With the new season of the F1F Virtual Grand Prix Championship almost upon us. We sent out a poll to all our subscribers to find the biggest F1F fan of the series.
We sent F1F pundit Neil Allenby to visit him and award him with his free prize to visit any F1F race for free.
I am in the rural village of Cooksbridge in East Sussex, England. As I travel through the beautiful English countryside on an unusually sunny British day in my rented Fiat Stilo hire car, one can not help wondering where I can find the F1F Virtual GPC's biggest fan.
I exit the main road and pull up outside a converted Victorian Farm house. Beautifully restored and looking like any other quaint British farm house. I knock on the door and the man I have been waiting to see invites me in...
Mark Teesdale (59) is a former Emirates businessman from London, however, it is not his former job I am interested in, it is his passion for the F1FVGPC.
"When I first heard of this series" he states "I was blown away by the concept, as it was a great idea". I asked him if he thought that the F1F Virtual GPC was the best in Virtual Motorsport, he said "Oh, definitely yes, the racing is real, none of this DRS and cheese tyre nonsense, you can see all the drivers pushing to the edge and that is what I love".
After a couple of hours worth of chatting and 3 cups of wonderfully brewed Tetley tea later I can no longer hold back the temptation that I have had since if heard of Mark, "can I see the garage now Mark?" refusing to hide a large cheesy grin that had developed on my face, "absolutely" he said. We take a short walk across the courtyard of the house to a large barn. He forces open the doors revealing nothing but darkness, he then flicks the light switch and then as each light flickers into life, the magnificence hidden in this garage is revealed.
The barn is his own F1F virtual museum. The barn is divided into two stories, the top level is his own private lounge where he can watch F1 races in luxury and to "get away from the wife now and again". The bottom story is the most brilliant private collection I have ever seen. I start by looking over at a table which contains 15 signed drivers helmets from Nathaniel Powers to Diego Campos, "look don't touch" he says with a smile at his pride and joy, I then glance up at the high walls of the farm house which are decorated with wonderful canvas prints of F1 cars. I then make my way to a glass cabinet which contains a full Downton F1 team racing suit, "I think this was Scott Parsons" he said "but hey, it could have been from any of the 20 drivers that drove for Downton last year" he followed, smiling.
I then eye up a table, which is which consists of a pane of glass sitting atop of F1F V8 engine. On the table was every single issue of VirtualSport (with many brilliant articles from yours truly).
I could no longer hold back my urge to see the rooms star attractions. 4 F1F Formula One cars sitting side by side in the middle of the room. The first was a Meteor KA-01 driven by Darrell Pollard, Giani Ledesma and Romano Agostini, next to it was a Ingram Falcon driver by Jonas Phipps, Enrique Ruiz and Edgardo Agretha. The next 2 were a Molto Veloce MV/1 and a BMW Zyla F1.06Z.
I ask him how he managed to get hold of them: "The BMW Zyla and Molto Veloce were the easiest to buy because both the teams collapsed. When a team collapses there is always people trying to get rid of their assets, these just happened to be some of the them"
As I walk away from the farm house back to my car, I can't help wondering if there could possibly be anyone who is a bigger fan than him.