Articles from 2003

Console Q & A: Myst makes the big move.

Once you made the decision to jump from Console to PC, what influenced you to buy the computer configuration you settled on ?

Well, I wasn't very sure on what I wanted or needed to get. My uncle is a bit of a computer expert so I told him my budget and want I wanted to do with my machine and he said you should be able to build something quiet nice for a cheap price if we go to a swap meet. So off we went and I bought all the gear and got my uncle to help me install and that was that.

Did you have any reason for selecting GP4 verses any of the other F1 sims ?

I have started with GP4 because one of my mates had the game and said, 'Do you want to borrow this?' So I thought why not and gave it a go. So I suppose because it was the first thing that came to hand is the reason for me playing it at the moment.

How would you compare the graphics quality of the PC vs. The PSX you had before ?

The PSX game I had was one of the very last made for that console so it produced possibly the best graphics it's components could manage. It was very nice to look at - but itwas no playstation 2. The PC is MUCH better graphics wise than the PSX but would probably rate very close to the next gen cossoles like the PS2, XBox and GameCube. Overall the PC looks much better than the PSX and it can sometimes be destracting looking at all the pretty trees. ;)

How about the Sound ?

Well, nothing can really beat a sub-woofer can it? The speakers on the 20 year old TV I was playing the PSX on were good but nothing like a set of speakers and sub. Overall the sound quality is much better on the PC and the sound effects on GP4 are much better than my F1-2001 game. So much more attention is paid to detail on the PC - probably due to the extra hard disk space they can play with.

You've also changed to an actual steering wheel with pedals as well. How do you like that change ?

It is MUCH better than the digital controls I was using. The first time I played with the wheel I thought, 'I am never going to get the hang of this' and was thinking I had wasted my money. But after some help from yourself and F1Addict on calibrating it correctly I slowly became acustomed to it and now I find it so much more fun and better to drive. The handling is great the ability to control how much gas or brake I use is a luxury.

What is the biggest difference in playing a PC sim vs. a console ?

As far as the sims themselves go they are fairly similar. Its just that the slower corners on the PC are MUCH slower, hence the faster lap times on console. The cars handle relitively the same except the PC sim seems to get a little more unstable a bit eaiser. Overall, I think they are almost the same thing but the PC sims are slightly better refined.

Now that you've had a little time to get used to the game, do you think you will be faster than you were before or not ?

Well, I had played that playstation game for almost two years - so I felt I was pretty damn fast at it. Of course it will take some time to learn all the tracks on PC and setting up the car correctly and mastering the wheel. But with time I believe I can be just as fast, if not a touch faster than what I was on the playstation. Hopefully I'll be duking it out with the podium regulars in a few rounds time.

Have you downloaded any add-ons or other fun things for GP4 ?

Nothing yet. Just the official patch and the HOFxLAP checker thingy so I can see the output from my hotlaps. But I'm sure once I am a bit more familiar with it I'll try out some patches and add-ons just because I can with the luxury of a PC.

Do you plan on getting F1-2002 or any other sim, if you can ?

I actually went out shopping today and looked for it. I checked four stores - all of which had F1-2001 but not '02. I didn't want to buy F1-2001 so I thought I'd wait or look online or the trading post or something. I ended up buying V8 Supercars Australia: Race Driver today instead - since I couldn't find '02. Its nice to play something made locally and based locally too.

Do you plan on getting back into Hot Lapping ?

I'll be submitting a lap for Barcelona in the coming week but I'm not sure how fast it will be. I will try and enter the hot lap events as regularly as possible but I can't committ to half distance events regularly at this stage.


