News detail and comments


01.12.2014   Category: Site news


Interview with VRC Centurion 1 Graham Raistrick:

PB: Graham, congratulation with getting to the 100K point first. It looked like Tom was going to be the first to cross that line but you obviously made a big effort in the last day to get there first. This milestone means a lot to you then?

GR: First of all I would like to apologies to both Tom and you (and everyone for that matter) for taking you by surprise…even I wasn’t sure if I could get to the line before Tom. When it was ‘declared’ a ‘race’ in the October news letter ‘The Race is on – Who will reach the 100k First’….it has been in the back of my mind since…and I was one of the contenders, I’m a racer…it was going to be a race. As Tom got closer to the finish I snapped and HAD to have a go.
As to meaning a lot to me, Yes it does, as you know I am a great fan of VRC…have been from Version 3 and to have the honor of first to 100k means a lot to me. One for the history books you might say.

PB: what exactly did you do to catch up with Tom?

GR: In a nutshell, around 5,430 laps on the OVAL with an 8th Modified Nitro car over a couple of days. I did 1000 to see how many km I got, then 2000 to get around 400km behind Tom on Tuesday, then the rest on Wednesday, 2000 to draw along side (he was on 49948 and I was on 49950 and he had only just posted his, so I knew it was close)…..I actually thought he was on the Oval doing the same thing, so I put in another 400 laps to get close to the 100k, then finally calculated the 30 odd laps to cross the line and post the 100k first. I had my phone with Tom’s profile on and was refreshing it every pit stop…just to keep an eye on him…this is how I knew I had got to the line first.

PB: tell us a little bit about yourself.

GR: I’m lucky enough to have a loving and understanding wife that lets me race on VRC Pro. I think there is enough info in the rest of the questions to tell you about me.

PB: besides virtual and real r/c racing, do you have other hobbies?

GR: No, no time for other hobbies, just keeping up with just the official onroad events is enough.

PB: now that you’ve got the honorable title of Mr. VRC Centurion 1 I like to go back to the beginning to get to know you a little better. The first obvious question is, how long have you been racing r/c cars and what classes?

GR: I started when I was doing my degree course and got bored….actually bought a Tamiya Rough Rider but never raced it. It was while I was in the model shop a local member of a club (
10th indoor elec on wood floors…yes…silicon those tyres) told me of their club, Wallsend near Newcastle. I started racing. Quickly moved to 12th carpet (as did the club)…lot faster and more accurate. My degree was in 3D Design, so I ended up designing and making the cars as well as racing them. After my degree I joined the Chesterfield Auto Racing Society (C.A.R.S)…undoubtedly one of the best 12th indoor carpet clubs in the UK…STILL IS.…and did most of my racing there until I was about 35. I nearly qualified for the UK European team one year, but failed scrutineering because one of my weights (a 5p piece) dropped off. Had to give up racing when kids came along etc.

PB: looking at how competitive you are in VRC Pro you must have been a pretty good r/c racer. What were your main achievements in real life r/c racing?

GR: This is the laugh of it, I was a good ‘none sponsored driver’ always in the ‘A’’s at club, Once won a ‘B’ final at national level…but in general I think I’m like most of us…maybe with a break I would have been better. Certainly if I had had VRC then I would in the main stream.

PB: Are you still racing IRL today?

GR: No. I have visited my old club and clubs locally and do miss the camaraderie, but the cost of starting up again is just too much, besides I can get a lot more racing done in VRC.

PB: what got you involved in virtual r/c racing?

GR: I missed racing and found it on the web one day….got the VRC adaptor and never looked back. The closeness to realism was and is amazing….and I can do it sitting indoors in a comfy chair…brill. The forums give extra interest…being able to help others and improve the game gives a lot of satisfaction.

PB: you’re a real on-roader, have you tried off-road in VRC Pro at all?

GR: Yes, and I hate to say it, I’m struggling on most tracks to do even the 85% of track record. Seems like you need to be just the right speed at just the right jump with just the right setup etc. My hat really goes off to the Off-road guys…I do think it is a lot harder…or maybe I just haven’t the right setup or driving style. Best thing is….I have VRC to figure it out…watch this space.

PB: tell us something of your VRC Pro hardware set-up, PC, monitor, controller etc. and why you think a good configuration matters.

GR: I have many theories about hardware…at the moment its having a kick ass PC to gain that last split second to catch the guys who I think have kick ass PC’s (always an excuse for why someone is in front eh!!!). Back to the question, I have a DELL Laptop XPS L702X, Windows 7 (64 bit) i7 2630QM processor, 3mb nvidea graphics GeForce GT 555M. Hooked up to a 27 inch Iiyama ProLite B2776HDS monitor. I have never really been able to test the difference in performance as I don’t have another PC but my theory here is the faster it can think, the
faster it can go.

