The second week of January always heralds the start of a ‘new racing season;’ whilst the first laps in anger are many weeks away, the Autosport International Show is traditionally seen as the opening event on the motorsport calendar. This year, the team from iRacing Motorsport Simulations have jetted across the Atlantic to make an appearance at the Birmingham show.
Whilst iRacing’s presence is relatively low-key, their entrance certainly hasn’t been – immediately on arrival at the vast NEC Exhibition centre in Birmingham this week iRacing announced their partnership with the British-based Williams F1 team and plans to build a digital version of the 2009 AT&T Williams FW31 for introduction to the service later this year.
Based in the stand of Europe’s Sunoco race gas and lubricants distributor, Anglo American Fuels (Hall 6 Stand 6565), iRacing is giving show visitors a chance to check out the superb visual detail and unrivalled physics of the Riley MKXX Daytona Prototype whilst turning laps around Daytona’s road circuit. The driver who posts the fastest lap around the Daytona road course over the weekend will win a trip to watch this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, courtesy of Sunoco. On hand to guide any would-be entrant, answer questions or generally chew the online racing fat are key members of the iRacing team, including Tony Gardner, Steve Myers, Kevin Bobbitt, Otto Szebeni, Tim Wheatley and former F1 driver Divina Galica.
“Autosport International is one of the premier motorsports events of the year,” said Gardner, president of iRacing.com. “We’ve all been very pleased at the reception iRacing.com has received, especially the announcement of our partnership with Williams F1 and our plans for the AT&T Williams FW31.
“We have more members from England than any other country outside the United States, and it’s been fun visiting iRacing members who’ve stopped by to say ‘hello’ and drive the Riley. The competition for the fast lap is pretty intense, but that’s what we expected.”
The team are sure to be busy, with the topic on everyone’s lips being the addition of a modern GP car to the iRacing stable. On arrival to the vast NEC Exhibition centre in Birmingham this week, iRacing announced their partnership with the British-based Williams F1 team to reproduce a digital version of the 2009 AT&T FW31 for release later this year.
The Autosport International show is open Saturday and Sunday, so there’s still plenty of time to lay down a claim on a motor-racing trip of a lifetime, and meet some of the pioneers of sim-racing.