Updated: Apr 28
Prologue Week 5, Season 1, January 14th, 2019.
A young, timid boy launches his first ever online iRacing session. He's looked through all the paperwork and had a couple of laps of practice offline previously, but never anything as massive as this. 15 Laps around Summit Point. In his first ever qualifying session, the British 17 year-old qualified 10th, 2 seconds behind the next car of Kevin D'haene...he has his worked cut out for him. After a tense minute of waiting, three red lights appear on the gantry. He stamps the throttle. The little, angry 2.0 litre engine of the Mazda revs... "I'm Ready" the brave driver says to himself. This is Robin Truswell. And this was him starting his first iRacing race....
Now with over 50 races and a single podium to his name, Robin has progressed up through the ranks. Starting from the chaos-filled Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, he then progressed up the ladder (and increased the speed) by racing in the Ferrari GT3 Challenge. Following this, he focused his attention to endurance racing and created a new team called "Kabort Motorsport" and raced in the VRS (Virtual Racing School) Series. Most recently, he has been racing in the ELMS (Endurance Le Mans Series) Championship (with Kabort Motorsport).
Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, Season 1, Week 5 - 11
Taking me from my first race, to the penultimate race of the season, this livery has seen many firsts; my first crash, first race with Force Feedback (I've always used keyboard prior), first online race (against real people), first top 5 finish, first podium and most importantly first friends made. I could not have had a better introduction to iRacing. As I only did (and still do) one race per week (for added realism), the chance of being involved in a classic instance of "the usual rookie race" (which are always being complained about on the forum) was significantly reduced, and hence I was able to get some good results, and great racing. In fact, I was able to finish all but one of the races in my inaugural season of iRacing.
My Only Podium (Thus Far) A huge highlight in my career was Lime Rock Park. Starting 6th on the grid (my second highest qualifying position of the season), I was expecting quite a normal, calm race....a potential top 5, but not pushing for anything too hard as I wasn't in the position to go for my first win.
If only I knew what was about to happen.... Into turn one, a few (less experienced that myself) braked a little bit earlier than me, so I was able to out-brake them and go around the outside and gain a position - which is very important on such a small track, with so few laps (20).
The driver behind me didn't make a great start either - losing it at the hill-top chicane, releasing the pressure off my back slightly. On the following lap, two others ahead of me made contact and (one) spun out whilst the other significantly slowed, promoting me to 4th - this was looking to be a new best finish for me. More luck turned my way as another car ahead of me went very hot into turn one and slid off wide into the grass/dirt. This then promoted me into a potential podium position...my heart was going crazy, and it was only lap 3.
A few laps later, on lap 6, Tore Skarsethstuen (started in 4th position) managed to get back past me, after a torrid start (braking too early for turn one, and going wide at the final corner). He would soon turn out to play a major role in the outcome of this race
My biggest weakness at Lime Rock Park is the final corner, which is a downhill, sometimes flat corner, which I wasn't too comfortable with (so I slightly lifted) and Tore used this perfectly to his advantage and streamed past me. I was only able to get past him when he spun 4 laps later. If things couldn't get any better, the car in 2nd place also then spun out, and with me only a couple of seconds up the road, I swooped that up with both hands. I held this position for 2 whole laps before the very fast driver behind me (who was putting my lap-times to shame) zoomed past me with 3 laps to go. A little behind him was Tore, who managed to catch up the next lap. Lap 19 of 20. He just got past me on the straight, but I kept him honest and forced him into a mistake at the tricky hill-top chicane...I powered through, thinking that it was over and I had secured a podium...but I little did I know how close it'd be. On the final lap he went like a stabbed rat, and with me butchering the final corner, he was all over my tail coming up to the line. In the end the gap was -0.129 seconds. A podium may also have been achieved at Okayama, however this time I braked too late, ran wide and gave the position up.
Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, Season 1, Week 12 - Laguna Seca
I knew I wanted to progress up from Mazda's. Yes I got some very good results, but I wanted to try something new, maybe a bit faster. The close, wheel-to-wheel racing really got me interested into tin-top/GT racing. Looking at the Class-D series matching this, I had two options that tickled my fancy: The RUF GT3 Challenge or the Ferrari GT3 Challenge. At first, I was more inclined to race the RUF GT3 Challenge, as it was slightly slower (and probably easier to drive) but, after a few goes in the Ferrari practice sessions, I was hooked. My favourite colours have always been light-blue (which I raced in Mazdas) Cream, (which doesn't work on racing cars) and the combination of Black and Gold (Bingo!) or Black and Bright Green (Monster has sort of taken that one, but I'd like to try it in the future)...so, Kabort's base was born. This was the moment that Kabort Motorsport's colours popped out of the metaphorical womb.
