Delving deep into our contacts list, we found Tom S Bunten from Grid Finder and wrestled his attention away from his many, many projects and grabbed a very quick chat with the man behind the Orange brand!
Positive Perception : What inspired you to setup Grid Finder? What was the main decision that led to the website being born?
Tom from Grid Finder : I became very passionate about league racing in 2020 playing the F1 game. I noticed there were thousands of leagues running great events and growing incredible communities, but no one place to find them - so I thought I’d have a go at building it! I’d been in the Royal Navy navigating warships for 10 years and was converting my, let’s call it a Warship driving licence, into a Superyacht driving licence when COVID hit. With all that extra time on my hands, I just dived head first into the project!
PP : How does a typical day begin up north? Coffee and bacon bap?
T-GF : Coffee, yes, bacon bap, no. I’m not much of a breakfast person. After years of shunning early mornings, I’m now one of those horrible people that goes to the gym in the morning when it’s still dark.. I know, I hate myself too.
PP : We've only ever designed one car for you, and it was a damn looker (EnduroKa). If you could transplant that livery, onto any other dream car. What would it be on?
T-GF : Oooooh… tough one! I’m eyeing up the BMW 116 Trophy, so maybe that for the real world. If not, I’m also dreaming of one day having an MX-5 as a track car… so maybe that too?
PP : We've seen you're joining the grid for our Chevy series! Which of the 5 tracks were heading to are you most looking forward to?
T-GF : [Looks up the 5 tracks on Grid Finder… ;)] Okay, I know exactly which track, and I think this is an unusual preference, but I absolutely love the Hungaroring, I’m not sure why, it just flows so nicely and is a real game of chess when it comes to choosing spots for overtaking.
PP : Where do you see Grid Finder in years to come? Do you think they'll be more websites to seek leagues out, or still what people would call the "core" few to look at?
T-GF : Oh, I think there will be more - I hope there will be more! Competition is what drives us! As long as we keep being the most creative, hardest working, most innovative platform, we’ll be fine. We have huge plans for 2024. Our development team is growing, we’re building a desktop app and … this is an exclusive… we’re launching a product that you in particular will love in March!
PP : We've seen your big on your Ai imaging, where do you think Ai will plop itself in the SIM, and real racing worlds?
T-GF : I’d like to see it be used to better effect when creating AI racing behaviours. Elsewhere, I think in-built coaching and setup advice would be cool as well as better predictive driver rating algorithms…. I mean, there’s very few areas of sim racing that AI couldn’t enhance!
PP : Finally; you've had a fair few guests on your podcast (SIM Sundays!) But, who is your all time, most sought after celebrity that you would love to interview on there?
T-GF : Oooof! Other than of course Mark Raddenbury and David Wressell, I think Jarno Opmeer would be a cool guest and as an aside, it would be nice if Gamer Muscle answered my goddamn DMs!Thanks to Tom for taking time out of his uber busy work day to have this chat, we'll keep the phones on if we ever get that Sim Sunday call up! And, if you're reading this and wanting to race, well head on over to https://www.gridfinder.com/ and get searching for your perfect race.