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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Gooden Plenty II

by Wyatt Gooden on July 18th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Wyatt Gooden has enjoyed great success racing sedans in both the real and virtual worlds.  As winner of the VW Jetta TDi Cup series in 2008, the young Ohioan earned an ride in the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing VW Jetta TDi Cup.  After a rough first outing,Gooden rebounded to score a pair of wins and capture the series rookie of the year honors.

Earlier this month, Wyatt turned his attention to open wheels, making his debut in the SCCA F1600 Formula F Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Quantum Racing’s Honda Fit-powered Van Diemen with support from 2.0 and Starting Grid.

Things went pretty well, as Wyatt explains . . .

The schedule was rather unusual as everything started late in the afternoon. It was a nice change of pace not to have to get up at 6am every day through the weekend . My parents and I arrived at the track around 2pm and, after introducing them to the team, I walked around the paddock, taking note of all the drivers who I had ‘researched’ before.

Gooden traded-in his fenders for open wheels at Mid-Ohio.

I always like to size-up the competition beforehand just to have an idea as to who I’m going up against. There were quite a few well known SCCA National and Runoffs champions in the field, guys with years and years of experience in all kinds of cars. Tim Kautz seemed to be the hot shoe in these cars, always a front runner and last year’s SCCA Runoffs national champ. I knew the Australian kid — Mitch Martin — would be quick as he was running a brand new chassis with a very high profile team, so clearly they sent him over to this event to win. Sam Beasely I’ve known for ages as he grew up near me. He’s been the Number One ranked kart racer in the country for a while and has more experience with these cars having run the season opener at VIR, as well as having done an SCCA National at the same track just a couple weeks prior.

The competition was definitely going to be strong.   I knew this going in, which is why I set my goals a bit lower just so I wouldn’t get stressed if things weren’t going well. Fortunately, I seem to be able to adapt to and pick up on things quickly, which makes up for my lack of experience.

First practice rolls around and the excitement kicks in. I felt comfortable enough with the car after the Hallett test that I knew it wouldn’t be too difficult to get up to speed. There were things I wanted to get a little better at, and I knew three practice sessions would be plenty of time to figure them out. We were able to improve every session, and by the end of the day the balance of the car was spot on, my braking was on point and I was able to hit consistent mid 28’s lap after lap. The heat was a little bit of a concern for me as it really kicked my butt out in Oklahoma during the test. I got a huge reminder of how important it is to be physically fit to drive these cars, so in between the test and this race weekend I trained really hard, cycling usually 15-20 miles a day which really helped a ton. I’m glad I did as it was certainly hotter than usual in Ohio, 80s and 90s and humid all weekend.

So the Thursday test went absolutely perfectly.   I improved here and there every session, stayed out on track as long as I could just to get laps in and, best of all, never went off track.  The only close call in practice was when a guy spun in front of me on the last lap of the last session going through that fast left hander before the Carousel. It was one of those heart-stopping moments for sure, as I could have easily run right into him had I not been looking ahead. It’s hard to slow a car down and get off line when you are going through a fast corner, as upsetting the balance when the car is already loaded usually doesn’t end well. Fortunately I escaped that one!

in a word, Thursday's practice went "perfectly."

Being fastest in practice was great and all, but I knew I had a tough weekend ahead of me at this point. Mitch Martin and I were neck and neck as far as pace every session, we even somehow managed to run the exact same lap time in final practice! It was a huge surprise to be so far ahead of everyone else though; certainly gave me a bit of confidence going into the races. I pretty much knew the battle would be between Mitch and me at this point, and Sam would be right there if he could hang in our draft.

Race days are always more nerve-racking than practice, obviously they actually count for something. I knew that my car was capable and if I kept my head together I could put it up front, but the pressure was on me to perform now. Qualifying went well.  As we expected, there was quite a bit of traffic to deal with but I managed to find gaps and lay down good laps when I needed to.

From the few times I was running with other cars in practice I knew the draft was going to be stronger than anything I had experienced in the TDI Cup. With Mitch having qualified just 2/10ths behind me, I was sure that he would be staying right with me, at least for most of the race until his tires went off.

When things finally got underway I had a good start, and led the first couple of laps, not really pushing super hard as I’m always thinking about having the best tires at the end of the race . . . when it matters. Beasley was charging hard, passing in every corner he had a chance to so I didn’t fight with him. Mitch and I were faster but Sam was being a little aggressive and we were playing it cool.

Gooden and Martin swapped the lead in Race One before Gooden pulled away to a 3.5s win..

This was the first time I really got to run in traffic, and I wanted to see how they were going to race. I hung back in third and just watched them pass each other back and forth. I felt in complete control of the race; I knew they weren’t going to get too far ahead and I wasn’t driving the car through some of the corners as hard.

Mid-Ohio is notorious for front tire wear so I kept this in mind. About a third of the way through the race we started to separate ourselves from third place, and halfway through I could tell that Mitch was slowing up a bit. We had some issues with lapped traffic but managed to keep it clean. We passed back and forth a few times on the back straightaway, but eventually I was able to start pulling enough of a gap to where he couldn’t draft by me. By the end of the race I had a 3.5 second lead, and we were 14 seconds ahead of third place!

“iRacing certainly isn’t only useful for learning tracks, but even for just knowing how to race smart, thinking ahead, blocking everything out of your mind and doing what needs to be done to win the race.” — Wyatt Gooden

To keep it short I’ll summarize the second race, which I really wish we would have had an onboard camera for, because it was absolutely epic. Mitch got the pole for Race Two and we quickly pulled away from the field. We raced more efficiently this time, only passing each other on the straights, and driving as fast as we could through the twisty rhythm section. I pulled a 1.5 second lead on Mitch, and we were once again much faster than the rest of the field when the caution came out with about three laps to go.

A familiar sight at Mid-Ohio: a victorious Wyatt Gooden.

I feel like there were so many things I’ve learned from competitive sim racing that put me ahead of a lot of other drivers out there. In my opinion iRacing certainly isn’t only useful for learning tracks, but even for just knowing how to race smart, thinking ahead, blocking everything out of your mind and doing what needs to be done to win the race. A lot of people were surprised this weekend by how well I adapted to the track and the type of racing these open wheel cars produce, I think people will start to learn that training on the simulators is really worth a lot more than they initially thought.

10 Comments or Trackbacks

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  1. Gary Holbrook
    July 18th, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Nice win and great job covering race.

  2. Rick Crawford
    July 20th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Nice job PCRacer

  3. Connor
    July 20th, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Pretty kick ass, tear it up out there Wyatt. I can only hope this, as well as GT Academy, will open eyes to the talent out there in sim racing. Hopefully some sponsors will take note and take a chance giving other top simracers an oppurtunity to win races. Good luck.

  4. Shane Lowry
    July 21st, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Way to go mate.

  5. Gabriel Montanes
    July 21st, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Go-go Wyatt !!…Incredible driver qith lot of talent. Well deserved victories and for sure will come more in the future. Go Wyatt!!

  6. Peter Lai
    July 21st, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Nice article, I’ll be cheering you on.

  7. Guest
    July 21st, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Nice article, though the caption for the third image spoiled the end result!

  8. richard basford
    July 21st, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    awesome as always Wyatt!! Hopefully your success inspires teams to take chances on accomplished sim racers!


  9. Jeff thomas
    July 21st, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    rock and roll excellent good job

  10. stan roogers
    November 30th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    awsome im new to i racing got my d licence currenty 3.57 in the safty ratings j dont like the road course to much but i do race like ovels and short tracks , finding it hard to get a hold of drafting any tips