With 2020 in my mirrors, on to tackle 2021
Updated: Jan 3
The time has come to bid goodbye to 2020, and I have to say this is probably one of the most difficult years of my young life. Obviously, the pandemic has taken a toll on anything that is a social life, but for a person like myself trying to compete in motorsports it’s been quite challenging.
Racing, of course, goes on in very limited ways, and only those already in established series can really count on competing regularly week in and week out. For a driver like myself, with no real sponsorship at this time, the prospects are almost nil.
Still, I managed to use our extremely limited budget to sort of remain on the scene by testing with Lucas Oil at NJMP back in July, the track time I had with the BMW in torrential rain – which taught me a lot about limits and consequences – and probably the most important, sim racing.
For someone like me, sim racing – when done in a serious way with the right equipment and software, it’s as close to practicing in a race car as you can get without having a real budget. The world’s great tracks and cars of any era are a mouse-click away, and races are just about as heavily contested and demanding as the real thing.
You may remember my story about winning the Sunday Night Skippy Challenge race with the Audi GTE car at Road Atlanta – I was able to compete again in that league at Suzuka with the McLaren MP4-30 F1 car.This time I dominated the entire race, with a 39-second lead right up to the mandatory tire change pit stop, but unfortunately was issued a 40-second penalty for speeding in the pits.
Pole position by a half second – on medium tires with most everyone on softs…
I must have done a mile an hour too fast there and we know an F1 penalty like that is a mere 5 seconds in real life.But still – in some of the best driving I’ve done, real or virtual - I was able to claw my way back and shave off 20 seconds from the deficit in 10 laps, to finish 3rd and still raise some money for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
After 18 laps on mediums, a 32-second lead told me a win was in the works…39 by lap 20!
But a whopping 40-second penalty erased all that – beating up the soft tires to salvage 3rd, and a podium for St. Peter’s Children’s Research Hospital!
I intend to continue sim racing in a big way, looking for bigger leagues and a higher level of competition.To this end, we bought and put together a professional-grade racing rig (at least as much as we can afford).
Which, of course, needs to be put together…
Current offices of Russell Soto Racing, LLC
I look forward to providing you with more content right from that cool-looking seat, as I try to keep myself busy and active in one way or another, while we can sort out some kind of funding situation.
To that end, my company Russell Soto Racing will offer, in the coming year, services to offer businesses opportunities to use my brand and motorsport activities to reach customers, and provide cost-effective opportunities for:
· Mass product sampling
· Special motorsport-themed events
· Promotions targeted to captive audiences
· Increased social media presence
I enter the new year with the commitment to help potential sponsors grow with me, as the world gets back on its feet and things return to “normal” after this pandemic. Spread the word, and you can always contact me anytime - I look forward to working with you.
All in all, we hope 2021 will bring us greater success in securing some funding to continue racing, and we are trying to see if I can get back into the cockpit in some way, shape or fashion. Our hopes remain high! In the meantime, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy and healthy 2021, and may it bring you all the love, happiness, and success you are hoping for. Until next time!