- Trogen and Staib on their victory in the DNLS powered by VCO.
- Trogen: “It felt like a real race.”
- Staib: “A great honour to drive for Williams.”
Munich – Sami-Matti Trogen and Dominik Staib took the win in the second race in the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO in an Audi R8 LMS GT3. In an interview with VCO, the Williams Esports team duo talk about the race and the key to winning. The two of them also reveal how impressed they are by the drivers from real-life motorsport and what it means to them to be competing for a legendary business.
Congratulations on your win last weekend. For the viewers it seemed to be a very dominant victory. Did it feel like that to you as well?
Dominik Staib: Thank you very much. We did have a relatively big advantage. That isn’t often the case with such a high-performance field but we were very pleased with the win.
What was the key from your perspective?
Sami-Matti Trogen: The pole position was very important for us. That meant we were able to drive away from the pack right from the start in the race and build up a comfortable buffer. As the race went on that meant we no longer had to risk everything and could take things a bit easier. That is a great advantage on a track like the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
Staib: In addition to this, our preparation was also a key to victory. We spent a lot of time practicing and benefitted from the fact that we also raced on the Nordschleife a week ago in the iRacing Nürburgring Endurance Championship. That helped us a lot. Particularly when it comes to the track and how it changes as the race goes on.
Dominik, how much pressure were you under in the final stage of the race?
Staib: When you take over the car in first place, naturally you have a lot of added pressure – particularly on the Nordschleife, where so many cars are on the track and even the smallest of mistakes is punished. On top of that, Laurin Heinrich of Team BS+COMPETITION had refuelled a little bit less than we had and made up a few seconds. But then at the end it became clear that it wouldn’t be enough for her – so I was able to bring the win home under control.
It was the first DNLS race for you both. How do you rate the event?
Trogen: From my point of view it was fantastic. The regulations and the organisation were very professional. It felt like a real race.
Staib: It was also a very special event for me. I only live 45 minutes away from the real-life Nürburgring and often watch the races live at the track.
Is it something special to be racing against such well-known drivers?
Trogen: Definitely. It was a lot of fun racing against such big names. It’s really amazing how fast these guys are on iRacing when you think how little experience some of them have of sim racing.
Staib: I watched a few of the interviews with drivers from real-life motorsport after the race. Some of them mentioned that they have only been driving on iRacing for a few weeks. Considering that, what did is very impressive. When I think back to my early days on iRacing, I wouldn’t have even managed to finish a whole lap on the Nordschleife. I have no doubt that they will become even stronger in the future.
You are both competing for Williams Esports team. How much of a role does this big name play for you?
Trogen: Williams is a very special team with a strong tradition and a very long history. With this background, naturally it is very special to drive for this team. It really is great that the team is so involved and active in virtual racing.
Staib: I totally agree. It is a great honour to drive for Williams and to represent them. And as drivers, we really benefit from Williams’ involvement. At live events, for example, the team takes care of all the organisation, covers the costs and thereby makes sure that as drivers we can focus fully on the races.
Sami-Matti, in addition to virtual racing, you are also active in real-life motorsport. Is Esports racing comparable?
Trogen: Naturally there are differences, for example, when you consider the set-up. You can’t compare that aspect. On the other hand, the simulations are really good these days and give drivers involved in real-life motorsport a good opportunity to keep learning and improve themselves during breaks, like the current one.
Dominik, you are studying e-mobility. To what extent can you make use of your knowledge from your studies in Esports racing?
Staib: Since I only started my studies six months ago, it doesn’t play a very big role yet. But I hope that this will be the case in the future. My dream would be to work with a team from Formula E. Basically, both my studies and sim racing stem from my passion for motorsport. It runs in my family. My dad used to take me to races and got me interested in this field.
What do the next few weeks look like for you? What are the next events you will be taking part in?
Trogen: First, we will be competing in the iRacing Nürburgring Endurance Championship and then we are looking forward to the third race in the DNLS. Then just one week after that it will be the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.
Staib: The Nürburgring-Nordschleife will be sticking with us these coming weeks. But fortunately that track never gets boring.
The DNLS powered by VCO race calendar
21st MarchRound 1
4th AprilRound 2
18th AprilRound 3
2nd MayRound 4
30th MayRound 5
13th JuneRound 6
15th AugustRound 7
17th OctoberRound 8
14th NovemberRound 9
Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) brings together different stakeholders in Esports, from simulation or gaming platforms and interested partners to active teams, drivers and the community. In a rapidly growing sector, VCO stands for professionalism, focus and a broad media presence. With its international network, VCO provides solutions for the best possible conception and implementation of Esports projects of all kinds.
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