IMSA expands sim racing options with new iRacing Challenge Series


IMSA will be introducing a new sim racing series Thursday.

The IMSA iRacing Challenge Series will make its debut at 3 p.m. as a precursor to the biweekly IMSA Pro Invitational Series and streamed on the Global SimRacing YouTube Channel..

The 60-minute race will be held at virtual Road America with drivers in Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars based on those in the real-life IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class.

There are several IMSA champions in the field — Joao Barbosa, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Tyler McQuarrie and Owen Trinkler — along with several up-and-coming drivers from the Prototype Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge

The IMSA iRacing Challenge event will be followed by Round 4 of the IMSA Pro Invitational Series at virtual Road America (6 p.m. ET, streaming on iRacing YouTube and Facebook).

The 90-minute race will feature the debut of Mazda Motorsports’ Tristan Nunez. The former Road America winner will be racing in a Ford GT with teammates Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell, also former winners at Road America.

Other former winners at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course who are entered in the iRacing event: Ben Keating, Colin Braun, Jeff Segal and Nick Tandy.

Here’s the relase from IMSA on its new iRacing Challenge Series:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Starting this week, IMSA fans will be treated to a double dose of iRacing with the introduction of the new IMSA iRacing Challenge Series.

Prior to the bi-weekly IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series event held every other Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, there now will now be an additional, same-day event held at 3 p.m. beginning on Thursday, May 14.

The IMSA iRacing Challenge Series will feature 60-minute races with all drivers using Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars like those used in the real-life IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class.  All IMSA iRacing Challenge Series races will be streamed on the Global SimRacing YouTube Channel.

Like the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, the IMSA iRacing Challenge Series will feature single drivers in each race car.

A range of drivers from all IMSA series, including a handful of newcomers, are entered for the inaugural IMSA iRacing Challenge Series event also being run at Road America. Here’s a closer look:

·    Several IMSA champions have entered. Two-time IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship titleholder Joao Barbosa will be competing, in addition to two-time IMSA GTC champion and longtime Porsche driver Jeroen Bleekemolen. Additionally, the two most recent co-champions in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class, Tyler McQuarrie (2019) and Owen Trinkler (2018) are on the entry list.

·    Up and coming drivers from other IMSA-sanctioned series will have the chance to mix it up with the heavyweights. From IMSA Prototype Challenge, Dakota Dickerson is entered with MLT Motorsports and Benjamin Waddell, who competed in the series for two years before making the jump to Pilot Challenge in 2020, will run with Forty7 Motorsports.

·    Drivers from Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama should find the chosen Cayman GT4 Clubsport appealing.  GT3 Cup Challenge USA race-winner Max Root – who finished fifth at this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona in the GTD class with Black Swan Racing – will run under the Wright Motorsports banner. Up-and-coming Canadian driver Ethan Simioni is competing with JDX Racing. Simioni completed his rookie season in the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series, and shifts to GT3 Cup Challenge USA for 2020.

·    Among drivers making their return to IMSA, prototype driver and WeatherTech Championship race-winner James French is running with Algarve Pro Racing and former Pilot Challenge driver Tyler Cooke – whose most recent win in the series came at the 2018 season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta – is back on the entry list as well with MDM Motorsports.

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,