365体育备用网站This weekend’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge takes place at a virtual Michigan International Speedway. The track is one that historically produces intense side-by-side action, but many of the current drivers have never raced on the high-speed oval as IndyCar hasn’t visited since 2007.
365体育备用网站The two-mile oval held open-wheel racing every year from 1970 to 2007 and produced close racing action at virtually every turn. In the last year IndyCar ran there, Tony Kanaan took victory by 0.059 seconds over Marco Andretti. That race was also notable for a couple incidents that resulted in only seven cars running by the end of the race.
365体育备用网站The racing is expected to be close and incidents are expected to continue in the virtual world as well. Most drivers have taken part in a couple practice race events throughout the week, in addition to their hours of solo practice, and have found that three-wide action happens quite often.
365体育备用网站There are a few new drivers taking part in the race tomorrow, with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marco Andretti, and Ryan Hunter-Reay joining in the action. The 31-driver field will showcase their quick reactions and patience as they navigate at virtual speeds of over 220 miles per hour.
Earnhardt Jr. joins Jimmie Johnson by using the opportunity to race digitally as a way to jump from one racing discipline into another. The two have talked over this past week, giving tips to one another and comparing their approaches to the new problems faced in open-wheel racing that they did not encounter in their years of stock car driving.
“I definitely don’t want to be the one to start any crashes,” said Earnhardt Jr. “The car gets real, real tight in some circumstances that’s real challenging for everybody in the pack, and just knowing how to keep yourself out of trouble is the main thing.
365体育备用网站“The way they had the aero modeled in the IndyCar on iRacing, it’s tough for me to understand what of that is realistic and what of that is exaggerated or whatever because the car will get real tight sometimes and I’m not quite — I haven’t quite really figured out why that happens and how to try to prevent that.”
365体育备用网站There will not be a competition caution for this race as there was last weekend, due in part to the expectation of actual incidents that will bring about their own cautions. The cars are expected to have enough fuel for just under half of the scheduled 85 laps, meaning multiple pit strategies may come into play as well.
The 275-kilometer race begins tomorrow at 14:30 Eastern Time and will once again be shown on television with a full broadcast crew as well as online shortly following the event.