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Simraceway pro drivers Tag

New Promo Film with UltraArm SF

Simraceway is excited to announce a brand new promo film that we shot with the talented UltraArmSF crew. 

Essentially, we wanted to create a visual experience to capture the adrenaline and excitement of racing on a world-class track in the heart of California. 

“It was a collaborative process,” says Sean Rivers, partner at UltraArmSF. 

“For Simraceway, we used a new remote arm (Motocrane Ultra) camera car rig for their campaign. We had DP Ethan Indorf, AC Jeph Folkins and Kevin Jones with SkyHopperAerials to help out on the production. And Layer Media brought the expertise with the post-production, sound design, color and further developed the creative, and finalizing the spot.”

The main objective was to create something short, snappy, and thrilling to encourage people to spend time on the race track. 

Check out the video below to experience Simraceway for yourself!


With an impressive film background, Sean Rivers, Robert Barcelona and Patrick Roth have since launched their own commercial and film remote arm car company. And with that new venture comes the use of UltraArmSF to capture difficult shots and moments with an artistic flair. 

“We started this company with other experienced production veterans with a love for the creative process. We specialize in dynamic camera movement, and UltraArmSF is a joint venture between myself, Robert Barcelona and Patrick Roth.”

Rivers explains it as “a remote crane on top of the car,” which was originally called a Russian Arm by the inventors of the technology in the 1990s. However, Rivers and his team have become the first and only remote arm car in northern California.

In the video, you can see the UltraArmSF at work, providing superb clarity for high-speed footage, full 360 turn capability, and the ability to film really low to the ground or high in the air. 

Every shot in the new ad was filmed with UltraArmSF, and you can explore some cool behind the scenes footage with the crew to get an idea of what the total experience was like. 

For more information about UltraArmSF, click here. You can also explore Simraceway for other racing insights and opportunities to get involved.

X-Bow Cup USA Weekend 2 – The 8 race incident free run continues

For the 2nd weekend of the X-Bow Cup, 2019, temperatures were a bit higher than usual, but the cars and competitors did very well. 

With 8 races completed by the end of last weekend, there have been zero on-track incidents, which serves as a testament to the KTM X-Bow platform.

New Drivers to Watch Out for

There were also two new faces in the X-Bow Cup paddock this past weekend, Josh Sarchet and Mathias Pelzmann.

Sarchet is an interesting racer with experience in Formula Ford cars and lots of time behind the wheel of go-karts. 

Mathias Pelzmann is a competitor from Europe and a regular driver in the X-Bow battle across the pond. Stateside, Pelzmann did quite well, but he noticed some major differences between the European Circuits he’s used too and the course at Sonoma:

 “The car is familiar to me, but the track here is challenging compared to the tracks in Europe.” 

He agreed that a racing school set at a track like Sonoma Raceway is a huge advantage to learning drivers. 

Top Performers for the Weekend

On the other hand, a few returning riders enjoyed the challenge and showcased impressive results.

Daniel Doerr, Michael Kopper, and Will De La Rosa flexed their muscles on the track, but the first race belonged to newcomer Josh Sarchet.

This was his first event and first time at Sonoma raceway, and after doing some simulator work and studying race videos, he won the first race and posted the fastest time that session. 

Daniel Doerr took second, Michael Kopper placed third. 

In race two, things improved for everyone across the board. Will De La Rosa, a 15-year-old phenom who still only has a driving permit, won the 2nd heat of the day. 

Josh Sarchet was second on the podium, and Mathias Pelzmann placed third.  

For race number three, Josh Sarchet won again, Daniel Doerr finished second, and Will placed third. 

In the final race, Daniel Doerr led the pack once more with Josh Sarchet behind him, and Will De la Rosa at third. 

KTM X-Bow Cup Driver Takeaways

According to Matt Bell, Chief Instructor and manager of the KTM program, he states that everyone performed quite well.

“Josh Sarchet just tapped into some of his Formula Ford experience and really ran super smooth races. Even if he wasn’t the fastest guy out there, he found where the difficulties were for other people to pass and exploited them.” 

