The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is launching a global virtual series called the IMSA Esports Global Championship, the sanctioning body announced.
Although IMSA’s association with iRacing.com dates back more than a decade and includes the IMSA iRacing Pro Series and the IMSA Triple Crown Challenge, the IMSA Esports Global Championship is the first IMSA-backed iRacing series dedicated to professional sim racers and sim racing teams, the series said.
The IMSA Esports Global Championship kicks off in October and will feature sim racers and sim racing teams competing for cash purses in each event of the four-race series and for the overall series championship. Races will be broadcast on iRacing and RACESPOT YouTube, Facebook and Twitch social media channels, the series said.
The Esports Global Championship will also consist of multi-driver, multi-class racing and will feature iRacing’s GT3 and TCR cars, the series said, and will enable professional sim racers and teams to develop close working relationships with eight of the manufacturers competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
“The IMSA Esports Global Championship is the next step in our esports presence after the success of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series and the IMSA Triple Crown Challenge,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “IMSA was among the first motorsports organizations to recognize the potential of working with iRacing to blend the gap between sim racing and real racing by including our manufacturing partners. We’re excited that eight manufacturers competing in IMSA this year will be participating in the IMSA Esports Global Championship, and we expect that number to increase in the coming years.”
The IMSA Esports Global Championship debuts at virtual Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 16. Succeeding races will take place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Oct. 23) and the road courses at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Nov. 6) and Daytona International Speedway (Nov. 20). In keeping with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship sprint races, each event will be two hours, 40 minutes long, the series said.
“iRacing and IMSA have enjoyed a long and productive relationship,” said Tony Gardner, president of iRacing.com. “Our partnership with IMSA has enabled more than 160,000 iRacers around the world to race virtual versions of the world’s fastest sports cars on North America’s iconic road courses. The IMSA Esports Global Championship is a natural and exciting next step in our relationship with IMSA as well as with many of the world’s leading makers of high-performance automobiles.”