IndyCar field grows to 33 drivers for iRacing Challenge


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IndyCar has added three new drivers to its virtual series as its field has grown to a new high of 33 competitors for this weekend’s iRacing Challenge.

Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Takuma Sato will join the series for the first time on Saturday along with reigning NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch.

However two other NASCAR drivers who participated in previous rounds, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jnr, will not be on the grid for this weekend’s race.

Drivers will cover 113 laps of the Twin-Ring Motegi tri-oval. The venue last hosted a real-world IndyCar round in 2011, when the race had to be moved from the oval to the road circuit following damaged caused by a major earthquake.

The three previous race winners so far this year – Sage Karam (Watkins Glen), Scott McLaughlin (Barber Motorsport Park) and Simon Pagenaud (Michigan) – will rejoin the series for the race on Saturday.

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IndyCar iRacing Challenge Motegi entry list

11Josef NewgardenPenske
22Scott McLaughlinPenske
33Helio CastronevesPenske
44Sebastien BourdaisFoyt
55Pato O’WardMcLaren SP
66Robert WickensMcLaren SP
77Oliver AskewMcLaren SP
88Marcus EricssonGanassi
99Scott DixonGanassi
1010Felix RosenqvistGanassi
1111Kyle KaiserJuncos
1212Will PowerPenske
1314Tony KanaanFoyt
1415Graham RahalRLL
1518Santino FerrucciCoyne
1620Conor DalyCarpenter
1721Rinus VeeKayCarpenter
1822Simon PagenaudPenske
1924Sage KaramDreyer & Reinbold
2026Zach VeachAndretti
2127Alexander RossiAndretti
2228Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti
2329James HinchcliffeAndretti
2430Takuma SatoRLL
2531Felipe NasrCarlin
2641Dalton KellettFoyt
2750Ed CarpenterCarpenter
2851Kyle BuschIndyCar
2955Alex PalouCoyne
3059Max ChiltonCarlin
3160Jack HarveyMeyer-Shank
3288Colton HertaAndretti-Harding
3398Marco AndrettiAndretti

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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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    17 comments on “IndyCar field grows to 33 drivers for iRacing Challenge”

    1. I watched Josef Newgarden’s stream of Indy at Spa last night. Got to say it was far more entertaining than anything F1 has done so far, so I look forward to this one.

    2. Shouldn’t Alonso be in on this?, you know, showing support…

      1. I find it odd Alonso hasnt done any eraces considering his quest to be the best in anything w 4 wheels. Why not get out there & show his skills? These events maybe the closest thing we ever have to drivers being in the same equipment

    3. F1 is failing so hard at the moment becaus of not having a real sim, only the F1 game they have to use.

    4. Norris and Verstappen are on iRacing. They should try hard to get them on as wildcards. Publicity gains all around

      1. That would be such a scoop. I’d love to watch that.

        1. It would be a talking point whatever the outcome. If they manage to get on the podium or win it, there will be trash talking between F1/Indy ‘fans’. If they get beaten (badly), there will also be trash talking involved… the other way around. If they crash out on an oval, …etc..

          I’d watch that

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            17th April 2020, 1:08

            Verstappen beat Scotty McLaughlin in his home series, and McLaughlin is beating the Indy guys at their house, so i would imagine they would be in the lead pack if they joined up.
            I’m not really sure why it shouldn’t happen. Norris drives for McLaren who have an Indycar team anyway, and Red Bull Advanced Technologies developed Indy’s aeroscreen

            1. @balue @fullcoursecaution Good point, it could happen. Conor Daly mentioned on his stream during the Speed51 race at Texas last week that he asked Norris to join and he replied that he might. Didn’t happen that night, but maybe in the future…

            2. He doesn’t have a lot of experience with the supercars you could say. But they did race Silverstone, a track he probably know best of everyone that contended the race. He even has heaps of (recent) data from the real track (don’t know how well it translates to iRacing). So you could also say that it was expected he would be very competitive that race.

              I’m curious to see Norris and Verstappen compete at St Petersburg or something (guessing they lack the specific track experience). Or maybe oval racing

          2. Last weeks podium included a Indianapolis 500 winner, a Bathurst 1000 winner, and a Daytona 500 winner. If Max joined a got a podium, it would really be par for the course.

            1. That would be funny if Max get the Daytona 500 before Alonso … :)

              Ok it would be virtual but stil it would be something i would watch.

    5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      17th April 2020, 1:10

      It’s a shame these all seem to be standalone events rather than a points based championship, as McLaughlin, Karam and Rosenqvist are having a great fight

    6. Hats of to the Indy organizers to put this very impressive set of drivers together! And hats of to the drivers to who all joins in even though they know it will be tough to adapt to simracing for some of them, even the best drivers real world drivers will take time to be good at sims.

    7. I really didn’t think I’d like the sim racing, but I have loved IndyCar’s version so far! The job they’ve done so far is superior to any other series effort. The fact that you have all the IndyCar drivers competing utilizing their lead engineers, sponsors and liveries is fascinating. Obviously some drivers have vast experience doing this and some have none. To some extent it’s a bit unfair but, this is the next best thing for now.

    8. I follow IndyCar, NASCAR, and F1. What makes the eRacing fun for me is knowing the personalities of the drivers as they compete. NASCAR has mastered the promotion of their drivers. IndyCar isn’t terribly far behind. I could listen to Clint Bowyer or Dale Jr. cut up for hours. Outside of Lewis, Max, Daniel, and Sebass, F1 has a bunch of duds…at least to the public’s knowledge. Promote your drivers F1! It is (and maybe always has been) the elite 5-6 drivers and a conveyor belt of 20 year old dudes who we never get to know.

    9. Give your collective heads a shake. This isn’t racing. They’re just games.

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