Welcome to SROL!

    John Bacho

    Posts : 106
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Location : Salem, OR

    Welcome to SROL!

    Post by John Bacho on Mon 1 Jul - 12:47

    Oh, where are my manners? WELCOME to Sim Race Online! While helping to build this forum alongside Bailey and Schuman I realized we were missing a greeting!

    SROL was founded in 2006 by Eddie Bassett. Some original members of that group were paciavelli14, MadMuffinMaker, Scudd, Grizzlywilds and Scott_Cazz. Last but definitely not least on that list is Doug “smokone” Henson. Many of you may know the DHR name as our team at endurance leagues such as Virtual Online Racers and Champion Motorsports.

    In 2008 Bassett decided to spend more time with his family and handed the league over to the trusty hands of Henson. Doug was a retired U.S. Navy ejection seat mechanic that loved the intricacies & maintenance of the website, forum, race and Teamspeak servers. Running any league -- though ours rarely had more than 20 cars in a given race back then -- is a difficult task for one man to tackle, so smokone enlisted the help of Bacho, Bailey and Someguy_1 as admins to make sure we covered all of the bases. For many weeks there were three different series running on a single server, making it imperative for each of us to keep the files and details straight. There were occasional problems, of course, either on the client or server side of the business. Some of us were better at addressing the digital end, others with the human element of walking people through installs, learning to use rFactor for the first time (definitely smokone’s forte) and the odd tantrum. In the end, I like to think we kept it running smoothly because of the redundancies in talent.

    The total number of league members was high, but the participation for races were often lukewarm. Because of a slightly smaller yet active community, we developed a close bond in the forums and especially on Teamspeak. There’s still 6 or 7 of us that have been chatting, laughing and making fun of each other since 2007. Unfortunately, Doug Henson isn’t with us anymore to do that. In February 2010 he passed away from a heart-attack after constant struggles brought on by a hip injury in the Navy that conflicted with his heart. It’s in his enduring online racing spirit that we named the team after him.

    We kept going despite the loss, positive that he would have wanted us to. Only a day after the news of his death, we continued with the schedule at Oran Park in the Touring Car Legends mod. For Warmup I had planned a moment of silence, or perhaps a eulogy to let everyone know what he meant to me; I was hoping to spur on remembrances & emotions from everyone in our community to write in the forum, or simply share aloud their feelings about losing such a great friend.

    Instead? We had a bitchin’ destruction derby in pitlane. If there’s one thing he loved about our races, it was our ability to have fun. Especially in practise: we’d break a track to find every nook and cranny to travel on, explore the infield, race a B road, drive up everything that looked remotely like a jump, hump every wall, fall off every cliff and cram into every gap. There we times we touted ourselves as "the best beta testers in sim racing" for any mod or track because we were going to break them. Some of it was for our own edification to discover spots that might mess up a race, but a lot of times it was to watch the rFactor physics freak out.

    I hope he enjoyed his tribute.

    Unfortunately, all communities have their low periods in attendance. In early 2011 it was tough to get more than 10 cars together, and then it dwindled a bit more. It’s worth noting that Bailey had successes with a European Touring Car league at friendlier Euro start times. But with the server bills higher than anyone wanted to pay at the time, even after appealing for donations, we had to shut it down.

    Many of the non-SROL people reading this message may know us from that point until now. A few members sprinkled over to #efnet for HistorX, others went to CMS and VOR for multi-class racing; all of the splintered drivers enjoying successes in the form of wins, championships and hard fought moments. Even though we drove in different leagues, we still logged on to Teamspeak to keep in touch -- some of us on an almost daily basis. Seriously, we’re like 1990’s teenage girls that just discovered party-line.

    So why start again? In the interim we’ve picked up a lot more friends and contacts, which is hard to do for tight-knit group such as ours. It’s extremely easy to become off-putting to outsiders as we grow closer. We made a semi-conscious effort to keep inviting new and cool people we’d met at other leagues and other games to help steer the conversation along. I can’t bug Bailey about SPAM & toast all day and everyday. Ok I probably can, but we always love to gain perspectives and stories from across the globe.

    The BES_2012 mod fell into our lap in June & took us by storm. It’s odd, Bailey and I had been testing various GT3 mods (even in GTR2) for awhile, but we found a lot of them lacking. Several had far too much grip, unbalanced cars, crappy tyre models and poor framerates. I don’t even know who to thank exactly, but the magnificent bastards behind BES_2012 did a hell of a job. Not only do the tyres and physics feel great, there are nine honestly competitive cars that race well against each other! In the face of rFactor2 and Assetto Corsa looming on the horizon w/ all of their advancements in physics and graphics, we’ve found one more reason to cling to the original rFactor for just a bit longer.

    Our collective urge to drive these GT3s in a league setting is how you found us! Every person we have distributed the link to has loved it; it’s through that sharing and testing that we decided to start Sim Race Online again.

    Honestly, I’m a bit tentative about certain details. There are unknowns that we have yet to uncover: Can BES_2012 support 20+ cars? And how well can the server provider handle the load (special thanks to Mr. Paul Schuman for the rental)? Is there someone that can ‘fix’ a track if the garage or grid spots are messed up? Also, It’s summertime, and people can be a bit flaky with family obligations and/or vacations.

    We decided it was worth the risk to start again by inviting an exclusive list of drivers that we enjoy on and off the track, regardless of their outright pace. Hopefully this will be about the elements we loved in the first incarnation of SROL with Eddie Bassett and Doug Henson at the helm: respect, competition and most of all FUN!

    Please be a bit patient with us if we have some teething problems at the start. Getting any league off the ground is a challenging ordeal to conquer.

    I look forward to seeing all of you on track!

    Written by John Bacho.
    an Admin alongside Stephen Bailey & Paul Schuman.

      Current date/time is Tue 22 Jan - 12:23