The livery represented the Black and Gold livery taking over from the blue I livery I had, the fade being the most important as the Light Blue of my Mazda days "faded out" of existence. With such a grand livery paying Homage to a crazy season of racing (which included a podium, and three Top 5's, I was expecting to end the season on a high....but unfortunately luck had other ideas.... After getting a decent start, the cars ahead of me bottle-necked slightly, slowing everyone down. As I had momentum, I used it...which unfortunately meant using (too much?) dirt. Weather intentional or not, the guy behind me was far too late/confident on the brakes and bumped into me, putting me into a half-spin. He too, spun...but it was a big shame. I was in a bad mood for the rest of the race, and in the end got myself disqualified for off-tracks, but the story goes that I had too much damage after the turn one incident... Lucky Le Mans 777 Series, Season 1, Week 13
Week 13 was spent basking in the glory that was the "Lucky Le Mans 777 Series" (I assume the 777 stood for 7 Cars, 7 Tracks, 7 Days) which was a multi-car, GT series which raced around some of the most major international race circuits. This is where my love for GT, I believe, originally started to really grow. Ferrari GT3 Challenge, Season 2, Week 1 - 4
And here she is, the baby Kabort Car - the Ferrari GT3. Ain't she a beaut?
Ferrari GT3 Challenge, Season 2, Week 5 - 9 In April, I discovered the world that is Trading Paints...and it changed my life forever. The fact that you could ask someone to put absolutely ANYTHING to your hearts desire on a car, and then race it - and the fact that everyone can see it still blows my mind. With this in mind, I asked Patricio Esteban, (DDesigns) the first painter I ever used, to produce me a livery with the simplest of instructions.
"So my safety rating has gone up to 2.59 which means as long as I don't mess up in Spa, I am promoted to Class C...which is quite big for me...
As of yet I have no ideas...but if you could help make me a really fancy kind of "C" design...that would be ideal...thank you."
Looking back - I know that I wasn't very close at all. Even to be promoted at the end of the season. Spa Francorchamps was Week 5, and I only reached D(3.0) in Week 10. But here is the first ever livery I bought off trading paints:
Ferrari GT3 Challenge, Season 2, Week 10 - 11
It was at this time that we tragically lost a hero and legend. Inspirational 3 time World Champion Formula One Driver Niki Lauda.
After getting severe facial third degree burns in a crash at Nurburgring, surviving pneumonia and a lung transplant, the Austrian sadly passed away on the 20th May, in his sleep after a short period of ill-health. In memory of Nicki Lauda, who won two out of his three world championships with Ferrari, I politely requested Chris Bull (iRacing Wraps & Paints) to do a tribute livery for me, based on the iconic Ferrari 312T that he raced. Chris produced me an incredibly detailed and respectful tribute car, which I was incredibly impressed with. Niki will be deeply missed and remembered by the whole of the Motorsport community and those not involved in the sport too.
May he rest in peace, and stay in our hearts and memories forever.
I had a great race at Imola, which had a great battle with a driver called Kiyan Tajbakhsh. I truly think that Niki was smiling down upon me, as I took a 5th place in his memory. This was my second highest result of the season, and it took place at Ferrari's home race. I almost got a 4th place, however a small incident between myself and Kiyan (battling hard) happened on the final lap and I lost a position. Sebring I kept the livery on for the following race at Sebring, which, by coincidence Kiyan also raced at. This was also a close battle, but Kiyan managed to get me on the back-straight and claim the position.
Ferrari GT3 Challenge, Season 2, Week 12
The Ferrari GT3 Challenge was an absolutely crazy season - with ups and downs and huge battles at many races (Including Interlagos and Laguna Seca). The final race of the season and it was all going to be ending was at the Mountain Of Motorsport - Mount Panorama.
Such a race-track deserves a very fitting livery. So I asked Chris Bull - who had provided me with some great liveries in the past, and he delivered an absolute masterpiece...
A BSM (British School Of Motoring) inspired Ferrari 488 GT3.
