Today we are interviewing Danny Engels (@G2husky), Fernando Alonso's Racing G2 LogitechG (@FAracingG2) team manager. 

1. Who is Danny Engels?. Define yourself.

Danny Engels was a sim racer in the world famous esports organisation of SK Gaming for five years between 2007-2011 and a kid that has won a BMW M6 by racing on Live for Speed when he was only 16 years old. He went on to win several championships in racing games and became Germany's best Gamer at Gamescom 2011, where he officially ended his active gaming career. Nowadays, Danny manages the FA Racing G2 Logitech G Team for G2 Esports, studies applied mathematics and is a huge ice hockey fan and a goalie himself. He is 27 years old and from Trier, Germany.
 
 
Inter Racing Tour Finale 2007, where Danny won a BMW M6.
 
 2. You have had a great start in the GT3 World Championship, how were the races in Bathurst and Sebring and what do you expect from your team in the championship?
 
It was a relief and I was very happy. Obviously, many eyes were on us, as it was our first major race for months and with the new drivers on board. We felt some pressure on our shoulders, for sure. Additionally, we are currently competing in more than only one competition and therefore preparation for Blancpain was not 100% perfect - just look at Frederik: He did the first two stints in the BGT race, jumped out of the car and right into a Project Cars 2 competition and from the Project Cars 2 competition back into iRacing. Finishing second in such a high skilled championship around a deadly track is definitely a very solid start. I hope we will see similar things in future races, because the racing looked really good and even Fernando Alonso has enjoyed the stream as he has posted several times about the race himself. Seeing this must have felt very special for Frederik and Sebastian, too, who both did a great job. Joshua Rogers OP around Bathurst though.
 
About Sebring`s race, another great finish, but missing the big win by only 0.2 seconds is very disappointing on the other hand. Overall, we have seen superb racing and an amazing job by Rasmussen and Job, but also Benecke and Pichler. This is what sim-racing is all about and it was exciting till the very end. We have tried to win, we came close, but it just makes us more hungry for a win and therefore look forward to the next race.
 
3. Which are your tasks within the team?
 
As a manager, I make sure that our drivers don't have to worry about anything besides their on track performance. But during the last months, I obviously had the hard task of putting this driver lineup together and coordinating different topics. I am also the spokesperson for our drivers towards G2 Esports and Fernando Alonso and the other way around. I am not completely dictating our strategy and the tournaments we play, but I have a strategy plan in mind which we try to follow and adapt as best as possible. Our team presentation in Barcelona was another topic we have coordinated together and you will see a lot more video content around this in the near future. These are basically only examples of what I do inside the team. In the end I am available almost 24/7 for our drivers, G2 Esports, Fernando's side or even Logitech in case there is anything to do which doesn't happen on the virtual racing circuits.
 
4. Which are the parameters have you based on to choose your drivers?. What does it mean for Danny Engels to be next to Fernando Alonso?
 
I would say the most important part was skill and talent and I am a true believer that you find the most skilled racers on iRacing and you can see this in my driver picks. All of them have a black license on iRacing, but it was very important for me that they are willing to do something different than iRacing, too. We want to try and compete in many different racing titles to let people know that FA Racing G2 Logitech G is not only a worldclass iRacing team, but strong in any racing game you can play with a steering wheel - and most of the times you can adapt your skill to different games very good. Also the harmony within the team was very important: all of them have a great work ethic, have a passion to race together and enjoy what they do. Even though we are considered professionals, fun and enjoyment is still an important thing in order to be successful. Being on Fernando Alonso's team is obviously very special. I have actually joined G2 Esports without knowing about Fernando and when I heard about him the first time, I was literally speechless, but after meeting him in Barcelona it is very clear to me that there can not be a better personality. He is such a great guy and we will try everything to make him proud.
 
 
Danny Engels, Rudy van Buren and Isaac Price.
 
5. Which are your main goals for the season?
 
Winning championships is always an objective. But we are in a growing stage, so we have a huge focus on exposure and getting people to know about FA Racing G2 Logitech G and sim racing in general. We obviously hope that we can draw some attention to sim racing and by that also to our performances on track. We are pretty happy with our followers on Twitter and Instagram already, but in the end we definitely have to match the numbers we can see on FIFA or NBA or any sports game. If sim racing can establish itself as the most popular sports title in esports, sponsors, media and everyone else will be more interested in our community. It will take some time, that is for sure, but we are trying our best to do so and obviously want to create stars in our team. Nestor has already fund a lot of support from the Spanish community, Cem is a star in Turkey already and Joni has caught the attention in Finland. Making them jump through different games and compete in different World Championships can develop them into faces of esports racing, especially if they perform great.
 
6. Tell us about the team drivers and also about Fernando.
 
Cem Bolukbasi, born 1998, Turkish: We have seen him in a couple of WCS races already and he has shown great skill in the F1 Esports Grand Final. His PR game, especially in Turkey is amazing for a sim-racer and he is one of the nicest guy you can meet in sim-racing.

