Going ahead on years, after I became economically indipendent, I used to had a Guillemot Thrustmaster Ferrari Force Feedback GT racing wheel, which accompanied me for a long time! Surely much more than it was planned to last by Thrustmaster itself! When on my old videos titles or descriptions you read "Racing Wheel" or "Steering Wheel" instead of "Logitech G27", I'm talking about that GTFFFGT (as I used to call it ^_^ ).
But strictly speaking about simulation, everything started with GTR 2002. It's the ancestor of GTR series from SimBin... the one that after became Race and Race 07 series, with GTR as expansion pack, and finally RaceRoom.
But the particularity of GTR 2002 was the fact that it was a mod. A FREE mod. Made for F1 2002. And it was awesome! I think on that period everybody loved GTR 2002. Well if they loved virtual race driving, obviously. Maybe it boosted F1 2002 sales for EA. Note: F1 series from Electronic Arts, on late '90s and early 2000, was about real simulation. Not the mix of arcade-simulator which is Codemaster's F1 nowadays. And if I don't bad remember, it was made by ISI. Team which now makes rFactor.
Just think that GTR 2002 was so good, that it had mods itself! For example the ETCC mod. And with the ETCC mod I also partecipated to an online championship (it was 2004) and I won the Privateers CUP.
Well in practice that simply meant I used a car from a privateer team. I use'd Clever Cat team's Alfa Romeo 156. Usually privateers buy last year's official cars, i.e. I had 5 gears instead than 6. So actually few people used privateer teams' car, and I was just the most stoical trying to be present on every event. I wasn't slow, but I must admit I won that cup just 'cause I had few privateers competitors, and 'cause I made fewer absences than others (so much more points!).
Anyway on the overall classification I was 5th. So also included people with "official" Alfa and BMW cars. Just let's say on that period online competition wasn't actually so spreaded as today. Also absences were more frequent. And even connecton crashes. Me, instead, on that period I had LOT of free time (more than a 24 old man should have) , and also a great connection (Fastweb, 10Mb with fibra... just a dream for 95% of Italians, back in 2004).
But once in that championship there was a race where the final result was all on me! I won! Yes a victory! I won a race: first over everybody! Officials or privateers! How that happened? Well, thank for asking me... seeing this article seems to still be not long enough. :D
There was an event on Brands Hatch circuit with rain. Obviously it wasn't dynamic weather: the race was just already planned like that. ^_^ And I wasn't the faster on the track at all! So how possible I won? Well, just "strategy"... or to better say, an intuition.
ETCC events were made of two races. Race 1 and Race 2. At the end of Race 1, I was simply last but two. :\ But rules for Race 2 says that starting grid is made from finish results of Race 1, with first 8 places inverted. In that event we were exactly 8 racers. And 2 of them were behind me just 'cause they NEVER trained or made a setup for the event! So they were just spinning tops on the tarmac!
So the intuition was simple: I'll start third on Race 2 and I'll be just behind those two spinning tops. The start is curvilinear with a turn soon after. Those two will at 75% of probabilities spin soon under braking. If I get rid of those two before that curve and make it as first, with high probability they crash and involve all the other drivers! So after I'll have only to make zero mistakes and I can probably have a good final place!
And you know what? It's exactly what happened! I had to commit on a clean and efficient start. After being overcome by me, those two spinned immediately on the track and all other racers hit them! So I was first with a big margin, and top drivers whom survived the crash was recovering seconds lap by lap. But I was focused on not making mistakes! At the contrary they were nervous and on a hurry with a damaged car. So at the end I was first with no error at all, while they didn't reach me in time due to some spins, while racing over limits under rain. :)
And so we can close the GTR 2002 (and mods) chapter. See you on next. :)
Link to Part 1: drivetribe.com/p/ZOrTdBu2R2u0xT5baOfANA/N5XBiTzXTAmhhCrE8tTy8g
Link to Part 3: drivetribe.com/p/WPVhcla2Sam8Ul2alua9UA/Z2Ao9TgxQ96SNgVcL6MThQ