NES S4.5: The NES Classic May 26th (14/15)

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micantony
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Thanks to everyone who showed up for the Porsche vs Toyota event! Congratulations to Team Porsche who won the event 40 points to Team Toyota's 34 points. Next up we head to Bathurst for the Mountain King Challenge! :D

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2,522
United States
United States
I had a great time guys!

My race was a bit up and down but I had tons of fun. Congrats to the winners. Bad luck for Bandit You did a great job today and it was tough to see what happened. Hell of a job battling with @MaarteN5H.

Thanks to @micantony for representing the Gentlemen Racing Team! Great finish today!

I am so looking forward to S5. It can't come soon enough.
 
2
United States
United States
Event: Desert Duel Challenge
PSN ID: rhino_boyz #18
Team Name: Rhino Rampage Racing
Car: Nissan GTR GR.4
Tyre Manufacturer: Michelin
My teammate is Pescarlop902
 
1,676
United States
Marietta, GA
micantony
Over aggressiveness in max damage races is not acceptable. You have to trust and respect your fellow competitors or there is no reason to even race.
If you can't get there, just stay out of the full damage races please.​
 
109
United States
United States
PESCAROLOP902
Who was the guy that flew past everyone at Dunlop? Pretty sure he tapped into Waike, which in return made him get me loose. I’m just happy we all kept going for the most part.... then I.... never mind. :(
 
77
United States
United States
@PSN offapple I’m switching to #35 for the Mountain King Challenge.

And I’m still gutted I couldn’t put together the last lap. Be prepared for a special article from the Bandito tho :P

I have no idea what happened in T1, but I about had a heart attack hearing the skidding car in the background (Forza flashbacks lmao)

I also just realized Waike has two wins in a row... I plan on putting a stop to that streak of yours friend XD (#SubaruCobbRacing #GoBigOrGoHome #Bathurst)
 
77
United States
United States
GRM Bandit on the Challenges of Racing

Chapter One: Bandit's History in Racing

It has been quite a long few months for me, and I apologize for not coming out with the St. Croix article. That article will forever be in the trash bin since I was not happy with how it turned out. Big up to GentlemanRacing and Jim for letting me interview you guys, hopefully I won't flake out on the next interview based article. Now with that out of the way, let us get to the meat of this article:

My first memory with motor racing was playing some old game on a Sega Genesis that my mother and father purchased ages ago. Today that Sega Genesis is long gone, just a distant memory, but that game kickstarted something in me. That game started a quest that I knew within myself I could complete. So fast forward to the acquisition of my PlayStation 3, I haven't played a real racing game in quite some time. In fact, I started playing Call of Duty: Black Ops religiously. It wasn't until I was gifted a copy of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue that my passion for racing started to show again. At some point in the not so distant future I was introduced to a karting game called ModNation Racers. This is where I met offapple for the first time. But this was though a few connections in the community. ModNation was the first racing game I took super seriously, getting involved with teams and community drama. I can't recall if I had joined SHIFT or S&S Motorsport (Racing maybe?), but those were two of the teams that I had run with in ModNation. But neither team lasted for me, and I quickly went on hiatus from racing. By the time I made my triumphant return, ModNation was nearly dead and I found my way onto Nukeshot Motorsport for a short while. But then I found my way onto the Xbox. It was a different experience, and I ran without a team for quite a while. Near the end of hyperactivity on Forza, I was picked up by Super Clean Team, then quickly by Beast Mode. I quickly left Beast Mode due to a dispute between the team boss and another member (who happened to be one of my better friends on Xbox), and that is why I started Grip Runners Motorsport. But throughout all of my racing, I have adopted several styles of racing, and different mindsets.

upload_2019-4-15_21-36-16.jpeg

GRM Bandit posing with a replica of the Need For Speed: ProStreet BMW M3 of Ray Krieger (Grip King) and the Lancer Evolution X of Ryo Watanabe (Showdown King)

As a young racer, I was obsessed with winning, and oval racing. I attribute this to the prevalence of NASCAR in the United States. I also heard many stories about NASCAR as a kid, and it was natural for me to be interested in that type of racing. It wasn't until Gran Turismo 6 where I began to understand race craft and get into road racing. Gran Turismo 6 wasn't exactly a turning point in the type of racing I liked, but I did move away form NASCAR and ovals. It wasn't until Forza Motorsport that I found a bit of a niche. While production car racing isn't exactly uncommon in racing games, I started my Forza pathway with medium power, medium grip production cars. The racing was close, and the skill gap was immense. Plus I was the slowest out of my friends, and I wanted to prove that I could drive quickly. During my time on Forza 6 I started to develop a driving style, and really perfect it. In retrospect, developing a driving style so early on Forza probably hindered my progress as a driver, but I did start finding pace quickly after about two months on Forza 6. It wasn't until Forza 7 where my pace was acceptable enough for me to start exploring potential options. My first step was to join a racing league. I joined the end of a GT racing league, running three races before the season's end. I also ended up joining Endureon's IMSA league as a GTD driver for the final two rounds (where I am currently a GTLM Corvette driver). But in my Forza escapade, I raced Group 5 race cars in a retro IMSA style league. I ended up winning the GT driver's championship narrowly. This was my first championship in a racing league, and I was thrilled. I also put together a Porsche Cup series where I won the driver's championship again, but lost the team's championship by about 30 points.

288373e7-cd19-4c46-8d1f-a7f96973a1cc.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) driving a MilSpec Racing Ford Mustang. After having a coming together with another driver early on in the race, BlkOpzMan managed to put his head down and secure his first victory of the season, and his first victory in a streak of three.

Chapter Two: Bandit and the Mental Side of Racing

My switch back to Gran Turismo was rough, and there is no way that I can tell myself otherwise. For about three months, I was unable to go a race without plowing into a wall or mowing the lawn. The driving style I spent three years perfecting had to evolve. This had to happen because of the differences between Forza and Gran Turismo. Drafting, tires, and consumables were all different, so I had to start making changes to the way I drove. Currently I have two vastly different driving styles, and both serve their own purposes. But the most important thing in a driving style is having the correct mindset.

Over all of the years of my racing "career" I have drastically underestimated the mental side of the sport. I used to race without thinking, and it was quite unsafe. Before I started league racing, I was involved in minor incidents most every races. Mostly bumps and nudges from me trying to overtake. But back in the Forza days, I didn't have the mental capacity to wait for an overtake. Given that the sprint racer and the endurance racer have completely different mindsets. During my time as a Forza racer, I had developed the mindset of a sprint racer. I did it pretty well if I do say so myself. I have also never had a particularly aggressive driving style. But in comparison to some of the NES drivers, I do take more risks than most. My racing could be quite two faced at times too. That is mostly in part because of the nature of sprint racing. When starting at the back, I flick into full recovery mode (my inner sprint racer in its most raw form). Every corner is an overtaking opportunity, and the car gets pushed to the absolute limit. But starting in the front means focusing on getting the best launch and not getting destroyed into the first turn (more of an endurance racer's brain). But in an endurance race, my sprint racing mindset doesn't work. While yes, pushing lap after lap race after race is necessary for winning championships, the pushing is different. The Porsche v. Toyota event was a perfect example of this. I got into my sprint racer mindset at the end of the race. I had an eight second gap to Waike, Pescarolo was in front of Waike, and I had plenty of space to start a fuel save. But I got too focused on keeping the gap, and pushed my fuel too hard.

23dde536-59f6-444f-8f37-0995e8a4398b.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) leading a Porsche Cup race in full attack mode. A high pressure high reward situation, one of the American driver's favorite parts of motorsport

While sprint racing can be extremely fun, nothing beats the challenge of endurance racing. The transition from a sprint racer into an endurance racer has been one of the toughest learning curves in my e-motorsport career. While yes I made the transition quickly on Forza, the Gran Turismo world is less forgiving of small mistakes. Back on Forza, I would drive vastly different than Gran Turismo. If the car slid on Forza, it wasn't a big deal. Just full lock into the slide and gas out. But on Gran Turismo, my bad habit turned into frustration. While some of my greatest driving feats came from sub-optimal conditions (such as frustration, cloudy mind, or pure exhaustion), some of my most memorable moments in racing have come from "perfect" races. My pre-season race at Blue Moon Bay for Dynamic Racing League's DTM series is a perfect example. I will cover my thought process in Chapter Three, but for now here is what I have to say about Blue Moon Bay; while no race may be completely perfect, there are races that will just feel perfect. For example, my start was abysmal. I made contact with another driver early on in the race and dropped back from a solid third place to nearly last. But I just re-collected myself, and pushed for victory. My inner sprint racer combining with my budding endurance racer crafted a race with minimal mistakes and an amazing result. I have always struggled to keep my concentration under intense situations, but when racing my digital car I can forget about pressure. It's kinda weird, but it is easily explainable.

Chapter Three: A Look Inside the Head of Bandit

Now it is probably against my better judgement to reveal how I think when racing, but I the point of the article is to look at the way I have raced. So here is a detailed look into the racing brain of everybody's favorite Bandito Dorito. Firstly, I have come to separate my real life from racing. When I prepare for a race, I don't have any special rituals (unless you count having a whizz break between qualifying and the race a ritual). I haven't really seen a reason to bother myself with a million superstitions before racing. I also believe that every mistake I make behind the wheel is my own, and not the fault of some higher power. Secondly, I do my best to think only about the race. I have gone into plenty of races this year thinking about troubling things that have happened in my life. But when I start driving the car, any negative thought I have is translated through the car. When I was pressured by Waike and Porsche v. Toyota, my negative thinking caused me to make critical mistakes that gifted Waike the win. So when I get into my digital car, I forget about all of my worries and focus on extracting every ounce of potential in my car and myself. Thirdly, I try not to focus too hard on the race. This may sound counterintuitive, but it works for me. If I get too focused on the race, I usually end up becoming unaware of all but one or maybe two cars. But if I focus on the race and the team radio, I become more effective as a racer. Don't get me wrong, I use all of my focus in qualifying. But when racing, it is good not to use all of your mental power focusing on everything at the same time (if that makes any sense).

8512366256491365896_0.jpg

GRM Bandit and WaikeCU duking it out at the NES Porsche v. Toyota event trailed by JoeOfTheFire

In my racing experience, the less I focus on my car, the more pace I find. That is because instead of remembering all of the flaws in the car, I instead focus on ways to improve my lap or keep my position. If I focus on my car, then I am not focusing on the car behind, the LMP about to lap me, and the corner approaching me at 120 miles per hour. While I have watched my fair share of racing school style YouTube videos, it should always be a driver's number one goal to focus on what works for them. Fundamentals like the racing line, slipstreaming, and overtaking will always be important, but some racers will never improve their focus. While my biggest downfall as a racer is my inability to switch from my inner sprint racer to my endurance racer. For others it might be making major mistakes while battling. Either way, racing is a fundamentally challenging sport. What I think is right may not be right to another driver.

Conclusion
I had originally planned for this article to be much shorter, but I obviously had too much to say to condense it all. I really had no idea what I was doing when I started typing this. I just had an idea and some pictures. But I remembered why I became a NES TV journalist, and it wasn't for the practice, but because I genuinely enjoy writing stories and interviews for these races. It just makes everything feel so much more real to a kid with a dream going pro in some sort of motorsport.
I would just like to give a big congratulations to JoeOfTheFire for winning the St. Croix 1 Hour, WaikeCU for winning the NES Eco Challenge, and WaikeCU again for winning the Porsche v. Toyota event. I would also like to give a big up to offapple for having me on the series, my development as a driver has come along immensely over the past three plus months. A big thank you to Mika, offapple, and John Wanderin for having me as a teammate in the various leagues I have joined. Another thank you is in order for DirtenDK and Traels for running the Half the Race Gone YouTube channel and hosting one of the best communities that I have ever been a part of. Also big up WaikeCU, JoeOfTheFire, Jim, GentlemanRacing, Maarten, and Nilsemann (especially you Maarten and Nilsemann, it meant a lot when you guys started cheering for me at the end of Porsche v. Toyota).

8503377738194781192_0.jpg

GRM Bandit running a quick practice session around Bathurst in the #59 Subaru-Cobb Racing WRX STi. I'm coming for for that victory Waike! I know I got it in me now, so P1 here I come
 
54
Netherlands
Netherlands
SpinnyBoiMika
GRM Bandit on the Challenges of Racing

Chapter One: Bandit's History in Racing

It has been quite a long few months for me, and I apologize for not coming out with the St. Croix article. That article will forever be in the trash bin since I was not happy with how it turned out. Big up to GentlemanRacing and Jim for letting me interview you guys, hopefully I won't flake out on the next interview based article. Now with that out of the way, let us get to the meat of this article:

My first memory with motor racing was playing some old game on a Sega Genesis that my mother and father purchased ages ago. Today that Sega Genesis is long gone, just a distant memory, but that game kickstarted something in me. That game started a quest that I knew within myself I could complete. So fast forward to the acquisition of my PlayStation 3, I haven't played a real racing game in quite some time. In fact, I started playing Call of Duty: Black Ops religiously. It wasn't until I was gifted a copy of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue that my passion for racing started to show again. At some point in the not so distant future I was introduced to a karting game called ModNation Racers. This is where I met offapple for the first time. But this was though a few connections in the community. ModNation was the first racing game I took super seriously, getting involved with teams and community drama. I can't recall if I had joined SHIFT or S&S Motorsport (Racing maybe?), but those were two of the teams that I had run with in ModNation. But neither team lasted for me, and I quickly went on hiatus from racing. By the time I made my triumphant return, ModNation was nearly dead and I found my way onto Nukeshot Motorsport for a short while. But then I found my way onto the Xbox. It was a different experience, and I ran without a team for quite a while. Near the end of hyperactivity on Forza, I was picked up by Super Clean Team, then quickly by Beast Mode. I quickly left Beast Mode due to a dispute between the team boss and another member (who happened to be one of my better friends on Xbox), and that is why I started Grip Runners Motorsport. But throughout all of my racing, I have adopted several styles of racing, and different mindsets.

