Updated: Apr 28, 2022
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.