Two major American racing series are taking the action online amidst lengthy delays to the season after concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus forced races to be cancelled.
NASCAR and iRacing, an online racing simulator, announced the formation of eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, an exhibition series featuring current and past drivers from NASCAR’s three national series.
The multi-week series will kick off Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. The remaining race and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
“Until we have cars back on track, the entire NASCAR community has aligned to provide our passionate fans with a unique, fun and competitive experience on race day,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s vice president of racing development. “Our long-time partners at iRacing offer an incredible product, and we are excited to see how many of our best drivers will stack up in the virtual domain of competitive racing.”
IMSA has also announced a virtual race, featuring drivers from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge, following the cancellation of the 12 Hours of Sebring.
The drivers will take part in a 90-minute online event at iRacing’s virtual Sebring International Raceway, competing in one of four GT Le Mans class race cars: the BMW M8 GTE, Ferrari 488 GTE, Porsche 911 RSR and Ford GT.
“IMSA is committed to delivering a realistic racing experience to our fans, competitors and partners this weekend,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “Most IMSA drivers use iRacing or other simulators on a regular basis to sharpen their skills and prepare for upcoming races. This weekend, they will do it in front of an audience. We are grateful to iRacing and many of our other partners for creating this opportunity to entertain our loyal IMSA fans.”
The race begins at 2:30 p.m. ET with a 15-minute warm-up session from 2 to 2:15 p.m. and single-car qualifying from 2:15 to 2:25 p.m.
Starting at 2:30 p.m. ET, the race will be streamed live on iRacing’s Twitch channel and the iRacing eSports Network on YouTube. The commentary team will include the voice of IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh.