iRacing.com and V8 Supercars announced an agreement today that will see the organizers of the successful V8 Supercar Championship officially sanction the popular online racing service’s V8 Supercar series, which will be known as the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series presented by BigPond. V8 Supercars thus joins NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM as partners in sanctioning competition on the iRacing service.
“As the world’s leading online racing service, it’s both appropriate and gratifying to announce our first international sanctioning partner,” said Steve Myers, executive vice president of iRacing.com. “Many of our most enthusiastic members hail from Australia and New Zealand, and iRacing is proud to be associated with V8 Supercars.
“Our NASCAR-, INDYCAR- and GRAND-AM-sanctioned series have introduced new fans to NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM and, of course, have been instrumental in the strong growth iRacing has enjoyed since going public in 2008. We fully expect this new partnership to be similarly beneficial to iRacing and V8 Supercars.”
Australia is the fastest growing country within the ranks of the iRacing.com membership. In 2010, iRacing added a second server farm in Australia to its system in order to ensure its members throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia experience the best and fastest Internet connection possible.
“We’re delighted by the chance to partner with iRacing.com in sanctioning their online V8 Supercar competition,” says V8 Supercars CEO Martin Whitaker. “The iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series presented by BigPond will enable race fans around the world to experience V8 Supercar racing in a dynamic and exciting fashion. Although the V8 Supercar Championship is an Australian and New Zealand-based series, we are always looking to expand our horizons internationally, as witnessed by our existing event in Abu Dhabi and the recent announcement that the V8 Supercars will be racing in Austin Texas, USA at the Circuit of the Americas beginning in 2013. Our new partnership with iRacing.com is another vital component of our efforts to bring the excitement of V8 Supercar competition to our international audience.”
Claire McFarland, Director Online and Mobile Media said, “The BigPond team is very excited about this partnership with iRacing. As the official online and mobile portal of V8 Supercars it’s fantastic for BigPond to be able to bring this experience to Australia’s racing fans. iRacing is such impressive technology, it’s as close to the real thing as you can get, and streets ahead of anything like it in the market.”
iRacing.com introduced the Ford Falcon FG V8 Supercar to its service in 2010. The Ford Falcon has been featured in both the iRacing.com Pro Series (Road Racing) and the iRacing.com V8 Supercar Series, the latter of which has seen more than 500 iRacers regularly competing in the Ford Falcon during 2011. Australia’s scenic and challenging Phillip Island road course is among the more than 50 laser-scanned race tracks available on iRacing. The service also plans to add a digital version of the Oran Park circuit to its catalogue in the near future, a particularly noteworthy fact given that the physical track (near Sydney) was recently demolished to make room for a housing development.
A number of V8 Supercar drivers past present and future, including Marcos Ambrose, Shane Van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard, Scott McGlaughlin, are among the growing ranks of iRacers. Although they use the service to help sharpen their skills and prepare to race on unfamiliar tracks, they agree that iRacing is just plain fun.
“iRacing is an amazing simulation system and it has helped me tremendously as I’ve tackled NASCAR Sprint Cup competition,” says Ambrose. “It’s the closest thing to racing in the physical world that you can get. (But) iRacing.com is for everyone . . . a terrific social venue for racers to find like-minded friends from all over the world. It is a fantastic service for individuals or a bunch of mates who want to get together regularly, wherever they are in the world, to race.”
“iRacing is the best racing simulator, hands down,” says Van Gisbergen. “Not only for the accuracy of the laser scanned tracks and cars, but anyone can sign up and be racing against professional drivers from across the world who, like me, use iRacing as a tool to improve driving skills . . . Come take us on!”
Racers can do just that by taking advantage of a special offer for two free months on the iRacing service with the purchase of one month of racing. New members will be just in time to enjoy the host of new features and content (including two cars and tracks) available with last week’s release of iRacing 2.0. For a look at iRacing 2.0 featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart and the iRacing staff, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/iRacingTV.