View attachment 814654
GRM Bandit posing with a replica of the Need For Speed: ProStreet BMW M3 of Ray Krieger (Grip King) and the Lancer Evolution X of Ryo Watanabe (Showdown King)

As a young racer, I was obsessed with winning, and oval racing. I attribute this to the prevalence of NASCAR in the United States. I also heard many stories about NASCAR as a kid, and it was natural for me to be interested in that type of racing. It wasn't until Gran Turismo 6 where I began to understand race craft and get into road racing. Gran Turismo 6 wasn't exactly a turning point in the type of racing I liked, but I did move away form NASCAR and ovals. It wasn't until Forza Motorsport that I found a bit of a niche. While production car racing isn't exactly uncommon in racing games, I started my Forza pathway with medium power, medium grip production cars. The racing was close, and the skill gap was immense. Plus I was the slowest out of my friends, and I wanted to prove that I could drive quickly. During my time on Forza 6 I started to develop a driving style, and really perfect it. In retrospect, developing a driving style so early on Forza probably hindered my progress as a driver, but I did start finding pace quickly after about two months on Forza 6. It wasn't until Forza 7 where my pace was acceptable enough for me to start exploring potential options. My first step was to join a racing league. I joined the end of a GT racing league, running three races before the season's end. I also ended up joining Endureon's IMSA league as a GTD driver for the final two rounds (where I am currently a GTLM Corvette driver). But in my Forza escapade, I raced Group 5 race cars in a retro IMSA style league. I ended up winning the GT driver's championship narrowly. This was my first championship in a racing league, and I was thrilled. I also put together a Porsche Cup series where I won the driver's championship again, but lost the team's championship by about 30 points.

288373e7-cd19-4c46-8d1f-a7f96973a1cc.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) driving a MilSpec Racing Ford Mustang. After having a coming together with another driver early on in the race, BlkOpzMan managed to put his head down and secure his first victory of the season, and his first victory in a streak of three.

Chapter Two: Bandit and the Mental Side of Racing

My switch back to Gran Turismo was rough, and there is no way that I can tell myself otherwise. For about three months, I was unable to go a race without plowing into a wall or mowing the lawn. The driving style I spent three years perfecting had to evolve. This had to happen because of the differences between Forza and Gran Turismo. Drafting, tires, and consumables were all different, so I had to start making changes to the way I drove. Currently I have two vastly different driving styles, and both serve their own purposes. But the most important thing in a driving style is having the correct mindset.

Over all of the years of my racing "career" I have drastically underestimated the mental side of the sport. I used to race without thinking, and it was quite unsafe. Before I started league racing, I was involved in minor incidents most every races. Mostly bumps and nudges from me trying to overtake. But back in the Forza days, I didn't have the mental capacity to wait for an overtake. Given that the sprint racer and the endurance racer have completely different mindsets. During my time as a Forza racer, I had developed the mindset of a sprint racer. I did it pretty well if I do say so myself. I have also never had a particularly aggressive driving style. But in comparison to some of the NES drivers, I do take more risks than most. My racing could be quite two faced at times too. That is mostly in part because of the nature of sprint racing. When starting at the back, I flick into full recovery mode (my inner sprint racer in its most raw form). Every corner is an overtaking opportunity, and the car gets pushed to the absolute limit. But starting in the front means focusing on getting the best launch and not getting destroyed into the first turn (more of an endurance racer's brain). But in an endurance race, my sprint racing mindset doesn't work. While yes, pushing lap after lap race after race is necessary for winning championships, the pushing is different. The Porsche v. Toyota event was a perfect example of this. I got into my sprint racer mindset at the end of the race. I had an eight second gap to Waike, Pescarolo was in front of Waike, and I had plenty of space to start a fuel save. But I got too focused on keeping the gap, and pushed my fuel too hard.

23dde536-59f6-444f-8f37-0995e8a4398b.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) leading a Porsche Cup race in full attack mode. A high pressure high reward situation, one of the American driver's favorite parts of motorsport

While sprint racing can be extremely fun, nothing beats the challenge of endurance racing. The transition from a sprint racer into an endurance racer has been one of the toughest learning curves in my e-motorsport career. While yes I made the transition quickly on Forza, the Gran Turismo world is less forgiving of small mistakes. Back on Forza, I would drive vastly different than Gran Turismo. If the car slid on Forza, it wasn't a big deal. Just full lock into the slide and gas out. But on Gran Turismo, my bad habit turned into frustration. While some of my greatest driving feats came from sub-optimal conditions (such as frustration, cloudy mind, or pure exhaustion), some of my most memorable moments in racing have come from "perfect" races. My pre-season race at Blue Moon Bay for Dynamic Racing League's DTM series is a perfect example. I will cover my thought process in Chapter Three, but for now here is what I have to say about Blue Moon Bay; while no race may be completely perfect, there are races that will just feel perfect. For example, my start was abysmal. I made contact with another driver early on in the race and dropped back from a solid third place to nearly last. But I just re-collected myself, and pushed for victory. My inner sprint racer combining with my budding endurance racer crafted a race with minimal mistakes and an amazing result. I have always struggled to keep my concentration under intense situations, but when racing my digital car I can forget about pressure. It's kinda weird, but it is easily explainable.

Chapter Three: A Look Inside the Head of Bandit

Now it is probably against my better judgement to reveal how I think when racing, but I the point of the article is to look at the way I have raced. So here is a detailed look into the racing brain of everybody's favorite Bandito Dorito. Firstly, I have come to separate my real life from racing. When I prepare for a race, I don't have any special rituals (unless you count having a whizz break between qualifying and the race a ritual). I haven't really seen a reason to bother myself with a million superstitions before racing. I also believe that every mistake I make behind the wheel is my own, and not the fault of some higher power. Secondly, I do my best to think only about the race. I have gone into plenty of races this year thinking about troubling things that have happened in my life. But when I start driving the car, any negative thought I have is translated through the car. When I was pressured by Waike and Porsche v. Toyota, my negative thinking caused me to make critical mistakes that gifted Waike the win. So when I get into my digital car, I forget about all of my worries and focus on extracting every ounce of potential in my car and myself. Thirdly, I try not to focus too hard on the race. This may sound counterintuitive, but it works for me. If I get too focused on the race, I usually end up becoming unaware of all but one or maybe two cars. But if I focus on the race and the team radio, I become more effective as a racer. Don't get me wrong, I use all of my focus in qualifying. But when racing, it is good not to use all of your mental power focusing on everything at the same time (if that makes any sense).

8512366256491365896_0.jpg

GRM Bandit and WaikeCU duking it out at the NES Porsche v. Toyota event trailed by JoeOfTheFire

In my racing experience, the less I focus on my car, the more pace I find. That is because instead of remembering all of the flaws in the car, I instead focus on ways to improve my lap or keep my position. If I focus on my car, then I am not focusing on the car behind, the LMP about to lap me, and the corner approaching me at 120 miles per hour. While I have watched my fair share of racing school style YouTube videos, it should always be a driver's number one goal to focus on what works for them. Fundamentals like the racing line, slipstreaming, and overtaking will always be important, but some racers will never improve their focus. While my biggest downfall as a racer is my inability to switch from my inner sprint racer to my endurance racer. For others it might be making major mistakes while battling. Either way, racing is a fundamentally challenging sport. What I think is right may not be right to another driver.