MLP goes to Melbourne

Welcome to the wonderful world of Oz. I made it and for obvious reasons I have chosen Melbourne Australia as my final destination. As I type on my notepad waiting for our final interviewee F.I.H.S. member Myst to show up, you can feel the charge of excitement coursing through the air. The vibrant hue of color emanating from the many flags raised up high in the air swirling about the trails creats rainbows. Looking up I see Myst running towards me. He had already assured me we would have the best seats in the stadium. Standing up to bestow a proper F.I.H.S. greeting, extending my hand, Myst grabs it and starts pulling me behind him. I am smiling from ear to ear because I know I will be soon sitting in a number one spot. I have to admit I am a bit perplexed when I see Myst pulling out a pair of wire cutters from his back pocket. Dropping down to one knee, stealthily making an appropriate opening we find ourselves inside the stadium. Walking about, soaking up the atmosphere we meander about the expensive seats and sit down. Turning to Myst I began our interview. Almost as soon as it began it ended due to the security guards who spotted us. Luckily my recorder can record on the run, so I figured why not begin our interview. So here it is in its entirety, the final pre-race interview with our co-webmaster F.I.H.S. member Myst.

F.I.H.S.: We have noticed several recent changes to the F.I.H.S. website. As Co-WebMaster, what other goodies do you have in store for us?

MYST: Basically the forum here is the main attraction. I'll be looking at adding some mods to that to make the community we have here an even more enjoyable place than it already is. As far as design goes, I'll be looking to re-design the whole site soon so we get a fresh layout so expect a new look FIHS soon.

F.I.H.S.: Your platform and perhaps even your participation are not finalized yet. What factors are currently affecting your decision to race this season?

MYST: As of now I'll be racing on F1-2001 on my Playstation again. But this year I will be starting university so pending on time, I'm not sure how many races I'll be able to participate in. Also, I recently just bought my first car and it wasn't as expensive as I budgeted for - so I have some money to kill. So even as soon as Imola I could join the Class A gang with F1-2002. But who knows. I'll be racing intermittently.

F.I.H.S.: What are your hopes for this F.I.H.S. Season?

MYST: Have fun and watch the group develop.

F.I.H.S.: There you have it, the final on the lam interview and true to his word we did indeed have the best seats in the stadium. I had no idea stadium jails were so close to the track. The guards are so nice too. We should be released right as soon as Myst’s parents arrive. Then I should be able to make it back in time to submit my H.D.. I would like to take this time to publicly thank all the interviewees for giving up their time and opening up their homes and garages to this F.I.H.S. reporter. So on that note I say thank you and “Honey I’m coming home, rev up the computer.”

MLP meets the President

With less than 24 hours until Melbourne I thought long and hard on this next interview and decided that I had to take the chance and maybe just maybe he will be in the Ferrari garage. As I approached the garage of the next F.I.H.S. member, the first thing I noticed was the soft tranquil sounds of Paul Simon, this being the telltale sign that he is in the throws of concentration as he so often is when he listens to Simon. I knew then that the designs we engineered this off-season were being implemented with the most precise calculations having been factored to garner the speed we will need to make the podium (actually he will make podiums, I’ll be lucky to find the car). Upon entering the garage I see none other than our own F.I.H.S. President Last_Place huddled over the engine. I can see smoke pouring out of the exhaust and thermal waves rising up from the hot engine. I was so excited to see our designs implemented that I grabbed Last_Place, twirling him around only to see that the thermal waves weren’t just rising up from the engine, but from a cup, a cup of SOUP! A startled yet pleased look on his face he looked at me and said “look honey it's hot enough to make soup ”. So on that note, I bring to you our 4th F.I.H.S. interview with our fearless leader Last_Place.

F.I.H.S.: Since your Presidency began you have tried to influence the league with your own vision and idea of leadership. This has not been all straights, and you have had your share of chicanes to deal with. What have you learned and how has being President influenced you?

