03 Jul 20
28 May 20
Development as a racer throughout the Challenge has been a huge part of the experience for the German; as has being able to mix it with real drivers and open up the sport to a new audience of friends and family.
Lucas Mueller finds himself as one of the sim racers heading the charge for Challenge Grid honours as the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge in support of UNICEF heads towards its climax with a penultimate weekend’s action to come on Saturday.
The Heidelberg-born German, studying towards becoming a banker, is an experienced sim racer with multiple titles to his name. With the strength of competition in the Challenge field, however, he had not expected to be right in the shakeup in the battle for the overall prize – a drive in a real Formula E Gen2 car.
“When I joined the Race at Home Challenge, I never really thought too much about the overall prize because I never thought I would be in with a chance of winning it," said the 19-year-old. "Being second in the standings so late in the day is a surprise – I was initially hoping for a top-ten finish.
“I have no idea how I’d react if I won. I’ve never had an opportunity to drive a race-car and the chance to drive a top-tier machine like the Gen2 would be unreal. I’ll see what I can do this weekend and at the finale."
Victory is not everything for Mueller, though. Development as a racer throughout the competition has been a huge part of the experience for him; as has being able to mix it with real drivers and open up the sport to a new audience of friends and family.
“This competition has already given me so much," he said. "I have been able to talk to real race drivers and I have met new friends – if I don’t win it, it has already been so great for me personally.
“It has been the ideal chance to show me where I stand against the top guys. When you compete with the best, you can learn the most. There will always be someone faster than you, and pushing yourself against them is where you improve. That’s the main goal for me in sim racing – personal progression.
“I have been a motorsport fan since day one because of my dad but this has been a whole new experience for me, really. I don’t normally share my sim racing life with my friends but they have all been watching with their family and I have never had so much of a positive vibe from them.
"Seeing Pascal Wehrlein or Maximilian Gunther behind you on track is surreal, too. I would never have thought this could have happened – and outside of this, it wouldn’t have.”
Kevin Siggy leads the way after an impressive lights-to-flag victory last time out in Round 5 but Mueller is aware that he has rivals – some with a little more experience under their belts – all around him.
“Kevin Siggy, Payo Peev, Petar Brljak and Joshua Rogers have all been extremely tough to come up against," he added. "They are incredibly fast and have shown across a number of Esports competitions that they are at the top of sim racing.
“Competing with them on a level is a new feeling for me because I’ve not spent as much time in the sport as I do now. When you put the time in and see that you can compete with the best, it builds your confidence.
“Knowing you can beat them if you have a clean race is a great feeling. It’s a real pleasure to race with them. They can beat you easily, they are consistent and never make mistakes so you need to push yourself beyond 100 per-cent to have a chance."
Heading into this weekend’s event, Mueller takes inspiration from his drive and maiden victory at Hong Kong, and his sparring with Joshua Rogers along the way
“Battling with Joshua in Hong Kong is probably the highlight,” said Mueller. “We were really tidy, battling through all the narrows and tightest spots – driving side-by-side. When you’re fighting for the lead, it makes the win all the sweeter than it would be if it was a straight lights-to-flag.
“That race in Hong Kong was great,” he added. “I took my first win of the season there and the feeling when you finally manage to win a race against this quality of driver is incredible – it was a real ‘wow’ moment for me.
“I still smile when I think about it now and that’s something I’d never had before with sim racing. I hope I’ll be able to repeat that feeling.”
03 Jul 20
03 Jul 20
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02 Jul 20