Pioneers. After a quick test drive during the open house event on April 6, the Swiss twins Mike and Simon Danner (28) were the first ever yearly subscribers of the Formula V project. Now they train in the recently opened Racing Lounge in Cham on the Formula V simulators on the circuits of Monte Carlo, Nuerburgring and the hot pot of Indianapolis. And out of nowhere they are in a situation to make money with their so far expensive hobby, the car racing. The twins are living in the canton Nidwalden, the geographical and historical heart of Switzerland. Simon and Mike are the fastest twins of Switzerland and they have a dream, the dream to be part of the European racing scene. However, the options in Switzerland are limited as long as there is neither a rich uncle nor a generous sponsor to create a professional base. Simon and Mike are Formula Renault racers, «and every single training day costs some 2'000 Swiss Francs» as they say. Travellling, renting the track, new tires and the expenses for technical support need a big budget.
Fine tuning for the foot pedals before the red lights appear.
But today making use of the Formula V simulators offers new opportunities. Says Simon : «For the first time we have the chance to race under Formula 1 conditions, and this for little money.» The twins booked to yearly subscriptions for CHF 1'200.00 and are very happy to enjoy training sessions under virtually real racing conditions for some 100 Francs per day. For Simon «virtually real» is a nearly one-by-one racing experience. Simon’s experience in the simulated Ferrari SF 70H used in Formula 1 championship 2017 is that «the handling, speeding up from the curves, braking and even the artificial air stream are like in a real car, and the steering wheel is like the original of Sebastian Vettel.»
As first movers and after many training sessions in the new Formula V sport, the Swiss twins will start as favourites of the new Swiss Championship with seven qualification events, followed by the big final for the racers with most points in the overall ranking. The prize money is CHF 5000.00 for the winners of the qualification events, CHF 3000.00 for the runner-ups and CHF 1000.00 for the third ranked drivers. The winner of the final event earns CHF 30'000.00. The first qualifier takes place on Saturday, April 25, in Cham.
Mike (left) and Simon Danner: candidates for the first Swiss Formula V Championship title.
Mike is thinking ahead: «In the best case we can finance our Formula Renault career with Formula V racing.» However, first of all the twins are focusing on their sessions in the Racing Lounge in Cham, where Simon is mostly training on his preferred circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The ambitious racing twins are extremely happy that the tracks from around the globe can be enjoyed in the central part of Switzerland.