PWC: Charity efforts and comebacks afoot for Mid-Ohio round

0 Comments

While this weekend’s pair of Pirelli World Challenge races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will play a pivotal role in all of the series’ championships (all six divisions are in action this weekend), this is also a big weekend for charity and comebacks.

There’s two designated charity cars, which both feature two-driver lineups.

We wrote last week about the GTS class Ford Mustang Boss, driven in race one by Pirelli World Challenge President/CEO Scott Bove and 15-year-old USF2000 rising star Austin Cindric in the second, which will race for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Meanwhile the second charity car was announced Monday. The season-long Touring Car B-Spec FIAT 500 entry, run by 4R Motorsports and with support from FIAT USA/Pirelli Tire/SRT Motorsports, will see Leo Parente make his driving comeback with Dan Goodman also in the car. Parente, a former Formula Atlantic racer, has since carved a second successful career as a commentator. The two will run to benefit Maxton’s Fight Foundation. More info is here from the series website.

The Shea Racing Team, which fields two TCA class cars (Jason Cherry, Shea Holbrook) and two in TCB (Paul Holton, PJ Groenke) will have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy boys and their families attending, as well.

Parente’s is one of three driving comebacks of note.

Alex Lloyd, the 2007 Indy Lights champion and 2010 IndyCar Series rookie-of-the-year who posted a best career result of fourth in that year’s Indianapolis 500 (and a qualifying effort a year later that still leaves my jaw dropped), will be entered in CRP Racing’s No. 12 Emkay Fleet Management/Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette. It’s his first pro race in three years, and first road course race since Sonoma 2010, when he drove for Dale Coyne Racing in IndyCar.

Lloyd will be joined in GT by Ryan Dalziel, the Extreme Speed Motorsports ace who’s making at least a one-off cameo appearance in EFFORT Racing’s No. 31 Porsche GT3 R, which won Round 9 in Toronto with Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy. Dalziel’s lone series appearance came in the 2013 season opener at St. Petersburg; he won the first race but was excluded post-race after the car was found out of compliance in technical inspection.

More details on the series’ races this weekend can be found on the series website, world-challenge.com.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024
IndyCar
0 Comments

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”