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Benniz's rally driver debut - The thread

BennizBenniz Member Pit Crew
Hi everyone!

The 31st of January I will be making my debut as a rally driver, driving the Norwegian rally event, Rally Hadeland. It has been a dream of mine for many years, and I am now finally going through with it! Since we have become a nice community of the past years, I thought I would share my experience with you all. First, a little about me, besides being a big fan of rally games and Codemasters, and of course wondering when we will be seeing this great game we have been promised. This is me:

My name is Benjamin. I am 25 years old, live just outside Oslo which is the capital of Norway. I am born in the UK, and moved with my family to Norway in 1996. I work as a freelance photographer, mainly focusing on journalism and commercial work. Besides this I have photographed the Norwegian rally championship the past seven years, and also the Swedish round of the WRC. I have been following rallying the past fifteen years, and my big hero has of course been Colin McRae! During this time I have been a keen rally gamer, and have won two Norwegian championships in rally gaming. The first in 2005 was driving WRC 5 Evolved, the second in 2007 driving DiRT 1 (the final stage was Pikes Peak!). I have also driven Richard Burns rally a lot, and am now using it to prepare for the upcoming event. One of my motivations to finally go ahead with my dream is to try to compare the virtual driving experience with the real thing. I have previously tested a group N Impreza and a couple of banger racing cars, and my impression is that many of the driving techniques I can use in rally games also work well in a proper rally car.

The rally event I will be driving is the local event which runs every year not far from where I have grown up during my years in Norway. I have co-driven on this event in 2006, and it's fantastic! No surprise, the surface will be snow, covering 37 kilometres of stage action. Actually, WRC-driver Mads Østberg will be competing on the event too, I expect to be right up there following his pace - NOT. The car I will be driving is a front wheel drive Nissan Almera with about 150 bhp, which I will be renting from the Norwegian rallying legend, Trond Lyseng. Trond himself has actually won the national class of Rally Hadeland with this car previously, beating mighty BMW M3's and Volvo 240's - a pretty good driver there. My co-driver, Simen, is a good friend of mine who also has been photographing the Norwegian championship. He has also competed on a number of events as a co-driver the past five years.

The last weeks I have been working to prepare things for the event. I have been lucky enough to be able to cover all my expenses through sponsorship, thanks to long time customers who liked the idea of me finally competing. The plan is to test the car for the first time this Saturday, so I am pretty geared up at the moment. Hoping to get some kilometres under my belt, so we have a good starting point for the rally. I will be keeping you all updated in the time towards the event. We will be making a video from the whole experience which I will be sharing with you after the event. We also hope to get some video and pictures from the upcoming test, this will of course be shared with you all. For now, there isn't really much more to tell, other than that I picked up my driving gear from Gundersen motorsport (Birger Gundersen, a BRC-driver back in the 90's) this afternoon:

I will be back with more for you very soon, please ask questions and start discussions if you like! :smile:


Benjamin - Benniz



  • RallycameramanRallycameraman Member Champion
    @justbiglee‌ I think ben needs some stickers ;)
    Check out my YouTube channel - youtube.com/user/lukeharvey2006

  • TURBODEVIN19TURBODEVIN19 Member Petrol Head
    Thanks a lot for sharing this with us, I'll be looking forward to future updates :D 
    I wish you the best of luck pursuing your dream!

    : turbodevin | GFWL: TURBODEVIN19 | Twitter: turbodevin

    DiRT | DiRT 2 | DiRT 3 CE | DiRT Showdown | DiRT Rally VR | DiRT 4 | DTM Race Driver 3 | GRID | GRID 2 | GRID Autosport LBE | F1 2013 CE | Toybox Turbos

    Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Leather Edition
  • justbigleejustbiglee Member Champion
    This is awesome, thanks for posting it up. Tomorrow I will share your tale with the world :D

    Former DiRT Community Manager, owner of the most bitchin community in the company

    Twitter: justbiglee

  • Operator1Operator1 Member, Drivers Champion
    Awesome! Best of luck!