Conclusion
I had originally planned for this article to be much shorter, but I obviously had too much to say to condense it all. I really had no idea what I was doing when I started typing this. I just had an idea and some pictures. But I remembered why I became a NES TV journalist, and it wasn't for the practice, but because I genuinely enjoy writing stories and interviews for these races. It just makes everything feel so much more real to a kid with a dream going pro in some sort of motorsport.
I would just like to give a big congratulations to JoeOfTheFire for winning the St. Croix 1 Hour, WaikeCU for winning the NES Eco Challenge, and WaikeCU again for winning the Porsche v. Toyota event. I would also like to give a big up to offapple for having me on the series, my development as a driver has come along immensely over the past three plus months. A big thank you to Mika, offapple, and John Wanderin for having me as a teammate in the various leagues I have joined. Another thank you is in order for DirtenDK and Traels for running the Half the Race Gone YouTube channel and hosting one of the best communities that I have ever been a part of. Also big up WaikeCU, JoeOfTheFire, Jim, GentlemanRacing, Maarten, and Nilsemann (especially you Maarten and Nilsemann, it meant a lot when you guys started cheering for me at the end of Porsche v. Toyota).

8503377738194781192_0.jpg

GRM Bandit running a quick practice session around Bathurst in the #59 Subaru-Cobb Racing WRX STi. I'm coming for for that victory Waike! I know I got it in me now, so P1 here I come
Banditoboi. That was a very inspirational Article there. And i can relate to it very much. Everything started out rough for me to and i still find it really hard to keep up with you all. And i have seen you progress and grow as a person and as a racer. U have the true racer mentality something i dont have and i can safely say ur quicker than me and learning the quickest. Thats why a lot of people like u so much u got a bright future ahead of you and i think i can learn more stuff from you than u can learn from me. I have learned everything by myself wich caused me to develop a style that only Works for racing Against AI and does not work online. I feel like ive reached my potential because i didnt have many Friends online to race with until i came to league racing because a lot of my friends dont like racing games. U have had a lot of experience online Wich i can see coming back in the NES and other series we drive in. And i can safely say ur the Number 1 driver for Motul Rebbelion Racing thats why i signed u in the first place because i saw Your potential and i was thinking when u joined the NES i need this dude in my NES S5 team ive never seen someone so pasionnate abour racing. I think the big boys need to fear you if u keep growing like that. Keep going bro much love to u

Your Team Boss
SpinnyBoiMika

Ps. Big up Jack Wilkinson on the cam
 
77
United States
United States
Banditoboi. That was a very inspirational Article there. And i can relate to it very much. Everything started out rough for me to and i still find it really hard to keep up with you all. And i have seen you progress and grow as a person and as a racer. U have the true racer mentality something i dont have and i can safely say ur quicker than me and learning the quickest. Thats why a lot of people like u so much u got a bright future ahead of you and i think i can learn more stuff from you than u can learn from me. I have learned everything by myself wich caused me to develop a style that only Works for racing Against AI and does not work online. I feel like ive reached my potential because i didnt have many Friends online to race with until i came to league racing because a lot of my friends dont like racing games. U have had a lot of experience online Wich i can see coming back in the NES and other series we drive in. And i can safely say ur the Number 1 driver for Motul Rebbelion Racing thats why i signed u in the first place because i saw Your potential and i was thinking when u joined the NES i need this dude in my NES S5 team ive never seen someone so pasionnate abour racing. I think the big boys need to fear you if u keep growing like that. Keep going bro much love to u

Your Team Boss
SpinnyBoiMika

Ps. Big up Jack Wilkinson on the cam

I’m actually tearing up, I dunno what to say. But firstly, cheers mate. Secondly, you just gotta find it within yourself to improve. Racing is all just mind games, and the first obstacle is yourself. Thirdly, if I wasn’t so busy all the time, I’d gladly run practice laps and practice races with you lad.

Now that I’ve kinda brought it all back, as a little extra bit to the article:

Chapter Four: Applying The Mental Side of Racing

For the mad lad Mika, go team Motul Rebellion!
Obviously racing at any level is always a challenge. GT Sport calling a sport “a challenge against yourself” or something along those lines. But what makes racing so challenging? It’s the mind games. Simple as eating a hotdog while watching a baseball game. That’s why aggressive and defensive drivers struggle to adapt to the opposite style (something I’ve experienced first hand). So how do I develop my driving style further or adapt even? Practice. There’s no other alternative I can give you. When I first started racing super seriously, I developed a defense oriented driving style. It wasn’t because I like to be pressured every second of a race, but it was because I was slow. There’s no way around it. Because I was slow, I learned ways to make the guy behind me slower. Things like when to transition lines, how to block cleanly, and as of recently more professional level racecraft. But how am I able to to switch to attack mode you may ask. It’s quite simple really. The easiest way to learn when to attack or defend is to race online, and race online a lot. The more you race, the better you will get.

When I attack in racing, I try to get into my opponent’s head. I usually offset myself in his mirrors, flash my lights, go for dives, and just prove to be a general nuisance. But when I defend, it’s also about being a nuisance. The exact same principles in attacking work in defending, although the moves are different. If you can get into another driver’s head and break their concentration, then your doing race craft right. But once you figure out what kind of attack or defend works for you, then switching from attack to defend is pretty easy.

The hardest part of racing in my opinion is knowing when to lead, and when to follow. Because sprint racing has been my go-to form of racing for years, I always want to lead races. But sometimes, staying behind and psyching your opponent into a mistake will save both fuel and tires. That in my opinion is the hardest part of racing; loosing to grab a win. But in the end, if something works for you, then just do it. Racing has many rights and few wrongs. Just look at all the different ways to brake, downshift, upshift, turn a corner and you’ll understand just how different everybody is.
 
99
Germany
Kassel, Hesse, Germany
Nilsemann2002
GRM Bandit on the Challenges of Racing

Chapter One: Bandit's History in Racing

It has been quite a long few months for me, and I apologize for not coming out with the St. Croix article. That article will forever be in the trash bin since I was not happy with how it turned out. Big up to GentlemanRacing and Jim for letting me interview you guys, hopefully I won't flake out on the next interview based article. Now with that out of the way, let us get to the meat of this article:

My first memory with motor racing was playing some old game on a Sega Genesis that my mother and father purchased ages ago. Today that Sega Genesis is long gone, just a distant memory, but that game kickstarted something in me. That game started a quest that I knew within myself I could complete. So fast forward to the acquisition of my PlayStation 3, I haven't played a real racing game in quite some time. In fact, I started playing Call of Duty: Black Ops religiously. It wasn't until I was gifted a copy of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue that my passion for racing started to show again. At some point in the not so distant future I was introduced to a karting game called ModNation Racers. This is where I met offapple for the first time. But this was though a few connections in the community. ModNation was the first racing game I took super seriously, getting involved with teams and community drama. I can't recall if I had joined SHIFT or S&S Motorsport (Racing maybe?), but those were two of the teams that I had run with in ModNation. But neither team lasted for me, and I quickly went on hiatus from racing. By the time I made my triumphant return, ModNation was nearly dead and I found my way onto Nukeshot Motorsport for a short while. But then I found my way onto the Xbox. It was a different experience, and I ran without a team for quite a while. Near the end of hyperactivity on Forza, I was picked up by Super Clean Team, then quickly by Beast Mode. I quickly left Beast Mode due to a dispute between the team boss and another member (who happened to be one of my better friends on Xbox), and that is why I started Grip Runners Motorsport. But throughout all of my racing, I have adopted several styles of racing, and different mindsets.

