Competitive sim racing at the top level requires a huge investment of time and a large helping of talent. Many drivers have lofty aspirations to challenge the best in their particular field, or to progress to a real racing cockpit, but few ever make it that far. Casper Jansen has been in the F1 league racing scene on the Playstation platform since 2017, showing incredible pace and determination throughout his sim racing lifetime, but like many who aspire to get to the top, sadly the big opportunities just didn’t come his way. Casper has recently announced that he will be leaving the league racing scene at the end of his current commitments, so I had a chat with him about his journey.
So when did the journey begin?
A long time ago, I remember I got bored of career mode on F1 2017 or something and I found a league called GPRL on Instagram and I gave that a try. That league wasn’t that well organised and died quickly so I went to AOR which was in its prime back then. I think I played almost every evening for 3 hours before I went to bed, but it was necessary to improve.
The Dutchman may never have been a league champion but was a regular front runner, a popular and inspirational character that will be fondly remembered in the league racing scene. During the last three years of Caspers’s racing career, he represented the Visceral Esports team, and Brett Cosh shared the teams view on the mark that Casper has left on the team in particular:
Casper is the kind of driver that is impossible to replace. He has been so loyal and a crucial member of our family at many points. We can’t be more thankful for the history he has helped us create. Casper will always be a part of our history and league racing’s history. We wish him the best as he says goodbye to this chapter of his life. His attitude and how passionate he was about the team. His titanic battles with Dani Moreno and reaching Renault F1 esports were great memories
Salih Saltunç is a multiple league racing champion in the F1 esports scene and has competed for two F1 esports teams, as well as having a first-class masters degree in Aerospace Engineering (and an avid golfer) but the journey for him and his brother Sonuc was not what they had envisioned at the beginning:
In terms of results, that wasn’t the plan, that’s for sure. But in terms of the environment I was in, the teammates I had, the staff and the team were the best people any driver can ask for. Naturally, results come from putting the work in, and I was simply not enjoying the F1 2020 game enough to put in the hours that we see everyone else put in. In honour of the team, I still put in more hours than I did in 2018 & 2019, but it was still nowhere near enough hours as the guys at the top end.
The decision was to take a step away from Esports and explore my engineering opportunities as I didn’t feel the F1 Esports rewarded or respected the drivers enough. To them, the drivers are just kids, and they want to make a show out of it. Whereas, like many others, I joined F1 Esports to pursue a racing career in the real world
I was lucky enough to have a lot of great memories, visiting multiple F1 team factories, meeting my idols, travelling to races like Monza and Abu Dhabi, getting my maiden win in 2018 even though I spent most of my time studying, but my favourite memories from sim racing were definitely the competitive AOR days where it was all for pure pride and fun, and everyone had proper respect for each other. Winning then actually felt more rewarding too!
So is Salih aiming to be the next Adrian Newey?
Working under Adrian is definitely something I’ve aspired for years; a lot can be learnt from the Aero god. But the target is the same target set since the age of 3, which is to be in Formula 1. Hopefully, with the work experience I’ve had in the past few years, and the Aero knowledge I’ve acquired from Uni, I will be able to get in soon and show what I’m capable of in the decades to come.
We wish Casper and Salih the best of luck in their future careers.