What's new

Welcome to SimRacing.Club
We are an online racing league, and has years of experience using S397´s rFactor 2. We have several series - VEC which is the official rFactor 2 endurance championship. 6-24 hour races - its all about endurance.
VEC´s feeder series Virtual Le Mans Series and several special events - Plenty of racing. Register today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll just need to introduce yourself and then you can start off in our Academy series

Interview with Jimmi Allison about Season 9

Paul Jeffrey

Addicted Member
Reaction score
Jimmi Allison is the man behind Sim Racing Club and the Virtual Endurance Championship. On the eve of the opening round of VEC Season 9, Jimmi discussed the new season, a new broadcasting team, an rFactor film featuring VEC and a few other interesting things you always wanted to know about the championship.

Interview conducted Friday 7th October by Revolution Racing #89 driver Paul Jeffrey.

PJ: Hi Jimmi, so VEC is heading into the new season 9 on Saturday. Are you looking forward to the new season, and what do you think makes this year a bit different from previous seasons?

JA: Well several things have changed for the new season. I guess the major thing is that for this year we will be having a professional broadcasting team, Downforce Radio, who will be broadcasting Room 1 races. The previous guys have done a perfect job last year, this season will be moving to Room 2. We will have 2 broadcasts, one for each room, and they will both be of the highest standard.

Alongside that, we have removed the GTAM class, giving us 21 cars in LMGT, which should be pretty nerve wracking when the season proper gets underway at Indy on Saturday!

PJ: Speaking of the new broadcasting team, the guys are well known from work on both Eurosport and MotorsTV, how did that deal come about?

JA: Basically the deal has come about via various contacts and discussions with friends of VEC, and we are very excited to see the level of experience and professionalism they will bring to the event. One of the VEC drivers, Edmund Trevelyan-Johnson, acted as a bit of a go between for us and put the agreement together. Thanks Ed! The guys are really excited about it and are really committed to the upcoming season.

PJ: What is the broadcasting outlets used this season, and what are the plans for the future?

JA: This season we will be streaming to YouTube, Twitch and FaceBook at the same time! The natural progression would be to move it into something larger, and we are always looking at what opportunities present themselves. Nothing really I can speak about at this moment in time.

PJ: VEC Season 9 is now a two room championship, with both Room 1 and Room 2 as standalone championships, rather than the promotion / relegation situation we had last season. What is the rationale behind the change in format this year?

JA: It kind of started that I didn't want the stewards to use too much time on qualifying and reviewing the laps, and simply focus on 40 cars. Basically at the close of Season 8 we announced the new season would be a one room championship of 40 cars, however we had yet another humongous sign up and simply needed to do something to accommodate the sheer number of drivers wanting to participate in our series. The way it went last season where you could score sufficient points in Room 2 to gain a top 5 place overall after the season is over didn't really work. I knew we had to do two separate championships, so it was a matter of choosing which team, with the drivers that had the most appropriate ratings and history in VEC, and making a decision regarding which room we thought they would be best placed to compete the season in. With the addition of a professionally run presentation and comms team for both rooms, we feel both Room 1 and Room 2 have sufficient prestige to be championships worth fighting for throughout the season.

PJ: VEC this season has a number of top name drivers and sim racing personalities taking part this year. People like new Studio 397 chief Marcel Offermans, how do you see the form book for the upcoming season? Do you have anybody you are particularly looking forward to seeing on track?

JA: Oh that's a hard question! To be honest room one is going to be insane! Obviously last seasons champions FEEDER, DHR look good also and of course last seasons P2 champions Team Spirit Racing should be strong as always. I think its going to be pretty interesting to see how the season develops over a pretty varied calendar this season.

PJ: GTAM and GTPRO are no longer for the new season. We now have a packed GTLM field taking to the track consisting of 21 cars, what was the rationale behind bringing the two classes together as one for this year?

JA: Well it was kind of two things really. One was that teams that didn't belong in PRO signed up for PRO and conversely teams in AM really should have been in PRO last season, so that's kind of the reason behind it, to move into one class and let everyone compete together.

PJ: You keep hearing that rF2 is a niche sim, online is not as it used to be and people are moving away from organised league play. This season you had over 80 teams sign up for VEC, not for the first time either, how does that make you feel as being arguably the strongest, most renowned endurance league in sim racing?

JA: Well first off, those who say rFactor 2 is on its final legs are full of garbage, its not. Its moving forward and we are going to see considerable evidence of this in the coming months. I am extremely proud of doing this series, I take pride in my work here and when you get these kinds of sign ups you know you must be doing something right! I cant think of a competitor in endurance that has the same amount of people, same administration and professionalism as VEC does at this moment in time.

PJ: Are you excited about Studio 397 taking over rF2 development. Do you envisage the new development direction having an impact on how VEC is run in future seasons?

