So, it's been a while (again) since I posted anything on here, which was just before the final race meeting of the 2020 Sports 2000 Championship - an awesome race meeting where I got to commentate with my mate Chris Dawes and work alongside Ian Titchmarsh for the first time. We had a lot of fun in the box and the racing was spectacular, with Michael Gibbins wrapping up the title, winning every. Single. Race. This season... incredible.
But what else what I been up to? Well, here's a (not) quick recap of all the series and events I've been commentating / have commentated on;
2020 ADAC Total Nurburgring 24 Hours
Let's start with the big one. The biggest gig I've ever been a part of. I never posted anything about my experience there because I felt it would be exactly as you all expected - it was incredible. From the travel and accommodation to witnessing World TCR and the 24 Hour Race itself first hand - I was straight back to my roots of being a motorsport fan, while appreciating the fact I was there to do a job.
I was truly spoilt rotten - on the way out from Manchester I was on a Lufthansa flight on a brand new Airbus, to then meet with my co-commentator for the weekend Brian Oliver and be driven to a beautiful lodge in the hills (with my own Sauna in the en suite!) in a BMW 430i rental car. Before I'd even seen a single racing car I'd had a great time!
The pit lane was just a joy - it was so busy and filled with some of the world's greatest drivers and GT3 teams, not to mention the World TCR paddock behind it - the touring car fan in me really came alive that day!
One of the real highlights was standing beside the Dottinger Hohe during the night time Qualifying. Watching GT3 cars caning it down there in the dark, in the rain was just bonkers and something I'll never forget. Commentating on one of the ADAC Formula 4 Germany races with Brian was a pleasant treat to get me warmed up, the day before the main event, which was action-packed all the way through thanks to the weather. A red flag that came out about 20 minutes after we left the circuit for the night meant our job was much easier on Sunday, as the race went Green again as soon as we planned to go live! Vielen Dank!
Okay, this has turned into its own post now. In short, it was great and I must thank David Addison for giving me the opportunity to step into his shoes for the weekend.
Sports 2000 Championships
The Sports 2000 Championships were wrapped up mid-October at Brands Hatch on the Grand Prix Circuit with yours truly in the commentary box alongside Chris Dawes and Ian Titchmarsh and it was a beautiful way to sum up an incredible year with everyone in this series. I have so many people to thank at Sports 2000 for their incredible support - especially Mark Fletcher who first put me in touch with Roger Donnan, Series Secretary. The main thing I enjoyed though, is that the whole paddock is full of lovely people that are still fierce racers at heart! Nobody was short of a great story or too and it really helped me paint a picture behind the microphone.
The series has also provided me with my first year having a full season's circuit commentary too - a big tick on my list of ambitions in this career.
BRSCC Race Meetings
I was given the chance to commentate on two BRSCC meetings within a month of each other - the first one was at Thruxton in very mixed conditions that included the Milltek Civic Cup, BMW Compact Cup and a plethora of different Caterham series. The second was another opportunity provided thanks to Alpha Live at Silverstone where the headlining series was the TCR UK / Touring Car Trophy. Yes, I got to commentate on real touring cars for the first time ever and yes I loved every second of it!
One of the cars involved was an ex-Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda Civic - driver by his son Henry - which caused me to have a bit of a moment when it parped its way past the commentary box down the straight. It was a moment that really hit home and made me realise how quickly things have progressed this year. I won't forget that for a while.
Either way - both were lots of fun as ever and I'd love to do it again (especially TCR UK/TCT!).
F100UK Karting at Buckmore
One of the most frantic days' commentating I've ever been a part of! Easily.
I travelled down to Buckmore Park to cover the F100UK Race Meeting there after Jake Sanson fell ill, but didn't really know what to expect. Other than Kartmasters and the Buckmore Park 24 Hour, I don't have any real karting commentary experience.
Nothing could have prepared for me for how crazy busy that day was - non-stop racing throughout and over 25 races total - it was insane and the racing was good. Sometimes you hear that there's been a lot of racing and that detracts from the quality but this was certainly not the case. Thanks to Alpha Live for the chance to cover that event!
British Boring Car Championship
Boring Cars has entered its second season with a bunch of new drivers and two new teams that have really shaken things up. Drivers from Season 1 are showing huge improvements in pace, serious drops in luck and the racing has been as frenetic as ever.
Jake Robertson currently leads the Championship from Matt Draycott and Calvin Dent - the latter being the first Independent to win a race overall. Jake and Matt are both tied as the second most winningest drivers in the series' history with Tom Jacobs on four apiece.
There's four race meetings left to go and it's all to play for.
Porsche Club GB Sim Racing Championship
The Porsche Club of Great British started a sim racing series earlier on this year and have brought Peter MacKay and I back to the commentary box for Season 2! It's been a lot of fun and great to see drivers developing week on week, with close racing and plenty of action throughout the field!
Peter and I have really shown our fun side during these broadcasts - it's been a real giggle, with a great reception from those watching and the drivers involved.
Reigning Champion Ryan Parkins is flying high as "King Hippo" with Matt Dorrington looking to continue challenging him, but there's still plenty of races left to go!
