The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will head to Barber Motorsports Park today (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) for the the second round of the six-race series.
Sage Karam of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing dominated the opener, leading 43 of 45 laps at Watkins Glen International last week and finishing 3.6174 seconds ahead of Felix Rosenqvist.
Will Power finished third, and the Team Penske driver will be one of the favorites this week with more than 1,500 starts and 150 wins on iRacing road courses.
Teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished seventh at the Glen, also could be a factor as the winningest IndyCar driver at real-world Barber (2015, 2017 and 2018).
There are 29 drivers in the field for today’s race at Barber, including seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Four new entrants to the iRacing Challenge are five-time series champion Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens (returning to competition for the first time since his August 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway), Ed Carpenter and Jack Harvey.
After a caution-free run at Watkins Glen, Barber will feature a competition caution to guarantee a restart.
Here is the information on today’s virtual race:
START: The command to start engines will be given by NBA legend Charles Barkley, who starred at Auburn University, at 2:43 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 2:45 p.m.
TV: The race will be shown live on NBCSN starting at 2:30 p.m. ET and also via the NBCSN stream here. The IndyCar on NBC booth of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy will have the call of the race, and Katie Hargitt will interview the race winner on IndyCar’s Instagram Live postrace.
The race also can be viewed through drivers’ individual Twitch channels.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Performed at 2:39 p.m. by Tiara Pennington, Miss Alabama 2019
COMPETITION CAUTION: A new wrinkle in this race will be a planned competition caution to bunch the field on Lap 15. It will consist of three laps, followed by a single-file restart.
DISTANCE: The Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is 45 laps (107.1 miles) around the virtual 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course.
PUSH TO PASS: There are 10 activations for a 10-second duration.
SETUPS: Fixed; no changes allowed for drivers.
PIT STOPS: One. Cars will be allowed two “Fast Repairs” during the race.
QUALIFYING: The starting lineup will be set through a qualifying session at 2:30 p.m.
REAL WORLD AT BARBER: There have been 10 IndyCar races at the road course. Takuma Sato won the most recent race in 2019. Helio Castroneves won the first Indy car race at Barber in 2010.
NEXT: The Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the second of six events to be held each Saturday through May 2. Next week is a “Driver’s Choice” track (April 11), then a “Random Draw” track (April 18), Circuit of The Americas (April 25) and a non-INDYCAR “Dream” track (May 2).
ENTRY LIST: Click here for the entry list for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.
SPOTTER’S GUIDE: Click here to see the paint schemes being used in today’s race at Barber Motorsports Park.