In Leon Ackerman’s bedroom, you can barely manage your ass. Double bed, wardrobe, large TV, racing simulator. The room is divided in a way that it fits all. Ackerman spends much of his free time in this room.
Ackerman started when he was seven on PlayStation 2 with Gran Turismo Sport and became more fanatic. When he was 14 years old, he bought a steering wheel and four years later he led his first international live event.
In 2019 he will represent the Netherlands at the FIA Motorsport Games in Rome. Racing car driver Tom Coronel is his coach. He drives a good race and soon takes fourth place. Unfortunately, he makes a discretionary error with the tires and spins off the track halfway through the race. He’s still tired of that moment. “But now I’m trying to get something positive out of it,” says Leon Ackerman with a laugh.
I have a passion for racing
Presently, Lyon is racing for a “professional” Spanish team (TENT Factory Simracers) under the name “Eendje”, which was created by his father. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Lyon competes against the world’s best digital racing drivers. He also participated in and won the KNAF Digital Wintercup. So he can call himself the Dutch champion in digital car racing.
‘What makes me so good? I find it difficult to say that about myself. I think I had a great passion for racing and a desire to be the fastest. I think that’s what makes me so fast, ‘says Leon, as I’m cutting an angle at over 150 kilometers per hour.
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‘A dream come true’
Behind the wheel of his digital car, Ackerman looks like a fish in the water, it shows. However, he prefers to sit in a real racing car. He secretly hopes that one day he will have a chance to make a change. ‘That would be cool. A dream come true. ‘
Leon says that when he was a little kid he wanted nothing more than going karting, but that turned out to be financially impossible. “This is actually a very good alternative. It costs a lot less, but it’s not cheap either. This steering wheel actually costs around € 600, then you also have to buy a seat, frame and pedals,” says Ackerman.
According to Ackerman, the experience in his self-made simulator is almost the same as in a real racing car. I just don’t suffer from those forces of acceleration and vibrations in the rear, but other than that, everything is exactly the same as on the real track. Every curve, kerbstone, and bump is exactly the same. I am convinced I can. I am not saying that I am the fastest, but I am convinced that I can drive fast in a race car.
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