JA: Well, first off it shouldn't come as any surprise that we have been in close contact with ISI over the past three years. We have been helping them and they have been helping us, with Marcel taking over I don't see this changing a lot in the future. As you can see on the schedule, most of the tracks we are running this season are ISI tracks, and this season we are implementing the in-game track cut, to see how that works. We are kind of striving towards moving to more and more of the in game features, and obviously we are using this new fast lap tracker and track map, which we will develop and share with Studio 397, hopefully allowing leagues out there to benefit from what we have learned and done.

The three years of working together with VEC has kind of put us in a position where this year we are now a recognised official rFactor 2 championship, which is obviously something we are very proud about.

PJ: What exactly is an rF2 official championship then?

JA: Well it kind of means that we are one of the premier rFactor 2 leagues within the game. Its nothing like we have signed a deal or have to provide anything to them. Again we've worked together for many years and this is just a natural step for the two parties to take. Basically its recognising the league by ISI as a serious place to go and do some league racing!

PJ: I see in Q1 2017 a new rFactor 2 film, Closing the Gap, will be coming out. The film is following Revolution Racing as they enter the final race of Season 8 in VEC. Is it a marker of how well regarded this championship is, that an ISI backed film features the Virtual Endurance Championship at its core?

JA: Yeah I'm very proud to have the VEC logo on that film, and I'm looking forward to seeing what its like when its released. Its interesting to see someone has been mad enough to make a film about sim racing, rFactor 2 and VEC, so it should be an interesting prospect.

PJ: VEC uses the United Racing Designs mod for its season. Why do you use URD cars, and what sort of relationship do you have with them?

JA: Basically the URD mod is a good, quality mod. There is nothing else really in comparison to it at the moment. Ok Enduracers might release a mod, and we wanted to use that for VLMS, but its going to be 10+ year old cars and we are not going to use that. So URD next season and for the foreseeable future. Our relationship with them is perfect. They help us out and we help them out, so really its a win-win relationship. In the end, its a mutually beneficial relationship between the two parties.

PJ: We all know WEC runs on the rFactor 2 software, why have you chosen rF2 after moving from rF1 you ran for the first few seasons of VEC?

JA: rFactor 2 offers us the solutions to run a realistic endurance racing series, with a wealth of features critical for a realistic representation of long distance racing events. rFactor is the most comprehensive simulation available to us at the moment, we have such things as the driver swops, day and night cycle, rain, dynamic track, basically everything we need to make an endurance series the success that we currently have at VEC. Of course with the ability to mod the software, and the URD carset we use, we can have nine different models of car in our championship - soon to be 10 when they add the Toyota, and that make it an attractive package to run our championship with.

PJ: Speaking again of the calendar for Season 9, the tracks have changed somewhat from previous season, what was your strategy when you put the schedule together for this year?

JA: We want to mirror the World Endurance Championship, but obviously we can't have the exact same calendar because some of the tracks are simply not available for us to use. This year we had a look at the official ISI tracks available, as well as including those you don't want to miss such as Sebring and Le Mans. Once season 8 was over I invited all the donators into a special sub forum and let them vote on what kind of tracks they wanted, and this is what we have!

We started out with three hour races back in season one, with a six hour event as out longest race. Into season six we had two hour 45 minute races, but obviously for this year six hours is the standard in WEC, and we tried to mirror that in our schedule. Obviously some people want longer races, so we decided to bump up Silverstone to eight hours and we of course have the 12 hour Sebring and 24 hour Le Mans events in our calendar also. But, in the past we also had two 24 hour races and this is not set in stone, maybe next season we have two 12 hour and two 24 hour, who knows.

PJ: Behind the scenes with such a large series to run, how many people help you out and what goes into bring us the VEC every season?

JA: First of all, Berndt Schmidt going to be the Race Director for Room 2 and will help in that department for that series. I have stewards approximately 10 in number including myself. Tomas Beha looks after the track and car modding side of things then of course we have United Racing Designs who create the cars we use in VEC. We have other people and friends of VEC who help out with many things, such as Edmund who has been instrumental in helping put together the new broadcasting team for example.
But generally i dont like to give too much work to others, so as you might can imagine - im doing most of the things myself.

PJ: With the rF2 cut penalties coming in for this season, do you foresee this lowering the workload of stewards? How do you see this working out?

JA: Obviously every change to use in-game features should lower the workload on stewards and me, but as you know every single season we have had so far a group have felt the need to point out their opinion on something new we bring in, be it cut penalties or sleeping policeman, its just the nature of people racing in a competitive environment. We cant please everyone, but this is something we need to do. I have spend countless hours on fast forward looking at one special corner, and honestly I am not going to do that anymore, so this is one step. Maybe going forward we've even discussed last season in game penalties if you hit someone, maybe we'll have that next season, who knows?

PJ: So go on then, who's going to be champion in P1, P2 and LMGT at season close?

JA: Hahaha. People say that I'm biased towards Doug Henson Racing, so I'm not going to mention that Stephen is one of the fastest drivers out there... oh I just did! I kind of think that FEEDER Ragnar Simulator will run away with it in P1, in P2 that's a hard one. Magenta look good and in GT that is the toughest one to pick from. I think Revolution Racing or Scuderia GT Italia.