The season opener in Bahrain gave us some spectacular races and an exciting start to season 5 in DTR. With many debutants hitting the track for the first time in DTR, you never know what to expect. But from this man, named HxvocConnor, we can expect many great things as he won the race on his first outing.
We had some questions for the englishman and here’s what he had to say:
HxvocConnor, congratulations! You are the first Driver Of The Week of season 5.
It was your debut race in DTR and you showed your pace right away with an impressive win. Please talk us through your qualifying and race.
Thankyou! A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. First race in a new league is always tricky because you never know the pace of the unknown so that was always going to be the challenge.
As for the race itself, Qualifying I felt stronger than I had in the practice I did beforehand, and that translated in my lap time, so being on the second row was definitely a surprise. In the race just keeping out of turn 1 chaos proved to be key and I was able to make the alternate strategy work to perfection, my stint on the hard tyre was also a lot quicker than I expected and after fending off an Alfa I was able to pull a gap to pit in and keep the lead. After the second Safety Car I was a little worried that the guys that went onto softs would potentially put me under pressure, but in the end I managed to hold off a charging Krznicov in the Aston and get the win. Definitely my best race in sim racing so far.
How do you prepare for a league race?
I usually do a few laps in Time Trial to familiarise myself with the track we’re racing a few days before and then either the day before or day of the race I’ll jump into GP mode and do a sim of quali and the race against AI to improve my race craft and test my pace in those conditions. I used to not practice at all and the results I got in other places reflected that, so going into F1 22 I knew I had to put the work in and so far it’s paid off.
With a win on the season opener, what do you expect from this season in Division 5.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, as there are some very quick drivers in Division 5 but at the moment, consistent good points is the aim, maybe a few more podiums would be nice, Singapore is a track I have my eye on for a good result before the break so we’ll see but I just need to not let the win get to my head and keep focused on doing well.
Since when are you doing sim racing? Do you play other racing games as well?
I’ve been sim racing for just over 2 years now, starting on F1 2020 and over the last year I’ve done the odd race on other games, but I do enjoy racing games as a whole, whether it be F1, Gran Turismo, ACC or even Need for Speed for something a little more relaxed.
During a race, are you nervous or do you stay calm all the time?
I try to stay as calm as possible but of course that’s not always the case if anything happens that might throw your concentration, the nerves definitely crept in the last few laps at Bahrain, but I feel like if you don’t feel nervous then it doesn’t matter as much.
Have you ever been to a F1 Grand Prix in real life?
I have been to Silverstone twice in 2010 and 2011, It was organised as a school trip when I was in Year 10 and 11 at high school (15/16 years old) and we travelled down the Saturday morning, stayed overnight and came home after the race on Sunday, they were brilliant trips, I loved it and would love to go to Silverstone again, and visit other tracks in the future.
Do you have other hobbies despite racing in F1?
Hobbies away from F1 include Music, both singing and listening on a regular basis and you can find me gaming fairly regularly on a variety of games as well. I’m a football fan, especially my hometown team, Barnsley FC. I go to games very regularly and hoping there’s a push for promotion this season, fingers crossed! Aside from those two I’m beginning to learn French and Italian, as I’d love to go on a European football trip when I can afford to!
Thank you very much for your time, it was a pleasure talking to you. We wish you all the best for the future and your first season in DTR and may many victories be added.