Sharon, CT - Wyatt Gooden answers a variety of questions on making the step up from the F1600 Formula F Championship Series to the F2000 Championship Series, where he took Rookie of the Year honors and two race wins in 2012, finishing second in the Championship.
Q: You came straight out of F1600 with just four races under your belt, what were the steps in transitioning to the F2000 car?
After winning all the F1600 races last year I thought I had it figured out, but the aerodynamics and the different characteristics of the radial tire presented a new challenge. I fought that for the first couple of races.
Q: Notably, there were a number of championships that you could have driven in coming out of F1600, why was the F2000 Series the perfect fit?
I considered other series’ at this level, and F2000CS provided everything I was looking for; quality track time, challenging and diverse tracks, and most importantly strong, competitive fields at every event. The natural progression with Quantum was to go this route, and I’m glad we did.
Q: There are a number of fast, young drivers that raced in F1600 this year looking to move up, what advice would you give them coming into F2000?
Be prepared to adapt new techniques.
Q: Looking back on a successful rookie campaign, what was the highlight for you?
Getting up to speed quickly on tracks I’d never been to, and getting on the podium at every track we ran this year was a nice achievement.
Q: What was the low point -- how did you rebound?
There were times when it seemed like it was going to be impossible to get to the next race. I don’t think people realize how hard it was for us to just make some of these races. Just overcoming that and actually making it all come together was really encouraging.
Q: What about budgets; is it true you had to tow your car to Lime Rock?
Yes, I hauled my car halfway across the country and back that weekend. The win made it more than worthwhile!
Q: Who or what made the 2012 season possible for you?
My parents, family members, friends, my team and a few sponsors all collectively made this season a reality. I’m beyond thankful for the help I’ve gotten this year.
Q: What did you do between races throughout the year?
I went to a lot of racing events to do promotional stuff with Perfect Pedal. Also, I did some coaching and performance driving events for Toyota. I spent some time at PitFit training in Indianapolis, and my only time behind the wheel of a Van Diemen outside of a race weekend was during a test at Autobahn Country Club last month.
Q: What are your plans for the offseason?
I’ll be working as hard as I can to raise money, and in the mean time keeping in top shape to be ready for next season. I plan on moving back to Indianapolis by the end of the year.
Q: Most people on this website know Wyatt Gooden as the sim-racer turned pro, any other interesting facts you'd like to share about yourself?
I am a pretty good skateboarder and like to find a good skate park wherever I travel. Its good exercise for the body and obviously requires a lot of balance. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing I just want to keep getting better at it, working towards my potential.
I’ve got a few opportunities in negotiation, so I feel like if I keep working hard things will continue to happen. It would be nice to know exactly what I’m doing next season, but for the time being it’s going to depend on what funding I can put together.