LAST_PLACE: A fine question, my fair lady. I have learned a lot since taking the reigns of this flailing, maternally outraged brontosaurus we call home, too much to list here. Perhaps the most useful thing I can take from my time served is to try to have a relationship at some level with everyone, because trust isn't built through edicts. Everyone has an opinion on the various issues faced by the group, and if someone feels I have simply proclaimed without taking into account their point of view, I don't think they will approach their involvement with the same enthusiasm or personal commitment. On the other hand, if I bump into a member online and say hi from time to time, or just have some fun with them on the forum about nothing in particular, at the very least they'll perceive me as a human being and be more inclined to listen to my arguments and believe that I'm sincere. Of course, as membership sizes grow, there is less time to spend chatting with people and so there is more focus on building a team of trusted helpers around you, letting them know your vision, and having faith in their ability to speak for you. For that reason, I'm always scouting for people who have the willingness to step up, take a piece of responsibility away from me and make it their own.

F.I.H.S.:As most of us know, you have been a Sim Racer for almost 10 years. You have been able to see improvement not only with your own racing but also with Internet racing. There are many younger and faster drivers out there. What motivates you when you are not the best?

LAST_PLACE: I think the challenge presents itself nomatter if you live at 10 Downing Street or Old Kent Road. Look at it this way: if I love to race and it demotivates me to contemplate that Michael Schumacher's toddler can already beat me, why should I even think about something that takes away that enthusiasm? So, I'll accept in my mind that I'm just an average Joe and repeat it to others, but in my heart, I'm the baddest boy who ever lived and I'm comin' to getcha!

F.I.H.S.: What are your hopes for this F.I.H.S. season?

LAST_PLACE: My hopes for the season as president are that as least as many members finish the season as commence it. That's probably the ultimate measure of our success, although not the only measure. My driving ambitions for the season are to punish F1Addict on the track at every opportunity for gallantly resigning the Ferrari #2 seat to allow the lovely MLP to be my team mate. It was generous beyond fault of him to step aside in that way for a friend, and a shamelessly ungrateful act to abandon the heart and soul of Ferrari in such an arrogant and callous manner in their time of need. For this mortal sin, he cannot be forgiven.

F.I.H.S.: Well that ends this interview and while I’m on my way to the store to pick up some more soup I will be stopping by the travel agency to pick up the tickets to my final destination. I’m looking quite forward to it and I must leave quickly so I can make my flight. With those final thoughts in place and with me firmly standing in the 15-items-or-less line I will be off to obtain the final F.I.H.S. pre-season interviews. Excuse me a second, “plastic please, the soup cans go right through paper”. Okay this is your F.I.H.S. roving reporter signing off.

“Excuse me cashier but do you double your coupons here?”

MLP goes country

Well we have crossed three states traveling towards the Mid-West to reach our next F.I.H.S. member. I figured since we weren’t able to talk to F1Addict in the Jordan Honda garage we would be able to catch up to Philoctetes in Texas and hopefully get an idea of some of these changes we have heard about. It is a rather warm day and the sky is a striking blue and as we near the Jordan Honda garage we can hear the melodious sounds of Travis Tritt and Faith Hill. If I close my eyes I can almost smell steaks grilling and hear the sizzling off the Barbecue Sauce as it drips onto the searing red coals. Tape recorder in hand I enter the garage and much to my delight and relief I see Philo bent over the engine of the yellow Jordan. Just as I was going to sound out with my salutations, Philo leans away from the Jordan and throws his head back, emitting a sound that can only be described as primordial. After the initial sound rippled through his larynx I was able to make out the one word he was screaming. “F1Addict!!!” I lean over his now whimpering body crumpled on the floor and see the reason for his consternation becomes apparent. Somehow the Jordan Honda carburetor has been replaced with the carburetor of a GTI Golf. After a series of frantic phone calls we are finally able to sit down and have a one on one conversation.

So here it is, the F.I.H.S. pre-season interview #3:

FIHS: There are new faces in the league this year. Do you foresee any problems? Do you plan on altering your racing style?

PHILOCTETES: I definitely foresee problems, as the new guys are quick and the old guys keep getting quicker. I'm sure there's going to be some new faces on the top step of the podium this season, and it's going to be extremely difficult for me to retain the championship!