“Daniel Doerr was just a missile all weekend long. He posted some of the fastest times and made some great passes, but in the end, he didn’t win the weekend because he was too fast for his own good. Tire attrition is a great lesson to learn”

It’s important to consider that everyone was on a new tire package—Michelin tires which tend to go longer throughout the weekend, but harder to cool off if abused. 

Despite the changes, “Will De La Rosa was consistent the whole way through. He maintained the same lap times every race and had no real issues the entire weekend.” Bell explains. 

“However, Mathias Pelzmann found the track really challenging but still managed to stay consistent. By Sunday, he really showed his competitive nature, giving some of the other racers a hard time. 

Lastly, “Michael Kopper increased his times with each lap and each race, steadily climbing up the ladder. He’s just happy to be here and his enjoyment really shows. Every weekend he spends with us he gets closer to that top step of the podium.” 

Final Event Results

By the end of the weekend, it was Josh Sarchet with 90 points, Daniel Doerr with 79 points, Will De La Rosa with 69 points.

As far as the Championship results go…

Daniel Doerr is leading with 177 points

Will De La Rosa is in second with 151 points

Michael Kopper is in third with 98 points

Josh Sarchet is in fourth with 95 points

Learn More About the X-Bow Cup at Simraceway

With two more weekends left in the X-Bow Cup, it’s still anyone’s cup. 

Not to mention, the winner of the X-Bow Cup receives a voucher to compete in the X-bow championship in Europe in 2020, so there’s bound to be some fierce competition ahead. 

To learn more about the X-Bow Cup and to inquire about races at Simraceway, visit our site or contact our team

PDC/ASCE Instructors: Geri Amani

Geri’s career in motorsports evolved from her professional experience working in design and marketing. After completing her master’s degree in England and spending over a decade in the publishing industry, she made the transition to the track with a client base of drivers and teams from series such as NASCAR, GRAND-AM, and ALMS.


Even before her career change, Geri had spent time racing karts and a variety of sports cars in both sprint and endurance events. She is one of very few women in the industry who regularly works with clients in high performance cars including Audi, BMW, Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari. Geri utilizes her racing experience to assist women who wish to enter the sport, helping them realize their potential by instilling the confidence needed to perform successfully on track.

PDC/ASCE Instructors: Mikel Miller

Mikel Miller has more than 25 years of experience in the industry as a driver, instructor, coach, engineer, and facilitator. For the past several years he has been racing Grand Am, test driving, coaching, and running racing schools while working with manufacturers as a driver, product specialist, and right-seat driver.


Mikel’s varied career has included open-wheel, sedan, and endurance racing, prototype, tire, and manufacturer testing, drifting, off-road, stunt, and precision driving, law enforcement and special ops training. When away from the PDC/ASCE, he still actively races sports cars and vintage cars.


PDC/ASCE Instructors: Lauchlin O’Sullivan

Lauchlin O’Sullivan has over 20 years of experience in the industry as an instructor, professional racer, and factory driver.  For the last 10 years, he has been involved with product knowledge instruction and training seminars as well as working for a variety of automotive manufacturers as a product specialist and “right-seat driver”.


Lauchlin’s wide-ranging instruction background has included ice and winter driving programs, on and off road car courses and law enforcement and special ops training.  He has also spent time in front of the camera as a precision and stunt driver for commercials, film and TV shows. On the track, he claimed the Rally America Super Production National Championship title in 2012.

PDC Rules the Track!

There was a distinctly Simraceway flavor to the weekend’s racing with uber-talented PDC alumni Dane Cameron (TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, GTD class) and Gabby Chaves (Indy Lights Championship) both securing significant victories. The wins leave Cameron tied for the lead in the Drivers’ Championship and hands Chaves his first ever Indy Lights title. Congratulations to them!