Controllers…don’t get me started here, I have bought 12 controllers (radio’s) so far, just for VRC….well. I think you’ve probably all notice the Milehighwings logo in my profile picture…this is the USB I use…I really bought the radio’s (myself) as ways to test the USB. It was Frank Hattich that first put me onto it…why, because he is a legend in VRC and his driving is so smooth and his times SO quick I thought it must be the USB he is using that helps….he introduced me to the developers/manufacturers of the MHW and we helped develop it between us.

For me it comes down to control of the car, getting rid of the ‘jitter’ that you see when calibrating your radio (the little crosshairs jumping around). The MHW gets rid of it, has software to control it a bit more. It can also give a higher frame rate in the game (if your kit is capable of going faster than @6.7ms you should see higher than 125 in the game)

PB: Are you still working with on their special USB adaptor development?

GR: Since the release of the current MHW ProRace 4096 they have been quiet…it works very well and I think they have other fish to fry. They did release a software update to allow a 3rd channel to be used on the PPM mode. Think the only thing they could do to improve it, is to make it 3 channel…only problem with this is it would slow down the overall speed.

PB: you’ve been doing very well in VRC Pro the past year, top of the rankings in several classes, winning series etc. You take VRC racing very seriously. What does VRC Pro mean to you?

GR: Like I say at the top of the page, I’m a racer, and in VRC I can race…all the time….with really good racers all over the world. I can develop my own stuff to use in the game, I can test it I can fiddle with setup’s and test them…its AWESOME. In version 3 of VRC I was ranked 32nd I think on the Oslo track, 115th in 8th Nitro…so I think with the practice I have done in VRC I have improved some what. To me VRC is just like real life….if I was down my local club I would be competing JUST the same, just as hard.

PB: I have always been impressed with your 1:10 and 1:12 electric racing, hats off to you. You’re not a youngster if I may say so, but how do you keep up with the fast guys?

GR: Practice, practice, practice. I have good gear (so no excuse there) I have some really good setups. And a bit of knowledge of which bits of the options to tweek helps too. And remember, you don’t have to be the fastest car on the track to win. What’s the point of going 100km/h missing the first bend and crashing, when you can do 90km/h and get around the bend. 12th I am happy with because this is what I used to do. 10th Electric at the moment I am REALLY happy with…mainly because I always seem to struggle with these cars…both setup and driving style…just can’t seem to get it right, but my results are fairly good. In electric, I have Barnabas and Dana always in front of me…this is good, gives me something to aim at. Next season there’s going to be Hiroyuki Shoda coming up…he should give them something to worry about. I’ll be down a place, but what the hey.
To be honest though, I think I actually prefer the Nitro cars…especially the 8th cars…this is where the big boys are. Luckily for you beginners, one of the best cars is the 8th SPEC car, only bettered ny the full 8th Nitro….and only because you can fully configure the whole car and make it much more drivable.
I have to give a mention to Rick Yelle in the 10th Nitro department. Since he came into PRO he has been almost impossible to beat….maybe I should have a word with Frank Hattich or Chris Stack to come and give him a beating ;-)

PB: I asked Tom as well, if you had to write a testimonial about VRC Pro, what would it be?

GR: I think Tom has it in a nutshell. For me its…VRC Pro – Race ALL week not just the weekend
Also like Tom, I would like to thank Pieter for VRC Pro…for sticking with it, and thank the programmers for ALL their hard work and no doubt extra hours they have put in. Hopefully the current work you are doing will reap greater rewards and hopefully benefit us all.
Good luck to everybody in the Worlds….I’ll see you there ;-)

PB: thanks for spending some time with me to get to know you a little better. Enjoy the Champaign and the December Worlds. Let’s see who wins the race to the 200K milestone!

GR: Did you say it was a ‘race’ to 200K….oh no!…not again !!!!


Only active members can post comments
Pages: 1 | 2 (Total posts: 13)
11.12.2014 [18:11]
06.12.2014 [06:14]
04.12.2014 [22:05]
Thanks everybody, especially Frank...would I be here if it wasn't for you? ;-)
04.12.2014 [11:14]
Congrats my friend!
04.12.2014 [10:42]
Congratulations Graham ,,also your life partner.. for putting up with it ..Lol .
03.12.2014 [23:34]
Grats Graham, you are are great driver.
03.12.2014 [17:21]
Congrats on the 1st to 100k - and a top interview!
03.12.2014 [01:57]
Congratulations Graham, well done.
02.12.2014 [21:02]
Once again congratulations for this milestone!
02.12.2014 [00:15]
Once again congratulations for this milestone!

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