Hello! I'm

MICHAL ŠMÍDL

-Pro Sim Racer of Team Redline and Acer Predator-

MY BIO

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IN YEARS 1998 - 2007

I’ve been competitive since I was a little boy. It all began with the first Gran Turismo video game on PSOne, though back then no one would have thought that racing will play such a vital role in my life. Over the years, I played a lot of racing video games and visited Automotodrom Most a few times. And I was thinking how different the real racing would be, to drive on a limit, to challenge yourself and your car.

IN YEARS 2008 - 2010

In 2008 I had the first opportunity to try a simulator with a steering wheel. I started playing Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, which was a great game with a realistic physics. Just a few days after I had started, I broke the first world records and since then I knew I can go even further and that there is a potential. A year later I moved to the most realistic simulator available, rFactor, which is even today still used by some Formula 1 teams. And I was quick and successful there as well, so all the achievements on Gran Turismo weren’t just coincidences.

IN YEARS 2011 - 2012

These years were the most important ones in my career. I spent a lot of time behind the computer eating bad food and I ended up with 123 kilograms. In October 2011, after losing a kart race only because of my weight, I said to myself “Enough, let’s do something!“ and I lost 37 kilograms in just 7 months. For the first time I realised my strong will and I set my goals for the future.

IN YEARS 2013 - 2014

I decided to enter GT Academy in 2014, so over those two years I dedicated everything to it. I was working hard on my physical condition, choosing the right food, testing racing cars and improving my driving style. Then the GT Academy in 2014 started. I made it through the regional final in Warsaw and advanced to the next round at Silverstone, where I was fighting for my dream – to become a professional racing driver. It was very intense and mentally challenging, we had to go through many things including talking in front of the cameras in English, pass difficult physical tests and we had even a full army exam, which our team (in a line-up of Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic) totally aced. Only 42 best of the best in Europe got the opportunity to be there, from over 300 000 virtual racers from the whole Europe, so that was a big success. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the super final for the best 7 participants. Our group was very competitive and our coach, Josef Král, had a tough time sending each of us home. It was all about little details and my bad moment was one unfortunate answer under pressure. Anyway, I gained the most experience in my racing career in that program. I drove on different variants of Silverstone circuit, participated in an oval race and also tested a circuit in Bedford. And I tried a lot of great cars, even specials like Nissan GT-R, 370Z Nismo, Caterham SuperLight, Formula Jaguar, Jaguar JP-LM etc. The GT Academy is the biggest achievement of my career so far. In September 2014, I joined Virtual GP, a competition for virtual racers. It started as a 12-round championship in F1 2014 video game and it was very successful since the very beginning, especially considering it’s based in the Czech Republic. Every race was broadcasted live with a professional commentary. Live races were followed by 200-300 viewers online and highlights were on Prima Cool TV in RE-PLAY, the most watched TV video game show in the Czech Republic. I won the first season with a big gap and secured a gaming laptop as the main prize.

IN YEARS 2015 - 2016

In 2015 and 2016, I was continued racing in Virtual GP. This championship has made a huge step forward by bringing real teams and sponsors. After a long battle with Jaroslav Honzík, I managed to win another championship. Also, I had started focusing on other competitions as well – local or international. There were some great prizes for grabs, so to keep up with the competition, I joined iRacing where I worked on my driving style, my race craft and concentration. This move proved to be the right one, as I then succeeded in the GINETTA X ESPORTS CUP international championship on Project CARS and lured interest from several big sim racing teams. It went really well considering it was my first ever race in Project CARS and I actually aimed for only TOP 5. By the end of the year, I was also thinking about real racing, but thanks to a huge growth of sim racing, I decided to stick with it and try to be the best on the virtual race tracks.

IN YEARS 2017 - 2019

I had a tough beginning of 2017 as I left my previous sim racing team and had to find a new one. Just before that, I finished 2nd in the KTM eSport Trophy on RaceRoom, which was my first ever race on this game. Despite dealing also with some personal issues, I still remained fully focused on sim racing and finished 3rd in the ESL Multi-class series on Project CARS on PS4. It was very important for me to keep pushing and keep working hard. At the beginning of May, I was contacted by Domino Duhan, Redline team manager, who opened the doors for me to the most successful sim racing team ever. The first championship I drove for Redline was SMS-R team championship in Project CARS. In the first stage, we finished 2nd after some troubles in the last two races. Then, in the series finale, it went quite well despite we didn’t have our lead driver there. I had to fly there knowing it’s all up to me, but I managed to have the most points after three races and the team finished 2nd in the standings in the end. I was really delighted with my result. Apart from that, I also participated in other small tournaments and venues, even from Virtual GP. I won three different championships on different platforms and even won an invitation to the Formula 1 paddock in F1 GameZone when I travelled to Monza for the Italian GP for the holiday.

