January 4, 2012

A Rookie wins at Monaco - SGroe on his spectacular victory

This interview was held by Reh on Wednesday 4th January 2012.

Question: SGroe, congratulations for your victory in Monaco! Who would have thought that? How was your race?
SGroe: Thanks. It is great to celebrate my first victory at this historic venue. My race start and the first stint were not good and I lost five seconds on the leader, but I managed to avoid hitting the wall. After the first pit stop I found the rhythm and drove good lap times. Shortly after my third and last pit stop, Mr. J had his crash at the tunnel entry. I have just driven through turn eight, when I saw fire sparks and a front wing sliding across the street in front of me. As a result, I overtook his damaged car just before La Rascasse. Two laps later I had a little problem by myself, when I took the curbs at the second swimming pool chicane too hard. Luckily, I recovered from that without severe damage. After Mr.J's incident, the last laps were settled and I raced to my first victory. Listening to the Austrian anthem was a awesome experience.

Question: You're a Rookie, but you're showing splendorous results, how is that?
SGroe: I play GeneRally since its initial release. I still remember the time of regularly game updates in the years of 2002 and 2003. Since then, I have driven races against the AI drivers on self built circuits using the default Formula car. But I have never been interested in participating in the community life. This did not change until last autumn. Fortunately, I found the call for drivers for the PGR Formula 1 Championship. I did not hesitate to join because of my interest in F1 and the fact that the series is based in Germany. Also the very detailed sporting regulation has been a big help for rookies. Overall, I want to express my admiration for the organizers. Their work is excellent.

Question: With 51 points you are 4th in the Driver's Championship within reach to the top, what are your goals for the season?
SGroe: Well, after the test sessions before the first race in Melbourne, my overall goal for the 2011/12 season was to achieve some points. Coming to Australia and drive to the fifth grid position was my favorite career moment so far. This was a bigger surprise than the victory here in Monte Carlo.
I got my first points in the following race, I stepped up the podium in Shanghai and I achieved my first win in the streets of Monte Carlo. Apparently, I have to adjust my goals. As I am only three points behind the McLaren of TuomoH in the championship, my revised goal for the season is the podium in the final championship standings. Also, I would be great to perform well in Montreal, which is one of my favorite tracks, and in my home race in Zeltweg.

Question: We're heading to America now, to Laguna Seca. What are the key elements of this track? Where do you think you can get most of the time for one lap?
SGroe: During the practice sessions I had most difficulties in the second half of the track. Especially the section between the exit of the Corkscrew chicane and the following two turns until the pit entry is important. In contrast, the first half is straight forward. You have to be aggressive and if you lose the racing line, you can recover without losing much time.

Question: What do you think will the pole position time be?
SGroe: In general, I seem to lack pace in qualifying, therefore I just have to reduce my best training time by a few tenths. I think the pole position time will be around 19:40.

Question: Thanks SGroe for the interview! Something says me, that this isn't your last interview, see you on track!
SGroe: Thank you. I really enjoyed to participate in the press conference. Finally, I want to encourage everyone to participate in the future sessions. It is much more fun with more than 20 cars on track instead of less than 15.

Happy new year 2012!