The race probably went as well as expected...being squeezed off the road in turn one before witnessing one of the most chaotic starts I have ever seen. Up at the top of the mountain, someone lost control in front of me and unfortunately, the only place I could go was into them...
From here, I entered the world of endurance racing. Despite not being the only one driving, I was sort of confident...I was excited for the next chapter in my racing career...and the new people I'd meet... To start off, I used drivers from the existing team of "RSR Esports" to create a "base". This consisted of, at most, 5 drivers. From there, I began to use the forum much more regularly and now, only two drivers from RSR Esports remain - the rest were from the forum and invited by other drivers. Currently speaking, there are only 2 drivers remaining from RSR Esports - Maxim Badidi and João Paulo.
Virtual Racing School Endurance Series (VRS Endurance), Season 3, Week 1 - Laguna Seca
This was the birth of Kabort Motorsport that we all know (and love) today. The name "KABORT" comes from the first two letters of Tim KAsigkeit and Nicholas BOccanfuso, and my intials Robin Truswell as we were the first three drivers in the server - and it sort of fit what Kabort was all about - a little bit odd, unknown, quirky but still fast and competitive. It has a nice ring to it, it sounds nice/feels nice in the mouth, and was thought up (very democratically) during Spa (Day 5) of Week 13 - which, may I just add, was more of driving the Ferrari GT3.
Having so many drivers leaving recently (S4, 2019), I was truly interested to see what Kabort would be called if I started it today...and I've got 2 answers... KAPERT/PEKART (KAsigkeit, PEnn Robin Truswell) - if we exclude Maxim due to his Class-C Licence (Sorry Max!) or TRUswell KASigkeit BADidi (TRUKASBAD) In my personal opinion, Kapert sounds the nicer and gives me a lot nicer vibes - watch out for a re-branding in the future!
Kabort's debut to endurance racing could not have gone much worse.
Tim Kasigkeit suggested that we drive the Audi R8, so we did....and after seeing the MANN FILTER (not sponsored) Mercedes AMG GT (below), I wanted something just like it...unfortunately...it didn't turn out as I expected. It wasn't terrible, just...."unique"
For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to qualify and do the first stint. With the knowledge that I was slowest on the team, these were desperate times.
Even whilst I was on the warm-up lap, we were still struggling to get Declan (3rd driver) into the session.
From here, things went from bad to worse. I lost control in the kink before the corkscrew, putting it in the barriers. (quite heavily)
With quite a bit of damage, no-one enjoying the race as we had roughly 15x/20x of incidents with an hour or more to go, and Declan having no way to get into the race, Nicholas (who was driving at the time) and I decided to call it quits and retire (or DSQ) ourselves from the race. VRS Endurance Series, Season 3, Week 2 - 12
Whilst there was some positivity, (running TWO GTE'S in some races, and not to forget, both The Watkins Glen 6 Hours (which we ran a pure white livery with nothing on it) and the Spa 24 Hours (extremely memorable), This was definitely a season of learning experiences and patience.
The Seed Which Planted A Tree
Before your very eyes is the first draft of the Kabort Livery that Doug (Denise Designs) ever gave me. Compared to where we are now, it's an astonishing difference.
VRS Endurance Series, Season 3, Week 2 - 12
The unstoppable force of Oliver (Mandrish), Dave (South), Sven (Jansen), Marcel (Van Den Berg) and Jermaine (Warren) drove the "GOAT" (Greatest Of All Time) second car. The bond that was made was simply unbreakable.
Of the 12 weeks that we ran, in 7 of them we had a retirement in either one - or both cars. This means that we had more retirements than finishes... which is a little unfortunate.
Various Racing Series, Season 3, Week 13
After a tough season, it was nice to finally have a break. With the release of the TCR (Touring Car) imminent, I was itching to get in...After 2 races returning to the Global Mazda Cup (Week 13 Series) and one race trying out the Industrifahren Nordschliefe Series, the TCR was finally upon us. At first it was enjoyable, but then a rather large, annoying red shift light appeared. As I am strong, independent (alpha) male that nobody can tell what to do, I refused to race it....because it was TELLING me to shift.
