Henrik Roos (Handling Consultant)
LEGENDARY GT-RACER AND STRAIGHT4 HANDLING CONSULTANT ON THE (SCARY) PAST AND (EXCITING) FUTURE
Henrik Roos rose to prominence in the late-’90s and early ’00s driving his epic Chrysler Viper GTS-R in the FIA GT Series. That’s around the time he joined up with Ian Bell with whom he developed one of the most beloved sims of all time—GTR. Someone who’s been on both sides of racing (sim and real) at the top level is sure to bring some unique insights.
You've been a pro racer in GT FIA and other world-class series. Do you have one standout memory?
HR: 24 Hours of Spa, 2003. Our Viper had a big crash at the Bus chicane, everybody in the team almost gave up when I brought it back to the pits. But I told them, “We will fix it”, and with spares from our lookalike Viper (and a lot of duct tape!), we were again on the track after 1.5-hours and somehow finished the race. The car looked like a beaten-up boxer, but that’s racing and life. Never give up and keep fighting!
What was the scariest car you ever raced?
HR: BBR series at Anderstorp. I think it was 1998. I was entering the Lamborghini Challenge in a Diablo together with Carl Rosenblad. The car had a lot of power, but no brakes and no handling!
You became synonymous with the Chrysler Viper GTS-R from the early ’00s. That massive 8L V10 must have been something special to drive.
HR: That beast was brutal, just changing gears was heavy. I remember my last race in Dubai, the heat inside the cockpit was close to 80 degrees Celsius, and my racing shoes were melting. Quite a way to quit pro’ racing, leaving your melted shoes on the pedals!
What's your role in Straight4?
HR: My experience is how a racing car feels and how to translate that to simulation. The feeling of a simulation is the most important thing. It’s now almost 20 years since GTR, so a lot of the cars from that era have become part of racing lore. The graphics will of course be amazing with the Unreal 5 Engine, and I really would love to get back behind the wheel of my old Viper—but this time without burning my feet! Can you imagine what that would be like with this new generation of physics engine and graphics.
You were closely involved in the original GTR games: Looking back, what are some of your favourite memories of that time and that era of motorsport and game-making?
HR: I think it was when we did the first GTR game in 2003, the passion from all the developers was fantastic. The development team was created from a mod group. Ian Bell, Johan Roos, and I decided to recruit this passionate and skilled group and make their hobby into a profession through SimBin Development Team AB. I took care of funding and administration, Ian Bell took care of the development team, and Johan Roos did the marketing. It was a fantastic time because we had few resources, but the result was fantastic, and I’m so happy GTR has gone on to become one of sim racing’s most loved sims. Being invited to bring that magic back is truly special for me, and I’m excited to get to work.