Introducing… Sam Tomlinson

Sam Tomlinson joins the simRACE247 project as not only a ‘Silver’ driver, but as Team Manager. It is a role he seeks to excel in, and lead the team into battle as they head into this new chapter together. 

As of writing this piece, I’ve worked with Paul Velasco for a few months now on his passion project Grandprix247.com. Having got to know each other more over this time, it’s come to light that we both share a passion for the virtual side of motorsport. With the Covid Crisis currently ruling the front pages in the papers, and GP247, we made the jump to take this passion further and bring together some of the hottest sim racing talents to form a team capable of competing in some of the most prestigious events at a high level. How far can we take this? As far as possible. The entire project is fuelled on this shared passion for the area, not just by Paul and I, but the drivers as well. Things are bound to get hectic but I’m certainly ready for whatever the virtual roads throw at us.

Instead of waffling further here, I’ve waffled some more after the standard quickfire questions so at least there’s some structure…

Date of Birth: 29th June 2002
Nationality: British
Based: Salisbury, UK
Occupation: Columnist and writer for Grand Prix 247, now also ‘Team Manager’ for simRACE247; no longer working in a Fish and Chip van
Other Sports: Used to be super into cricket, dabbled in karting but now most of my sports is experienced through the TV…
Other Hobbies: Naturally, much of my time is spent in and around motorsports. Be it at the racetrack, reporting on whats going on in the paddock or rambling on about the state of the sport. Otherwise, I follow the typical journalistic interests of current affairs and politics.
Favourite Quote: “Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose” – Ayrton Senna. 
Favourite F1 Driver: You’re either an Ayrton Senna fan or a Michael Schumacher fan in F1 – for me, it had to be Senna. But out of the current crop I’d go for Charles Leclerc.
Favourite F1 Team: Ferrari – you have Charles Leclerc to thank for that.
Favourite F1 Car: The looks of the Shadow DN5 have always intrigued me. But in all honesty, anything from the 80s through to mid 2000s will suffice. Each car and era has something completely different to offer as you find out with the help of sims such as Assetto Corsa and rFactor2.
Favourite non-F1 Car: I wouldn’t mind owning a McLaren 720s…
Favourite Tracks (Up to 3): Imola, Silverstone and Interlagos.

Briefly describe your Sim Racing rig: On the PC side, I’m running a Ryzen 5 2600x paired with an RX590 GPU but for sim hardware, the Logitech G29 has served me well for the past two years. The G29 is mounted to a Playseat Challenge sim “rig”  with the pedals on a footplate with the rig being able to be folded away and pushed to one side which is ideal given the limited floor space of my room. The Logitech H-pattern shifter also features but isn’t a regular.

Sim Racing career until now? My earliest sim-racing memory is playing Racedriver Grid on the family PC when that came out around 2008 but the early Gran Turismo’s on the original Playstation and TOCA touring cars were also thrown in there. Having continued along those lines on the PS3 and with the release of the Codemasters F1 games, my interest in sim-racing grew with each year, albeit slowly but surely. Eventually, I’d get into some league racing on F1 2017 with a bunch of friends from all over the place. I competed in the first season of that league before dropping back and commentating instead given time constraints thanks to exams and the likes… Still good fun though. Around the same time, I started getting into simming on the PC side with RaceRoom and Assetto Corsa where many hours were spent, regrettably, on a keyboard and then an Xbox 360 controller before graduating to the G29 in 2018. Since then, the hours have piled on and with each new track and car combination comes a new challenge. Now I’m just getting back into iRacing seriously and looking forward to the experiences ahead while also competing in leagues on rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione.

What is your career target in Sim Racing? As ‘Team Manager’ of simRACE247, my career target is to take this team as far as possible. A lot of love and passion has already been put into this team by Paul and I want to deliver upon the trust he has instilled in me. To compete in the big name events is enough for me personally, but to go further and finish them, or better win them is an obvious goal for all.

What do you expect from the team?  I want to see the drivers we have taken on board capitalise on the opportunities that have been offered up to them. Our drivers are of some of the highest callibre around and I’m certain they have what it takes to compete at the top. I expect the drivers to form a tight-knit bond as a family and to aid each other in their own journey in sim-racing.

Real Life Motorsport Experience? My real-life motorsport experience is very limited. Other than a handful of karting sessions, that’s about it unless we count a track experience I’m yet to take…

Real Life & Sim Racing Achievements: Not to boast but I’m a one time winner in an F1 2017 league with some mates. Starting to rack up the podiums and wins on iRacing now but let’s not get carried away until the big things come soon…

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