Simulator, video game: Atsushi Hrok, “the ordinary man” who put himself in Senna’s shoes – Monaco Grand Prix 2020 – Formula 1

FORMULA 1 – His name is Atsushi Hrok, he is “someone ordinary” by his own admission but for the past few days, he has been talked about a lot. The reason ? This fan of Ayrton Senna reproduced, with enormous realism, the pole lap of the Brazilian. All with a simulator that he made with his own hands.

Basically, Atsushi Hrok is a bit like all of us, motorsport enthusiasts. In his childhood dreams, he too sometimes imagined himself becoming a Formula 1 driver. These illusions are transgenerational but are also renewed, according to the times and the champions who mark them. Like thousands of others, in his country and elsewhere, the Japanese particularly fantasized on May 11, 1991. “I really got goosebumps“, he tells us.

That day, in the narrow streets of Monaco, there was indeed everything to make your hair stand on end. A legendary sound, a McLaren that is just as much and, on board, the legendary Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian had offered himself the pole, one more, and the lucky spectators had been able to experience it in on-board camera. Atsushi was one of them.

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Five years of work

Back then, he already spent a lot of time with his father. “He is a bus driver but he loves to tinker, he tells us. At home, he has a whole bunch of tools. For his house or his garden, he always made things himself and since childhood, I have been helping him out“But in 1991, he certainly did not imagine that all these skills acquired in fatherly contact would allow him to touch, almost 30 years later, his childhood dreams.

Ayrton Senna (McLaren) at La Rascasse at the Monaco Grand Prix, May 12, 1991

Getty Images Credits

May 2020. Atsushi settles in a simulator. Not just any. It is not found in the many stores that have taken advantage of the video game boom to diversify their departments. No. This simulator is only the fruit of his imagination, his work and his patience. “I’m not an engineer, I’m just an ordinary person, but I’m pretty good at this kind of craft stuff, he assures. I don’t really know how long it took, because I did it as I went along. But I started its development 5 years ago. “

Meanwhile, the man also offered a replica of his idol’s equipment. And a copy of the memorable yellow and green helmet, purchased for around $ 300 at an online auction. One of the prices of devotion. “Senna is an absolute idol for me, and for many Japanese people, he explains. Here, even those who did not know F1 appreciated it. His spirit gives us a lot of courage and motivation. ”

Brazil saw it!

About the game rFactor2, he has competed in the Monaco Grand Prix dozens of times but this time, he is preparing to reproduce, as realistically as possible, what had happened in the Principality, 29 years earlier. All while filming as Senna had been by the on-board camera of the MP4 / 6. “In reality, this is not my first video, he specifies. But this is the first time I wear this helmet. ”

The detail is important. The performance is honorable without being extraordinary. “Senna did her turn in 1’20 “344. I finished mine in 1’22” 655, he notes. Quite frankly, I don’t think you can do better than Senna anyway. “

Whatever. The visual impression, it is successful. Broadcast on social networks, the video quickly made the buzz on the Internet of Japan, France and especially, Brazil. “It was rented to be broadcast there, he rejoices. People around the world are discussing it. It could even be published on the official Senna website!“That he certainly would not have imagined, thirty years earlier. Even in his wildest dreams.

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