Stats show MTD23 has 99 race starts at RRLeagues including 6 wins. He is impossible not to like and slotted into the staff room like he'd been there all his life. Please show your appreciation for Clive Brittain!!! Clive & I, unfortunately, couldn't meet in person like with most of the other MTD interviews so we arranged a virtual meeting on ZOOM. His internet soon said NO (see Q8) so i had to send him a series of letters through the mail to finally put together what we have today! With no further ado...
SF: 1) Would you like to start off by giving us an introduction as to who Clive Brittain is?
CB: Allo everyone, my name is Clive Brittain, I’m 34, I live on the edge of a small hamlet called Moycarkey in the south mid of Ireland. The village is in an area traditionally known as the Golden Vale, an area of rich farmland which has been settled for many centuries and so there are ruins of old small castles and towerhouses everywhere, we are so surrounded by history that we forget about it most of the time. It's quite rural and feels like being in the back arse of nowhere which will tie into question 8.
So Moycarkey is where I grew up, when I was 18 I moved to a city on the west coast of Ireland called Galway and lived there for 15 years, and only returned to the homestead in the last few years mainly due to the death of my father. While I was in Galway I worked random jobs, factories, opticians, and I went to college for 5 years and got a Bachelors degree in Fine art Printmaking with the intention of being an artist, graphic designer, or an art teacher. I think being in art college was probably the happiest time of my life so far, an odd place full of odd people, I learned traditionally printmaking techniques, paper and frame making, some ceramics and wrote a thesis about how throughout history architecture has been used by dictator-like regimes to reinforce their control and power….. as you can tell its a real page-turner lol.
Motor racing and sim racing would be my main hobby/interest and outside of that I am into rugby and hurling (an Irish sport), reading, hiking, playing music, making car models, woodwork, and many many other little hobbies. The phrase ‘a man of many talents but a master of none’ applies here, I can kind of do many things but none of them very well.
SF: 2) What did your journey into sim racing look like? How old were you, what game, what console etc.....?
CB: To me there is a difference between sim racing and playing racing games, the first racing games I played were Super Monaco GP on the Sega Mega Drive, then Toca, Colin McCrea Rally, Formula 1 97, Gran Tourismo on the Playstation, Forza 2 and then Dirt Rally, which leads me into sim racing. My first experience with sim racing was the Rx section of Dirt Rally, it was only a small section of the game at the time but I got hooked on how fun it was racing other real people and a small community grew around it, which was also my first experience with being part of an online group around a game. That fizzled out after a year and having just used a controller I wanted to try out a steering wheel, so about 4 years ago I got a loan of a Logitech G27 from a friend and tried out Asseto Corsa and Race 07 before finding RaceRoom and then RRLeagues not long after, and I haven’t been kicked out yet so here I am…
SF: 3) And how have things changed since then? Can you talk us through what you are using now and maybe a picture too?
CB: So I returned the borrowed G27 to my friend and I bought a Logitech G920, mainly because I liked the G27 and I got pedals so for what I was willing to pay at the time it seemed good value. As I got more and more into sim racing and RRL, I upgraded to Fanatec CSL Elite wheel base and pedals w/loadcell. Being in the middle of my ideal rig journey, I think the thing that has made the biggest difference has been getting a decent brake pedal. Also I have a Playseat frame which I would like to upgrade, its a bit flimsy at this stage, I had notions I would make my own rig and even went so far as to buy a welder, but I think I will save and hopefully get an aluminium profile rig like something from SimLab or similar, I also have a monitor stand from them.
Ideal setup: DD wheelbase, Hueskevledddalell…? pedals and a nice comfy car seat. Some day.
SF: 4) How are you enjoying being part of the staff at RRL?
CB: It's interesting that you wrote ‘how are you enjoying’ rather than ‘IF you are enjoying’, very interesting. Ah no its been great tbh, and seeing behind the curtain and the work, time and effort that is put in by the like of Si and David and the other staff is so impressive. It's nice to feel that I have contributed in some way, regardless of how small, to create a space where we can enjoy racing and take part in this big complicated role-playing game called sim racing that we are all happily apart of. Of course, as with everything in life, there are some negatives, my skin is not thick enough yet and Si, as we all know, is a tyrant of a leader but overall it has been a very enjoyable experience and long may it continue.
SF: 5) During your time on the virtual track, what race/event/series has provided you with your biggest sense of achievement?
CB: Last year I think, Round 1 of GT3 Master II @Road America, I finished 5th which was by far my best result up to that point, I think 11th was my best before that so that race felt like a real step forward for me. For my first year at RRL I struggled to finish above 15th in most races, if I finished at all, and seriously considered just giving up many times, but I would have a good battle for something like 20th and that was always enough to keep me going. Then after this race it was like something clicked, I couldn’t tell you what happened but there was a very definitive improvement in my results, maybe it just took a little boost in my confidence to get me going. Whatever it was, this race was a turning point and very much sticks out for me.