In fact, getting the chance to talk to Mitchell deJong is something quite rare. He's the perfect incarnation of #NeverNotRacing. And maybe that's one of the reasons why we are so happy to present to you our talk we had with this year 's challenger number 1 in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup by iRacing. Get to know the Californian race driver a little better:
Hey Mitchell, it was a crazy year so far for you, wasn’t it? Moving to Germany, competing in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, finishing in second place overall. Great effort so far; congrats on that. How would you describe the last couple of months?
Thank you! It has been a crazy year indeed. Being able to accept change and adapt to a new environment has been the key to staying on top of things, but I'm really happy with how things are going now that we're in the racing season!
Let’s talk about the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup in general. How did you like your third season?
It was very enjoyable! Coming off a very difficult year in 2020, I knew that in the first portion of the season, I'd be in a rebuilding stage with getting myself back on form. But I never expected 2021 to be my best season in this championship. It was definitely a memorable one!
In 2021 you were one of the top drivers. Did you prepare differently for the 2021 season than you did for the previous one?
Preparation for the 2021 season was quite a lot different than in previous years. I feel that a number of things contributed to this. Moving into the team house, a more convenient time zone, working closely with my teammates to ensure we maximise our driving and the setup of the car, and just putting in as many hours as possible for each race.
One of the key factors was indeed the teamwork within the Virtual Racing School team. In the end, you managed to score a 1-2-3 season finish. In your opinion, what makes you so fast and so successful?
It's incredible to think about the team result in such a massively competitive series. I believe that a major factor in our team's performance comes from how much we push each other in practice each week. The atmosphere in the team is fantastic, and we all lend a helping hand to try to make each other better.
Maybe let’s leave the sporting topics for a minute. You moved from sunny California to Germany. How do you like your new home?
I'm enjoying it! Compared to California, it's certainly a bit different, but we're adapting, settling into this new lifestyle and trying to learn the language along the way (winks).
You’re living together with your Coanda Simsport teammates in one house. Obviously, you all get along with each other. But how do you guys deal with a stressful situation on and off the track?
A really cool part about the group we have here, is that we're all really like minded and have similar goals. Everyone is very understanding, and seems to pretty easily work through any problem should one arise. It's a really healthy atmosphere we have in the house.
Besides racing in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup you’re also racing very successfully in the eNASCAR series. How do you get along with the different time zones and all the complications that come with them?
It's certainly not the most ideal situation for the eNASCAR side of things. It can be a little bit tricky to practice properly for the events and switching the sleep schedule around to stay awake most of the night does end up weighing on me a bit. But being able to take part in both top-level championships is not that common, so I'm really happy to be able to be one of the people with the chance to do both!
Thanks a lot for your time and the pleasant conversation, Mitchell. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that you can replicate your awesome performance on the tracks of the PESC in 2022.