It proved to be one of the most popular virtual motorsport championships last year, especially with Kiwi fans, and IndyCar is reportedly set to bring back its iRacing Challenge.
A six-round series operated last year during Indycar’s shutdown period between March and May.
The virtual series featured almost the entire real-life IndyCar grid, including New Zealanders Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin.
Dixon proved surprisingly strong behind the wheel of the simulator, given that most of his rivals are half his age and have grown up around the sim-racing scene.
The six-time IndyCar champion finished an impressive second at a computer-generated Twin Ring Motegi Oval, joining the mini-championship after missing the first round.
However, nobody can match Scott McLaughlin’s sensational pace. The Penske newbie was competing from his home in Australia and walked away with the unofficial series title ahead of his two regular season teammates Will Power and Simon Pagenaud.
Victories at Barber Motorsport Park and in the Indy 500 after a last-lap thriller ensured McLaughlin wrapped up the virtual title.
While many drivers enjoyed the social aspect of the e-series, several teams and drivers went above the call of duty. Engineers and spotters were often called in to give themselves the best chance of winning.
Last year also saw a handful of guest drivers at each round, including Supercar driver Chaz Mostert, Formula 1’s Lando Norris and NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Now just a few weeks out from the start of the 2021 season, The-Race is reporting that IndyCar teams and drivers have been contacted about restarting a shorter series before the beginning of the real-life championship.
Details remain slim, but a three-to-four round series is expected to be the format of choice. Previously, races were streamed via YouTube and Twitch, with free live streaming the most likely option for a second instalment.
Real-life IndyCar pre-season testing kicked off at Barber Motorsport Park in January, with the opening round slated to be at the same venue in April.