CORE’s Alexander Voß on endurance sim racing and the use of VRS

alex1Meet Alexander Voß: one of the top drivers in endurance sim racing, and driver of CORE Motorsports, a sim racing team that uses VRS, and a team that is making inroads in iRacing’s competitions, coming second in last year’s Blancpain Endurance Series, and winning the iRacing VLN championship, as well as the ADAC Sim Racing Trophy.

Can say you something about yourself?
My last name Voß often leads to confusion, thanks to the traditional German ‘ß’ capital. Basically this is a ‘sharp s’ and means no more than double s, not a b. I’m a 27-year-old IT specialist, and I live in Paderborn, Germany. In my spare time I’m usually watching Borussia Dortmund, doing weight training, and obviously sim racing.

How did you get started in sim racing?
I started sim racing in my early childhood, with titles like Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix Series. From there I moved to GTR, GTR2, rFactor, Race 07, and I almost raced every single sim out there, except Live for Speed.

I was always fascinated by comparing myself against other players, as I’m searching for competition. Even when online sim racing was in its early stages (at the end of the 90’s), offline leaderboard competitions gave that opportunity. I wanted more and more, and that’s how it’s like today at iRacing!

When did you start to use telemetry?
I started to use telemetry in rFactor and GTR2. Even then it was to get some kind of advantage over the competition. As a team we helped each other and tried to find ways to compare racing lines, and to improve the setup, especially on tyre degradation.

How did CORE Motorsports form, and where you part of it? Or how did you join?
I joined CORE Motorsports in 2013, when the team had huge success in the German competitions of rFactor. Since then the team had a lot of breaks, changes and new management, but since last year we’re an associated non-profit organisation, and have built a very strong relationship over the last years, which makes us very proud!


How does CORE use VRS?
VRS evolved to a very important tool for our team. For already a year now there hasn’t been a single race where we didn’t use it. After talking to some VRS coaches, it was clear to me that VRS takes care of the data which the telemetry logger is capturing. That gives us security in terms of setup data and related stuff not everybody should maybe get their fingers on.

Since we’re using VRS it’s a lot easier for us to be aware of other drivers problems within the team, to find weaknesses and to see where you can improve yourself. For now VRS is indispensable in our daily use, as it’s a lot easier to handle than telemetry Tools like MoTec and Atlas. Due to real life commitments we usually start with preparation a few days before a race, which leads to the point that telemetry usage is a huge factor for us to be time effective. Gone are the days when ‘hotlapping’ was the only method to improve your laptime.

Are there different driving styles within the team?
For sure the driving styles in our team varies from driver to driver. For example, a huge factor in endurance races is fuel usage. I’m known as someone who’s always burning lots of fuel, but by using telemetry it was easy for me to copy Nils’ (my teammate) driving style and let the car roll more, brake less, and therefor reduce fuel consumption and tyre wear when necessary.

Core Motorsport finished 1-2-3 at the 2016 ADAC Sim Racing Trophy. From left to right: Alexander, Angelo, Kay.

What are your hopes on the 2017 season?
Sim racing is always about competition and success. But as a team we don’t want to lose the focus to the most important thing, which is clearly the fun we have to race against other competitors and top-tier teams. We don’t do sim racing to earn prize money, although it’s certainly a nice propulsion to invest more effort than we’d normally do. But in general, our focus is to strengthen the team spirit, continuously improve our racecraft and compete in the WCS Series and other highly competitive endurance races.

We’re looking forward to the next years, and we surely hope that sim racing itself will also continue to grow as an eSport!

Javi Part 1: Love for racing, his iRacing progress, and being coached by David

thumbWe chat with Javi Utreras, an avid iRacer, a dedicated VRS user, and one of David Williams‘ recurring students.

Javi, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
“I’m an extremely big fan of racing. I’ve loved racing since I was born, maybe even before that! I now live in Florida, USA, but I have some real life racing experience in my home country Ecuador, where I raced in a Mazda 323 cup.”

How did you start with iRacing?
“When I found out about iRacing, I was really happy. It lets me do what I love, for a fraction of the cost of real life racing. I’m very impressed with what iRacing has done, the feeling of the cars is very lifelike.

I started in November last year, and figured I’d have somewhat of an advantage because of my real life racing experience, but in the beginning it was very tough. I got very serious in January, but got a bit frustrated because I saw no improvement. That was, until I found out about VRS.”

And then what?
“David is coaching me since April. Since then, my top 5 finishes have gone up from 23 to 28%. My incidents per race went down from 13 to 7, and my iRating has gone from 1500 to 3000. The impact was huge.”


How’s David?
“What speaks volumes is that David really wants me to succeed. He’s friendly and very knowledgeable about racing. He knows the up and downs, left and rights. David, and actually his whole team is incredible. I support Coanda Simsport team big time, even though I am thousands of miles away. These guys are just aliens and what they do is incredible.

I’ve played in many competitive sports before, and always had coaches who made me better. David is just like that. Sometimes coaches say things you may not like, but you need to follow through and you’ll be successful. Whatever David asks of me, I’ll do it.”

What are some of your improvements?
“The racing lines I’ve been working on with David are getting a lot better. But the car control and trail braking are probably the biggest improvements for me.”

What’s an area for improvement?
“I need to control my emotions. Sometimes I want to pass very quickly, but I’ve learned that that’s not always the best case. I need to learn to be more patient. David’s teaching me how, and where to pass, and how to trick others into making a mistake.”

Looking long-term, what’s on your mind?
“I have my short term goals and long term goals. I’m a very competitive guy and want to win. I almost see iRacing more as a career than a hobby. Especially long term, my goal is a Pro licence.

Yet I also understand this takes time. Definitely one of the things I need to understand, is that this is a proces. You want to become better, you want results overnight. But that doesn’t work, usually. But so far, I’m very happy. I’m already joking to David I’ll one day beat him.”