*Image courtesy of PorscheSport
World GT Championship
I joined Paul Smith on the iRacing Esports Network (RIP) and Racespot for Season 8 of the World GT Championship, which was a lot of fun. I feel that Paul and I brought great professionalism but enjoyable banter to the broadcasts and we received a lot of positive comments about them from league admins and drivers alike. I really hope we can do it again in the new year.
Z1 Dashboard Simracersworld TCR Winter Series
A new series that has recently started on the Simracersworld Channel, commentating on this championship alongside Peter MacKay has been fantastic and we've still got two meetings left to go! It's a short six-week season but it's packed full of close racing and insanely tough competition.
*Screenshot is from Season 2 as I haven't taken any this season...
Virtual Belcar eSeries 24 Hours of Zolder
I did a 6-hour stint calling the action on the 24 Hours of Zolder - the final round of the Virtual Belcar eSeries on iRacing - which saw me working into the early hours. After just coming off another broadcast about an hour beforehand, it was very tiring, but again showed that nothing is certain in motorsport - there were class leaders and cars that were in intense championship fights getting caught up in all sorts of drama as the race went on through the night. It was also my first time commentating with Edward May who had just done the six hours before as well - what a trooper!
Sunday Drivers MX-5 Series
The Sunday Drivers MX-5 Series has been going all year long on Simracersworld TV and provides some brilliant entertainment for me to commentat on on Sunday nights. The drivers aren't the fastest you'll see on iRacing but their determination is phenomenal. I even jumped into the final race meeting as an invitational driver and managed to win my first League race in nearly five years after an exceptional battle with Dan Mould of Simulation Racing Leagues!
Sim Stickers Simracersworld F3 Series
Another season commentating on the Simracersworld Formula 3 Series has ended and wow what a season! Hats off to Bart Daelman and his team for the format - Heat Racing in Formula 3 cars isn't something you'd expect would work but oh boy you'd be wrong! Every single race meeting was a cocktail of excitement, nerves and drama! More please!
The Sim Grid 24 Hours of Spa
On the Halloween weekend I did two commentary stints in The Sim Grid 24 Hours of Spa on Assetto Corsa Competizione (as well as doing six hours on the 24 Hours of Zolder) with Connall Courtney and as ever with The Sim Grid we were treated to some excellent racing, reflecting the true nature of modern day GT3 Endurance Racing - it was like a 24-hour long sprint race! Nobody wanted to give an inch! Hats off to The Sim Grid and Michael Hamlet for running the show and Mike Yau of Simply Race for the Broadcast! It was top notch!
The Sim Grid More Female Racers Series
The More Female Racers series did what it said on the tin - pitching a field of female sim racers against one another. Some had help from co-drivers within The Sim Grid community but it was all about improving their skills and getting them used to the sim. One-hour races with a driver change window in the middle made sure that we couldn't predict what was going to happen at any point and I believe another season is right around the corner.
So as you can see I've been covering a lot of things.
On top of all of this, the Vertex Stock Car Cup returns tonight for its third season! When Alex Sedgwick contacted me about doing it, I was very excited indeed and we've brought back Chris Dawes to commentate alongside me as well.
Huge congrats are in order for Alex because he's following his dream and working towards racing in the United States - even racing at Phoenix last month and doing a mega job in promoting himself.
This series is bound to be a lot of fun as ever and you can catch the first broadcast on the Vertex eSports YouTube Channel from 7:45pm UK time! For more information on the series, head to the Vertex Trackdays Website!
Mainly, other recent changes have come in the form of my equipment - I got myself a better headset and a mixer (Audio Technica BPHS1 and Behringer X1204USB), a new Keyboard and Mouse (ROCCAT Vulcan 100 AIMO and Kone AIMO) sorted my PC out with a new case (Corsair Carbide 275R) and components (64GB G-Skill Trident Z Royal RAM, Corsair LL120RGB Fans and 2x WD Blue 1TB SSDs) and purchased a Secret Lab Omega Blue Charcoal 3 Gaming Chair.
Oh, and an Elgato Streamdeck! (Get one. They're mint.)
Just last weekend I was told that I've been nominated for the VCO SIMMY Awards in the Sim Racing Commentator of the Year Category. I was truly blown away when I found out - to be honest, I still am now.
I'm up against three good friends of mine - Connery Maddick, Peter MacKay and Lewis McGlade, who I would definitely say will all be worthy winners if it goes their way. There's also Jacob Hancox who I don't know personally, but to make the list he sure must be good!
The voting closes on the 6th of December, so if you haven't voted yet, please do so! (I'll put a link below). We'll find out the winners on the 26th of December, which - hopefully for me - will definitely put a Cherry on the preverbial Cake that is Christmas!
In conclusion, as the title suggests, there has been lots going on at Casa del Chaz and in my office (which I'm still planning on doing a brief video tour of), but I'm enjoying every minute of sim racing and commentary at the minute, especially after going full time. It's a shame that the real world gigs have died off but as the season does so, it's to be expected.
Now, I'm truly looking forward to enjoying as much sim racing comms work as possible throughout December and into January, with my sights set on a big year in 2021!