Sam Schmidt prior to test drive with driver’s “hat” that works with infrared motion-sensing cameras and the breath-sensing “mouthpiece.” Similar configuration will be on the CXC Simulations’ Motion Pro II. Photo: CXC Simulations

CXC Simulations, ARROW partner to provide Sam Schmidt shot at iRacing

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Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Sam Schmidt has long been an inspiring figure for his determination, persistence and support of the series – and the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires – for 15-plus years since he was paralyzed in an accident while testing at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Schmidt has also returned to the cockpit by way of the SAM (Semi-Autonomous Motorcar) Project on two occasions, initiated by ARROW Electronics, to drive a modified 2014 Corvette at speed around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and streets of Long Beach, Calif. for demonstration runs.

Los Angeles-based CXC Simulations was tasked with integrating the highly-developed SAM 2.0 control systems – infrared motion-sensing cameras that read movement of the driver’s “hat” to steer, the breath-sensing “mouthpiece” to accelerate and brake, and the computers and sophisticated software that convert their output to car control actions – with CXC’s custom engineered hardware and software for the Motion Pro II simulator.

CXC Simulations’ Founder and CEO, Chris Considine in front of the modified Motion Pro II that Sam Schmidt will race in the iRacing Pro Race of Champions on December 16, 2015 – at CXC’s headquarters. Photo: CXC Simulations
CXC Simulations’ Founder and CEO, Chris Considine in front of the modified Motion Pro II that Sam Schmidt will race in the iRacing Pro Race of Champions on December 16, 2015 – at CXC’s headquarters. Photo: CXC Simulations

“It was a natural for us,” says Chris Considine, CEO and founder of CXC, “the challenge of interesting new technologies, the chance to work with very high-tech partners, and the fact that it concerned a kind of driver training, what we’re known for, was perfectly in line with the core interests and principles of our company.”

Now, Schmidt’s taking those skills to an active race for the first time, as part of the fifth annual iRacing Pro Race of Champions.

The event occurs on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET, broadcast on iRacingLive, and will donate $2500 to the Justin Wilson Children’s Fund in the name of the winning driver.

Schmidt will join a stacked field that is scheduled to include Timmy Hill, Trevor Hopwood, Alex Gurney, Chris Dymond, Spencer Pumpelly, Tommy Kendall, Nick Tandy, Dominic Cicero, Ron Capps, Michael Self, Benny Simonsen, Michael Lewis, Joe Osborne, Barry Waddell, Igor Sushko, Stefan Wilson, Scott McGlaughlin, Bradley Philpot, Kyle Kaiser, Justin Bell and Ryan Eversley, with others possible.

Competitors will race digital versions of the GT3 class BMW Z4 for 20 laps on iRacing’s laser-scanned replica of the Watkins Glen International “Cup” circuit (avoiding the Boot).

“It’s an honor for not only myself, but also my entire team,” said Considine. “I am humbled that I have been able to contribute to Sam being able to essentially complete the impossible by racing again. This is a huge step forward in technology, but even more so for how innovation will make huge strides in changing the lives of those affected by paralysis.”

A teaser video for the event is linked below:

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

EM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.