View attachment 814654
GRM Bandit posing with a replica of the Need For Speed: ProStreet BMW M3 of Ray Krieger (Grip King) and the Lancer Evolution X of Ryo Watanabe (Showdown King)

As a young racer, I was obsessed with winning, and oval racing. I attribute this to the prevalence of NASCAR in the United States. I also heard many stories about NASCAR as a kid, and it was natural for me to be interested in that type of racing. It wasn't until Gran Turismo 6 where I began to understand race craft and get into road racing. Gran Turismo 6 wasn't exactly a turning point in the type of racing I liked, but I did move away form NASCAR and ovals. It wasn't until Forza Motorsport that I found a bit of a niche. While production car racing isn't exactly uncommon in racing games, I started my Forza pathway with medium power, medium grip production cars. The racing was close, and the skill gap was immense. Plus I was the slowest out of my friends, and I wanted to prove that I could drive quickly. During my time on Forza 6 I started to develop a driving style, and really perfect it. In retrospect, developing a driving style so early on Forza probably hindered my progress as a driver, but I did start finding pace quickly after about two months on Forza 6. It wasn't until Forza 7 where my pace was acceptable enough for me to start exploring potential options. My first step was to join a racing league. I joined the end of a GT racing league, running three races before the season's end. I also ended up joining Endureon's IMSA league as a GTD driver for the final two rounds (where I am currently a GTLM Corvette driver). But in my Forza escapade, I raced Group 5 race cars in a retro IMSA style league. I ended up winning the GT driver's championship narrowly. This was my first championship in a racing league, and I was thrilled. I also put together a Porsche Cup series where I won the driver's championship again, but lost the team's championship by about 30 points.

288373e7-cd19-4c46-8d1f-a7f96973a1cc.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) driving a MilSpec Racing Ford Mustang. After having a coming together with another driver early on in the race, BlkOpzMan managed to put his head down and secure his first victory of the season, and his first victory in a streak of three.

Chapter Two: Bandit and the Mental Side of Racing

My switch back to Gran Turismo was rough, and there is no way that I can tell myself otherwise. For about three months, I was unable to go a race without plowing into a wall or mowing the lawn. The driving style I spent three years perfecting had to evolve. This had to happen because of the differences between Forza and Gran Turismo. Drafting, tires, and consumables were all different, so I had to start making changes to the way I drove. Currently I have two vastly different driving styles, and both serve their own purposes. But the most important thing in a driving style is having the correct mindset.

Over all of the years of my racing "career" I have drastically underestimated the mental side of the sport. I used to race without thinking, and it was quite unsafe. Before I started league racing, I was involved in minor incidents most every races. Mostly bumps and nudges from me trying to overtake. But back in the Forza days, I didn't have the mental capacity to wait for an overtake. Given that the sprint racer and the endurance racer have completely different mindsets. During my time as a Forza racer, I had developed the mindset of a sprint racer. I did it pretty well if I do say so myself. I have also never had a particularly aggressive driving style. But in comparison to some of the NES drivers, I do take more risks than most. My racing could be quite two faced at times too. That is mostly in part because of the nature of sprint racing. When starting at the back, I flick into full recovery mode (my inner sprint racer in its most raw form). Every corner is an overtaking opportunity, and the car gets pushed to the absolute limit. But starting in the front means focusing on getting the best launch and not getting destroyed into the first turn (more of an endurance racer's brain). But in an endurance race, my sprint racing mindset doesn't work. While yes, pushing lap after lap race after race is necessary for winning championships, the pushing is different. The Porsche v. Toyota event was a perfect example of this. I got into my sprint racer mindset at the end of the race. I had an eight second gap to Waike, Pescarolo was in front of Waike, and I had plenty of space to start a fuel save. But I got too focused on keeping the gap, and pushed my fuel too hard.

23dde536-59f6-444f-8f37-0995e8a4398b.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) leading a Porsche Cup race in full attack mode. A high pressure high reward situation, one of the American driver's favorite parts of motorsport

While sprint racing can be extremely fun, nothing beats the challenge of endurance racing. The transition from a sprint racer into an endurance racer has been one of the toughest learning curves in my e-motorsport career. While yes I made the transition quickly on Forza, the Gran Turismo world is less forgiving of small mistakes. Back on Forza, I would drive vastly different than Gran Turismo. If the car slid on Forza, it wasn't a big deal. Just full lock into the slide and gas out. But on Gran Turismo, my bad habit turned into frustration. While some of my greatest driving feats came from sub-optimal conditions (such as frustration, cloudy mind, or pure exhaustion), some of my most memorable moments in racing have come from "perfect" races. My pre-season race at Blue Moon Bay for Dynamic Racing League's DTM series is a perfect example. I will cover my thought process in Chapter Three, but for now here is what I have to say about Blue Moon Bay; while no race may be completely perfect, there are races that will just feel perfect. For example, my start was abysmal. I made contact with another driver early on in the race and dropped back from a solid third place to nearly last. But I just re-collected myself, and pushed for victory. My inner sprint racer combining with my budding endurance racer crafted a race with minimal mistakes and an amazing result. I have always struggled to keep my concentration under intense situations, but when racing my digital car I can forget about pressure. It's kinda weird, but it is easily explainable.

Chapter Three: A Look Inside the Head of Bandit

Now it is probably against my better judgement to reveal how I think when racing, but I the point of the article is to look at the way I have raced. So here is a detailed look into the racing brain of everybody's favorite Bandito Dorito. Firstly, I have come to separate my real life from racing. When I prepare for a race, I don't have any special rituals (unless you count having a whizz break between qualifying and the race a ritual). I haven't really seen a reason to bother myself with a million superstitions before racing. I also believe that every mistake I make behind the wheel is my own, and not the fault of some higher power. Secondly, I do my best to think only about the race. I have gone into plenty of races this year thinking about troubling things that have happened in my life. But when I start driving the car, any negative thought I have is translated through the car. When I was pressured by Waike and Porsche v. Toyota, my negative thinking caused me to make critical mistakes that gifted Waike the win. So when I get into my digital car, I forget about all of my worries and focus on extracting every ounce of potential in my car and myself. Thirdly, I try not to focus too hard on the race. This may sound counterintuitive, but it works for me. If I get too focused on the race, I usually end up becoming unaware of all but one or maybe two cars. But if I focus on the race and the team radio, I become more effective as a racer. Don't get me wrong, I use all of my focus in qualifying. But when racing, it is good not to use all of your mental power focusing on everything at the same time (if that makes any sense).

8512366256491365896_0.jpg

GRM Bandit and WaikeCU duking it out at the NES Porsche v. Toyota event trailed by JoeOfTheFire

In my racing experience, the less I focus on my car, the more pace I find. That is because instead of remembering all of the flaws in the car, I instead focus on ways to improve my lap or keep my position. If I focus on my car, then I am not focusing on the car behind, the LMP about to lap me, and the corner approaching me at 120 miles per hour. While I have watched my fair share of racing school style YouTube videos, it should always be a driver's number one goal to focus on what works for them. Fundamentals like the racing line, slipstreaming, and overtaking will always be important, but some racers will never improve their focus. While my biggest downfall as a racer is my inability to switch from my inner sprint racer to my endurance racer. For others it might be making major mistakes while battling. Either way, racing is a fundamentally challenging sport. What I think is right may not be right to another driver.

