10-Race, 26-Week Virtual Racing Series To Mirror Rolex Series Schedule

When GRAND-AM and iRacing.com announced the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series last fall, driving game aficionados, sim racers and sports car racing fans responded enthusiastically.   The series, which runs 12-week seasons and features multi-class racing, quickly became one of the most popular among iRacing.com’s global membership, so now the two organizations have announced they are taking virtual sports car racing to the next level with the creation of the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series.

The 10-race, 26-week Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series schedule closely parallels that of its real-world counterpart and kicks off February 27 with a 90-minute race on iRacing.com’s millimeter-accurate version of the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course.

The announcement of the series was made today jointly by GRAND-AM Vice President Kevin Hindson and Tony Gardner, iRacing.com’s president.

“Like iRacing.com, GRAND-AM is an organization with American roots and a growing global following,” said Hindson. “Our collaboration has already helped bring more young, knowledgeable fans to GRAND-AM, as well as giving our existing fans a chance to get more deeply involved in the sport. The creation of the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series makes a good relationship even better.”

The GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Premier Series is intended for sports-car racing fans everywhere in the world as well as driving game enthusiasts of all experience levels.  A subscription to iRacing.com is required.  (For complete details, visit www.iracing.com).  The series features racing in two classes.  Competitors may choose to race in the prototype class with iRacing.com’s digital duplicate of the Riley Mk XX Daytona Prototype or in the production-based class with the Ford Mustang FR 500S.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three in the season-long point standing in both the prototype and production-based racing classes.  Both champions will attend with a guest the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course September 16-18, where their title-winning achievements will be recognized.

“From the start, our goal at iRacing.com has been not just to create both the most accurate motorsports simulation ever, but to recreate in the virtual space the entire real-world of auto racing,” Gardner said.  “Adding the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series to our existing top-level NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship, NASCAR iRacing Pro Series and iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Series is a natural next step in the process of putting real-world racing fans into their own driving careers.”

Gardner also noted that the tracks for 11 of the 12 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series races are already in iRacing.com’s track inventory.

In many ways the partnership between the two organizations echoes the existing relationship between iRacing.com and NASCAR.  In addition to sanctioning the quarterly and annual online race series hosted by iRacing.com, GRAND-AM will also each week report race results and championship point standings on its web site (http://www.grand-am.com/).

The 2011 Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series features mixed class racing on virtual versions of many of the race tracks on the GRAND-AM Rolex Series schedule.

And it’s not just gamers and fans who enjoy the fun of competing in iRacing.com’s world.  At last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona more than two dozen of the entered drivers were also iRacing.com members.  Two-time Rolex Sports Car Series champ Alex Gurney helped with the development of iRacing.com’s virtual version of the Riley Daytona Prototype.

“Because the tracks and cars are both so accurate, I’ve used iRacing as part of my preparation for GRAND-AM races in the past,” Gurney said.  “Using the sim, I find that when I discover a slightly different driving line or a different gearing idea for a particular track, it has usually transferred over to the real thing. I view that as incredibly valuable information.  With the new GRAND-AM – iRacing partnership, I think it’s great that fans now will have a chance to also take part in GRAND-AM races themselves.”

In celebration of the start of the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, iRacing.com is offering new members a three-month membership for the regular one-month price of (one-month price).  To take advantage of this offer go to http://www.iracing.com/5-dollar-promo/ .

2011 Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series Schedule

Feb. 27 – Homestead-Miami Speedway (road course) – 90 minutes
Apr. 3 – Barber Motorsports Park – 90 minutes
May 8 – Virginia International Raceway – 90 minutes
May 22 – Lime Rock Park – 90 minutes
June 5 – Watkins Glen International (long course) – 120 minutes
June 19 – Road America – 90 minutes
July 3 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – 90 minutes
July 17 – Daytona International Speedway – 144 minutes
Aug. 7 – Watkins Glen International (short course) – 90 minutes
Aug. 28 – Mid Ohio Sports Car Course – 90 minutes

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This series is going to loads of fun, hope they dont have the same scoring issues they have in the Grand-Am series which is currently hurting the series.

February 18th, 2011 at 3:28 am

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