Isaac Price, born 1994, British: Isaac did win the Blancpain together with Frederik last season and has shown his allrounder skills in the World Fastest Gamer Grand Final. He has also proven his dedication towards sim-racing and he always does the "dirty" work and helps his team mates no matter what.

Frederik Rasmussen, born 2000, Danish: "the man who is going to be that megastar" is what SimRacingObserver wrote about Frederik and he has shown this in the Blancpain last season and at Sim Racing Expo. Additionally he was also in the F1 Esports Grand Final and seems to be one of the best allrounders you can find in sim racing.
 
Joni Törmälä, born 1996, Finnish: One of the few people that have won a Grand Prix Series World Championship race on iRacing and he is seriously strong in simcarde games, too. Currently ranked #1 in the Project Cars 2 A1 League Qualifier and showing massive speed on F1 2017 as he was one of the F1 Esports Grand Finalists, too.

Sebastian Job, born 2000, British: One of the best hotlappers you can find on iRacing and he keeps improving on his race performances as you have seen in the first Blancpain race. He also just won the JMR Scholarship in UK which will make him a real life Formula Ford racer thanks to gaming. Still very young, like Frederik and someone to look out for in the future.

Nestor Garica, born 1991, Spanish: Spain loves him and so do we. Nestor has great skill on iRacing, but he has impressed me the most with his performance at Gamergy last year where he almost won the Nissan Juke. He has a history on Gran Turismo but also on rFactor and is currently proving his skill in the DiRT World Championship as well. Besides all these games he was also a semi finalist in the F1 Esports series.

Fernando Perpiñán, winner of our Gran Turismo tournament in Barcelona last week, will join our team in the future and we'll talk more about him in the upcoming months.
 
A dive into Forza Motorsport doesn't seem too much like sim-racing, but we respect Forza as the biggest Xbox racing game and Aurélien "Laige" Mallet is not only considered to be the best Forza player world wide, he is also really skilled in real life karting and therefore has some talent with a steering wheel in his hands. He has proven to be a great addition because he fits right into the hard-working, multi-talented team and he has just won the ForzaRC Pre-Season Invitation, which makes him one of the biggest favorites for the actual ForzaRC Season with $250.000 to win!
 
Fernando: Legend. Enough said. ;) He is a true racing legend and to see him following our actions and supporting everything we do is one of the best feelings in the world. Additionally, when we met Fernando he was so nice and friendly besides being followed by many people and cameras. Our future together will be very amazing, I am sure.
 
 
Danny Engels and Fernando Alonso.
 
7. How do you see simracing's future?
 
Thats a tough question. We can not predict our future and there are things happening which are out of our hands, too. As i already said, I hope that sim racing will get bigger than any sports esports game out there. It will never be as big as CS:GO or LoL or DoTA, but it has different advantages. There is no game which connects esports to the real world better than sim racing. By that, you also have two target groups. You can target the esports mainstream and people who love video games, but you can also target motorsport fans and FA Racing G2 Logitech G is pretty much exactly this combination. G2 Esports is one of the most successful esports club in the world and has a huge fanbase across multiple games already and their support towards racing is amazing already. On the other hand we have Fernando Alonso who has turned into a fan favorite in the real motorsport world. It is an interesting mix, but we are in a chaotic stage when it comes to growth in our ecosystem. Only time can tell what the future will bring to us.
 
8. Have you planned to race in national championships?
 
We are very aware of MundoGT and similar Spanish championships. I can not 100% answer the question yet. It really depends on what will happen in the next few months. Obviously, we want to prefer World Championships over national championships, but it also depends on reach and importance of different championships. We still expect major tournament announcements and if these happen we have to make sure to have our drivers in these big tournaments before we can plan national championships. This might even affect our participation in the iRacing Grand Prix WCS for example, but as nothing is clear yet I don't want to go into theoretical details here.
 
9. Will we see you again on the track?
 
Haha, this is a good question. I am 100% sure that I will never compete on a serious level anymore, but as a sim racer you always have the passion of racing inside you. It comes down to how much time I can find to get my G29 on the table. Last proper races I did on iRacing was two years ago in their VLN series in the MX5. It was great fun! Multiclass, Nordschleife and great racing. Yonny Mestampo was too good for me though, but I had good battle with the Czerny brothers every now and then and it felt good to race on their level myself.
 
10. Do you think that there will be more top drivers as Fernando who want to get into simracing?
 
I hope so! I mean we can see so many real life racers on iRacing already and Dani Clos just came in to start his own team. The more the merrier, everyone that comes in will help to make our community grow and who knows: Maybe it is not only top riders like Fernando but also entire Formula One teams who will enter sim racing at some point. McLaren has already Rudy van Buren on a contract, Renault joined with a Rocket League team and a Forza player. I have high hopes that we will see more. 
 
 
By Carlos Quilez and Alfredo Malo
 
 
Alfredo Malo
Redactor: Alfredo Malo
Sobre mi:
Piloto virtual de S2V #22. Coach para pilotos virtuales en #AMRacingAcademy y redactor en iRacing.es.
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