In Total, I did 5 races in this car. 4 in week 13, and the other in the first week of season 4, which ended with my mother shouting (over the team radio lol) for me to focus on college, rather than iRacing, so I went to doing fortnightly races instead
Bathurst 1000KM For a bunch of guys that have never touched a V8 Supercar before, we did exceptionally well. I must thank in particular to Jaehan An and the Kabort Korea team for their (almost) absolutely faultless performance, finishing in 4th position. Had they not had some late drama, they would have been on the podium...and now, in season 4, not only are 2 out of the original 5 back, we also have 3 new faces of Yoonho Jung, Chang Mun Ryu and the unstoppable Jae Heon Bang who has recently been promoted to Class B!
ELMS (Endurance Le Mans Series), Season 4, - Week 1 - 4
Right from the Get-go we had a team interested in running the Porsche 919 LMP1 car. Considering the fact we had been running a GT Team all the time prior to this, this was a good sign. ELMS runs every two weeks, so drivers have extra weeks to practice, and less pressure to race.
On the surface everything looked alright, but within the team there were growing concerns...first of all, I only raced once a month - Even with a series racing every fortnight, I still didn't want to take any risks - and raced in Race 2 (Barcelona) and Race 4 (Le Mans).
After some teething issues, the LMP1 team got comfortable and finally scored their first finish! An 8th place at Le Mans was incredibly heart-warming to see after the tough start of the season.
Retiring from the first two races and not competing in the third being the reason.
ELMS (Endurance Le Mans Series) Season 4, 2019, Week 5 - 6 After a major night (mentioned multiple times in various blogs) we had to totally restructure the team. We went from roughly 24 or more drivers down to 13 in the space of a week. Fortunately, Jaehan was there to save the day and invited a large amount of drivers into the team. Knowing the success that the Koreans gave us at the Bathurst 1000km and their debuts coming up at the final round at Sebring, I'm really excited to see how it goes and what happens. With a "new start", it was also time for a new livery.....and once again Doug delivered gold..
This new livery included only companies/logos that we got permission from, to make it just that little bit more realistic.
Other Special Liveries
October was a big month for liveries - and a huge month for my wallet....if you know what I mean...
To start off, the month of October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I requested Doug to make me some pink liveries (for the LMP1 and GTE) for this occasion. Whilst his was just a re-colour, I also asked Carl Heighs - who I hadn't heard from in absolute months. And he produced something very special.
- Doug went for a subtle approach
Then, on the 12th October, it was the "Race For Mental Health" which Jimmy Broadbent hosted. This was incredibly eventful as well.
I got a stunning livery from Carl Heighs again.
After having to restart the session due to Jimmy not allowing for driver swaps (easy mistake to make), we had 23 hours and 30 minutes left on the clock....
We had a decent start...but then things started to go downhill...Jaehan's wheel/pedals broke, mid corner.....ploughing him into the wall at full speed. After this William and Gas did the night shift. When I woke up, Gas had gone- he needed some sleep/had to leave for work. This left me and William alone. Me and Will alternated, before William had an accident with another car. Prior to this, he said that he had to go in order to get to his house for a certain time. It had already been 20 or so hours, and I was really not feeling up to do a 4 hour stint all by myself after all this time. So we retired with 3 hours to go. It was incredibly painful, and after everything it seemed almost pointless - but in my opinion it wasn't... we bonded, gained a hell of lot of experience and had 20-ish hours of fun.
At the end of the month, was Halloween where I had a simply, but spooky livery done for me.
Whenever we go to Monza or Imola we always excite the tifosi by coming in a fresh lick of paint!
Petite Le Mans
We also got a special livery for Petite Le Mans.
Season 1, 2020 - Porsche iRacing Cup During week 13 I played with the Porsche 911 Cup and thoroughly enjoyed it - wanting to continue driving it for the next season (S1, 2020) - however with the unfortunate timing of everything - including college work and Christmas, I haven't had the chance to sit down and belt this car around a circuit. But I have been told after Christmas maybe I will be able to return to the track! But for now, I'm the good old Team Principal.
Kabort's First Christmas
Despite a petty rough Christmas with the Winter Nurburgring 24 Hours, we still had a very nice livery to show off!
Season 1, 2020 - Endurance Le Mans Series
With the release of iRacing's new "spec maps" (a paint file that tells the sim what
material to make an area of the car - allowing for matte as well as chrome) Kabort
just had to get in on the action - and so they did...in spectacular style. DeNise
Designs blew us away with some stunning liveries for our cars. The shiny-ness adding a whole new level of style!