On the other hand, 2018 was extremely successful for me, though of course, it had its moments, just like in any racing. I finished 2nd in the Thrustmaster Virtual GP championship last year, so for 2018, my goal was to win the title. As a part of new rules, I started to work closely with Vojtěch Polesný, my teammate at the Predator Gaming team. Our cooperation, a better driving style, professional strategy, that all was noticeable on Assetto Corsa and I managed to win 12 out of 12 races and to win Mercedes-Benz A-Class for a year. Apart from that, I continued in Project CARS championships. I raced in two big series by A1 eSports League Austria and even got a 3rd place overall in the rallycross championship in Vienna. That podium result was very lucky considering a crazy moment when an unwary cameraman blocked my pedals in the first final race. I left Vienna with at least an amazing feeling when most competitors, including a winner Joni Törmäla, congratulated me on my speed. The 2nd A1 series switched to Mercedes-Benz cars and despite having the same amount of points as the championship winner, my worse lap times demoted me to 2nd place. Another big thing was the F1 Esports series, where I joined the Haas F1 Team. Unfortunately, I struggled with a car setup in the first two races and it was not until the final race where my, and my teammate Martin Štefanko, could battle for some points. At least one bright moment in otherwise a difficult season. At the end of the year, I also got invited to the eROC 2019 race where the best sim racing drivers compete against each other. I had really good lap times and felt confident. Unfortunately, organisers struggled to swap the sides correctly and I started from the outside line twice, which meant I could not compete properly and lost.

RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS

This section is dedicated to my achievements

NISMO PlayStation® GT Academy 2014

Participation in European finals at Silverstone (2014)

Ginetta X Project CARS eSports Cup

Winner on PS4 platform (2016)

SMS-R Championship by ESL 2017

Second place in team championship

Gran Turismo 5/6

Organizer: GT-racing.cz

Participation in years: 2011-2014

4x 1st place

74x wins

Goldmax.cz Virtual GP 2015

1st place

11x starts

9x wins

11x Top 3

11x pole position

BenQ Virtual GP 2016

1st place

12x starts

7x wins

11x Top 3

8x pole position

KTM X-Bow eSport Trophy 2017

2nd place

Vienna 2018 – 2. místo

A1 eSports League Austria S2: Offline Final Vienna 2018

2nd place

eSports League Austria S2

Offline Final Vienna 2018

2nd place

Mercedes-Benz Virtual GP 2018

1st place

12x starts

12x wins

12x Top 3

12x pole position

Thrustmaster Virtual GP 2017

2nd place

11x starts

6x wins

11x Top 3

4x pole position

eSports League Austria S1

Offline Final RX Vienna 2018

3rd place

KOSCOM Watches 2014

Victory on the simulator as part of the opening ceremony of the largest watch shop in the Czech Republic

Volkswagen: The Incredible Rally

Victory on simulator competition during ADAC Rallye Deutschland (2014).

Arkády Pankrác 2015

Victory on simulator competition „Win Supersport for weekend“

F1 Gamezone 2016

Victory on the simulator in the race for tickets to next year's Formula 1 race in Monza.

Virtual GP 2015 - Project CARS
Win in tournament

Virtual GP 2016 - DiRT Rally

Win in tournament

Virtual GP 2017 - DiRT 4

Win in tournament

Virtual GP 2017 – F1 2017

Win in tournament

Virtual GP 2017 – Project CARS 2

Win in tournament

Forza X Games by COMFOR 2019

Win in tournament

iRacing 2014-2016

168x starts

89x wins

142x top 5

96x pole positions

GT Sport - Finals

Organizer: CZC.cz

Na FORGAMES

2nd place

eROC 2019

Invited to compete against the world's best sim racers

TESTIMONIALS

Opinions of people I have known during my career

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My tweets from sim racing world

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