Online Racing Boasts Virtual Version of NASCAR’s “Great Race”
Following enthusiastic participation by nearly a thousand members in the Rolex 2.4 inaugural round of the iRacing.com World Tour 2010, iRacers around the world are prepping for the second event on the calendar, a virtual version of the Daytona 500 that runs the day before the real-world version of the race kicks off the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Open to all iRacing members, the iRacing.com Daytona 500 takes the green flag at 7 p.m. EST Saturday, February 13, (February 14, 00:00 GMT), and runs for 200 laps around the service’s millimeter-accurate version of Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying starts on February 7 beginning at 45 minutes past the hour, every hour, until the start of the race.
“The Daytona 500 is one of the world’s great sporting events,” noted Steve Myers, iRacing’s executive producer. “It is more than the crescendo of the Daytona Speed Weeks and the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season – the running of the Daytona 500 each February signals to the world that the new racing season is at full throttle. Our members are excited about being able to participate in the ‘Great Race’ in their own way in the virtual racing space before tuning in to the broadcast of the actual event. Knowing exactly how a Sprint Cup car handles in the draft on those high banks and the location of every unsettling bump on the track enhances their appreciation for the skill of the drivers in the real-world race.”
The iRacing.com Daytona 500 is an iRacing fun-only event, and not part of the official NASCAR iRacing Series. But it is a product of the same shared desire by NASCAR and iRacing to bring an authentic virtual-racing experience to fans and advanced racing game enthusiasts that led to the creation of the NASCAR iRacing Series and its seven graduated virtual-racing series.
With the field of participants in the iRacing.com Daytona 500 expected to number well over a thousand, drivers will be automatically assigned by the iRacing system to different simultaneous iterations of the race according to their demonstrated skill level.
“Now everyone with a PC and an internet connection can race in the Daytona 500, even if they’ve just joined iRacing the day before the race,” Myers said. “And because of the way we divide up the field, everyone who enters our virtual racing Daytona 500 – from complete rookies to the most experienced simracers and race game veterans – will have a great time and a fair chance to win their particular race.”
The third event on the iRacing.com World Tour 2010 schedule is the 12 Hours of Sebring, which runs on March 20, the same weekend as the American Le Mans Series begins its season with the running of the 58th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. The full schedule for the iRacing.com World Tour is:
January 30 – GRAND-AM – Rolex 24 – Daytona International Speedway road course
February 13 – NASCAR – Daytona 500 – Daytona International Speedway
March 20 – ALMS – Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring –Sebring International Raceway
April 25 – NASCAR – Aaron’s 499 – Talladega Superspeedway
May 29 – IRL – Indy 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 5 – GRAND-AM – Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen – Watkins Glen International
June 12 – SK Modified – Coors Light Modified 100 – Stafford Motor Speedway
July 10 – Lotus 79/Williams FW31 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone
July 24 – NASCAR – Brickyard 400 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
August 21 – NASCAR –Sharpie 500 – Bristol Motor Speedway
September 11 – V8 Supercars –L&H 500 – Phillip Island
October 2 – ALMS – Petit Le Mans – Road Atlanta
October 16 – Late Model – Whelen Late Model 300 – South Boston Speedway
November 20 – NASCAR – Ford 400 – Miami-Homestead Speedway