IndyCar releases streaming audience numbers from first iRacing event

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The inaugural iRacing IndyCar Challenge at Watkins Glen International drew nearly a half-million views Saturday on various streaming platforms, according to IndyCar.

The numbers, which were provided by IndyCar, reflect the total number of viewers who watched some portion of the race Saturday and not the live average viewership for the race (a metric commonly used by networks to gauge audience for programming).

According to metrics released Wednesday morning by IndyCar for the race, which was won by Sage Karam:

  • As of Saturday night, IndyCar measured 433K views on INDYCAR and iRacing’s channels.
  • The average session time for users was nearly 20 minutes during the live event.
  • By Monday, more than 600K views were totaled on INDYCAR, iRacing, and driver channels.
  • On the Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone, the series had a similar number of players as it did entering the season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida, which was postponed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be held Saturday at 2:30 p.m., featuring a field of IndyCar drivers competing at Barber Motorsports Park.

The third race of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series will take place 1 p.m. Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Last weekend’s race at virtual Texas Motor Speedway drew 1.3 million viewers on FS1, breaking the record of 903,000 for eSports TV viewership set bv the previous week’s race.

During an episode of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast last month, Parker Kligerman disclosed that the first two races this year in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola Series (the premier iRacing series for professional racers) averaged 180,000 live viewers across its platforms with an average user time of 19 minutes.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.