Conclusion
I had originally planned for this article to be much shorter, but I obviously had too much to say to condense it all. I really had no idea what I was doing when I started typing this. I just had an idea and some pictures. But I remembered why I became a NES TV journalist, and it wasn't for the practice, but because I genuinely enjoy writing stories and interviews for these races. It just makes everything feel so much more real to a kid with a dream going pro in some sort of motorsport.
I would just like to give a big congratulations to JoeOfTheFire for winning the St. Croix 1 Hour, WaikeCU for winning the NES Eco Challenge, and WaikeCU again for winning the Porsche v. Toyota event. I would also like to give a big up to offapple for having me on the series, my development as a driver has come along immensely over the past three plus months. A big thank you to Mika, offapple, and John Wanderin for having me as a teammate in the various leagues I have joined. Another thank you is in order for DirtenDK and Traels for running the Half the Race Gone YouTube channel and hosting one of the best communities that I have ever been a part of. Also big up WaikeCU, JoeOfTheFire, Jim, GentlemanRacing, Maarten, and Nilsemann (especially you Maarten and Nilsemann, it meant a lot when you guys started cheering for me at the end of Porsche v. Toyota).

8503377738194781192_0.jpg

GRM Bandit running a quick practice session around Bathurst in the #59 Subaru-Cobb Racing WRX STi. I'm coming for for that victory Waike! I know I got it in me now, so P1 here I come
I read the article for the first time now... your story about getting into this scene is somehow comparable to mine.
My first racing game was Asphalt 2 for Nintendo DS in 2010, my first bigger success was being listened in the worldwide Top 10 for most wins in Need for Speed The Run on N3DS by the end of 2012 / begin of 2013. 2014 was a dead year when we look at my activities in online racing games. I got my PS3 in February 2015 and my first 2 games were GT5 and Grid Autosport. While my driving in Grid Autosport was horribly slow and unsafe (especially online), GT5 suited my driving style really good. Since GT5 had no online modes anymore, I bought GT6. Again, I had no speed at the beginning in any online races, had no idea about setups and tuning... I remember my first online win was in a Toyota Prius (lol) a few months later in a mode which was like today’s Sport Mode. The next 2 years were basically only this mode, called „Quick Match“, and in dirty NASCAR races at Daytona.
In June 2017, I joined one of offapple‘s 25 minute-race-lobbies, it was a race at Spa. In GT6 you had so-called clubs, and this lobby was directly related to a club with the name „Nukeshot Motorsport“. I joined this club, figured out there was a racing series in the plannings, the NES, and a few weeks later I started from the pole position in my very first league race (one reason for that was my „slightly“ OP Peugeot 905B but not only ;)). 4 wins in a row followed and a 2nd place at Laguna Seca. After that I had no time anymore for league racing due to school, my next start was the GT race of Apricot Hill in Season 2 in December 2017... it ended like the first 4 LMP races of S1 ended...
In March 2018, GT6 went offline and I switched to GT Sport. My first NES races were in the two final races of S3 at La Sarthe, they didn‘t work out well as a result but I learned a lot about (endurance) racing in GT Sport.
Before the start of NES S4 I took part in the second season of GT-MES in the Gr.4 category - It ended with the win of my first ever driver’s championship. During NES S4 I reached my absolute peak and 1,5 years after my first start in the NES, the work paid out...
In the end, this all, especially the first contact with the NES and all the results of that, was based on lucky circumstances I‘m glad they happened...
Cheering for you at the end of the Porsche v. Toyota race was a logical move to me since I saw where you started when you joined the NES and the positive development from that point on until now. This race has clearly shown your potential and I‘m sure there’s a bright future in front of you.
Just keep doing what you’ve been doing so far and the success will come - no doubt
 
77
United States
United States
I read the article for the first time now... your story about getting into this scene is somehow comparable to mine.
My first racing game was Asphalt 2 for Nintendo DS in 2010, my first bigger success was being listened in the worldwide Top 10 for most wins in Need for Speed The Run on N3DS by the end of 2012 / begin of 2013. 2014 was a dead year when we look at my activities in online racing games. I got my PS3 in February 2015 and my first 2 games were GT5 and Grid Autosport. While my driving in Grid Autosport was horribly slow and unsafe (especially online), GT5 suited my driving style really good. Since GT5 had no online modes anymore, I bought GT6. Again, I had no speed at the beginning in any online races, had no idea about setups and tuning... I remember my first online win was in a Toyota Prius (lol) a few months later in a mode which was like today’s Sport Mode. The next 2 years were basically only this mode, called „Quick Match“, and in dirty NASCAR races at Daytona.
In June 2017, I joined one of offapple‘s 25 minute-race-lobbies, it was a race at Spa. In GT6 you had so-called clubs, and this lobby was directly related to a club with the name „Nukeshot Motorsport“. I joined this club, figured out there was a racing series in the plannings, the NES, and a few weeks later I started from the pole position in my very first league race (one reason for that was my „slightly“ OP Peugeot 905B but not only ;)). 4 wins in a row followed and a 2nd place at Laguna Seca. After that I had no time anymore for league racing due to school, my next start was the GT race of Apricot Hill in Season 2 in December 2017... it ended like the first 4 LMP races of S1 ended...
In March 2018, GT6 went offline and I switched to GT Sport. My first NES races were in the two final races of S3 at La Sarthe, they didn‘t work out well as a result but I learned a lot about (endurance) racing in GT Sport.
Before the start of NES S4 I took part in the second season of GT-MES in the Gr.4 category - It ended with the win of my first ever driver’s championship. During NES S4 I reached my absolute peak and 1,5 years after my first start in the NES, the work paid out...
In the end, this all, especially the first contact with the NES and all the results of that, was based on lucky circumstances I‘m glad they happened...
Cheering for you at the end of the Porsche v. Toyota race was a logical move to me since I saw where you started when you joined the NES and the positive development from that point on until now. This race has clearly shown your potential and I‘m sure there’s a bright future in front of you.
Just keep doing what you’ve been doing so far and the success will come - no doubt

feelsgoodman.jpg

In all seriousness though, I’m glad that others see something in me. It was a rough race at BMB no doubt, but I think I’ve got enough experience now to not spin the car in frustration XD
 
54
Netherlands
Netherlands
SpinnyBoiMika
feelsgoodman.jpg

In all seriousness though, I’m glad that others see something in me. It was a rough race at BMB no doubt, but I think I’ve got enough experience now to not spin the car in frustration XD
I saw ur potential at BMB right away when u joined the party in race 2 u just kept calm and continued even tho u crashed and got lapped some times. That in my mind is what makes the perfect racer something i dont have in myself because of my ADHD meds that wear of at the time of racing. Im more aware of things around me that distract me and that that makes me crash or spin and i beat myself up for it and that is what causes more crashes im never mad at others but im mad at myself. Something u have under control massively and what makes u a perfect racer in esports and maybe even real life
 
239
United States
United States
armoredcore12
swapping my car for the mountain challenge to the veyron gr4, love driving the behemoth around bathrust
 
