Born out of passion and nourished with determination, Derek Gleeson’s racing journey is an inspiring tale. With the heart of a racer and the mind of a strategist, Gleeson began his journey through the screens of simulation racing, also known as Sim racing. However, his non-traditional path led him to 5th place at a local road racing event at Willow Springs, not far from his hometown of San Diego.
In an era where technology and reality blur, Sim racing provides an affordable, risk-free platform for aspiring racers to hone their skills. Emulating real-world racing, it demands concentration, quick reflexes, and a strategic mind. “You can practice anytime, anywhere, with any car or track you want,” said Gleeson, explaining how the virtual racing realm helps develop precision and consistency.
Gleeson’s journey began at 15 with virtual racing platforms like Iracing.com and Assetto Corsa. As he met other Sim racers in online leagues and communities, his passion deepened. He then upgraded his gear to recreate the most authentic racing experience. A more powerful computer, a better steering wheel, pedals, a larger monitor, and a motion simulator became his arsenal.
Opportunity knocked when he was invited to participate in a local road racing event at Willow Springs International Raceway, backed by a San Diego car dealership. The car, a Mazda MX-5 Miata, known for its reliability and affordability, was his weapon. He shared the track with 20 other racers, many of whom had real-world racing experience.
Gleeson’s exceptional performance, finishing 5th in his maiden road race, caught everyone’s attention. The transition from the virtual to the real track was seamless, and he attributes his success to his Sim racing background.
According to Gleeson, Sim racing represents the future of motorsports. “It’s more accessible, more affordable, and more fun than traditional racing,” he said, emphasizing how it prepares aspirants for the reality of racing.
Inspired by his experience, Gleeson now plans to build a local racing team in San Diego, opening doors for other Sim racers. His goal is to mentor young racers who dream of professional racing. “San Diego is a hotbed for up-and-coming young racers,” Gleeson observed, speaking about the pool of talent waiting to be discovered.
Gleeson’s journey reiterates that passion, when coupled with determination and hard work, can turn dreams into reality. A perfect example of how love for racing transcends mediums, he asserts, “I don’t care if it’s on a computer or on a track. I just want to go fast and have fun.”
Company Name: Gleeson Racing
Contact Person: Derek Gleeson
Address: 600 W Broadway, San Diego, CA, United States