    *Disclaimer: my comments are only my own musings, not 
    'stating opinions as facts' or 'speaking for others.'
    #NeverPreOrder. It's outrageous that consumers have to BEG game companies to make games that reliably function properly. Consumers do NOT buy video games to waste their recreational time doing the unpaid work of paid professional testers. It's nonsense to imply game companies have no obligation to deliver games of consistently reliable functional quality just because "it's not easy & nothing is perfect & you can't please everybody." Company decision-makers listen to consumer spending, not consumer feedback; they don't care if it works properly as long as it SELLS, and every purchase is a vote of approval that helps fund more of the same. Money talks louder than requests & complaints. #VoteWithYourWallet

  • EvilsmurfEvilsmurf Member Team Principal
    Best of luck, hope you have time to enjoy the event and to nervous.

    Twitch: twitch.tv/evilsmurf76

    Twitter: Evilsmurf76

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  • ThierryNeuvilleThierryNeuville Member Petrol Head
    Goodluck Benniz! :D and keep the shiny side up please! ;-)
    I think we got a "Codemasters forum rallyteam" running soon xD
    Think we need some Codemaster forum mechanics and co-drivers left :P
      " If in doubt, Flat out! "
  • BennizBenniz Member Pit Crew
    edited January 2015
    Thanks a lot guys! It's going to be awesome :smiley: Will keep you updated the next weeks!
  • DriftCMDriftCM Member, Codemasters, Drivers admin
    Best of luck, Benniz!
  • KickUpKickUp Member, Codemasters Champion
     All the best Benniz. The hardest part is geting the sponsorship. Now you can get out there and have fun! :D

    DiRT Chief Game Designer & Co Driver.

    Twitter kick_up

  • HatwardHatward Member, Codemasters Codemasters Employee
    Good luck Benniz! Let us all know how it goes.

    Remember - Start off flat out then try and get faster. :wink: 

    Twitter - @Hatward
  • RallycameramanRallycameraman Member Champion
    Hatward said:
    Good luck Benniz! Let us all know how it goes.

    Remember - Start off flat out then try and get faster. :wink: 

    Unless you're driving THAT car. 
    Check out my YouTube channel - youtube.com/user/lukeharvey2006

  • tbtstttbtstt Member Champion
    Excellent read @Benniz. Best of luck and look forward to seeing how you get on!

    "If In Doubt, Flat Out!"

  • MBKF1MBKF1 Member Moderator
    That looks awesome Benniz, best of luck!

    Also reminds me, @justbiglee, are there plans to have any more Codies Weekly Round Ups this year? I hope there are because I really enjoyed them last years and also, this has to go in there!
    MBKF1 | Community Moderator | Please be aware that I don't do much actual moderating
  • BennizBenniz Member Pit Crew
    New material on the way to you tomorrow! This time a video :smile: 
  • BennizBenniz Member Pit Crew
    Yesterday Simen (my co-driver) and I did some pacenote practicing at home in my flat. We used Richard Burns rally for this, because of the authenticity, and pretty much got the hang of it! Check out the video below to see how we did :smile:

  • justbigleejustbiglee Member Champion
    edited January 2015
    Benniz said:
    because of the authenticity, 

    woa woa woa... hang on :P Seriously though man good luck for the weekend :)

    That looks awesome Benniz, best of luck!

    Also reminds me, @justbiglee, are there plans to have any more Codies Weekly Round Ups this year? I hope there are because I really enjoyed them last years and also, this has to go in there!
    yeah I'd love to do them but sadly I've got nothing to do a weekly update on, I get shouted at when I stray close to the lines when I'm talking about upcoming games and the old ones are that far behind us now. I'll try see if I can put one together for next week :)

    Former DiRT Community Manager, owner of the most bitchin community in the company

    Twitter: justbiglee

  • BenjaminJohnsonBenjaminJohnson Member New Car Smell
    This looks awesome. Great production as well. Good luck!
  • BennizBenniz Member Pit Crew
    Right! I'm back again. This time with a teaser video from our test today - which by the way was awesome :smiley: I'll be back with more footage and a longer video tomorrow evening!

  • learjet60guylearjet60guy Member New Car Smell
    This is awesome! Good luck!
  • AndiAndi Member, Drivers Pit Crew
    Cool story and content, looking forward to seeing and hearing more. Good luck!
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