Back to Virtual Reality: IMSA iRacing Pro Series Returns in April

Thursday, Mar 25 294
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 Did those first 36 racing hours of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Daytona and Sebring only whet your appetite for world-class sports car competition? Already counting the hours until the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio in May? Missing the dulcet brogue of John Hindhaugh and the IMSA Radio crew? 
 
Take heart! Help is on the way in the form of the 2021 IMSA iRacing Pro Series presented by SimCraft. The three-round online racing series, featuring professional drivers, kicks off at the virtual Sebring International Raceway in just over two weeks.
 
The hourlong events will stream live on iRacing’s YouTube and Facebook channels and feature stars of the WeatherTech Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge, as well as drivers from other popular racing series in 50-car, multi-class fields of GT Le Mans (GTLM) BMWs, Corvettes, Ferraris, Fords and Porsches and Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) Dallaras.
 
Here’s the full schedule, with each race starting at 6:30 p.m. ET:
 
  • Thursday, April 8: Sebring International Raceway
  • Thursday, April 22: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
  • Thursday, May 6: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
 
Many of this year’s competitors got a taste of online action at Sebring last weekend. SimCraft, the presenting sponsor of this year’s IMSA iRacing Pro Series, set up a state-of-the-art APEX6 PRO full-motion simulator in the paddock to give drivers a chance to experience their products in advance of the competition.
 
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with IMSA for the iRacing Pro Series,” said Sean Patrick McDonald, SimCraft co-founder and Chief Technologist. “For SimCraft, this is 15 years in the making as we attended our very first endurance race at Petit Le Mans in 2007 with a very early SimCraft prototype. We then launched our APEX product line showcasing the newly launched iRacing software at CES in 2009. To see how far virtual racing has come, and to have been a major contributor to all those years of progress, makes this new partnership a win-win-win for us.”
 
IMSA competitors and fans alike are no strangers to sim racing. The IMSA iRacing Pro Series presented by SimCraft is just the latest installment in IMSA’s long-standing embrace of sim racing, including the 2020 IMSA iRacing Pro Series which was captured by Bruno Spengler, co-driver of the real-world No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE, and the recent IMSA iRacing Preseason Invitational, won by No. 74 Riley Motorsports Le Mans Prototype 3 driver Scott Andrews.
 
“IMSA was one of the world’s first motorsports sanctioning bodies to recognize the appeal and relevance of sim racing,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “For well over a decade, our fans and many of our top drivers have enjoyed competing with one another in IMSA-sanctioned iRacing series. It’s been fun to watch sim racing’s remarkable technical development as well as its explosive growth in popularity during that time. We’re pleased to partner with SimCraft for this year’s IMSA online series, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this exciting dimension of the sport.”
 
Be sure to tune in to Round 1 of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series presented by SimCraft on the iRacing YouTube and Facebook channels at 6:30 p.m. April 8. 
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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