eSports WTCC Q&A: Márk Nándori
Third in eSports WTCC entering the second half of the inaugural season, Márk Nándori is a two-time winner and a contender for top honours when Slovakia hosts the action later today. He spoke to series partner RaceRoom’s Robert Wiesenmüller.
Q: Hello Márk! This season started with a bang for you: victory in the first eSports WTCC event at Monza following an exciting battle with Tim Heinemann. What was that like?
A:“Everything started in the first race. I started P11 and with a perfect start I was already sixth after the first corner. After a bit of contact, I dropped back to P13, but I wanted to finish in the top 10 to achieve a good starting position for the next race. In the end I climbed back up to seventh. In the second race, I started fourth, and then David Nagy made a mistake, I could pass Gergo Baldi and all of a sudden I was in second behind Tim. I noticed that I can brake later in the Roggia chicane than the others. Near the end of the race I take a perfect first and second corner and I can overtake him. Maybe that was my best overtake that I have ever made.”
Q: Tell us about your progression in the world of simracing to the level where you are now?
A:“In 2012 I got my first own computer. I had a Logitech driving force wireless wheel earlier and I started to play Race07 with the WTCC cars and rFactor. In 2013 I bought my first ‘racing wheel’ (Logitech G25). I played a lot with my friends, and then I also started driving online, but in the beginning I had a lot of accidents and was even disqualified from a season. I needed to find out the problem with my driving style, and in 2015 I improved a lot when I drove in a Seat León Eurocup virtual series. I practiced as much as I can for this league. The top four drivers, including Gergo Baldi, got a test in a real race car. I finished fifth... so back to playing games. In 2016 I started playing RaceRoom in the Hungarian VSR community, and that’s pretty much how I got here now.”
Q: Third in the standings with two wins, can you win the inaugural eSports WTCC title?
A:“Before the season I just wanted to know where I am in the International scene. I expected maybe some points, but I already achieved so much more. I believe in myself now, I believe that I can race with the best on the sim. My new aim is the first place at the end of the season, but top three would also make me happy.”
Q: The WTCC is huge in Hungary thanks to Norbert Michelisz. And now you are ‘almost’ in the same championship as him, driving in his Honda with the number 5 and competing for wins. How does that feel?
A:“I was very happy when I heard that I can drive ‘his’ car. That’s an extra motivation, since he is one of my idols. Norbert Michelisz convinced me that a simracer would also be successful in a real car. He shows that you should follow your dreams. In 2011, the WTCC was in Hungary for the first time, and since then I was there every year. When thousands of people support a driver and shout his name, it can be very emotional. And it’s like this in every sport where the Hungarians are competing; the fans do it every time. Maybe one day, simracing will also achieve this level.”
Q: Simracing is getting more professional and recently you have joined the SDL eSports organisation too. What do you think about the direction simracing is taking?
A:“In the previous years, eSports became larger and larger with CS:GO, DotA 2 and other competitive games. Simracing isn’t quite there yet with the playerbase and the fanbase. I watched a lot of the CS:GO major event and I hope simracing can get there as well in the future. Maybe this competition started something to boost the simracing in the eSports world. My new team SDL eSports is very experienced and successful; they have won a lot of big championships on other games. I hope it will be a long-term connection.”
Q: Do you have ambitions to race in a real car, too?
A:“Of course, like every other simulator driver, but I think it's not so accessible. The real racing is very expensive, and I haven't won the lottery. Yet.”
All the action from the eSports Slovakia Ring event will be streamed live on the WTCC’s Facebook and YouTube channels from 19h00 CET with James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmüller providing their usual expert commentary. Clickhereto find out more about eSports WTCC.