Interview with Dean Vella, Malta’s National Sim Racing Champion 2022

Dean, congratulations on your outstanding victory as the Malta National Sim Racing Champion in 2022! Can you share with us the emotions you experienced when you realized you had clinched the title?

It was a very exciting period of time in my life as while I had shown very good pace and clinched almost all the race wins, I still was immensely anxious to get to the end and be confirmed as the championship winner especially considering what was at stake.

Winning the championship is undoubtedly a monumental achievement. Can you take us through some of the key moments and challenges you faced during the competition last year?

A very busy summer to say the least, I can’t count the amount of laps done and the data analysis afterwards. With live events the biggest challenges I face is always the difference in sim rig equipment and adapting my driving style. Alongside that the atmosphere of a live event is always very tense which makes things even more challenging.

As you reflect on your journey to becoming the champion, what do you believe were the factors that contributed most to your success in the championship?

Apart from the relentless amount of practice and pre-race preparation I think focusing a bit more on the mental side of things paid off a lot as it has been and still is my biggest struggle in competitive sim racing.

Looking ahead to this year’s Malta National Sim Racing Championship, how are you preparing to defend your title? Are there any specific strategies or techniques you’re focusing on?

Driving wise I personally think that I have improved quite a lot on all fronts especially when it comes to pace. But right now I want to focus more on the mental aspect and making sure I’m in the right frame of mind to carry a successful championship campaign as I believe its one of the most important things in racing in general. Even if you’re the fastest, lacking the right mentality will get you nowhere and that’s my main focus right now before the start of the season.

Given the chance to represent Malta in the FIA Motorsport Games in Valencia, how does that add to the pressure and excitement leading up to the championship this year?

Its a huge honor to represent your country in such a high level FIA sanctioned competition so the buzz around it is always huge. I’d love to once more take part under the Maltese flag so the pressure is huge to repeat the same feat as 2022.

Could you share some insights into the level of competition you expect to face in this year’s championship, considering the growing interest in sim racing globally?

With every year we’re seeing more new drivers in the local scene so I’m definitely expecting a tougher challenge then before. While I dominated most of 2022’s national championship this time around I’m definitely expecting a tougher time which is better in my opinion as that’s how a driver really improves.

In terms of preparation, what adjustments or improvements are you making compared to last season, knowing that you’ll be competing for a chance to represent Malta on an international stage again?

I feel like I have definitely improved my practice regime, incorporating more frequent ranked online racing like lowfuelmotorsport, more replay and data analysis and less pointless hotlapping without a goal in mind as that’s definitely one of the classic sim racing practice mistakes.

Lastly, Dean, what advice would you give to aspiring sim racers who aim to follow in your footsteps and compete at the highest level?

Proper practice and discipline is definitely one of the key aspects to progressing into the higher levels of competition but its also very important not to lose sight of why you started in the first place. Its very easy for simracing to become as stressful as a job and that obviously sucks the fun out of it. So its good to wind down sometimes, take a break from the competitive side to enjoy sim racing and also take care of your mental health in the process.

Interview with Dean Vella, Malta’s National Sim Racing Champion 2022

Victories and Smooth Sailing at the Third

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