Few races into the new format FBL season, five sprint and three endurance events to be exact, and we have a firm championship leader in both series. Considering just how competitive the sharp end of the grid is this season it is all the more impressive to emerge as the leader of such a competitive field so naturally, we asked Denis if he would be happy to tell us a bit more about himself.
FBL: Denis, a very impressive start of the season and you are leading both championships with podiums in all but one race. Most importantly, are you enjoying racing in FBL?
Denis: Thank you! I had never done League racing (in iRacing) before FBL…and now I have not done any official race since I started. It’s safe to say I enjoy it very much. Seeing how the community is growing, I think I am not the only one!
FBL: Can you tell us how you got into sim racing and how did you find your way into FBL?
Denis: My interest in racing goes back to the early 90’s with Grand Prix Circuit (by Accolade) and watching F1 on TV with my Dad. This led to playing Monaco Grand Prix Racing Simulator 2 in 1999 and buying my first steering wheel (Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback). Things got more serious with e-racing from 2005, playing F1 Challenge 99-02 online with a Logitech Momo Racing. I joined Formula-Simracing, a competitive F1 league, and competed for almost 5 years. Bono Huis was my team mate in his debut in 2008!
After a 10 year break from simracing, I joined the Radical SR8 championship in iRacing, this time with a Logitech G29. I started driving SR8 after Joakim Bengtsson, a team mate from Formula-Simracing, invited me to the series. Having become a regular SR8 driver, I joined a dedicated Discord and made some friends from racing together. It’s Erik Hanoy, a good simracing friend, that told me about FBL.
FBL: Can you tell us a bit more about how you feel about the FBL format? I’m sure Sprint is something you are very much used to through the official series but Radical Endurance is not a very common format – how are you finding it to manage the Radical for 90 minutes, with pit stops and everything?
Denis: FBL was the first time I did Endurance in iRacing, but I had some experience from the Formula-Simracing era where we were doing full F1 races. The biggest difference for me is that my chair is not designed for long sessions of seating.
FBL: You are doing extremely well with incident points so far and your iRacing stats suggest that over the 13 years in iRacing, you hold a 3.01 incident per race score which is very impressive. How do you manage to get the most out of the car and track and keeping it clean?
Denis: I have always focused on racing as safely as possible, especially against other drivers. I have learned that it is worth keeping it clean. I prefer to sacrifice some lap time or a position, rather than DNF.
FBL: There is always a lot of talk about the sim gear everyone uses to race – do you have any plans for upgrades in the pipeline?
Denis: I watch a lot of reviews! I’d love to have a cockpit and VRS gear, but unfortunately, no plans for any upgrade.
FBL: You started very strongly in the Official Radical Series this season but have fallen off lately not because of bad results but because of not having registered points. What happened there? Were you distracted by real life commitments or are the FBL commitments keeping you busy?
Denis: I have not raced any official race since the start of FBL. As the track is different from the official series, I don’t have time to be competitive in both, so I chose to focus on FBL for now.
FBL: Where else could we find you on iRacing? Are you racing any other cars, series? Did you ever consider endurance races?
Denis: I only race Radicals, and only on FBL. I wish I could do more, but my free time is limited. I had a few opportunities for Endurance, since I am a rather safe driver, but here the main limitation is the comfort of my rig.
FBL: Now, back to the FBL Season – you have lots of quick drivers breathing down your neck every race but who do you think will be competing for the top honours come the end of the season, in both championships?
Denis: I have to be honest, drivers like Mchutchison or Horsewood are a class above. Some other drivers are very difficult to beat, like Crabb, Hanoy, Busson, Braaten or Sheen. Nevertheless, other variables come into play like incidents, consistency and luck. In any case, if these drivers are here every week, I think the champion will be from that list.
FBL: Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you would like to share with the community?
Denis: I play basketball in a club, badminton as a hobby. I like cooking, hiking.
Located: Yverdon, Switzerland
Profession: Database Administrator
+ Champion – Formula-Simracing Ace (2005)
+ 8th – Formula-Simracing World Championship (2006)
+ Top 25 (all divisions) every season of 2021 in the Radical SR8