The Interview

We're fortunate to have Praiano as a member of GTWorld. He's long been known as a Master Tuner for Gran Turismo games as far back as GT 5. We look forward to many more tunes for GT Sport. Here he is, answering 20 questions. (Small grammatical corrections made by Waddy).
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The Interview

Post by Waddy » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:54 am

1. Which came first? Sailing or the Gran Turismo games?

Sailing of course,in 1970 my father made a deal with a tourist needing money who did not want to travel back home with his boat behind the car. First sailboat with my brother in south of France (a kind of 420) , no video games at this time. All my ancestors as far as we know except my father were mariners or fishermans as far as we can go back in time.

2. I remember something about your fishing career. Where and when was that? Is that when you discovered Gran Turismo?

I have worked in the fishing / processing / export industry from 2002 to 2012. In a lot of processing plants in Brazil and also in Suriname Where GT4 first save my life. Let me explain. At this time , I went to Suriname because nobody wanted to go there to do the job and I needed to sustain my family anyway, no other options. It s a cool place to spend some days checking the wild life in the rainforest but the end of the world to work. Nothing to do at all.From the plant to the little apartment and back to the plant. After 2 monthes, I had just a few choices: depression or night bar where i could loose my health and money that my kids were needing in Brazil.... Then I had the good idea to buy a new PS2 , my old one was in BraZil, and I began to spend all my free time playing, around 8 hours per day. It was like a shelter for me. After a few weeks came the g 27 , then PS3, GT5P... GT5. Driving a lot everyday till the end of my Suriname period.

3. Many of us know what you do in your real life, as opposed to tuning cars, but tell us a bit about your current home and line of work.

During my job with fish , I almost did not see my kids growing, spending 10 years of my life traveling for work. Money was good but I had decided to stop this and to come back at the sea side to take care of my 2 sons.I looked for a cool place, not too big or too small , with a decent school , far away from the extreme violence of the medium or big cities and I bought a little house there in Paracuru CE brasil, little paradise on earth. After this , I went to France to work as cook helper for a few months. There , an old Italian guy who was running a pizza oven teach me the job. When back in Brazil , I started a pizza business in my garage .

4. Which version of GT got you started with tuning? Was it GT 1 or later?

I started to tune in GT5P, I was fan of Lion Den garage and Rotary junky , using their settings I begin to learn tuning trying to understand their magic.

5. Before you tune a car, do you drive it for a certain distance to get the feel of it as it comes out of the garage?

Yes , after turning off all aids.

6. Tuning is a feeling, I think. Which comes first for you? The handling, the transmission or sort of an overall feeling that something is missing? What do you tune first to get a better sense of what else needs to be adjusted?

100% feeling , handling first through the vison of the car combined whith the wheel FFB on track. The ghost is my main tool I use to validate a setting. For this you have to know the track very well and be able to perform several laps in within a half seconds gap. I tune roughly the transmission also at the beginning and do a fine tune at the end gear by gear if needed , together with some other few chassis parameters .

7. Are there cars that don't need any tuning at all? Can you remember any?

Very few but yes , mostly road cars that can be originaly very well balanced. They also need to be tuned to be more performant for a special track anyway. For race cars , by definition they have more parameters to work on and change their behaviors to adapt perfectly to any track, driving style or racing strategy.In my opinion base tune are too safe , prone to understeer. This need to be changed to be more performant or just more fun to drive.

8. Off-topic question: How many languages do you speak? (Just popped into my mind).

I speak and write 100% french and portuguese.
English , just the way you can see here... I have studied english 3 years at school as a second option, my first was German but i have forgot almost everything because of no practice. For English the Rolling Stones and many others helped me a lot too. I have travelled to Miami several time for fish business too , I have learn during this trips including surinam. GT forums also ...
I understand German and Spanish too.

9. What car do you drive now and what cars have you had in the past? Any favorites?

I don't have any car for the moment, I don t intend to buy any. First , I don t have money for this, cars even used are very expensive in Brazil and above all , I don t need any at all where I live. My little economic 125cc bike is perfect for me.
I had a lot of cars when I was younger, the ones I like a lot are , Autobianchi abarth , Citroen CX , Austin mini and 2CV. Also a very old Ford transit for a Portugal, Spain , Canarias and Morocco 6 months surf trip i have made in 1984.
To tell the true , I am not a real car lover, talking about cars to be used in the traffic, highway ,roads, streets, they are a fantastic way of individual transport for sure but in my opinion they have to be limited in speed , polution free and with a lot of safety aids.
On a race track as a hobbie that is another story. There yes, I would love to drive some cars like a real porsche on the ring for example.

10. We know you love Nordschleiffe. Are there other tracks, real or not, that give you a thrill these days? Any of the new tracks in AC or GT Sport?

Of course. Suzuka , Trial mountain, Sierra, Eiger, Road America, Tsukuba, SPA......

