September 20, 2011

Rudy Oosterndijk on the great relaunch of PGR F1

PGR's reporter Reh met chief organizator of the PGR Formula One, Rudy Oosterndijk.

Question: Mr Oosterndijk, you were quite engaged for the PGR community lately, even though one wouldn’t have actually noticed that. What exactly is your role here?
Rudy: PGR is a great community I absolutely love to support. What I’m doing at the moment is leading the organization of the latest PGR F1 Championship and preparing one of the most professional competitions the world has ever seen.
When it comes to the German website I got to admit that I’m not as much involved as it may look like.

Question: You became PGR admin recently, also there are rumours about you being hand in glove with Majortom, also one of the most influential members of PGR. Do we have to expect a take-over?
Rudy (laughing): Yes, we're about to dispossess Crono and take over planetgenerally.de. Of course not. Personally, I don't have any further ambitions beyond PGR F1. Climbing up the ladder and becoming admin helps me organizing our competition but it is definitely not an end in itself.

Question: You boast your "perfect organization". This was surely more work than one can see from the outside. Please tell us, what exactly were the steps to get to the present state of organization
Rudy: First of all, I'm a perfectionist. The perfect competition is about the best tracks, the best cars, the best drivers, the best website and so forth. It's all about quality and that takes its time. The track ranking, counting almost 100 tracks, has cost Majortom and me quite a lot of time. Independently from each other, we had to download all of these tracks, test them and point out any inconveniences.

For me, "perfect organization" also means anticipating future problems to prevent them from coming up. That is probably most costly in terms of the time we spend organizing. Yesterday I ran no more than 250 laps at Curitiba to test the latest race settings – every lap documented by a screenshot.

On the whole and up to this point we have taken care of the following things: preparing the questionnaire, creating the track ranking, preparing a homepage for the election, preparing the track election, testing XYY's cars, testing race settings, preparing the official website, collecting permissions for tracks, cars, palettes and fonts, writing the rulebook and translating it, developing several tools, preparing and extending the race results screen etc.

But as I said, most of the time is spend on reflecting and anticipating problems that don’t come to your mind all at once.
In the end, everything must be coherent – that's the most difficult thing about it.

Question: You're working close together with Majortom, but sometimes your opinions may differ. Has there ever been a conflict between you two?
Rudy: Democratic decisions necessarily require the exchange of views. So it wouldn't be a big surprise if we differed over certain things. But actually we don't. It’s not the first competition we organize together so I think we're quite experienced and know what it takes to set up the perfect competition.

You mustn't forget that it was mainly us who have been running this series for about 3 years now. This year it's the first time we are coming up with a completely new concept right from scratch. But that concept was, to a large extent, guided by the community. So in the end, we can only differ over the details. The devil is in the details but we're both willing to compromize there.

Question: Do you like your job?
Rudy: If I didn't, I would instantly quit and go for something different.

Question: Now to the sporting things. Which regulations do we have to expect above all?
Rudy: The community has voted so there will be nothing unexpected or contradictory. The only thing we're observing at the moment is the possibility of dropping the safe pits in order to make room for more variable strategies.

Question: The PGR F1 will be organized internationally this time. What effects do you expect due to this fact?
Rudy: Mainly, its appearance on GRIF allows every participant to score points for the GeneRally World Rank. Additionally, we hope for more participants to compete in the contest.
If you ask me, the community has made the right decision by opening it up for the international public. The number of local participants will diminish significantly with Gr Driver, Runni and Stebru missing.

Question: The main argument against international competition was, that the slower drivers would get less attention. What do you say?
Rudy: Without the exact number of drivers from abroad I can't give you any statement about that. But it's the nature of things that the more pariticipants there are the less attention will be attracted by every single one. But with the login mode I'm truly optimistic that every driver will have his very special moment of glory during the season. And I'm not talking about winning here. It's about extending your own limits, doing what nobody expects you to do. That will, almost automatically, attract attention.

Question: What is the role of PGR in the international GeneRally community in future? What is the master plan?
Rudy: Nothing specific. But a well-organized contest should always play a huge rule in our international community, shouldn't it?

Question: Also the login mode was criticized. Has a newbie to be afraid, will he have a handicap?
Rudy: I have to correct you here. The results concerning the implementation of a login mode were not controversial at all. Why would they? I'm sure we will see the better drivers making mistakes the other drivers will profit from.

Question: There are rumours about your girlfriend Julia to get a well paid position in the PGR F1 management. How's that?
Rudy (laughing): And I heard of you being promoted to a fashion magazine.

Question: Last but not least, for which team will you drive and which team will win this season? Who are your favourites?
Rudy: As I often said, I'm going for a sabbatical this year. So the championship will be between Reh and Majortom if you only take our local competitors into account. Personally, I'm rather optimistic that Mr.J will grab a seat at Ferrari. But in the end, it's not so much about the teams. Owing to the new rules all cars will be more or less the same. Let the drivers have the say!

Question: Thank you very much for the interview, Rudy Oosterndijk.