Sebastian Job: Dreaming beyond esports racing

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Sebastian Job is one of the biggest talents in iRacing. But he does not want to stay in sim racing.
Photo credit: Porsche / Red Bull

Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Final lap. An exhausting season comes to an end as Sebastian Job pushes his Porsche through the last corners. He defends the last attack of his pursuers and crosses the finish line. Finally, he is an iRacing world champion by winning the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. “I never thought it would be possible,” he says in the post-race interview.

Sebastian’s way to this career high was long and accompanied by smaller and bigger letdowns. The 20-year-old has just begun to dominate sim racing. But his biggest dream goes far beyond esports.

Bumpy starts and bad reputation



“I was incredibly competitive when I was younger,” Sebastian explains OverTake. The young Brit started to compete in indoor karting at the age of twelve. “It taught me the basics. Car control, keeping momentum up, weight transfer, all of that,” he remembers in an episode of VCO Esports Studio.

But like many others, the aspiring talent could not afford to make the next step into outdoor karting. Therefore, he signed up for the simulation platform iRacing. Adapting to the virtual asphalt became a challenge for the competitive racer at first, especially when trying to defend the lead. “Over the years, I had a bit of a reputation for screwing up in these situations where I would spin out… a lot,” he recounts on our show Nitro Nights. “Almost every time I watched a broadcast it got mentioned. I’ve been forced to fix it because I just could not stand listening to it.”

The dream of becoming a real-world driver



Sebastian’s efforts paid off as he became more and more consistent and gained reputation within the sim racing scene. But the glory of becoming an iRacing world champion and praise for his skills in the simulation were never what Sebastian had in mind. He sees esports as his stepping stone for a way bigger dream: “I started sim racing just to try and win competitions that can get me into real racing,” he revealed on Nitro Nights. “Everything I do is working towards getting a real seat in racing.”



Even though he found more and more success in esports, virtual racetracks would never be fulfilling for him. “I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie which is probably why I loved racing in real life so much. I felt like that was the perfect place for me,” he explained us.

The ambitious talent managed to fulfill his goal in 2018 when he got to drive a season in Formula Ford. “That was an awesome year because I got to test the waters with it,” Sebastian said on VCO Esports Studio. “It lived up everything I wanted to be and more.” Shortly afterwards, he became one of the very few sim racers to participate in the prestigious Race of Champions.

Missing the biggest chance of his life



But both Formula Ford and Race of Champions were just the prelude for Sebastian’s biggest chance to finally make the step he always dreamed of. He became a challenger at World’s Fastest Gamer in 2019. “Going to America for the World’s Fastest Gamer competition was the most exciting moment of my sim racing career so far,” Sebastian says. The two-week event brought together ten of the fastest esports racers on the planet to race at iconic venues all around the US. The prize was what Sebastian probably dreamed of a lot of times: a million-dollar real racing contract.



But it was not his time, not yet. James Baldwin clinched the prize and today competes in the British GT Series, driving for the team of former F1 world champion Jenson Button. Even though he could not reach his ultimate goal, Sebastian still reflects happily on the competition. In VCO Esports Studio, he said he will always benefit from the contacts he made and the things he learned in those two weeks. “Juan Pablo Montoya gave us a taxi ride of a track and he was just showing us all these techniques. It was just very eye-opening,” he remembered.

“The most frustrating time of my career”



After the letdown at World’s Fastest Gamer, it was time for Sebastian to get his focus back on simulations. For a driver of his skill and competitive drive, the only goal was becoming the best in the world. But his records in the biggest competitions from 2014 are not great. “I never really had a huge amount of success in the iRacing World Championships,” Sebastian pointed out on our show Nitro Nights. “I competed in them and had one podium.”

In 2019, the youngster stepped up his game and came third in the VRS GT iRacing World Championship. At the same time, the Brit was competing in the inaugural season of the Porsche Esports Supercup. The competition is considered the unofficial world championship in iRacing, with the grid consisting of the best drivers from all around the globe.



But things did not go too well there, as Sebastian was constantly struggling to find a competitive pace. “Those were some of the most frustrating times I’ve had during all of my sim racing career,” he discloses. Even though he and his team were constantly working on the car setups, they always struggled to find the deciding tenths to close up to the front. “It is hard to stay motivated after that when it happens every single round. You start to question a lot of things.”

In the middle of the season, things started to look better for him and his Red Bull colleagues. Sebastian even claimed two double-victories at Silverstone and Laguna Seca. But the season could not be saved, and he finished in third place. A good result, but still not where Sebastian had wanted to be.

A year of redemption and dominance



Time for readjustment came and went and in May 2020, all of Sebastian’s focus was on the second season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. There could only be one goal for the ambitious Red Bull racer: fully send it. And he did.



From twenty races, the 20-year-old was able to win six, finishing on the podium thirteen times. He ended the season in first place, almost 100 points ahead of his closest pursuer. “To be a world champion is something I never dreamed of being possible,” Sebastian proudly told us. Despite starting sim racing as a means to get into a real cockpit, he says winning the title was something he definitely wanted to tick off his bucket list.

His improvement and demonstration of skill impressed the entire scene in 2020 and Sebastian received much praise. He became our OverTake Hero of the Month November in honor of his dedication. And in December, he was awarded Esports Driver of the Year by Autosport, one of the most influential magazines in motorsports.



Sebastian’s career has accelerated throughout the last years. He is determined to defend his title in the third Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season, starting January 2021. If he continues to keep up this level of dedication and skill, his biggest dream of making it to real-world racing surely will not be far away.

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Maik Jahn

author
  • Location:
    Mainz, Germany
  • Born and raised close to the Nürburgring. I'd love to see Formula 1 race at the Nordschleife one day.

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