”I’ve always been more interested in team races, because when you succeed together, happiness multiplies. Succesfull team race gives me the best feelings.”

KOVA’s new team captain of the sim racing team, Pekka Tuomainen, 30, thinks that one of the most important things in racing is the whole team drives well. He has dreamt about building his own team for long time. This spring the time was right.

– Almost since I started sim racing, I have dreamt of building my own team. It takes lots of time, but in the beginning of the year I felt this is the right time, Tuomainen explains.

At the same time KOVA Esports was planning to step in to sim racing, and it didn’t take long before Tuomainen got the call. At first he didn’t believe, that in future KOVA would have anything to do with his own team.

– When Matti Orava from KOVA called me first time, I was very sceptical. But the more we talked, the more we found in common. It took a while, but then we decided that it’s best to work together.

Tuomainen has always been interested in motorsports, but as a child he had no opportunity to practise it. Three years ago he started to take sim racing more seriously.

– Sim racing has taken many big steps during the last years, and now it’s quite great substitute for motorsports, Tuomainen tells with a smile.

As said, one of the most important things in sim racing for Tuomainen is team work and that the whole team is succesful. At his current job as a professional poker player he has gone trough all sides of working alone. That’s why he’s not currently so worried about his personal stats in sim racing, but more interested in what is best for the team. This affects to his training schedule.

– Training before a race always depends on it how much time I can make for it. Usually when there is a team race coming, I make extra work for it because it’s good for the whole team.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a team race or not, they always prepare for the race together. Of course when they know it’s going to be an individual race, every driver can make own little changes to the car, so it fits them perfectly. In endurance races there is just one car, but many drivers. It means that when set ups are being made, some compromises must be done.

– All drivers have different driving styles, and usually it’s the best situation when the car works as good or as bad as possible for everyone. It poses its own challenges, and that’s why preparation is different from individual races. In endurance races you have to look beyond the first bend, Tuomainen notes.

Even thought Tuomainen is passionate about sim racing, he admits that it’s not always easy to combine esports and other aspects of life, but at the end of the day it’s just a matter of choices.

– If 24 hours race is at midsummer, there is no time to heat the sauna properly. Some parts of this is easy to combine with other sides of the life, but I think it’s also a good thing to keep them apart. You have to take care of your mental health and rest, and you can’t drive in every race, tells Tuomainen.

Sim racing team from left to right: Tuomas Tähtelä, Valtteri Alander, Pekka Tuomainen and Antti Ahola.

Choices were also made when he started to build the team. From the beginning Tuomainen has had a clear plan, that this will be a long-term project. When he was looking for drivers, he knew that even thought someone could be really fast or a nice guy, it wouldn’t be enough.

– I have planned this project couple years ahead. Drivers have to be team players and ready to commit to this. Also their performance must be top notch, Tuomainen explains.

Tuomainen sees himself as a steady and frugal driver. He believes that this team will deliver amazing results. The common strength of the team is also clear for him.

– We won’t take any pressure of results. We have built amazing team where the chemistry meets and we all have the same vision. I know it’s just a matter of time before our pace is realized as a top results.