Former IndyCar driver turned team owner Sam Schmidt will once again take place in the iRacing Pro Race of Champions, which will run Wednesday evening online at Phoenix International Raceway.
The host facility is CXC Simulations in Los Angeles; both iRacing and CXC will donate $2,500 for the winner, $1000 for second and $500 for third to the Justin Wilson Children’s Fund in the name of each driver.
It will be the second consecutive year Schmidt has taken place in the online race, which is entering its sixth year of competition.
Due to the physical challenges he has from paralysis, Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, will be the only driver in the field of 24 to be allowed to use driving aids provided by one of his team’s sponsors, Arrow Electronics.
According to a release, Schmidt will have technology similar to that seen in the semi-autonomous Arrow Chevrolet Corvette #SAMcar that Schmidt has driven in the past.
“Schmidt and this particular simulator will be outfitted with reflective infrared sensors and cameras to control the steering, as well as a pressure sensor located inside the driver’s mouth that detects acceleration and braking with the use of his breath,” the release said.
Schmidt qualified 25th and finished 17th in last year’s race at Watkins Glen.
“I’m very much looking forward to this event,” Schmidt said in a statement. “Last year I had no idea what to expect given I have very little simulator experience, but I was pleased to not qualify dead last (I left that honor to Ron Capps) and ran the entire event in spite of getting punted on the first lap.
“Now, we are going to one of my all-time favorite circuits in PIR and racing on the oval, which should level the playing ground somewhat. I still wish they would do an event with everyone utilizing the Arrow head controls, but maybe down the road. I’m just ecstatic to be in the same event with this list of incredible talent.”
Among other race car drivers that will take place include Rubens Barrichello, Oriol Servia, Alex Gurney, Patrick Long and Will Power.
Gurney, Long and Servia are among those who will be present at the CXC facility in L.A. Others include Townsend Bell, Matt Halliday, Tommy Kendall and Michael Lewis.
The green flag drops at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, and fans can watch the 50-lap event on iRacing.com.