By: Tanner Watkins
March 20, 2020 | 2:30 PM
In response to this spring’s Coronavirus cancellations and postponements, the NTT IndyCar Series has made the best out of a bad situation by introducing the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge.
The invitation-only event will pit the stars of IndyCar against one another within the iRacing Motorsports Simulations platform, racing at tracks such as Barber Motorsports Park, Circuit of the Americas, and more. The first race will be held next Saturday, on March 28.
In total, six rounds are scheduled for the online exhibition series. The races are slated to start at 4:00 PM ET on Saturday dates and last between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on the track.
Each event will be aired on IndyCar.com, as well as the IndyCar Facebook and YouTube pages – in addition to the iRacing Twitch channel.
The first race of the challenge gives fans an opportunity to choose the location of the event. Eight locations – Sonoma Raceway, Watkins Glen International, Sebring International, Circuit Gilles Villenueve, Twin Ring Motegi, Auto Club Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile, and Michigan International Speedway – will duel in a bracket-style fan vote.
An interesting nugget for IndyCar sim racing enthusiasts: The implementation of this series will bring the Aeroscreen to iRacing. As stated in the IndyCar press release:
To further give the action an authentic look and feel, each car will be equipped with INDYCAR’s new Aeroscreen, a revolutionary cockpit-protecting device introduced for the 2020 season.
IndyCar has stated that there will not be a “crowned champion,” per se, but a donation to partner charities will be made in the process.
Make sure to stay tuned next week as Open-Wheels presents its own special sim racing announcement – bringing you the World’s Greatest Sim Race once again this fall.
Header image by Chris Owens/INDYCAR.