239
United States
United States
armoredcore12
GRM Bandit on the Challenges of Racing

Chapter One: Bandit's History in Racing

It has been quite a long few months for me, and I apologize for not coming out with the St. Croix article. That article will forever be in the trash bin since I was not happy with how it turned out. Big up to GentlemanRacing and Jim for letting me interview you guys, hopefully I won't flake out on the next interview based article. Now with that out of the way, let us get to the meat of this article:

My first memory with motor racing was playing some old game on a Sega Genesis that my mother and father purchased ages ago. Today that Sega Genesis is long gone, just a distant memory, but that game kickstarted something in me. That game started a quest that I knew within myself I could complete. So fast forward to the acquisition of my PlayStation 3, I haven't played a real racing game in quite some time. In fact, I started playing Call of Duty: Black Ops religiously. It wasn't until I was gifted a copy of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue that my passion for racing started to show again. At some point in the not so distant future I was introduced to a karting game called ModNation Racers. This is where I met offapple for the first time. But this was though a few connections in the community. ModNation was the first racing game I took super seriously, getting involved with teams and community drama. I can't recall if I had joined SHIFT or S&S Motorsport (Racing maybe?), but those were two of the teams that I had run with in ModNation. But neither team lasted for me, and I quickly went on hiatus from racing. By the time I made my triumphant return, ModNation was nearly dead and I found my way onto Nukeshot Motorsport for a short while. But then I found my way onto the Xbox. It was a different experience, and I ran without a team for quite a while. Near the end of hyperactivity on Forza, I was picked up by Super Clean Team, then quickly by Beast Mode. I quickly left Beast Mode due to a dispute between the team boss and another member (who happened to be one of my better friends on Xbox), and that is why I started Grip Runners Motorsport. But throughout all of my racing, I have adopted several styles of racing, and different mindsets.

View attachment 814654
GRM Bandit posing with a replica of the Need For Speed: ProStreet BMW M3 of Ray Krieger (Grip King) and the Lancer Evolution X of Ryo Watanabe (Showdown King)

As a young racer, I was obsessed with winning, and oval racing. I attribute this to the prevalence of NASCAR in the United States. I also heard many stories about NASCAR as a kid, and it was natural for me to be interested in that type of racing. It wasn't until Gran Turismo 6 where I began to understand race craft and get into road racing. Gran Turismo 6 wasn't exactly a turning point in the type of racing I liked, but I did move away form NASCAR and ovals. It wasn't until Forza Motorsport that I found a bit of a niche. While production car racing isn't exactly uncommon in racing games, I started my Forza pathway with medium power, medium grip production cars. The racing was close, and the skill gap was immense. Plus I was the slowest out of my friends, and I wanted to prove that I could drive quickly. During my time on Forza 6 I started to develop a driving style, and really perfect it. In retrospect, developing a driving style so early on Forza probably hindered my progress as a driver, but I did start finding pace quickly after about two months on Forza 6. It wasn't until Forza 7 where my pace was acceptable enough for me to start exploring potential options. My first step was to join a racing league. I joined the end of a GT racing league, running three races before the season's end. I also ended up joining Endureon's IMSA league as a GTD driver for the final two rounds (where I am currently a GTLM Corvette driver). But in my Forza escapade, I raced Group 5 race cars in a retro IMSA style league. I ended up winning the GT driver's championship narrowly. This was my first championship in a racing league, and I was thrilled. I also put together a Porsche Cup series where I won the driver's championship again, but lost the team's championship by about 30 points.

288373e7-cd19-4c46-8d1f-a7f96973a1cc.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) driving a MilSpec Racing Ford Mustang. After having a coming together with another driver early on in the race, BlkOpzMan managed to put his head down and secure his first victory of the season, and his first victory in a streak of three.

Chapter Two: Bandit and the Mental Side of Racing

My switch back to Gran Turismo was rough, and there is no way that I can tell myself otherwise. For about three months, I was unable to go a race without plowing into a wall or mowing the lawn. The driving style I spent three years perfecting had to evolve. This had to happen because of the differences between Forza and Gran Turismo. Drafting, tires, and consumables were all different, so I had to start making changes to the way I drove. Currently I have two vastly different driving styles, and both serve their own purposes. But the most important thing in a driving style is having the correct mindset.

Over all of the years of my racing "career" I have drastically underestimated the mental side of the sport. I used to race without thinking, and it was quite unsafe. Before I started league racing, I was involved in minor incidents most every races. Mostly bumps and nudges from me trying to overtake. But back in the Forza days, I didn't have the mental capacity to wait for an overtake. Given that the sprint racer and the endurance racer have completely different mindsets. During my time as a Forza racer, I had developed the mindset of a sprint racer. I did it pretty well if I do say so myself. I have also never had a particularly aggressive driving style. But in comparison to some of the NES drivers, I do take more risks than most. My racing could be quite two faced at times too. That is mostly in part because of the nature of sprint racing. When starting at the back, I flick into full recovery mode (my inner sprint racer in its most raw form). Every corner is an overtaking opportunity, and the car gets pushed to the absolute limit. But starting in the front means focusing on getting the best launch and not getting destroyed into the first turn (more of an endurance racer's brain). But in an endurance race, my sprint racing mindset doesn't work. While yes, pushing lap after lap race after race is necessary for winning championships, the pushing is different. The Porsche v. Toyota event was a perfect example of this. I got into my sprint racer mindset at the end of the race. I had an eight second gap to Waike, Pescarolo was in front of Waike, and I had plenty of space to start a fuel save. But I got too focused on keeping the gap, and pushed my fuel too hard.

23dde536-59f6-444f-8f37-0995e8a4398b.PNG

GRM Bandit (BlkOpzMan) leading a Porsche Cup race in full attack mode. A high pressure high reward situation, one of the American driver's favorite parts of motorsport

While sprint racing can be extremely fun, nothing beats the challenge of endurance racing. The transition from a sprint racer into an endurance racer has been one of the toughest learning curves in my e-motorsport career. While yes I made the transition quickly on Forza, the Gran Turismo world is less forgiving of small mistakes. Back on Forza, I would drive vastly different than Gran Turismo. If the car slid on Forza, it wasn't a big deal. Just full lock into the slide and gas out. But on Gran Turismo, my bad habit turned into frustration. While some of my greatest driving feats came from sub-optimal conditions (such as frustration, cloudy mind, or pure exhaustion), some of my most memorable moments in racing have come from "perfect" races. My pre-season race at Blue Moon Bay for Dynamic Racing League's DTM series is a perfect example. I will cover my thought process in Chapter Three, but for now here is what I have to say about Blue Moon Bay; while no race may be completely perfect, there are races that will just feel perfect. For example, my start was abysmal. I made contact with another driver early on in the race and dropped back from a solid third place to nearly last. But I just re-collected myself, and pushed for victory. My inner sprint racer combining with my budding endurance racer crafted a race with minimal mistakes and an amazing result. I have always struggled to keep my concentration under intense situations, but when racing my digital car I can forget about pressure. It's kinda weird, but it is easily explainable.

