The inaugural race in the NASA Sim Racing Club Leagued showcased some excellent racing and top-notch driving, with Austin Cobb taking the win, followed by John Allen and Forenz Arabian.

The headline is a bit misleading in that the races begin with a standing start, but you get the idea. In demonstration of the new leagues’ appeal, the first races at COTA featured 30 cars in each field.

In the inaugural Club League race at COTA, Austin Cobb and John Allen battled hard to the very end, with Forenz Arabian finishing in third.

In the Pro League race, Austin Cobb and John Allen again with Gunn Kim in third. Wyatt Gooden was in the mix awhile, and finished just off the podium in fourth. Although official results haven’t been posted, Cobb was DQ’d from the Pro League race.

Official results haven’t been finalized, but Austin Cobb was DQ’d in the Pro League race at COTA.

“It’s great to see NASA breaking into iRacing / eSports and bringing great real world contingency with Toyo, Hawk, TrackDecals, Competition Motorsport, and Racers360,” Cobb said. “It’s been a lot of fun practicing with friends I’ve competed against in real life such as Tony Nguyen, Danny Lazourievsky, Chris Splendoria and more in NASA Texas TTE / TT6. The racing has also been a blast getting to dice it up with John Allen, Matt Cresci, a longtime friend from GT Academy in 2012, and Eric Foss. Unfortunately the latter two suffered some incidents due to traffic in both races, but no doubt would have been in contention for the podium if not for that.

“Racing one on one with John Allen for nearly 30 minutes was both extremely tense and fun, really could have gone either way and I would have been happy due to how good the fight was,” Cobb continued. “It’s always a pleasure to race side by side with a fellow racer that you can trust. Looking forward to more close scraps in future races and hopefully we’ll see bigger, closer pack racing as everyone settles in to iRacing for an even better show!”

In the Club race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Wyatt Gooden dominated and went on to take the win. NASA NorCal driver Matt Cresci pounced after Andres Prieto bobbled in the exit of Turn 6. Cresci finished second with Prieto in third and Gunn Kim, also a top runner at COTA, finished fourth.

“There’s undoubtedly a bit of a learning curve to sim racing. Everything must be set up and configured correctly, from the screen angles and field of view, to the feedback through the steering wheel and pedals,” Gooden said. “I’ve done a lot of real life pro racing, and won my share of real pro races. Helping drivers get the most out of the sim is what I have committed to doing for a living, because I fully believe in it.

“I’ve been convinced, through my own experiences for a long time now that a properly setup simulator is the most cost effective training tool one can use to improve their own performance in a real car,” he continued. “You experience the same challenges as you do in a real car: prerace anxiety, that inner fight to remain focused during the race to perform your best. It’s all the same when you get into it. If you love the challenge of driving, you’ll love doing it on a simulator.”

In the Club League race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Wyatt started from second, took the lead in Turn 5 on the first lap, and held it till checkers, with Matt Cresci in second and Andres Prieto in third.

Club League at COTA

Pro League at COTA

Club League at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

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