11. When you're tuning, do you actually drive around to the final straight on Nordschleiffe or have you found a shortcut? I once thought that maybe you drove the track backwards to the final corner before it then turned around. Am I right?

I drive a lot the Nordschleife to tune. I use only the first part till ex-muhle where you can find all the kind of situation you will find on the full lap. Even the top last straight top speed that is reached also at km 3 before aremberg. At the end of course (tuning process) I do some full laps, I can fine tune my top speed if needed, for example to anticipate slip stream situation if I have have to race with the car. Backward to reach quickly the last straight also is an option but only for the top speed setting option.

12. Racing cars come tuned already, yes? How do you approach or look at a racing car before you tune it? Overall, which parts need to be tuned more often? Have there been any racing cars that didn't need much tuning at all?

Like i have said above, in my opinion race cars always need to be tuned. They have more parameters to be fixed like downforce that have a big influence on the other settings. Most of them when stock are a good base to start but this stock tune will be not perfect everywhere for sure.

13. The GT series contain many different makes of cars. Throughout all the versions, which make of car is your favorite? Toyota? Nissan? Ferrari?


14. If you had unlimited money, which five or ten cars would you like to own in real life. My top choice would be the Hommell Berlinette. We'd love to know yours.

Electric : Aptera.
Gas: Lotus seven , Elise , Citroen DS 23 cabriolet 75 , Alfa 4c , Chevrolet corvette 1970....

15. Can we look forward to a tuning app for GT Sport, similar to the one you had for GT5? Is making an app worth all the work/effort you put into it?

I don t know yet what would be the best support to publish my tunes. JPEG , video ??? For the APP I need somebody to build this for me like I did in GT5 with an Aussie friend who was sharp in this area. I am not at all unfortunately. For the moment my standard garage in GTWorld is the 1st and exclusive option.

16. As well as being a superior tuning expert, you're also a fantastic driver. Which do you like best? Is tuning a chore/job or do you love it?

Tuning for me is a game in the game. It s a total immersion , another world where I sink deeply with a lot of pleasure. Perhaps this is the reason why I can t explain or write a method to do this. I don t have any method or follow any order to proceed. I am not a fantastic driver,fast ? yes I think I am a fast driver, faster than some and much slower than very fast driviers or incredible aliens for example. The important is to be able to drive clean and regular lap after lap as fast as you can.

17. Of all the games you've played and tuned for, which is your favorite? I'm thinking GT5 but Assetto Corsa might be up near the top too.

GT5P was my first tuning experience. Also my first online racing sessions. I remember that my hands were shacking and my belly full of bees during the first races, just like if it was a real confrontation. This is why i love online mode , this is where is the adrenaline , staying safely home and not having to spend a river of money to reach this. I love it, online mode is the main interest for me in GT. The rest is just very fun , in my opinion of course.

18. If Project Cars 2 turns out to have a better tuning setup, will you take a chance on it? It's looking pretty good right now but we know that the tuning aspect frustrated you and many others.

I will not buy PC2 because i don t have money to put on it and my interest is not so high. I don t like PC1 and for me this new game is very close to the first one.
Game trough is identic 95% , FFB is just simplified and a friend that test it at Gamescom confirm me that the loading time are big with some bugs already.
Anyway, if this can be fixed during the year, I also don t like the graphics.
I am ok with what seems the new direction that GT is taking ,I like the name too, I hope there will not have succession of number anymore but a continued evolution of the game. Iracing is iracing since the beginning , discarding what was wrong and consoliding what was good across the time. GTS is a very solid base, well built in the last detail that will evoluate quantitatively and qualitatively across the future. If the beta makes me happy with so few, I am sure GTS will fill my needs for a long time. Also graphics are awesome.They are important for me because I think that the future is in VR mode, we just have to wait a better machine to run it. GT will be ready for this with his cars models and high definition graphics.

19. Do you have children? If you do, do they have the same love of racings sims that you do?

Yes , I have 2 big kids , 21 and 23 years old , one is playing counter strike since a long time at high level, the other prefer surfing all the time. Both are student in the morning and working with me at night at the pizza delivery.

20. Final question: You're well traveled, I think. Of all the places you've lived, which is where you'd most like to set up a permanent home? Is it where you are now or somewhere else? Montreal maybe?

I love the place i am living now, I have stopped with my travels, almost 30 years without staying in the same place for more than 2 years mostly in Brazil from north to south. I have a simple life with my oven and my little sailboat and I am very happy like this. Till my kids will be able to fly away with their own wings, after finishing their studies, perhaps I will travel again just to check the places I have loved so much. Montreal is one of them, beautiful country, I have spent 2 winters there to visit a girlfriend in the 80 s , one time at Ile Perrot South Montreal , wonderfull experience , snow , cold, chemine , marple sirup sur pain perdu, frozen rivers and lakes, after this another year in the city I don t remember where exactly but in town, east montreal.
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Brian "Skipper" PSN: waddy2001