Experienced Sim Racer Joins the Field: An Interview With Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge Driver Matt Bussa

Features, Racing I By Winding Road Staff I April 10, 2019

For the 2nd installment of our Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge Driver profile, Matt Bussa of suburban Chicagoland shares his views on sim racing, his background in it, and his days in karting. Matt’s raced in a big variety of series: a testament to how extensive and widely-available sim racing has become.

What’s your name and where are your from?

Matt Bussa, Darien, IL

What line of work are you in?

I’m a Junior Business Analyst for Kar Auction Services.

How old are you?

I am 24 years old.

What was your motivation for participating in the Spec MX-5 SimRacing Challenge?

I have a blast racing Mazdas; after being a finalist the past 4 years for iRacing and Mazda’s Road To 24 program, I felt this series offered the best competition and format for good, hard racing.

Do you have any previous non-virtual motorsports history?

My only experience comes from Rotax karting and indoor karting leagues. I participated in these from the age of 14 to 18 before heading to college.


Do you feel virtual motorsports is becoming a valid starting point for participation in actual motorsports?

Certainly. With my main focus being on the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series for 7 years now, I have been able to witness how much the series has grown and become interconnected with its real world counterpart. I have no doubt in my mind that the top competitors in that virtual series would be able to be competitive if given the chance to start a career in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Moreover, the same goes for road racing, where numerous drivers like Glenn McGee have proven their talents outside of the virtual racing world.

Are you a ‘gamer’ or do you mostly only sim race?

While I used to be an avid gamer, I have only played Rocket League in the past few years besides iRacing. Back in the day, I used to play Halo 2 and the early Call of Duty games, and even competed in some tournaments.

Do you consider sim racing a game?

I do not. I believe a “simulation” such as iRacing should not be categorized in the same realm as a “game” like Madden or Fortnite. While other games allow you to push buttons to complete a virtual physical action, sim racing requires you to actually perform the motions that real racers do. The racing on iRacing is 100% real. Only the G-force and danger factors are not.


How long have you been sim racing?

I have been sim racing since the days of NASCAR Racing 2003 on PC. I ran Megane Trophy Cup Series on rFactor from 2006-2008 before joining iRacing in 2009.


Are you very active in sim racing?

I would consider myself quite active. As aforementioned, my main focus is the NASCAR world championship. I also have 2 years of experience in what was then known as the Blancpain Team Endurance World Championship and will be giving Rallycross a shot in the upcoming Pro Qualifier series.


Do you run in many leagues?

Besides this league, I run in the Podium eSports League, which runs NASCARs on Thursday night

What’s your favorite car or series to compete in?

My favorite car and series is the cup car in NPAS. The level of competition in that series is what drives me to always try and become better and reach new levels of success.


How much time would you say you put into sim racing?

After getting home from work, I have about 4-5 hours of free time before bed. Of that time, I typically spend an hour or two on the sim each night.


How do you rate your chances of winning the driver development test at the end of the season?

I hope to be in contention for the championship, and believe if I can avoid any mistakes, I can be there in the end when it counts. There are a handful of competitors that will be tough to beat on a consistent basis throughout the season.


Anything else of interest you’d like to share?

Outside of racing I am an avid traveler. I enjoy exploring new regions and especially enjoy hiking and climbing in Arizona. I also have a big passion for music; my favorite genres include EDM, Dance, Indie, and Chill.

Thanks very much Matt, best of luck to you this season! – WR Staff


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