He made the transition from real-life motorsports to sim racing. iRacing superstar Mitchell deJong describes his journey in OverTake’s documentary series, Epic Factor.
Photo credit: OverTake
The second episode of OverTake’s new Epic Factor format takes us back to the Coanda Simsport teamhouse in Gronau, Germany for another intimate interview with one of their drivers. This time around we meet Mitchell deJong and hear about his journey to becoming one of the top sim racers in the scene.
“It’s like being a rockstar”
Mitchell’s career kicked off early on with success in real-life motorsports. In 2013, he won a silver medal at the X Games rallycross competition in Los Angeles. When the competition moved to Austin the year after the American found himself going one step further and netting the coveted gold medal. He likens the pressure of racing to that which a rockstar has to face – you find yourself “on-stage, having to perform”, then you “put it all on the line when it matters”. His ability to stay cool paid off though, as his gold medal saw him follow in the footsteps of his racing hero, Travis Pastrana.
A transition to sim racing
The young American describes his switch to the virtual racing world as “abrupt”, yet natural in its evolution. He recalls how a friend told him about a “new, cool game called iRacing” and within a month he had a subscription and a wheel. The bug had bitten! He was then faced with an agonising decision – to stick with real-life racing or to switch to the virtual world. As it was, his success in sim racing made the decision for him. He was soon signed by Coanda Motorsport who were impressed by his rallycross performances.
Nowadays, Mitchell is an integral part of the Coanda team. According to his teammates, he brings a lot of “quiet discipline” to the house, which the others sometimes struggle to keep up with. Despite being a group of like-minded individuals sharing the same four walls, Mitchell reveals that nobody has an ego. There is just a quiet desire to beat the others – a level of “healthy competition” which pushes them all to perform.
Who would you like to see on Epic Factor next? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!