Carsten Theile (DE)

Sim-Racing

When did you start sim-racing and how did you get there?
I started playing racing games in the late nineties. Monster Truck Madness was my first game, and I guess it shows. (Kidding.) There also were demos of Grand Prix Legends and Racing Simulator 2 in 1998, but GPL in particular was undrivable due to bad framerate and lack of a steering wheel.

What sim-racing experience do you have?
Well, some. I had gained a bit of racecraft in 2000-2002 when I was driving Grand Prix 3 and its successor. The AI was that good, you could really dice.
The basics of car control were learned in Papyrus’ NASCAR Racing series and GPL from 2001 on, and I drove my first online races in 2002, but decided I was still lacking. In 2004, the GPL 1965 mod was released and a corresponding GPLRank was set up, which motivated me to hotlap. Those cars are a little underpowered, but great for learning. Having improved, I came back to the original 1967 cars in 2005 and hotlapped those. Later that year, the track of Brno became available. I was confident I could keep up (and not wreck anyone), so I looked for racing on this track online. A GPL league called EOLC hosted the track on VROC, and one of the league’s members happened to be a local who had provided the trackmakers with data. Since I was matching him (and occasionally beating him), he recommended me to join EOLC, which I did in early 2006. In 2007, we would team up with two Dutchmen and founded TEST, which is short for “The English-Speaking Team”.
I also took over administrative tasks in the league, starting by analysing incidents. Yep, I count watching other people’s crashes as sim-racing experience. 😛
Speaking of crashing constantly: I once attempted completing a Total Rank, which would have meant setting a laptime on almost every track in GPL. I made it as far as 40 percent, which is about 200 tracks. Ovals, rally stages, stunt tracks, 15km-monsters using public roads. You name it.
I’ve been racing NASCAR Racing 2003 on V8Thunder since mid 2012, with 200+ starts, and have pretty much quit GPL/EOLC at the end of 2013 after 320+ starts.

What are your goals for your career?
I don’t have any. I simply want to do my best and have fun.

What are your goals for the current season?
Same as above, I guess.

What’s your most notable achievement in sim-racing?
I don’t know, can’t decide.
Completing a 1000km race that took 5.45 hours, without driver change?
Winning EOLC and V8Thunder championships for consecutive years?
Setting a few GPL world records?
Ranking in the Top 50 of GPL hotlappers?
Learning to heel’n’toe in GPL and still be as fast as when left-foot braking?

Why have you joined TFR in the first place?
Georg.

What is your favourite car in the iRacing service?
The Holden V8 Supercar.

What is your favourite track in the iRacing service?
The Nordschleife.

What is your favourite car/track combination?
Mercedes AMG GT3 + Nordschleife.

Real life racing

What real live racing experience do you have?
None. I was at tracks for rental karting ages ago, but that wasn’t an environment of competition or something.

What racing series you like to watch?
Currently almost none. Indycar and Formula E are fun, but that’s about it.

Who is your favourite driver and why?
Brad Keselowski. He’s the best… to annoy Georg.
Kidding aside. Mika Häkkinen was my childhood hero.
I found Romain Grosjean remarkable when I was still watching F1. Talented, matured a lot. Good-looking, too.
Seriously though: Brad’s awesome. Intelligent, funny and laid-back.

What is your favourite racing moment?
Don’t have one. Pretty much any battle that includes multiple switchbacks over the course of 4 turns or more is good. Like Räikkönen vs. Montoya in Hockenheim 2002.
But now that I think of it… The Indy 500 has had great finishes in recent years. JPM’s win in 2015 comes to mind.

Which tracks have you visited before and which do you visit regularly?
I haven’t been to a track for years.
I’ve been at the Sachsenring and Eurospeedway Lausitz to watch DTM or, on one occasion, F3.
At the Nürburgring I watched the Oldtimer Grand Prix in 2008.
Thanks to having had parents that would also travel in a camping van, I’ve also been at the venues of Assen, Zandvoort, Spa-Franchorchamps, Clermont-Ferrand, Le Mans, Linas-Montlhéry (didn’t see much), Reims, Monte Carlo, Montjuïc, Imola (didn’t see much), Monza, Mugello, Salzburgring, Avus, Deutschlandring, Hockenheim (didn’t see much), Norisring, Oschersleben, Schottenring, Solitude.

Off topic

How many games of monopoly have you ruined by not playing mercifully?
None. However, you’ve just reminded me of a Youtube video called, “The Monopoly of Life – It all goes back in the box”.

What is one song that you can’t get out of your head and hum occasionally because of it?
Oh, that changes on a weekly basis. I didn’t hum though, did I? Anyway, I’ll mention Jason Creer – Sky of Colours (ft. BriLizyT).