FIHS: We have many new members this season. What advice do you have for them?

PHILO: Have fun, don't put too much stock in where you finish. The most important thing is to be able to look back at the end of the season and say to yourself "I can't believe how much faster I am now!"

FIHS: What are your hopes for this F.I.H.S. season?

PHILO: Two words: Pit Babes.

FIHS: Well there you have it and I must say it was so nice of Philo to follow the example of F1Addict and so quickly and efficiently escort me, but for Philo to also include a police escort to the border is just too much. This season truly is shaping up to be one of the best F.I.H.S. seasons yet. With two days left and two interviewees remaining, where will I show up next? Will I be knocking on your paddock?


MLP gets in the garage

The clock is ticking and the sand is running out of the hourglass. [Who put sand in my clock again? - Ed] With the coming of the 2003 season I looked for our next guest in the wonderful city of Santa Ana. There was only one place to find him and that was in the Jordan Honda paddock, working on the many improvements he and his teammate Philoctetes engineered. Upon my arrival the first things to greet me were the sounds of what makes a garage a garage. I entered and to my surprise I notice that the paddock was empty but the sound was getting louder the closer I got to the back wall. I noticed the back door was open and as I stepped out, in front of me was the site I expected inside and that was F1Addict bent over the engine not of a Jordan Honda but of a 1987 Golf GTI, hands and arms black up to the elbow in grease. As I approached I gave an F.I.H.S. greeting, startling the hell out of F1Addict and causing him to jump up and hit the back of his head against the underneath of the hood. After throwing water on the semi conscience F1Addict I was finally able to get some coherent responses to my questions. Here is the interview in its entirety.

F.I.H.S.: As one of the Founding Fathers of F.I.H.S. and Vice President we see you have also taken on the responsibility of “Timekeeper”. How will your approach differ from that of President L_P?

F1Addict: Well, if it were up to me it would differ significantly but as we both know, nothing is ever far from our president’s hands. Actually, Mr. Place has developed a work of art and I see no need to deviate from his methods so I intend to do my best to maintain the standards he has set. If I fail I'm sure he'll be there to let me know.

F.I.H.S.: We see in the off season Hot Lap Competition that you have improved dramatically. What do you attribute this to, and do you think your off season promise will result in podiums?

F1Addict: Thank you for noticing. It has improved, hasn't it? I don't know the source of my new-found performance, I guess I attribute it to being away for awhile. I don't think anything can be assumed by pre-season performance, we're all running with different fuel loads and tires and testing different... oops, for a second there I was pretending to be Juan Pablo Montoya. The short answer is no. I predict that I will be a "best of the rest" drivers behind my teammate and resident leadfeet JD and L_P although Miranda has really improved and may pose a serious impediment to my plan of world domination.

F.I.H.S.: What are your hopes for this F.I.H.S. season?

I'm looking forward to a very competitive season and the continued growth of FIHS. I think this year is going to be very exciting for all of us.

Well I must say that had to be the fastest interview I have ever given. F1Addict was so kind as to escort me to the door, arm locked with mine saying how he wished I could stay longer but since I was on a deadline...funny but I don’t remember telling him that. Oh well. Hmmm, maybe on this next trip I can leave the country. Until then this is your F.I.H.S. roving reporter looking to surprise (well maybe I’ll call first) our next member.



Hello everyone and welcome to what is sure to become the best in Sim Racing on the internet. We have a wide array of drivers whose skills rival that only of their wide variety or ethnic origin, some coming from as far away as Australia and Columbia to home-bread stock from Monrovia to Santa Ana, California. We will also be driving courses just as diverse as we are. The excitement is building. The smell of grease guns is the air. Since we have started a time countdown to the first race, I thought it would be nice to start a countdown of articles consisting of three questions from some of our members, to get some of their thoughts and ideas not only for future improvements to the forum, but also some insight as to their anticipation for the upcoming 2003 season. I was able to catch up to one of our members during a break from one of his practice sessions in Willow Springs, JohnW. John is one half of what helps keep our forum current and updated. He is our resident Co-Webmaster and has some wonderful ideas as to the coming season for F.I.H.S., as well as keeping up his current trend of improving with each off-season race.


