Please introduce yourself, tell us about you (age, nationality, profession) and how you became a simracer
My name is Frank Tennant and I’m 61 at the moment. My last profession Computer Forensics for several police forces here in the UK. Before that I spent 15 years Teaching English and Maths and IT (Information Technology) and Networking to adults at two of the major colleges here in the Midlands. I had planned to get my Doctorate but my hip replacement failed and I started a fight with Cancer (that didn’t go well) put everything on hold.
Sim racing is something I’ve always enjoyed playing but got really hooked by playing the classic Microprose Formula One Grand Prix in 1991. After that any driving game that looked good I was playing until I decided to get a Thrustmaster wheel and foot pedals to make the racing experience more real. God knows what I looked like back then Ha Ha.
How long have you played ACC ?
ACC time played: 717.8 Hours but that’s not my best by a long chalk.
RaceRoom is my main game of choice. I’ve spent 1,189.5 hours playing that.
Tell us how the idea of the eSeniors came to you ?
I was introduced to eSeniors by Chris Bourne. We have shared track time in several leagues.
I say shared but that meant CB was up front with the other aliens and I was at the back just having fun and taking the piss.
He told me about you guys and how well the league was run. Sounded interesting but Id loose one of my main bragging points that I had racing in other leagues! Being the oldest racer Ha Ha.
How was it racing in the eSeniors Championship ?
Racing here is great fun. Met some interesting guys and gals. The layout is flexible and I love that. Fun races to meet new drivers and mix it up with the aliens (group 1 runners) to see how I’m improving.
I do love the fact that all changes are fully discussed with everyone before being implemented.
How many hours did you spend preparing yourself for a Race, and why is it important ?
As I’m disabled and fighting cancer (it’s not curable but it can be managed) I’m stuck at home every day. So prep for a race can be up to 3 hours per day. That will consist of building my setup, testing that setup, making changes and tweaks to that setup then full race simulations against the AI (set at 95% and 95% aggression) for the last hour of the session. Now you’re wondering why I’m still in group 2?
What I didn’t say was my cancer treatment killed all the nerve endings in my hands and feet. Walking is painful and so is driving. I can hardly feel the force feedback in my hands and my foot work is all down to muscle memory. I also have an app on my tablet showing me my foot pedals on screen. My pedals also have “Skateboard Grip Tape” on the heel pads to keep my feet from wondering of them during the excitement of racing. It’s all good fun.
What kind of equipment do you use (wheel, pedals, PC, screen, etc) ?
I started out with Thrustmaster back in the 90s but after having 2 wheels fail my wife bought me a Logitech Momo Force wheel for my Christmas in 1999. I had that wheel for 17 years. Never missed a beat.
After recovering from my hip replacement operation I discovered online leagues. Others I could race with.
I quickly realised that my kit was too old and needed upgrading so I bought a Thrustmaster T300 wheel base and the TPC pro peddle set. After a few crashes I quickly realised that I needed a load cell pedal setup. I bought the Fanatec V3 Club Sport Pedals and boy didn’t that make a huge difference to my gaming.
After 2 years the Thrustmaster started to make a strange noise so I started saving for a Direct Drive wheel.
Id saved about half the money (about £500) when Fanatec released the CSL DD unit. I did wait for all the reviews to come in before making the purchase and Oh Boy what a difference it made. I only bought the 5NM power supply as its doing on an office desk but it’s still so much stronger that my Thrustmaster. Best purchase ever.
Do you buy setups or do you setup your car alone ?
I use to use other people’s setups but I soon figured out that setups are very personal to your driving style.
So I started making my own. I use one of Chris Haye setup sheets as the background on my tablet so I have help if I’m having problems with anything. I like my cars to be “Pointy” in the corners. “Tight lines” in the corners, no drift out into other lines.
What makes you faster than the rest?
Your Joking “Right”! Have you seen my races? Ha Ha
What is your favourite car and why ?
Bentley. With each car so different in the game, I found it easy just to choose one car and stick to it.
What is your favourite circuit (s) and why ?
I love high speed tracks like Spa, Monza and Silverstone but I also love technical tracks like Imola, Barcelona and others. The harder I have to work at getting the lap times down the satisfying it is for me
Who are your childhood racing heroes ?
Emerson Fittipaldi, Damon Hill, Jon Surtees the list goes on
What is the best advice you would to give to a simracer ?
Never take yourself seriously but do respect all the cars on the track with you. That includes the AI drivers.
Are you satisfied with the eSeniors organization, and do you have suggestions to help bring a higherlevel of competition ?
Higher level of racing? You are joking right. You really need to have a look at the other leagues out there as you guys are (in my book) one of the best!
And finally, the most important question...how many speeding tickets have you accumulated to date ?
None. I have family living on the Isle of Man and they don’t have any speed limits outside of the main towns. The whole island is a race track. Holidays there have been the best ever. Race to a beach, chill, Race to another beach, chill then race back to the family BBQ and chill with a beer. It’s the best.