He has gone from racing with a keyboard and joystick to one of the most successful simracing streamers on Twitch: we met Dan Suzuki and talked about the past Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup by iRacing season. Read what the all-star has to say about simracing, the community and the big highlight - his appearance in the Champion’s Show.
Hey Dan! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. The PESC 2021 and the All-Star Series came to a conclusion at the end of April; we would like to take the opportunity to speak with you about the past season. What were your impressions overall?
Personally, I enjoyed the series very much; it was a really successful mix of ‘competition’, as you want to win the credits for your community, and just having fun driving.
In the PESC All-Star Series, you competed against other simracing content creators with your fans behind you. How did your fans rate the season?
I think the series was very well received by my viewers. It was interesting to see how almost ’rivalries’ have formed within the communities, I would say much more than among us drivers ourselves.
How was it for you to compete against strong opponents in ten double race days?
Probably more challenging than the races I usually do. The second reverse grid race was always particularly eventful. Because the skill gap was already a bit bigger, there was a lot of action and chaos on the track.
Which race or event has stayed in your memory the most?
Definitely the final studio show. Apart from my usual environment in the rig at home, I've never been in front of a camera like that before, so it was pretty exciting!
For the season final, you were in the live studio at Hockenheim with our presenter Matthew ’Sadokist’ Trivett and Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven. What was it like for you to drive live in the studio?
I don't think the driving itself in the studio was much different than at home, I was maybe a bit more nervous. More problematic was that I was sitting in a foreign rig with different equipment in one of the most demanding cars on iRacing!
You were allowed to drive the new 911 GT3 R before everyone else in a special race at the virtual Hockenheimring. How was this experience?
That was great - especially because the GT3 R was probably the car most of the community really wanted!
Let's leave the PESC field for a moment and talk about you. How long have you been simracing? And when did you decide to do it in front of an audience on your Twitch channel?
I started simracing, if you could call it that back then, with Grand Prix 2 in 1996 or 1997 - steered with keyboard and joystick! My first online experience was Live For Speed in 2008, although I didn't do it that intensively back then. It really took off in February 2018 on iRacing, after I had seen a broadcast of the 12h Sebring race and thought to myself, "ok, you want to do that too!". My first stream was at the beginning of 2019 - actually not with the intention to do it regularly!
Is this now a full-time job for you? Or do you still consider it a hobby?
I would say both. In terms of time, it's definitely a full-time job, but I do have another job.
What do you think is needed to get even more motorsport fans excited about virtual racing?
Cleaner racing with live stewarding. Unfortunately, the pro races in particular are often pretty full of crashes.
Would you like to compete in the All-Star race again next season? Or would you rather race in the PESC itself?
PESC would not be for me. Apart from the fact that I would be far too slow for it, I couldn't make the time commitment necessary to be halfway competitive - I like the content creation side far too much to want to cut back there! That's why I feel much more comfortable in the All-Star grid!
Thank you very much for your time and the great conversation. We look forward to welcoming you back to the track soon. Until then: keep #NeverNotRacing