If that wasn’t enough, the weekend also saw an impressive second-in-class (behind Cameron) for Jeff Westphal and a P3 for Greg Liefooghe (Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, ST class), both from the PDC’s world-class pool of instructors.


To follow in the foosteps of Dane and Gabby, check out our current courses and programs now!

PDC/ASCE Instructors: Randal Buck

Randal began his career in 1990 as an instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School, where he taught courses and assisted with corporate driving programs. In 2009, he was promoted to Chief Instructor–a responsibility he added to in 2011 when he took on the role of managing the AMG Driving Academy, which Skip Barber ran for Mercedes Benz USA.


Away from his training duties, Randal spent more than 15 years in the role of Pit Lane Coordinator for both the Skip Barber National Championship Series and Skip Barber Western Regional Race Series.


From 2011, students and guests at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center and Audi sportscar experience have been benefiting from Randal’s 25 years of instructional experience. When away from Sonoma Raceway, he also finds the time to work as a private coach in the Ferrari Challenge Series and various vintage and other amateur championships.


PDC/ASCE Instructors: Paul Charsley

Paul has been racing for over 23 years. A natural on the track, he started out by winning his first ever race on the last corner of the final lap. A year later he carried off his first championship, before turning to the pro circuit in IMSA endurance racing. Although primarily a “tin-top” racer, he has driven a variety of car types, including Super Touring sedans, formula cars, and sports car endurance GTs.


Alongside his racing, he has made a career of coaching in series events such as Grand Am, ALMS and SCCA, as well as providing incisive insights for the Formula1blog racing website and podcast. After some years on the road helping show off the latest Audi cars in performance events, Paul settled down at Sonoma Raceway in 2009 and has been applying his not-insignificant skill set to helping the Simraceway Performance Driving Center and Audi sportscar experience ever since.


PDC/ASCE Instructors: Jeff Sakowicz

Jeff’s first racing experience came at the age of five on a bicycle, when he competed in Bicycle Moto Cross all over California. At nine, he began racing karts, and his subsequent success saw him switch to SCCA competition for two years in the Formula Ford class. After racing in Formula Continental, he travelled around the country competing in the US Formula Ford 2000 National Championship and notching multiple race wins and podium finishes in the American Continental Championship.


Jeff’s passion for passing on his skills was evident from an early age. His teaching career began as a summer job at his local go-kart school when he was aged 13.  He worked at the school sporadically through high school, before committing to it full time. Since 2007, he has continued to hone his craft as a racing instructor, and is now is a lead instructor for the Audi sportscar experience and Simraceway Performance Driving Center.

PDC/ASCE Instructors: Dane Rudolph

Australian Dane Rudolph began karting at 14 years of age, competing in Juniors, Rotax and ICA. Moving into open wheelers, he raced in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and Formula 4000 Series, on top of taking part in a host of Dirt Speedway Midget events in his native country.


As well as competing in the Australian National Production Car Championship, Dane has also participated at a number of 24-hour endurance events, including races at Sepang, Dubai and the Nurburgring. In 2008, he moved permanently to the US and began competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. He is currently a lead instructor with the Audi sportscar experience and Simraceway Performance Driving Center.

PDC/ASCE Instructors: Andrew Shoen

Andrew started competing on motocross bikes when he was eight. In the late 80s and early 90s, he attended racing schools in both California and Arizona, successfully competing in SCCA Improved Touring and garnering multiple wins and podium finishes. By 1998 he was running Pro-7 (spec RX-7) and continuing his winning ways.


One of our lead instructors, Andrew has been involved in numerous OEM events and tours throughout the years.  He coaches drivers in numerous racing series and helps facilitate manufacturer training events. For more than a decade Andrew has also used his unparalleled experience behind the wheel to help save the lives of America’s youth, contributing to a non-profit teen-driving program.

Sim Car Spotlight: Instructors Choice Bundle

One of Simraceway Online Racing World‘s Car Bundles–themed collections of virtual cars that can be downloaded quickly and cost-effectively–the Instructors Choice Bundle comprises cars personally selected by PDC instructors, from the McLaren MP4/4 and BMW M1 Procar to the Mazda 787 and Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’.To discover more about the reasons behind the Bundle’s classic constituents, check out our Online Racing World blog. To view the Bundle itself, head to the Simraceway ORW website.


