A perfect win record in F1600, a number of F2000 wins in a stacked field and near-legendary status in the sim-racing community, Series alum Wyatt Gooden is now a full-time professional driver coach working with established racers, aspiring drivers and even sim racers.
In April at Road Atlanta, under the guidance of the 25-year-old, Jim Libecco nearly captured his best finish to date with a four place run before an incident in the No. 98 Van Diemen.
Gooden knows all about success, turning a racing-sim hobby into a career with an impressive four wins in four F1600 starts in 2011 followed up with victories the following year at Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio in the F2000 series.
“These two series are the best starting point for a driver who wants to make it to the top level of American open wheel,” said Gooden. “Drivers will build a strong foundation for higher level races in the future. Adapting to higher cornering speeds, giving feedback on the car through feeling G's, and understanding how to get the most out of the tire are all skills that a driver will take with them as they move up.”
A well-run small budget program and Gooden’s success gave him opportunities, from F1600 to F2000 and beyond, as now he looks to make a name for himself as a professional coach and advisor.
“This year I've officially started my coaching program. For a driver who's serious about becoming a professional driver and standing out in their career, it's necessary to treat each race as a new learning experience,” Gooden explained.
“I believe drivers need to be aware of exactly what's happening on track in order to improve each time out. During the process of coaching, I review detailed track notes and race strategy. I also analyze video and data following each session and discuss techniques in depth. Additionally, I work with drivers through simulators to help them prepare for new tracks. Simulator coaching is a great way to get a jump start on a race weekend. So far, the drivers I coached have made significant improvements in finishing positions. No matter what skill level you're at, becoming a smarter driver will make for a more rewarding experience on track.”
Another significant change in Wyatt’ s life was getting married in the end of 2013. “Marriage means responsibility, and it gives me more motivation to continue my racing career. My wife received her master's degree in Journalism recently, we're working together toward achieving the objectives of Wyatt Gooden Racing,” Gooden said.
Check out more on www.wyattgooden.com