Chapter Three: A Look Inside the Head of Bandit

Now it is probably against my better judgement to reveal how I think when racing, but I the point of the article is to look at the way I have raced. So here is a detailed look into the racing brain of everybody's favorite Bandito Dorito. Firstly, I have come to separate my real life from racing. When I prepare for a race, I don't have any special rituals (unless you count having a whizz break between qualifying and the race a ritual). I haven't really seen a reason to bother myself with a million superstitions before racing. I also believe that every mistake I make behind the wheel is my own, and not the fault of some higher power. Secondly, I do my best to think only about the race. I have gone into plenty of races this year thinking about troubling things that have happened in my life. But when I start driving the car, any negative thought I have is translated through the car. When I was pressured by Waike and Porsche v. Toyota, my negative thinking caused me to make critical mistakes that gifted Waike the win. So when I get into my digital car, I forget about all of my worries and focus on extracting every ounce of potential in my car and myself. Thirdly, I try not to focus too hard on the race. This may sound counterintuitive, but it works for me. If I get too focused on the race, I usually end up becoming unaware of all but one or maybe two cars. But if I focus on the race and the team radio, I become more effective as a racer. Don't get me wrong, I use all of my focus in qualifying. But when racing, it is good not to use all of your mental power focusing on everything at the same time (if that makes any sense).

8512366256491365896_0.jpg

GRM Bandit and WaikeCU duking it out at the NES Porsche v. Toyota event trailed by JoeOfTheFire

In my racing experience, the less I focus on my car, the more pace I find. That is because instead of remembering all of the flaws in the car, I instead focus on ways to improve my lap or keep my position. If I focus on my car, then I am not focusing on the car behind, the LMP about to lap me, and the corner approaching me at 120 miles per hour. While I have watched my fair share of racing school style YouTube videos, it should always be a driver's number one goal to focus on what works for them. Fundamentals like the racing line, slipstreaming, and overtaking will always be important, but some racers will never improve their focus. While my biggest downfall as a racer is my inability to switch from my inner sprint racer to my endurance racer. For others it might be making major mistakes while battling. Either way, racing is a fundamentally challenging sport. What I think is right may not be right to another driver.

Conclusion
I had originally planned for this article to be much shorter, but I obviously had too much to say to condense it all. I really had no idea what I was doing when I started typing this. I just had an idea and some pictures. But I remembered why I became a NES TV journalist, and it wasn't for the practice, but because I genuinely enjoy writing stories and interviews for these races. It just makes everything feel so much more real to a kid with a dream going pro in some sort of motorsport.
I would just like to give a big congratulations to JoeOfTheFire for winning the St. Croix 1 Hour, WaikeCU for winning the NES Eco Challenge, and WaikeCU again for winning the Porsche v. Toyota event. I would also like to give a big up to offapple for having me on the series, my development as a driver has come along immensely over the past three plus months. A big thank you to Mika, offapple, and John Wanderin for having me as a teammate in the various leagues I have joined. Another thank you is in order for DirtenDK and Traels for running the Half the Race Gone YouTube channel and hosting one of the best communities that I have ever been a part of. Also big up WaikeCU, JoeOfTheFire, Jim, GentlemanRacing, Maarten, and Nilsemann (especially you Maarten and Nilsemann, it meant a lot when you guys started cheering for me at the end of Porsche v. Toyota).

8503377738194781192_0.jpg

GRM Bandit running a quick practice session around Bathurst in the #59 Subaru-Cobb Racing WRX STi. I'm coming for for that victory Waike! I know I got it in me now, so P1 here I come
First racing game i played was the f1 game for nintendo 64, bought my first hot wheels car, and the rest is history. I had a bit of a hiatus from racing from 2010 through 2015 only looking a supercars/hypercars, basically the things that i believed and was told was more achievable due me being a African American (Yes i had to bring this up because a lot of my family believed i couldn't do it because of my race). Then i watched le mans in 2015, seeing the Porsche's and Audi's in battle for basically the whole first hour reignited my passion for endurance racing. So i started endurance racing in gt6 in multiple different leagues, most of them ended up dying off because the league organizers were too lazy to do all the work (I applaud you Radish for sticking with this). Then moved to GT Sport and found league this about a year later. There you go now all you peoples know my racing story.
 
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239
United States
United States
armoredcore12
First racing game i played was the f1 game for nintendo 64, bought my first hot wheels car, and the rest is history. I had a bit of a hiatus from racing from 2010 through 2015 only looking a supercars/hypercars, basically the things that i believed and was told was more achievable due me being a African American (Yes i had to bring this up because a lot of my family believed i couldn't do it because of my race). Then i watched le mans in 2015, seeing the Porsche's and Audi's in battle for basically the whole first hour reignited my passion for endurance racing. So i started endurance racing in gt6 in multiple different leagues, most of them ended up dying off because the league organizers were too lazy to do all the work (I applaud you Radish for sticking with this). Then moved to GT Sport and found this league about a year later. There you go now all you peoples know my racing story.
 
77
United States
United States
I saw ur potential at BMB right away when u joined the party in race 2 u just kept calm and continued even tho u crashed and got lapped some times. That in my mind is what makes the perfect racer something i dont have in myself because of my ADHD meds that wear of at the time of racing. Im more aware of things around me that distract me and that that makes me crash or spin and i beat myself up for it and that is what causes more crashes im never mad at others but im mad at myself. Something u have under control massively and what makes u a perfect racer in esports and maybe even real life

Ah, sadly I’d be way too late to start racing IRL. But if I could race IRL, I’d jump at the chance. But even I have my moments where I loose all composure. Dragon Trail in DRL DTM was one such race. Then there’s all the times racing in the public Forza lobbies lol.
 
54
Netherlands
Netherlands
SpinnyBoiMika
Ah, sadly I’d be way too late to start racing IRL. But if I could race IRL, I’d jump at the chance. But even I have my moments where I loose all composure. Dragon Trail in DRL DTM was one such race. Then there’s all the times racing in the public Forza lobbies lol.
We always have setbacks. Yours was dragon trail wich for U may have not been your strongest track. Whilst La Sarthe suits u very well. And believe me its never to late to start racing IRL there was a sim racer on i racing whom did a lost of Nascar he broke trough and is now racing in the Nascar Monster Energy CupSeries he is 21 years old and has been in a racecar for only 4 years everything is possible
 
99
Germany
Kassel, Hesse, Germany
Nilsemann2002
We always have setbacks. Yours was dragon trail wich for U may have not been your strongest track. Whilst La Sarthe suits u very well. And believe me its never to late to start racing IRL there was a sim racer on i racing whom did a lost of Nascar he broke trough and is now racing in the Nascar Monster Energy CupSeries he is 21 years old and has been in a racecar for only 4 years everything is possible
The NASCAR driver you're talking about is William Byron, he's driving the #24 Hendrick Motorsports (One of the best teams there) Chevrolet in the Cup Series
 
898
England
England
NS_Zokeo_9
Event: Mountain King Challenge
PSN ID: rhino_boyz #18
Team Name: Rhino Rampage Racing
Car: Nissan GTR GR.4
Tyre Manufacturer: Michelin
My apologies for not noticing or replying sooner. Your entries will be added, however #18 is already taken by someone (Mountain King Challenge only). I apologize if it's inconvenient, but I'll have to ask you to change your racing number to one that isn't taken on the entry list already
 
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