A bright and sunny California day saw the Evo X Mid-Ohio Event winners, Peter Duivelaar (pro_drifter100) and Steven Diem (acerockolla), join us at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center. They were greeted by Jeff Westphal, one of its instructors, and Nico Rondet, its Chief Instructor, who would be coaching them over the next two days as they got to grips with the Evo X and the Infineon Raceway circuit. After a quick intro, it was time to see if they are as quick in the real world as they are in the virtual one!
Jeff was immediately impressed: “From the time both Steven and Peter arrived it was apparent that both of them were stoked. During breakfast I was able to speak with each of them to get an idea of their driving experience. It was at that time I found out that Steven had raced go-karts competitively for quite some time and that Peter had only driven some go-karts on family vacations; however, both of them had been driving simulators for many years.”
Once Jeff and Nico got the guys into the cars and began to hustle them through a few of the paddock exercises, it was clear that Steven was able to rely on both his experience from the simulator and the race track. “He was quick, immediately consistent with his lines and had an obvious grasp of proper technique,” recalled Jeff.
Then it was Peter’s opportunity to drive. “He also had a well-established skill set and a great feel of the car working underneath him. Both drivers were able to take the skills that were honed in the paddock right onto the racetrack and completed the remainder of the two days’ track sessions at a more-than-brisk pace. They seemed to enjoy the heck out of the Evo X and Infineon Raceway.”
Nico was also effusive in his praise:“Both Peter and Steven showed maturity beyond their years. Both showed focus, precision, and consistency to be their friends. Steven had a history in go-karts, which is probably why he got up-to-speed even quicker than Peter, but it was evident that they were both better prepared than most of our regular students. Showcasing how the simulator works definitely helps to prepare drivers for the real world.”
Further evaluating their performance, Nico continued: “Our Evo courses are designed to both stimulate and educate our customers/students; we always have to be cognizant of their fatigue level. These two showed no sign of that. Their youth helped them on the physical side and their virtual experience helped on the mental side. With that, they were able to progress much faster and start to understand the subtleties of the real world of driving, recalibrating their senses from the 2D, non g-force world to the 3D, heavily g-forced world.”
So how did it all finish up? Jeff summarized the results of the two days spent with Steve and Peter.
“In the end it was Steven who took the competition element, but Peter didn’t make it easy for him. Peter had only simulator experience to fall back on–heck, he had only received his license to drive on the street a couple of months before–while Steven had racing and simulator experience. That said, it was clear that the time Peter spent on the sim helped him from the moment he got behind the wheel of the real thing. Again, from my end, it was an absolute pleasure to meet the both of them and I wish them the best.”
It’s fair to say Steven and Peter enjoyed their two days at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center as much as Jeff and Nico did–and it all came about as a result of a free-to-enter competition on Simraceway. The good news for you is that it’s a regular competition so, if you want to enjoy the same memorable all-expenses-paid auto experience as this talented pair, all you need to do is enter the latest PDC Hotlap Event (currently PDC Hotlap 6). We look forward to welcoming you!