Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Photo gallery: IndyCar iRacing action at Twin Ring Motegi

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VIRTUAL MOTEGI, Japan — The fourth round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge started and finished with some memorable bangs at virtual Twin Ring Motegi’s oval.

There was a multicar pileup on Lap 3 involving several cars (including the No. 51 of Kyle Busch, who rebounded from the airborne flip pictured above to finish 13th).

A collision between frontrunners Will Power and Scott McLaughlin and the lapped car of Oliver Askew helped hand the victory to Simon Pagenaud.

RESULTS: Click here to see where everyone finished at Twin Ring Motegi

WHAT DRIVERS SAIDPostrace reaction from Motegi

And then runner-up Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves had a massive shunt as Dixon tried to chase down Pagenaud on the last lap.

In between, there was an entertaining collection of strategic twists during the 113-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval.

Courtesy of Getty Images’ Chris Graythen, here are a collection of screenshots from the Firestone 175 at Twin Ring Motegi:

Pole-sitter Robert Wickens (No. 6 Chevrolet) leads the field during the Firestone 175 at virtual Twin Ring Motegi (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

 

A series of images show Helio Castroneves (who finished 29th in his IndyCar iRacing Challenge debut) going airborne over Scott Dixon after the final lap of the Firestone 175 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Tony Kanaan finished 30th in a throwback 7-Eleven scheme (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Will Power led a race-high 61 laps in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Takuma Sato made his IndyCar iRacing Challenge debut in his native country (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Scott McLaughlin was on track for another podium or possibly win before a late incident (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Marco Andretti finished a lap down in 25th and later tweeted he didn’t realize his No. 98 had been slowed by damage (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Simon Pagenaud celebrates his second consecutive victory in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

An overhead shot of the grandstands at virtual Twin Ring Motegi (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”