We’re previewing each team competing in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series ahead of the 2021 season. Next up is a peak into the new-look Gibbs Gaming squad.
Owner: Joe Gibbs. Yeah, that one.
No. 18: Femi Olat
Hometown: Amherst, MA
First season: 2021
Eighth in 2020 iRacing Pro Series
— Femi Olat (@FemiOlat_) January 15, 2021
No. 51: Ray Alfalla
Hometown: Cape Coral, FL
First season: 2010
2020 rank: 8th
Thankful for this opportunity! HYPED to drive the 51 car 🏁 https://t.co/f82ljImZPn
— Ray Alfalla (@rayalfalla) January 15, 2021
Gibbs Gaming entered the 2020 season with two rookies: Graham Bowlin and Malik Ray. While a points-paying win eluded the duo, Bowlin managed to win the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro. Ray impressed with his superspeedway skills — he’s not considered one of the best drafters on iRacing for no reason. Both drivers will return to the series in 2021, but will race for different teams.
For the new Gibbs drivers, Femi Olat and Ray Alfalla, 2020 wasn’t too shabby: Olat put together a respectable iRacing Pro Series season, while Alfalla returned to Victory Lane after a 2019 drought.
Gibbs Gaming is taking a different approach to their 2021 season: mixing proven results with up-and-coming talent. Ray Alfalla is the series G.O.A.T. — he’s unmatched in most statistical categories, most notably his four championships (nobody else has more than one) — and he is the veteran driver on the circuit, leading all drivers in starts at 188. On the other hand, Femi Olat, though a fixture in the open, public iRacing scene, will make his first Coca-Cola iRacing Series start in 2021.
Alfalla rebounded in 2020 after an abysmal 2019 season, winning at Atlanta and making the playoffs. There’s no reason to believe he’ll do anything other than Ray Alfalla things in 2021, especially after proving he can still get the job done with the current racing package.
As for Femi Olat, expectations are high — it’s Joe Gibbs Racing’s iRacing program, after all — but it’s hard to guess what 2021 will bring. Olat’s one of 11 rookies in the series, but he’s no stranger to iRacing, with over 200 official wins in public servers. It’s quite likely Gibbs Gaming finds themselves in the elite category where both drivers score wins.
Steve’s bold prediction
Both Ray Alfalla and Femi Olat find Victory Lane and make the playoffs. Boom. Done. Take it to the bank. (And I totally won’t call on our editors to pull this article in the event I’m wrong.)
1 Rookie, 1 Champ, lots of talent.
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) January 15, 2021