Karam survives late scare to win first IndyCar iRacing Challenge


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Sage Karm led Felix Rosenqvist from start to finish in the first IndyCar iRacing Challenge held on the Watkins Glen circuit.

The pair ran first and second throughout the race, Karam winning by a margin of 3.6 seconds which was typical of the lead he held over most of the 45 laps.

Rosenqvist drew closer over the final laps, aided by a near-miss between the race leader and Kyle Kirkwood. Karam was poised to lap his Andretti rival when Kirkwood spun in front of him, forcing Karam to take evasive action.

However Karam reasserted himself over the final laps, edging clear of Rosenqvist again as the pair demonstrated their simracing skills, leaving everyone outside the top seven at least a lap down.

Will Power took fourth place after moving ahead of McLaren’s Oliver Askew early in the race. Power therefore avoided the subsequent pile-up Askew triggered with his three Penske team mates. After cutting the bus stop chicane on lap six, Askew knocked Scott McLaughlin into a spin, and the pair were collected by Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden.

The quartet recovered and reached the finish. McLaughlin passed Askew for fourth late in the race, but the pair finished over 47 seconds behind Karam, and Pagenaud and Newgarden were another half a minute behind.

Santino Ferrucci came in a lapped eighth ahead of Kirkwood and Conor Daly. Alexander Rossi was classified 17th after being knocked into a barrier on the first lap of the race, and James Hinchcliffe was unable to start due to technical problems.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Karam survives late scare to win first IndyCar iRacing Challenge”

  1. Excellent race. You’d barely know it was virtual!

    Head and shoulders above the pathetic F1 effort last weekend.

    1. I actually prefered what F1 did last weekend, Was way more entertaining & fun to watch which is what i’d prefer to watch with this kind of thing.

      This Indycar one was perhaps better in terms of been a more seriously presented race but I didn’t find it particularly entertaining or interesting & can’t say i’ll be watching any others they do.

      1. Fair enough, but it says a lot about a series when you basically get everyone to make the effort, turn up and take it seriously.

        Compared with a couple of F1 drivers and the rest of the grid made up of dodgy sim racers of questionble talent and zelebs who have no place being there.

        1. @Charles Agreed. I wish the F1 virtual-races were more serious or were taken more seriously.

        2. That’s funny though. What happened in the F1 race was that the real drivers had no awareness because it was a game, were slower than the sim drivers and rammed them off. Hulkenberg was especially dirty.

      2. @Roger Ayles, enjoy not watching motorsport for the best 6-12 months then! What Indycar is doing is a great alternative to the real thing, the F1 race was a joke, but they will learn from it and try not to put another bad virtual race like the one last weekend. Will you also dislike virtual F1 if it has most of the grid driving in simulation?

  2. I enjoy the race and this is the way FIA must go. Find a good popular game and go for it officially. I even liked the RedCross info that was shown 2-3 times. In this difficult times this kind of things keep us occupied and warm till the normality of our life and normal racing come back.

    1. @bluechris Only option F1 has is the Official Codemasters game as it’s there officially licensed product & the only one that features all the cars & liveries.

      Other sims such as iRacing feature F1 cars but it’s not officially licened by F1, It’s simply iRacing doing a deal with an individual team to get a specific car in the sim. And I think the most recent F1 car they have is the 2016 McLaren.

      It’s easier for Indycar as it’s a spec series in terms of the car & they officially licence the Dallara & Indycar brand for iRacing & quite a lot of the Indycar grid also actually does sim-racing so are better ready/able to take part.

      It’s harder for F1 to do something like this as apparently a lot of the F1 grid don’t do sim-racing & therefore don’t have the hardware/software to be able to take part in such a thing from home & those that don’t now don’t want to start. It’s part of why the similar things F1 has done recently haven’t featured many current F1 drivers.

      1. @gt-racer The most recent F1-car in iRacing is the 2015 MP4-30. It also features 2009 Williams FW31.

        1. Unfortunately, even Mclaren driver Lando Norris has repeatedly expresses his hatred for that iRacing Mclaren MP4-30, even to his teammate Sainz. I’m surprised Mclaren haven’t told him off for saying that all the time. So it must be really pretty bad to drive on iRacing. Maybe the Williams is better – does anyone know?

          The 1973ish Tyrrell that the Legends raced yesterday before the main rFactor 2 race looked like fun and still F1 related, so maybe F1 could try an official race with those?

      2. Im not sure that is f1’s only option. They have money, they can contract another Sim like iRacing or rfactor 2, and call it an in house FIA simulator for virtual racing to not upset codemasters. Codemasters product is an F1 ‘game’, while F1 needs an f1 ‘Sim’. Car models, tracks and liveries can be made very fast if money is exchanged.tge drivers only need a few hours to get adjusted to a Sim, actually less, they jump straight in at the factories.

  3. Regardless of the topic of the software utilized (which is miles ahead), they made it look like the real deal, which was F1’s original intention. It turned into an entertainment thing, with people cutting corners, and carnage and what’s not. But it wasn’t intended to be that way.

    Indycar even got someone to sing the American anthem. Not to mention the calibre of drivers involved.

    And while the race might not have been full of action, it was similar to real races, which is the whole point.

  4. What a fantastic effort, from the overall broadcast, the effort and preparation everyone put in and the commitment of (nearly) all the drivers.

    Well done.

    The inclusion of black / red tires and full course cautions would have spiced up the action even more.

    Amazing to see the coverage iRacing is getting right now. Well deserved and overdue.

  5. Yep, glad I was able to see parts of this – it was a proper race.

    I think it is important (as racefans.net agrees seeing the comparison/analysis article elsewhere on the site) that an event makes clear what it is trying to do/be, and then put in the effort needed to get there. This one did that. And that goes for whether you are trying to be a facsimile of the real thing, or an entertainment show with half-known people; there’s choice for those who want different things, w/o the physical limits of needing a racetrack some place on earth, and getting everything there.

  6. That was very good. A proper race.

    In a way I like that the cars were the same to see who’s fast, but in reality some got lucky with a car that fit their driving style better.

    Of course the mark of a great driver is adaptability, but as with real motor sport, it’s also about understanding the car’s set up etc.

  7. I have not always been a big Surge Carrom fan, but he comported himself very well in this event. Having Bell and Tracy was a nice touch too. I will be watching again, and hoping for a Nurburgring finale.

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