Wrapping-up a sensational professional open-wheel racing debut, former karting and iRacing.com star Wyatt Gooden came out on top of a race-long duel with young Australian Mitch Martin to win his second SCCA F1600 Formula F Championship series race of the weekend Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The victory gave the 22-year-old from suburban Cleveland a sweep of both Formula F races this weekend at Mid-Ohio, the first time this has been accomplished in the brief, six-race history of the series.
Driving for Quantum Racing Services with support from Chris Miles’ Starting Grid, Inc. and iRacing.com, Gooden started from the outside of the front row, in second, as he and pole qualifier Martin quickly broke away from the rest of the 25-car starting field. For the next 15 laps, the pair traded the lead a total of five times before a late-race caution on Lap 16 brought the race to an early conclusion from the scheduled 18-lap distance.
“The Van Diemen Honda was great today, and it was a fun race with Mitch [Martin],” Gooden said at the finish. “We had a real battle, but we both raced clean and respected each other, which made it even more enjoyable. I can’t believe we pulled off two wins in our first weekend of Formula F racing. This is such a strong series, and the racing was everything I hoped it would be. Thanks to the guys at Quantum, Chris Miles and iRacing.com. None of this would be possible without them.”
“Throughout the weekend, Wyatt did everything we expected of him – and more,” said Miles, who formed Starting Grid organization to assist the advancement of minorities with their prospective motorsports careers. “I’m not sure how we could have even dreamed of anything better for his debut in Formula F, and with Starting Grid. He demonstrated his potential as a future star of the sport. I have to thank American Honda, as their support provided a critical boost to Starting Grid, and to iRacing for their continued commitment to helping Wyatt with his career ambitions.”
Starting out in karts at age 10, Gooden soon graduated to the national WKA karting circuit. He discovered the growing world of online racing in 2004 and then got his first big break while taking part in the iRacing Jetta TDi Series. Gooden bested 1,163 competitors to win the online championship and earn a full season of real world competition in the SCCA VW TDi Cup for 2010. Two race victories and a pair of podium saw Gooden finish third overall and was named series Rookie of the Year – all in his first year of car racing.