With the start of 2010 Season 4, the Dallara IndyCar is already going into its second year in the iRacing IZOD IndyCar Series. Since its introduction, the fast 650-700hp open wheeler has received several improvements from the iRacing development team as well as changes to the schedule.
The release of the Dallara at the end of October 2009 was accompanied by the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Since its construction in 1909 and the first 500 mile race in 1911, the combination of cars and track has generated an unmistakable magic. But the great thing about the Dallara IndyCar is the fact that it is at home on both sides of racing: on ovals as well as on road courses. This placed it into the top position of road class racing where the A class drivers had been used to driving the Riley Mk XX Daytona Prototype. The special challenge of mastering road courses and ovals in one series attracted many drivers from the oval side of sim racing to work their way up to a class A road license – with success. Some of the well-known oval specialists worked their way even up to a road class PRO license and race now side by side with other PRO license drivers in this car. Additionally, the Dallara soon became the car used in the official PRO series, giving the PRO drivers a completely new challenge.
The first three seasons featured a mix out of eight road courses, with classic tracks like the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca or the “drivers-track” Road America, and four ovals, like the Indianapolis Motor Seedway or the fast 1.5 mile Chicagoland oval. The latest season brought new wind into the series through a changed schedule with an even 6/6 mix and many new tracks. Ovals like the unique Phoenix International Raceway or the historic Milwaukee Mile where added together with new road courses; the traditional Mid-Ohio Sports Car course, the Europe’s Circuit Park Zandvoort or the Phillip Island Circuit from Down Under are nothing for little kids to play with… All in all it meant a completely new challenge every week which attracted even more drivers and resulted in a big participation increase.
Of course the month of May is always a special one for the IndyCars with the world famous Indianapolis 500 mile race. While Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti was able to win his second 500 this year, iRacing staged a special World Tour event which gave every iRacer the opportunity to drive and win his own Indy 500. As a result, 759 drivers participated in 24 races. Most of the races showed their individual drama and crowned their own champions, such as in the top split which was broadcast on iRacing’s web TV channel PSRTV.
iRacing always kept working on the Dallara, improving it from build to build, from season to season. With the need to make a pit stop in the races, the availability of a pit speed limiter has been a significant improvement. Beside this tool, many small but all together important improvements have also been made. Changes to the tire model, the aerodynamics and the gearbox made the car to what it is now: a perfect handling IndyCar which leaves no wishes unanswered. Giving a tremendous realistic feedback, many iRacers describe this car as one of their best experiences.
It should also be mentioned that many real IndyCar drivers like to drive the Dallara here at iRacing. Whenever their personal free time allows, they like to get in the virtual cockpit to race in hosted sessions or leagues. As a result, you may see some of the current IZOD IndyCar drivers like Will Power, Tomas Scheckter or Justin Wilson driving on iRacing. Even just watching them is fantastic because when they go out on track you see soon that there is something special.
The coming season will again feature a new track selection as well as a new license classification. With the introduction of the Williams-Toyota FW 31, the iRacing IZOD IndyCar Series now is classified as class B car — which means this Dallara is now open for a wider spectrum of drivers and easier to reach for new iRacing members. On the schedule the one mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway replaces Phoenix International Raceway, the shortened modified version of the old airport circuit Sebring International Raceway (a favorite test track for IndyCar teams) comes in for Zandvoort and the new 2.5 mile tri-oval of Pocono Raceway replaces the 2.0 mile Michigan International Speedway.
A great help for every new IndyCar driver should be the friendly and helpful iRacing community that has sprung-up around this car, one where experienced drivers share tips and setups. This also gives newcomers a chance to catch up and enjoy racing here. So what are you waiting for? Join the iRacing IZOD IndyCar Series today and master the challenge of combined oval and road open-wheel racing.