The "New-Gen" - Highlighter Around the time of the Daytona 24 Hours, (slightly before) a highlighter livery was announced by Kabort Motorsport - it had a good reception, but due to an imminent name change for some of the sub-teams - most notably the Porsche changing to KBM Mahon - thanks to Aitor Sintes Galindo.
Bathurst 12 Hours, 2020 - Wildfires Livery
February 2020, the world is still in mass shock as the bush-fires in Australia continued to devastate the continent. For the first time since Lauda's death, I had to ask for a tribute livery - for land, livestock and human live lost. I asked three different painters for designs - of these Milner Media & Design impressed me the most - looking both stunning with it's specmap and incredibly respectful, paying tribute to the land, livestock and human loss caused by these fires. For the race we ran a Mercedes AMG GT3, Ferrari 488 GT3 and Audi R8 GT3. The R8 didn't finish, and the Ferrari finished in 30th, so despite everything that happened in the Merc's race a P7 was indeed the highest that the entire team achieved. More practice would be needed for next year. 3/4 of the race was perfect, until I tried to apologise to a fellow driver and stacked it in the wall with 25 minutes left in a 12 hour race. It destroyed me - especially given the luck Will had previously, and this being the first official race with Kabort he'd done on top of many other factors. ELMS, Season 2, 2020 - New Season, New Events, New Liveries!
Kabort is improving at a rapid rate - and that's down to a multitude of reasons - better drivers, friendlier team and most importantly Andy (Jones)' Development Plan which came into action this season. The pinnacle of this, is his idea of having an "Affinity" team (a group of people linked by a common interest or purpose) and a "Global" team. This would mean that for the drivers who want to drive alongside other very fast drivers that they are friendly with (e.g: become friend through Kabort/same safety standards or lap-time), they are able to, and for those newer to the team or less interested in doing the ENTIRE season flat-out, they are able to be a part of "Global" (Global meaning racing anyone, as opposed to specific people). I myself have chosen to stay with the Global side, as where my consistency is strong, my race pace is weak. Through all of this, there is one unsung hero that never gets enough praise, and that's the artist behind all of this work Doug DeNise, DeNise Designs - he was able to find the exact Gold I was after - the one I had been tirelessly searching for for so long. In recent weeks Doug has worked flat-out amid the chaos with the virus - rarely ever missing a deadline. To truly put into perspective what he's done - here's what he has completed for me in the past three weeks: New: Mercedes AMG GT3 (Standard & Global/Affinity), BMW M8 (Global/Affinity) Global/Affinity Update: Porsche 911 RSR GTE, Porsche GT4 In addition to an LMP1 spec-map update There are very few people like Doug - a very polite, patient, understanding, skilled, hard-working, artistic soul who has an incredibly positive attitude to not only his work, but his customers too - and for that I am truly grateful, I must thank him ever so much for Thanks Doug for all the paints you've done over the years - you have no idea how much you've helped me out - here's to the next year! Robin
2020 - Broadening Horizons
As we went further and further into 2020 more and more cars got "The Kabort Touch" and soon, even some of the oval-going cars were touched in gold too!
Cars Featured Indycar, F3, Skip-Barber, NASCAR, Global Mazda Cup, Porsche Cayman GT4, Audi R8 GT3
With the launch of the M4 and other open wheel wonders - more cars will be getting this treatment!
Summer 2020 - The "Highlight" of my career.
With me going off to University in Sept. 2020, I'd need someone to leave in charge of the team....
This superhero would be Andy Jones - and among the amazing ideas he had, he asked what the team's opinion on the name/livery was - the name would stay, but the a change of livery was both wanted and needed...
I suggested scrapping the "Affinity" Black/Gold and stick with the Global Highlighter liveries we had...and since then, the roster of highlighter cars has only grown and grown.
In This collection so far:
- Porsche 919 LMP1
- Dallara LMP2 - Chevrolet GTE
- Audi R8 (Concept)
- Mazda MX-5
- Holden Commodore V8 Supercar
- Dallara Formula 3 Car
- Riley DP (Daytona Prototype)
- Porsche 911 Cup (Tim Perry Special)
- TROBAK RT19 - Race Transporter Truck & Trailer
- 2014 Ford Transit & Custom Trailer
- Boeing A380
In late (20th) February 2021, Adam Pearce (our team principal) announced he was working oun something "Very Early WIP" - this later turned out to be the latest and newest of Kabort's Liveries....circles!