PDC/ASCE Instructors: Tony Brakohiapa

Tony has been a professional race driver for more than a decade. His wide-ranging experience includes open-wheel, stock car, sportscar, touring car, and kart racing, and he’s also competed in the Formula Drift National Championship. Competition has taken him all over the world, including appearances at the Yas Marina Formula One circuit in Abu Dhabi, Qatar’s Al-Anabi racetrack and the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.


As well as working as a private driving coach for various vintage, Ferrari Challenge, Rolex and American Le Mans Series teams, Tony is also an accomplished film and TV stunt driver. He recently took part in the movies Jack Reacher, which starred Tom Cruise, and Need for Speed.


PDC/ASCE Instructors: Jeff Westphal

Audi sportscar experience and Simraceway Performance Driving Center instructor Jeff Westphal is a highly-successful pro driver. He has acquired championships and track records in both open-wheel and sports car disciplines, experiencing the former up to the current Indy Lights car, and the latter up to Rolex GT.


Currently racing for Scuderia Corsa in the #63 Ferrari 458 GT, he has run at the front of talented fields for a number of years. On top of Jeff’s speedy ascent within the racing community, he is also a mine of knowledge when it comes to car setup and data acquisition, which makes him an invaluable asset to any team.

How to Get Around COTA…Fast!

Simraceway Performance Driving Center instructor Matt Bell is one of a select group: a driver who has taken on Circuit of The Americas twice. In fact, in March of this year the Californian got up-close-and-personal with the Austin circuit twice in one day—once in a Chevrolet Camaro SS GS.R, and once in an Audi R8 LMS.


So who better than the expert GT racer, who has placed second in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series Driver’s Championship (GS Class) two years in a row, to guide us through a lap of COTA in our R8 LMS ultra–as Simraceway players battle to record the quickest times with that same car/track combo and qualify for the 50th Sunday Race-Off?


Read on to benefit from his video and guide, which is also available to download as a PDF.


Simraceway Pro Driver Dario Franchitti Retires from Racing

Four-time IndyCar champion and triple winner of the Indianapolis 500, Dario Franchitti announced yesterday that he would be retiring from professional motorsport due to medical concerns resulting from his crash in Houston. As someone we’ve worked with closely over the last few years, that news provokes a range of emotions.



As racing fans, we share in the sadness that will be felt across the entire sport–we took immense pleasure from his continued successes and even had the privilege of sharing in some of his biggest victories.


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However, having also been lucky enough to get to know the man behind the legend, we’re thankful that Dario is taking a route that will keep him out of harm’s way in the future.


Circuit of The Americas Comes Full Circle

Simraceway and Circuit of The Americas have always enjoyed a close relationship–we even managed to launch our version of the course three weeks before its real gates swung open–so, on the eve of its second US GP, we’re naturally delighted that the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S. has been such a hit in its first year.


Read on to find out more about COTA’s successful first twelve months–in both the virtual and real worlds!


Allan McNish Claims his First WEC Title!

It feels like we’re always congratulating Simraceway pro driver Allan McNish. But that’s mainly because he always seems to be winning things!


The year opened with him claiming the oldest trophy in British motor racing, the RAC Tourist Trophy, at Silverstone. Then he took his third 24 Hours of Le Mans win. Now, thanks to securing third place at Shanghai alongside teammates Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval, the uber-talented Scot has got his hands on his very first FIA World Endurance Championship.


We received a kind note from Allan yesterday, talking of the “warm feeling” his first world championship title had brought him. In truth, it simply couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Congrats Allan, from everybody at Simraceway!


Allan McNish on Surviving Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most extreme tests of fitness, control, and concentration an athlete can experience. In this video, Allan provides a driver’s-eye-view of how to survive a 24-hour race.