iRacing’s Glenn McGee goes Pro in the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup
Back in November 2015, Sim Racer and iRacing member Glenn McGee was crowned the winner of the 2015 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, and doing so earned a $100,000 scholarship to race in the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Three key elements that won McGee the title were as follows:
- Driving ability: fast laps/consistent laps
- Technical skills: understanding of vehicle dynamics and suspension, ability to evaluate vehicle handling, and ability to analyze data
- The business of motorsports: business proposal and presentation
Last weekend the time had come for iRacer Glenn McGee to debut in the real world 2016 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup as a professional race driver. On the first of two races, Glenn managed to finish in a very respectable ninth place.
“The whole first half of the race was really tough, mentally” he recalls. “I remember my hands, my footwork – everything feeling rushed. I was catching and passing people but often making the same mistake out of Turn 11, missing the 2nd-to-3rd shift and giving back the positions I’d worked so hard to gain. It wasn’t until about half-way through the race that I realized my pace was fast enough to move forward. I needed to just slow down everything a bit and calm down.
Once I got my head screwed on straight and I went back to my mental sim-training, my race really came alive. I started moving forward, eventually running down a group of cars in an epic battle for ninth, which included Drake. Drake and I radioed-in together and worked to get by the rest of the guys. We battled back and forth with some fantastic and clean racing with Drake and I coming out on top.
“It was an amazing race,” McGee concluded. “Definitely missed some opportunities, but with how much my brain was having to absorb, I was really happy with the result, with my pace at the end and with the fact that I brought the car home without a scratch on it. I was also happy to hear my team-mate John Dean II was on the podium after a long battle up front.
The second race on Saturday did not go as planned after McGee got involved in an early incident and therefore finished 27th. Nevertheless, It has been an impressive racing debut for the iRacing sim racer.
“When I lost a lap and found myself right behind Nick, I switched from my ‘race-winning’ to ‘supporting my teammate’ mode,” said McGee. “I got on Nick’s radio channel and told him I was lap down but that I would work with him to move up.
“Nick killed it running consistent fast laps and making some great passes. We worked our way through the pack during three or four restarts. It was really cool working with him and to see his face after the race. He was elated to get the award and that, plus the fact that Sick Sideways put five of their seven drivers in the top 10, made what could have been a bad situation rewarding for me.
“So although Saturday didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, I learned a ton and I’m looking forward to putting that knowledge to use at our next race. All in all, it was a weekend of extreme learning, confidence building, missed opportunities, but wickedly fun moments on and off the track that I’ll never forget.”
The rest of the season starts in less than two weeks, with Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2016 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich Tires slated for the May 13-15 weekend at Watkins Glen International. Glenn McGee plans to be ready.
“Like all sim racers, I’ve been dreaming of racing for so many years and it’s like all of a sudden I’ve gone from 0-to-200,” he said. “Going from a meek sim-rig to a full race car, race suit, race helmet, team, factory partners, and fans all around a real-life famous race track – it’s overwhelming and I just still can’t believe how much Mazda has changed my life and the future of motorsports for sim racers all over the world.
“I also can’t believe the response and positive support I have received from fans and the sim racing community. It really does make a difference knowing I have the community behind me as I make such a quick/hard transition from virtual-to-reality. I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me, Mazda, iRacing and all of our partners as they are trying to do something risky but special. I’m just trying to perform somewhere close to what our sim racing community deserves.”
“Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was a good start,” he says, “but I’m hoping to improve on my finishes at Watkins Glen. So I’ll be running a ton of laps with the MX-5 at The Glen on iRacing in the next two weeks.”
|Official Webpage – www.iracing.com|