Aussie rep Luca Giacomin enjoys international run
Tuesday 21 June, 2022
Luca Giacomin represented Australia in two online championships.
After an extremely busy 12 months of sim racing, Australian Luca Giacomin has wrapped up his virtual racing season with solid performances in two international championships.
Representing Australia in both the MAM Asia Pacific Circuit Racing 2022 Series and the 2022 Asia Pacific Dirt Rally 2.0 Championship, Giacomin fared well in both championships but was dogged by technical dramas and a lack of preparation.
Beginning with the three-round Rally Championship, Giacomin showed why he is one of the best in Australia and dominated the competition to qualify first in multiple rounds and lead the field in each round.
However, in two of three of the rounds, poor connectivity and technical issues caused the Victorian to restart his simulators, which saw him tumble down the order.
Despite what turned out to be a difficult campaign, Giacomin still enjoyed representing Australia and believed there was a big future of Esports rallying.
“The Dirt Rally 2.0 Championship was the first time the FIA’s Asia Pacific region had run something like that and it was quite fun, but I think there was some room for improvement,” Giacomin said.
“I actually felt really comfortable with my performances as I had won my qualifying runs and was winning my live events, only for disconnection to ruin my chances, so I definitely felt capable of taking on the best in the world.
“There was a bit of a gap between myself and the rest of the competition and without trying to sound arrogant, essentially after the first stage of each rally was over as I had built a commanding lead.
“These competitions are such a good first step for motorsport as a big base of people who can’t afford real racing who can get involved in this. It’s great Motorsport Australia are working on the background for a potential pathway.
“The FIA World Rally Championship software license has now gone to Codemasters and EA Sports and I believe there will be a few championships in 2023 which I am hopeful of contesting.”
One day after completing the Championship, Giacomin switched gravel rallying with circuit racing for the Asia Pacific Circuit Racing Series – something he had very little experience in and even less preparation for.
In fact, having had less than a week to prepare for it, Giacomin did his best to get his simulator ready for the three-round series while managing the rally championship.
Once he did start racing in the circuit series, it was a season of improvement as his results got better in each round, starting off with a P9 and P14 in the opener before ending with a P10 and P6 – the last race of the season proving to be his best result.
While he didn’t have as big of an impact as he would have liked, finishing the series in 10th overall, the Victorian still enjoyed the process and knew what he had to do in 2023.
“It was a very last-minute thing and a very obscure simulator to run, however I had a lot of fun and even had moments where I was running against the front runners,” Giacomin explained.
“It was a little bit difficult because I had less than the appropriate time to prepare which is a month and it was running almost in parallel with the Rally championship, so I was trying to manage multiple things at once.
“I would have liked to have made the podium, but it was very competitive in that sense, and I was definitely happy with my performances.
“Hopefully I can get more than one month of preparation next year because there is plenty you need to do to get a sim ready for a series. Just like you need to set up a race car, you need to set up a simulator.
“With that said, I had a ball doing both. They were set up really well and there was lots of effort put into the broadcast. I thought the competition atmosphere of it was really fun – it certainly added a bit more pressure.
“It was also a huge opportunity to represent Motorsport Australia and it gave me motivation to formulate a training plan and have discipline, especially for the rallying side.”
Giacomin has no more plans to race this year, however he will get the opportunity to run New Zealand rally star Hayden Paddon’s AP4 rally car at a test day later this year after winning a virtual competition in 2020.