FIHS: John W, it is so nice to see you taking a break. You seem to be hitting the track with more and more determination. We would like to take this moment to thank you for the wonderful job you have been doing with the forum, just in case you thought it was a thankless job.

As Co-Webmaster, we have noticed several changes to the F.I.H.S. website already. What other ideas do you have in store for us?

JW: First off, I would really like to get a consistent look and feel to the HTML part of the site. Many of the pages are still in their original format and rather static looking. Some of the pages are updated, but still need ....something. Once they are consistent, I plan on building some more dynamic items in the pages. ( This of course would have to include the "gentlemens' club" section. Only accessible by secret, and probably goofy, handshake. Submissions for "lap 3 girls" have been pouring in, and...Oops. Wrong site. Forget all that ! )

FIHS: You joke frequently about your performances, but your off-season times have begun to show they are no laughing matter. How do you intend to continue this trend?

JW: By blowing off everything I just said I'd do in question #1 ! If I can get my kid to go to sleep by 9pm, I should have more time to actually work on faster laps. His idea of a good lap and mine are worlds apart.

FIHS: What are your hopes for this F.I.H.S. season?

JW: Mostly degrading my teammate in interviews as much as I can and making sure my engineers get off their duffs and make the car as fast as a Ferrari. That way I can get a job at Ferrari next year. Oops again. That was the answer for JV, not JW. Let's try again. My main goal is to learn how to drive GP3. I think my technique has not suited my game of choice and I need to change my style to get some decent improvements. More generally, I would like to simply improve over last season by a noticeable amount. Of course, berating my teammate is NOT out of the question. Being the #1 driver has to have its perks.

FIHS: There you have it those are the words of our Webmaster. I have a feeling this year he is not only going to be showing us what he can do off the track but on it as well. This concludes our first of several interviews. I'm off to see if I can surprise our next member. Where will part two take me? Well I guess we will have to wait and see. For now keep your motors running.


The results are in:

...and an FIHS rookie takes the top spot. Appearantly , the rumors of JDClark's speed were true. He beat some of the old guard hot shoes by about 2.5 tenths of a second. It looks like the ladder to the top spot has just gotten one rung taller. Time will tell if the veterans of last season are up to the challenge.

Driver Seat Adjusted Time* Sim Platform
JDClark Minardi #3 1:23.233 F1-2002 PC
Philoctetes Jordan #1 1:23.580 F1-2002 PC
Last_Place Ferrari #1 1:24.073 F1-2002 PC
CA Miranda Williams #1 1:24.641 F1-2002 PC
BMGCyaRacing Toyota #1 1:24.795 F1-2002 PC
F1Addict Jordan #2 1:25.055 F1-2002 PC
JohnW McLaren #1 1:26.249 GP3 PC
Cardozo Sauber #2 1:26.249 F1-2002 PC
Flo Toyota #2 1:28.471 F1-2002 PC
DKosak Jaguar #2 1:29.742 F1-2002 PC
Flopper48 Williams #2 1:31.791 F1-2001 PC
Arrows4Life Arrows #1 1:33.560 F1 2002 PC
Hynee Independent 1:41.674 F1-2002 PC
MLP22 Ferrari #2 1:52.992 F1-2002 PC

Next up: The last preseason test at ...Suzuka.

Testing goes below the equator.

This last session was held at Albert Park, in Melbourne Australia. Since this is sort of a street circuit, one would expect the skills and technique required to be a bit differant than the previous test runs. So, do we have a different set of names at the top of the charts ? Yes and no. Familiar names have again topped the charts, but a few unfamiliar ones did well too. The big news is the number of drivers this week. It's good to see folks starting to get down to business.

