m not sure if the race will go ahead. I would understand if it doesn’t because in the end it’s a multi-million dollar circus that comes around to drive laps on a, on a track. And there’s people that don’t even have trousers anymore, which I kind of feel for in a way, like, it feels almost feels wrong to be there at the time, but we’ll see it’s really bad what’s going on there. But if that doesn’t happen, I’m sure they’ll move it to a different date or track. We have three more races to go that’s for sur, and where it will be we’ll see. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah, well, like I say, but we should have the best look and that’s a very good point though wish everybody in Germany, all the best as well, with what’s been happening over there at the time of, so, thank you very much, Rudy. You can always, if you’re not, if the race is postponed, you can always fire up the sim and put some more hours in there I’m sure. And for everybody listening, please do like and subscribe on YouTube, follow and subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify it’s free and it just helps out a podcast. Follow us on social media @TraxionGG what’s your social media handle, Rudy. So people can follow. 

Rudy van Buren:
@rudyvanburen really simple. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Nice and easy. That’s on Twitter on Instagram, correct? 

Rudy van Buren:
No, Twitter is actually @RvBuren but do we still use Twitter nowadays. Its a booby trap when you open it during a formula one race, I couldn’t help myself. Yeah. 

Tom Harrison-Lord:
Yeah same sometimes. Alright, thanks very much we’ll see you next time.

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