IMSA will continue iRacing Pro Series next week at Laguna Seca

IMSA rescheduling 2021
Brian Cleary/Getty Images
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IMSA is the latest motorsports series to start its own iRacing Series.

Building off its “Sebring SuperSaturday” event last month, the sports car circuit will continue the IMSA iRacing Pro Series with an April 16 race at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The six-race, biweekly series, which will be single-driver, 90-minute formats, also will race at Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen International and two tracks to be named. Fields will be open to IMSA drivers and capped at 50 entries.

‘IT FELT LIKE REAL LIFE’: Drivers on how simulated Sebring went

Drivers will have a choice of four GTLM cars: the BMW M8, Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488 and Ford GT.

BMW driver Bruno Spengler led a sweep of the top three for the automaker in the Sebring SuperSaturday opener.

Here’s the release from IMSA on its iRacing Pro Series:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 3, 2020) – Following last month’s successful IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday on iRacing event, IMSA and iRacing have taken the next step in establishing a bi-weekly series of Thursday night races to be known as the “IMSA iRacing Pro Series.”

The series will follow the same format as Sebring SuperSaturday – 90-minute, single-driver races using recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) race cars: the BMW M8, Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488 and Ford GT. With the Sebring event serving as the first round of an anticipated six-round championship, the series will resume on Thursday, April 16 on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca iRacing circuit.

The full IMSA iRacing Pro Series Schedule is as follows:

March 21 – IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday

April 16 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

April 30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

May 14 – IMSA venue to be determined

May 28 – IMSA venue to be determined

June 11 – Watkins Glen International

“Our Sebring SuperSaturday event and subsequent iRacing events held by other sanctioning bodies have proven to be popular with race fans,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “We had a fantastic turnout of participating drivers and strong viewership, which ignited further discussions among our IMSA team, our partners at iRacing and many of our other partners.

“Together, we determined that a series of races that somewhat mirrors what our actual 2020 WeatherTech Championship schedule would have been prior to the COVID-19 stoppage was logical. With that, the IMSA iRacing Pro Series was born.”

The invitational series will be open to IMSA drivers. As was the case for Sebring SuperSaturday, the field will be capped at a maximum of 50 entries.

IMSA will establish a points system for drivers based on their finishing position – beginning with last month’s Sebring SuperSaturday. An IMSA iRacing driver champion will be crowned at season’s end.

All races will be streamed live on iRacing’s YouTube channel, Twitch channel and Facebook page, which will include commentary from IMSA Radio announcer John Hindhaugh. Pre- and post-race programming also is planned for The Torque Show, hosted by Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.