Driver Seat Adjusted Time* Sim Platform
Last_Place Ferrari #1 1:27.043 F1-2002 PC
Philo Jordan #1 1:27.140 F1-2002 PC
jctg McLaren #2 1:27.779 GP3-2000 PC
JD Clark Independant 1:27.850 F1-2002 PC
BMG Toyota #2 1:29.237 F1-2002 PC
F1Addict Jordan #2 1:29.568 F1-2002 PC
CA Miranda Williams #2 1:29.637 F1-2002 PC
flo Toyota #1 1:31.085 F1-2002 PC
JohnW McLaren #1 1:31.430 GP3 PC
Cardozo Sauber #2 1:31.471 F1-2002 PC
pfa1451usa Sauber #1 1:33.402 F1-2002 PC
flopper48 Williams #1 1:33.806 F1-2002 PC
Dkosak Jaguar #2 1:34.317 F1-2002 PC
Arrows4Life Arrows #1 1:35.040 F1-2002 PC
MLP Ferrari #2 1:51.765 F1-2002 PC

Next up. Imola. Times due by Sunday night, Feb 16.


Results from the third session of testing.

Once again, the FIHS faithful have hit the track for another round of testing. Instead of following what everyone else in Formula 1 are doing, namely drive on the usual tracks in the normal conditions, someone decided that we should test at Spa. In the rain. So, after a little over a week of fighting the elements and a tough track, those tough enough to give it a go, submitted the following times:

Driver Seat Adjusted Time* Sim Platform
Last_Place Ferrari #1
F1Addict Jordan #2
CA Miranda Williams #2
Cardozo Sauber #2
MLP22 Ferrari #2
JohnW McLaren #1

No Class B drivers this week, but we expect them to arrive in force any time now. Check back for the next track in pre-season testing.

Another week of testing in the books.

Week 2 of preseason testing was run last week, with a few more drivers and some quite decent times. Some relatively new members made the top 5, and rubbed elbows with the league regulars. If this is any indication, the upcoming season may be a real competitive one. Here are the adjusted times for the A-1 Ring:

Driver Seat Adjusted Time* Sim Platform
Last_Place Ferrari #1 1:09.679 F1-2002 PC
Philo Jordan #1 1:10.224 F1-2002 PC
Flo Toyota #1 1:10.660 F1-2002 PC
F1Addict Jordan #2 1:10.668 F1-2002 PC
CA Maranda Williams #2 1:11.275 F1-2002 PC
BMG Toyota #2 1:11.323 F1-2002 PC
Arrows4Life Arrows #1  1:11.487 F1-2002 PS2
JohnW McLaren #1  1:11.748 GP3 PC
Cardozo Sauber #2  1:13.778 F1-2002 PC
Dkosak Jaguar #2 1:14.735 F1-2002 PC
MLP22 Ferrari #2 1:17.163 F1-2002 PC

* Times adjusted using speed indexing. Actual times are listed in the forum, under Hot Lap section. Next testing session to be anounced soon.

Preseason Testing has begun.

Our testing phase was kicked off , last week, with a visit to Barcelona, Spain. As many of our members may have been on vacation, the car count was light. Even with a number of the usual speed demons still celebrating the holidays, the times posted were nothing to be embarassed about.

Driver Seat Adjusted Time Sim Platform
jctg McLaren #2 1:16.530 GP3-2000 PC
Last_Place Ferrari #1 1:18.604 F1 2002 PC
BMG Toyota #1 1:18.802 F1 2002 PC
F1Addict Jordan #2 1:18.942 F1 2002 PC
Ca Miranda Williams #2 1:19.430 F1 2002 PC
MLP22 Ferrari #2 1:34.719 F1 2002 PC

Next up: A-1 Ring , Austria. Times due Midnight Sunday, Jan 5

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