How Jordan Sherratt Mastered Lamborghini’s The Real Race EMEA Series
After a near-perfect race in the 2021 The Real Race EMEA region, Jordan Sherratt is one of three The real race winners after months of racing on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform. Sherratt, a setup builder for Coach Dave Academy and a former Formula 4 driver, is somewhat new to the competitive racing simulation scene. You could never tell how he managed to wipe out his competition in the 2021 competition.
Sherratt won 15 of 17 races during the EMEA regional season. Also a pole winner for nine out of ten weekends, Sherratt has proven to be a dominant force throughout the year. I prepared some questions for Jordan last week (December 15th) but unfortunately got sick the night before. The always fantastic Tom Harrison-Lord filled in and talked to the champion, filling about 30 minutes of Jordan’s time with great conversation.
From simulation to the real world, speaking of the differences between the sims and their current job, the couple talked about a bunch of different content related to Jordan’s real and virtual racing career. Check out some of the conversation highlights below.
Tom Harrison Lord: How are you today, Jordan? Is that your simulation platform there?
Jordan Sherratt: Yeah, I’m sitting in it. It’s like home, I would say. Like, I don’t really have an office. My rig is in my room, and my bed is over there.
This is pretty much what I do. I actually work in the esports scene for Coach Dave Academy. I do this during the day.
THL: Very interesting! What exactly are you doing at Coach Dave Academy?
JS: I’m sure you know, they do setups, so I create setups for ACC. What’s interesting is that not many people know what goes into creating configs. No one knows that there are real engineers working with us. Engineers who work for Williams Esports, Zansho Simsport, so yeah that’s pretty cool.
THL: So you work with them on a daily basis to get the right configuration for certain cars, conditions, tracks…
THL: So you know Assetto Corsa Competizione well?
JS: I would say yes. I have enough hours in the game.
THL: What brought you to motorsport in general?
JS: My dad ran for fun, and so did his parents. They used to do those Stock Cars, the Demolition Derbies where they rolled around and crashed into each other, in the 60s and 70s. I kind of grew up in a racing environment. I have been fortunate enough to race in the real world for a long time since I was six years old. I have been very successful in these areas, I moved to Formula 4. It could have been more, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. I can’t say the reasons why.
THL: What was it like to compete in the American F4 Championship? You did not win a race at the VIR (Virginia International Raceway)?
JS: It was actually interesting. We were in a team that literally learned everything from Karting. Basically my sponsor wanted to do F4. He didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so he just recruited all the go-kart guys into his team, he bought the Formula 4 car and we went racing. Not even with a good engineer, but just a mechanic, so he at least knows how to secure the car.
THL: When did you choose sim racing? What brought you to play online and run virtually?
JS: I used to play Gran Turismo for fun on PlayStation 3 back then. Nothing serious, just having fun with friends at my place. I had the G27 wheel which was huge back then in 2013 or 2014. When the lockdown hit in early 2020, I had nothing to do. My brother pulled out my old rig that I had… it’s actually the one that made me want to pretty much drive. From there it just took off. I used my old wheel last year. That’s how I got into sim racing.
THL: What did you like about The Real Race last year that made you want to come back and try again?
JS: Obviously last year, having experienced the whole trip and the people behind Lamborghini, you know when you look at the cars you never really enjoy the car until you actually go and meet the people behind it. and how it is constructed. You feel like part of the family. Why I wanted to come back, last year I was still new to sim racing and still learning sim racing when I was racing against Nils (Naujoks).
JS: I was still learning everything. This year I knew I was much better. Better gear didn’t really help, but I just felt better and more confident. That’s why I wanted to come back and win. Obviously, finally, the esport drive, to become the official driver. That’s pretty much my goal. I have always worked in this direction, even in real life. Trying to get that in the virtual world is anything, you know? Maybe it could add something to real life. That’s pretty much why.
THL: What about the next step when you face the other regional winners?
JS: I don’t really have a lot of details on the rest. I don’t know when we will be going to Italy because of Covid, but there is supposed to be a shooting.
THL: So I could take different paths depending on what you’ve given me so far, but what made you choose Assetto Corsa Competizione?
JS: Well, that’s a very difficult question to answer.
THL: Oh, really? Do you like it? Is this something you would consider a good simulation platform?
JS: Yeah, it’s the most realistic platform or game there is, I think. That’s as far as ABS works, like if you compare to iRacing, iRacing doesn’t do it right. You have to brake at 50 percent, at least ACC is right. The reason I got into this is because there was a race in South Africa that took place in early January when the lockdown took place. I had friends who played the game and said “why don’t you come and try”? Back then I was so slow, like I’m very competitive by nature. I just started working hard, working hard, connecting with the right teams, and slowly but surely building myself.
THL: Do you race on other sims or is ACC the main priority?
JS: ACC is the main priority, but with Coach Dave Academy on iRacing now, setup wise, I was doing a bit of that. Do a little bit of everything, I would say.
THL: Are there any comparisons between what you’re doing for The Real Race and previous track experience in the real world?
JS: I’ve never really had a GT experience so it’s hard to say, although I rode the Super Trofeo when I went to Italy last year.
THL: Nice. How was it?
JS: It was fun. It’s pretty cool to go back to the real seat, you know? Feel the power of the car and how it feels.
THL: Going over your stats for the season, with so many wins and poles, how are you mentally preparing and how many practice for such domination?
JS: Of course, I have a lot of hours in the game and I do it almost every day, right? So I’m already so used to it. The number of hours I have to devote to it is not as important as you might think. At the start of the competition, I was riding hard. I rode every week trying to be as well prepared for the start as possible. It would have kind of set up my season. I was training about 10 hours before the race.
THL: What are some of your philosophies for installing a car? Are there certain features that you are looking for?
JS: It varies from car to car. Applying the real world philosophy to ACC in terms of setups works to some extent. However, you need to be more experimental in terms of time-consuming unrealistic extraction from the setup. It’s really hard to explain.
THL: It’s okay. Is it retail anyway? There is a lot of work to be done, would that be fair?
JS: Yes, 100%. Experience helps. Comparing this to last year, where I had no experience, it made a little difference this year. I was able to follow more and improve the car during a stint. It also makes a difference. You can’t just take a setup and do 10 rounds of the same round. It’s impossible. It’s really good though, in terms of the game.
THL: Would you say there was something different, in particular, that helped you do better in The Real Race 2021 compared to 2020?
JS: I would say confidence. After my first year of simulating racing at the highest level, I was learning something new and really had no confidence in myself. I didn’t know how fast I was. I didn’t always ride against Nils, I didn’t ride against others at this level. When I saw that I was faster than Nils in some races but didn’t put everything in place, I started to gain some confidence in myself. The following year, I could enter it with a lot more confidence.
JS: Plus there was more prep work. This year the weather could have been wet or dry or whatever, so I literally prepared for anything. I never had to stress out and run something at the last minute.
THL: If you were to become a Lamborghini Esports pilot, what would that mean for you?
JS: It would mean a lot of things. Even though this is esports and the online scene, even in my racing in the real world, I wanted to get somewhere where I could get paid as a driver. For example, becoming an IndyCar driver was the goal when I was racing in the United States. It was a realistic goal in terms of finances and sponsors to get there, I would say. Obviously it didn’t work so it would mean a lot. It would mean a lot of things. It’s like the ultimate goal of any sim racer to get to a ride like this.