IMSA: Ed Brown forced to sit out Watkins Glen

Photo: Tequila Patrón ESM

A surprise announcement early on Thursday from Tequila Patrón ESM revealed that team co-owner Ed Brown, scheduled to make his final start in the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi this weekend at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, was forced to withdraw from the event as a driver.

Back pain forced Brown to undergo minor back surgery, and the recovery process requires him to step out of the cockpit at Watkins Glen, though he will still be in attendance as an interested onlooker.

“This recent development is disappointing, to say the least,” lamented Brown. “I was looking forward to having one final race in the car, but I’m happy I’ll still be able attend and support everyone from pit lane. As usual, the team has done a tremendous job preparing for this race, I believe both cars will be very strong. Bruno (Senna) and Johannes (van Overbeek) will now have a little more time to dial everything in, and I know they’ll do a great job.

Bruno Senna, already signed as a co-driver for the No. 22 entry this weekend, will share driving duties with Johannes van Overbeek in what is now a two-man effort. The driver lineup on the No. 2 entry remains unchanged and sees Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel joined by Pipo Derani, who will move over to the No. 22 and partner van Overbeek for the remainder of the season following Watkins Glen.


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

IndyCar video game 2024

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.”