Mr Watton is an up and coming community sim racer and creator that is widely respected by many. Here we have his very first blog on simrace247.com 18/03/21
I love cars and I love tech, so when putting both together Sim racing is for many the first place you would start. Not for me however. Growing up with consoles and never being able to afford a PC, console gaming is where I stuck. From your Spectrum 48ks, Commodore Amiga 500s, throw in the odd Nintendo (NES, SNES, N64), Playstations and Xbox, you can see why it’s why its where my passion for gaming and racing developed from.
From the beginning, I grew up surrounded with a love for cars. My father was forever playing with classic Minis, Morris Minors, well basically anything he could get a hold of. Having his own well-established garage I was always around your day to day car as well as the odd racing bike. My dad used to be a dab hand at painting too, and remember him painting some quite famous racing bikes back in the day of British SuperBikes. He even painted a pane for someone once! Roll on leaving school and I got working at a Vauxhall dealership. My then manager was also a rally driver. Seeing his passion for racing, and his anger at beating him at karts, that racing part of me grew and never went away. I then developed my passion for cars within the motor trade working for all the big names like Audi, BMW, VW, MINI, SEAT, Ford and more which even included car test sessions at Millbrook. In 2017 I won an award for the highest customer relations score within the VAG group which I’m super proud of where I got flown to Spain and drive the new Seat Ibiza before it was even released!
Roll on 2018. I got my first wheel. Nothing fancy, just your average Thrustmaster TMX wheel and pedal set for £99. Bargain. Just a starter pack that would work with Forza Motorsport 7. It was at this moment when attaching it to an ironing board and sat in a deck chair, was I then hooked into racing online! I make that point “online”. I never wanted to drive against anyone human. Just the thought of it freaked me out. Not wanting to ruin anyone’s race I just got stuck in and started sharing my perspective with the now defunct MIXER. One race I remember, like it was yesterday, I got the comment “you should be on YouTube”. I just laughed this off…and look where I am now.
Before Covid times I was saving to track my own car, a 2007 JCW MINI Cooper S. I love this car. It’s a limited group of MINIs with a JCW tuning pack fitted, number 367. Not only that but I’ve modified it with the lightened wheels, fully adjustable coilovers, lightened flywheel wheel with 4 paddle clutch. It’s also remapped with a Manic Motorsport stage 2 map pushing 242bhp/367nm. I need the JCW turbo now to get nearer the 270bhp, not bad for a little car. There are other tweaks with regards to aero on the rear running a full MINI Challenge rear diffuser but we all know MINIs were not designed to be like an F1 car, but every little helps. Other additions I wanted were race seats, roll cage and more but then decided to spend my money on my now fully built up sim rig. And oh boy I love it. Track days can come another time.
Fibromyalgia. Probably not a word you have heard of and neither had I until about 2015. Ever since 2001 I had struggled with the loss of focus and an immense loss of energy. The aches and pains throughout my body are indescribable. There were even times where I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t even walk with the loss of feeling in my legs and arms. After many years, tests, tests and more tests, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia was now the diagnosed illness for the issues I have, and still have to this day. What I found was Sim Racing takes my mind away from the day-to-day pain. No end of pain medication will ever take the “Fibro” away, and I’m sure when many people see me racing they have no idea it’s what I have or how I deal with it.
For me I now I just love Sim Racing. From the gaming laptop, ironing board and deck chair, to the fully built up rig with homemade button boxes and audio gear, it’s just another level that I never could have imagined getting too. I still get that moment of “please don’t crash” each time of joining a server on almost all of the racing titles, I just find it so hard to pick one I like! I’m forever growing my consistency and I’m forever grateful for the Sim Racing community as a whole for the support and for giving me that enthusiasm to get on with it!
Editors notes: Having known Mr Watton for a few months now, he is someone that integrates himself very well in the sim racing community. Next week we shall get more on what he does in the sim racing community with events, merch and much more.
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