Sim racing and being at the top of esports demand a lot of time and effort to be dedicated to them. Competing in multiple categories isn't uncommon, as the skills between games and series are often transferrable.
However, there isn't anybody that takes part in as many series as Graham Carroll.
Red Bull Racing Esports' great Scot spreads his wings far and wide when it comes to sim racing. Find out exactly how he manages such a busy schedule.
Introduction to racing
We know that Graham Carroll is an incredibly fast and successful sim racing driver now, but how did he get into esports? Like a lot of the big stars, it started small scale:
"I started sim racing when I was a lot younger, but professionally it was probably around 2013-2014. I’d always dabbled in racing games when I was a young boy, when I was 10 or 11 and I was racing go-karts.
"It was the first ever year of the Pro Draft, and I managed to get picked by Red Bull and I’ve been with the team ever since."
It's interesting to hear that Carroll played a lot of sim racing games in addition to his karting career. Without games such as the F1 game, Carroll may not have a racing career like he does now.
So, how does he manage his time? Carroll explained that his competition is what keeps him motivated and with his eyes firmly on the prize:
"It’s difficult! I’ve been joking with Frede [Rasmussen] and Seb [Job] lately. With Formula E, I have to chase Frede round all week and for Porsche Supercup, I chase Seb round all week.
"In my eyes, these two are the quickest sim racers in the world. It’s very helpful to have guys like Seb and Frede that are top of their game.
"It’s very difficult to be across so many games, but I also love the challenge of doing different sims."
The unique challenge of V10 R-League
One of the series in which Graham is competing for Red Bull Esports is the V10 R-League. Carroll raced for RBR during the series' first season last year and is back for Season 2.
With Carroll competing in so many sim racing series already, what draws him to the V10 R-League?
"For me, it’s the format. I enjoyed the head-to-heads, the relay and the team races last year, it’s like no other series. The car, for me, also makes the series exciting.
"I started in the iRacing World Championship because it was an F1 car. So, to go back to V10R in a futuristic car with the V10 sound, that’s the highlight for me. I love the car and it provides awesome racing."
The GRS V10R '20 is certainly a special car and one that can only exist in the world of sim racing. The new format in the V10 R-League too will spice things up in the series even more going forward!
Fighting at the top
Every team that competed in Season 1 of the V10 R-League had lessons to learn, even champions Redline.
The competitiveness in the R-League is unlike any other racing series, so what do Carroll and Red Bull believe they need to improve on in Season 2?
"Season 1 was awesome. There were a couple of disappointing moments throughout the season, but with us being so new to it and not really any of us Assetto Corsa specialists, to be up there was great.
"We had pace last year, which was good. Looking ahead to this year, we’ll be looking to go a couple of spots higher and get that P1 [overall in the championship]."
So, just like Season 1, Red Bull are aiming to become champions of the V10 R-League. This time though, they have the benefit of a year's experience, so they'll be a formidable outfit to come up against.
Season 2 practice and expectations
It's important to have the right goals, but how have Carroll and his fellow Red Bull drivers been preparing for a title challenge in Season 2?
"We completed our test day a few days back and it was great to get out there. I'm working well with Joni [Tormala] and Néstor [Garcia] and we’re all eager to get the season kicked off!"
We also directly asked if Carroll believes that Red Bull can win the championship this year and he certainly wasn't pulling any punches:
"Yes, 100 per cent. I was disappointed we didn’t win last year. I think there were a couple of silly mistakes that should be ironed out for this season.
"We don’t take part in competitions we don’t think we can’t win. We’re out there to win, we’ve got the team to win and we're understanding a bit more of the game and of the format. So, for sure, we’re coming back stronger for that P1."
With the cars being equal for the V10 R-League, there are plenty of contenders for the title. But who does Carroll think Red Bull's main competition for the championship is?
"Team Redline, because they won last year. Last year, we were the only team to win all of the team races and this year, there’s going to be more team races instead of head-to-head races, so it should suit us better."